01.28.16

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EPO Staff at The Hague to Protest Shortly; Here is Why We Should All Support Them

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Hague

Summary: Some background information about the European Patent Office protest which is about to commence at The Hague

IT IS not uncommon to find people out there who misunderstand my stance on the issues, or intentionally misrepresent my views in an effort to discredit my work (ensuring that others misunderstand my stance). The EPO is nothing new to me. I have written about the EPO for nearly a decade and about patents more generally for even longer than that. My main focus, as was the focus of many others (like FFII), was abolishing software patents. I even wrote letters to the boards in the past. I have been quite heavily involved in this debate for a long time. This is in fact why some sources came to me and chose me as their reporter.

“To put it crudely, today’s EPO is ruled by monsters.”Software patents are no longer the only cause for concern. There are other kinds of patents that deserve scrutiny. Here for example is a new article about patents that should never have been granted. The article says: “Science and technology ministry officials said India has filed about 1,400 pre-grant opposition in many international patent offices. The European Patent Office accepted the argument. [...] The EPO junked the application in June 2015.” Well, why was it granted in the first place in other nations? The matter of fact is, patent law has its place in society, but maximalists who make money from patents (the more of them, the merrier, for them at least) have blown it out of proportion. There is no cost/benefit analysis. The same can be said about copyright law, which now sometimes covers works well beyond the creator’s death, harming dissemination of information and limiting the sharing of culture, folklore, etc. Laws which include temporary monopolies need to be considered in light of their collective impact. Policy-setting must be facts-based.

Our focus in covering patents and especially the EPO shifted somewhat when we discovered the gross injustices inflicted by Team Battistelli. To put it crudely, today’s EPO is ruled by monsters. The behaviour of these monsters is killing people. Battistelli wants bodyguards around him for the same reasons Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán (another sloeber) wants guards around him. It is no exaggeration to say that if it wasn’t for the publicly-visible outcry at the EPO, there would probably be no awareness at all of these issues. This weekend or next week, time permitting, major new revelations about the EPO (right after today’s protest in The Hague) will be published here. We still have many articles/drafts — some of which will be published at strategic times to coincide with particular new developments. Also, the 20,000th blog post of Techrights will be published some time soon.

“It is no exaggeration to say that if it wasn’t for the publicly-visible outcry at the EPO, there would probably be no awareness at all of these issues.”A protest at The Hague is scheduled to begin shortly. As we noted here the other day, representatives at The Hague are under severe attacks (one suffered a third nervous breakdown) and they are not allowed to speak about what’s going on. Is this compatible with European human rights standards? Of course not! It’s clear who’s on the wrong side of history here.

The EPO under the reign of Team Battistelli is quite a dungeon. You can get fired (plus other attacks, beyond the firing) for merely mentioning you are a suspect/accused for speaking to another suspect/accused. No establishment of guilt is even needed! Wow! Just wow! Try framing this hypothetically, with a hypothetical scenario. Imagine your employer one day accuses you — merely accuses — of saying the truth (which you know is true, but can be embarrassing to the employer). Then, another person you spoke to — one to whom you told the truth (e.g. a colleague) — is accused. Accused of what you ask? Of speaking to you. Then fired. Then loses the pension too. And what’s the core of the accusation? Merely mentioning this accusation to colleagues. Well, that’s what we have at the EPO right now. It’s a horrible witch-hunt. People lost the right to even speak, let alone think. Being accused of communicating with another person who is being accused and being forced not to mention the accusation is something you might expect to be a sequel of ’1984′. No wonder EPO staff is up in arms and protests in large numbers.

“This isn’t about justice; it’s just muscle-flexing by Team Battistelli. They found some scapegoats and now they try to make an example out of them.”We got pinged earlier this morning by this tweet which said “Director @EPOorg Battestelli dismissed TU staff. Protests continue @mariannethyssen to demand respect TU rights” (this comes not from EPO staff but from a European group protecting union rights, or the right for workers to unite).

We cannot make a safe guess regarding the accusations against Jesús Areso (it looks like he has a LinkedIn page) and Laurent Prunier, but we can assure readers it’s about as absurd as the accusations against Munich staff. This isn’t about justice; it’s just muscle-flexing by Team Battistelli. They found some scapegoats and now they try to make an example out of them. The higher the profile (visibility) of the scapegoats, the more fear and therefore docility it helps generate.

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