Summary: Earliest coverage of yesterday’s protest against EPO corruption and abuses
THE EPO — like Microsoft — spies on people for business reasons, not for security reasons. Staff of the EPO decided to protest again, as we wrote earlier this week, and Microsoft Florian was there to document it.
Florian Müller, who used to lobby against software patents before defecting (Microsoft and other companies paid him for this), was there at the scene to cover the protest. “Yesterday,” he wrote early this morning, “the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) held a demonstration in front of the EPO’s main building in Munich. While there have already been various other SUEPO demonstrations in Munich, a couple of which I reported on, yesterday’s protest had a new (though not exclusive) focus: surveillance by means of hidden cameras and keyloggers. Participants in the demonstration carried signs showing surveillance cameras…”
There is an estimate of the number of staff in attendance. “It appears credible to me,” he said, that “approximately 1,000 EPO employees participated — a fairly high percentage of all Munich-based EPO staff.”
There are some photos there to prove it (without people’s faces, obviously for their own protection, knowing Benoît Battistelli’s modus operandi).
Separately, the London-based patent lawyers’ blog IP Kat warns us of the threat of UPC looming over the UK:
But first, a digression, which may be of more general interest than the specifics of the particular consultation. The IPKat, ever eager to seek news for his dear readers, took the opportunity to ask whether there was any truth in the speculation that has appeared repeatedly in comments on this blog and elsewhere that the current UK Government might delay ratification of the UPC Agreement until after the UK Referendum on membership of the EU, which is not scheduled until 2017. The Intellectual Property Office, as it turns out, has an answer prepared for this question, and the IPKat is delighted to share it with you.
The horrible UPC (making patents even worse and more wide-reaching) is trying to creep into Europe as quickly as possible (while the public is mostly asleep). The EPO is largely responsible for this and more scrutiny is needed. It’s similar to those awful ‘trade’ agreements, but awareness among the public is severely lacking. █
“Staff at the European Patent Office went on strike accusing the organization of corruption: specifically, stretching the standards for patents in order to make more money.
“One of the ways that the EPO has done this is by issuing software patents in defiance of the treaty that set it up.”