EPO Corruption Compared to FIFA Corruption While ‘Control Risks’ Helps EPO Hide/Suppress Evidence of Corruption; Calls on German Authorities to Crack Down on Both
Military- and mercenaries-connected company contracted by Battistelli to attack perceived ‘risk’
Summary: As German authorities express eagerness to crack down on corruption calls emerge for action against the Munich-based EPO, where Battistelli acts like an out-of-control autocrat who tries to silence the media and conceal information about Topić’s and his own abuses
The EPO tried to reassure staff that it was obeying the law whilst attacking the media after it had hired a military-connected company to spy on critics (we are still under heavy DDOS attacks at this very moment and many of the offending addresses have historically come from within Lockheed Martin). It’s not going to help the EPO because they are merely sinking deeper in a scandal which they themselves started. The EPO is now cracking down on sources of information (about abuse) rather than crack down on sources of abuse at the EPO. It’s symptomatic of the last, miserable effort by an abusive autocracy to defend itself from the public. The days of the EPO (in its current shape and roster) ought to be numbered, but only if governments actually do their job and intervene. The EPO is structured like a lawless state within a state, but surely it is not entirely immune to outside scrutiny. An thorough (and independent) investigation is long overdue. The German authorities are best equipped to do so.
Read this new comparison from football and software lobbyist Florian Müller. He compares the abuses at FIFA to the abuses at the EPO, naming for example the corruption. To quote one portion: “FIFA officials have been linked to bribery for many years. If you’re interested in the longstanding history of corruption in soccer, I recommend this book: “FOUL! The secret world of FIFA: Bribes, vote rigging and ticket scandals” by Andrew Jennings. One of the officials arrested last month, Jack Warner, also features prominently in that masterpiece of investigative journalism. However, as far as criminal charges (whether they will ultimately be proven is another question in all those cases) are concerned, the EPO also has its Jack Warner and his name is Željko Topić. You can read about the related allegations and accusations on Wikipedia, TechRights, IP-Watch and other sites.
“So, Battistelli is visiting the place where alleged corruption from his right-hand man (many criminal charges with a court’s ruling serving to reinforce this) has truly become a headache. How telling…”“If the Administrative Council of the EPOrg was as concerned about the reputation of the EPO as the supervisory bodies of honorable organizations are, they would have ousted a vice president at the latest after he lost a Croatian court case trying to prevent a journalist from making certain claims. But with little attention in mass media (at least outside of Croatia), he can stay in office, which says a lot about the mentality of the decision-makers there. Do you believe the European Central Bank would let a vice president stay in office after being accused of counterfeiting? What this EPO vice president is accused of is the IP equivalent of what counterfeiting would mean for a banker.”
Here is the EPO calendar. The next meeting of the Administrative Council (the President’s guardian rather than independent overseer) is on the 24th and 25th of June — a meeting to take place in Munich, Germany. We have incidentally heard from our sources in Zagreb that Battistelli is planning a visit to the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office (together with Željko Topić) in July.
So, Battistelli is visiting the place where alleged corruption from his right-hand man (many criminal charges with a court's ruling serving to reinforce this) has truly become a headache? How telling…
Going back to Müller’s comparison, there is a part in it which alludes to paid (planted) articles and extravagant awards which we last covered a few days ago. He writes: “When “non-profits” like FIFA and the EPO control billions of dollars/euros, they inevitably look for ways to spend them in ways that could be characterized as self-aggrandizement. They hire famous architects to design new buildings for them, and they throw expensive parties. Here, again, FIFA’s Ballon d’Or award ceremony at least serves an obvious and legitimate commercial purpose, while the EPO’s European Inventor Award is a major disgrace in ethical terms. I agree with the criticism voiced in this IPKat post. This is indeed a “dangerous compromise of principle.” The EPO must be neutral, but it is not. Instead of taking measures that would really contribute to patent quality, it compromises the process as a whole. It crosses the line all the time between what is appropriate for a governmental organization and behavior that would only be acceptable for a private enterprise.”
In Germany, tells us a reader, action is now needed. “The Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas calls for more resources for the parliamentary oversight of intelligence services,” to quote directly. “Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas (SPD) has called for a more comprehensive monitoring of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND). ’We need the whole activity of the BND subject to democratic control’, Maas said the ’Welt am Sonntag’.’ There must be no lawless areas for secret services.’”
What about the EPO and the bullies it hired to assault the rights of staff? Not to mention an attack on journalists and news sites…
Christoph Ernst is brought up as well. A reader told us that this “German Ministry of Justice is also responsible for oversight of the EPO through its national delegate on the EPO’s Administrative Council, Dr. Christoph Ernst.”
There is a lot of interest in cracking down on FIFA corruption (timing chosen for arguably political and partisan reasons), but what about the EPO?
“What a pity Heiko Maas doesn’t seems to show the same level of interest in the oversight of the EPO,” tells us a reader. “At least he has “tweeted” his intention to combat corruption in the world of football” (“Korruption darf im Fußball keinen Platz haben. Vorwürfe gg #FIFA müssen endlich umfassend aufgeklärt werden. Fußball kein rechtsfreier Raum.”), leading to press coverage such as “German justice minister urges new start at FIFA without Blatter”.
FIFA has had a reputation for corruption for quite some time (probably decades if not just years), but the EPO is going down the same route and a crackdown on it shouldn’t take as long as it took to tackle FIFA. █