Bonum Certa Men Certa

More Media Reports About Decline in Quality of European Patents (Granted by the EPO)

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Summary: What the media is saying about the letter from Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald and Vossius & Partner whilst EPO communications shift attention to shallow puff pieces about how wonderful Benoît Battistelli is

FOUND among the puff pieces from European Inventor Award (here's the latest example with a uniquely French flavour, "Michelin") there's some EPO scandals coverage. It's not so easy to find however; the EPO wasted a lot of money on several external PR agencies, which are ghostwriting a bunch of nonsense to drown out actual, real news.



"...the EPO wasted a lot of money on several external PR agencies, which are ghostwriting a bunch of nonsense to drown out actual, real news."This morning in Google News the article "EPO under pressure not to lower quality standards" came up. Well, unlike EPO-bribed publications that look the other way while Europe's system burns, this one has said:

In a letter send to the outgoing EPO president Benoît Battistelli, four reowned law firms – Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald und Vossius&Partner – critisise that the time for the examination of patents has been cut drastically on cost of quality. While the goal of establishing a higher productivity at the EPO through its Early Certainty Initiative in Examination was good, working routines, which incentivise a high throughput of patent searches and examinations have led to lower quality. "When the aim is to terminate proceedings as quickly as possible within specific allowed times, the quality of the search and examination of applications must suffer," the patent attorneys write in their letter. "The fees for search and examination, which are rather high when compared internationally, can only be justified by giving the examiners sufficient time for an indepth assessment of each single application."

Decreasing quality of patents has been a major concern of EPO users in the past, as decreasing quality jeopardises industry investments and revenues. As an answer to concerns of technology companies,and patent experts that quality of patents and thus litigation might suffer from shorter examination times, the EPO in February presented a proposal ("UDEC" - user-driven early certainty) at an on-invite meeting. It allows exemptions from the goal of Battistelli’s Early Certainty in Examination initiative to half the time for patent examination from currently 22 months to 12 months on average. In March, however, the EPO cancelled implementation of UDEC by 1 July following critics from Business Europe, the only industry association that has observer status both in the EPO Committee on Patent Law and the EPO‘s Administrative Council. UDEC foresaw to allow applicants to postpone the start of substantive examination for a maximum of three years.


Battistelli's corruption and maladministration are pretty noteworthy and newsworthy, so it should be considered a big surprise that almost no publication in Europe -- certainly not the large ones -- would cover that. We've covered it here a couple of times before [1, 2], taking note of less than a handful of articles about it, primarily blog posts. None of them wish to talk about rumours of impending layoffs, Judge Corcoran who is rumoured to be hospitalised, and the one thousand examiners who jointly signed a petition bemoaning Battistelli's maladministration and the low patent quality.

"Battistelli's corruption and maladministration are pretty noteworthy and newsworthy, so it should be considered a big surprise that almost no publication in Europe -- certainly not the large ones -- would cover that."Suffice to say, the EPO has said nothing about the above (ever!); instead it has just unleashed (warning: epo.org link) and then immediately promoted this latest EPO 'ad' for the insecure tyrant, Battistelli. As usual, it's all about "President Battistelli," attempting to derive credibility from association with others. It's that same old modus operandi again. The EPO wrote about SMEs a few hours ago, repeating its old lies and perhaps googlebombing news to better hide its obvious discrimination against SMEs (these leaks were covered by major media in 2015, whereupon the EPO started siccing its lawyers at me, threatening to sue me multiple times).

"When creating and maintaining an IP portfolio," the EPO wrote, "it is vital to keep costs down without sacrificing quality." (with #IPforSMEs appended)

The EPO severely ruined and majorly compromised patent quality however (and costs are still far too high). But facts do not matter anymore. It's just pure marketing, not science or even integrity.

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