10.02.15

Gemini version available ♊︎

Microsoft’s Secret Special Relationship With EPO Illustrates Serious Corruption at Microsoft and the EPO

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 4:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO and Microsoft

Summary: A big story about the EPO and Microsoft working in a sort of collusion-type setup so as to serve Microsoft’s patent agenda, which involves aggression, even against European software that is Free (as in freedom)

AS ANYONE who has read this blog for a while ought to know (even based on yesterday's post, which is very hot in Reddit right now), Microsoft viciously attacks its competition — including Free/libre software such as GNU/Linux — using software patents, even in Europe (recall the Dutch company TomTom for instance) where software patents are in principle not legal. Now we know why the EPO lets that be. It very much affects Free software and Linux, which Techrights is principally about. It also helps show how Microsoft’s dirty tricks continue, carrying on behind closed doors; Microsoft — like the EPO — thinks it is above the law.

Days ago we learned about Microsoft’s ‘special’ relationship with the EPO under Battistelli’s lead. We kept quiet about it because the security of our sources is paramount. It reminded us of Microsoft’s ‘special’ relationship with Sarkozy et al. Well, now that it’s out (Merpel posted fragments from it at 4AM this morning), we are ready to show what several sources have independently leaked to us. Comparing the material from different sources helps verify authenticity. It is largely (but not only) based on the latest SUEPO publication. There is an article about the investigation of Control Risks in there, but we’ll leave that for another article as it deals with a separate subject.

As we noted last week and also yesterday (noting that Microsoft had begun lobbying regarding the UPC, trying to shape European law despite being a US company), there is serious corruption here and it helps remind everyone in Europe who the EPO really serves. It’s all about multinational/foreign giants, not European companies (let alone European people). The EPO is grossly discriminating against small companies. It’s truly an abomination. Corruption seems to be rampant across Europe — contrary to common belief outside the EU.

Rather than bore readers with repetition of arguments and a story, we are going to highlight parts of the article from Merpel and remind readers that Microsoft exploits software patents to launch legal battles against Linux and Free software-friendly companies, despite software patents being illegal in Europe.

From the first part of Merpel’s article:

EPO queue jumping part 1 – Don’t be an SME”

“Here’s an interesting thought experiment about how patent offices should operate. Two patent applications are pending at the European Patent Office (EPO). Imagine that one was filed several years ago by Microsoft, and the other was filed at the same time by (say) an Italian SME which files “only” 10 patent applications per annum.”

[...]

“However, this pilot programme seems different, both in terms of purpose and in terms of execution. There is something imbalanced in having high-ranking EPO officials make a pilgrimage to the premises of large applicants “to ensure that we do not lose workload market share”. There is an element of bending the knee involved that makes Merpel uncomfortable.”

[...]

“The implications of this are astounding. Smaller applicants are being discriminated against because they don’t have the clout of threatening to pull their business from the EPO. But if you’re a major contributor to the EPO’s coffers, your cases will get priority at the expense of smaller applicants.

“Merpel hopes this is all untrue, but it has the “stranger than fiction” quality that is characteristic of many EPO stories that have proved accurate. Anyone who knows more and who can comply with the normal rules of comment etiquette, please do tell!”

Here are the relevant original bits:

Changing priorities in DG1 Earlier this year the Office issued two internal memos entitled “Closer Contacts with Major Applicants”. The reason given was to

“foster a better esprit de service, not least to ensure that we do not lose workload market share to other major Offices”.

We cite further:

“The ICT cluster has had close contact with both Canon and Microsoft recently and their experience prompted this pilot… The pilot started on 1.4 for ten major applicants…. For the 10 applicants, there will be one DG1 director in direct contact with one person in the company… The idea is that the DG1 director will be in regular contact … with his counterpart from the applicant and that at least once in the pilot year there will be a high level visit (PD, directors, DG2 and DG5 representatives where necessary) to the company.”

And also:

One of the early off-shoots was that directors and examiners were gently reminded that the Office had entered in a closer cooperation project with Microsoft, so could the examiners please take care of a list of [overdue] Microsoft files for which the deadline [for the examiner to issue a communication] had expired? We obviously have no problems with reminders to examiners to prioritise files that are overdue. But such reminders should cover all files that are similarly overdue, not just those of a specific applicant.

Merpel did a fine job explaining what’s wrong with the above and went on to commenting on the EPO's corruption of French media, publishing part two just 3 minutes later (at 4AM her time). To quote the outset: “Part 1 of this guide to getting your application examined earlier started with a thought experiment: should a multinational’s application get examiner more quickly than an SMEs. The answer is no, but the EPO may be subtly reminding examiners to prioritise such files nonetheless at the expense of smaller applicants. Now for an even easier thought experiment. You can do this one with your eyes closed, which of course is the recommended approach for all thought experiments anyway. Two applicants (Señor Lopez from Barcelona and Monsieur Durand from Marseille) file their patent applications at the EPO on the same day. Both applications are in the same technical area. Also, both are first filings for which the EPO is committed to providing a search report and written opinion at an early stage.”

We recommend Merpel’s original article about this. As always, with the pseudo-anonymity offered by Google’s Blogspot (in the NSA PRISM programme, which isn’t too far from Control Risks staff), there are also many comments there, sometimes from EPO staff.

IP Kat beat Techrights to it regarding this scandal not just due to lack of time (we have returned from vacation) but because we are careful not to compromise sources. IP Kat thankfully reported this corruption before we did, so if anyone gets caught, it won’t be our fault. We thought twice before publishing anything at all about this. If any of our readers can share information of value with us, please ensure anonymity (a lot more important than encryption in this case), then message roy@schestowitz.com. Provided the information does not put anyone at risk, we promise to give it the attention it deserves.

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. [Meme] Cannot Get a Phone to Work... in 2022

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ wasted hours of workers’ time just testing the phone after it had moved to a defective system of Google (proprietary); instead of a rollback (back to Asterisk) the company doubled down on the faulty system and the phones still didn’t work properly, resulting in missing calls and angst (the company just blamed the workers who all along rejected this new system)



  2. [Meme] Modern Phones

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is mistaking “modern” for better; insecurity and a lack of tech savvy typically leads to that



  3. The ISO Delusion: Sirius Corporation Demonstrates a Lack of Understanding of Security and Privacy

    Sirius ‘Open Source’, emboldened by ISO ‘paperwork’ (certification), lost sight of what it truly takes to run a business securely, mistaking worthless gadgets for “advancement” while compelling staff to sign a new contract in a hurry (prior contract-signing scandals notwithstanding)



  4. Links 26/01/2023: LibreOffice 7.4.5 and Ubuntu Pro Offers

    Links for the day



  5. Links 26/01/2023: GNU poke 3.0 and PipeWire 0.3.65

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 25, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 25, 2023



  7. Companies Would Collapse Upon Abandoning Their Original Goals (That Attracted All the Productive Staff)

    Staff with technical skills won't stick around in companies that reject technical arguments and moreover move to proprietary software in a company that brands itself "Open Source"



  8. [Meme] Listen to Your Workers, Avert Disaster

    Companies that refuse to take input from staff are doomed to fail



  9. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Understand the Company's Value Proposition (Building Systems) and Rejects Security

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has failed to sell what it was actually good at; instead it hired unqualified people and outsourced almost everything



  10. Links 25/01/2023: NuTyX 23.01.1 and GNU Guile 3.0.9 Released

    Links for the day



  11. Links 25/01/2023: Stratis 3.5.0 and Many Political Links

    Links for the day



  12. New Record Low: Only One 'Linux' Article in ZDNet in More Than Two Weeks

    Only a few years ago ZDNet published about 3 “Linux” stories per day (mostly FUD pieces); now it’s a ghost town, painted in ‘alien green’; considering ZDNet’s agenda (and sponsors) maybe it’s better this way



  13. Links 25/01/2023: Pale Moon 32.0 and DXVK 2.1

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 24, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 24, 2023



  15. ISO Certification Hardly Tackles Any of the Real Issues

    The real-world threats faced by private companies or non-profit organisations aren't covered by the ISO certification mill; today we publish the last post on this topic before proceeding to some practical examples



  16. [Meme] Medical Data Sovereignty

    What happens when your medical records/data are accessible to a company based abroad after a mysterious NDA with the Gates Foundation? The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) does not mind.



  17. The ISO Delusion: Sirius Open Wash Ltd. and Medical Data/Projects at Risk/Peril

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ was good at gloating about “ISO” as in ISO certification (see our ISO wiki to understand what ISO truly is; ISO certification needs to be more widely condemned and exposed) while signing all sorts of dodgy deals and lying to clients (some, like the Gates Foundation, were never mentioned because of a mysterious NDA); security and privacy were systematically neglected and some qualified as criminal negligence (with fines/penalties likely an applicable liability if caught/reported)



  18. Links 24/01/2023: Wine 8.0 is Ready, FSF Bolsters Copyleft

    Links for the day



  19. Azure Has Layoffs Again, Microsoft Still Cutting

    Even supposed ‘growth’ areas at Microsoft are being culled (this growth is faked, it is a lie)



  20. Links 24/01/2023: Tails 5.9 and ArcoLinux v23.02

    Links for the day



  21. Links 24/01/2023: GStreamer 1.22 and Skrooge Gets New Site

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 23, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, January 23, 2023



  23. The Inside(r) Story of ISO 'Certification' Mills

    Based on my experiences inside Sirius ‘Open Source’ — as I was there for nearly 12 years — I finally tell what I’ve witnessed about ISO certification processes (see ISO wiki for prior experiences)



  24. [Meme] ISO Selling 'Reputation' to Small Businesses (for a Large Fee)

    As we’re hoping to demonstrate throughout the week, ISO certification is, in practice, worse than worthless (just a waste of small businesses’ resources, much like patents); call it the ‘ISO tax’, an artificial barrier to entry that boils down to money



  25. [Meme] ISO Certification for Paying for Certificates on Time

    ISO is a phony authority; it makes business by issuing mostly worthless paperwork that wastes people’s time and accomplishes nothing (except making ISO in rich Switzerland even richer)



  26. The ISO Train Wreck at Sirius 'Open Source'

    Before we proceed to showing how Sirius ‘Open Source’ blatantly ignored security and privacy we wish to show how ISO (see ISO wiki) basically ‘sold’ a certificate to Sirius — this is like a “diploma mill” but something that’s for businesses, not individuals



  27. Sirius Lying About ISO to Justify Giving the Technical Staff Some Classic 'Bullshit Jobs' While Censoring/Covering Up Incompetence

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has long used “ISO” — and sometimes “GDPR” — as catch-all excuses for all sorts of nonsensical policies; does ISO realise the degree to which it is being misused by incompetent 'box tickers'?



  28. Links 23/01/2023: mozilla.org's 25th Anniversary and IceWM 3.3.1 Released

    Links for the day



  29. Report: The So-called 'Linux' Foundation is Reducing Focus on Linux

    The so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation is reducing its focus on Linux and is instead busy promoting Microsoft, Facebook, and other interests that GNU/Linux users strongly dislike



  30. Links 23/01/2023: Fwupd 1.8.10

    Links for the day


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