Tuesday, October 13, 2015

European Patent Office intentionally treats patent applicants and staff unfairly: leaked documents

While I'm currently taking a break from patent (not copyright) blogging, there's a few EPO-related issues I quickly wanted to draw attention to (and would comment on in more detail if I had time).

Dr. Roy Schestowitz, who has been authoring the TechRights blog for nine years, obtained (after I encouraged him to do so) a copy of an internal document of the European Patent Office that stands as incontrovertible evidence of the EPO's institutionalized unfairness. Companies filing large numbers of patent applications receive preferential treatment including highly questionable package deals along the lines of "drop these 500 patent applications and in exchange we'll grant 1,000 other weak applications of yours in short order".

Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states the following: "All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law." But the EPO doesn't believe in human rights and is, as Dr. Schestowitz accurately notes, run like a private, profit-maximizing enterprise as opposed to an honorable institution properly applying the law. I've previously likened the EPO to FIFA, but with the latest evidence I almost feel like I have to ask FIFA for an apology for this comparison, given that different standards must be applied to a sports body vs. a government institution in charge of a key area of commercial law. FIFA doesn't rig soccer matches, at least not the extent the EPO's leadership compromises the patent granting process.

The general press should take much more of an interest in the EPO's corruption. Yesterday I was pleased to see that Heise online, Germany's leading IT news site, has written about this after reading the TechRights story.

I also wanted to point to some new developments in connection with the EPO leadership's repressive actions against staff union leaders. The following letter by SUEPO's (Staff Union of the European Patent Office) Munich chair, Elizabeth Hardon, to the chairman of the Administrative Council (the politburo) of the European Patent Organization speaks for itself:

15-10-08 Letter Re. EPO Elizabeth Hardon by Florian Mueller

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