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

11.03.15

More European Politicians Take on the EPO for Ignoring the Rule of Law

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Marc TarabellaSummary: The wrath of European politicians remains a problem for Benoît Battistelli and his team (Team Battistelli), which has thus far used a political fluke to claim immunity from the law and even snub court rulings

OVER A HUNDRED European politicians have already complained about the EPO’s scandals, but little has actually happened politically. Not much has been practically changed. Law enforcement cannot do much because the EPO — as odd as it may seem — enjoys immunity. The EPO’s management therefore ignores the law and ignores court orders. It’s like the Mafia.

Marc Tarabella,” wrote SUEPO earlier today, “a Belgian member of the European Parliament has posed questions to the European Commission” and a translation into English [PDF] was provided as follows. Quoting Tarabella (shown above):

Parliamentary questions

29 June 2015

Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Marc Tarabella (S&D)

E-010497-15

Subject: Serious problems of governance in the European Patent Office (EPO)

Attempts have been made recently to alert public opinion to the particularly harmful social climate that has prevailed for several months in the EPO (expulsion of trade unions, harassment, multiple suicides, invasion of privacy, etc.). The situation has become very worrying for the 7 000 people employed by the EPO, who are facing extreme pressure from management, which is imposing intolerable productivity targets on employees without even offering them the minimum guarantees provided for under national labour laws.

The Hague Court of Appeal, in a decision dated 17 February 2015, ruled that trade union rights had been seriously breached and urged the EPO to amend its internal rules. However, EPO President Benoît Battistelli rejected this ruling under the pretext that it would violate the EPO’s immunity.

The EPO therefore seems to be unacceptably abusing its status as an international organisation in order not to provide the basic guarantees of European democracy.

1. What is the relationship between the Commission and the EPO?

2. Knowing that the Commission sets great store by respect for fundamental rights in Europe, where does it stand in general terms on these issues?

Original language of question: FR

Last updated: 1 October 2015

Legal notice

Another (much more recent) question was also translated into several languages [PDF]. The English translation, much like the above, shows that the main concern is the EPO ignoring the rule of law:

Motion by Gesthuizen/Kerstens concerning adherence by the European Patent Organisation to international legislation – Adoption of the budgetary statements of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (XIII) and the Animal Health Fund (F) for 2016 – Main content

Lower House of the States General

Session year 2015-2016

34 300 Adoption of the budgetary statements of the Ministry of Economic Affairs
XIII (XIII) and the Animal Health Fund (F) for 2016

MOTION BY MEMBERS GESTHUIZEN AND KERSTENS

Proposed 15 October 2015

The House,
having heard the deliberations,
is of the opinion that the conduct of directors of international organisations which has no relationship to their international representation but which does result in a breach of national rules, should not be covered by diplomatic immunity;

finds that in April 2014 the government presented a Plan of Approach with measures No. for taking more severe action against persons with diplomatic immunity who have 22 breached the law of the Netherlands,

finds that those measures only address traffic fines and criminal offences and do not address breaches of employee rights as established at the European Patent Organisation by the Court;

requests the government, within the limits of the treaties, to do all that is possible to
force the European Patent Organisation to adhere to international legislation,

and proceeds to the order of the day.

Gesthuizen

Kerstens

Parliamentary paper-34300-XIII-22 ISSN 0921 –
Lower House, session year 2015-2016,

7371 The Hague 2015
34 300 XIII, no. 22

Recall the political interventions back in July and back in March or thereabouts (after Battistelli had arrogantly waived the law). The pressure on the EPO’s management is increasing; severe action is just a matter of time because these scandals simply cannot be swept under a rug.

Incidentally, watch how ‘transparency’ works at the EPO. Earlier today David Brophy wrote that “the issue of poisonous priorities (and poisonous divisionals) is the subject of a referral to the European Patent Office (EPO) Enlarged Board of Appeal which is pending under reference G 1/15. [...] According to an announcement appearing yesterday on the EPO website, but carrying a date of October 2 (is this an error, the IPKat wonders, given that the date is exactly one month prior to the website publication date?), the President has decided to stay all proceedings before examination or opposition divisions where the outcome depends entirely on the answers that the Enlarged Board may give in G 1/15.”

Revisit what we wrote earlier today about the relentless attacks on the Enlarged Board of Appeal. Outside scrutiny cannot be tolerated, as if the EPO is a country of its own, governed (without elections) by a few managers with big egos. Their reaction to anyone who dares to question their conduct is similar to that of the Saudi government. EPO managers derive their confidence from the silly immunity, whereas the Saudi regime derives it from the oil it sits on top of.

European politicians need to work together to put an end to the lawlessness of the EPO. No organisation should be exempted from laws, human rights guidelines and so on.

“The government is not trying to destroy Microsoft, it’s simply seeking to compel Microsoft to obey the law. It’s quite revealing that Mr. Gates equates the two.”

Government official

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

A Single Comment

  1. pinguinpat said,

    November 4, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Gravatar

    Marc Tarabella (PS) is in the opposition right now. The government nor the main press give any attention on the subject. The extreme right/right government won’t mind corruption at EPO, since that might harm the pro TTIP stand.

What Else is New


  1. Inverting Narratives: IAM 'Magazine' Paints Massive Patent Bully Microsoft (Preying on the Weak) as a Defender of the Powerless

    Selective coverage and deliberate misinterpretation of Microsoft's tactics (patent settlement under threat, disguised as "pre-installation of some of the US company’s software products") as seen in IAM almost every week these days



  2. The Sickness of the EPO – Part I: Motivation for New Series of Articles

    An introduction or prelude to a long series of upcoming posts, whose purpose is to show governance by coercion, pressure, retribution and tribalism rather than professional relationship between human beings at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  3. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part VII: EPO Hypocrisy on Cancer and Lack of Feedback to and From ECPC

    The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC), which calls itself "the largest European cancer patients' umbrella organisation," fails to fulfill its duties, says a source of ours, and the EPO makes things even worse



  4. Links 21/2/2017: KDE Plasma 5.9.2 in Chakra GNU/Linux, pfSense 2.3.3

    Links for the day



  5. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's Wall

    Battistelli's solution to everything at the EPO is exclusion and barriers



  6. The 'New' Microsoft is Still Acting Like a Dangerous Cult in an Effort to Hijack and/or Undermine All Free/Open Source Software

    In an effort to combat any large deployment of non-Microsoft software, the company goes personal and attempts to overthrow even management that is not receptive to Microsoft's agenda



  7. PTAB Petitioned to Help Against Patent Troll InfoGation Corp., Which Goes After Linux/Android OEMs in China

    A new example of software patents against Free software, or trolls against companies that are distributing freedom-respecting software from a country where these patents are not even potent (they don't exist there)



  8. Links 20/2/2017: Linux 4.10, LineageOS Milestone

    Links for the day



  9. No, Doing Mathematical Operations on a Processor Does Not Make Algorithms Patent-Eligible

    Old and familiar tricks -- a method for tricking examiners into the idea that algorithms are actual machines -- are being peddled by Watchtroll again



  10. Paid-for UPC Proponent, IAM 'Magazine', Debunked on UPC Again

    The impact of the corrupted (by EPO money) media goes further than one might expect and even 'borrows' out-of-date news in order to promote the UPC



  11. Lack of Justice in and Around the EPO Drawing Scrutiny

    The status of the EPO as an entity above the law (in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and so on) is becoming the subject of press reports and staff is leaving in large numbers



  12. Links 19/2/2017: GParted 0.28.1, LibreOffice Donations Record

    Links for the day



  13. The EPO is Becoming an Embarrassment to Europe and a Growing Threat to the European Union

    The increasingly pathetic moves by Battistelli and the ever-declining image/status of the EPO (only 0% of polled stakeholders approve Battistelli's management) is causing damage to the reputation of the European Union, even if the EPO is not a European Union organ but an international one



  14. Patent Misconceptions Promoted by the Patent Meta-Industry

    Cherry-picking one's way into the perception of patent eligibility for software and the misguided belief that without patents there will be no innovation



  15. As the United States Shuts Its Door on Low-Quality Patents the Patent Trolls Move to Asia

    Disintegration of Intellectual Ventures (further shrinkage after losing software patents at CAFC), China's massive patent bubble, and Singapore's implicit invitation/facilitation of patent trolls (bubble economy)



  16. Links 17/2/2017: Wine 2.2, New Ubuntu LTS

    Links for the day



  17. Bad Advice From Mintz Levin and Bejin Bieneman PLC Would Have People Believe That Software Patents Are Still Worth Pursuing

    The latest examples of misleading articles which, in spite of the avalanche of software patents in the United States, continue to promote these



  18. Patents Are Not Property, They Are a Monopoly, and They Are Not Owned But Temporarily Granted

    Patent maximalism and distortion of concepts associated with patents tackled again, for terminology is being hijacked by those who turned patents into their "milking cows"



  19. SoftBank Group, New Owner of ARM, Could Potentially Become (in Part) a Patent Troll or an Aggressor Like Qualcomm

    SoftBank grabbed headlines (in the West at least) when it bought ARM, but will it soon grab headlines for going after practicing companies using a bunch of patents that it got from Inventergy, ARM, and beyond?



  20. Technicolor, Having Turned Into a Patent Troll, Attacks Android/Tizen/Linux With Patents in Europe

    Technicolor, which a lot of the media portrayed as a patent troll in previous years (especially after it had sued Apple, HTC and Samsung), is now taking action against Samsung in Europe (Paris, Dusseldorf and Mannheim)



  21. Michelle Lee is Still “in Charge” of the US Patent System

    Contrary to a malicious whispering campaign against Lee (a coup attempt, courtesy of patent maximalists who make a living from mass litigation), she is still in charge of the USPTO



  22. Our Assessment: EPO Wants a Lot of Low-Quality Patents and Low-Paid Staff With UPC (Prosecution Galore)

    The European Patent Office seems to be less interested in examination and more interested in facilitating overzealous prosecution all across Europe and beyond; The Administrative Council has shown no signs that it is interested in profound changes, except those proposed by Battistelli in the face of growing resistance from staff and from ordinary stakeholders



  23. Links 16/2/2017: HITMAN for GNU/Linux, Go 1.8

    Links for the day



  24. Yet More Complaints About the European Patent Office in the Bavarian Regional Government

    Some German politicians do care about the welfare of EPO staff, a lot more so than the EPO's management that is actively crushing this staff



  25. EPO Staff Representatives to Escalate Complaint About Severe Injustices to the EPO's Secretive Board 28

    In a new letter to President Benoît Battistelli it is made abundantly apparent -- however politely -- that Battistelli's gross abuses could further complicate things for Battistelli, who is already embroiled in a fight with his predecessor, Roland Grossenbacher



  26. New Survey Reveals That High Patent Quality, or Elimination of Bad Patents, is Desirable to Patent Holders

    A new survey from Bloomberg BNA and AIPLA reveals that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which still grows in prominence, is supported by people who have themselves gotten patents (not those who are in the bureaucracy of patents and self-serving politics)



  27. Open Patent Office is Not the Solution; Ending Software Patents is the Solution

    Our remarks about the goals and methods of the newly-established Open Patent Office and what is instead needed in order to combat the menace that threatens software development



  28. New Scholarly Paper Says “UK’s Withdrawal From the EU Could Mean That the Entire (Unitary Patent) System Will Not Go Into Effect”

    A paper from academics -- not from the patent microcosm (for a change) -- provides a more sobering interpretation, suggesting quite rightly that the UPC can't happen in the UK (or in Europe), or simply not endure if some front groups such as CIPA somehow managed to bamboozle politicians into it (ratification in haste, before the facts are known)



  29. Patent Trolls Update: Rodney Gilstrap Maintains His Support for Trolls, MPEG-LA Goes Hunting in China, and Blackberry Hits Nokia

    A roundup of the latest news about patent trolls and what they are up to in the United States, Europe, and Asia



  30. Guest Post: EPO, an Idyllic Place to Work

    The true face of the EPO as explained by an insider, recalling the history that led to the negative image and toxic work atmosphere


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts