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Spanish MEP paints the EPO as the legislator

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| The EPO Gazette reports that some MEPs members of the Legal Affairs committee
| visited the EPO in early June. Questions were raised on the democratic
| control of the Office, and how the Alicante model of the OHIM could also
| apply to the EPO. One MEP mentioned that the EPO is also taking political


Another new one:

A bunch of interesting EPO BoA decisions

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| Method and apparatus for multi player bet auxiliary game
| This decision involves a casino game which has been automated. The conclusion
| of the BoA is the most unremarkable: the invention is not patentable because
| of lack of inventive step. The remarkable part is the very good explanation
| of what inventive step, technical contrinbution and further technical effect
| means.
| They say “The Board is of the firm belief, that it cannot have been the
| legislator’s purpose and intent on the one hand to exclude from patent
| protection such subject matter, while on the other hand awarding protection
| to a technical implementation thereof, where the only identifiable
| contribution of the claimed technical implementation to the state of the art
| is the excluded subject-matter itself.” And a good quote on further technical
| effect “it needs to be stressed that the “further” technical effect can not
| be the same one which is inherent in the excluded subject-matter itself.


But... the Maximalists want to change that.


European Patent Office issued fewer patents in 2007

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| Nonetheless, the EPO staff's morale seems to have never been lower. A survey
| conducted among several thousand staff members found that only 4 per cent
| have faith in the management board. Only 6 per cent said they were satisfied
| with their direct superiors and the president. The auditors have also long
| been complaining that they are chronically overworked.


More mutual recognition talk as patent harmonisation efforts intensify

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| Essentially, these talks are about harmonising substantive patent law,
| including areas such as priority of invention, the grace period, the
| definition of prior art and loss of right provisions. However, I wonder
| whether Brimelow – who always considers her words very carefully – is hinting
| that other things may now be on the agenda. It is interesting that when she
| spoke to me about this, and also in the BBC interview, she talked about users
| of the patent system raising the issue of mutual recognition. In that way,
| any talks on the subject can be seen as being responsive and not as
| policy-makers going out on a limb.
| [...]
| And, who knows, after the In re Bilski case is finally resolved at either the
| CAFC or the Supreme Court, Europe and the US may even be a little closer with
| regard to the controversial areas of business methods and software patents.

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