EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

10.28.15

Control Risks Group (CRG), Transparency International, the European Patent Office (EPO) Investigative Unit and the Obvious Conflicts of Interest

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 8:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Power serving Power

Control Risks

Investigation Unit

Summary: Analysis of the embedded biases inherent not just in self-acclaimed independent auditors but also union-busting, espionage-connected entities like Control Risks

THE MORE we learn about the EPO, the more appalling it looks. They have plenty to hide up there, hence they’re desperate to crush whistle-blowing and journalism.

The EPO’s witch-hunt against people is going well beyond staff. Like the CIA (based on relatively new leaks), they target “investigative journalists” and we too became a target, as we explained in previous articles, such as:

Last year we wrote about action (or lack thereof) by Transparency International, which has done virtually nothing to stop institutional abuse and serious harassment. What kind of spineless body is that?

Well, when one looks beneath the surface, Transparency International isn’t quite what it seems. People who are familiar with the pseudo-politics behind it (mostly commercial interests, not politics) shared some interesting information. “Strange links” is what they called it and these are strange connections indeed, for they serve to show that the supposed oversight or regulator is in bed (or the same bank account) with the subject/target of oversight and regulation. It’s basically a sham and it makes “Transparency International” looks like just a corporate publicity stunt, or a badge of endorsement that is paid for. To quote:

In 2014 Transparency International published a so-called “integrity study” of several EU institutions. The study analysed whether these institutions had the regulations and mechanisms in place to detect and prevent corruption. SUEPO suggested at the time that the EPO invite Transparency International to do the same for the EPO. “Transparency” seemed supportive. Not surprisingly, the EPOrg (Mr Kongstad) was quick to dismiss the idea. But obviously: “Transparency” does not really need a company or organization to welcome them in order to do a study. If that were the case, few if any deficiencies would ever be exposed. So we were a little disappointed that “Transparency” simply vanished from the scene without a trace for unclear reasons.

The German magazine “Der Spiegel” reported on various Union bashing scandals involving Control Risks, the firm that is now assisting the Investigative Unit interrogating EPO Union officials and staff representatives (see below).

Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn were amongst the clients of Control Risks. Given that background, it is surprising that Control Risks is a corporate member of Transparency International Germany, something that could easily be interpreted as a seal of approval. But there are more surprises waiting: Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn are also on the list of corporate members of “Transparency”. These corporate members pay for the honour. We are not the first to wonder whether such contributions from corporate friends could affect Transparency’s independence. The European Patent Office is fortunately not (yet?) on the list. Nevertheless: the very concept of “corporate friends” would not seem in line with Transparency’s message and mission.

Back to Control Risks: the Control Risks employee who seems to be the main consultant for the EPO (and the main interrogator) is Matthew Kinch of Control Risks Berlin. He is the co-author of an article about “Krisenmanagement im Falle einer externen Korruptions- ermittlung” (sic). Control Risks claims strict adherence to national law and to their code of ethics. We have some doubts about that. In the pending procedures Mr Kinch and other Control Risk employees cannot claim they adhere to the EPO regulations, as they are no EPO employee, but external contractor / consultant. As with all other contractors working for or at the EPO, national law remains applicable to them:

The employees of Control Risk remain bound by national law in their interactions with individual EPO staff members. This means that they should respect the broader rights given to EPO staff members by national law, e.g. right to remain silent, right to be accompanied by legal assistance of their choice, and right to know who is the accuser1.

It further means that if an EPO staff member suffers damage, e.g. undue dismissal, on the basis of material collected by Control Risks in a procedure that would be considered flawed under national German law, Control Risks can be held liable for that damage. We are currently looking into this matter.
_________
1 This right is even recognised by ILOAT, see Judgment 2014: “It is contrary to due process to require an accused staff member to answer unsubstantiated allegations made by unknown persons. The staff member is entitled to confront his or her accusers. In the present case, if the Organization was not willing to disclose the identity of the complainant’s accusers, and had no other independent evidence to rely on, the charges should not have been brought.” It is, however, happily ignored by the Investigative Unit.

As a matter of law, as pointed out in the footnote, the accused has the right to know who the accuser is. The European Patent Organisation systematically hides the supposed accuser, in an effort to intimidate and entrap people (ensuring they don’t have access to a lawyer in the interim). This may be the same kind of bullying used against Elizabeth Hardon, where there are efforts to exploit lack of awareness of the laws and therefore bring allegations against a person from a total vacuum, not a person. The European Patent Organisation is not a person but a collection of people who laughably call themselves public servants.

Next month we are going to show how the EPO does this not only in one single case. There is systemic misuse of the law and a systematic effort to crush truth-telling.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 22/5/2019: Mesa 19.0.5, Huawei and GNU/Linux, Curl 7.65.0, End of Antergos, Tails 3.14, ownCloud Server 10.2, Firefox 67.0

    Links for the day



  2. Quality of Patents is Going Down the Drain and Courts Have Certainly Noticed

    Uncertainty or lack of confidence in the patent system has reached appalling levels because heads of patent offices are just striving to grant as many patents as possible, irrespective of the underlying law



  3. EUIPO and EPO Abuses Growingly Inseparable

    'Musical chairs' at CEIPI and the EPO/EUIPO (Battistelli, Archambeau, Campinos) as well as joint reports never fail to reveal the extent to which EPO abuses are spreading



  4. Links 21/5/2019: China's GAFAM Exit, DragonFlyBSD 5.4.3

    Links for the day



  5. Links 20/5/2019: Linux 5.2 RC1, LibreOffice 6.3 Alpha, DXVK 1.2.1, Bison 3.4 Released

    Links for the day



  6. South Korea's Government Will Show If Microsoft Loves Linux or Just Attacks It Very Viciously Like It Did in Munich

    Microsoft's hatred of all things GNU/Linux is always put to the test when someone 'dares' use it outside Microsoft's control and cash cows (e.g. Azure and Vista 10/WSL); will Microsoft combat its longstanding urge to corrupt or oust officials with the courage to say "no" to Microsoft?



  7. Links 19/5/2019: KDE Applications 19.04.1 in FlatHub and GNU/Linux Adoption

    Links for the day



  8. The War on Patent Quality

    A look at the EPO's reluctance to admit errors and resistance to the EPC, which is its very founding document



  9. Watchtroll, Composed by Patent Trolls, Calls the American Patent System “Corrupt”

    Another very fine piece from Watchtroll comes from very fine patent trolls who cheer for Donald Trump as if he's the one who tackles corruption rather than spreading it



  10. Unified Patent Court Won't Happen Just Because the Litigation Microcosm Wants It

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) hopefuls are quote-mining and cherry-picking to manufacture the false impression that the UPC is just around the corner when in reality the UPC is pretty much dead (but not buried yet)



  11. Links 17/5/2019: South Korea's GNU/Linux Pivot, Linux 5.1.3

    Links for the day



  12. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 4: Happy Birthday to the Kötter Group?

    This year the Kötter Group commemorates the 85th anniversary of its existence. But is it really a cause for celebration or would a less self-congratulatory approach be more fitting? And does it create the risk that a routine tendering exercise at the EPO will turn into Operation Charlie Foxtrot?



  13. Links 16/5/2019: Cockpit 194, VMware Acquires Bitnami, Another Wine Announcement and Krita 4.2.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  14. The EPO's Key Function -- Like the UPC's Vision -- Has Virtually Collapsed

    The EPO no longer issues good patents and staff is extremely unhappy; but the Office tries to create an alternate (false) reality and issues intentionally misleading statements



  15. Stanford's NPE Litigation Database Makes a Nice Addition in the Fight Against Software Patent Trolls

    As the United States of America becomes less trolls- and software patents-friendly (often conflated with plaintiff (un)friendliness) it's important to have accurate data which documents the numbers and motivates better policy; The NPE (troll) Litigation Database is a move towards that and it's free to access/use



  16. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 3: “Ein kritikwürdiges Unternehmen”

    A brief account of some further controversies in which the Kötter Group has been involved and its strained relations with German trade unions such as Verdi



  17. EPO Had a Leakage Problem and Privacy of Stakeholders Was Compromised, Affecting at Least 100 Cases

    The confidentiality principle was compromised at the EPO and stakeholders weren't told about it (there was a coverup)



  18. Links 15/5/2019: More Linux Patches and More Known Intel Bugs

    Links for the day



  19. False Hope for Patent Maximalists and Litigation Zealots

    Patent litigation predators in the United States, along with Team UPC in Europe, are trying to manufacture optimistic predictions; a quick and rather shallow critical analysis reveals their lies and distortions



  20. The Race to the Bottom of Patent Quality at the EPO

    The EPO has become more like a rubber-stamper than a patent office — a fact that worries senior staff who witnessed this gradual and troublesome transition (from quality to raw quantity)



  21. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 2: Meet the Kötters

    An introduction to the Kötter Group, the private security conglomerate which is lined up for the award of a juicy EUR 30 million contract for the provision of security services at the EPO



  22. Links 14/5/2019: Red Hat Satellite 6.5, NVIDIA 430.14 Linux Driver and New Security Bug (MDS)

    Links for the day



  23. Links 14/5/2019: GNU/Linux in Kerala, DXVK 1.2, KDE Frameworks 5.58.0 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 1: Urgent Shitstorm Alert

    Experts at the European Patent Office's (EPO) weather observation station have just issued an urgent alert warning about a major shitstorm looming on the horizon



  25. Patents That Were Gleefully Granted by the EPO Continue to Perish in Courts

    The decreasing quality of granted European Patents already becomes a growing problem if not a crisis of uncertainty



  26. Links 13/5/2019: ExTiX 19.5 and GNU Radio Conference 2019

    Links for the day



  27. The Microsoft Guide to the Open Source Galaxy

    Thou shalt not...



  28. Microsoft Would Kill the Goose for Money

    Microsoft is just 'monetising' Open Source by using it as 'bait' for Microsoft's proprietary software; those who we might expect to antagonise this have effectively been bribed by Microsoft



  29. Links 13/5/2019: Nanonote 1.2.0, OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 RC, and GNUnet 0.11.4

    Links for the day



  30. Professionally Incompetent EPO Management

    The EPO remains an awful employer, with top-level management largely responsible for the loss of talent and even money


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