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Criticism of former head of the European Patent Office

Saturday, October 14th, 2017 | bitcoin updates

    European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich.
                (Picture: dpa, Frank Leonhardt)
             What was conceived as a discussion about the future of the European patent system with the new board of directors of the EPO developed on Friday night to a hard billing with the outgoing president.


        The freshly baked head of the Administrative Board of the European Patent Office, Christoph Ernst, Ministerialdirigent in the Federal Ministry of Justice, had to listen bitterly to the falling quality of the patent tests in the European Patent Office (EPO) as a result of overloading patent examiners. Ernst had drawn an optimistic picture of the future of the European patent system at the invitation of the Munich Max Planck Institute (MPI) for innovation and competition, but declared willing to discuss the quality problem with the experts.
The patent numbers at the European Patent Office are rising, the Office is prepared for new challenges and the European Community patent is almost ready, Ernst's optimistic message. On the first of October, the official took over the chairmanship of the board of directors, previously he was already head of the German delegation in the supervisory board of the 38 member states and represented Germany at the World Intellectual Property Organization.
Performance pressure and poor working climate For many years now, the EPO is in the negative headlines, mainly because of the extreme clashes between President Benoit Battistelli and employees and trade unions who are leaving in the coming year. Because of the extreme performance and also psychological pressure exerted on the employees within the office, false incentives would be put in place, Gero Maatz-Jansen warned from the Grüncker law firm in Munich.
Instead of thoroughly scrutinizing the filings, the EPA staff tried to get the files back quickly from the table. In the medium term, the declining quality of users could drive out the users and shake the whole EPA system, the lawyer said with great applause from the 60 participants at the MPI, many of whom contributed their own observations.
Evidence of a deterioration in quality? Weaker remarks and superficial research reports on the state of the art, as well as problems in the formal procedures underlined that the work of the EPA employees suffer. The auditors were increasingly confronted with the rigorous efficiency of EPA CEO Battistelli by quickly rejecting applications because of minor procedural deficiencies, said a lawyer.
Ernst called for data on such weaknesses. To date, there has been no real evidence of a deterioration in quality, he said. The number of appeals against registered applications was slightly declining, as were the abolition and the "destruction rate" was negligible. "The mere fact that more patents are granted does not mean that the quality suffers," he told the patent lawyers.
The EPA auditor and trade unionist Elizabeth Hardon, who was put on the air by Battistelli in 2016, recalled that deficiencies in quality will only be apparent in a few years in follow-up nullity proceedings. The trade unionist at the MPI expressly welcomed the fact that others are standing up to criticize the work situation at the EPO. "We have not been heard for years," she said.
Patentsystem in the Crisis Reto Hilty, Managing Director of the MPI for Innovation and Competition, does not see any increase in the number of patent applications, which is in the patent system. The researchers, who have long been talking about a "crisis of the patent system" are observing a regular race for high numbers of registrations in China, the USA and Europe.
Ernst also spoke in his speech at the MPI. Thus, the United Nations is intensively discussing access to vital drugs medically impaired by patents. The official, however, called the relevant UN report "unilateral" and "not pointing in the right direction." The controversial issue of bioprocessing has not yet been finalized, as the EPO is currently negotiating a new opposition procedure against the patenting of beer. At the top of the agenda of the Federal Ministry of Justice is finally a consultation on standardessential patents.
Update, 14.10.2017 16:30 clock:
Name of Elizabeth Hardon.
 (Monika Ermert) /




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