Alberto Barrionuevo, CEO of the small spanish software company OpenTIA and ex-president of the FFII, had submitted an amicus brief to the Enlarged Board of Appeal in spanish. The European Patent Office has notified him that they are refusing his letter because it was not written in one of the 3 official languages of the EPO (French, English or German):
From: DG3registry_eba <gro.ope|abe_yrtsiger3gd#gro.ope|abe_yrtsiger3gd>
To: Alberto BARRIONUEVO <se.aitnepo|oirraba#se.aitnepo|oirraba>
Date: Thu, 7 May 2009 15:10:18 +0200
Subject: Re: Amicus Curiae Brief contribution to referral G03/08
Any written statement filed to our proceedings should be in one of the official languages of the EPO = German, Enlish or French.
To ensure that your statement can be given due consideration you are kindly requested to file it in one of the these languages.
You may file it as a signed pdf.file or by signed fax.
Why discriminate citizens in function of their language? Basically Spain should go out of the European Patent Convention if its citizens cannot talk to the authority granting patents for their territory.
The EPO has tried automatic translation for spanish, and a while ago, I submitted a link to a spanish automated translation of the Amazon Gift patent to the es-parl discussion list (Es-parl — Coordinación y debate anti-patentes en España). Here are some of the results:
[es-parl] Automated translation of Amazon 1-click patent from english to spanish
Benjamin Henrion bh en udev.org
Mie Nov 12 14:49:48 CET 2008
Automated translation is proposed by the EPO as the magic bullet to
solve the Community Patent problem.
Can you tell me if this looks like comprehensible spanish:
It is the automated translation of the Amazon 1-click patent:
which is currently being appealed at the EPO TBA.
Benjamin Henrion <bhenrion at ffii.org>
FFII Brussels - +32-484-566109 - +32-2-4148403
Here is the answer I got:
Definitely the text is not compressible in Spanish.
It is time for EU citizens to put some sand into the EPO machine and challenge its accessibility in front of constitutional courts, or courts of human rights. Such language discrimination cannot exist at the time we want to build a patent system for Europe.
The European Patent Office is a corrupt malicious organisation which should not exist. (Applauds)