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01.12.16

Transparency is Sunlight in the Kingdom of the EPO Vampires

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Justice requires transparency, not darkness

EPO Dracula

Summary: Shedding light on the way in which managers in Munich’s EPO headquarters try to silence their critics and shoot the messengers, preventing even disclosure of these acts of silencing and shooting (potential firing)

Benoît Battistelli proudly claimed earlier today (mentioned just one hour ago by the EPO at Twitter) that there are “unprecedented levels of transparency”. One has to be seriously misinformed to actually believe him.

The EPO‘s management has not stopped attacking the unions, as we made very clear earlier this week. There’s just more secrecy. The management, or Team Battistelli in Munich, shows extreme hypocrisy as it’s apparently OK for management to ‘leak’ information about ‘investigations’ into board members (or judges) but not for ordinary members of staff to do the same. The EPO just tries to control the narrative and only the EPO’s ad hominem attacks on the accused are deemed acceptable. Reactionary comments about the accusers are deemed treasonous. What kind of institution has the EPO become and how can it ever expect to earn back the respect it once had?

“What kind of institution has the EPO become and how can it ever expect to earn back the respect it once had?”Several weeks ago we wrote about media coverage that was very critical of the EPO’s treatment of judges (see the JUVE translation from Techrights regarding EPO management and Battistelli). SUEPO has a new translation (not the same one) in English [PDF] and in other languages. To quote the public site, “JUVE comments on the failure of EPO President Benoît Battistelli to push his proposal of reform of the Boards of Appeal. Translations of the article are available in English, French, and Dutch.”

As we explained here in about a dozen articles before, “reform of the Boards of Appeal” is a euphemism or misnomer because the real goal — given the reluctance to fill empty poisitions and the eagerness to drive them away (among other factors) — is to crush them. It’s about “reform” to the same degree that union-busting is “investigation”.

In order to demonstrate what the EPO witch-hunts staff representatives for we’ve decided to share snippets of text and rebut based on our common sense and general understanding of the whole situation. Accompanying every snippet (or similar snippets from letters sent to different people) are our thoughts, not the thoughts of the accused (whom we never even spoke to anyway).

within-less-than-a-week

3 examples are aligned horizontally for the sake of comparison, showing how 3 staff representatives at the EPO were targeted with letters within less than a week since the first one (only days apart).


request-of-secrecy

“Confidential” is ludicrous enough as it is given the nature of the allegations below; “Personal” is somewhat misleading because, as we shall show, several of the same letters were sent to several people. There’s nothing so personal about it. It’s almost impersonal. The original intent here was to divide and rule, i.e. prevent people from communicating with one another, then crush them in isolation. Solitude makes them weaker and makes legal defence more expensive if not altogether financially-prohibitive, thus unavailable, or too limited to be effective. Any request of secrecy needs to justify itself; just slapping the word “Confidential” on everything wouldn’t fly as it shows paranoia and gives the public reasons for suspicion, concern, and distrust. It typically breeds misconduct.

They seem to be using some very ancient office equipment to stamp these letters, so dreams of going fully digital/electronic still seem elusive at the higher floors of the EPO’s main Office.


opening-template

This opening template (3 letters) shows lack of creativity, does it not? A lot of these letters can probably be ‘folded’ onto just one with special extra phrases, specified for individual recipients. The person who did so was in fact so lazy or sloppy that a lady was referred to in the letter sent to her as “Mister”.


suepo-signup

SUEPO sign-up is being targeted, but why? Is it because a massive new number of staff members has decided to join? Is somebody feeling threatened? How come all this time the EPO’s management had no issues with SUEPO sign-ups? Does it need to take examples from 3 years ago to suddenly claim that it’s wrong to join SUEPO? This kind of retreat to events from 2 years ago (or even further back) shows that the EPO is so utterly desperate for ‘dirt’ on convenient scapegoats that — just like the Stasi in East Germany — it is now ‘hitting’ the archives (mass surveillance) and scanning the shelves for pretexts and retroactive justifications. It even looks for informants with some character-assassinating ‘dirt’ that can be retrieved/reconstructed from several years ago. That’s what some call “scraping the bottom of the barrel.”


repetition-of-allegation

Here we have some repetition of an allegation and the appeal to “legality”, which — coming from the EPO’s mouth (after disregarding what was legal or illegal) — is laughable.


threatening-staff-and-redefining-or-reframing-rules

Here they are threatening staff and redefining or reframing rules so as to give feet to the accusations.


epo-pretends-that-it-finally-cares-about-EU-law-and-host-states

Now the EPO pretends — yet again! — that it finally cares about EU law and host states. This is comical. It’s like that time the EPO twisted British defamation law to silence critics. The EPO likes the laws of host states only when it suits the EPO’s crooked management.


lutz-et-al-appealing-to-German-law

Here we have Lutz et al (probably) appealing to German law, which is funny given all that people have been saying about Lutz with his bizarre interpretation of German law (which he is supposed to understand). It was Lutz who put his name on the notorious “rights” statement — a controversial internal memo which served as a prelude to suspensions affecting SUEPO.


hypocritcal-EPO-says-it-cares-for-freedom-of-communication

Here we can see a very hypocritical EPO. It says it cares for freedom of communication. Well, everyone must ask it why it threatens bloggers and gags its own staff, driving many people into the harbours of anonymity and pseudonyms (for their own protection). This isn’t the first time that the EPO pretends to care about freedom of expression, privacy, and so on. These are shots in the foot because people who say these things at behalf of the EPO beg to be ridiculed for their infinite hypocrisy.


hypocritcal-EPO-nitpciking-on-secrecy-while-ignoring-risk-of-reprisal-from-aggressive-EPO

The hypocritical EPO is now nitpicking on secrecy while ignoring risk of reprisal from an infamously aggressive EPO.


EPO-pretends-to-care-for-national-law

EPO pretends to care for national law again? Selective at best, pathetic at least.


EPO-which-disregards-courts-orders-and-abuses-a-lot-of-staff-pretends-to-speak-for-justice

So the EPO, an institution which disregards court orders and abuses a lot of staff (with ongoing ILO cases), pretends to speak for justice. That’s like BP speaking for climate or Microsoft speaking for Linux.


EPO-refuses-to-tolerate-lawsuits-against-EPO

The EPO refuses to tolerate lawsuits against the EPO. Big surprise here. Having eliminated whatever was left of oversight, Battistelli now crushes anything which dares to challenge his (mis)conduct. That’s the hallmark of empires. Only civil disobedience or interference from the outside can put an end to it.


hypocritcal-EPO-talks-about-standards-and-accuses-legitimate-critics

The hypocritical EPO talks about standards and accuses legitimate critics. Do they have any mirrors at the EPO building in Munich (high floors in particular)? Better yet, get some stakes and garlic, too. These people at the top fail to objectively assess what they themselves are doing and have been doing for years.


hypocritcal-EPO-on-basic-human-rights-respect-principles-of-law-common-sense-accontability-integrity

The hypocritical EPO remarks on basic human rights, respect, principles of law, common sense, accountability, integrity etc. Even a drunk official would be able to spot the hypocrisy when typing such a thing.


vague-accusation-of-negligence

Here are the vague accusations of negligence, as if it doesn’t matter what explanation is given, the EPO’s accuser (and judge etc.) will reject it. This is not justice, it’s a “discharge” sheet.


epic-hypocrisy-on-secrecy-gag-orders

This is epic hypocrisy on secrecy. Gag orders are fine for EPO management, but not for staff, even if for their own protection from an increasingly abusive management.


EPO-hypocrisy-on-leaking-details-of-ongoing-investigation

EPO hypocrisy on leaking details of an ongoing investigation. Didn’t EPO managers use the media to personally attack a judge just weeks after paying nearly a million bucks to a PR firm? Benoît Battistelli is becoming like Sheldon Adelson.


confidential-by-EPO-definition

This is only confidential by EPO management’s definition. The motivation for secrecy is self-serving. Anyone with a clue can see that.


declaring-opposing-views-invalid-and-disregarding-them-completely

Watch how they are arrogantly reject the existence of more than one side in this mock ‘trial’, declaring opposing views invalid and disregarding them completely. That’s arrogance and self-righteousness.


EPO-talks-about-intergrity-and-ignores-its-own-sins-of-compromising-an-investigation-with-Dutch-and-German-media

EPO talks about integrity and ignores its own sins of compromising an investigation with Dutch and German media. That’s a recurring theme of hypocrisy or double-standard.


painting-bullyish-investigators-as-the-victims

PR strategies employed, painting bullyish investigators [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] as the victims.


representation-is-incorrect-because-we-say-so

Arrogance is showing again. The representation is incorrect because we say so? What kind of pretense of justice is this?


EPO-management-pretends-to-guard-privacy-of-low-level-workers-rather-than-protect-itself-from-accountability

EPO management pretends to guard privacy of low-level workers rather than protect itself from accountability (and potentially prosecution).


EPO-guards-secrecy-of-in-house-Stasi-and-pretends-blowing-this-cover-exposes-identity-of-poor-victims

EPO guards the secrecy of its in-house Stasi and pretends that blowing this cover would expose the identity of poor victims. “Think of the children…”


Panicking-that-other-offices-become-aware-of-antics-of-EPO-Munich-management

Panicking that other offices become aware of the antics of EPO Munich management? Is that what it’s all about? It sure sounds like information itself, not people, is the enemy here.


EPO-Munich-management-panics-that-the-public-knows-what-is-happening-and-things-got-out-of-hand

EPO Munich management evidently panics because it can see that the public knows what is happening and that things got out of hand.


We-hereby-declare-a-gag-order-because-what-we-do-here-is-embarassing

This again is an EPO modus operandi, keeping not just the public but also workers and their representatives in the dark. We hereby declare a gag order because what we do here is embarrassing…


So there we have it. It is now easier for more people to see what the true nature of the allegations was all along. Seeing it in context, there is plenty of hypocrisy, a very low barrier/standard at hand, and plenty of manipulation by an increasingly paranoid EPO management.

“Truth never damages a cause that is just.”

Mahatma Gandhi

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