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

01.18.16

European Patent Office (EPO) is Not “the Real World” But a Parallel Universe Without Any Regard for the Rule of Law

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Troll

Summary: An example of Internet trolls and a reminder that they oughtn’t be fed because it proves to be a waste of effort and a distraction from the important topics (like Topić)

AS an international institution the EPO should, in principle, obey international law. Instead what they have there is nepotism and Putinism (autocracy). Don’t be mistaken. I am personally strongly in favour of the European Union (EU), but the EPO is not part of it. The EPO predates the EU by several decades and unlike the EU or EP (or even the EC), the EPO does not even pretend to be democratic. It doesn’t even obey the EPC. One day we’ll research, further explore, and finally report on the roots of the EPO (one source tells us that the EPO took over a commercial company).

“What happened on Friday was elimination of the heads of unions, who had already been suspended for a couple of months (severely limiting their ability to operate).”Worth noting, in light of what happens in IP Kat right about now, is that people need to focus on the abuses of the management and the innocence of staff representatives whom this management has just fired. Do not feed the trolls (see Wikipedia’s definition). Yes, trolls do exist and they are floating the management’s talking points, whether deliberately or not (and whether financially compensated for it or not). There was no “investigation” of staff representatives; it’s a euphemism for union busting. What happened on Friday was elimination of the heads of unions, who had already been suspended for a couple of months (severely limiting their ability to operate). ILO is far too slow to help the fired representatives and the ‘appeal’ system is internal at the EPO (i.e. sham trial guaranteed). Contact national delegates for possible reprieve (some of them do listen and even respond).

For better or for worse (considering Google’s spotty record on anonymity at Blogspot), IP Kat became a de facto go-to forum for anonymous people to express their grievances regarding the EPO. Yesterday we saw some troll trying to discredit Techrights. “Just sayin`” (that’s the pseudonym) wrote:

Boohoo, cry me a river! Two employees have been fired.
Do you know how many get fired daily in the real world?
And judging from the letters published by Techrights, this was even justified after them harrassing colleagues.
Get real people, also staffreps can make mistakes. And they also get to pay the price.

No, I`m not a management troll, just being realistic.

Yes, “not a management troll”. Well, apparently a troll nonetheless. The above is designed to provoke (“Boohoo, cry me a river!”) and it’s a pattern that’s familiar to us. It’s a troll who distracts and one who derails the discussion, leading to a debate about an entirely different topic, discouraging fruitful participation and turning off readers/audience. We wrote many articles about such trolls over the years (usually in relation to Free/Open Source software).

The letters and rebuttals which we published here show the opposite of what’s claimed by the troll. Notice the troll’s statement, “I`m not a management troll, just being realistic.” If you’re not a troll, you don’t need to state that. As MinceR put it in the #techrights IRC channel last night, “he merely stated that he’s a troll, but not from the management” (recall the FTI Consulting contract).

This isn’t the first time we see such provocation inside IP Kat. We previously covered it in “Suppression of Voices Critical of the European Patent Office (EPO)“. Readers always swallow the bait and a lot of efforts is spent cleaning up the trolls’ vomit. Some people correctly identified this as a troll, but nonetheless, the troll received some rather detailed replies, such as this:

I believe only one was fired for alleged harassment. The other was fired for what were deemed by the EPO to be unfair Ts&Cs in the union legal support contract.

Just being “realistic”? Hmm… I had another word in mind…

You should probably try to get your facts straight before you shoot off your mouth.

Just sayin’ ;-)

Another wrote:

Sure, people get fired.

Yet, the first reason is…. lacking secrecy on your own case? Sure, that publication reflects badly on the EPO, so it does contravene the ServRegs, but does it reflect badly because of the stuff being published, or because of the content? And who is responsible for the conten?

The alleged harrasment? The Disciplinary Committee pointed out that only one of seven witnesses that were “interviewed” (with extremely suggestive questions) was able to confirm the case….

I have sincere issues with how the case was handled.
Also, implementing a harsher punishment than proposed by the DC?

Furthermore: further reforms were put on the tables of the consultative organs, where the staff representation was lacking representatives. I’ll bet that BB will use the votes, which were now 10 pro and 9 no as a proof that the reforms are wanted by the majority of staff, as those will be the first ones where he did not have to break the tie as chairperson in the obligatory consulting…

Anyway, think what you want, you’re able to make your own opinion, and it is your right to point out that most employees are worse off. But those do have access to court decissions in a reasonable time, we do not. Thus we have no means against an unjustified firing.

Some people put a lot of effort into it, responding to the troll with facts:

As extremely sad as this is, the firing of the two and the severe sanctions against the third (she has no hope of ever reaching her former salary again) elected staff representatives and elected union leaders are, unfortunately, just the tip of the iceberg. There are many, many more who have been investigated, harassed, intimidated, or quietly forced into retirement. And just imagine the shivers this imparts to the remaining staff: most of them patent judges in search, examination, opposition, and appeals.

On the broader scale, the system of checks and balances, if it ever deserved the name as it has been designed in the EPC (dear authors, I’m sorry having to write this) and the Staff Regulations, has been made an utter mockery by Mr. Battistelli. Administrative Council is being mishandled; anybody who dares to disagree sees her cooperation budget annihilated, not to mention the time allotted to her country in the various committees drop precipitously.

Mr. Battistelli’s “social democracy” has made it much more difficult for staff to voice opinion or raise grievances. A million miles from striving to design a better system, Mr. Battistelli apparently takes particular pleasure at creating conflicts of interest and opportunities for harassment and intimidation. The former General Advisory Committee, a forum for management and staff representatives to discuss proposed changes at the Office that are of importance to staff, has been re-designed into the General Consultative Committee and to the point of irrelevance that Mr. Battistelli has no inhibitions about publishing the list of its members for 2016 with more members from the (top) management than those appointed by the staff representation, then reducing the staff side further by firing the next day.

In addition, the very staff representatives that have now been fired had already been reporting directly to PD HR. Even the rules for election of staff representation – a very important function, separate from the unions, in the social contract in Germany and, formerly, the EPO – have been designed by the administration. These are just a few examples; there are lots more in all important areas of the Office. The internal appeals process has been made much more intimidating to the appellant than it ever was. The system of occupational health and data protection have been all but killed. Small wonder that this has lead to several colleagues taking their lives recently.

Having fired the most courageous staff reps, Mr. Battistelli has reached new heights. No individual in the Office and hardly anybody in the Administrative Council dares to contradict him. It appears that it is only a matter of time before all staff will be afraid to demonstrate.

What’s on the plus side? Production has gone up, possibly at the expense of quality, and most staff still have a job that many of them can hardly afford to leave, having abandoned their careers as engineers and scientists years ago. It’s less secure than before, much less pleasurable, in some aspects becoming shameful.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I can afford to voice my opinion openly and that’s why I post my thoughts here anonymously.

This one comment correctly states that “one reason for dismissal was to reveal that they were being investigated, I guess that is also normal? And (allegedly)assisting someone who hasn’t been disciplined for allegedly doing something was a second reason.” Here is the comment in full:

Thanks for that. Since the accused are not allowed to reveal that they are accused, let alone what they are accused of, your insight is useful. Since one reason for dismissal was to reveal that they were being investigated, I guess that is also normal? And (allegedly)assisting someone who hasn’t been disciplined for allegedly doing something was a second reason. Again normal? And the complainant being the one who led the investigation and led the prosecution? Normal again?

I appreciate that sometimes bad things happen, but is that reason to accept it? And when that comes from a body operating in the legal world and with seeming total legal immunity, is that not questionable? I see your point, but I have to politely disagree.

Here is a Dutch irony being pointed out:

The decision came back to my mind after the dismissal of the two SUEPO officials.

Well, I guess we all should thank the Dutch government for having decided not to enforce the decision of an independent court for the latest actions of Mr. Battistelli – after all, the message from the Dutch minister was quite clear: you’re free to do whatever you want, Mr. Battistelli!.
One year later, the consequences are here for all to see – and what an irony that the most prominent victim of Battistelli is a Dutch citizen! (Elisabeth Hardon)

Ah, and many thanks to the Administrative Council of the EPO too, who did not think that having the Office being accused of infringing human rights was so important after all. What happened in the last days, honourable members of the AC of the EPO, are the results of your greed, lack of morals and cowardice.

Here is a response to what we’re interpreting as an opportunistic attack on Techrights, as if we have proven the management right and just:

” And judging from the letters published by Techrights, this was even justified after them harrassing colleagues….

No, I`m not a management troll, just being realistic.”

Thank you for constructively indicating that you are NOT a troll. The reader might have doubts after reading your submission . I suggest you re-reading the corresponding documents on Techright, of course only because you are not a troll!

“Barbi” wrote:

Contrary to the allegations, in the real world not many at all union leaders get fired! It is rather exceptional!

So I fail to see the alledged realism of the annonymous comment of 12.52.00 who assuers of not being a managent troll and of being realistic.

Best thing to do in such cases is not feed the trolls, even when they explicitly say they’re not trolls (didn’t Nixon say he was not a crook?). “Just sayin`” has not even replied since (classic drive-by trolling), which leads one to seeing just what a single short comment (that’s deliberately disruptive and insulting) is able to achieve. If this whole article in its own right feeds the troll, then hopefully the take-home message is that future trolls needn’t and shouldn’t be fed. Next up we have some important new revelations about Topić. This is the kind of topic that people should discuss anonymously in all sorts of forums. There is potential there for imprisonment.

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 25/7/2016: Linux 4.7 Final, PostgreSQL 9.6 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  2. Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face 'Exile' or 'Extradition' in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

    A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli's successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli's totalitarian powers



  3. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comes Across as Against Software Patents, Relates to the EPO as Well

    Some analysis of the input from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with focus on the EPO and software patents



  4. In the US, Patent Trolls Engage in Patent Wars and Shakedowns, Whereas in China/Korea Large Android OEMs Sue One Another

    Highlighting some of the differences between the US patent system and other patent systems



  5. Links 24/7/2016: Elive 2.7.1 Beta, New Flatpaks and Snaps

    Links for the day



  6. Links 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  7. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  8. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  9. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  10. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  11. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays



  12. Glimpse at Patent Systems Across the World: Better Quality Control at the USPTO Post-America Invents Act (2011), Unlike the EPO Post-Battistelli (2010)

    While the EPO reportedly strives to eliminate pendency and appeal windows altogether (rubberstamping being optimal performance as per the yardstick du jour), the USPTO introduces changes that would strengthen the system and shield innovation, not protect the business model of serial litigants



  13. Blockstream Has No Patents, But Pledges Not to Sue Using Patents

    Blockstream says that it comes in peace when it comes to software patents, which triggers speculations about coming Blockchain patent wars



  14. Links 21/7/2016: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Xfce Beta

    Links for the day



  15. Links 21/7/2016: An Honorary Degree for Alan Cox, Looks Back at DebConf16

    Links for the day



  16. EPO USA: Under Battistelli, the 'European' Patent Office Emulates All the Mistakes of the USPTO

    Conservative Benoît Battistelli is trying to impose on the European Patent Office various truly misguided policies and he viciously attacks anyone or anything that stands in his way, including his formal overseers



  17. Links 19/7/2016: ARM and Opera Buyout

    Links for the day



  18. Large Corporations' Software Patenting Pursuits Carry on in Spite of Patent Trolls That Threaten Small Companies the Most

    With unconvincing excuses such as OIN, large corporations including IBM continue to promote software patents in the United States, even when public officials and USPTO officials work towards ending those



  19. Battistelli Has Implemented De Facto EPO Coup to Remove Oversight, Give Himself Total Power, and Allegedly Give UPC Gifts (Loot) to French Officials

    Benoît Battistelli's agenda at the EPO is anything but beneficial to the EPO and suspicions that Battistelli's overall agenda is transitioning to the UPC to further his goals grow feet



  20. EPO Social [sic] Report is a Big Pile of Lies That Responsible Journalists Must Ignore

    A reminder of where the EPO stands on social issues and why the latest so-called 'social' report is nothing but paid-for propaganda for Battistelli's political ambitions



  21. Links 18/7/2016: Vista 10 a Failure, FreeType 2.7

    Links for the day



  22. Exploiting Perceived Emergencies/Disasters, Suspending the Rule of Law, and Suspending Judges: How Erdoğan is Like Battistelli, Except the Coup

    Pretexts for crackdown on law-abiding people or figureheads who are remote and independent the hallmark not only of Erdoğan but also the EPO's President, Benoit Battistelli



  23. The Impotence of Gene Quinn

    Attacking the enforcer of Alice v CLS because it's doing harm to his source of income, which makes him angry



  24. After the FTI Consulting-EPO Reputation Laundering Deal's Expansion in Germany Süddeutsche Zeitung 'Forgets' That the EPO Even Exists

    Relative apathy if not complete silence regarding the EPO at Süddeutsche Zeitung following reports of FTI Consulting's deal expansion (media positioning in Germany), with hundreds of thousands of Euros (EPO budget) thrown at the controversial task



  25. Benoît Battistelli and Persistratos

    Reminds you of someone?



  26. Whistleblower Protection Desperately Needed at the European Patent Office

    EPO scandals are not publicly accessible or known to many people and not many such scandals are known at all because people are afraid of Battistelli's Fabius Maximus strategies



  27. Microsoft and Its Patent Minions at Nokia Still Have Patent Stacking Ambitions Against Android/Linux OEMs

    Weaponisation of European companies for the sake of artificial elevation of prices (patent taxes) a growing issue for Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and those behind it are circulating money among themselves not for betterment of products but for the crippling of FOSS contenders



  28. [ES] ¿Que si la EPO Bajo Battistelli Se Arruina Sin Posibilidad de Reparación Como la UPC?

    La última evidencia alrededor del hundimiénto de la reputación de la Epo y su calidad de trabajo, así como la caída del sistema que Battistelli trata forzadamente de imponer (una carrera al fondo)



  29. [ES] La EPO de Battistelli, Quién Quiebra la Ley, Subvierte el Curso de la Justicia y Rechaza Obedecer las Ordenes de la Corte Dice lo Impensable en Medio de los Actos de Terror

    Los terribles ataques hace un dia en Francia están siéndo explotados por el caradura de Benoît Battistelli para comedia negra o un verdaderamente absurda afirmación en la sección de “noticias” de la EPO



  30. [ES] La EPO de Battistelli Continúa Cortejando a Officiales de Países Pequeños y su Propaganda de Beneficiar a las “PYMEs de Aquellos Países”

    El caradura de Benoît Battistelli prosigue desfilando en los países pequeños que tienen delegados al Consejo Administrativo (CA) y los explota para propaganda barata, no sólo para que lo apoyen en las reuniónes del CA


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