12.19.18

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EPO: Adherence to the Law at the Office Postponed Indefinitely, ‘Reform’ Going Ahead (Divergence From the Law)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The year 2018 marked the end of Battistelli’s 8-year reign, but his legacy moved and still moves ahead (full steam)

“It`s not the voting that`s democracy; it`s the counting.”

Tom Stoppard

Summary: The subject of patent quality is completely off the table and the rights of staff are still being violated, with representatives being gagged in the process; one primary/foremost concern is that regulatory powers that could in theory ensure adherence to the EPC are no longer there

THIS year will soon end and we’re witnessing an improvement in docility among the media, which seems unwilling or incapable of seeing and reporting about the European Patent Office (EPO). Learned helplessness or a culture of fear suppressed further protests and strikes; staff cuts make people a lot more reluctant to speak out. This means that things can continue to exacerbate without much resistance from the media and the staff. It’s a communications vacuum and it in no way represents an improrevment; no more than lack of open dissent in China represents an improvement, except in terms of repression. It’s not about reputation building but about gagging one’s critics*. By critics we mean people who simply point out corruption, which is apparently the biggest ‘crime’ one can commit at the EPO and WIPO.

“The EPO focuses on speed, not quality, as usual.”The EPO keeps trying to present itself as more open and receptive to feedback (e.g. meeting with some staff and law firms). But in many ways, as we explained earlier this year, the Office becomes more opaque or secretive.

As recently as Friday they asked for feeback [sic] (fee back?): “We look forward to receiving your feeback [sic] on the possible introduction of an option to postpone substantive examination: https://bit.ly/2Blsb6E ”

The anonymous “Kluwer Patent blogger”wrote about this the following day again:

The European Patent Office has opened an online consultation on the possibility of allowing more flexibility in the timing of the examination process by offering means to postpone the examination of European patent applications.

The EPO focuses on speed, not quality, as usual. It distributes software patents; it gives patents (monopolies) on computer vision, too (algorithms). It just uses terms like "SDV" patents, making them seem like patents on “cars” (physical). Last week it wrote: “Europe and the USA leading the way in self-driving vehicle innovation” (they meant patents, which are not synonymous with innovation as measured by one patent office). There’s also that "Blockchain" patents hype; Knowing that the EPO grants such abstract software patents (not valid in court), Samsung now wants one and sites that are focused on digital currencies say:

The South Korean Tech giant, Samsung, has filed for a patent for its upcoming Samsung Blockchain Phone technology. The filing was submitted earlier in the week to the European Patent Office (EPO) in the German City of Munich.

The entry of Samsung into the Blockchain space marks the beginning of the globalization of Blockchain technology that is currently drawing mixed reactions following the Crypto markets bear cycle that has been ongoing from November 24th. This is because Blockchain technology and Cryptocurrencies are deemed to be one and the same in the contemporary world as Cryptos are native to Distributed Ledger Technology platforms.

So even the EPO is being approached/targeted with such applications now. It’s gererally viewed as a software patents-friendly office.

Patent Docsweekend ads carried on and this time they included this upcoming ‘webinar’, relying on lack of court challenges (it’s expensive) by which to invalidate software patents in Europe. Strafford promotes the act of pursuing bogus software patents at the EPO while encouraging the framing of algorithms as “AI” (the usual nonsense) — something that António Campinos has been ever so eager to do.

Strafford will be offering a webinar entitled “New EU Guidelines for Patenting AI and Machine Learning Technologies: Comparison With U.S. Approach — Navigating EPO and USPTO Rules to Maximize Patent Protection” on January 8, 2019 from 1:00 to 2:30 pm (EST).

Strafford will ‘debate’ “Maximizing Patent Prosecution Opportunities in Europe”; words like “Maximizing”, “Prosecution” and “Opportunities” sound rather promising to the target audience. How about “Blackmail” or “Trolling” instead?

From the summary/outline:

Strafford will be offering a webinar entitled “Maximizing Patent Prosecution Opportunities in Europe: Tactics for Counsel When Drafting U.S.-Origin Applications — Navigating Differing USPTO and EPO Legal Standards While Maintaining U.S. Patent Strategy” on January 10, 2019 from 1:00 to 2:30 pm (EST). Rebecca M. McNeill of McNeill Baur and Jens Viktor Nørgaard of HØIBERG will guide patent counsel in drafting U.S.-origin patent applications to maximize prosecution opportunities in both the U.S. and Europe, and offer best practices for U.S. patent application drafters to protect inventions in Europe without sacrificing U.S. strategy.

This is all about suing someone, not defending against a lawsuit. When extortion of rivals using dubious/bogus patents is publicly celebrated by opportunists who charge about $300/hour those who are already poor will suffer the most.
_____
* A lot of the same managers are still in charge, including one whose background brought endless disgrace to the Office. His ‘tenure’ (term) ends shortly. He is being replaced. We will see what we can do to tactfully report the issue when it’s back in court after half a decade of EPO immunity. Željko Topić, the person in question, could be spotted in Banja Luka in October. As per this page: (offline at the moment, seemingly due to server downtime, but there’s Google cache)

Banja Luka, October 30, 2018 – Seminar entitled “Technology Transfer and Impact of Intellectual Property Rights to National Economy” was held on October 30, 2018 at the premises of the Rectorate of the University of Banja Luka (UNIBL).

The organizer of this seminar was the Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer Center of the University of Banja Luka, in cooperation with the Institute for Intellectual Property of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Patent Office (EPO).

Introductory speeches were held by Josip Merdžo, director of the Institute for Intellectual Property of Bosnia and Herzegovina, representatives of the Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer Center and vice-president of EPO Željko Topić, who also held a lecture within the first theme of the seminar titled “EPO and European Patent System”. The seminar was attended by Prof. Dr. Strain Posavljak, vice-rector for teaching and student affairs at UNIBL.

“A report on the seminar can also be found on the Web site of the University of Banja Luka,” a source told us. Whether he stays in Munich or returns to Zagreb matters a lot to some people because of upcoming trials. How much longer can this man escape justice? It’s a major liability to his country’s reputation, not just the EPO’s reputation.

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