Bonum Certa Men Certa

Fraud at the European Patent Office, But All Those Arrested Are Perpetrators Without Misused Immunity

Theranos and EPO
The EPO has since then removed this page



Summary: Battistelli's corruption continues to go largely unnoticed (by the media) and without punishment; in fact, not only did he enable corruption but he also benefited from it, even directly

THE management of the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to get away with very serious abuses and even reap bonuses for this abuse. Battistelli has truly looted the EPO and CEIPI gave this thug a job -- yes, its highest-paying job, the top position. CEIPI is run by crooks now. Do CEIPI students seriously pay admission/tuition fees to be taught law in an institution run by Battistelli?

Earlier today the EPO began advertising the notorious "Inventor Award". "Before "Inventor Award" corrupt Battistelli and his colleagues were millions of euros poorer," I responded to the EPO. "When will they be arrested for this theft of EPO funds under the guise of “awards”?"

"Why is Battistelli in CEIPI and not in prison with Benalla?"Incidentally, earlier today SUEPO promoted this new piece published on Monday by "Daniel Nazer [who is] a senior staff attorney and Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents at the Electronic Frontier Foundation."

The fraud enabled by the EPO's "Inventor Award" is mentioned in relation to the role of the USPTO as well: (also recall this first part, second part, and last (third) part from last year about the "inventor" from Morocco, a former French colony):

A company “built around [fake] patents”



In 2002, an eager Stanford undergraduate named Elizabeth Holmes told a professor about an idea. (New ABC podcast “The Dropout” covers the story in its opening episode.) Holmes approached Professor Phyllis Gardner of Stanford Medical School with a radical suggestion. She wanted to make a microfluidic patch that could test blood for infectious organisms and could deliver antibiotics through the same microfluidic channels. The professor replied that this idea was not remotely viable.

But Holmes found a more receptive audience at the USPTO. She says she spent five straight days at her computer drafting a patent application. The provisional application, filed in September 2003 when Holmes was just 19 years old, describes “medical devices and methods capable of real-time detection of biological activity and the controlled and localized release of appropriate therapeutic agents.” This provisional application would mature into many issued patents. In fact, there are patent applications still being prosecuted that claim priority back to Holmes’ 2003 submission.

But Holmes’ 2003 application was not a “real” invention in any meaningful sense. We know that Theranos spent years and hundreds of millions of dollars trying to develop working diagnostic devices. The tabletop machines Theranos focused on were much less ambitious than Holmes’ original vision of a patch. Indeed, it’s fair to say that Holmes’ first patent application was little more than aspirational science fiction written by an eager undergraduate.

So how did Holmes’ unrealistic application lead to real patents, like US Patent No. 7,291,497? If you look through that patent’s application history, you can see that the examiner did review it closely. The examiner made two non-final rejections and two final rejections before eventually allowing the claims. (At the USPTO, a “final” rejection is not really final). The rejections were based on prior art and other technical grounds. What the examiner did not do, however, was ask whether Holmes’ “invention” actually worked.

Two legal doctrines are relevant here. The "utility" requirement of patent law requires that the invention work. And the “enablement” requirement means that the application has to describe the invention with enough detail to allow a person in the relevant field to build and use it. If the applicant herself can’t build the invention with nearly unlimited time and money, it does not seem like the enablement requirement could possibly be satisfied.

The USPTO generally does a terrible job of ensuring that applications meet the utility and enablement standards. In practice, unless an application claims an obviously impossible device (like a perpetual motion machine), the examiner will not question whether it works. To some extent, this is understandable. Examiners only have a few hours to review each application, and they can hardly be expected to run complex experiments to check the applicants’ claims. But this practice can lead to serious errors.


As we recently explained in relation to Benallagate, there may be another case for arresting Battistelli. And as noted a day ago by an EPO insider, corrupt Battistelli gave nearly 2 million euros of EPO money to French criminals (now officially arrested).

This was posted in the comments:

The document CA/F 6/17 contains another juicy morsel on page 15: "Agreement No. 2106/3270 on expert security services" signed off by the EPO on 14 Nov 2016.

This contract was a direct placement, i.e. no tendering. The amount involved was EUR 1 344 000. CA/F 6/17 does not reveal who the lucky recipient was: "Name of supplier not disclosed for security reasons. Information available on request."

If we assume that the same "security services" were involved (and Märpel never saw any other ones when chasing mice at night...), the total over the two years amounts to 1.8 million Euros, all spent without any oversight as to which purpose they were really spent.


The original comment can be found here.

Why is Battistelli in CEIPI and not in prison with Benalla? This is a totally reasonable question.

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