Bonum Certa Men Certa

The EPO Grants Illegal Patents. EPO Managers Hope That a Kangaroo Court Can Endorse Illegal Patents.

Video download link | md5sum 569bff0a35f42185c1521efcb8827cd9 EPO Patent Quality Under Scrutiny Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Evidence suggests that EPO managers have knowingly and intentionally ruined patent quality; they conspired against the charter of the EPO and then covered that up; stakeholders are complaining while EPO managers try to install "controlled judges" that would tolerate the EPO's abusive behaviour -- in effect implementing a coup for the litigation 'industry' with its largest clients (monopolistic multinationals)

IN the just-published "EPO Togetherness" post we showed that the EPO's assault on its own staff is intensifying greatly. There's no ambiguity about it; EPO management acts in a self-harming fashion assuming that the managers' goal is the same as the goals of the Office (in reality, or in practice, there tends to be a conflict of interest; for fixed but not permanent terms the management can intentionally bury the institution for short-term gains). Were the managers appointed to serve science or to serve a bunch of lawyers, manning national patent offices and going back and forth (revolving door) between the private and public sector?

The EPO's presidents since 2010 (Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos) have destroyed patents' quality in pursuit of illegal "goals". European software patents (monopolies on mathematics) and patents on nature/life are manifestations of this.

"Were the managers appointed to serve science or to serve a bunch of lawyers, manning national patent offices and going back and forth (revolving door) between the private and public sector?"Seeing that national patent courts rarely tolerate fake European Patents, the EPO has pushed for an illegal system and basically incited (in its official site, to commit crimes. It has been colluding with lying lawyers, who for profit's sake decided that they would openly and fragrantly attack constitutions, conventions, and laws. We hope that the EPO's biggest union will talk about this problem a lot more often, but it's not for us to decide...

Either way, shown and discussed in the video above is, a propaganda site of Team UPC (sponsored by Team UPC), and some internal material from the EPO, including the latest publication from the Central Staff Committee (CSC). Everyone needs to see this, along with the evidence presented, as the CSC and the staff union (SUEPO) got vindicated repeatedly, including earlier this year. "Several European companies have recently expressed serious concern about the declining quality of granted patents by the EPO in a letter sent to Vice-President DG 1," the CSC claims, citing the phony "Quality Reports" (warning: link; it's like the fake "Ombuds") and some other documents (like these letters from almost exactly 6 years ago [1, 2], attributed to VP Cosado and VP Willy (Guillaume) Minnoye). This lie started under Battistelli -- a tradition that continues under the person who perpetuates and covers up the same abuses. When the management claims "Attack on quality delivered by EPO staff" the managers try to portray the people who actually protect the staff aw people who try to discredit the staff. "Staff Representation criticizes EPO quality during Administrative Council," says the title as if this is a religious matter and an act of blasphemy was committed.

The text below alludes to this presentation from 2022 [PDF] and it contains a lot of other references that are publicly accessible.

Zentraler Personalausschuss Central Staff Committee Le Comité Central du Personnel

Munich,24/02/2023 sc23024cp

Patent Quality

Can it be put back on the EPO's agenda?

Several European companies have recently expressed serious concern about the declining quality of granted patents by the EPO.

The future of the European patent system depends on how the EPO, as a public service, is able to set worldwide standards to foster innovation in the interest of European society. Consequently, management should take the criticism very seriously. The staff would be perfectly capable of carrying out prior art searches of the highest quality and, accordingly, conducting patent examination procedures that result either in patents that stand up in court or in refusals when adequate. Mismanagement resulting in decreasing quality should be put under the spotlight: recruitment policy, time budgets and incentive systems for staff, HR policies, IT strategy, etc.

The Staff Committee is ready to contribute actively and constructively to these points so as to respond to external criticism and put quality back on the EPO’s agenda.

Increasingly loud criticism

The members of Industry Patent Quality Charter (IPQC) recently sent a letter to Vice-President DG 1 signed by the Chief IP counsel of Siemens. IPQC members are important European players1 in the patent world and several of them have been among the largest patent applicants to the EPO in recent years.

This letter follows the critical reception of the "EPO Patent Quality Charter" (part of Mr Campinos' so-called "Strategic Plan 2023") that came into force on 1 October 2022. It is indeed an open secret that Mr Campinos’ “EPO Patent Quality Charter” was a disappointment. The Chief IP counsel of Siemens told JUVE Patent in October 2022 that “[a]ll the measures are too focused on the improvement of internal processes and their effectiveness, including speed and timeliness. This does not necessarily enhance the actual quality of the granted patents.”2

_____________ 1 ATOS, Bayer, Deutsche Telekom, Drägerwerk AG & Co. KGaA, Ericsson, Eraeus, HP, Iveco Group N.V., MTU, Nokia, Physik Instrumente (PI) GmbH & Co. KG, Procter&Gamble, Qualcomm, Roche, Siemens AG, Siemens Healthineers, Syngenta, Vodafone, Volvo, ... 2 “Dissatisfied industry users push back against EPO quality measures” by JUVE Patent (12.10.2022) against-epo-quality-measures/

The recent IPQC letter follows up on an earlier meeting with EPO management and identifies many relevant topics with regard to the quality of search and examination at the EPO, which should obviously be discussed and fixed:

− Complete searches − Complete examination − User feedback − Training (of examiners) − A transparent incentive system for examiners

Each topic is subdivided into detailed points. The Kluwer Patent blog and Juve Patent have reported on the letter.

Well-known issues

Staff Representation has been critical of management's approach to quality for many years and has denounced the deleterious effects on substantive quality of the "New Career System" (NCS) introduced in 2015 which incentivises examiners to focus on their work as first examiner and in this role to issue as many search reports and grant as many patents as possible, with substantive quality being secondary to productivity and timeliness3456. Management openly reproached7 the staff representation regarding its interventions on the EPO’s quality policies in front of delegations and user representatives in the Administrative Council.

EPO staff have repeatedly expressed their concern about the decreasing importance of quality in several staff surveys conducted by Technologia: for a great majority of respondents, the importance of quality in relation to quantitative targets has steadily decreased at the EPO since 20138.

The official figures from the Directorate Quality Audit (DQA), which assesses the substantive quality of the work in DG1, also show a negative trend: the compliance rate of grants has dropped from 85% in 20159 to 75% in 202210, an all-time low. The substantive quality of searches is steadily decreasing.

The Office is in denial

In the face of the converging signals of deteriorating quality, how can management continue to pretend that everything is fine. For example, VP 1's response to recent criticisms of prioritising efficiency over quality has been to declare them "unfounded"11. In his New Year's

_____________ 3 “Measure for Measure: Quantity, Quality & Timeliness for Europe”, CSC paper of 14.09.2016 (sc16170cp) 4 “Measure for Measure: Quantity, Quality & Timeliness for Europe”, CSC paper of 14.09.2016 (sc16170cp) 5 “Good enough? A discussion paper about Patent Quality at the EPO”, LSC MU and BE paper of 19.04.2018 (su18003mp) 6 “All the President’s Peas”, CSC paper of 18.01.2018 (sc18008cp) 7 “Attack on quality delivered by EPO staff”, Clarification to publication (see also here) of VP1 and VP2 dated 17.03.2017, CSC paper of 20.03.2017 (sc17040cp) 8 Technologia Survey Results 2022 (page 31) of staff survey frequency tables: 9 EPO Quality Report of 2016 or here 10 DQA Report of 2022 or here 11 “Efficiency-over-quality criticisms are unfounded, says EPO VP for Patent Granting Process”, IAM Magazine (12.12.2022)

greetings to staff, Mr Campinos referred to what he sees as general positive feedback from 6000 EPO users and said that "[q]uality is the appraisal of the many – and not the discontent of the few". In other words, the President considers that complaints from the public or users about the quality of EPO patents − which undoubtedly include IPQC members − can be downplayed if not ignored.

The fact is that management's interest in genuine patent quality began to fade a decade ago, when the pursuit of endless productivity and production growth replaced a sense for public service and common sense.

Which future for (substantive) quality?

Under the topics of "Complete Searches" and "Complete Examination", the IPQC members stress the need to give examiners sufficient time (budget) to carry out their tasks. Examiners (and formalities officers) have the right qualifications and dedication to carry out their duties in accordance with the EPC and the Implementing Regulations, if sufficient time is given for a proper functioning of the divisions, including quality control within the divisions12.

The recruitment policies need to be reconsidered, especially the decision not to recruit formalities officers and to replace only 80% of leaving examiners, despite a steady rise in the workload and a predictable wave of retirements of highly experienced staff in the coming years13.

The long-term attractiveness of the Office as an employer and the impact of the recent recruitment policies14 needs be assessed.

The CSC has always advocated for a transparent incentive system for examiners (and other staff, particularly a career system with a performance-based reward system that provides the right incentives to get the job done right and a commitment that staff careers are a long-term investment, not a liability.

Senior management will not spontaneously call into question the mantra of ever-increasing productivity, especially in DG1, where "management by Excel sheet" now prevails. Hopefully the IPQC initiative will trigger an adequate reaction that goes beyond denial, window dressing and continuing to hope that progress in IT tools will solve the problems. In addition to an IT strategy that needs to be revised, internal appreciation of the EPO’s own personnel and appropriate HR policies are key aspects of a reorientation toward more quality.

It is not yet clear whether the IPQC initiative from outside the EPO will achieve what could not be achieved internally: to put patent quality back at the top of the agenda. The Staff Committee will report on the progress made (or lack thereof) in the coming weeks.

The Central Staff Committee _____________ granting-process 12 In accordance with Article 15 EPC and Article 143(2) for the administration of the European patent with unitary effect 13 “Depletion of the Workforce - Failure to recruit under the current administration”: CSC publication of 17/02/2023 (sc23020cp) 14 Five-year contracts, lowering of the standards for recruitment, the hiring of young professionals

The figures from the Directorate Quality Audit (DQA) [PDF] cannot be easily hidden like before. The Office tends to scuttle and bury any figures that don't flatter "quality". This one was originally published in proprietary Microsoft formats because the EPO is technically controlled by Microsoft. Sure, it's illegal, but the EPO is run by liars and criminals, who choose liars and criminals as IT vendors. Campinos would help Bill Gates liberate his close friend Jeffrey Epstein from prison if he had the chance. These people are all effectively above the law.

So where's the media in all this? Or politicians? Silence, as usual?

"MEPs are probably part of the problem and not just through passivity," an associate of ours explains. "Media avoids anything even remotely related to technology policy, in any shape or form. That's in part thanks to the Bill and Lolita slush fund which is used liberally to prevent such coverage lest people bring up the topic of software Freedom. Or of no-Microsoft software."

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