10.08.15

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The Coup D’état of Benoît Battistelli Follows an Imperialist Model, Threatens Opposition and Dissent

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli wants to ‘pacify’ the office by means of threats, bullying, and even exile

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Summary: SUEPO, the staff union, and boards that are independent from the EPO are both under attack and are constantly threatened by Benoît Battistelli and his goons

THE misconduct at the EPO is becoming an urgent issue to tackle. We wrote about patent trolls fighting against Android (i.e. Linux) in Europe just a few days ago and the UPC may soon become a reality, joining blatant injustices like the TPP.

“The EPO wants staff to blindly obey its decisions on patents and workers’ rights while the EPO itself does not obey the law.”Earlier this week the FFII’s President Benjamin Henrion wrote that “EPO does not follow the “rule of law” principle, which means any of its acts are not challengeable in front of a court” (i.e. above the law).

The EPO wants staff to blindly obey its decisions on patents and workers’ rights while the EPO itself does not obey the law. This is double standard of the highest order.

In “March of this year alone, the IPKat welcomed 212,040 site visitors,” it wrote earlier this month. Well, that’s obviously because of EPO scandals, especially the news from the Netherlands which made it a very busy month for EPO-related news. We are gratified to see that Merpel is back to covering this topic. Last week she wrote about some new developments and yesterday she wrote about Željko Topić's latest attacks on workers' rights, preceding next week's demonstration.

“We are gratified to see that Merpel is back to covering this topic.”“On this world day against software patents,” Henrion wrote, “we have to wake up sleeping Europeans against swpatv3 via the Unitary Patent Court” (UPC is just the latest among many plots or ploys that can further legitimise software patents in Europe from the back door).

“Cisco and Samsung cross-license to ignore the harm of patents,” he noted, but the “option [is] not available to small companies and developers” (it’s very much like OIN, which helps large corprations legitimise and preserve software patents, as we last explained last night).

SUEPO, the staff union at the EPO, seems eager to fight back and challenge the gangster of the management, Mr. Topić.

“Mr Zeljko Topic (VP4),” it wrote, “and Mr Raimund Lutz (VP5) issued on 2 October 2015 a Communiqué to EPO staff titled “Your rights” which was later published here by IPKat.

“SUEPO was sorely tempted to rebut the slanderous allegations of VP4 and VP5, but the public ridicule to which they are subjected speaks volumes on our behalf, see for instance the comments on IPKat.

“Based on the very latest from IP Kat, the EPO’s Battistelli is now destroying the boards (of appeal) that are supposed to provide an independent last resort when the EPO is misbehaving.”“If anyone has doubts about the legality of SUEPO’s actions or about the sincerity of the EPO’s offer of impartial legal assistance, the SUEPO committee will be happy to answer questions. At this moment, it will suffice to say that SUEPO applauds VP4 and VP5 for finally grasping the notion of the applicability of “basic fundamental rights” and “general principles of law”, and look forward to further progress reports about their seemingly ongoing study of fundamental legal doctrines.”

Based on the very latest from IP Kat, the EPO’s Battistelli is now destroying the boards (of appeal) that are supposed to provide an independent last resort when the EPO is misbehaving. As Merpel put it: “The drive to get the Boards out of Munich strikes Merpel as either deeply stupid or entirely cynical, and she doesn’t believe Mr. Battistelli is at all stupid. The purported problem identified in Mr Battistelli’s proposal to reform the Boards of Appeal was the “perception of independence”. You couldn’t, he argued, have Boards in the same building as other EPO employees whose decisions a Board might be reviewing — which is an odd argument, since there are no Examining or Opposition Divisions based in the Isar building.

“A rather more widespread perception around the EPO is that Mr Battistelli can’t bear to have the Boards in “his” building (Merpel seems to recall that they were there first, though), and/or that he wanted to teach the Boards a lesson. Even having his own private express lift from car park to the sumptuously appointed presidential floor does not always exclude the chance that he might encounter one face-to-face during his working day.

“The relationship was poisoned when the Enlarged Board decided Case R19/12, a decision about judicial independence about which Mr Battistelli was furious. You see, far from lacking independence, the real problem for EPO management is that the Boards are sometimes too damn independent and this cannot be tolerated. Yes, there’s a structural issue in how the Boards fit into the European Patent Organisation, which would require amendment of the Convention to fully remedy, but this did not seem to cause problems in practice until now. Nobody should pretend that this proposal to move the Boards out of Munich serves the interests of judicial independence. It is really the opposite: showing this group of ungrateful judges who’s really the boss, who’s in control of their careers.

“There are many things that are rotten at the EPO and the rest of the month will be spent putting some more ‘dirty laundry’ out there.”“Having established that the Boards had to get out of the current Munich headquarters, Mr Battistelli identified two options: find another building in Munich, or relocate the members of the Boards to Berlin (Vienna, which is now the front runner, appears to have been arranged behind the backs of the Administrative Council (AC) and of the Boards, since it never formed part of the formal proposal).”

So Battistelli wants them exiled like Napoleon. See what we recently (earlier this month) wrote about these attacks on the boards. There are many things that are rotten at the EPO and the rest of the month will be spent putting some more ‘dirty laundry’ out there.

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