11.08.17

Gemini version available ♊︎

Expect an Avalanche of Bad Patents (Including Software Patents) From the EPO to Become Invalid, Shaving Off a Lot of Imaginary Value

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Avalanche training

Summary: The crisis of patent quality in Europe is causing uncertainty and invalidation in bulk — a problem which would likely exacerbate in years to come

ONE THING that the EPO and USPTO have in common is that both have a large number of granted patents deemed invalid. These should never have been granted. It was a massive error.

Clarke Modet & Co’s Yolanda Echeverría notes that many EPs (European Patents from the EPO) are now null and void. Yesterday Echeverría wrote: “The amendment of the Regulation on the European Patent Convention (Rules 27 and 28) enters into force, in which plants and animals exclusively obtained by essentially biological processes (such as crossing and selection) are excluded from patentability.”

We previously wrote about controversial EPO patents (EPs) on cancer treatments [1, 2] and yesterday a company published this press release:

HAMLET Pharma AB is pleased to announce that we have received a notification from the European Patent Office (EPO) regarding a patent application with claims to the use of HAMLET or HAMLET-like complexes to treat or prevent gastrointestinal cancer.

The patent application is in order for grant and thus fulfills the criteria to be accepted by the EPO examiners.

The patent application, EP13762204.9, includes claims where complexes including HAMLET are used for the treatment of colon cancer.

If the treatment of colon cancer becomes a monopoly, is this something for the public to rejoice? We can’t help but wonder if these patents too will one day be rendered invalid.

We have just written about EPOPIC, but we did not take note of these tweets [1, 2, 3] in which the EPO is dropping buzzwords for software patents. “What do you think,” one says. “How is the patent searcher profession changing as a result of #industry40 & #artificialintelligence? Tell us!”

These are just surrogate names if not synonyms for some patents on software (CII), for reasons we covered here before.

As it turns out, some legal firms in the UK already openly state that it’s easier to get software patents from the EPO than it is from the USPTO.

Yesterday, Alastair Lowe from Haseltine Lake LLP wrote that “for computer-related inventions [CII], it might be wise to consider protection in the UK via the EPO rather than via the UKIPO.”

Here’s the whole relevant part:

In view of this, for computer-related inventions, it might be wise to consider protection in the UK via the EPO rather than via the UKIPO.

So can we expect to see a softening in policy by the UKIPO?

Looking further back, from 2010 to 2013, at least 88% of UKIPO hearings related to excluded matter were unsuccessful. The rate in 2014 was 73%, though there were a lower than usual number of applications in that year. Overall, though, the success rate has been very low for a number of years.

Looking at 2017 in more detail, even though two recent cases have been found in favour of the applicant, this is still in the context of 27 hearings related to excluded subject-matter being refused in 2017 so far – a rejection rate of over 93%. Therefore, whilst two successful cases this year is encouraging, being twice the number of successes from the previous two years, it is unlikely that this marks a change in the likely outcome for such cases. Therefore, the EPO remains the most promising route for obtaining protection for computer-related inventions.

The EPO is building up a bubble of patents which, according to European law, are not allowed. How long before these patents too are bust (bubble implodes). As somebody told me yesterday: “I’m suddenly brought to wonder if bigcorps see software patents as a form of private fiat currency — difficult to forge because of all the work required to create them, but legally recognized as a form of property (regardless of any intrinsic value). This would have implications.”

Considering the fact that software patents are banned in Europe we expect some major avalanche some time in the coming years. It has already happened in the US (and this avalanche is rapidly accelerating since 2014).

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 4/12/2021: IPFire 2.27 Core Update 162 and Genode OS Framework 21.11

    Links for the day



  2. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

    Links for the day



  3. Links 4/12/2021: Turnip Becomes Vulkan 1.1 Conformant

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, December 03, 2021



  5. Links 4/12/2021: EndeavourOS Atlantis, Krita 5.0.0 Beta 5, Istio 1.11.5, and Wine 6.23; International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on December 10th

    Links for the day



  6. Another Gemini Milestone: 1,500 Active Capsules

    This page from Balázs Botond plots a graph, based on these statistics that now (as of minutes ago) say: “We successfully connected recently to 1500 of them.” Less than a fortnight ago more than 1,800 capsules overall were registered by Lupa, almost quadrupling in a single year



  7. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be



  8. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them



  9. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing



  10. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 02, 2021



  12. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day



  13. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day



  14. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  15. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021



  16. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  17. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same



  18. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day



  19. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below



  20. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation



  21. EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

    The EPO's management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains



  22. Links 1/12/2021: LibreOffice 7.3 Beta, Krita 5.0, Julia 1.7

    Links for the day



  23. Links 1/12/2021: NixOS 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 30, 2021



  25. Links 1/12/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and WordPress 5.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  26. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  27. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."



  28. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline



  29. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day



  30. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts