[ffii] European Patent Office censors Spanish contributions to its 2023 public consultation

Benjamin Henrion bhenrion at ffii.org
Mon Jun 24 15:18:58 CEST 2019

European Patent Office censors Spanish contributions to its 2023 public consultation

PRESS RELEASE — [ Europe / Spain / Patent / Democracy / Censorship / Economy ]

Madrid, 24 June 2019 – The European Patent Office (EPO) has censored
contributions to its public consultation 'EPO2023' from spanish companies and
citizens. The EPO wanted input from the public on how they could "improve"
themselves, but failed to be inclusive.

Seven contributions were refused on the basis that the EPO only accept
contributions from the public only in its official three languages: English,
German, French). Apparently, other contributions in Dutch were also .

The first form was already biased as the EPO considered all companies to be
"patent applicants", so a normal company interested in to participate had to
tick the option "other" instead of "company".

The EPO2023 plan also aims to spread its harmful practice to grant software
patents to other parts of the globe, under lobbying of the other patent
offices (IP5) of China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States.

Benjamin Henrion, President of FFII: "Apparently not all stakeholders were
welcomed to participate, because they speak a different but European language.
No matter if as worldwide widely used languages as Spanish, Italian or
Portuguese. This is a failure."

He continues: "With the coming Unitary Patent, the EPO is doing a partnership
with Google to get rid of Spanish as a legally binding language for patents.
The EPO and its member states must comply with the European Convention on
Human Rights (ECHR), which prohibits discrimination of languages."

He remembers the opposition at the EPO: "When FFII Spain opposed the Amazon
one-click patent 10 years ago, they were denied an official live translation
to Spanish, while others were provided a live translation to German. The EPO
said they could pay for it if they wanted one."

Other public groups, such as "No Patents on Seeds" were heavily criticizing
the EPO structure in their submission: "While the stakeholders participating
at the Administrative Council meetings such as BUSINESS-EUROPE or EPI are
heavily weighted in favour of vested interests in obtaining patents, other
civil society organisations are not represented at all. As a consequence, the
European Patent Organisation has to be seen as an institution designed to just
push for patents to satisfy particular vested economic interests; there are no
independent controls in place, nor any participation from broader public in
the relevant meetings. Consequently, the EPO is driven largely by its own
budgetary interests and its affiliated patent industry."

Henrion finishes: "If citizens and companies of Europe cannot have access to
the EPO, we must get rid of it!"


* EPO2023: list of accepted contributions, 7 out of 22 contributions were
* 'filtered': https://www.epo.org/about-us/office/consultation.html#tab3

* EPO2023: EPO consider all companies as patent applicants, 'normal' companies
* have to tick 'other': https://twitter.com/zoobab/status/1126811375337123840

* EPO2023 public consultation:
* http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponot.nsf/0/931F1C2A8C94B16EC125838B004725D4/$FILE/EPO_Strategic_Plan_2023_draft_en.pdf

* Techrights: The European Patent Office is a Global Threat, Not Just a Threat
* to Europe http://techrights.org/2019/06/06/epo-a-global-threat/

* Techrights: EPO Spreading Patent Extremists’ Ideology to the Whole World,
* Now to South Korea
* http://techrights.org/2019/06/13/epo-as-agent-of-corporate-occupation/

* EPO2023: No patents on Seeds submission:
* http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponot.nsf/0/8C1A0ABD4D38E2CEC12583D600407D56/$File/No_Patents_on_Seeds_10052019_en.pdf

* Richard Stallman: "The EPO is a corrupt and malicious organisation which
* should not exist"
* http://stopsoftwarepatents.wikidot.com/forum/t-150096/stallman:the-epo-is-a-corrupt-and-malicious-organisation-whi


Alberto Barrionuevo, OpenTIA, alberto.barrionuevo at opentia.com, +34 918 38 38 58
Benjamin Henrion, FFII Brussels, bhenrion at ffii.org, +32 484 566109

About FFII

The FFII is a not-for-profit association, dedicated to the development of
information goods for the public benefit, based on copyright, free
competition, and open standards. More than 1,000 members, 3,500 companies and
100,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public
policy questions concerning exclusion rights in data processing.

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