Bonum Certa Men Certa

The '4iP Council' is a Megaphone of Team UPC and Team Battistelli at the EPO

A patent maximalism council, serving the interests of patent trolls in Europe

4iP Council



Summary: The EPO keeps demonstrating lack of interest in genuine patent quality (it uses buzzwords to compensate for deviation from the EPC and replaces humans with shoddy translators); it is being aided by law firms which work for patent trolls and think tanks that propel their interests

Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald and Vossius & Partner have finally found the courage to speak out against the EPO for at least some of its many scandals. Rest assured the German FCC will take note of that when dealing with several concurrent constitutional complaints regarding the EPO (like denial of travel to the World Cup which starts today and the UPC complaint).



"It's a piece which promotes software patents using buzzwords like "AI" and "4IR" (like in the EPO's Gazette, with a similar article there authored by Ménière)."The UPC is dead. Team UPC has barely said anything about it for over a week and Bristows' UPC blog has just moved goalposts to SPCs [1, 2]. As for Team Battistelli, it barely even mentioned that lately, except in some delusional statements from Battistelli himself (in the threatre which he manages).

As we have mentioned in this post the other day, something called "4iP Council" (we hadn't heard of it before!) posted some puff piece for the EPO's fake 'economist' (Battistelli's new friend) Yann Ménière. It's a piece which promotes software patents using buzzwords like "AI" and "4IR" (like in the EPO's Gazette, with a similar article there authored by Ménière). He's clearly clueless on technical matters and his only quality appears to be 1) some degree; 2) being French and 3) being loyal to a corrupt president that loots the employer. The EPO is worse than a laughing stock these days. It's a den of corruption, nepotism and worse. So we sort of had to laugh at the sight of this tweet, which was retweeted by the EPO this morning. To quote:

Did you see our interview with Yann Ménière, the @EPOorg's Chief Economist on how #patent filing data illustrates the speed of the 4th Industrial Revolution? Includes a great update too on the Unitary Patent. https://bit.ly/2HQFRpY #AI, #IP, #IoT pic.twitter.com/LRD4PwE0P6


"4iP Council", at least in Twitter, has just about 160 Twitter followers, with an almost identical number followed back (which means they're likely mutual and thus 'fakes'). For all we can tell, it's a patent trolls' think tank which promotes 'unitary' patents for a patent trolls-friendly litigation pipeline.

"Notice how, in one single tweet, at least 4 buzzwords or meaningless acronyms were included: 4IR, IoT, AI, and IP."The EPO's previous chief economist warned about patent quality and patent trolls, but Ménière seems like merely an appendix of Battistelli. He never deviates from the official 'party line', which is basically a bunch of lies (e.g. about quality) and buzzwords. Notice how, in one single tweet, at least 4 buzzwords or meaningless acronyms were included: 4IR, IoT, AI, and IP.

And speaking of buzzwords, Mondaq has this new article by Taro Yaguchi (Keisen Associates). According to him, Japan's JPO sets aside patents -- mostly software patents -- on buzzwords like "IoT". Japanese courts are not entirely friendly towards these hyped up things, but here go the patent maximalists:

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) announced on June 6 that it has begun to make available its multi-category classifications for patent inventions directed toward Internet of Things (IoT) technology in various sectors. This is to enable more precise searching and analysis of IoT technology that is being developed in Japan.

This change builds on the addition the JPO made of subcategories to the IoT classification ZIT back in April 2017, which itself was a new thing in the world of patent office classification systems. Now the JPO’s searchable database J-Plat Pat treats the subcategories as acceptable input for searches


There are many Japanese patents at the EPO, almost twice as many as Chinese and Korean combined. Earlier today the EPO wrote: "Our experts on the Japanese, Chinese & Korean patent systems offer support in searching original-lang. databases..."

To which I reponded with: "While EPO offers and promotes entirely automated translation which -- especially for technical disciplines -- are utterly worthless, misleading..."

Only a short time later the EPO promoted automated translations again (on the same day), as it has been doing every couple of days lately. It wrote: "Patent Translate helps you to understand patent documents from all over the world..."

"They keep stressing that privacy is important to them, but in reality they conduct mass surveillance at the Office (even illegal surveillance by a firm that enlisted former Stasi staff)..."Well, let's just use scare quotes around 'understand'. They probably hope that people (readers/audience) never actually experimented with these so-called 'translations', which can be horrible depending on the target language. Patents are meant to be clear and unambiguous, not a salad of words that may or may not remotely make some sense, sometimes (if one gets lucky) even a coherent sentence.

Either way, so much for patent and service 'quality', eh?

Later in the day the EPO spoke of "[i]mprovement to the security of our online services," linking to its site (warning: epo.org link) which now says: "As of 18 June 2018, you will need TLS 1.2 to connect securely to our online services (a secure connection is indicated by "https" in your browser's address bar). Older protocols such as TLS 1.0 and 1.1 will be unavailable from this date on."

They keep stressing that privacy is important to them, but in reality they conduct mass surveillance at the Office (even illegal surveillance by a firm that enlisted former Stasi staff) and what the EPO neglects to say is that it's giving lumps of its very personal data 'wholesale' to private firms (example here and here, with more context in here).

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