01.29.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

Patent Scavenging or Racing to the Bottom of Patent Quality

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As long as there’s a name of an individual on the application the EPO will look for excuses to grant, not reasons to reject

Vultures abound

Summary: The patent microcosm is pushing for software patents, and for litigation with such patents, but it all boils down to bottom feeding

THE patent maximalists pose a threat to the legitimacy of the patent system because they advocate a torrent if not an avalanche of low-quality patents, which the public in turn mocks and ridicules. It’s a bubble that will implode or structure which will collapse. See what happened in the US owing to 35 U.S.C. § 101 (which the USPTO cannot just ignore).

The European Patent Office’s (EPO) advocacy/promotion of software patents in Europe isn’t a new thing. Before António Campinos did it Battistelli had done that. They love using buzzwords.

Earlier this week the EPO tweeted: “Searching for patent applications related to disruptive technologies such as #AI and #3Dprinting can be challenging. We’ll be presenting some strategies at this event…”

There’s also this new tweet (about a day apart): “This year’s #SearchMatters will focus on disruptive technologies. Our experts will be sharing their insights with #patent search professionals from business, academia and IP firms…”

We’ve noticed that the corresponding Web page has been edited to add “CII (computer-implemented inventions).” Was the nonsensical “AI” not enough? It now says (warning: epo.org link): “This year’s Search Matters conference aims to deliver workshops and lectures with a special focus on disruptive technologies such as 3D printing/additive manufacturing, AI and CII (computer-implemented inventions).”

The “CII” part is definitely new. We also know what they typically mean by “AI”…

Sometimes they mean software patents; and sometimes they mean this thing they’ve rejected and explain as follows: (warning: epo.org link)

The EPO has published its decision setting out the reasons for its recent refusal of two European patent applications in which an AI system was designated as the inventor. Filed by an individual in autumn 2018, the applications EP 18 275 163 and EP 18 275 174 were refused by the EPO following oral proceedings with the applicant in November 2019, on the grounds that they do not meet the legal requirement of the European Patent Convention (EPC) that an inventor designated in the application has to be a human being, and not a machine.

In both applications a machine called “DABUS”, which is described as “a type of connectionist artificial intelligence”, is named as the inventor. The applicant stated that he had acquired the right to the European patent from the inventor by being its successor in title, arguing that as the machine’s owner, he was assigned any intellectual property rights created by this machine.

In its decisions, the EPO considered that the interpretation of the legal framework of the European patent system leads to the conclusion that the inventor designated in a European patent must be a natural person. The Office further noted that the understanding of the term inventor as referring to a natural person appears to be an internationally applicable standard, and that various national courts have issued decisions to this effect.

Watchtroll has already done a “me too” piece. To quote (what’s quoted): “The decisions to refuse the two patent applications can be appealed by the applicant within two months at the EPO’s independent judiciary, the Boards of Appeal, said the EPO release.”

Watchtroll’s “EPO Provides Reasoning for Rejecting Patent Applications Citing AI as Inventor” is more or less expected (“In the EPO press release today, the Office explained…”); it is hardly surprising that Watchtroll is an EPO megaphone because both nowadays work for patent zealots, litigators, and trolls. They even reuse the same words.

So, in short, EPO management continues to grant loads of invalid patents provided there’s a name of a human on the paper associated with the application. As some pundits have already pointed out, the above patents can be resubmitted with the name of a human and then be accepted. So the EPO isn’t actually solving the problem. Software patents will continue to be granted, with some exceptions, two of which have just been named [1, 2] and outlined as follows: “The EPO refused to grant a #software #patent on increased security when collecting and selling customer data. [] There’s a new entry in the EUROPEAN SOFTWARE PATENTS knowledge base: Animating a graphics icon by superimposing an image sequence on a static background: non-technical” (by “non-technical” they mean invalid).

We’ve meanwhile noticed the IBM-backed front groups pushing for software patents in the US, basing it on the EPO’s abusive interpretations of the EPC. Dennis Crouch says “Europe uses this approach found in Article 54 of the European Patent Convention” (it’s in our Daily Links already) and adds:

Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) Board has proposed a “clarifying” amendment to Section 101(a)(1) of the Patent Act:

[...]

EPC Art. 54. Note that 54(1) and 54(2) are parallel to 35 U.S.C. 102(a) while 54(3) is parallel to 102(a)(2) which the IPO does not propose to change. Regarding these secret prior patent application filings identified in 54(3) and 102(a)(2); the European approach is broader than the US in some ways because it creates prior art even when the prior filing is the same inventor / owner; at the same time, the European approach is narrower than the US because 54(3) prior art does not apply to the inventive step (obviousness) analysis.

As can be seen above, the EPO’s abusive approaches toward the matter (and violations of the EPC) are causing problems in other continents as well. Last year the EPO openly bragged that it would spread these practices — regarding software patents — to other countries.

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 18/1/2022: Deepin 20.4 and Qubes OS 4.1.0 RC4

    Links for the day



  2. Links 18/1/2022: GNOME 42 Alpha and KStars 3.5.7

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 17, 2022



  4. Links 17/1/2022: More Microsoft-Connected FUD Against Linux as Its Share Continues to Fall

    Links for the day



  5. The GUI Challenge

    The latest article from Andy concerns the Command Line Challenge



  6. Links 17/1/2022: digiKam 7.5.0 and GhostBSD 22.01.12 Released

    Links for the day



  7. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 16, 2022



  8. Links 17/1/2022: postmarketOS 21.12 Service Pack 1 and Mumble 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  9. [Meme] Gemini Space (or Geminispace): From 441 Working Capsules to 1,600 Working Capsules in Just 12 Months

    Gemini space now boasts 1,600 working capsules, a massive growth compared to last January, as we noted the other day (1,600 is now official)



  10. [Meme] European Patent Office Space

    The EPO maintains a culture of illegal surveillance, inherited from Benoît Battistelli and taken to a whole new level by António Campinos



  11. Gemini Rings (Like Webrings) and Shared Spaces in Geminspace

    Much like the Web of 20+ years ago, Gemini lets online communities — real communities (not abused tenants, groomed to be ‘monetised’ like in Facebook or Flickr) — form networks, guilds, and rings



  12. Links 16/1/2022: Latte Dock 0.11 and librest 0.9.0

    Links for the day



  13. The Corporate Cabal (and Spy Agencies-Enabled Monopolies) Engages in Raiding of the Free Software Community and Hacker Culture

    In an overt attack on the people who actually did all the work — the geeks who built excellent software to be gradually privatised through the Linux Foundation (a sort of price-fixing and openwashing cartel for shared interests of proprietary software firms) — is receiving more widespread condemnation; even the OSI has been bribed to become a part-time Microsoft outsourcer as organisations are easier to corrupt than communities



  14. EPO's Web Site Constantly Spammed by Lies About Privacy While EPO Breaks the Law and Outsources Data to the United States

    The António Campinos-led EPO works for imperialism, it not only protects the rich; sadly, António’s father isn’t alive anymore and surely he would blast his son for doing what he does to progress his career while lying to staff and European citizens



  15. Links 16/1/2022: Tsunami and Patents

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 15, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 15, 2022



  17. Links 16/1/2022: Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop and Catch-up With Patent Misinformation

    Links for the day



  18. Patrick Breyer, Unlike Most German Politicians, Highlights the Fact That Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent Are Incompatible With EU Law

    A longtime critic of EPO abuses (under both Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos leadership), as well as a vocal critic of software patents, steps in to point out the very obvious



  19. Links 15/1/2022: Flameshot 11.0 and Libvirt 8.0

    Links for the day



  20. Blogging and Microblogging in Geminispace With Gemini Protocol

    Writing one’s thoughts and other things in Geminispace — even without setting up a Gemini server — is totally possible; gateways and services do exist for this purpose



  21. Links 15/1/2022: Raspberry Pi in Business

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 14, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 14, 2022



  23. Gemini Clients: Comparing Moonlander, Telescope, Amfora, Kristall, and Lagrange (Newer and Older)

    There are many independent implementations of clients (similar to Web browsers) that deal with Gemini protocol and today we compare them visually, using Techrights as a test case/capsule



  24. 2022 Starts With Censorship of Christmas and Other Greetings at the EPO

    The nihilists who run the EPO want a monopoly on holiday greetings; to make matters worse, they’re censoring staff representatives in their intranet whilst inconsistently applying said policies



  25. Links 14/1/2022: FFmpeg 5.0 and Wine 7.0 RC6

    Links for the day



  26. White House Asking Proprietary Software Companies That Add NSA Back Doors About Their Views on 'Open Source' Security

    The US government wants us to think that in order to tackle security issues we need to reach out to the collective 'wisdom' of the very culprits who created the security mess in the first place (even by intention, for imperialistic objectives)



  27. Links 14/1/2022: EasyOS 3.2.1 and Qt 6.3 Alpha

    Links for the day



  28. Scientific Excellence and the Debian Social Contract

    The Debian Project turns 30 next year; in spite of it being so ubiquitous (most of the important distros of GNU/Linux are based on Debian) it is suffering growing pains and some of that boils down to corporate cash and toxic, deeply divisive politics



  29. Links 14/1/2022: openSUSE Leap 15.2 EoL, VFX Designers Are Using GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 13, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 13, 2022


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