Monday, 16 December 2013

Changes Ahead

As some of you already know, I have very recently been appointed technical member of a Board of appeal. This is both a great honour and an enormous pleasure to me. I wish to thank all of you who have sent their congratulations by e-mail or via the blog.

Obviously, this appointment means that I can no longer be an EPC case law blogger.

Does this mean that the blog will come to an end?

Not necessarily. Perhaps some reader(s) would like to continue the work. If so, please let me now by sending me an e-mail (oliver.randl[@]

I have three remarks in this respect:

First, I think it would be more reasonable to have a team of bloggers rather than a single person. A one-decision-per-day blog is a heavy workload. I am quite a bête de somme and I think that more reasonable people would want to carry a lighter burden.

Secondly, I have to warn you that this work is relatively unrewarding. You will have trouble (the blog even brought me before the disciplinary instances of the epi once) and not much gratification other than some new friends all over Europe (some of which will remain pseudonymous) and the certainty that wherever you go in patent circles some nice fellow will come and tell you that (s)he enjoys the blog. So if you want to do this work, it should be out of love for the case law and the desire to be of service.

Thirdly, I would recommend that rather than pursuing K’s Law you start your own blog. This would free you from all the constraints that come from an existing structure. For instance, you might want to abandon the graphical design and have a bright background rather than a black one; this would involve a tremendous amount of work on K’s Law if you intended to maintain the previous 1300+ posts, which would become more or less unreadable on a bright background. So I think it would be wiser to start a new blog and send me the URL, so that I can inform the K’s Law readers about the new offer.

If no one comes forward, then the blog will indeed become inactive in a few weeks.

All in all, it was quite a pleasure to serve you. I hope that the blog will have made some of you discover the joys of studying the case law. 

Keep readin’.




Myshkin said...

Many congratulations!!

So you have not become a persona non grata after all ;-)

I will miss this blog.

oliver said...

Thanks, Myshkin. That is quite a compliment.

Rimbaud said...

Félicitations, Oliver !
Of course, I feel both happy and sad. We will definitely (and indefinitely) miss your blog and your (risky) wit.
Keep on latinizing after moving to this new position.

MaxDrei said...

Very pleased for you, when I read that being a Technical Member will be giving you such pleasure. Congratulations.

I was struck that you see this blog as a service to its readership. That's how I see it too, a very valuable and useful service. Your DG3 decision-writing will also be a service to your readership but, from now on, you will be getting paid good money for that service. I think that we shall be getting good value for that money. Best wishes in your new role as judge.

oliver said...

@Rimbaud: Great to see you are still around the blog! We could have used more of your poetic input.

@Max Drei: You have been a great commentator. Whenever there are long threads of comments, you can be sure there is some Max Drei in it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think it was Alec Clelland who recently appealed for more professional representatives to consider becoming members of Boards of Appeal. So, congratulations Oliver! A well needed balance to offset the promoted examiners who seem to go out of their way to refuse applications or revoke patents on the flimsiest arguements imaginable.

Anonymous said...

This actually affects my workflow, as a n00b. Good luck and let's see what will happen.

DrZ said...

Many congratulations on your appointment. I do hope this blog continues as it is a very valuable resource

MaxDrei said...

Oliver if you have time, before you start judging, please read:

a book that I'm reading and one which will scare the shit out of any cogitative European patent attorney because it reveals alarmingly how in the real world the First Member of an OD (or even the Rapporteur of a TBA) will reach their Decision.

As the NYT reports of the book:

David Hume, the Scottish philosopher who notoriously said reason was fit only to be “the slave of the passions,” was largely correct. E. O. Wilson, the ecologist who was branded a fascist for stressing the biological origins of human behavior, has been vindicated by the study of moral emotions. Even Glaucon, the cynic in Plato’s “Republic” who told Socrates that people would behave ethically only if they thought they were being watched, was “the guy who got it right.”

Haidt's marvellous metaphor is that of the elephant (emotion) and its rider (reason). Once the elephant is under way, there is precious little the rider can do to change ist course. His role is that of the consigliere, to supply irrefutible reasons why the elephant's course was the correct one. And the reasoning parts of the brains of judges are very often those of brilliant lawyers.

Read and quake, brothers and sisters in the patent attorney profession. Put your faith in the discourse between i)the case manager and ii) the other two members of the OD or the TBA. Cross your fingers, that those other two members are brave enough to interrogate the elephant. Oliver, if you get into an discussion with a DG3 colleague, and the colleague seems to be less than completely rational about the issue, the book explains why that is. After all, we are all only human.

Unknown said...

Oliver: That's not a nice Christmas present for addicted readers like me. But I am very happy for you. Many thanks for all the work you have done.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! We will miss all your hard work on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations ! Maybe you can keep on publishing articles of a general nature, such as any changes whatsoever to the EPC or EPO procedures on 1/4/2013.

Suleman said...

Congratulations! Thank you for your hard work and diligence. Providing a forum for EPO decisions to be commented on from different perspectives was a very valuable service. And the altruistic nature of this was exemplary.

Anonymous said...


as one who did not know that you had been appointed (but as a contributing factor to your ability to let the blog readers know), I think that the appointment could not have happened to a nicer man. Although readers have benefited from your blogging to a huge degree (mainly because unless you are in a large practice or patent department there are not many opportunities to discuss case law), you seem to have taken on this task for the fun of it. And it will have sharpened your wits as well as your ability to condense dense language.

The other commenters (the 13 before me) have all written good wishes, and I permit myself to join them. As a memento, I would like to bring this gem of prose that I am sure in reality guides all of us, although few are able to follow:

"Der Verfasser sieht sich einleitend dazu gezwungen, explizit an den beinahe verpflichtenden Charakter einer Lektüre allfälliger Fußnoten zu gemahnen, welche in mehr als einem Falle die unerlässliche Prämisse zu einer korrekten, respektive den Intentionen des Schreibenden adäquaten Exegese des eigentlichen Textes darstellen und mit essentiellen Informationen equipiert sind, welche das Kolorit dieses Essays in entscheidenster Weise prägen."

Happy colouring!

Best wishes,

George Brock-Nannestad

oliver said...

Again, thank you all for your kind words. Now let us stop the eulogies: I am not dead yet. ^^

@George: thanks for the quote, I like it.

Anonymous said...

Mazal Tov !!
i hope you will manage to keep the material available on the internet, i became used to search on this very precious database


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the daily dose of case law, it was very useful and (even) enjoyable to keep up with your well-crafted blog.
Good luck in the Boards.

Anonymous said...

K's Law is always the first site I check on the internet each morning. Fantastic work over the years! Thank you! Good luck working for the other side.

Jeremy said...

Congratulations and all the best. Thanks for the hard work on the blog.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for our daily dose of EPC case law. I am addicted to it and ithas helped me showing off to my colleagues on several times. Further, I have been hevily promoting your site to my CEIPI students.

I wish you all success and wisdom as a TBoA member.

Bart van Wezenbeek

Luis Ferreira said...

Best of luck and thanks for everything. Splendid work it was, really useful stuff.

Anonymous said...

bonjour Oliver

Félicitations pour ton nouveau poste à l'OEB !

Ton blog va manquer à beaucoup de dans la profession, sois-en sûr !

A bientôt donc à l'OEB sans doute !

Bien à toi,

Thierry Senninger