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10.20.15

German Broadcaster on European Patent Office (EPO) Preferential Treatment for Microsoft and Others

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO headquarters

Summary: The EPO’s discriminatory practice when it comes to patent examination — a practice that began after Microsoft had pressured the EPO — is now mainstream news in Germany

SEVERAL days ago, the Bavarian Munich-based public-service radio and television broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk (established in 1924), which boasts a circulation of very many people, covered and commented on one of the latest among many EPO scandals. It’s so close to the EPO’s headquarters that management of the EPO cannot simply ignore this, or hope that the bad publicity will go away.

English and French translations of the article from Bayerischer Rundfunk have been published by SUEPO and we have made a copy in case the EPO’s management attempts takedown (with legal threats), as it has done so before to SUEPO. Takedown efforts tend to have the inverse/opposite effect, as the Streisand Effect serves to remind us all.

Here is the English translation of the report [PDF]:

European Patent Office: Preferential treatment for Microsoft, Canon & Co.

Microsoft and nine other major clients are said to be in line for a “better service” as part of a pilot project at the European Patent Office, according to an internal memo leaked by the “Techrights” blog.

By: Roland Münzel

Status: 13.10.2015

Among the big names who can expect preferential treatment from the European Patent Office (EPO) are BASF, Bayer, Canon, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Microsoft, Philips, Qualcomm and Siemens. Whether Huawei and Samsung will join them is still undecided.

Preferential treatment for big businesses

The planned special treatment for the companies named was leaked from an internal EPO memo dating from February 2015, which the Techrights blog has now posted on the Net. According to this, the Patent Office is aiming to run a pilot project from April 2016 initially with ten major clients for a year, providing them with an improved “Esprit de Service”, so as to strengthen the bonds with them.

Chosen because of close contacts

The leaked document indicates that the reason behind this is that the companies listed were among the biggest applicants for patents in 2013. The range extends from 600 applications from Microsoft to 2,833 from Samsung. The selection was apparently based on the “strength of the existing contacts”, which should make rapid implementation of the pilot project easier. More companies could then reap the benefits of the project in the second half of 2016.

Patent applications put on hold for extended periods

The memo implies that the EPO department involved with information and communications technologies is behind the project. Microsoft have apparently lodged complaints there about 450 patent applications which it seems have not been dealt with for a considerable period of time. Canon are also said to have referred to applications which have been “blatantly delayed”.

“Techrights” publishes an internal EPO-Memo [techrights.org]

SUEPO says that “JUVE reports on the decision of the Administrative Council (AC) to refer the disciplinary case of the suspended member of the Boards of Appeal (BoA) to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA). The AC did not follow the proposal of Mr Battistelli, which was in flagrant breach of Art. 23(1) EPC, to fire the suspended member.

“The social conflict has escalated further with the investigation in relation to a complaint filed with the Investigative Unit (IU) by Elodie Bergot, Principal Director Human Resources, against staff representatives and accusing Elizabeth Hardon, Munich Chair of SUEPO and the Local Staff Committee.”

The EPO’s ringleader, Mr. Battistelli, wanted to break the law again. But this time he failed. It doesn’t mean that he has quit trying; right now he and his goons are attacking this suspended member of the Boards of Appeal with gross character assassination, having done similar things to damage the dignity and reputation of Elizabeth Hardon, who has served the Office for nearly 30 years. In the process of this bullying they also seriously harmed her health, based on a letter she sent. Battistelli and his ilk should be held legally accountable for this.

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