“Value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history.”
Summary: A clip just extracted from today’s segment about the EPO’s union-busting actions that caused unprecedented disputes and may soon lead to strikes
THE EPO scandals have already attracted the attention of Belgian TV and Dutch TV. In Croatia, matters which implicate an EPO Vice-President also attracted the attention of Croatian TV (more than once even).
The following video is an excerpt taken from a much longer programme (about one hour in total). It is tonight’s TV broadcast about the EPO (it’s all in Dutch). The colours got distorted due to some conversion difficulties, but it’s the audio that matters a lot more. We made the file small enough for steaming locally (more resistant in the face attempted takedowns, like bogus DMCA requests that discard Fair Use provisions and pursue censorship).
If someone has the time to prepare a transcript or preferably a translation of the above, that would significantly improve our records. People who work at the EPO must fight both for their individual rights and their group rights, such as the right to organise. █
“I don`t believe in quotas. America was founded on a philosophy of individual rights, not group rights.”
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Photograph below published by Dutch media today
Summary: Dutch politicians are taking further steps in order to tackle extreme abuse at the European Patent Office (EPO), where staff is being herded like sheep and staff representatives are facing mock trials
AS we have anticipated for a while, after increasing levels of communication with European officials, political actions against the EPO are starting to become more visible as plenary investigations finally bubble up to the surface. While there’s plenty more on the way, today we are being notified of Dutch actions, in addition to ongoing actions in France (there’s more on the way from the UK and other countries).
“Battistelli clearly touched a nerve when firing Hardon, who is Dutch.”This post, as one might expect given the location of today’s protest, will focus on the Dutch actions. So far we have published two articles about the outcome in the media (even television) and some background information was posted before the protest.
Battistelli clearly touched a nerve when firing Hardon, who is Dutch. Now he has a Hardon problem that no bodyguards and limousines can make up for. Another article about the EPO has been assigned for translation and gradually we expect to have more pieces of this latest Dutch storm. According to the following article and its translation, an independent investigation is coming. Hardon asked for it.
Martijn van Dam (Secretary of Economic Affairs) begins in March an independent investigation into the working conditions at the European Patent Office in Rijswijk.
He will shortly also a meeting with the chief executive of the European institute, whose staff has long been dissatisfied with the business.
Thursday protesting workers from the poor working atmosphere and against the dismissal of colleagues who criticized the Frenchman Benoît Battistelli, the boss of the European Patent Office. The agency is reorganizing and the Cabinet and parliament showed earlier that it would be more careful.
To improve the situation the next six months will be given to all matters that could affect the ”social situation” of their employees, career development, remuneration and the position of the trade unions. Van Dam expects the investigation was completed before the summer.
The European Patent Office is an international organization with 38 Member States, including all members of the European Union. The office in Rijswijk with its 2800 employees, mostly highly skilled engineers and scientists, the largest international organization in the Netherlands. The agency protects the patent rights of inventors.
As one person correctly put it: “Dismissing Mrs. Hardon – a Dutch citizen – has really touched a raw nerve with the Dutch.” Another person said: “The “independent enquiry into the situation at the EPO” announced by the Dutch Minister is the so-called “social audit” agreed upon by the Administrative Council in December.”
“It’s an improvised Stasi put together by the grossly underqualified Team Battistelli.”“Details of the Minister’s statement can be found here (in Dutch),” the person added. “How “independent” the enquiry will be remains to be seen.” This is another thing which probably requires a translation from Dutch into English. It’s a statement regarding the abuse of EPO staff in the Netherlands.
“Dutch authorities today have announced an independent enquiry into the situation at the EPO,” wrote another person, “which cannot but reveal great mental stress and suffering among staff. Office “doctors” might have a difficult time answering uncomfortable questions about EPO´s health policy.”
We have separately learned that Battistelli downgraded the medical directors of the EPO to technicians in 2015. Elodie Bergot then ordered them to remove any traces of any in-house medical malpractice. She forbade them to log or report medical emergencies from now on. Elodie Bergot oversees all medical cases now. She has access to every employee’s medical file, but has no medical background herself.
“The Investigative Unit does have its ‘scouts’ like Sebastian Bauer, but they don’t do video recordings or anything like that (as far as we can tell based on information we have).”This is a recipe for disaster. It’s an improvised Stasi put together by the grossly underqualified Team Battistelli.
“Many journalists and cameramen joined today’s demo,” wrote this person some hours ago. “Either it was the investigative unit taking pictures of individual protesters, or there will be wider press coverage in coming days.”
The Investigative Unit does have its 'scouts' like Sebastian Bauer, but they don’t do video recordings or anything like that (as far as we can tell based on information we have).
Noting that Battistelli exacerbated the penalties for staff representatives (discarding the recommendations from disciplinary committees), this one comment said only one dismissal “was (more or less) the recommendation of the Internal Inquistion a.k.a. Disciplinary Committee. Although they actually recommended one dismissal, one downgrade and one “freeze on promotion” for the next three years. The decision of the President was to dismiss two and downgrade the third. In all three cases he exceeded the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee because he “supplemented” one of the dismissals with a 20% reduction in pension rights.”
“There are not only obvious sanctions against union officials and staff representatives but also more subtile ones,” a commenter added later, “like denial of awards and promotions despite excellent performance and forced transfers.”
We have heard of that before. We also saw how illnesses get shamelessly exploited to punish staff and rob such staff over the long run/long term (e.g. compensation, pensions). Financial sanctions such as these are intended to weaken coordinators, so we strongly urge staff to support sacked representatives and their families. It would ultimately help everyone, collectively. Try to disrupt the union-busting games of Team Battistelli, the Investigative Unit, and external thugs like CRG. Surprise them.
As this comment put it earlier tonight, “you never have 100% of the workforce present but rather ca. 75 to 80 % due to all kind of missions, training, part-time, sick leave + managers + wanna be managers. 900 is therefore a very high number for The Hague. This being said the pathetic VP1 stating “his door is always open” when he is one of the most aggressive ones towards SUEPO officials is an absolute must see” (here is the direct link).
“Try to disrupt the union-busting games of Team Battistelli, the Investigative Unit, and external thugs like CRG.”We are working on some video editing in order to make more of this material easily accessible and neatly organised for future reference (some Dutch journalists and politicians evidently access Techrights for information today).
“The Dutch are overreacting,” one person wrote sarcastically, in order to highlight what German yis doing wrong. “They should take example from the Germans, for once: no press or TV reports about the last demo in front of the EPO (1300 people), no journalists challenging the press releases of the Office, no politicians expressing their worries, absolutely no reaction at all from the Minister of Justice. Btw, who said in a comment to the other post that “the flow of money from the EPO is what funds (almost entirely) the entire Justice Ministry of Germany.”?”
“EPO governance is broken by design,” the President of the FFII wrote earlier today, as “money flows to ministries, as long as that flows.”
Germany hardly has any incentive to admit that there is an issue and then address the issue. Here is the latest comment in IP Kat. It says:
just seen on SUEPO Facebook : :o)))))))))))))))))))))))))))
AMAZING : Minnoye declaring to the NL TV that should the Cassation case be lost for the EPO they will simply disregard its application ….
and also mentioning the on-going investigations against staff reps in The Hague which would be just a coincidence if they concern SUEPO officials …
We have a new hero !!!!!
what a bunch of clowns
As one other person put it several hours ago, “Süddeutsche Zeitung (Munich = seat of EPO) still silent about the protests in The Hague. Check via http://www.sueddeutsche.de/news?search=[query …]”
Yes, Süddeutsche Zeitung has gone rogue (the writers changed too) and it now seems like the EPO management’s mouthpiece in Germany. Either it says nothing (a conspiracy of silence) or it spreads misinformation and libel which suits the Investigative Unit's Inquisition. █
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Summary: EPO protests have become mainstream news, at least in the Netherlands, as revealed by today’s comments
THE EPO protest in The Hague became mainstream news today, akin to last year’s press coverage after EPO management refused to obey court orders. This morning we explained some of the latest developments and earlier tonight we cited many press reports about the protest.
Another new report about the protest came from
nu.nl. It’s titled “Van Dam begint onderzoek naar Octrooibureau” and we need translations. The more we have, the better we can document and correct mistakes. Someone told us about another new article from Nos as well. It’s titled “‘De heksenjacht heeft nu ook Rijswijk bereikt’”, which means that there are now four articles in total from Nos.
“Tonight,” said this new comment, “Nieuwsuur NPO 2 at 2200 cet (Dutch tv equivalent of BBC) – Also online at nos.nl Includes interview with VP1 and suepo lawyer about the problems (or not…).”
Can someone record this and help us make a static/permanent copy?
This isn't the first time these issues make in into television in the area. There is also radio coverage, based on this comment which says:
After today’s demonstration, Radio West (regional radio for The Hague) had an interesting interview with studio guests Gersthuizen and Kerstens, the members of parliament who were also present at the demonstration. While the show also included news about the failed re-election of a major of a town near The Hague, the EPO was only one of the topics, but nevertheless: listen here.
More people now realise what happens at the “Gestapo,” as a Dutch politician called it when he was on Dutch radio last year.
“Therefore,” to quote this new comment, at the EPO “even after retirement: no freedom of speech!”
Here is the context of this comment:
The author seems to assume that a retired employee escapes the long disciplinary arm of the President of the EPO. However, Art. 93(1) of the Service Regulations reads:
Any failure by a permanent employee or former permanent employee to
comply with his obligations under these Service Regulations, whether
intentionally or through negligence on his part, shall make him liable to disciplinary action.
3 hours ago, Jeremy J Phillips, who had retired, wrote: “I still can’t believe that this travesty of governance that is the @EPOorg is allowed to continue” (it can’t last for much longer). This is what Merpel, a former colleague of Mr. Phillips, wrote about it this afternoon, tackling some of the latest lies of the EPO’s PR team (we wrote about and responded to these lies earlier today).
“From what Merpel can see,” she wrote about herself, “the “social dialogue” mainly takes place in disciplinary hearing rooms during the final stages of proceedings against staff representatives instigated by Mr Battistelli or those close to him.”
She also wrote: “Mr Battistelli has continued to push through and even intensify disciplinary measures against staff and union representatives, dismissing one union official and downgrading two others. Disciplinary actions against at least two other staff representatives are being actively pursued, as far as Merpel can tell.”
The final words were as follows:
It would take a brave person to be an EPO staff representative in the current climate. Happily, being a member of the AC is far less risky. In that forum, outright rebellion is expressed in a more gentlemanly fashion, by abstaining from a vote every now and again, and then, to show that there are no hard feelings, publicly applauding the President for his latest production figures.
If the Administrative Council really does want to address the “culture of fear” and the indisputably toxic staff relations within the office, then allowing the management to continually target and pressurise the staff representatives seems counter-productive. As long as the AC limits its actions to public displays of hand-wringing and paternal expressions of concern, nothing will change, and staff relations will continue to dance to Mr Battistelli’s rather discordant tune. Merpel suspects that residents of the embassy districts of Munich and the Hague can expect disruptions to their lives to continue for the foreseeable future.
One person quickly asked: “Is anyone able to say how many SUPEO officials have been disciplined/sacked over, say the last three years, and give the total number of official SUPEO has had during that period?”
There are some more who have not spoken out (or been mentioned publicly) yet. To quote some other comments, consider this:
merpel, I understand you do not want to spread rumours. However, a colleague witnessed another colleague who felt faint on friday 15, at lunch time at the epo. It was a few hours after the terrible news for the 3 colleagues who were either dismissed or downgraded and this adds up to the staff rep last monday. I do not know if there is a link with the EPO situation, however I find the sole fact of 2 colleagues within a week time to fall in a faint at work with both needing medical care very worrying.
It’s then revealed that heart attacks too have happened:
@epo upside down: the one who fell sick in the canteen had a heart attack, he was already diagnosed with heart problems before that happened, so it is unrelated.
Not going to disclose more here…
Someone decided to use a famous quote:
“Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don’t give up the fight.”
― Bob Marley -
Finally, here are some statistics about attendance at today’s protest:
900. The Battistelli PR engine will probably present this as “a minority”. But it’s 30% of the EPO staff who feel strongly enough about the dismal incompetence of their superiors that they took part in this march. Assuming that at least part of the inactive majority has similar feelings but greater inertia/fear, that’s a huge concensus.
Yes, once again there is something close to a majority in attendance. The corresponding petition probably got a majority. █
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Monopoly on abstract ideas or algorithms is clearly a bad idea
Summary: News about patents on software, covering the US, India, and Europe, where trends are going in the opposite direction (patent scope broadened rather than restricted, e.g. barring abstract software patents)
THE historic decision from SCOTUS regarding Alice revolutionised the USPTO in the sense that software patents are no longer so easy to grant. Previously, based on some statistics, as much as 92% of patent applications in the US were eventually met with a grant (in other words, almost every application was “successful”, so it was a de facto rubber-stamping operation, left for the courts to actually deal with). Call it rubber-stamping or rubbish-stamping (putting a stamp on every bit or rubbish); the outcome was that legal fees would be passed to accused defendants. Patent lawyers were happy and large companies with a dedicated team of full-time lawyers didn’t mind much; the main sufferers were small companies with limited financial means and a prohibitive budget. This could bankrupt them. The patent maximalists now show in pictures two of the world’s worst patent systems (China and US) with a small number of grantees and the number of patents granted to each, showing who really benefits from such a sordid system.
“Software patents have no place in India.”The lobbyists from the US, people who are fronts for the likes of IBM and Microsoft, have been trying hard to expand this madness to software powerhouses such as India (where software patents are not allowed). This new article from the Indian media says that “Qualcomm Inc, US-based semiconductor company that designs and markets wireless telecommunication products globally, has been denied an Indian patent for an ‘invention’ regarding a technology for distributing personlised electronic coupons (e-coupons) to a slew of mobile devices through servers.”
Software patents have no place in India. This has been very clear, more so than in Europe. Neel Chatterjee and Sid Venkatesan in the mean time, writing at AOL, said yesterday that:
The second trend has been the fallout following the Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, which caused reverberations throughout the patent landscape by leading to the invalidation of many software patents. The Alice decision makes clear that patents cannot claim abstract concepts without adding anything inventive.
The decision has since been applied to invalidate many other software patents, ranging from patents covering financial techniques implemented using the Internet, ad-supported Internet content and many other computer-implemented concepts. These validity challenges are currently winning way more often than losing.
Alice’s broad impact has left software companies scratching their heads about how much to invest in software patenting, with at least some startups questioning whether to build a software patent portfolio at all. The IPR and CBM patent kill rates have only underscored these concerns.
Despite pressure from abusive EPO management, software patents are still not officially allowed in Europe. The EPO-funded 'journalists' know this and one of them continues (as before) to whitewash patent raiders, mafias, and thugs such as Sisvel. With phrases like “IP owners have also enjoyed injunctive and seizure success against alleged infringers at trade shows in other parts of Europe” one wonders how a raid can be characterised as “joy” or “success”. Previously, in Europe, Sisvel was confiscating (stealing) devices because of software patents, despite them not being eligible in Europe. This is just lawlessness — apparently lawlessness that EPO-funded writers can happily stand behind.
“Previously, in Europe, Sisvel was confiscating (stealing) devices because of software patents, despite them not being eligible in Europe.”Earlier today a software patents promoter from IP Kat (Annsley Merelle Ward) wrote about Merck and patents. “Accordingly,” she said, “Merck Global was entitled to an injunction against all defendants (joint tortfeasorship being found due to the inter-relating corporate structure of the defendants) to restrain infringement of Merck Global’s UK marks.”
Isn’t this wonderful? Patents on people’s lives. Merck is protecting its monopoly, price hikes/fixing (artificially-elevated costs), etc. It does this by means of patent aggression.
We often worry that the EU patent systems (notably the EPO if UPC ever becomes a reality) won’t retain any level of sanity and will instead deviate to fit the US system, inviting a lot of patent trolls. MIP is comparing EPO and USPTO post-grant practices, concluding that “the US process of post grant review shares many similarities with European opposition. However, the processes are not identical, with one of the most significant differences being the estoppel created by post grant review. Consideration of this difference between the processes must form a key pillar of any advice presented to clients on this issue, especially where there is the potential for future infringement proceedings.”
Well, if the EPO was ever to mimic or imitate the USPTO, then it needs to take note of the demise of software patents in the US. As this new article titled “Invalidating software claims under 35 U.S.C. § 101″ put it:
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington held, in Recognicorp, LLC v. Nintendo Co. Ltd., et al, that claims to certain methods and systems for encoding/decoding image data are not patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Recognicorp is an illustrative example of the use of preliminary motion practice to dispose of patent cases on the pleadings and of how software-based inventions that are premised on seemingly simple algorithms are particularly susceptible to early dismissal.
The key part there says that “software-based inventions that are premised on seemingly simple algorithms are particularly susceptible to early dismissal.”
The future looks fine for opponents of software patents, but nothing should be taken for granted because patent lawyers and their big clients are already scheming, as we habitually show, to reverse the precedence set at the Supreme Court. They’re revolting against what they perceive as illegitimate challenge to their power and infinite wealth (which they hide in remote islands so as to evade tax). █
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But it just won’t publicly acknowledge it
Summary: The Microsoft crisis deepens as the company’s core monopolies dry up and no substitutes are succeeding so far, except perhaps an E.E.E. (embrace, extend, extinguish) of the competition
TEN years ago when Microsoft signed a patent deal with Novell we were worried that Microsoft had the potential or the power to eliminate GNU/Linux. It was around the time of the release of Vista, before people knew just how terrible it was. Things have changed a lot since then. See the following posts about Microsoft and/or Windows dying. All of them are from 2015:
The Windows Phone Chief is now making up excuses for rejecting Microsoft products , just as the executives of KIN did (we wrote a lot about it at the time, around 2010), Vista 10 becomes a (pretty much) mandatory ‘upgrade’ , people find out that Vista 10 surveillance is even worse than previously imagined (not surprising given the NSA-Microsoft ties) with even “private” mode being under surveillance , Microsoft services are going offline for as much as days (again) , desktop sales drop like a rock  and UEFI ‘secure boot’, which Microsoft was hoping would make it hard/impossible for people to migrate to GNU/Linux, backfires on Windows , leaving Microsoft almost nowhere and even dependent on maintaining GNU/Linux clusters for income  (not many people want Windows for hosted servers/services).
Don’t worry about Microsoft too much. Yes, it is still attacking GNU/Linux and Free software using software patents, but it cannot help nosediving, no matter the accounting tricks (and massive tax evasion that now comes under IRS scrutiny and can cost the company billions of dollars. There are still layoffs every year and there is no sign of them coming to a halt. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
A number of people began pointing out that he was using an iPhone and mocking him that he could not make a better Windows phone. Silent Joe could not say anything about that. He has avoided replying to those tweets but he is replying to unrelated tweets.
Microsoft has been slipping in code with its regular updates to make users accept an upgrade to Windows 10 whether they like it or not, as reported in iTWire on Tuesday.
But preventing this from happening on systems that run Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 is not as simple as turning off automatic updates, the option recommended by Microsoft among the four on offer.
When automatic updates are turned off in Windows 7, there is no way to check updates manually. Hitting the “Check for Updates” button results in an error message popping up: “Windows Update error 80244019.”
To resolve this one has to go through a complicated series of manual steps which I would challenge the average Windows user to carry out without screwing up.
Microsoft Edge browser made a lot of hype before setting in the steps in the internet browsing market. Microsoft Edge was thought to be more secure, faster, light-weight and many more features were also integrated with it like Cortana Assist, Reading List and the new InPrivate browsing mode. According to a new research, the browser might be storing your private data even in the InPrivate mode.
Two separate outages meant that the email component of Office 365, the online version of Microsoft’s Office suite, has been down for many users, according to CloudPro.
Both Microsoft’s and Intel’s CEOs are well aware of the declining PC market, which explains why both are implementing their own versions of a mobile-first, cloud-first transformation.. But do declining PC sales really matter? And if so, how much?
Ubuntu is thwarting Microsoft’s efforts to keep PCs safe. Modern Windows PCs are required to ship with Secure Boot enabled, a safety measure that limits access to Microsoft-approved operating systems. To make life easier for Linux users, Microsoft provides Linux distribution bootloaders with a Microsoft signing key. But Ubuntu’s signed bootloader will happily boot unsigned code, breaking the whole chain of trust. Thankfully, this is set to change with the upcoming Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.
Microsoft has embraced Linux on its Azure cloud for some time now. Debian, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and Ubuntu are all supported on Azure. Now, Microsoft is taking the next step: It’s adding Ubuntu to the first public technical preview of Azure Stack, its customized private and hybrid cloud bundle.
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The Hague protest leads to serious ‘damage control’ that’s rather incredible
Summary: A detailed roundup of today’s EPO protest at the Hague — a protest that seemingly attracted a record number of participants, including groups such as the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and politicians like Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility
PATENT examiners and other EPO staff went outside to march. They exited in protest and walked in the streets of The Hague. They targeted French and German officials in particular. Later this morning we explained why everyone in Europe should support them. They’re not spoiled or even combative, they’re abused and constantly under attack. They’re barely even allowed to fall ill and they’re under tremendous pressure to work fast (sloppiness and decline in quality inevitable), so even those who are obedient, docile, passive, defeatist etc. are not safe in this kind of environment. The EPO essentially became a sweat shop with Chinese standards; I’ve heard all sorts of stories as such from my wife (she used to work in Taiwan) and the EPO is actually a lot worse than any of these. It became worse to work for the EPO in Munich or The Hague than to work for an electronics firm in Taipei. What does that say about Battistelli, who is forging closer ties with the Chinese these days?
“The EPO essentially became a sweat shop with Chinese standards…”Based on EPSU, which supplied the photograph above and previously expressed support of SUEPO: “Demo staff European Patent Office after dismissal TU reps. EPO Director claims immunity. Lawlessness needs to end” (not just lawlessness but worse).
David Brooke, a writer at WIPR, said “1000+ reportedly at The Hague EPO demo” (he linked this to a deleted tweet from John Kerstens; it’s also deleted based on this).
John Kerstens has a history of supporting EPO staff (e.g. [1, 2, 3]) and there is no sign of any similar tweet in his page right now. It says nothing about the EPO today, so we’re assuming he had a change of mind/heart and so his writings just vanished. This was noticed by a few EPO-centric accounts online (mostly Twitter); there may have been other deletions, either related or unrelated to this. It’s a bit strange. We spent hours researching prior to this post and we still don’t know the cause for such a deletion. There are deletions definitely taking place, so anyone who has more details is encouraged to contact us or say something in the comments below. Did Kerstens give a speech today?
“Mr. Cordery must have traveled a long way, so well done to him.”According to this, “Sharon Gesthuizen & John Kerstens Dutch MP + Philip Cordery French MP, FNV, Media present and +1000 participants!
Mr. Cordery must have traveled a long way, so well done to him. He’s actually doing his job these days. Remember that a Frenchman is involved or implicated in the latest crackdown on SUEPO, too.
WIPR asked EPSU: “Do you know how many people attended the demo?”
Several people independently claim over 1,000 and given the number of staff at The Hague, that’s a huge number. It’s a very high percentage, maybe even the biggest ever.
“The EPO is now an empire of lies and deception. It’s not more credible than a Blatter-led FIFA.”According to this new article from WIPR: “The Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO), in a flyer dated January 26, said the demo is part of a continuing campaign to combat the alleged “witch hunting” of union representatives.”
WIPR sought a response from the EPO's PR team, which very habitually lies these days. To quote WIPR: “A spokesperson for the EPO denied that there was a witch hunt against SUEPO and affirmed that the sanctions were taken for individuals cases. The spokesperson added that the door remains open for SUEPO to engage in a discussion on the rules and responsibilities of union recognition.”
Here again is that "union recognition" (or "social dialogue") lie. Have these people got no shame? That’s like ISIS claiming to be pursuing a peace deals while beheading people. It makes no sense at all. Totally incredulous observers should gasp and preferably respond to such utter lies, which seemingly get repeated by an unchallenged PR team. Is this the idea of FTI Consulting? Merchants of fracking that poisons people's drinking water? The EPO is now an empire of lies and deception. It’s not more credible than a Blatter-led FIFA.
“It’s good to see that Dutch media, for a change, did cover the protest this time around (it hardly did the last time).”“Dutch television reports about the “Protest against the intimidations at the European Patent Office”,” said this comment earlier in the afternoon. Well, the link there is broken and searching the site (even its Twitter feed) netted nothing relevant. It was about a Dutch broadcaster called Nos. It turned out to have published a lot on this matter. Here is “Protest tegen ‘intimidatie’ bij Europees Octrooibureau”. Translation from Dutch is needed. Marijn Duintjer Tebbens also published “Hoe ver gaat de immuniteit van het Europees Octrooibureau?” It is apparently about “Immunity”. Translation from Dutch is again needed. One more article from Nos is titled “Onderzoek naar sociale situatie Octrooibureau”. Translation from Dutch would help us understand what seems like a unique angle here. “Dutch Government Disposes Independent Social Study on current working and social conditions” is a rough translation of the gist, according to an aforementioned account in Twitter.
A Dutch news site in the English language said that the “European patent office staff [would] demonstrate against ‘intimidation’”. To quote parts of the article: “Staff from the European patent office in Rijswijk are planning to demonstrate against the sacking of two collegues and the demotion of a third, broadcaster Nos says on Thursday.
“All three are union activists and based at the patent office’s headquarters in Munich. Lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld, who represents the union, says the issue is one of ‘pure intimidation’. Workers complain they have no rights. ‘We’ve got a sort of secret service which controls the staff,’ one worker told Nos.
“We intend to try to extract new (and accurate) information out of these articles and also make a permanent record of these matters, accessible to a broader audience in English and in Spanish.”“Some 2,700 people work at the office, making it the biggest international organisation in the Netherlands.”
It’s good to see that Dutch media, for a change, did cover the protest this time around (it hardly did the last time). Matthew Stinar told me this afternoon that “the EU shouldn’t have a monopoly agency any more than a slavery agency. It’s simply uncivilized.”
“More people all across Europe are rapidly becoming aware of these issues (irrespective of corporate media) and are contacting national representatives.”Having been gathering some new bits of information and a list as complete as we can of articles, including the latest lies from the EPO’s management and PR team, let us add “Medewerkers Europese Octrooi Organisatie in protest tegen ‘angstcultuur’” and “Personeel protesteert tegen ‘intimidatie’ bij Europees Octrooibureau”. For these two we are going to need translations. Can someone please consider mailing translations to us (contact details and PGP key, if needed, are on the right pane).
“Letter of protest in German,” said this comment this morning, “from the “embittered patent examiners of the EPO” to the Union Syndicale Federale,” has been published as well. Can someone who’s fluent in German send us an English translation of this new letter? We intend to try to extract new (and accurate) information out of these articles and also make a permanent record of these matters, accessible to a broader audience in English and in Spanish. More people all across Europe are rapidly becoming aware of these issues (irrespective of corporate media) and are contacting national representatives. █
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This recent photograph of Rick Frenkel (from Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng) shows or reminds us that Frenkel is still fighting patent trolls
Summary: Recent developments in the world of patent trolls, including the relation to Apple and Linux/Android, where (software) patent battles persist and have become a considerable factor
THE decline of Apple can be explained in all sorts of ways (Android/Linux had a lot to do with it). But what we’re particularly interested in is Apple’s nasty patent litigation strategy, which motivated our call for a boycott half a decade ago, some time after the seminal attacks (on a lesser-armed HTC). The EPO shares the blame here as it too facilitated some of these attacks by incorrectly granting patents which were only later found to be invalid.
The most vocal proponents of software patents have just reminds us that “Samsung is going to pay Apple approximately $546 million in damages as part of the ongoing patent infringement dispute between the two technology giants.”
“The EPO shares the blame here as it too facilitated some of these attacks by incorrectly granting patents which were only later found to be invalid.”This is about software patents. Apple is trying to use them not just to tax rival products but also ban these. But it’s a two-edged sword because Apple is being sued for a similar amount (half a billion dollars) by a patent troll. This time, as always, it’s software patents (patent trolls rarely use any other kind of patents). The infamous patent troll VirnetX wants jury to give it a half-billion dollars of Apple’s cash. There’s something poetic about it, given the above news. When patent trolls hit Apple, as this new article from Joe Mullin helps show, big damages are being claimed. “A trial has just kicked off in the patent hotspot of East Texas,” Mullin wrote, “and it’s a big one. VirnetX, a patent-holding company that says it owns wide-ranging rights to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), is facing off against Apple.
“VirnetX says that Apple’s VPN technology, as well as its FaceTime video-messaging, both infringe the company’s patents. A jury trial began today, and VirnetX seeks $532 million in damages.”
“This is about software patents. Apple is trying to use them not just to tax rival products but also ban these.”We have written a lot about VirnetX and about East Texas in the past. This is a great example of what software patents do for patent trolls.
Speaking of East Texas, it turns out that Patent Troll Tracker (Rick Frenkel) is busy there right now. He wrote a lot about Fish & Richardson PC, especially when the father of patent trolling, Mr. Niro, sued them (before Frenkel and his employer Cisco got sued). Recall what got Patent Troll Tracker in trouble (lots of articles about this here). Fish & Richardson had a lot to do with that, even if indirectly. Fish & Richardson is a firm that worked for multinationals such as Samsung and Nokia on patents. It now expresses love of the UPC (less than a day ago in lawyer’s media). Yesterday’s publication from them says: “The next big step for the UPC will be selection of judges. Approximately 1,300 persons have indicated an interest, including many highly qualified judges, attorneys-at-law and patent attorneys. The Preparatory Committee is expected to adopt a selection procedure at their meeting on February 24-25, 2016 and begin the process immediately thereafter.”
“It turns out that Patent Troll Tracker is still fighting patent trolls.”Fish & Richardson itself is a firm of patent lawyers, and one that represents clients who can bring a lot of income when a company such as Apple, for instance, let alone some small patent troll, takes advantage of the UPC for large-scale cross-border lawsuits. Bear this in mind; see who’s rooting for the UPC; it shows who would benefit from it. Nothing at all to do with European SMEs.
Interestingly enough, Joe Mullin has just published this piece about patent trolls that attacked Newegg and quickly regretted it. It turns out that Patent Troll Tracker is still fighting patent trolls. Defamation lawsuits from trolls did not stop him. To quote from the top: “Latham & Watkins partner Rick Frenkel, who represents Newegg in some of its patent cases. Frenkel and Cheng made a stop for BBQ and fried pies on a recent trip to the patent hotspot of East Texas.” █
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Helping patent trolls, whose weapon of choice is software patents
Robert L. Stoll speaks at an event of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, not to be mistaken for a greedy, Koch Industries-tied, right-wing anti-science think tank called the Heritage Foundation (photo source)
Summary: The latest example of biased, incomplete coverage regarding patents, where people who profit from patent feuds pretend to speak for US interests rather than themselves and mega-corporations which they came from
THE MEDIA’S reporting on issues such as patents is poor if not outright appalling. The media likes speaking to patent lawyers rather than people who are actually impacted by patents. The media also speaks to officials of the patent system, such as David Kappos, an IBM employee who ran the USPTO and now makes money from patent maximalism inside a patents-centric firm (from public office to private vultures, or revolving doors). He promotes software patents these days.
“The media likes speaking to patent lawyers rather than people who are actually impacted by patents.”Speaking of IBM, as we noted here the other day, Forbes keeps hyping up the accumulation of patents (“Why Does IBM’s Intellectual Property Revenue Continue To Decline”) for reasons that are to do with ownership (of media). As long as large corporations dominate the media, the bias will be embedded and many people will just take it for granted, unless they read alternative media or blogs such as this.
The propaganda persists today, courtesy of what The Hill misleadingly labels “contributor” (sounds innocent enough); supported by patent lawyers who love software patents, Robert L. Stoll has just published in lobbyists’ media an attack on the Alice-related tests. “New patent subject-matter eligibility test hurts US competitiveness” says the headline. What utter nonsense. One again the USPTO or some patent lawyer pretends that software patents are good for the US economy (maybe good for his own parasitic occupation, contrary to the real economy). “For this reason,” he concludes, our courts must reexamine the “two-prong test” on patent subject-matter eligibility. America’s innovation economy and the jobs it creates cannot long survive the abandonment of the broad subject-matter eligibility that has made us world leaders in innovation for the past century.”
“The policies they advocate also help patent trolls and software patents proponents such as IBM (which Kappos came from).”What jobs has Stoll held which actually produced something? Has Stoll even written a single line of code in his lifetime? Who is Stoll anyway? By his own description, “Stoll is a partner and co-chair of the intellectual property group at Drinker Biddle & Reath and a former commissioner for patents at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.” According to his work profile: “He earned his law degree from Catholic University while working at the USPTO. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland.” Nothing at all to do with software then.
It’s sad that those reading the corporate/mainstream media are exposed to views from the likes of Stoll and Kappos. They don’t care about “America’s innovation economy and the jobs” as they claim. They just care about their own job, which involves taxing (patent tax) those who actually create stuff. The policies they advocate also help patent trolls and software patents proponents such as IBM (which Kappos came from). █
“If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect.”
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