Bonum Certa Men Certa

Europe Deserves Better Than Today's EPO

Forbidden is better



Summary: Overly restrictive society with countless monopolies (even on seeds!) will neither serve people nor will it breed general acceptance

THE European Patent Office (EPO) which I once respected -- the office that didn't pursue software patents "as such" (unlike the USPTO) -- is gone. It has been long gone, predating even Benoît Battistelli although President Brimelow wasn't anywhere as grotesque as him and I sometimes found her amicable, unlike António Campinos (he's not amicable, he's 100% faking it!).



As a proponent of the EU I've long viewed the EPO as something that might be OK, especially if it shapes its policy based on Europe's needs (like developers' and customers' needs) rather than Team UPC's (litigation parasites). Battistelli and Campinos keep making it very clear whose side they're on and it's not Europe's. Look no further than all the UPC propaganda they've been flinging out there for a decade, basically lying to the European public.

The truth of the matter is, even UPC proponents have virtually given up by now. So many nails on their coffins are adding up.

Osborne Clarke's Xavier Pican, Gaspard Debiesse, Will James and Johannes Graf Ballestrem -- in Lexology and the firm's own site -- show the growing trend, wherein law firms are either absolutely silent about UPC (when did Bristows last mention it?) or acknowledging that this "paper giant" (their term) is likely dead, but they continue to downplay this death:

Will we ever see the Unified Patent Court operate? Many have doubts, as its path – already long and difficult – runs into new obstacles and the venture looks more and more like a "paper giant".


IAM produced countless "fake news" items about the UPC, hoping to give it momentum based on deliberate falsehoods and distortions.

Let's hope -- although chances seem slim -- that something can suddenly change in a major way. Maybe the Council of Europe can do something, recognising the EPO crisis and impending layoffs as a sign of things gone awry. The courts and national governments in German and Dutch territories certainly don't plan to do anything; the EPO is their cash cow.

Resistance to the patent system as a whole will continue to grow (disdain for the very concept) if things carry on like this. COVID-19 is already changing many people's attitude towards monopoly on medicines/vaccines and seeing the dysfunctional state of the EPO can contribute to that. For the patent system to survive it will simply have to earn consent/respect from the general public.

The other day Bardehle Pagenberg's Axel B. Berger and Kerstin Galler boosted their article about "patentability of plants and animals in Europe" and another one by Jennifer Bailey (HGF Ltd) highlighted the absurdity of a patent office ever so eager to grant patent monopolies on life and on nature ("Battle Over Beer Patents Brewing At The European Patent Office"). To quote what she said some days ago:

Oppositions launched by 16 organisations against patents for mutant barley owned by Carlsberg & Heineken highlight the tensions that exist over the grant of monopolies for plant products. We consider which party will most likely be raising a glass to victory in light of recent legal changes, and the lessons applicable to patentees across the spectrum of plant innovation.

A recipe for dispute

The patents in question, EP2384110 (EP'110) and EP2373154 (EP'154), relate to a beverage prepared from a barley plant carrying a particular mutation, and the mutated plants themselves. EP'110 covers barley plants comprising mutations that cause loss of functional lipoxygenase (LOX)-1 and LOX-2 enzymes, while the mutation described in EP'154 causes functional loss of methionine S-methyltransferase (MMT). These mutations are said to improve the taste of the resulting beer.

The patents were opposed by a group of organisations represented by Dr Cristoph Then of the campaign 'NO PATENTS ON SEEDS!'. The opponents object that the patents cover conventionally bred barley, which they argue is excluded from patent protection by Article 53(b) of the European Patent Convention.

[...]

In the case of EP'110, the EPO's Opposition Division noted that plants carrying a mutation introduced by technical means, such as incubation of seeds with a mutagen, are not excluded from patent protection. Nevertheless, the claims were considered to encompass both plants created by technical means and plants obtained by an essentially biological process, the latter falling foul of Rule 28(2). As such, the patent was found invalid.

The patentees overcame this problem by clarifying that the barley plant had not been exclusively obtained by an essentially biological method. However, the Opposition Division then deemed the claimed plant to be insufficiently disclosed. Although the patent described one method of making a mutant plant (the seeds of which were deposited in a publicly accessible culture collection), this method relied on random mutagenesis and subsequent screening of 35000 mutants, placing an undue burden on someone trying to reproduce the invention. Accordingly, it was held that the patent does not enable the skilled person to obtain any mutant barley plant lacking functional LOX enzymes, but only the specific mutant deposited. This appears consistent with established case law on sufficiency, as re-affirmed by the UK's Supreme Court in Regeneron v Kymab.


Can the EPO not understand that these patents cause grassroots organisations to rebel against the system as a whole? If the EPO cares about Europe's future and the very decree upon which it exists, then it'll stop doing all these inane/insane things. What's so hard to understand here? As we put it 2 years ago, "The Enemies of the Patent System Are Patent Maximalists, Not Those Pursuing Saner Patent Policy".

Recent Techrights' Posts

Name the Threats and Threat Actors
Looking back to 2006, there was Novell and gregkh (partly salaried by Microsoft), so these are familiar territories
The "Other" SPLC
You know you're winning the debate when censorship is explored
Microsoft: By Default, Destroy Linux
Here is what the very "polite" Microsoft Boccassi had to say
Perens on a Stick
Remember what Novell did and how few (barely anyone) sided with Novell
Andrew Tanenbaum Gets an Award for His Work on MINIX
ACM one week ago
Twitter's Fall to Irrelevancy in Europe
Musk bought a dud
[Meme] 'Useless' Kids of EPO Examiners
malnourished?
Granting Loads of Monopolies in Europe (to Foreign Corporations of Epic Size and Far Too Much Power Inside Europe) is Vastly More Important Than Raising European Kids Properly?
"Efficiency" first? Whose? Corporations or families? No wonder so many young families are hesitant to have any kids these days; that's particularly true in east Asia and also in north America, not just Europe
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Free Speech (Online) Angle
Free speech is a fundamental tenet of a free society
 
Gemini Links 25/06/2024: Old Computer Challenge; An Opinionated GNU/Linux Guide
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 24, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, June 24, 2024
IEEE Computer Society on Andrew Tanenbaum, Winner of ACM Award, Who Also Inspired Linux Development
10 years ago
New Talk by Dr. Richard Stallman Published Two Days Ago By CeSIUM - Centro de Estudantes de Engenharia Informática da Universidade do Minho (Portugal)
The FSF no longer mentions Richard Stallman's talks, but we will
FSF Looking to Raise Money by Adding 200 New Members by July 19
The FSF is in good shape, according to Alexandre Oliva
Not Only Does It Not Add Security... (UEFI as a 'Bug Door')
SecureCore?
Data From Monaco Should Alarm Microsoft
Just how many people are deleting Windows and installing something else this year?
Linux in Central Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger)
Vast area, vast number of "Linux users" (if one counts Android as such)
[Meme] Gagging One's Own Staff as a Signal of Corporate Distress
Censorship at Microsoft
Staying the Course
censorship isn't easy against sites that understand ways to resist it
The 'All-Seeing' Microsoft Eye
Microsofters are observing us closely
Links 24/06/2024: Long COVID and "How I Write Blogs"
Links for the day
Allegations That Microsoft is Covering Up Employee Dissatisfaction and Using a Survey to Catch 'Risk' to the Cult Mentality
This favours or gradually socially-engineers a company for sociopathy
'Linux Hint' Inactive for Nearly a Month (It Used to be Very Active)
Their Twitter account hasn't been active for a long time and it's not too clear what's going on
An Unexpected GNU/Linux Trend
Burkina Faso is changing and not just politically
Android (Linux) at New Highs in Burkina Faso, Now Measured at 72% (Windows Was Measured at 98% 15 Years Ago)
based on this month's estimates
With 0.76% for ChromeOS and 3.7% for GNU/Linux (4.5% Total) Burkina Faso Approaches 5% for 'Linux'
More if one counts Android as "Linux"
Gemini Links 24/06/2024: Being Dull and OpenSSH Autoban
Links for the day
EPO Issues in The Hague
a report dated 4 days ago about a meeting that took place 12 days ago
[Meme] Garbage in, Garbage Out (EPO Patent Quality)
"Get back to work"
When the Employer Makes You Too Sick to Go to Work (New EPO Document)
"registering when you are sick"
[Meme] Putin's Red Flags
Firefox ESR or Firefox USSR
The Corporate/Mainstream Media and Even Social Control Media is Distorting the Record About What Mozilla Actually Did (It Originally Surrendered to Vladimir Putin)
Mozilla being avoided for purely technical reasons (sites not being compatible with it) is one thing. Foolishly, Mozilla is giving people more political reasons to also shun Mozilla. This is suicide.
GNU/Linux Up Some More This Morning, Windows Down Sharply Even in Rich Countries
Microsoft is in trouble in the Muslim world
United Arab Emirates (UAE) Rising... Towards 5% for ChromeOS and GNU/Linux
the latest numbers show it growing from about 0.1% to around 2.4% for GNU/Linux, plus 2.01% for Chromebooks (ChromeOS), i.e. about 5% in total.
Links 24/06/2024: New Research, New Attacks on Justices Sceptical of Patent Maximalists, European Commission for Copyright Maximalists
Links for the day
[Meme] 12 Years a Fedora Volunteer
IBM gives me a 'free' Fedora badge as recognition
IBM Slavery: Not a New Problem
When IBM got rid of Ben Cotton it showed the world how much it valued Fedora
Why They Want to Abolish Master/Slave Terminology (Because This is What They're Turned Free Software Into)
It used to be about community; GAFAM turned that into exploitation and worse
Roy and Rianne's Righteously Royalty-free RSS Reader (R.R.R.R.R.R.) Version 0.2 is Released
They say summer "officially" started some days ago
Torvalds' Number Two Quit Linux a Decade Ago and Has Since Then Earned an Honorary Doctorate
Revisiting Fuzix and Alan Cox
GNU/Linux Reaches All-Time High in Tunisia
Based on statCounter
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 23, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, June 23, 2024
Edward Brocklesby (ejb) & Debian: Hacking expulsion cover-up in proximity to Oxford and GCHQ
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
You Know the Microsoft Products Really Suck When...
"Qualcomm and Microsoft go 'beyond the call of duty' to stop independent Copilot+ PC reviews"
IBM and "Regime Change"
Change of regime is not the same as freedom
Microsoft Windows in Nicaragua: From 98% to Less Than 25%
Operating System Market Share Nicaragua
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Community Angle
Somebody needs to call them out on their BS
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Software Angle
Gemini Protocol has just turned 5 - i.e. roughly the same age as our Git repositories
Techrights in the Coming Decade: The Patent Angle
Next month marks 10 years since we began covering EPO leaks
Wookey, Intrigeri, Cryptie & Debian pseudonyms beyond Edward Brocklesby
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Choice Versus Freedom
So When Do I Start Having Freedom? Freedom is choice between the GAFAMs
Digital Liberation of Society at Times of Armed Conflicts and Uncertainty
We have technical contributions, not just written output
Links 23/06/2024: More Microsoft Cancellations, Growing Repression Worldwide
Links for the day
Gemini Links 23/06/2024: The Magician and the Hacker, tmux Tips
Links for the day
Links 23/06/2024: Twitter/X Wants Your Money, Google Reports a Billion DMCA Takedowns in Four Months
Links for the day
Digital Restrictions (Like DRM) Don't Have Brands, We Need to Teach People to Hate the Underlying Restrictions, Not Companies That Typically Come and Go
Conceptually, the hens should fear humans, not the farmer who cages them
Going Above 4% Again
Maybe 4% (or above) by month's end?
[Meme] Debian's 'Cannon Fodder' Economics
Conflicts of interest don't matter
Conviction, jail for Hinduja family, Debian exploitation comparison
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
According to Microsoft, It's Not a Code of Conduct Violation to Troll Your Victims Whose Files You Are Purging
The group of vandals from Microsoft think it's "funny" (and for a "nominal fee") to troll Microsoft critics
Microsoft Inside Debian is Sabotaging Debian and Its Many Hundreds of Derivatives With SystemD (Microsoft/GitHub Slopware With Catastrophic Bugs is Hardly a New Problem)
What is the moral of the story about The Scorpion and the Frog?
Links 23/06/2024: Hey Hi (AI) Scrapers Gone Very Rogue, Software Patents Squashed at EPO
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 22, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, June 22, 2024
Gemini Links 23/06/2024: LoRaWAN and Gemini Plugin for KOReade
Links for the day