03.29.18

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Patent Quality, Not Quantity, is What Really Matters

Posted in Asia, Europe, Patents at 10:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO adopts the Chinese model (patent trolls magnet), unlike somewhere like India

EPO patents criticised

Summary: The EPO’s policy of “grant fast/first, ask questions later” is a recipe for disaster not just for the EPO but for Europe in general

THE EPO crisis (this particular term, “crisis”, seems suitable) is a ticking time-bomb. Applications are running out and UPC is as dead as can be (it has barely even been mentioned this past month). Florian Müller is right when he says, as IP2Innovate quoted the other day: “Whenever the Unitary Patent Court (UPC) will be ready, Europe will become a paradise for patent trolls and the likes of Nokia and Ericsson…”

IP2Innovate has repeatedly warned about it and lobbyists of patent trolls attacked IP2Innovate over it. They also attacked people who 'dared' cite IP2Innovate. Such is the behaviour of aggressive trolls…

“Applications are running out and UPC is as dead as can be (it has barely even been mentioned this past month).”The problem we’re seeing is that the EPO basically ‘offloads’ examinations onto courts; it issues patents recklessly and in a rush, only for courts and lawyers to clean up the mess that lawyers themselves all along made. They want lots of litigation. That’s their bread and butter.

Found earlier this week via this tweet was a new article titled Liberaler Mittelstand fürchtet Patentflut & Qualitätsmangel. It was then mentioned also in a comment that said:

On patent quality at EPO

WIPR

https://www.worldipreview.com/news/wipr-survey-epo-patent-quality-is-endangered-claim-readers-15689

Landshuter Rundschau

http://la-rundschau.de/landshut/politik/33298-liberaler-mittelstand-fuerchtet-patentflut-qualitaetsmangel.html

EPO examiners generally know that they issue low-quality patents. They admit it, but they stress very strongly that this is the fault of the management. The examiners don’t want to do it, but they feel as though they must in order to keep their job.

The EPO is meanwhile bragging, yet again, about growth in the number of patents. Yesterday it wrote that “Italy filed over 4% more applications at the EPO in 2017 compared with the previous year.”

“It doesn’t look like these discounts had any fundamental effect in Europe, perhaps except income going down.”“But in order to get this message right (across to the readers),” I’ve told them that the discounts should be taken into account. You “gave a DISCOUNT on applications and ‘demand’ went DOWN,” I told them in response to this other tweet in which EPO said: “Belgium posted fewer patent applications in 2017 (-1.9%) after its strong increase in 2016 (+7%)…”

It doesn’t look like these discounts had any fundamental effect in Europe, perhaps except income going down. And that’s before work even runs out! It’s going to get a lot worse when staff is made redundant.

What does the EPO even strive for? Issuing as many patents as possible, e.g. by consciously lowering the quality of examination? Yesterday there was this press release which said:

Constant Pharmaceuticals, LLC, a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of stroke recovery, today announced that the European Patent Office (EPO) has notified the company that it will grant a patent covering the use of TXA127 in the treatment of stroke. TXA127 is a pharmaceutical grade formulation of the naturally occurring peptide Angiotensin (1-7), which Constant is developing for the treatment of stroke recovery.

A few days ago someone showed us that the EPO had just granted a patent on chewing gum. The above is naturally-occurring — something which typically disqualifies patents.

“A few days ago someone showed us that the EPO had just granted a patent on chewing gum.”But hey, who cares about patent quality anyway? Certainly not patent lawyers, who are typically patent maximalists as that equals/implies more income for lawyers.

Earlier today the Sottish Legal was posting this Marks & Clerk puff piece/ad in the form of an ‘article’. Marks & Clerk sucks up to EPO management by promoting patent maximalism. To quote:

The UK has enjoyed a consistent rise in energy-related European patents with the number of patents granted by the EPO in the energy sector having nearly doubled since 2008. The volume of patents applied for has also increased by nearly 40 per cent since 2008.

Newly released data from the European Patent Office (EPO) found that ‘electrical machinery, apparatus, and energy’ was the fourth most patented technical field in 2017, behind only medical technology, digital communication, and computer technology.

Is this like a competition? Which field gets the most monopolies?

Compare that to India, where software patents are not allowed and pharmaceutical giants don’t get their way, either. It’s actually a pretty good system which improves access to medicine and makes India a very powerful software-developing country.

“Is this like a competition? Which field gets the most monopolies?”Ananya Bhattacharya, writing this piece earlier this week, has called such a sound policy “least friendly”; it is a gross distortion of the reality because it might as well be called “most friendly” (towards the population, not a bunch of foreign multinational giants). To quote: “India is no country for filing patents. Riddled with problems, from lack of awareness to systemic flaws, the country is one of the least friendly when it comes to intellectual property (IP) rights. In 2016, just 45,000 patents (pdf) were filed in India—China registered over 1.1 million in the same year.”

So what? China is insanely irrational when it comes to patent grants, we suppose in anticipation of sanctions/trade war. They just want to have a wall of worthless patents.

China is actually proof that overgranting leads to trolling (there’s a massive increase there in terms of patent trolls) and only a tiny fraction of these patents ever makes it into patent offices outside China (only those of decent quality would get granted).

“The EPO has become a farce under Battistelli. He is leaving in almost exactly 3 months, but he will leave in charge an old friend, who is also French and also lacks background in science.”The EPO needs to take India, not China, as an example. But Battistelli never even bothers visiting India. Instead he keeps visiting former French colonies (maybe his friend Sarko got some funds from there too?), having just named Morocco and Tunisia alongside Cambodia in this new ‘blog’ post of his. (warning: epo.org link, already promoted by the EPO’s Twitter account).

Watch Benoît Battistelli as he brags about Cambodia with zero European Patents and French colonisation roots:

When Cambodia became a validation state at the beginning of this month, it was somewhat of a watershed moment in the EPO’s history. While we have already seen the European patent become valid in North Africa, through agreements with Morocco and Tunisia, Cambodia is the very first country in Asia to become a validation country. With four validations in the last few years (Morocco, Moldova, Tunisia and Cambodia), the advantages of the EPO’s validation system are becoming more and more known. European inventors can now easily and efficiently file a European patent application that will be recognised in Cambodia. That means it will have the same legal effect as a corresponding Cambodian patent and will be subject to Cambodian patent law.

The EPO has become a farce under Battistelli. He is leaving in almost exactly 3 months, but he will leave in charge an old friend, who is also French and also lacks background in science.

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