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The EPO Bubble — Part II — Signs of a Deflating Bubble?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Overview: [Teaser] The EPO’s Deflating Patent Bubble and Pursuit of Illegal Software Patents (With Kangaroo Courts, UPC, and Bullied Examiners)

Series parts:

  1. The EPO Bubble — Part I — An “Unprecedented Surge”
  2. YOU ARE HERE ☞ Signs of a Deflating Bubble?

EPO bubble is gradually deflating
Going back down again (patents per year). Back in March 2017 Benoît Battistelli proudly boasted to the JURI Committee of the European Parliament that his reform measures at the EPO had secured an “unprecedented surge” in granted patents. Five years later in 2022 there are signs that the bubble is gradually deflating.

Summary: António Campinos is running a failing organisation whose sole goal became printing (or stamping) as many patent monopolies as possible for short-term financial gain, at the expense of or in violation of the law

As we saw in the opening part of the series, the official statistics published by the EPO show that between 2015 and 2019 the number of patents granted per year effectively doubled, increasing from 68,401 in 2015 to a peak of 137,784 in 2019.

In 2020, there was a small drop of around 3.0% compared to 2019.

EPO number of patents granted annually
The number of patents granted annually doubled from 2015 to 2019 but started to fall in 2020. Remember that quality is inversely proportional to quality.

Last year the downturn became more pronounced. According to official statistics, a total of 108,799 grants were issued in 2021. This represents a decrease of 18,6% relative to 2020.

“According to official statistics, a total of 108,799 grants were issued in 2021. This represents a decrease of 18,6% relative to 2020.”To put this development into perspective, it is worth noting that during the period in question the number of incoming patent applications has not decreased to any significant extent.

As a matter of fact, the figures for 2012 to 2021 show a more or less uninterrupted upward trend for the number of patent applications filed at the EPO, with only occasional minor downward fluctuations of less than 1% in 2013, 2016 and 2020.

EPO patent applications
Number of patent applications per year. Over the last decade there has been a more or less uninterrupted upward trend in the number of patent applications filed at the EPO. Recall that by broadening scope (even illegally) once can invite more “demand”.

From this it is apparent that the decrease in granted patents recorded in 2021 is not attributable to any fall-off in the number of incoming applications.

On the contrary, this decrease represents a significant drop in “production” or “output” compared to the preceding years. The decline of 18,6% for 2021 represents a shortfall of almost one-fifth compared to 2020.

There has been much speculation about the reasons for this downturn.

It is likely to be attributable, at least in part, to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Another possible contributory factor is examiner fatigue after years of “sweated production” under a "France Télécom" managerial régime which has repeatedly and persistently breached the fundamental rights of staff, both under Battistelli and his successor Campinos.

Whatever the underlying causes of the “production shortfall” may be, one thing is certain.

If the downward trend continues. the EPO’s “output” of granted patents will soon have reverted back to the levels that prevailed before Battistelli’s “unprecedented surge” of 2016.

As we shall see in the upcoming parts, these developments represent a potential problem for certain “vested interests” – namely for all those dependent on EPOnia’s legendary "Dukatenesel", in particular the management of the EPO and their “friends” on the Organisation’s governing body, the Administrative Council.

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