Bonum Certa Men Certa

EPO Stacking up Buzzwords (4IR, AI, Now SDV) to Compel Examiners to Grant Patents on Algorithms

Summary: Instead of looking for ways to better obey the law and comply with the EPC, President Campinos is creating new loopholes, further lowering patent quality in order to fake 'growth'

FRENCHMAN (dual national) António Campinos has brought promotion of software patents in Europe to unprecedented levels. The European Patent Office (EPO) promotes such patents about twice or thrice a day, on average. We never saw anything quite so grotesque under Battistelli. In that regard, namely scope/quality of patents, Campinos seems to be even worse than Battistelli (and that's just the start of his term; it can get a lot worse in years to come).



"Self-driving vehicle technologies are progressing strongly," the EPO wrote yesterday, citing its very own study ("a new EPO study confirms"). It's like another one of those Battistelli 'studies'; has much actually changed since Battistelli left? Maybe only the buzzwords. Battistelli kept saying "4IR"; now they have a new three-letter buzzword, SDV, to obsses over. This typically means software patents pertaining to something inside the car (like those infamous "over the Internet" or "on a phone" patents).

It didn't take long for the EPO to also tweet: "@RobertaRomanoG, COO for Mobility & Mechatronics at the EPO, spoke on the panel debate of the #EUCAR conference about the recently published study on trends in #selfdriving vehicle innovation..."

For all we can see/gather, EPO staff hates her. It's hard to forget that Roberta is a career climber close to Battistelli. She allegedly defended his abuses and corruption [1, 2] -- something for which people get rewarded at the Office. In other words, the only/best way to get a raise/promotion is to be evil and potentially complicit in criminal activities.

"The number of European patent applications related to autonomous driving has grown 20 times faster than other technologies in recent years, an EPO study has found," Michael Loney wrote in order to help the EPO's propaganda that tries to pass off patents on algorithms, i.e. bogus software patents, as "cars" something. Loney writes for a patent maximalists' publication that has historically been close to Battistelli.

There's similar coverage this week not just in English (e.g. in Heise). To give another example which is in English, consider World Intellectual Property Review's (WIPR) participation in this latest stunt:

The number of European patent applications related to autonomous driving has grown 20 times faster than filings for other technologies in recent years, according to a study by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Council for Automotive R&D.

A release shared by the EPO yesterday, November 7, said that the statistics may “signal the coming of a transport revolution”.

The study, titled “Patents and self-driving vehicles”, showed that between 2011 and 2017, patent filings at the EPO relating to autonomous driving increased by 330%. However, filings directed to all other technologies in the same period rose by just 16%.

Over the past decade, the EPO said it has received approximately 18,000 patent applications related to self-driving vehicles; almost 4,000 filings were made in 2017 alone.


So EPO management can now pressure examiners to grant abstract patents if these have something to do with a car. As of one week ago, new guidelines came into effect which put similar pressure on examiners, instructing them to grant software parents if the applicant says "AI". The National Law Review has just published this 'ad' of Michael T. Renaud and Marguerite McConihe (Mintz); they're the latest of many to exploit EPO abuses to market software patents disguised as "AI". The 'ad' is disguided as information:

On November 1, 2018, the European Patent Office (“EPO”) issued new guidelines for the patentability of artificial intelligence (“AI”) and machine learning (“ML”) inventions which indicate that applications within this subject matter may be treated as largely unpatentable. The new guidelines, G-II 3.3.1, provide that AI and ML are “based on computational models and algorithms for classification, clustering, regression and dimensionality reduction, such as neural networks, genetic algorithms, support vector machines, k-means, kernel regression and discriminant analysis.” These “computational models and algorithms” are, according to the guidelines, “per se of an abstract mathematical nature.”

Mathematical methods and purely abstract mathematical concepts are generally excluded from patentability under EPO guidelines. Chapter 3 of the EPO Guidelines for Examination provide the “List of Exclusions,” which includes the exclusion for claims based on mathematical methods in section G-II 3.3. That the AI and ML guidance is provided within this section, as G-II 3.3.1, indicates that claims based on this subject matter will likely face default exclusion from patentability.


They are again (mis)using buzzwords to work around the law and violate the EPC. Another term they like to abuse is "blockchain", which very obviously refers to algorithms. The EPO has resorted to promoting these fake patents using hype waves. Here's a tweet from yesterday: "The Office is organising a conference on patenting #blockchain. Among other things, we'll be discussing the future implications of blockchain #patents for society. Sign up for free here: http://bit.ly/EPOblockchain18 pic.twitter.com/PNll8H3wqp"

So that's the EPO in a nutshell: it just doesn't care what the law says, it always tries to work around it.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Helping Microsoft 'Hijack' Developers (to Make Them Work for Microsoft, Not the Competition)
VS Code is proprietary spyware of Microsoft. Jack Wallen keeps promoting its use.
Gemini Links 28/02/2024: Groupthink and the 'Problem' With Linux
Links for the day
Android Rising (Windows Down to All-Time Lows, Internationally)
This month was a bloodbath for Microsoft
HexChat Looks for Successors to Keep IRC Growing
IRC is far from dead
[Meme] Just Make Him Happy
Y U no produce more monopolies?
End of a Long February
top 10 posts
[Meme] The EPO's Relationship With Patent Examiners
Nobody is "safe"
New Pension Scheme (NPS) at the European Patent Office Explained at the General Assembly
Investing in the future, or...
Donald Trump & FSFE Matthias Kirschner election denial
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 27, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Links 27/02/2024: PlayStation Layoffs and More Oppressive New Laws for Hong Kong
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/02/2024: Facebook as Containment Field and Depression Driven Development (DDD)
Links for the day
They're Adding Warnings Now: The Site "It's FOSS" is Not FOSS
It's better that they at least explicitly state this
Links 27/02/2024: Nevada Versus End-To-End Encryption, Birmingham Bankrupt
Links for the day
End of an Era
The Web isn't just filled with marketing spam but actual disinformation
[Meme] Onboarding New EPO Staff
You read the patent application and grant within hours
The Legacy Prolific Writers Leave Behind Them
"Free Software Credibility Index" after more than 15 years
The Ongoing Evolutionary Process of News-Reading (or News-Finding) on the World Wide Web
it gets worse
Phoronix in Google News
congratulating or welcoming Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (E.E.E.)
Google Fired Many Employees Working on Google News (Which Had Deteriorated and Became Gulag Noise, Littered and Gamed by Blogspam, Plagiarism, and Chatbot/Translator-Generated Spew), Now Comes the Likely 'Phase-out'
No wonder many yearn for the days of DMOZ and Web directories in general
IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 26, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, February 26, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
"It's Obvious There's No Future For Any of Us from Blizzard at Microsoft"
The rumours suggest that more Microsoft layoffs are on the way
[Meme] Who's the Boss?
"I thought EPC governed the Office"
Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP) at the EPO and Why Workers' Salary is Actually Decreasing Each Year (Currency Loses Its Purchasing Power)
outline and update on a years-old blunder
Exposed: FSFE, Legal & Licensing Workshop (LLW), Legal Network & Modern Slavery
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gemini Links 26/02/2024: Mastodon Trouble, RSS, and Zombie-scrolling
Links for the day
Links 26/02/2024: Suicide Crisis and Doctor Walkouts in South Korea
Links for the day
Why Do People Who Attack GNU/Linux Hate Women So Much?
My wife is being viciously targeted again
Ongoing Media Campaign, Sponsored by Bill Gates, to Portray Critics of Gates Crimes as "Conspiracy" Cranks
In prior years we wrote about this PR tactic of Gates
[Meme] Follow the Law, Not Corrupt Bosses
pressuring staff to break the rules to make more money
The EPO Uses Appraisals to Force Staff to Illegally Grant European Patents or Lose the Job. The Matter is Being Escalated en Masse to ILO-AT, Requesting a Review of Appraisal Reports.
it is only getting worse over time
Debian History Harassment & Abuse culture evolution
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 25, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, February 25, 2024IRC logs for Sunday, February 25, 2024