02.19.15

Gemini version available ♊︎

EPO Staff Protests Against Benoît Battistelli’s Lowering of Patents Quality (Scope Expansion and Software Patents for Profit)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The UK-IPO’s controversial stance on software patents won’t help the EPO, either

Royal Wedding reception British Consulate-General Munich
Source: Royal Wedding reception British Consulate-General Munich

Summary: A protest in Munich in less than 6 days will target Mr. Sean Dennehey, who has helped Battistelli cover up his abuses and crush legitimate critics, whom he deemed illegal opposition as if the EPO is an authoritarian regime as opposed to a public service which taxpayers are reluctantly (but forcibly) funding

A LOT is happening at the EPO today, or put another way, a lot is happening to EPO management today. The management must be scared. It’s used to scaring the staff (reign of terror), but these roles have been inevitably reversed. It’s a sort of “blowback”. EPO management is being taken to court (so that it cannot gag staff anymore) and earlier today we published our longest article (yet) about the Vice-President of the EPO, shedding light on why some people want him imprisoned.

“The management must be scared.”Now comes this report from Germany about an imminent protest in Germany, targeting the British Consulate as it did the Danish Consulate in Munich. To quote the first report we have found about this:

Since December, I’ve been following the labor and human rights conflict at the European Patent Office and the debate over judicial independence. I’m less concerned about particular people holding certain positions (TechRights’ Dr. Roy Schestowitz covers those issues in detail) than fundamental, structural deficiencies that have allowed judicial independence at the EPO to wither. And when patent examiners warn that patent quality is in jeopardy, I tend to listen carefully.

The Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) has announced another demonstration. It will take place in Munich next Wednesday. EPO staff will march to the British consulate (on January 24 they went to the Danish consulate) and hope to meet the British Consul-General in Munich. It makes sense that SUEPO talks to the national governments that are ultimately responsible for what’s going on at the EPO. The British government has also just received a letter from the UK’s Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) that IPKat reported on. That’s definitely an awareness-raiser.

[...]

I have the impression that the EPO staff is genuinely concerned about patent quality. It appears to me that these people really want to be able to do a good job (that they can be proud of), and their perspective on their job is that they have to serve the public interest by rejecting bad patent applications. I’m not saying that this is the only reason they oppose Mr. Battistelli’s reform agenda, but at the very least it’s a significant and credible part of the consideration, not just a pretext.

It sure sounds like EPO staff is opposing software patents in Europe because Battistelli does not care about quality of patents, only about money. The document published at Google’s Blogspot and Scribd states the following:

Ortssektion München . Local Section Munich . Section locale de Munich

12.02.2015

su15009mp – 0.2.1/0.3.2/0.2.2

NEXT DEMONSTRATION WEDNESDAY 25 FEBRUARY 2015

How many patents does Europe need?

At the beginning of 2015, staff of the EPO is faced with demands for massive increases in production (up to 20%) at the same time as a further worsening of their working conditions. The EPO receives some 150.000 patent applications a year, of which roughly one-third (35 %) come from the EPO member states and two-thirds (65 %) from outside Europe1. Despite the EPO’s very healthy financial situation2, Mr Battistelli’s main policy aim for the Office seems to be to make it more “efficient”. According to staff, efficiency is not an aim by itself: it is subordinated to the Office’s duty, as a public service, to examine patent applications thoroughly and to refuse any “bad” patents that would otherwise be a nuisance, in particular for the many European small and medium-sized enterprises that cannot afford expensive litigation. Mr Battistelli’s single-minded focus on “efficiency” and cost cutting is not in the interest of Europe!

March to the Danish consulate
On 24 January 2015 some 1000 colleagues braved the freezing cold for a demonstration in front of the Danish consulate in Munich. Staff reproaches the EPO’s Administrative Council headed by Mr Kongstad, a Dane, for its failure to exercise due oversight over the President of the EPO, its failure to fulfill its duty of care towards EPO staff by allowing unacceptable employment law to be imposed on staff, and its lack of transparency towards the EPO’s users and the general public. More information here 3.

The demonstration was reported in the Danish press. The Danish newspaper “Jyllands-Posten” published a rather critical article4 of 3 pages entitled “Raging war at the EPO”. An English translation can be found by scrolling through the document.

Wednesday 25 February 2015 – March to the British consulate
The next demonstration will be aimed at the British consulate. Mr Sean Dennehey5 (UK), member of the British delegation, is a major player in the Administrative Council. He was also recently re-elected6 chairman of the Patent Law Committee for a three-year term, starting on 30 March 2014. Like Mr Kongstad, Mr Dennehey is member of the “Board 28”,

________________________
1 http://www.epo.org/about-us/annual-reports-statistics/statistics/filings.html
2 In 2013 and 2014, the EPO had an operating surplus of over 300 million Euros.
3 http://munich.suepo.org/archive/su15006mp.pdf
4 http://www.suepo.org/public/ex15056cp.pdf
5 Biography of Mr Sean Dennehey: https://www.gov.uk/government/people/sean-dennehey
6 139th meeting of the AC: http://www.epo.org/news-issues/news/2014/20140328.html


the ultra-secretive think-tank of the Administrative Council. The Board 28 met this week to discuss and probably decide upon the future of DG3.7 Mr Dennehey actively supports and defends the reforms of Mr Battistelli, which increasingly deny EPO staff fundamental rights that are taken for granted by all other European citizens. Mr Dennehey also supports the Office in trying to suppress8 public discussion about the suspension of a Member of the Boards of Appeal while leaving space for Mr Battistelli to express his view of the events behind closed doors.

We wish to alert the British government to the problems in the EPO and the role played by the British delegation. We hope to be able to meet the British Consul-General, Paul Richard Heardman, to ask for his support.

What are our claims?

As with the previous march, we claim9 for

  • Rule of Law,
  • Freedom of Association and
  • Honest Negotiation of our work package.

But we do not forget the mission of the EPO as a public service created for the benefit of the citizens of Europe. That is why we continue to defend

  • quality in search and examination as well as
  • more transparency in the governance of the EPO.

The demonstration will start in front of the Isar building on Wednesday 25 February at 12.10h. We expect to arrive at the British consulate (Möhlstraße 5) at 13.15h.

We invite all staff to participate.

SUEPO Munich

“Mr Battistelli made it clear that, in his view, action is now expected and that academic models and debates, however interesting, are not enough to answer the priorities expressed by the Council. Ms Brimelow called for a measured approach in matters that are by essence of deep and long-term relevance.” [...]

“Both Mr Battistelli and Mr Kongstad stressed that the March Council conclusions were clear enough to enable the rapid development of proposals. Priority on increased output should be the leading consideration. It is no longer time for consultation, but rather for action and a real sense of urgency should prevail.”

Board 28 meeting of 6 May 2009 (B28/8/9)

________________________
7 139th meeting of the AC: http://www.epo.org/news issues/news/2014/20140328.html
8 http://www.cipa.org.uk/pages/whatsnew/article?B3DF31C2-BF7B-4885-831F-B4832AB5C690
9 What does EPO staff want? http://www.suepo.org/public/su14286cp.pdf

I will be in Singapore when the protest takes place, so sadly enough Techrights won’t be able to cover these protests until some time next month. We are sure that some British press will give it a good mention, accessible to English-speaking audiences all around the world. The demise of Battistelli’s tyranny is hopefully near; it seems unavailable and imminent.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 8/12/2021: Linux 5.15.7 Out, Linux Mint 20.3 is Near

    Links for the day



  2. Links 8/12/2021: Zorin OS 16 Milestone and Calculate Linux 22 Released; Kubernetes 1.23

    Links for the day



  3. A Call for Sources and Whistleblowers From Microsoft's GitHub

    Remarks on our publications from this morning and a call for more leakers and whistleblowers, who know GitHub better than anybody else (including lots of fools who still outsource all of their hard labour to Microsoft through GitHub)



  4. [Teaser] Rape is Not a Joke

    Having just uploaded a police report, we’re starting to move the ongoing series to the next phase, which will still be — for the most part — weekly installments on Mondays (for months to come)



  5. [Teaser] Meet Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley

    Alex Graveley, a serial abuser, has been protected by Microsoft; what does that say about Microsoft and about Nat Friedman, GitHub’s CEO whom Alex considers his "best friend"? Stay tuned as we have plenty more to show



  6. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 07, 2021



  7. Links 8/12/2021: FreeBSD 12.3, EasyOS 3.1.13, and WordPress 5.9 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  8. [Meme] EU Assurances

    The EPO‘s staff cannot be blamed for losing patience as elected public representatives completely fail to do their job (with few exceptions)



  9. Clare Daly (GUE/NGL) Does What Every Public Official in Europe Should Have Done About EPO Shenanigans

    There’s another (new) push to hold the EPO accountable, seeing that the overseers clearly do not do their job and instead cover up the abuses



  10. Links 7/12/2021: Firefox 96 Beta and Fedora 37 Abandons ARMv7

    Links for the day



  11. Links 7/12/2021: Plasma Mobile Gear 21.12 and Tails 4.25

    Links for the day



  12. All IRC Logs Now Available as GemText Over Gemini Protocol

    Today we've completed the transition from plain text over gemini:// to GemText over gemini:// for IRC logs



  13. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, December 06, 2021



  14. [Meme] Rowing to the Bottom of the Ocean

    The EPO‘s Steve Rowan (VP1) is failing EPO staff and sort of “firing” workers during times of crisis (not at all a crisis to the EPO’s coffers)



  15. EPO Gradually Reduced to 'Fee Collection Agency' Which Eliminates Its Very Own Staff

    Mr. Redundancies and Mr. Cloud are outsourcing EPO jobs to Microsoft and Serco as if the EPO is an American corporation, providing no comfort to long-serving EPO staff



  16. Linux Foundation 2021 Annual Report Made on an Apple Mac Using Proprietary Software

    Yes, you’re reading this correctly. They still reject both “Linux” and “Open Source” (no dogfooding). This annual report is badly compressed; each page of the PDF is, on average, almost a megabyte in size (58.8 MB for a report of this scale is unreasonable and discriminates against people in countries with slow Internet connections); notice how they’re milking the brand in the first page (straight after the cover page, the 1991 ‘creation myth’, ignoring GNU); remember that this foundation is named after a trademark which is not even its own!



  17. Links 7/12/2021: OpenIndiana Hipster 2021.10 and AppStream 0.15

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft “Defender” Pretender Attacks Random Software That Uses NSIS for installation; “Super Duper Secure Mode” for Edge is a Laugh

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  19. Links 6/12/2021: LibreOffice Maintenance Releases, Firefox 95 Finalised

    Links for the day



  20. “Wintel” “Secure” uEFI Firmware Used to Store Persistent Malware, and Security Theater Boot is Worthless

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  21. No Linux Foundation IRS Disclosures Since 2018

    The publicly-available records or IRS information about the Linux Foundation is suspiciously behind; compared to other organisations with a "tax-exempt" status the Linux Foundation is one year behind already



  22. Jim Zemlin Has Deleted All of His Tweets

    The Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin seems to have become rather publicity-shy (screenshots above are self-explanatory; latest snapshot), but years ago he could not contain his excitement about Microsoft, which he said was "loved" by what it was attacking. Days ago it became apparent that Microsoft’s patent troll is still attacking Linux with patents and Zemlin’s decision to appoint Microsoft as the At-Large Director (in effect bossing Linus Torvalds) at the ‘Linux’ Foundation’s Board of Directors is already backfiring. She not only gets her whole salary from Microsoft but also allegedly protects sexual predators who assault women… by hiring them despite repeated warnings; if the leadership of the ‘Linux’ Foundation protects sexual predators who strangle women (even paying them a salary and giving them management positions), how can the ‘Linux’ Foundation ever claim to represent inclusion and diversity?



  23. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IX — Microsoft's Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot Sought to be Arrested One Day After Techrights Article About Him

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley has warrant for his arrest, albeit only after a lot of harm and damage had already been done (to multiple people) and Microsoft started paying him



  24. The Committee on Patent Law (PLC) Informed About Overlooked Issues “Which Might Have a Bearing on the Validity of EPO Patents.”

    In a publication circulated or prepared last week the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO explains a situation never explored in so-called 'media' (the very little that's left of it)



  25. Links 6/12/2021: HowTos and Patents

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 05, 2021



  27. Gemini Space/Protocol: Taking IRC Logs to the Next Level

    Tonight we begin the migration to GemText for our daily IRC logs, having already made them available over gemini://



  28. Links 6/12/2021: Gnuastro 0.16 and Linux 5.16 RC4

    Links for the day



  29. Links 5/12/2021: Touchpad Gestures in XWayland

    Links for the day



  30. Society Needs to Take Back Computing, Data, and Networks

    Why GemText needs to become 'the new HTML' (but remain very simple) in order for cyberspace to be taken away from state-connected and military-funded corporations that spy on people and abuse society at large


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts