09.23.20

The Latest Greenwashing Campaign by the EPO is Just ‘Chinese Propaganda’

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 1:30 am by Guest Editorial Team

From World Economic Forum:

World Economic Forum on batteries

Summary: When the EPO speaks of “innovation” and “clean energy transition” it means nothing but patents on batteries, in effect monopolies being granted in Europe (to a lot of Asian — not European — companies)

THIS week we’re seeing old tactics resurrected by the Office that rapidly renders itself obsolete. Looking for a distraction? Superficial and shallow positive press? Who from?

“While our goal isn’t to bash China, it’s worth noting that conflating patents with “innovation” and using the whole thing for baseless greenwashing tells a lot about the degree of (dis)honesty in today’s EPO.”Corrupt EPO management is greenwashing patent monopolies once again (lots of that so far this year [1, 2]). Benoît Battistelli did this on occasions and António Campinos seems to be doing even more of that than him.

The latest slant is calling batteries “clean energy” (warning: epo.org link) even though the energy inside batteries tends to be produced or derived from inherently unclean processes (e.g. coal and extraction of harmful chemicals, typically to the detriment of nearby locals, flora, and fauna). Here’s what the EPO wrote:

Improving the capacity to store electricity is playing a key role in the transition to clean energy technologies. Between 2005 and 2018, patenting activity in batteries and other electricity storage technologies grew at an average annual rate of 14% worldwide, four times faster than the average of all technology fields, according to a joint study published today by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

They measure nothing but patents. So what kind of ‘study’ is that? The headline says “innovation” but it’s actually about patents, not innovation. And only EPO patents or European Patents.

On battery pollutionIt didn’t take long for them to squeeze out this press release for Asia entitled “Joint Study by European Patent Office (EPO) and International Energy Agency (IEA) Shows Asia Ahead of U.S. in Battery Technology Innovation”. To quote: “According to a joint study published today by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), improving the capacity of electricity storage solutions is playing a key role in the transition to clean energy technologies. Between 2005 and 2018, patenting activity in batteries and other electricity storage technologies grew at an average annual rate of 14% worldwide, four times faster than the average for all technology fields (3.5%). U.S. firms are lagging, with the U.S. in fifth place behind Japan, South Korea, Europe and China in terms of the number of international patents in battery technology.”

This one too uses the word “Innovation” while measuring something completely different. It’s about patents. The corrupt Office now collaborates with Chinese state media (formal propaganda outlets) to produce self-serving puff pieces with greenwashing all over them. This one says: “Nine of the top ten applicants for patents in batteries and other electricity storage technologies in the period from 2000 to 2018 were Asian companies, according to a study published by the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich and the International Energy Agency (IEA) on Tuesday.”

You’d think Europe has better and higher standards to offer, no? Greenwashing propaganda in China’s state media. There’s also this EPO puff piece with Campinos quotes all over it:

The study conducted by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) revealed that almost 90 percent of the applications revolved around the storage of electricity in an innovative battery system.

This is the only non-China article we’ve found about it. While our goal isn’t to bash China, it’s worth noting that conflating patents with “innovation” and using the whole thing for baseless greenwashing tells a lot about the degree of (dis)honesty in today’s EPO.

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