04.18.18

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The EPO in 2018: Partnering With Saudi Arabia and Cambodia (With Zero European Patents)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Fourth Industrial Revolution” is just code (or buzzword) for "software patents" — part of the race to the bottom (of patent quality)

EPO gazette

Summary: The EPO’s status in the world has declined to the point where former French colonies and countries with zero European Patents are hailed as “success stories” for Battistelli

THE reputation of the EPO — and by extension of European Patents (EPs) — is badly damaged. It won’t be able to compete with the USPTO. In fact, in IP5 it’s now generally seen as the most abusive; some would call it a “laughing stock”, especially when publicly represented by corrupt/abusive officials from France.

“It’s worth noting that the number of granted EPs from Saudi Arabia fell by a whopping 44.4% last year.”The EPO has totally lost touch with patent quality. It just habitually misuses the word “quality”.

Saudi patents are laughable. People I know who work there tell me so. But the EPO, which no longer values the quality of patents, has found itself company. Yesterday Saba & Co Intellectual Property wrote about the EPO MOU:

King Abdul Aziz City of Science and Technology, where the Saudi Patent Office resides, signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Patent Office. The MOU, which aims to strengthen the patent system and increase bilateral cooperation, foresees joint activities in the areas of patent procedures, search, examination and automation, as well as use and exchange of patent data and databases.

It’s worth noting that the number of granted EPs from Saudi Arabia fell by a whopping 44.4% last year.

Also yesterday there was this new article bragging about EPO validation in a former French colony with zero European Patents. To quote:

Cambodia is a developing country supported mainly by three pillars of economic development – agriculture, tourism and textiles. With an average growth of 7.6% from 1994 to 2015, Cambodia is the fastest growing ASEAN economy.

In line with Cambodia’s desire to modernise and increase its economic prosperity, there are developments taking place in the country’s intellectual property system, which indicate that the government is serious about fostering and promoting innovation and foreign investment.

We highlight below several avenues for securing patent rights in Cambodia.

[...]

A validation agreement between the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Cambodia Ministry of Industry and Handicraft (MIH) was signed on 23 January 2017, making Cambodia the first Asian country and the 4th non EPC Member State to recognize EPO granted patents. This validation agreement entered into force on 1 March 2018 and applicants are henceforth able to validate European patent applications and patents in Cambodia.

They fail to mention that Cambodian people/firms have zero EPs. So this whole thing is a ridiculous publicity stunt of Battistelli. Not too long ago Battistelli also got a validation agreement with Tunisia, which had zero European Patents last year. Remember that this too is a former French colony (French protectorate of Tunisia). Maybe Battistelli’s former “padrone” has connections there, too?

Look what a low level the EPO has stooped down to.

As we mentioned yesterday, the EPO grants patents in error and it’s costing a lot of money to actual companies, much to the delight of patent lawyers. This latest example of Boston Scientific is still showing up in the news. To quote:

Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) said today that the European Patent Office revoked a patent owned by Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) in the latest round of their ongoing spat over transcatheter aortic valve replacements.

In March 2017 a German court issued a mixed decision in the international battle over transcatheter aortic valve replacement patents between the two companies, less than a week after a U.K. patent court handed down a similar decision. Yesterday Boston said it’s confident that the new EPO decision “will have a positive impact on both suits.”

Meanwhile the U.K. High Court is slated to hear the next phase in that case in mid-May, Boston said.

Had the EPO done its job properly in the first place, none of this would happen. Therein lies the problem with the decline in patent quality at the EPO. It’s externalising huge costs to outsiders and short-term EPO gains would eventually see the EPO’s foundations reduced to rubble. Patent lawyers too would not benefit from that in the long run.

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