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Even Patent Maximalists Across Europe Are Dissatisfied With the European Patent Office’s Shameless Race to the Bottom (Illegal European Patents)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum dd01061936c4b1b959d6f6fae1f63d88
Even Patent Maximalists Worry About EPO Quality
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Some of the largest clients or customers of the EPO (yes, the EPO views itself and behaves like a for-profit corporation*) are publicly complaining; To quote Siemens: “All the measures are too focused on the improvement of internal processes and their effectiveness, including speed and timeliness. This does not necessarily enhance the actual quality of the granted patents.”

THIS past summer we published a series with European Patent Office (EPO) leaks, showing a plot/ploy by António Campinos to lower patent quality and fake ‘growth’ (a lot of it by allowing European software patents). The bubble that Benoît Battistelli had created was already imploding years ago and Campinos is desperate to hide it. Moreover, staff actions (strikes and protests, work stoppage/slow-down) are taking their toll. It turns out that treating one’s staff poorly results in less work, or at least the appearance of less work. Putting aside aspects like brain drain…

“Public officials became part of the problem with their inaction or even participation.”The above video shows this article, which SUEPO has just recommended. It was published one day before the EPO seemingly posted this response/distraction (warning: epo.org link) (original entitled “Dissatisfied industry users push back against EPO quality measures” and then the EPO with “Users discuss the final version of the EPC and PCT-EPO Guidelines”). Is the timing a coincidence? Probably not. Then, the EPO published some diversity fluff (warning: epo.org link), as the video above explains. Maybe it helps distract from things like these [1, 2]. The news section (warning: epo.org link) as a whole is a reputation laundering laughing stock which incites law-breaking.

Here’s what the original article said:

The EPO Patent Quality Charter came into force on 1 October, replacing the previous quality policy which the EPO published in 2013. It is an important component of the Strategic Plan 2023, which was launched by the EPO in 2018 with a view to achieving its aims before the end of the five-year period.

However, according to industry, these proposals do not go far enough. While, within the framework of this strategy, a working group of the Standing Advisory Committee (SACEPO) has drawn up concrete proposals – including optimisation of workflows, regular monitoring of processes, further training of employees, and exchange with stakeholders – in-house users remain concerned with the quality of the granted patents.

Chief IP counsel of Siemens, Beat Weibel, told JUVE Patent, “All the measures are too focused on the improvement of internal processes and their effectiveness, including speed and timeliness. This does not necessarily enhance the actual quality of the granted patents.”

For this reason, Weibel has launched an industry initiative in response to what is seen as an onging quality issue at the patent office. Industry Patent Quality Charter signatories jointly commit to a set of quality standards independent to the measures set out by the EPO.

If “users” (sometimes called “clients” or “customers” by the EPO) aren’t happy, then the EPO’s management ought to be held accountable. However, when the bureaucracy is akin to monarchy and nobody ever resigns or gets punished (except ‘low-level’ staff) we don’t expect accountability any time soon. The reputation of the EPO is sagging. The staff has warned about this for at least a decade. Public officials became part of the problem with their inaction or even participation.

Suffice to say, the legal framework protects EPO management, no matter how rogue, self-destructive and corrupt, from much-deserved prosecution. The organisation’s founders did not envision that diplomatic immunity would be leveraged to commit crimes with impunity. Intervention is well ovedue.
* The EPO has a monopoly on the ability to grant monopolies on ideas, based on requests for monopolies (patent applications). It’s ludicrous to assert that granting more and more monopolies in exchange for money is a good idea that’s justified by profits as the EPO is meant to serve the public and advance science, not guard monopolists (about two-thirds of them aren’t even European).

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