Bonum Certa Men Certa

Bristows and AstraZeneca (IP Kat) Won't Offer Balanced Coverage of EPO Patent Cases

IP Kat as a patent litigation (or litigators') blog

Hohoho. It's Christmas so we can rewrite the record of BoA without being refuted.



Summary: AstraZeneca's somewhat bizarre version of what happens at the Boards of Appeal (BoA) of the EPO this year; the revisionism is between the lines, sometimes attributed to "Merpel" (not who that used to be)

WATCHTROLL or Patent Docs or all those other patent sites that are run by law firms won't cover European Patent Office (EPO) scandals. They never do. Instead they relay the lies of EPO management -- be it the latest speech from António Campinos or Battistelli 'study' -- and they constantly moan about 35 U.S.C. €§ 101 because it restricts patents on life and maths at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Just look who writes the articles there (affiliation).



"It's no laughing matter as it's a complete "180" compared to what the 'Kats' did half a decade ago."IP Kat sadly became the same thing some years ago. It links a lot to Watchtroll, it repeats EPO press releases, it promotes and advertises for Battistelli. It's no laughing matter as it's a complete "180" compared to what the 'Kats' did half a decade ago.

Disclosures aren't enough; there's still an impact when corporations choose to control or 'write' the news (for their own agenda/gain). Well, as a doctoral student I was funded by European budget (also as a postdoc), but a colleague of mine was paid by AstraZeneca, which wanted to profit from his 'research'; this is no charity and they're also in it for a patent grab.

This morning we saw this new comment from a(n apparently) retired patent attorney:

Thank you, Rose Hughes, for your (IMHO) not only consistently top class but also prolific and very enjoyable to read reporting of EPO Decisions over the last year. I very much hope you will continue to provide it in the next 12 months. Addressing Ms Hughes's employer, now, thank you very much AZ, for allowing Ms Hughes whatever time and resources she needed. It will surely be repaid to you handsomely. Happy New Year Rose.


Well, AZ (AstraZeneca) benefits from the bias in this coverage, as we covered in relation to part 1 of her series. She's promoting software patents in Europe and mocking the idea that the 'exile' of judges to Haar was in violation of the EPC (deeming that a waste of time!).

The above comment was posted in response to this article from an AstraZeneca attorney (Rose Hughes), who is at it again this weekend. The take on CRISPR patents is based on what overzealous patent maximalists at a CIPA event think (those attorneys/lawyers want patent monopolies on every single thing, including nature/life):

The European patent community is eagerly awaiting the outcome of oral proceedings in the high-profile CRISPR case. The exceedingly long written submissions (and occasional impassioned rhetoric) are a mark of the cases's importance: "Should everyone else change, or just the Patentee?": Progress of the Broad's CRISPR appeal. The Board of Appeal (3.3.08) has already issued its preliminary opinion: BREAKING: Board of Appeal provides some initial thoughts on the Broad Institute’s CRISPR appeal (T0844/18). It is widely expected that the Board of Appeal will dismiss the appeal. In a straw poll of the audience of the recent 2019 CIPA life science conference delegates, not one hand was raised to indicate an expectation of a positive outcome for the patentee. A decision in favour of the patentee would send a shock-wave through the European patent community.

However, the issue at stake in the CRISPR case is not the only game in town when it comes to priority at the EPO. There is growing appreciation that another issue of the EPO's approach to priority needs consideration by the Boards of Appeal. The EPO's approach to co-applicants when assessing a priority claim is one that is growing in prominence. It is hoped that the Board of Appeals will soon consider this issue and provide some much needed clarity for applicants: Clarity is needed from the Boards of Appeal on the EPO's "co-applicant approach" to priority.


Having followed these cases over the past year, I'm astounded to learn some people apparently can't spot the bias. To think of these as objective interpretations (with "Merpel" inserted in-between to justify an attack on all EPO judges) is to either enjoy the bias or fail to see it. It's so shallow that I can spot it from a mile away, perhaps owing to daily news check-ups.

We're still experiencing a severe crisis when it comes to journalism on patent matters. This crisis only deepens. The few remaining sites that covered EPO abuses (on occasions) shut down. Last year it was IP Watch (they said they'd make a comeback, but it lasted no more than a day) and this month it seems to be IPPro Magazine (no article in about a month and nothing about EPO abuses in nearly half a year).

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