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IBM Happy That Patent Quality at EPO Collapsed and It's Easy to Get Software Patents

IBM explains that "HEY HI" (AI) helps applicants patent software where such patents are not actually legal

On shortcuts



Summary: The EPO keeps granting illegal European Patents and the media almost never mentions this illegality because it's in too amicable a relationship (typically financial) with the EPO

THE European Patent Office's (EPO) President António Campinos, the chosen successor of Battistelli, continues to promote software patents in Europe. This is no laughing matter; what they do is illegal. We're not exaggerating. It's not a "crib notes"-type offense because they give actual monopolies (to bully companies with) that are illegal. The damage is potentially enormous. It's difficult to measure because much of this is happening behind closed doors (e.g. secret settlements, like those IBM has plenty of). I've heard lots of stories, but there are NDAs.



"It's not a "crib notes"-type offense because they give actual monopolies (to bully companies with) that are illegal."Where's the media? Where the Hell is the media? Why on Earth is nobody covering these things? Why do real journalists no longer write at sites such as those that specialise in patents? We used to know some. But they're gone. Did something happen? I've asked those whom I know. They don't want to talk about it, perhaps fearing retribution. We've been investigating in recent days why European (or EU-ropean) "news" sites no longer cover EPO corruption. I sent questions to people I knew, questions like "Why do you no longer write at [x]?"

"Did something happen?"

"Techrights used to write many articles about why European media won't cover EPO corruption (not much, barely and rarely)."Several European (or EU-ropean) "news" are bribed by American billionaires (we know that much as they admitted it) and we have legitimate reasons to believe they demote or even fire people for covering crimes. That's just not good for attracting businesses, advertisers and so on. Techrights used to write many articles about why European media won't cover EPO corruption (not much, barely and rarely). It hardly covers that at all anymore. Amplifiers of law firms dominate the media; their business model is just that. It's not really news, it's just marketing that looks like reporting. Look at last week's 'reports' about the EPO's 'festival' in Australia. Some sites literally copied press releases from the EPO and filed those under "news" or "articles" sections. How about this new one? It's rather frustrating to see. This morning I saw one company running a paid press release about being granted patents by patent offices not exactly renowned for quality (yes, EPO). I hardly find anything (anymore) about EPO scandals. One might be led to think that everything is suddenly rosy. SUEPO too is afraid to speak directly. IP Kat has become an utter joke (we wrote about it recently). What gives? As we pointed out over the weekend, World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR) had done lots of puff pieces recently about "hey hi" (AI), pushing software patents using these buzzwords. WIPR is like EPO PR. It used to cover EPO scandals, but not anymore. I can guess why, but I'm waiting for replies (if any). Here is the new EPO puff piece from WIPR. It's about its annual 'festival' that cost millions of euros per hour (they even pay for so-called 'journalists' to fly over).

"Amplifiers of law firms dominate the media; their business model is just that."Staying with WIPR for a moment, it has just done another "hey hi" article ("TPN Europe 2019: Keep software patents simple, says IBM lawyer"). Blue Bully IBM, which is buying Red Hat, is a pusher of algorithm monopolies in Europe (yes, Red Hat's stance on software patents is in trouble because lawyers from IBM will wipe it out). “With the EPO, it’s a lot clearer [and] a lot easier," IBM lawyers say. Some large European law firms too have publicly said (at events) that it's easier to get software patents at the EPO (than the USPTO and others). That's how bad things have become. To quote some portions:

According to Kevin Fournier, IP lawyer at IBM in the UK, when drafting a software patent application, the best means of assessing an idea or an invention was to show it to a software developer.

Speaking at Technology Patent Network Europe 2019, hosted by WIPR in London last Thursday, June 20, Fournier said that “if software developers are impressed by the invention, then you’re really on a winner”.

Outlining his approach to patent claim construction, Fournier said “the worst thing that you can possibly do is have a method claim that requires the action of three or four different entities”.

The IBM lawyer advocated for the single method patent claim as a useful tool for patent attorneys.

The more complex a claim and the more actors are involved, then an applicant has “more to prove; [it’s] another argument that you have to make,” Fournier said.

[...]

Commenting on the UK Intellectual Property Office’s approach, Fournier said that, in his experience, “the technical contribution seems to be interpreted more narrowly”.

“With the EPO, it’s a lot clearer [and] a lot easier, as long as you can show that the features that are critical to the invention are contributing to the technical effect,” he added.

Fournier also questioned Kennedy on his observations on emerging principles in AI patent drafting.


Notice that part about "hey hi" (AI); it's their favourite term these days. Benjamin Henrion has just found this tweet: "Una vez más, como experto en el Comité de Derecho de Patentes de @wipo #scp30 con interesantes documentos sobre "licencias obligatorias", "actividad inventiva en química" e "Inteligencia Artificial, IA" los dos últimos elaborados a propuesta de la @OEPM_es (IA con @INPIFrance) pic.twitter.com/LNeMgs7G5W"

"Yes, not only the EPO but also the USPTO uses the same trick; they're sharing this 'toolkit' for software patents."IA, AI... different languages, same nonsense. On "hey hi" he also noted "Coons and Tillis to restore US swpats: "we will investigate ways to sharpen the "field of technology" requirement to ensure that critical advances like AI and medical diagnostics qualify, but not economic transactions or social interactions" https://is.gd/elsynt" ("Cached here," he told me because of the paywall)

"Nobody seems to care. Not in the media anyway; too busy liaising with law firms and booking flights to EPO events at the EPO's expense."Yes, not only the EPO but also the USPTO uses the same trick; they're sharing this 'toolkit' for software patents. As Henrion noted, linking to this page and new tweets, the EPO also still allows software patents which are disguised as hardware. To quote these vocal proponents of software patents in Europe: "Protecting a cryptographic computation against power attacks is considered a technical problem if, and only if, the computation is actually carried out on hardware and thus open to such attacks."

"Oh, wait," I responded, "I thought I was going to execute it with/on pen and paper. Software (patents) are "hardware" (patents) because machines can run programs?"

As we said at the start, nobody covers these very serious issues that will cost Europe billions in damages. Nobody seems to care. Not in the media anyway; too busy liaising with law firms and booking flights to EPO events at the EPO's expense.

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