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01.11.15

The EPO Connection Now a Liability as Administrative Council Has Become a Laughing Stock, Jesper Kongstad to be Targeted by EPO Staff Protests

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: How the EPO constructed an unaccountable tyranny through which to act without any outside scrutiny, not even internal scrutiny, e.g. from the Administrative Council (AC)

OUR MANY ARTICLES about misconduct and misbehavior at the EPO go several years back. The EPO is not only emulating the USPTO‘s corporate patriarchy (things get better in the US these days) but is also borrowing a page from totalitarian regimes by appointing crooks to top positions while assaulting oversight. It’s like a state within a (super)state, the European Union. There is no accountability, definitely not to European citizens, let alone their elected officials.

Our coverage about EPO corruption wasn’t the first of its kind. Battistelli’s Jesper Kongstad connection was even noted in an article from the middle of last year — an article that said:

Back in 2010, when Benoît Battistelli was first appointed as President of the European Patent Office (EPO), there was a certain lack of transparency in the election process. As a blog post by IAM Magazine reported at the time, mischievous rumours quickly emerged from the EPO staff union newsletter (PDF link) to fill the vacuum of information regarding the circumstances of Mr Battistelli’s appointment.

Battistelli’s original contract was negotiated in secret with Mr Jesper Kongstad, the then Acting (and now actual) Chairman of the Administrative Council. It was rumoured, intriguingly, that the contract specified that Mr B’s place of employment was the Parisian suburb of Saint Germain-en-Laye (the town of which he was deputy major, the spiritual home of football team Paris Saint-Germain and the birthplace of Louis XIV, the Sun-King), and that it contained an annex granting him full pension rights at the end of his five-year contract. While Merpel, whose nine lives invariably make any sort of pension annuity unaffordable since the pension must last so much longer than expected, can see the attraction of having full pension rights after a relatively short employment stint, she wonders what advantage or reason could lie behind deeming Mr Battistelli’s place of employment to be 700 km west of where his office is actually located, if there is any substance behind that improbable rumour. The union newsletter, SUEPO Informs, also reported that Mr Kongstad refused to show the final contract negotiated with Mr Battistelli to the Administrative Council (‘AC’), despite repeated requests by its apparently quite powerless members

“Google, for instance, has been stuffed using some puff piece of both Battistell and Kongstad.”Florian Müller, who insists that it has been a while since Microsoft last paid him, recently wrote that the Administrative Council of Kongstad is a sham. “Instead of exercising oversight,” he wrote, “that body is largely responsible for the banana republic that the EPO has become.”

He also told us that “on [SUEPO] they’ve announced a new demo, this time in front of Kongstad’s country’s embassy” (Denmark).

“I just checked,” he added, “it’s the Munich consulate to be precise (embassy would be in Berlin). I may go there, take pictures and report.”

Here is the original announcement.

Searching the Web for information about the Battistelli-Kongstad connection isn’t too helpful. Google, for instance, has been stuffed using some puff piece of both Battistell and Kongstad. “Managing IP,” says one activist site, “is the magazine which published the controversial interview of Mr Battistelli and Mr Kongstad on 19 December 2014.”

They have a lot to cover up or lie about. We have already refuted many of their claims (responses to softball questions). The relationship between Battistelli and Kongstad, as evidenced by the joint interview, helped reaffirm if not expose a complete conflict. Merpel at IP Kat recently said: “Even the renominations in the December AC meeting, announced in the 12 December Communique, were, Merpel understands, only those for members whose term would expire before the next AC meeting. According to Article 11(3) EPC, second sentence **, these re-appointments require only the consultation, not a proposal, from the President. Previously, these re-appointments have been confirmed well in advance of the 5-year deadline. What is the cause, or intended effect of this brinkmanship? A worrying but plausible conclusion is that it is to make the Members concerned more biddable as their term comes up. Any such pressure, whether subtle or overt, would of course completely conflict with accepted principles of judicial independence.”

This speaks not only about the AC but also the Boards of Appeal. Basically, the EPO now has merely an illusion of separation of powers.

The EPO is something that acts a bit like the Kremlin. It hides behind European flag, symbolism, etc. and has among its staff people from different nations; in practical terms, it’s like a country (or cult) within a country and it is run by crooks who work hard to eliminate anyone not belonging to the cult. We urge our readers in Germany and EPO staff to attend protests until the issues are rectified and the EPO regains some sense of legitimacy.

Links 11/1/2015: Forgetting Munich, Firefox KDE Wallet

Posted in News Roundup at 12:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • ‘Linux Advocates’ Throws in the Towel

    Under Schmitz, the site was nothing if not eccentric. Although it lost its “mainstream” appeal (as much as a site focusing on FOSS can be said to be mainstream), it seemed to have gained a following of readers who appreciated Schmitz’s often confrontational style.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Is Formally Invited To Become An SPI Project

        Following last month’s failed vote due to not having a quorum, SPI on Thursday voted to officially invite the X.Org Foundation to become an SPI associated project. X.Org would live under the SPI umbrella and let the organization take care of its managerial tasks so the X.Org Foundation board and members could focus more on the actual development.

      • The GTX 970/980 Maxwell GPUs Light Up With Nouveau On Linux 3.19

        This weekend I got around to trying out the GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 “Maxwell” graphics cards with the Linux 3.19 kernel now that there’s initial support for these new GPUs via the open-source Nouveau DRM driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Firefox KDE Wallet for KF5

        I have a good news for Firefox and Plasma 5 users: I ported KDE Wallet password integration extension to KDE Frameworks 5!

        It seems to me that this plugin is unmaintained because both the released version and the SVN one do not support Firefox 33 or newer. So, as first step I took Guillermo’s code and bumped the Firefox version.

      • KDE Version Of Linux Mint 17.1 Released

        In late November was when the MATE and Cinnamon editions of Linux Mint 17.1 were released while today finally marks the official availability of the KDE spin of Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca.

      • Using Krita for ARC comics

        First off we want to thank all the work put in by developers to maintain Krita, and the community that helps to fund and push Krita. At the risk of sounding really cliché, you all help to make our dreams, and many others’dreams, come true!

      • Curses! … I mean, Cursors!

        In the upcoming release of Plasma we’ve done some work on the humble cursor; we’ve added a few missing states, and there will also be a brand new “snow” version, along with minor tweaks to the existing Breeze cursors. But me being lazy and the merge window having closed, there are a great many more cursors which haven’t made it into this release, so I’m putting them here for everyone to use and redistribute.

      • Foursquare checkins via KDE tools

        This post was inspired by another article written by Damián Nohales. During his GSoC work at the GNOME project in the previous year he integrated the Foursquare service into this environment so users can make checkins from their laptop or PC.

      • KDE Frameworks 5.1 & Plasma 2.1 – First Impressions

        Today I took the plunge into the next-generation KDE desktop, performing a dirty upgrade from Kubuntu 14.04 to 14.10 before installing the plasma-5-desktop package; and this is my first impression of KF5.x and Plasma 5. This is also a bit of a primer, because when Plasma 5.2 enters the stage I’m interested to see the comparison and do a second write-up, using my experience in both 5.1 and 4.x as points-of-reference.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • FreeBSD Finishes Switching Over To GNOME 3.x

        FreeBSD GNOME developers have had various GNOME 3.x components in the FreeBSD Ports repository for months, and with GNOME 2.x now being decommissioned by this BSD operating system, the GNOME3 X11 desktop has replaced GNOME2 on the DVD install media script.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • Arch Family

      • Manjaro Linux – Works For Me!

        Enter Manjaro Linux. This was one of the last distros I’d tried during my hopping days that I really thought had some potential. Based on Arch, which has a lot going for it to begin with, and with extremely well written and maintained documentation and helpful forums, Manjaro is an attractive option, maybe even for the Linux neophyte. I liken it to what Mint does for Ubuntu, in that it polishes things up nicely, adds some useful software out of the box, and makes the installation a breeze. Arch itself can be a scary install requiring lots of reading and step by step, piece by piece building of your system. Manjaro does most of the dirty work for you, especially if you know which desktop you want from the get-go. I knew I wanted KDE, so I grabbed that and was off to the races.

    Leftovers

    • Science

      • Hard landing scutters intended reusable rocket

        The Falcon rocket landed too heavily on the barge and broke apart, according to SpaceX founder Elon Musk, while the unmanned Dragon cargo capsule went into orbit.

        [...]

        “Rocket made it to drone spaceport ship but landed hard,” he wrote on Twitter, adding “no cigar this time,” so that the 14-story rocket could be reused unscathed for future launches.

        [...]

        NASA has generally had to rely on Russia’s Soyuz capsules to ferry astronauts to the ISS since retiring its aging shuttle fleet in 2011.

        Last month, the agency successfully tests a version of its next-generation, long-distance Orion spaceship on a short flight.

        On board ISS is a crew of three Russians, two Americans and an Italian.

      • ‘Close, But No Cigar’: SpaceX Rocket Lifts Off and Lands With a Crash

        SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket that successfully put a Dragon cargo capsule in orbit on Saturday, but its unprecedented attempt to land the uncrewed rocket’s first stage at sea ended with a crash.

    • Security

    • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

      • France’s most wanted woman, Hayat Boumeddiene ‘on the run’ in Syria: Reports

        The mugshot provided by the police shows a sleepy-eyed young woman, her face and brown hair showing, whom they had questioned in 2010 about Coulibaly.

        She is suspected of being Coulibaly`s accomplice in the murder of a policewoman in southern Paris on Thursday, during a massive manhunt for two brothers who a day earlier massacred 12 people at the offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

        Police also suspect she might have been involved in Coulibaly`s supermarket hostage-taking, though she was not identified among the dead or wounded.

      • George Zimmerman Arrested, Allegedly Threw Wine Bottle at Girlfriend

        Florida authorities say George Zimmerman, whose acquittal of murdering an unarmed black teen sparked a national debate on race and self-defense laws, has been arrested for allegedly throwing a wine bottle at his girlfriend.

        The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office says the 31-year-old Zimmerman was arrested for aggravated assault in Lake Mary about 10 p.m. Friday and is being held at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility.

        Zimmerman was released on a $5,000 bond Saturday afternoon. At a court appearance earlier Saturday, he was ordered to avoid contact with the woman, who was not identified.

      • The Day CIA Failed to Un-beard Castro in His Own Den

        But, as art imitates life from a bygone era, the plan to kill the North Korean leader harkens back to the days in the late 1960s and 1970s when scores of attempts were made by U.S. intelligence services to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro, including by hired Sicilian Mafia hitmen.

        The hilarious plots included an attempt to smuggle poisoned cigars into Castro’s household and also plant soluble thallium sulphate inside Castro’s shoes so that his beard will fall off and make him “the laughing stock of the socialist world.”

      • President Obama’s New Policy on Cuba Could Be a Good Start

        In 1992 Miami Herald commentator Andrés Oppenheimer won a Pulitzer Prize for his book Castro’s Final Hour, thus giving “new meaning to the words final and hour,” as the late filmmaker and writer Saul Landau would wryly remark many years later. Fidel Castro would survive 11 U.S. presidents, at least eight [PDF] CIA plots to assassinate him, and a few premature obituaries, and live to see world’s most powerful country finally give in and recognize — in principle, at least — Cuba’s right to national self-determination.

      • When the United States Government Broke Relations with Cuba

        From December 1959, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) worked on numerous projects to assassinate Fidel Castro, even before Eisenhower approved a military invasion. By early February 1960, the United States government had given the CIA the green light to organize an invasion force to be trained in Guatemala and Nicaragua, then ruled by two brutal right-wing dictatorships. Meanwhile, counterrevolutionaries inside the island received training and resources such as incendiary bombs from the CIA to stage terrorist attacks in Havana and other urban areas while fast boats and airplanes engaged in constant sabotage of economic and coastal facilities from bases in south Florida. The Cuban authorities continuously denounced the incursions, the plots and the policy of violence and harassment.

      • Conservative Hypocrisy on the Cuban Embargo

        We are witnessing classic conservative hypocrisy with their predictable opposition to the lifting of the 54-year-old U.S. embargo against Cuba. That includes many Latin American conservatives who have come to view the U.S. government as their “papasito” and who are now lamenting that the U.S. government might no longer be intervening on their behalf in Cuba.

      • Former Commander of Army Special Operations Moves to CIA

        A former commander of Army Special Operations and the officer who led the first Green Berets on the ground in Afghanistan has joined the CIA.

        Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland Jr. is the new associate director for military affairs at the nation’s top intelligence agency, the CIA announced in a statement from Director John Brennan.

      • America needs to blow up its entire intelligence infrastructure and rebuild from scratch

        We have the Windows 95 of intelligence. We need Linux.

      • US Drones, Pakistani Warplanes Kill Dozens in Tribal Areas

        The ones killed in the US strike were reportedly ethnic Uzbeks, while the ones killed in the Pakistani campaign were apparently local tribesmen. As usual, no names were provided for the slain.

        This is standard operating procedure for both Pakistan and the US in strikes in the area, as they offer little more than a vague assurance of suspicion in their killings, and never follow through except on the rare occasions when they managed to kill someone they’ve heard of.

      • The Year in Drones

        In October, the US celebrated (if that is the word) its 400th drone strike on Pakistan.

      • Drone Rules in Afghanistan Go Unchanged, And Other Reasons the War Isn’t Really Over

        Though many Americans may not have realized it, December 28th marked what the U.S. government called the official end of the war in Afghanistan. That war has been the longest in U.S. history – but despite the new announcement that the formal conflict is over, America’s war there is far from finished. In fact, the Obama administration still considers the Afghan theater an area of active hostilities, according to an email from a senior administration official – and therefore exempts it from the stricter drone and targeted killing guidelines the president announced at a major speech at the National Defense University in 2013.

      • ‘Good Kill’ Trailer: Ethan Hawke Controls Drones In New War Drama [WATCH]
      • Ethan Hawke Pilots Drones in Andrew Niccol’s First ‘Good Kill’ Trailer

        Early this year, the time travel thriller Predestination with Ethan Hawke hits theaters, but it looks like we might get a double dose of the Boyhood star because the drone pilot drama Good Kill just released an international trailer. Hit or miss sci-fi director Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, In Time) is at the helm of this film that follows Hawke as a fighter pilot who has adapted with technology and become a drone pilot. However, the task of piloting a drone for 12 hours a day and carrying out targeted kills from thousands of miles away just doesn’t feel right for the Air Force veteran. It looks like we might get some provocative political commentary on drones, not unlike what Niccol delivered with Lord of War before.

      • Pentagon Doesn’t Know How Many People It’s Killed in the ISIS War

        The American military may have launched hundreds of airstrikes on Iraq and Syria. But it’s not so sure who was on the receiving end of those bombs.

      • U.S. drone strikes continue in several countries in 2014

        The Bureau of Investigative Journalism claims that 2,379 people were killed by the strikes. The Bureau also says that only 12 percent of the victims actually identified have been linked to any militant organizations. The victims are routinely described as suspected militants.

        In October of last year Rafiq ur Rehman, a school teacher and his two young children testified before the US Congress about the death of his 67 year old mother as she gathered okra in her garden a year earlier when she was killed by a drone strike. Only five members of Congress bothered to show up.

      • Wrapping the world in war

        President Obama promised to end our ‘forever war,’ but he could leave office having wrapped the entire world in war.

        The Obama administration has adopted the view that the United States should use deadly force against its enemies wherever they are. That’s the terrifying and all-encompassing characteristic of America’s war. If enemies of the United States go to Pakistan, or Morocco, or the Philippines, the war can follow them.

      • US drone war: 2014 in numbers

        While there have been more strikes in the past six years, the casualty rate has been lower under Obama than under his predecessor. The CIA killed eight people, on average, per strike during the Bush years. Under Obama, it is less than six. The civilian casualty rate is lower too – more than three civilians were reported killed per strike during the past presidency. Under Obama, less than one.

      • Shrinking targets: Drone hits declined by 32%, says report

        The number of drone strikes carried out in Pakistan by the United States dropped by more than 32 per cent in 2014 as compared with the previous year, according to the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies’ (PIPS) Pakistan Security Report 2014. A total of 21 strikes were reported last year, killing an estimated 144 and wounding 29 over a period of six months.

      • New book eyes drone impact

        Cohn said many people don’t realize that attacks authorized by President Obama have “killed more people with drones than died on 9/11,” and that only “a tiny percentage” were al-Qaeda or Taliban leaders.

      • Opinion: Shine a light on U.S. policy of drone warfare

        An estimated 3,500 people – hundreds of them children – have been killed by drones. While some of those killed were undoubtedly violent terrorists, fewer than 50 (2 percent) were confirmed to be high-level targets, according to a study undertaken by Stanford Law School and New York School of Law. There are numerous allegations, some confirmed by reliable news sources, of entire wedding parties and extended families killed by U.S. drones.

        Also troubling is the blowback these strikes create. They may in fact produce more terrorists, more angry young people who see their families and their countries torn apart by U.S. violence. We can’t help but wonder if U.S. policy may contribute to destabilization and recruitment of terrorists.

      • Will the US Drone War End?

        With the formal conclusion of US-led hostilities in Afghanistan, new attention has been focused on the role the US will play as trainers and advisers to the Afghan National Security Forces. Specifically, what the US counterterror (CT) mission against terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda and the Taliban will look like. President Obama has already increased the residual force for 2015 adding 1,000 extra troops to the previously stated 9,800. Interestingly, commentators have been examining how the US will continue its CT campaign, which relies heavily on controversial drone strikes against known terrorist actors and their positions.

      • Drone Guidelines to Protect Civilians Do Not Apply to Afghanistan: White House Official

        Despite the December 28th “official” end of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, a new Rolling Stone article provides more proof that armed combat is nowhere near over: the Obama administration still considers the country to be an “area of active hostilities” and therefore does not impose more stringent standards aimed at limiting civilian deaths in drone strikes.

        At issue are the Presidential Policy Guidelines (pdf), passed in May 2013 in response to widespread concerns about the killing and wounding of non-combatants by U.S. drone strikes. The new guidelines impose the requirement that “before lethal action may be taken,” U.S. forces are required to attain “near certainty that non-combatants will not be injured or killed.” It is impossible to verify the impact of this reform on civilian deaths and injuries, because U.S. drone attacks are shrouded in near total secrecy.

    • Finance

    • Privacy

    • Civil Rights

    • Intellectual Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Chilling Effects DMCA Archive Censors Itself

          The much-praised Chilling Effects DMCA archive has taken an unprecedented step by censoring its own website. Facing criticism from copyright holders, the organization decided to wipe its presence from all popular search engines. A telling example of how pressure from rightsholders causes a chilling effect on free speech.

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