10.11.15

Leaked: EPO Prioritises Work for Large Foreign Corporations, Discrimination Not Accidental But Centrally Planned

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Canon, Philips, Microsoft, Qualcomm, BASF, Bayer, Samsung, Huawei, Siemens, Ericsson and Fujitsu receive V.I.P. treatment from the EPO, despite most of them not even being European

HOW can an outsider tell that the EPO operates like a business rather than a public service (to Europeans)? It’s simple. Just watch how, as a matter of policy (i.e. coming from above), the EPO is tossing aside patent applications of small European companies and instead researching, under pressure and in a rush (hence unlikely to find adequate prior art) for large foreign corporations, probably resulting in the granting of poor patents, due to notoriously overzealous bossing and work-induced pressure (examiners rewarded based on the wrong yardsticks) and secret corporate partnerships. It’s just wrong and it creates a toxic work environment with false goals. As the EPO is supposed to be transparent (considering the consent allegedly given by the public), we believe that the information below must be in the public domain. It compromises nobody except entities that selfishly collude.

Watch the following leaked memo. Is this the spirit of science or of business?

Memo: Closer Contact with Major Applicants

J.Scott

16/02/2015

Why is closer contact with major applicants desirable?

Both The President and VP1 have expressed the opinion that there needs to be closer contact between examiners and their applicants. We should foster a better esprit de service, not least to ensure that we do not lose workload market share to other major offices.

History

Historically, DG1 has had frequent contacts with applicants but no systematic way of approaching them or feeding back business intelligence obtained from them. Moreover, DG1 has not always passed on consistent messages to them.

Microsoft, Canon, Siemens

The ICT cluster has had close contact with both Canon and Microsoft recently and their experience has prompted the proposal for this pilot. Microsoft had 450 files which they regarded as “stalled” within the EPO. Under the auspices of Grant Philpott, Francesco Zacca and the PA KAM, together, they have found a mutually acceptable way to treat these files. Similarly Canon had a list of files which they considered excessively delayed. However, again with Grant Philpott supervising, Franco Cordera and PA KAM have started working on the first list of around 170 files. In JC EET, Jeremy Scott has initialised general and specific lectures from Siemens, their global patent strategy and specific training to examiners working in the fields of Sub-sea Connectors and Wind Turbines. At the same time, informal checks were made about what Siemens thought of the EPO way of handling their files. These are concrete ways in which the EPO’s major applicants are being facilitated through issues due to concrete contact with DG1 PDs and directors.

Proposed Pilot

It is proposed to start a pilot for ten major applicants, worldwide, lasting one year (1.4.2015-1.4.2016). The applicants will be selected by DG1 but taking into consideration input from PA, PDQM and DG5. This will be based around strong existing contacts. 5 liaison directors will be selected to deal with two major applicants each. They will be in regular contact with these applicants and will have at least one face to face meeting during the year of the pilot.

Liaison with DG2 and DG5

Patent Administration will be an integral player in this pilot project and close links to the Key Account Managers will be needed. To facilitate this PD PA will be kept fully in the loop. DG5 has been approached and informed. They will be present in the kick off meeting for the contact directors.

Benefits for DG1

This pilot will bring significant benefits to DG1:
- more efficient use of missions
- technical training
- predicting incoming workload
- targeting recruitment to the right areas
- dealing with file requests such as PACE/late files
- esprit de service
- production

Optimising Missions

Historically missions were organised on a directorate and cluster level with little coordination beyond that. Moreover, they did not always target he largest applicants, but more often the “nicer” locations. With the deployment of the Coordination Tool for External Contacts and with more directional input from the PDs, along with the experience from the liaison directors it is guaranteed that DG1 missions will be more focussed on our major applicants and delivering a better service to them.

The Coordination Tool for External Contacts

The coordination tool can provide a good starting point for coordinating this pilot. For example there can be a link with the highlighted companies so that anyone wishing to visit should first contact the liaison director to a). see if the visit can go ahead; b). check what messages should be passed or if the applicant has specific issues; c). provide a place to feedback any business intelligence gathered on the mission.

Organisational Structure

It is envisaged that there will be 5 DG1 directors, each in contact with 2 major applicants. These directors will also work closely with the appropriate KAMs. The ERG should nominate someone to oversee the whole structure, to help with harmonisation of what is done, sharing of knowledge and best practice, and to make sure everything runs smoothly. Currently it is proposed that Jeremy Scott takes on this role. He would additionally sit on the ICT group, set up by Grant Philpott in this role.

Selected Directors and Companies

Canon (22) F.Cordera
Philips (3) F.Cordera
Microsoft (28) C.Platzer
Qualcomm (9) F.Zacca
BASF (5) M.Weaver
Bayer (16) M.Weaver
Samsung (1) under discussion
Huawei (11) under discussion
Siemens (2) J.Scott
Ericsson (10) F.Zacca
Fujitsu (20)

As can be seen, the applicants selected are major ones (their ranking in terms of applications filed in 2013 is parenthesised). The lowest applicant selected, Microsoft, filed 600 applications. All in the top 12 file over 1000 and Samsung filed 2833 applications in 2013. These applicants come from different technical areas and different geographical locations to maximise the learning potential of the pilot. It can be explored as to what the EPO can do for them and vice versa. Many of these applicants have been chosen because of the strength of existing contacts, which will facilitate the speedy implementation of the pilot.

Upscaling the Pilot

If the pilot is deemed successful, the idea would be to upscale the pilot to more companies in the second half 2016. The speed at which this would be done is determined mainly by the manpower PA requires to deal with the requests.

Further Contacts/Approval

To carry out this pilot, approval is sought from VP1.

If this whole spiel sounds too familiar, perhaps it should. We wrote about this before and commented on it, explaining why this is inherently corrupt. Microsoft, as it turns out, is one among several such partners — something which Florian Müller, who had worked for Microsoft, publicly told us about.

Don’t let the EPO’s reputation be tarnished by managers who treat it like a monopolies ‘meat market’, where ‘meat’ is sold to the highest bidder.

Stay tuned as we have a lot more to come this week. We are going to assemble pieces of some other puzzles which help show just how rotten the EPO became under Battistelli’s merciless reign. Demonstrations (to be staged by staff of the EPO, as the European public is still largely uninformed) are only days away and we have more stuff to share than we can publish in just a couple of days. If any of our readers possesses additional material that they can share, please send it anonymously. In our 9-year history we never compromised a single source.

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This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2015/10/11/closer-contact-with-major-applicants-leaked/

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