Bonum Certa Men Certa

The European Patent Office: From Patent Maximalism to Corruption and Gerrymandering

29M



YouTube version

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) has managed to become not just detached from the need for patent quality; nowadays it is totally detached from the law itself, having repeatedly broken laws and faced no consequences for breaking these laws

THE EPO is a deeply corrupt and profoundly abusive institution. Just ask the people who actually work there. Assuming they can speak privately (i.e. no fear of retaliation), they will say so.



"Software is software even if it runs on a 'medical' device (basically a computer mounted onto something)."Longtime readers are well aware that our original (and sole) concern about the EPO was patenting of software. Earlier this year we wrote about "SaMD" as a new sneaky term for software patents -- a subject Judge Corcoran had indirectly dealt with before Battistelli attacked and defamed him. 'Dressing up' software patents as "medical device" isn't a novel trick; we saw that in the US and what's new really is the buzzword, "SaMD". Patent maximalists from Finnegan are again promoting this buzzword (acronym for compacted euphemisms). As Patent Docs has just put it, "Cory C. Bell, Elizabeth D. Ferrill, and Susan Y. Tull of Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner will guide counsel for companies in the medical device industry on protecting software as a medical device (SaMD), and discuss the new FDA rules regulating SaMD and how to leverage IP law to protect SaMD."

This is not OK. Software is software even if it runs on a 'medical' device (basically a computer mounted onto something).

The EPO's silent departure from patent scope does not seem to bother patent law firms. Why should they complain? More patents mean more business (applications and lawsuits). Under "Who's Who Legal," some time yesterday Jakob Pade Frederiksen (Inspicos) published "‘Early Certainty’ In Inter-Partes Oppositions Before The European Patent Office," in which he overlooked ramifications for patent quality at the EPO or maybe he really just doesn't care (they bill for bad patents/lawsuits too).

Even the UPC was mentioned in there and here's part of this self-promotional puff piece of his:

Within the framework of the EPO’s so-called Early Certainty initiative, a number of procedural and organisational measures have been launched that will drive parties in opposition proceedings into skipping former habits and developing new ones. Additionally, in consequence of a proposed revision to the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA), which may possibly be adopted in 2018, patentees and opponents alike are well advised to reconsider strategies for first-instance proceedings, as these will be – to a larger extent than before – defining the legal and factual framework of second-instance appeal proceedings.

While these initiatives of the EPO management and the Boards of Appeal will without doubt lead to decisions being reached swiftly, a risk exists that final decisions might be rendered on an insufficient basis, as EPO opposition proceedings are becoming even more frontloaded than hitherto.


The Early Certainty initiative is a terrible thing; it encourages making decisions in a rush, based on little or no information that was thoroughly investigated. It leads to mistakes, such as the granting of patents and then awards to literal frauds (such as Theranos).

Speaking of Theranos, mind the latest Inventor Award puff piece published a couple of days ago in the afternoon. As usual, it is all about Battistelli. We would not be surprised if it was composed (ghostwritten) by his PR agency, as usual. He's using the event to effectively loot patent applicants and he paints himself as some kind of scientist:

"By combining their respective skills as a physicist and systems engineer, Banine and Loopstra have significantly contributed to develop a technology for industrial use that will help manufacture the next generations of microchips,” said Benoît Battistelli, president of EPO.


Battistelli has no science degree, yet he's being painted (by his face-saving PR apparatus) as some kind of genius. His ingenuinty seems to revolve around tyranny, corruption, and gerrymandering/vote-buying.

As mentioned last week in Twitter, Battistelli seems to be doing a potential vote-buying tour in cyprus right now (Cyprus has a vote which is equal to that of Germany in terms of weight). Here's the EPO's latest puff piece (warning: epo.org link) which is -- you've guessed it -- all about Battistelli:

Ahead of the conference EPO President Benoît Battistelli met with the Cypriot Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Yiorgos Lakkotrypis with a view to strengthen the use of the patent system in Cyprus. Topics included recent developments in intellectual property, such as the role of patent protection in supporting innovation, but also in technology trade and in attracting foreign direct investment.


Battistelli is leaving next month, but the legacy he leaves in the EPO is so toxic that it not only embarrasses France but Europe as a whole. Did he pay enough politicians and establish enough political connections to assure he doesn't end up like Nicolas Sarkozy when his immunity expires? Time will tell.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Microsoft's Chatbot Strategy Resulted in Massive Losses, So Now It's Trying to Reinvent Itself as 'Hardware Company' (Once Again, Years After XBox, KIN, Windows Phone and Surface Failed Miserably)
revenues associated with Windows has fallen sharply
This Week's Letter to António Campinos About Mean-Spirited Line Managers at the European Patent Office (EPO)
Seems like a way to get rid of staff. Some will resign in anger.
 
Links 23/02/2024: 227 Microsoft Layoffs Noted in Santa Clara and Disaster in Rivian
Links for the day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 22, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, February 22, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
[Meme] It's NOT Your PC
losing control of hardware
Gemini Links 22/02/2024: Removing Radio Ads and Being Seen on the Internet
Links for the day
Mark Shuttleworth and the Question of Liability (Debian Volunteers He Pressured Before the Suicides)
Humanity for me
Mark Shuttleworth's (MS) Canonical Running Microsoft (MS) Ads, Mischaracterising Mass Surveillance as 'Confidential' (the Usual Lie)
The money talks, so the facts are absent
Ads as 'Articles'
Money buys perception manipulation (or reputation laundering) campaigns
Abraham Raji & Debian, DebConf kayak death: search abandoned, evading liability
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 22/02/2024: Chatbots Failing 'Big Time' and More Condemnations Appear of Bill Gates
Links for the day
There May be Close to 100,000,000 Laptops and Desktops Running GNU/Linux Around the World in 2024
hard to track the number
Search Engine Market Share Worldwide Shows How Badly Microsoft's Chatbot Strategy (Hopes) and Vapourware Have Failed
Bing, which was marketed as the forefront "product" for chatbots (Microsoft paid the media a lot of money for hype campaigns), gained nothing at Google's expense
[Meme] Demoralising and Putting Down Your Staff
unproductive and dangerous approach
Software in the Public Interest (SPI) & Debian obfuscated structure fooled suicide victim's family: the ultimate example of bad faith
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 21, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Gemini Links 22/02/2024: What We Pass On and HTTP Header Viewer
Links for the day
Manuel Estrada Sainz (ranty), Andres Garcia (ErConde) & Debian Deaths overworking
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
GNU/Linux Rising to 8% of Desktops/Laptops in Jordan?
what statCounter shows
[Meme] If Iraq Launches an Investigation Into How Microsoft Bought OpenAI Without Paying for It
fake "money" from Microsoft
Windows Has Fallen to 13% Market Share in Iraq (It was 100% Just 15 Years Ago), GNU/Linux Rose Sharply in Recent Years
In recent years Iraq was developing its own GNU/Linux distro
Springtime is Next, Here's What We Plan for March and April
This month and next month we expect to publish something unique about EPO abuses every day
Studying the Freedom of firefox-123.0.tar.bz2
The "F" in Firefox
Abraham Raji, Jens Schmalzing & debian-private cover-ups after deaths, accidents, suicides
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Microsoft Bribes, Keeping Regulators at Bay
crime and corruption
[Meme] The Quotas Came From Above
EPO targets
EPO Talent Planning & Architecture is Another Attack on EPO Staff and the Central Staff Committee (CSC) Explains Why
ignore the flowery words
[Meme] Just Following Orders From "The Fu**ing President" António Campinos
Salary? OBEY!
Links 21/02/2024: China Working on West-less Tech Future, More Bounties on Patent Troll Leigh M. Rothschild (Which IBM et al Failed to Dismantle at the Root)
Links for the day
Links 21/02/2024: Encryption Backdoors Deemed Not Legal, Decentralised Web Under Attack
Links for the day
Games:Steam Audio as Free Software, Hazard Pay, ChipWits, and More
7 stories for today
Julian Assange, Wikileaks & Debian-private
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 20, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Links 21/02/2024: Microsoft Sued for Monopolistic Policies, More Layoffs Planned for Next Month
Links for the day