12.12.15

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EPO Censored Itself After Publishing a Document Which Had Been Leaked Anyway

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The EPO’s highly controversial attempt to sack an accused judge is thwarted and the decision relating to it is also thwarted, or mysteriously removed from the EPO’s own Web site

THE EPO seems to have an internal struggle over what should and should not be made visible to the public, even though it’s sometimes made visible in blogs anyway. Based on information that we received, as early as (perhaps) 7 AM a decision was made publicly available but shortly thereafter, or shortly after it had been mentioned in IP Kat comments, it was removed. Certainly someone is hoping to hide something, though it’s not clear who and why/what. As such, tomorrow we’ll publish the entire text as HTML (it requires quite a lot of manual work).

Two days ago we saw the following comment pointing to the original of the decision which had already been disclosed by the IP Kat anyway (last month even). The comment says: “At least the EPO has decided that, in the interests of openness, decision G 2301/15 should be published: http://www.epo.org/law-practice/case-law-appeals/pdf/g152301eu1.pdf”

Another comment says: “So the [IP] Kat was right this time and the EPO king did not behave as presidentially as he should.

“Maybe this king should announce to the public that there is no future for the BoA at the EPO and that the UPC will be much better for every stakeholder… and that the BoA will die out anyway…

“If he is a decent person, excuses to the insulted DG3 member will soon follow, with media partners involved, so the 860k EUR will be well spend.

“Maybe it’s part of his Xmas speech to come soon…, I hope the AC will wake up from their anaesthesia (due to dental interventions?) [reference to this] before the Xmas speech, so they will have a less troublesome 2016.”

“It seems that the decision has been taken off the EPO´s homepage after a couple of hours only,” says this later comment.

“It announced that decision G2301/15 was available at http://www.epo.org/law-practice/case-law-appeals/pdf/g152301eu1.pdf,” a source told us. “The document was withdrawn very quickly, and prompted the following two comments.”

One comment says: “Strangely. the decision has now disappeared!”

Another says:

24 hours ago, Kant wrote here:

“At least the EPO has decided that, in the interests of openness, decision G 2301/15 should be published:
http://www.epo.org/law-practice/case-law-appeals/pdf/g152301eu1.pdf”

so I printed out a copy of G2301/15.

Less than 24 hours later, Kant wrote here:

“Strangely. the decision has now disappeared!”

So it seems that the spirit of open-ness didn’t last long.

Looking at the parties to G2301/15 I note that the “Respondent” name is redacted. So no chance of asking him or her for a copy of the published then un-published Decision.

But the “Petitioner” is stated on the Decision to be “Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation”. Can’t it show us the Decision? How much “spirit of open-ness” does the Petitioner possess? Does it know? Or must it first ask the EPO President for guidance on that point?

Isn’t there something in Europe we regard as important here? Something about justice not only being done but also being seen to be done?

Some more research has been done to study when the document was uploaded, removed, etc. but we’ll spare readers the technical details. It seems likely that there is some internal dispute over the publication of that file.

An hour ago I did a Google search on the text and got this:

EPO on Google

Clicking on the link yields the following:

EPO deletion

It was online long enough for Google to pick up. Thankfully, we got a copy. It may not be identical to the one IP Kat previously published, so a comparison may be worthwhile (perhaps a redacted copy will be published at a later date, indicating what caused the panic).

“The file is included herewith for your enjoyment,” wrote to us another source (many people have noticed this incident). “This apparent censorship is strange,” the source added, “as the document had already been leaked and published in an OCR version…”

Stay tuned as we are going to increase the file’s exposure by making an HTML version available very soon.

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