11.21.15

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Translation of Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann’s Article in the German Media, Urging European Politicians to Intervene in EPO Chaos and Lawlessness

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

Frankfurt media

Summary: Frankfurt-based media presents an opinion piece written by a Munich-based economic correspondent, Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann

TECHRIGHTS would like to humbly thank all those who are sending translations to be shared with readers, many of whom appear to be patent attorneys, examiners, and so on (not the senders but the readers). There is clearly a lot of interest in EPO abuses and our coverage is driven to a large degree by our many sources.

Thomas Magenheim-HörmannThe last translation that we wish to release tonight is a column from Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann, who writes for a newspaper in Frankfurt. It seems as though a lot of press from Frankfurt is critical of the EPO’s management, due to many different reasons, including legal immunity which one truly struggles to grasp. That’s just such an outlandish thing! It should be a foreign concept in a civilised Germany, unless we’re back to post-Weimar Republic era (at least inside Eponia). As Magenheim-Hörmann puts it, “what has been happening there for at least two years under the aegis of President Benoît Battistelli is a legitimate cause for alarm.”

Magenheim-Hörmann states that the patent system is important but is unable to function. “The threshold of pain has now been reached,” he writes, “and the gulf between staff and management has never been so wide. Even slow learners must have finally realised that the Office is no longer capable of returning to normality under its own steam. European politicians now have another fire to fight and they need to intervene to extinguish it as a matter of urgency.”

This is all based on a reasonably accurate translation, which we provide in full below:

19th November 2015

Immediate action required to stop the fire

by Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann

Intellectual property is a cornerstone of modern economies and the European Patent Office in Munich one of its most important guardians. In this regard, what has been happening there for at least two years under the aegis of President Benoît Battistelli is a legitimate cause for alarm.

Editorial Comment

Intellectual property is a cornerstone of modern economies and the European Patent Office in Munich one of its most important guardians. In this regard, what has been happening there for at least two years under the aegis of President Benoît Battistelli is a legitimate cause for alarm. He is implementing a reform of this institution, the details of which have not been without controversy, but nevertheless something which is the daily business of a manager. The methods employed by the Frenchman are frequently blundering and he proceeds without regard for “collateral damage”. Now an entire staff union is to be cropped, something which would be impossible in Germany, all the more so given that the allegations seem to be fabricated.

“Now an entire staff union is to be cropped, something which would be impossible in Germany, all the more so given that the allegations seem to be fabricated.”But from a formal legal perspective, the Office is not subject to national laws. It is also not an EU institution. Supranational organisations such as the European Patent Office regulate their industrial relations in largely autonomous manner. The sole supervisory organ for the management is an Administrative Council in which 38 European countries are represented. They seem to be as much at odds with each other as the EU in relation to the refugee question, all the more so given that the Administrative Council includes non-EU states.

The threshold of pain has now been reached and the gulf between staff and management has never been so wide. Even slow learners must have finally realised that the Office is no longer capable of returning to normality under its own steam. European politicians now have another fire to fight and they need to intervene to extinguish it as a matter of urgency.

Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann

Economic Correspondent, Munich

Now that three translations are out there for readers to catch up with we are ready to return to normal coverage of new material. There is a lot more to come in the month of November. We truly hope that IP Kat‘s Merpel too will have the energy to keep up and continue at last week’s pace. As one commenter told Merpel: “This is already more than we have ever received from the EPO administration, apart from the propaganda and smears, of course…”

“The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.”

Andre Gide

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