12.15.15

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Battistelli’s Vision of UPC is Closer Contract With Major Applicants (Abroad), Contrary to European Interests

Posted in Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 3:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Who is this man kidding anyway?

Benoît Battistelli quote

Summary: Benoît Battistelli’s EPO is adopting an imperialistic approach that would allow foreign companies such as Microsoft and Apple to issue Europe-wide injunctions, claim more in ‘damages’, pressure for higher ‘royalties’, and so on (but it’s all for EU-based SMEs, honest!)

THE EPO does not surprise us when it openly lobbies for UPC. Just over an hour ago the EPO published this self-promotional (for management, not examiners or boards) nonsense. (warning: link to epo.org)

WIPR already has some coverage which says nothing special or new; it presents little except only one side’s views. Battistelli is parroted and views are also offered from “Graham Burnett-Hall, partner at Marks & Clerk, a firm of patent and trademark attorneys” (conspicuously absent is a public interest group or an outsider’s representative).

“What’s amazing here isn’t that the EPO lobbies for the UPC but that the public is kept totally in the dark and the EPO gets away with it.”As expected, patent maximalists and patent lawyers like IP Magazine are happy about the UPC (a tax on everything in Europe, including more lawsuits and injunctions). They call this “[a] ‘Hugely significant’ occasion for EU #patent system after preparations for the unitary patent completed” (UPC is a case of fast-tracking things before the public even gets the chance to vote).

UPC ties into ever broader things like TPP and TTIP. It’s a sort of globalism poorly implemented so as to punish the poor and benefit only those who are already rich and still getting richer, by redesign of laws to annul their tax, impede their competition, give their corporations sovereignty over government etc.

What’s truly amazing here isn’t that the EPO lobbies for the UPC (we have seen that for quite a while and reported it on occasions) but that the public is kept totally in the dark and the EPO gets away with it. It’s as though Europe is occupied and oppressed by a group of people. This isn’t a functioning democracy. ‘Patent’ offices that lobby aren’t really patent offices but an entirely different kind of monster. On social media I’ve joked earlier on: “What is this lobbying firm called EPO? Oh, wait, it’s not a lobbying firm per se. It’s the European Private Office. A 'public' service…”

We hope that even existing staff of the EPO can see why this is plainly unrest and morally wrong. The EPO isn’t supposed to decide how Europe is run; instead it should be the public deciding how Europe is run and how the EPO is run, under the control of European politicians; everything is in reverse right now, so the tail is effectively wagging the dog.

“Look what a mess has been left here. Battistelli fights everyone and everyone now fights back against him.”Earlier today we showed that even well-known European patent lawyers were getting fed up with Battistelli. Well, the European Patent Lawyers Association (EPLAW), which previously expressed concerns about Benoît Battistelli’s EPO [1, 2] and even cited Techrights for support, now speaks of the “Structural Reform of the Boards of Appeal”. Guess whose side EPLAW it taking. The following statement is self explanatory: “Before the meeting of the AC in which the President’s proposal will be discussed in the course of this week, the Association of the Members of the Boards of Appeal (AMBA) raises its voice and makes even more critical comments. According to AMBA, the new proposals manifestly take no account of AMBA’s submissions, despite assurances that they would be reflected in any proposal. Furthermore, they take no account of the comments of the AC members in the Council meeting of March, or of the user survey results; rather it misrepresents them. All the changes are said to be detrimental to both actual and perceived independence. Instead they place considerably more power in the hands of the President of the Office.”

Look what a mess has been left here. Battistelli fights everyone and everyone now fights back against him. This is very poor leadership and any remnant of reputation that the EPO gained for several decades is being lost in just a couple of years. Earlier this evening the FFII’s Benjamin Henrion wrote: “Well EPO is not responsible in front of a court, so there is no procedure if the EPO does not work. That’s why it needs to be dissolved, or reintegrated in other democratic structures.”

Looking at Henrion’s old site, Digital Majority, we find this old news pick saying that the “EPO staff blame Admin Council for EPO woes”. To quote what was there at the time:

Last week a dramatic EPO document fell into our hands. “Governance of the EPO: a Staff Perspective” documents internal conflicts in the EPO, staff versus management, in which the Administrative Council (AC) and President have almost totally lost the confidence of the EPO staff. In 2004, just 8% of staff expressed trust in the AC, and 28% in the President. In 2006 this figure had fallen to 4% and 7%.

The report – written by staff representatives – avoids criticism of the President, and focuses its ire on the Administrative Council, citing the conflict between national and personal interests, and those of the EPO.

Looking at a related site for a submission of the EPO representative on the Commission’s ICT Task Force report we have:

Raise awareness of the patent system among SMEs: The EPO may develop a project which aims at increasing the understanding and the use of IP by SMEs. The main concept entitled “train the trainers” is to provide trainings for specific target groups in the field of protection and exploitation of IP and IP management, with the main focus given on patenting. The relay done by the staff already working in direct contact with SMEs will ensure multiplier effects of the training given and SMEs will be expected as final recipients.

Well, we now know, thanks to a large degree to leaks (from several simultaneous sources), that the EPO does not give a damn about European SMEs. It cares neither about Europe nor SMEs as it now gives priority to foreign giants (hence the correction of Battistelli’s new statements at the top). This is what happens when the EPO is operated outside democratic controls. A serious overhaul is well overdue; the UPC isn’t it. The UPC is further escalation in the wrong direction. We fear that some people inside the EPO still believe what the EPO's management tells them about the UPC (or what patent lawyers tell them). Does anyone still believe the EPO’s management?

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