Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Patent Trolls' Lobby is Losing the Battle for Europe

UPC boat sinks



Summary: The situation in Europe is looking grim for patent trolls, for their policies and the envisioned system (which they lobbied for) isn't coming to fruition and their main casualty is the old (and functioning) EPO

THE European patent framework had worked for decades; it worked a lot better before a "disruptive" Battistelli came in and decided to break the EPO, violate the EPC, and promote the UPC in Paris. It's almost as though Battistelli was assigned/delegated the task of making Europe more attractive to patent trolls.



IAM's editor, supported by the EPO and funded by patent trolls such as this, gave a helping hand and platform to the patent trolls' lobby (most latterly on SEP policy in Europe). We wrote about this on Friday. He was apparently speaking to the trolls' lobby over the weekend; he was looking for information about the outcome and came up with a slanted headline that spins a non-decision. This is what he says happened on Friday:

A meeting held last Friday inside the European Commission between various directorates-general that was supposed to finalise the wording of a keenly-anticipated Communication on the licensing of standard essential patents broke up without resolution, IAM has learned.

[...]

The Communication was due to be made public on 29th November, but this latest development must put that date at risk. Although not a legally-binding document, a paper from the Commission outlining its views on SEP licensing for the age of 5G and the Internet of Things would be extremely influential, not only at the negotiating level, but also in courts hearing SEP-related disputes. This is even more the case given that, up to now, Europe has been seen as taking a much more balanced approach to SEP and FRAND issues than the US and many Asian jurisdictions, where the needs of technology implementers have gained the upper hand over those of the entities that created the technology in the first place.


We wrote about this lobby last month as it's about software patents too. They just use buzzwords like "5G" and euphemisms such as "FRAND" (which means the very opposite of what this acronym stands for).

Why are software patents even being entertained at all in Europe? The matter was supposed to have been settled and dusted a dozen years ago. Well, when dealing with a patent office which is effectively above the law (immunity) and routinely breaks the law, then it seems abundantly clear that no rules apply. It's a lawless affair.

At the moment, the EPO delivers crappy "products" due to Battistelli (he treats public services as though it's a business) and now, with decreasing demand for these services, fees go down too. Watch AA Thornton & Co's Alex Hughes sucking up to Battistelli and boosting his blog post. This is from a few hours ago: "There are also plans to extend the agreement providing cost reductions for SMEs and universities, and to reduce the fee that the EPO charges to national offices who outsource search work to the EPO. Additionally, the EPO proposes not to apply inflation-based fee increases in 2018-2020. We congratulate the EPO for these proposals and await confirmation in December."

The EPO has been trying to associate itself with academia and SMEs lately. It's merely a publicity stunt -- one that AA Thornton & Co is keen enough to perpetuate.

EPO insiders have been speaking for quite some time about declining patent quality and substitution of domain experts with 'machine operators' that are rushed to rely on automated scans of applications (like a registration office, a la INPI almost).

One such program we already wrote about earlier today. Comments have begun to appear, starting with:

Shocking that the EPO don't reply instantly. Luckily the Kats have access to a broad community for obtaining information for their work.


Here is a translation of the pseudo-jargon/marketing:

"The purpose of (semi)automatic search is to automate as far as possible the search process and eliminate all non-value added steps for examiners at the beginning of the search workflow."

Or rather, the purpose of semi-automatic search is to de-skill the task of patent searching so as to enable the highly skilled and experienced examiners to be replaced by unskilled workers on short term contracts.


"Sounds like it should be re-named "NO ANSERA"," said the next comment.

Like "Early Certainty" it's just cheapening of what used to be a decent workflow involving several domain experts and a long window for oppositions, appeals, etc.

That old system is no more. Battistelli threw some of that system at Haar.

Will any of that be fixed next year? Don't count on it. As we explained a few days ago, Battistelli's 'heir' will continue along similar lines. Don't pay too much attention to spammy sites (primarily advertisements disguised as articles). One of them said today that the "New EPO president looking to cooperate with USF," but that's not the same as cooperating with SUEPO or giving dismissed SUEPO heads their jobs back. The article is mostly quoting the letters again (nothing new there). For instance:

In October, SUEPO said it was willing to embark on a road of “fruitful cooperation” with Campinos, provid there was “respect by top management for the rule of law”.

In his reply to the USF, Campinos—while not referring directly to SUEPO—said he had “always prioritised human resources matters” and “developed an open and fruitful relationship with the representatives of the staff and their associations” during his tenure at the EUIPO.

He added: “In this sense, I look forward to continuing the cooperation between the EPO and the USF once I take up my duties as president of the EPO next year.”


What about SUEPO? Or as this comment put it 3 days ago, what about the stakeholders (emphasis below)? To quote:

The words are nice, but facts matter. If no real improvement of the staff situation at the EPO follow soon, then the new president will not get staff behind him, and the struggle will continue. The EPO does not need a manager, but a leader!

It is also in the interest of the IP world as a whole, that changes have to come, and especially the run for production/productivity has to stop.

If the new president wants to improve the situation, he will also have to listen to the users of the EP system. The EPO is there to help its users, not to decide what is good for them without consultation. The various publications of Mr Bausch on this blog (I-IV) are worth reading again.

The Boards of Appeal have to obtain a level of staffing commensurate with their duty.

Last, but not least, the idea of giving renewable 5 years contracts to examiners and legal staff dealing with procedural aspects, should be dropped instantaneously. If the new president endorses this policy, then it will be a sign of how little he values these functions, and he will stay as a mere manager, but not show that he can be a leader.

The outgoing president has not even be a manager, but for his own benefit and that of his cronies.


In summary, no SEP trap, no UPC, and thus less of a litigation mess. Unfortunately, however, there is also no patent quality, no safety for the career of sophisticated patent examiners, and no prospects for an important office which helps determine Europe's competitiveness.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Delayed Series About Dr. Richard Stallman
A lot of the attacks on him boil down to petty things
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting Several Webhosts (in Collaboration and Conjunction With Mentally-Ill Flunkies)
Every attempt to nuke the current hosting failed, but it's still worth noting
Google: We Don't Have Source Diversity, But We Have Chatbot Spew in Place of Sources (and It's Not Even Accurate)
Search engines and news search never looked this bad...
[Meme] Security is Not a Failure to Boot (or Illusion of Security Due to 'Unknown' System)
Red Hat is largely responsible for this mess
What is Secure Boot?
Security means the user feels safe and secure - i.e. confident that the machine would continue to work following a reboot or a system upgrade (or kernel upgrade)
Links 27/05/2024: Chatbots Generate Hateful Output, TPM Performance Scrutinised
Links for the day
David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) Realises What He Should Have Decades Ago
seeing that DHH is moving away from Apple is kind of a big deal
 
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 27, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, May 27, 2024
[Meme] Elephant in the Asian Room
With ChromeOS included GNU/Linux is at 6% across Asia
GNU/Linux in Bangladesh Up From 0.5% to Over 4% (Windows Slid From 95% to 18%)
Bangladesh is one of the world's most densely-populated countries
Links 27/05/2024: One Month Left for ICQ, More Openwashing Highlighted
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Back to GNU/Linux, Librem 5 Assessed
Links for the day
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Mostly Recovered From a Day's Downtime (Malfunction)
Some of the material we've published based on the statCounter datasets truly annoys Microsofters
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Been Broken for Nearly 24 Hours. Who Benefits? Microsoft.
StatCounter is broken right now and has been broken for nearly 24 hours already
Reinvigorating the Voice of GNU/Linux Users (Not Companies Whose Chiefs Don't Even Use GNU/Linux!)
Scott Ruecker has just announced his return
"Tech" in the Context of Even Bigger Issues
"Tech" (or technology) activism is important; but there's a bigger picture
A Decade of In-Depth Coverage of Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO)
The world needs transparency and sunlight
Hopefully Not Sunset for StatCounter
We hope that StatCounter will be back soon.
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 26, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 26, 2024
Links 27/05/2024: Self-Publishing, Patent Monopolies, and Armed Conflicts
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Tethering Connection and PFAs
Links for the day
Imagine Canada Enabling Rapists to Harass Their (Rape) Victims
This analogy is applicable because abusers are empowered against the abused
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting My Old "Tweets"
This was basically an act of vandalism no better and no worse than UEFI restricted boot
Links 26/05/2024: Google 'Search' Morphing Into Disinformation Factory, Discussion of Maze of the Prison Industrial Complex
Links for the day
In the Pacific (Mostly Islands Around Oceania) GNU/Linux Grew a Lot
Microsoft cannot compete fairly
A Toast to Tux Machines
Food ready for the party, no photos yet...
IBM/Red Hat Failing to Meet Its WARN Obligations in NC (STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA), or Perhaps It's Constantly Delaying the Layoffs
IBM isn't named even once
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 25, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, May 25, 2024
GNU/Linux in Greenland
The sharp increases for GNU/Linux started last summer
The Sheer Absurdity of the EPO's Career System Explained by EPO Staff
"Staff representation has previously pointed this out to management, and the career system has been the reason for several industrial actions and litigation cases initiated by SUEPO."
[Meme] Productivity Champ Nellie Simon: It Takes Me 3+ Weeks to Write 6 Paragraphs
Congrats to Nellie Simon!
It Took EPO Management 3+ Weeks to Respond to a Letter About an Urgent Problem (Defunding of EPO Staff)
The funny thing about it is that Nellie Simon expects examiners to work day and night (which is illegal) while she herself takes 3+ weeks to write a 1-page letter
Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) in The Hague Taking Action to Rectify Cuts to Families of Workers
they "are active in challenging this measure via the legal system"