10.13.15

EPO Management is Running Out of Time as More Media Remarks on Its Abuses

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even the British and English-speaking media started to cover the scandals from Germany and the Netherlands

Big wheel

Summary: The terrible policies and the atrocious behaviour of the EPO’s management is gradually becoming too widespread an issue, leading to a lot more media coverage and with it public scrutiny

THE EPO is in shambles due to EPO abuses. More accurately, it is the management that comes under fire, for coercing smart patent examiners into doing their job improperly while not exercising their very basic rights. The examiners are not tolerating this abuse, which is why there is an EPO staff protest right now (at the very time of writing this), in front of the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs.

You know something is clearly amiss when most EPO staff (yet to be confirmed) leaves the building to demonstrate against the employer.

There is a mischievous PR effort under way to colour EPO staff “happy”. Not even the most cynical among people would find this funny. This is something that we intend to respond to in our next post. It is rapidly becoming widespread knowledge that EPO is managed by corrupt or corruptible individuals, who prioritise the needs of very large (and mostly foreign) corporations, as a matter of policy. The EPO was supposed to be run in the public’s interest (the European public). Some people compare the EPO to FIFA, but the EPO is in many ways worse than FIFA and a lot more people are involved (or complicit) in the racket. The general public would be a lot more interested in this scandal if it involved soccer/football rather than something ‘geeky’ like science.

“It is rapidly becoming widespread knowledge that EPO is managed by corrupt or corruptible individuals, who prioritise the needs of very large (and mostly foreign) corporations, as a matter of policy.”Yesterday Techrights was mentioned in Germany’s biggest IT news site and this was also mentioned a lot in social media sites (where there are ongoing discussions about it). To quote Stefan Krempl’s report (in German): “Das Blog “Techrights” hat ein internes Memo des Europäischen Patentamts veröffentlicht, wonach das Europäische Patentamt zunächst zehn großen Antragstellern in einem Pilotprojekt einen “besseren Service” bieten will. [...] Dem Techrights-Blogger Roy Schestowitz erscheint das Vorgehen in vielerlei Hinsicht mehr als fragwürdig. Zum einen verhalte sich das EPA mehr und mehr nicht wie eine zwischenstaatliche Behörde, die sich dem öffentlichen Dienst verschrieben hat, sondern wie ein Unternehmen. Zum anderen sei nicht nachvollziehbar, wieso gerade viele außereuropäische Konzerne von der “VIP-Behandlung” profitieren sollten. Eine Stellungnahme der EPA auf Anfrage von heise online steht zur Stunde noch aus.”

“You know something is clearly amiss when most EPO staff (yet to be confirmed) leaves the building to demonstrate against the employer.”There is also coverage in English coming, based on our understanding (reporters who say so). The EPO is already embarrassed in its main headquarter’s country, Germany, but not many people around the world can read German. Florian Müller, who lives neat the EPO, wrote that “Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states the following: “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.” But the EPO doesn’t believe in human rights and is, as Dr. Schestowitz accurately notes, run like a private, profit-maximizing enterprise as opposed to an honorable institution properly applying the law. I’ve previously likened the EPO to FIFA, but with the latest evidence I almost feel like I have to ask FIFA for an apology for this comparison, given that different standards must be applied to a sports body vs. a government institution in charge of a key area of commercial law. FIFA doesn’t rig soccer matches, at least not the extent the EPO’s leadership compromises the patent granting process.

“The general press should take much more of an interest in the EPO’s corruption. Yesterday I was pleased to see that Heise online, Germany’s leading IT news site, has written about this after reading the TechRights story.”

Müller previously suggested to some EPO staff that if they cannot overthrow — so to speak — the corrupt management, then they should at least consider working elsewhere (committing suicide works to one’s own detriment, obviously). There is already brain drain being reported.

“What’s this about pay-grade? It’s a military term, often misappropriated by civilians who are avoiding an ethical decision. It’s a good excuse in the military: politicians are accountable for the decision to enter a war, while the military are oath-bound to follow orders at pain of court-martial and possibly execution, and are only accountable for the conduct of the war.”

Bruce Perens, former Debian leader

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This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2015/10/13/epo-patent-spin-in-europe/

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