03.29.17

Europe as the World’s Laughing Stock When it Comes to Patent Quality/Scope and the Coming Appeals

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 3:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The EPO has lowered the quality bar to the point of the unethical, laughable and ludicrous

Intellectual Property and Genomics
Reference: genome.gov (US)

Summary: Criticism and embarrassing coverage for the EPO, which has just decided to grant patents even on genome, in defiance of a lot of things

THE EPO has become an embarrassment to a lot more than itself. Run by a Frenchman with an Italian name connected to the 'Corsican Mafia', the Office already commits atrocious acts with the consent of the Organisation and complicity of apathetic politicians. And now Europe — not the US — bears the embarrassment of patents on life, probably the most widely denounced type of patents. Just watch yesterday’s and this morning’s news [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. What the EPO has just done is being attributed to “Europe”. People might soon start saying stuff like, “that’s a terrible idea. It’ll never happen, except maybe in Europe” (where patent scope became patently farcical).

“And now Europe — not the US — bears the embarrassment of patents on life, probably the most widely denounced type of patents.”Yet more articles about decline in EPO patent quality (including patents on life) were published earlier this week [1, 2] and these should be of great concern to anyone who works for the EPO, which for decades derived its pride (and high fees) from the perception of high patent quality. We still hope that perhaps someone from the inside (a whistleblower) can tell us more about the process and why this patent was granted. There are going to be many protests against this and some media alleges that appeals are on the way (attracting yet more negative publicity). To quote:

University of California’s CRISPR patent win in Europe likely to be challenged

If you enjoyed the US edition of the CRISPR patent dispute, get ready for the European one: With the announcement last week that the European Patent Office intends to grant a patent to the University of California, Berkeley, and its partners covering a broad range of uses of the revolutionary genome-editing technology, expect a similar plot to unfold on that side of the Atlantic.

In particular, “now we go through opposition proceedings in Europe, where 3d parties can challenge the patent,” patent expert Jacob Sherkow of New York Law School tweeted. “And that could take a while.”

The longer it drags on for, the more damage it will do to the perception of patent quality at the EPO — something which even staff representatives openly speak about nowadays.

“This would be the overall price of lending a hand to a system that permits patents on every single thing, including life itself.”We’ve historically complained mostly (if not only) about software patents in Europe, occasionally also alluding to patents on life. How about both in the same? Yesterday we caught this news article an “agreement [which] follows the transfer of 10 drug design software patents from RCDD” (involves the UK and China).

If we’re unable to keep patent scope under control, the public will lash out against patents in general. A close friend of mine, who has many EPs and US patents, already tells me that he’s against all patents (I don’t share this sentiment) and everywhere I look on the Web these days I see people who think that all patent systems should be abolished (someone last told me this yesterday). This would be the overall price of lending a hand to a system that permits patents on every single thing, including life itself.

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