Bonum Certa Men Certa

The EPO Bubble — Part XI — The Viennese ICT Patent Orchestrator

Overview: [Teaser] The EPO's Deflating Patent Bubble and Pursuit of Illegal Software Patents (With Kangaroo Courts, UPC, and Bullied Examiners)

Series parts:

  1. otherwise-fast-imploding bubble
  2. The EPO Bubble — Part II — Signs of a Deflating Bubble?
  3. The EPO Bubble — Part III — Dividing Up the Spoils...
  4. The EPO Bubble — Part IV — A Cashflow Problem Looming on the Horizon?
  5. The EPO Bubble — Part V — Propping Up the Bubble?

  6. The EPO Bubble — Part VI — From Humble Examiner to CO³
  7. The EPO Bubble — Part VII — A Multifaceted Man of Letters
  8. The EPO Bubble — Part VIII — The “Algerian Skirmisher” Replaces the “British Grenadier”
  9. The EPO Bubble — Part IX — A Well-Remunerated Faustian Pact?
  10. The EPO Bubble — Part X — A Leaked E-mail Provides Some Clues...
  11. YOU ARE HERE ☞ The Viennese ICT Patent Orchestrator

Georg Weber at Bengaluru
The EPO's Georg Weber, reputed to be a zealous advocate of so-called "software patents", appeared as a guest speaker at the lobbyists' Global Intellectual Property [sic] Convention in Bengaluru (India) in 2019.

Summary: Benoît Battistelli increased grant rates of software patents from 2% to 10% and António Campinos plans to make another five-fold (or higher!) increase, in effect violating the European Patent Convention (EPC) by granting lots of invalid European Patents which help maintain an otherwise-fast-imploding bubble

In this part we will take a closer look at the EPO director who has been entrusted with orchestrating the planned shift in EPO examination policy in the G06Q area. The person in question is Georg Weber, a graduate of the University of Agriculture in Vienna.

Weber will be a familiar figure to readers of Techrights, which has already reported on his activities as a zealous proponent of "software patents" in 2017 and 2018. For example here, here, and here. But before getting into this aspect of things in more detail, let’s start off with the earlier phases of his career.

Weber’s alma mater, which was founded in 1872, is known locally in Austria as the BoKu (from the German word "Bodenkultur" meaning "agriculture"). Since Weber’s student days during the 1980s, the BoKu has rebranded itself with the more modern title of "University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences".

Weber graduated from the BoKu with an engineering degree, Dipl. Ing (univ.), in the field of food and biotechnology.

"In 2005, he was put in charge of a directorate in the field of telecommunications in the ICT sector - despite the fact that he had no technical background in this area."In 1988, he started off with his career at the EPO as an examiner in the technical fields of food chemistry, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, as well as agriculture, mining and general process engineering.

In 2003, he was promoted to a managerial position as director of a department dealing with biomedical engineering.

In 2005, he was put in charge of a directorate in the field of telecommunications in the ICT sector - despite the fact that he had no technical background in this area. This move was inspired by a policy of "rotation of directors" adopted by the EPO’s senior management some time around 2000.

The policy involved transferring directors to completely alien technical fields as part of some hare-brained scheme to promote office wide "harmonisation". EPO staff representation opposed this managerial policy on the grounds that the optimal functioning of a patent search and examination directorate required, amongst other things, that the director in charge of it should have a proper grounding in the relevant technical field.

"Before long he was marketing himself as an expert on the "patentability of computer-implemented inventions"."It’s not clear whether Weber’s transfer from biomedical engineering to ICT back in 2005 was entirely voluntary. In any event, whatever the background story may have been, he appears to have taken to his new position like the proverbial duck to water.

Before long he was marketing himself as an expert on the "patentability of computer-implemented inventions".

The concept of "computer-implemented inventions" (CII) is reducible to fiction or pseudo-scientific gobbledegook which simply misframes the problem domain and starts introducing an alternative universe, wherein algorithms are just something "technical" and are to be superficially judged using some managerial lingo such as "problem-solution", avoiding discussion of underlying logic, let alone substance. This is what happens when people who never coded and cannot read code are put in charge of tribunals or examination units that decide on such patents. They can barely understand that such programs are reducible to mathematics, statistics, and sometimes laws of nature.

Weber gradually became a regular attendee and guest speaker at events to promote "software patents". In recent years, such events have tended to focus on the latest fashionable buzzwords such as "artificial intelligence" and "blockchain".

For example, he was a "keynote speaker" at a one-day conference [PDF] on the subject of "Patenting Blockchain" (warning: link) sponsored by the EPO which took place in The Hague on 4 December 2018.

Georg Weber at Patenting Blockchain
Weber featured as a guest speaker at a one-day conference on the subject of "Patenting Blockchain" sponsored by the EPO which took place in The Hague on 4 December 2018. [PDF]

As a matter of fact, Weber is known to have been active in promoting so-called "computer-implemented inventions" since at least 2014.

"Weber is also a regular attendee at "global IP junkets" outside Europe."In October 2014, he attended a CERN Computing Seminar where he was responsible for a presentation entitled "The European Patent Office and its handling of Computer Implemented Inventions".

Weber is also a regular attendee at "global IP junkets" outside Europe.

One of his favourite destinations for such "duty travel" is India. In 2017 he was a guest speaker at a session on "Drafting International Patent Applications in the Field of ICT" which took place at Pune on 1 December 2017 on the margins of the 5th Indo-European Conference on Creating a Robust IP Ecosystem for ICT in the 21st Century. In January 2019 he turned up as a guest speaker at the Global Intellectual Property Convention (GIPC) in Bengaluru.

To those in the know, it’s clear that the Viennese "patent orchestrator" is a key member of the team entrusted with delivering "new melodies" in the ICT sector, following the EPO’s recent "reorganisation" of 1 April 2022.

From an EPO managerial perspective -- the management being clueless patent maximalists -- he clearly has the "right stuff" and ticks all the boxes for the job of shaking-up examination and granting practice in G06Q.

"From an EPO managerial perspective -- the management being clueless patent maximalists -- he clearly has the "right stuff" and ticks all the boxes for the job of shaking-up examination and granting practice in G06Q."It comes as no surprise that the leaked e-mail which was mentioned in the previous part confirms that Weber has been put in charge of G06Q by his superior, the Chief Operating Office Operations, "with his full mandate and support to address harmonisation and quality" in this area.

In the next and final part we shall review our exposé of the EPO’s deflating grant bubble and conclude by speculating about the "shape of things to come" under the sway of the new COO Operations and his faithful lieutenant in G06Q.

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