Bonum Certa Men Certa

Patent Attorney Joeri Beetz Explains Why EPO Results Are a Lie

Joeri Beetz's chart Image credit: Joeri Beetz



Summary: What the EPO's PR team, which is leaning on the media along with FTI Consulting (which enjoys a secret budget of nearly 80,000 euros per month), tells us about EPO "results" is basically just a big lie, or propaganda hinged on misleading statistics

THE abuses by the EPO's management are rarely being justified, except being painted as a necessary consequence of improving productivity, output, results, or something along these lines. People who insist on justice and human rights are being portrayed as obstructions to productivity and an obstacle on the road to necessary reform. But anyone who's smart enough to work as a patent examiner at the EPO knows that it's poppycock. I did review papers for international journals in the past and I know that rushed jobs under pressure yield nothing but inaccurate, sloppy, worthless work. Poor papers can fall through the net and an unhappy peer reviewer can wrongly reject decent papers or lose track of them.



Over the past year we repeatedly mentioned (several times in fact) the reasons why the EPO's "results" are just worthless lies. We alluded to that, based on numerous sources, both external and internal. It's just propaganda, as we even noted last year. The numbers don't mean a thing. Or alternatively, they don't mean what gullible journalist are (mis)led to believe.

“This also includes PCT applications filed in China, that will never be translated into any European language.”
      --Joeri Beetz
Well, thankfully enough patent lawyers took note of Joeri Beetz's article, which can be found here. In his own words: "In the first week of March, just like in any other year, the EPO has published its patent filing statistics for the previous year. Just like in any other year, the main goal is to show that the EPO has become even more important. Although the number of direct EP filings has been more or less constant over the last decade (+2.7% in 2015, similar level to 2005), a year over year growth scenario is presented by adding all PCT applications. With 'all', I don't mean just the PCT applications filed at the EPO or entering the European phase (fees paid, examination requested, ...), but really 'all'. This also includes PCT applications filed in China, that will never be translated into any European language. Of last year's growth of 4,500 applications (+1.6%), 2,821 are PCT (+1.3%) and 1,679 direct EP (+2.8%). [...] Other interesting numbers from the WIPO: Last year the EPO as PCT Receiving Office, received 7.2% less applications and the EPO was selected as International Searching Authority in 11.1% less applications. With a decreasing amount of total PCT applications (-9.4%), this is of course not a surprise. It is, however, interesting to see that the use of the EPO as ISA goes down faster than the number of filed PCT applications (both total and with the EPO as rO). Apparently, the EPO is becoming less popular as a searching authority. EP regional entries for PCT applications grew 6% this year (EPO count). It has to be taken into account that regional entries represent PCT applications that were already filed about one and a half year before. Therefore this number does not only reflect the preferences of applicants in 2015, but also in the two or three years before."

That's just the gist of it. There are even more angles from which to tackle this and people who actually work inside the EPO told us that these numbers are misleading. Nevertheless, the EPO's Twitter account is reposting and recycling them several times per day (since the 3/3 propaganda day). Here is the British media mindlessly parroting what the EPO's PR team probably told them to write (they also lie to journalists and staff). Corporate lobbyists' media did the same by issuing/reposting a press release (as we noted before, the EPO actually paid for press releases to spread its misleading "results" propaganda).

“Apparently, the EPO is becoming less popular as a searching authority.”
      --Joeri Beetz
Relaying EPO "results" propaganda in Switzerland or in Swiss media too is a 'thing', based on these two new examples [1, 2]. Did authors actually fact-check? of course they didn't. They don't behave like journalists but more like EPO writers 'on loan'. This is why we're seeing a lot of the media unquestionably passing around the claims.

By the way, the reason Switzerland has many patents per capita isn't what the EPO wants us to believe. Patents are indicative of wealth, not innovation, as those with money are patenting stuff spsringly, unlike those who actually implement stuff, like Indian programmers (where software patents are aptly verboten).

"EPO insiders, one of whom has access to such data, admits that there's something amiss and yet -- all facts be damned! -- the media keeps falling for it."Francis Jeffrey, who has patents assigned to him, told us the other day: "This effect was worsened by the addition of renewal fees: USPTO has imposed quadrennial fee since Clinton/Bush administration."

Don't think that only the above demonstrates the invalidity of the EPO's "results". We previously covered other such indicators. EPO insiders, one of whom has access to such data, admits that there's something amiss and yet -- all facts be damned! -- the media keeps falling for it.

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