11.06.15

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The EPO’s Investigative Unit Exposed: Part IV

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A look at the background and the professional track record of the Principal Director in charge of the EPO’s Investigative Unit

IN PREVIOUS parts of this series [1, 2, 3] we looked into the roots of the shady Investigative Unit, which people inside this misguided organisation call the 'gestapo'. The Investigative Unit has earned its notoriety because of its actions, not because of some personal grudges or made up scandals (the EPO’s management likes to pretend that it’s all made up or boils down to just one single person).

John MartinToday we wish to introduce John Martin, the current Principal Director (PD) 0.6, to our readers. Neither his successor nor him is as young as the rest of the Investigative Unit’s — ahem — “agents”.

The photo of John Martin is already publicly available in Flickr and we hope that it will help politicians or staff recognise his role inside the organisation. These people are definitely not friends. To them, job “demand” is people who are either misbehaving or falsely accused of misbehaving.

A source familiar with these matters has told us that “Mr. Martin was appointed as the Principal Director of Internal Audit and Oversight (PDIAO or PD 0.6) following the retirement of Florian Andres. Previously he held the position of Director of Internal Auditing and Investigations 0.6.1 which made him the hierarchical superior of the Investigative Unit.”

Before joining the EPO, Mr. Martin worked at Eurocontrol, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation. The photo on the right (excepting people to the left of him) is from his time at Eurocontrol.

“As Director of Internal Auditing and Investigations 0.6.1, Mr. Martin was responsible for approving the controversial covert surveillance measures involving the use of keyloggers and other questionable techniques as reported by various blogs such as Techrights, IP Kat and FOSS Patents/Florian Müller (who helpfully enough published a leaked document related to this).”As far as our source is aware, “during his time at Eurocontrol Mr. Martin was the head of the Audit Unit. In this capacity, he gave a presentation at the 3rd Controlling Conference of International Public Organisations hosted by the European Court of Auditors on 8 and 9 June in Luxembourg. The conference brought together finance, resource and control managers from international and national public organisations.”

Quite ironically, for reasons we are about to explain, the subject of Mr. Martin’s presentation (still available online) on that occasion was “Audit Committees/Audit Boards/External Audit” and he explained the purpose of an Audit Committee in the following terms: “The purpose of an Audit Committee – as an independent advisory expert body – is primarily to assist the governing body, and the executive head of the [U.N.] entity and other multilateral institution as appropriate, in fulfilling their oversight and governance responsibilities, including the effectiveness of internal controls, risk management and governance processes. The audit committee must add value and must strengthen accountability and governance functions; not duplicate them.”

Given his extensive knowledge about the key role of Audit Committees in ensuring proper corporate governance, it seems rather ironic that Mr. Martin’s next career move was to join an organisation which had just decided to abolish its own recently-instituted Audit Committee as reported a year ago in Techrights.

“After his promotion to Principal Director PD 0.6, Internal Audit and Oversight‎, Mr. Martin’s main claim to fame (or should that be infamy?) at the EPO seems to have been the hiring of the London-based military-connected Control Risks Group to spy on EPO staff as reported inter alia in several of our past articles and in IP Kat.”As Director of Internal Auditing and Investigations 0.6.1, Mr. Martin was responsible for approving the controversial covert surveillance measures involving the use of keyloggers and other questionable techniques as reported by various blogs such as Techrights, IP Kat and FOSS Patents/Florian Müller (who helpfully enough published a leaked document related to this). Even the mainstream media covered this for quite some weeks (if not months) to come. It’s not even over yet because we believe there’s an ongoing investigation into it (no reports of cessation thereof exist, so German authorities still need to report about their findings).

After his promotion to Principal Director PD 0.6, Internal Audit and Oversight‎, Mr. Martin’s main claim to fame (or should that be infamy?) at the EPO seems to have been the hiring of the London-based military-connected Control Risks Group to spy on EPO staff as reported inter alia in several of our past articles and in IP Kat.

Having introduced our readers to the founder and the current head of the ‘gestapo’ (as the staff calls it), we invite readers to securely provide us with any more information they may have about it. Transparency is very important to Battistelli (warning: EPO can track the IP addresses of people who click this link), so let’s help him.

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