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

11.22.15

President Battistelli Now Pressures/Threatens Politicians Who ‘Dare’ to Complain About Abuses and Unacceptable Conditions at the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

French politicians are not tolerating Battistelli’s patronising behaviour

Pierre-Yves Le Borgn'
Photo via Wikipedia

Summary: Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, a French politician, unleashes an angry letter from Benoît Battistelli and reveals just to what lengths the EPO’s Team Battistelli is willing to go in order to crush political backlash

THE EPO’s management is completely losing it, and it is going after politicians now, not just lawyers of staff whom it's abusing. It’s evidently fearful that political interventions will put end an to the status quo and we don’t know just how widespread this kind of response is. All we know is that Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’ has just made public (possibly without any permission) a letter that reveals the pressure he came under for merely criticising the EPO’s management. Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’ was covered here the other day and beforehand, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4]. There are similar motions from Dutch politicians and these significantly intensified lately, so we wonder if they too received such letters from Battistelli, as if he is the President of the world and no-one may ‘dare’ to question his authority, not even the French government. Who will Battistelli go after next? The European Federation of Public Service Unions? This is unprecedented and it’s almost unbelievable. Nevertheless it’s very much true and we thank Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’ for ‘leaking’ evidence.

“This is unprecedented and it’s almost unbelievable.”Linking to the original blog about it (in French), one commenter says: “Benoît Battistelli is not able anymore to accept different opinions of Unions, journalists, politicians. When you do not agree with him or have critics he becomes agressive [sic] and you soon will have a visit of the Investigation Unit. I am afraid that the protest this week with a few thousend [sic] participants inclusive directors does not imprees [sic] him at all. Benoît Battistelli believes in a conspiracy against him.Read his letter. Nice foot for a couch doctor.”

This EPO letter from Battistelli to P.-Y. Le Borgn’ has been translated for us by a reader. “You probably know that French Deputy for Overseas Citizens,” this reader told us, “wrote a letter [PDF] to the EPO regarding the recent developments concerning repression of the staff unions and the Boards of Appeal.”

We did take note of that a few days ago, but we were looking for translations at the time.

“Battistelli recently replied,” we’re told, “and the reply is published on Le Borgn’s Web site here [PDF].

“I have translated the letter from Battistelli for your information.”

“Mr Le Borgn’ has commented on his Web site,” the reader added (as pointed out above), having decided to also translate his comments as follows:

I have received an angry letter from the President of the EPO in response to the letter that I sent earlier this week to the Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Economy, Emmanuel Macron, and which I published on my website. It is right to make the letter from President Battistelli public in the same way. You will therefore find this letter attached.

Fundamentally, I deny nothing that I wrote to the Minister. I add that I do not usually allow myself to be upset, nor lectured. I am a free parliamentarian and I endeavour to be fair. It is not in denying reality and eradicating social dialogue that one builds the future. I am distressed by the messages that I have been receiving from employees of the EPO, this morning too.

I have never seen such a conflict. President Battistelli knows that a resolution is important to me. I am grateful to him for accepting the exchange with me, including in his office at Munich at the start of this year. I believe he can also understand that one can be in disagreement with him and choose, as I did last Tuesday, to make public this disagreement when one believes that this is the only way out.

Here is the letter from Battistelli himself:

Monsieur le deputé,

You publish on your website a letter addressed to the Minister of the Economy, Industry and the Digital Economy, dated 18 November 2015, in which you alert him to the “deterioration” of the situation within the EPO by mentioning certain procedures taken against staff representatives. I can only deplore most profoundly this adoption of a public stance, without prior communication with the Office and without having taken the time to familiarise yourself with all aspects of this topic.

The procedures in motion are due to serious incidents which have occurred within the staff representation during the last 18 months and to which any responsible employer must react. In fact, shortly after the election of the staff representatives in June 2014, six of decided to resign, the most striking case concerning an elected member of the central staff committee who suffered a veritable campaign of harassment due to their opinions which diverged from those of the representatives of SUEPO, the majority internal union at the EPO. The result of these actions is that all the elected representatives who did not belong to SUEPO or who expressed alternative opinions quit the staff representation.

Such a situation, which makes a mockery of the fundamental principles of freedom of expression and association, of democratic pluralism, cannot be tolerated within our organisation and investigations were commissioned with the aim of establishing the facts and responsibilities, having regard to the regulations of the EPO. Where needed, notably in case of pressuring witnesses to obtain their retraction, suspensions may be implemented. The EPO has a duty of care for all its staff and we must protect our employees, independently of their status.

In this context, your public intervention relating to these procedures which are in progress seem to me to be most damaging. First of all, it is completely false to assert that “interrogations of rare force” had been conducted. This is especially easy to prove, because these interviews are recorded. Besides, it is not acceptable to cast aspersions on the Investigative Unit of the Office, composed of mothers and fathers dedicated to a task which is often diffcult but which is indispensable in the fight against fraud, harassment and other offences which could destabilise our organisation. Finally, I fear that your public stance in favour of certain individual members of SUEPO may be seen as a form of pressuring the staff representatives who resigned, victims of actions which they reported to the administration.

These individual procedures, linked to circumscribed facts, will not detract from my intention to achieve a social dialogue, respectful of the EPO, with various social partners. In order to improve the framework, last Spring I launched an initiative aimed at formalising legally the integration of the unions within the framework of the Office. I am determined to pursue the discussions and to sign a framework agreement with any union which so desires, including SUEPO.

If the Office has truly experienced a difficult period, it is mainly due to an intense campaign of defamation conducted by certain employees, with external representation, against the management of the Office and the Administrative Council of the Organisation, wrongly accused of multiple types of misconduct. The main actor in this shameful business – a member of the boards of appeal, a specialist in IT systems – has been discovered and numerous seizures of evidence bear witness to his many crimes (amongst others, leaks of confidential documents of the Boards to an external party for profit; violations of the Office IT system; storage of Nazi propaganda and weapons in his office; a letter with racist connotations sent to a Minister of State of the EU). This person, thanks to his technical expertise, knew how to create tens of false identities, apparent owners of blogs and websites, through which he propagated defamations, insults and threats. A number of his communications were addressed to national parliamentarians, particularly French ones (yourself among them) and European ones, and petitions have even been deposited with the European Parliament.

The aims of this operation: to discredit the management of the Office, in order to damage its capacity for reform and to prevent the bringing into force of the Unitary Patent, whose management has been entrusted to the Office by the institutions of the EU. The Disciplinary Committee of the Administrative Council of the EPO seized of this issue (an independent and joint body, headed by Lord Schiemann, a renowned judge, former member of the Court of Justice of the European Union) approved all of the procedure of the inquiry and considered that dismissal of the author of these facts is required. The impact for the Office in terms of its image and reputation has been very heavy, even if certain media outlets are beginning to better comprehend the nature of the conflict (see the annexe). I understand the magnitude of this impact all the more after having read your letter.

As far as the results and performance of the Office are concerned, the year 2015 looks set to be a record year for the level of production (+13%), for the control of costs (-10%), the quality of its products and services being recognised as the best in the world by its users, according to enquiries conducted by external organisations. Such results can only be obtained by the engagement of employees who are motivated and confident in their professional lives, supported by a new career system based on performance. We have additionally seen a sharp reduction in sickness absences (-35% in 5 years), a very low level of departure (2.5% of employees per year), as well as the reinforcement of the attractiveness of the Office as an employer (more than 20 000 candidates for 200 posts in 2015). These performances permit the funding of a fair return to the employees of the office. A few examples: an average increase of +10 to 12% in salaries since 2011; a budget of 18 million euros distributed in promotions and bonuses in 2015; almost half a billion euros injected into the retirees’ reserve fund.

I have unfortunately not had the opportunity to share this information with you before the publication of your letter. My door obviously remains open to all those who testify to an interest in the EPO and the positive role it plays in the European economy. I do not doubt, given your commitment to transparency and delivering the correct information to your readers, that you will publish this letter in its entirety on your website.

Yours sincerely,

Benoît Battistelli

Our reader is not a fluent French speaker so if any of our readers wish to correct it, we would be happy for corrections to be made as we go along. We need an accurate translation. Notice how in Battistelli’s letter he pretends that it all boils down to one single employee, whom he thoroughly discredits without producing evidence. This is a mis-characterisation of the problem and an effort to extrapolate or generalise, portraying the staff as a whole as violent without producing concrete evidence. As one commenter put it, “I don’t think the problem is facts and evidence. I think the problem is the link between an accusation – “He’s an armed nazi” – and evidence to be found somewhere on a USB stick – “we have found in his office a Nunchaku and a copy of the The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William Shirer.

“I think they have the right to come back and say that “this accusation is supported by these facts”…”

Worth noting is also the following comment:

Superann probably refers to the following letter dated 20 November 2015 addressed by BB to the Member of Parliament who represents the French expats in the national assembly, Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, with copy to the Minister of Economy Emmanuel Macron:

http://www.pyleborgn.eu/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/R%C3%A9ponse-Pr%C3%A9sident-OEB.pdf

In this letter BB accuses the Member of the Board of Appeal, amongst other misconducts, of having stored arms and nazy propoganda in his room (see page 2, 3rd paragraph). These are the very accusations for which the in its recent decision stated that they were not based on any evidence whatsoever.
In support of his argumentation, BB also refers to recent press articles annexed to his letter, such as the paid-for article in EPO´s “media partner” Les Echos.

Yesterday we explained why Les Échos is not credible on these matters and we are going to revisit this subject very soon. It acts as a source of ‘placements’; it’s not real journalism if it censors its own reporters on behalf of so-called 'media partners' like the EPO.

As another comment put it: “So BB is writing letters to MPs including articles stating that the AC decided to dismiss a BoA member? Unbelievable!”

Well, this will be the subject of our next post. Nobody is getting dismissed.

“Great talker, great liar.”

French Proverb

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 22/2/2018: Qt Roadmap for 2018, Calculate Linux 17.12.2

    Links for the day



  2. As Expected, Bristows and Others Already Lying About UPC Status in Germany, But Doing This Anonymously (to Dodge Accountability for Lies)

    In their characteristic fashion, firms that created the UPC for their self-enrichment purposes, along with publishers/writers who deem it their role to promote the UPC and set up lobbying events for the UPC, look for ways to downplay if not intentionally distort what happened in Germany yesterday



  3. Further Attacks on EPO Staff and the Appeal Boards; Former EPO Boards of Appeal Member Speaks About EPO Scandals

    In the process of devaluing EPO workers and perhaps preparing them for a large round of layoffs information is also revealed about further repressions against the independence of the Boards of Appeal



  4. End of the UPC Lobby and Withdrawal of UPCA May Seem Imminent

    The Unitary Patent fantasy (of mass litigation firms) is coming to an end; in fact, the German government and courts (Bundesverfassungsgericht to be specific) now deem the complaint to be admissible and thus likely legitimate in spite of many attempts to shoot it down



  5. EPO's Board 28 Spikes Article 53 in CA/3/18, Apparently After Battistelli Withdrew It

    The latest plot twist, as odd as that may seem, is that the attack on the rights of thousands of workers (many of whom are rumoured to be on their way out) is curtailed somewhat, at least for the time being



  6. Links 21/2/2018: Apper 1.0, New Fedora ISOs

    Links for the day



  7. Rumour: European Patent Office to Lay Off a Significant Proportion of Its Workforce

    While the Administrative Council of the EPO praises Battistelli for his financial accomplishments (as laughable as it may seem) a lot of families stuck in a foreign country may soon see their breadwinner unemployed, according to rumours



  8. The Patent Trolls' Lobby, Bristows and IAM Among Others, Downplays Darts-IP/IP2Innovate Report About Rising If Not Soaring Troll Activity in Europe

    Exactly like last year, as soon as IP2Innovate opens its mouth Bristows and IAM go into "attack dog" mode and promote the UPC, deny the existence or seriousness of patent trolls, and promote their nefarious, trolls-funded agenda



  9. Links 20/2/2018: Mesa 17.3.5, Qt 5.11 Alpha, Absolute 15.0 Beta 4, Sailfish OS 2.1.4 E.A., SuiteCRM 7.10

    Links for the day



  10. Replacing Patent Sharks/Trolls and the Patent Mafia With 'Icons' Like Thomas Edison

    The popular perceptions of patents and the sobering reality of what patents (more so nowadays) mean to actual inventors who aren't associated with global behemoths such as IBM or Siemens



  11. The Patent Trolls' Lobby is Distorting the Record of CAFC on PTAB

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), which deals with appeals from PTAB, has been issuing many decisions in favour of § 101, but those aren't being talked about or emphasised by the patent 'industry'



  12. Japan Demonstrates Sanity on SEP Policy While US Patent Policy is Influenced by Lobbyists

    Japan's commendable response to a classic pattern of patent misuse; US patent policy is still being subjected to never-ending intervention and there is now a lobbyist in charge of antitrust matters and a lawyer in charge of the US patent office (both Trump appointees)



  13. The Patent Microcosm's Embrace of Buzzwords and False Marketing Strives to Make Patent Examiners Redundant and Patent Quality Extremely Low

    Patent maximalists, who are profiting from abundance of low-quality patents (and frivolous lawsuits/legal threats these can entail), are riding the hype wave and participating in the rush to put patent systems at the hands of machines



  14. Today, at 12:30 CET, Bavarian State Parliament Will Speak About EPO Abuses (Updated)

    The politicians of Bavaria are prepared to wrestle with some serious questions about the illegality of the EPO's actions and what that may mean to constitutional aspects of German law



  15. Another Loud Warning From EPO Workers About the Decline of Patent Quality

    Yet more patent quality warnings are being issued by EPO insiders (examiners) who are seeing their senior colleagues vanishing and wonder what will be left of their employer



  16. Links 19/2/2018: Linux 4.16 RC2, Nintendo Switch Now Full-fledged GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  17. PTAB Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents and to Stop Patent Examiners From Issuing Them

    Erasure of software patents by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) carries on unabated in spite of attempts to cause controversy and disdain towards PTAB



  18. The Patent 'Industry' Likes to Mention Berkheimer and Aatrix to Give the Mere Impression of Section 101/Alice Weakness

    Contrary to what patent maximalists keep saying about Berkheimer and Aatrix (two decisions of the Federal Circuit from earlier this month, both dealing with Alice-type challenges), neither actually changed anything in any substantial way



  19. Makan Delrahim is Wrong; Patents Are a Major Antitrust Problem, Sometimes Disguised Using Trolls Somewhere Like the Eastern District of Texas

    Debates and open disagreements over the stance of the lobbyist who is the current United States Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division



  20. Patent Trolls Watch: Microsoft-Connected Intellectual Ventures, Finjan, and Rumour of Technicolor-InterDigital Buyout

    Connections between various patent trolls and some patent troll statistics which have been circulated lately



  21. Software Patents Trickle in After § 101/Alice, But Courts Would Not Honour Them Anyway

    The dawn of § 101/Alice, which in principle eliminates almost every software patent, means that applicants find themselves having to utilise loopholes to fool examiners, but that's unlikely to impress judges (if they ever come to assessing these patents)



  22. In Aatrix v Green Shades the Court is Not Tolerating Software Patents But Merely Inquires/Wonders Whether the Patents at Hand Are Abstract

    Aatrix alleges patent infringement by Green Shades, but whether the patents at hand are abstract or not remains to be seen; this is not what patent maximalists claim it to be ("A Valentine for Software Patent Owners" or "valentine for patentee")



  23. An Indoctrinated Minority is Maintaining the Illusion That Patent Policy is to Blame for All or Most Problems of the United States

    The zealots who want to patent everything under the Sun and sue everyone under the Sun blame nations in the east (where the Sun rises) for all their misfortunes; this has reached somewhat ludicrous levels



  24. Berkheimer Decision is Still Being Spun by the Anti-Section 101/Alice Lobby

    12 days after Berkheimer v HP Inc. the patent maximalists continue to paint this decision as a game changer with regards to patent scope; the reality, however, is that this decision will soon be forgotten about and will have no substantial effect on either PTAB or Alice (because it's about neither of these)



  25. Academic Patent Immunity is Laughable and Academics Are Influenced by Corporate Money (for Steering Patent Agenda)

    Universities appear to have become battlegrounds in the war between practicing entities and a bunch of parasites who make a living out of litigation and patent bubbles



  26. UPC Optimism Languishes Even Among Paid UPC Propagandists Such as IAM

    Even voices which are attempting to give UPC momentum that it clearly lacks admit that things aren't looking well; the UK is not ratifying and Germany make take years to look into constitutional barriers



  27. Bejin Bieneman Props Up the Disgraced Randall Rader for Litigation Agenda

    Randall Rader keeps hanging out with the litigation 'industry' -- the very same 'industry' which he served in a closeted fashion when he was Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit (and vocal proponent of software patents, patent trolls and so on)



  28. With Stambler v Mastercard, Patent Maximalists Are Hoping to Prop Up Software Patents and Damage PTAB

    The patent 'industry' is hoping to persuade the highest US court to weaken the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), for PTAB is making patent lawsuits a lot harder and raises the threshold for patent eligibility



  29. Apple Discovers That Its Patent Disputes Are a Losing Battle Which Only Lawyers Win (Profit From)

    By pouring a lot of money and energy into the 'litigation card' Apple lost focus and it's also losing some key cases, as its patents are simply not strong enough



  30. The Patent Microcosm Takes Berkheimer v HP Out of Context to Pretend PTAB Disregards Fact-Finding Process

    In view or in light of a recent decision (excerpt above), patent maximalists who are afraid of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) try to paint it as inherently unjust and uncaring for facts


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