01.11.15

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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.

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7 Comments

  1. katkatkat said,

    January 13, 2015 at 3:14 am

    Gravatar

    Once elected, this Battistelli moved the Presidential office from the second floor to the top floor of the Isar building (of course he had to be on the top!) and had a luxury apartment made there for his own use. Imagine the costs! Of course, if Obama lived in the White House and The French President in the Elisee, he had to live in the Isar building of the EPO ! There he could enjoy immunity, privacy and receive discretely his lovers. Moreover, he could escape the rules according to which you have to reside near your place of work as he was at the same time deputy major in his home town in France, Saint Germain en Laye. An example of transparency and honesty this man! He should be fired as soon as possible!

  2. katkatkat said,

    January 13, 2015 at 3:31 am

    Gravatar

    It should be pointed out that all the above is based on rumours which however have never been denied. The 10th floor is impenetrable and there is complete lack of transparency as regards all the matters concerning Battistelli, eg the terms of his contract, his benefits, his salary etc. This favours the spreading of rumours of all kinds. It would be wiser to act otherwise especially because there is no need to keep things secret in a public service organisation as the users have the right to know where their money flows.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Not much relies on rumours. We have already shown many documents, signed by Battistelli himself, showing how he dismantled oversight.

  3. katkatkat said,

    January 13, 2015 at 6:29 am

    Gravatar

    Yes you’re right. Oversight has been dismantled and this has been documented. The whole patent community is grateful to this site for keeping Battistelli and his cronies under pressure.
    Anyone with a moral dignity would have already resigned.
    But there are strong interests involved and an inflated ego.
    The bonds Battistelli-Kongstad and Battistelli-Topic are simply scandalous.
    Anyone questioning them is threatened. The press is silenced.
    Why can’t a journalist ask Battistelli simple questions like:
    Do you live in an apartment in the EPO?
    Can you disclose your salary and benefits?
    Who pays for your weakly trips to your home village?
    Etc.

  4. katkatkat said,

    January 13, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Gravatar

    Another “special” bond is that of Battistelli with Lutz, the Vice-President for Legal and International Affairs. The latter recently in an interview with the SZ defined Battistelli’s management “excellent”. No wonder they are buddies and apparently spend also holidays together. Lutz with hid department offers legal coverage (mostly inexistent or weak) to the wrong-doings of Battistelli. Moreover, Lutz constitutes the interface with the German Ministery of Justice so that any queries with the Minister end up on his table and he provides the reassuring answer “the EPO is the best of the worlds managed by the best of the Presidents”. So do not try to complain with the Germans that on their soil legal horrors happen because In the end Lutz will be asked and he’ll defend his buddy. A shame for a country which has already seen more than a dictatorship of its soil.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I don’t know much about Lutz and his relation to Battistelli, but it does sound as though it could be relevant to future writings, so any more information about the matter would be valuable.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    There is a case involving Lufthansa and Germany’s justice system seems unwilling to send justice Topic’s way.

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