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

01.29.16

Dutch Media’s Coverage of Protest at The Hague Leaves VP1 Minnoye a New Laughing Stock of the EPO’s Staff

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Internally known as Meany Minnoye

Protest at The Hague
Photo of the protest at The Hague courtesy of Marieke Manschot

Summary: As the ‘damage control’ person for EPO management, which is extremely unpopular these days, Guillaume Minnoye ended up just insulting the Dutch legal system and reinforcing workers’ negative perception of their management

YESTERDAY we published 5 articles about the protest at The Hague (see this Wiki for a complete list or check this couple of later articles). All the articles we found were in Dutch, except for one article from Dutch News (which writes in English). This means that we are still waiting and hoping to find some translations. Here is yet another article about the protest or related/surrounding events, titled “Medewerkers Europese Octrooi Organisatie zijn tirannie beu en gaan de straat op. By our rough count, there are now at least 10 different Dutch articles about the latest developments. That’s not even counting blogs! This probably means that the protest had the desired outcome. Despite having nothing to do with football or celebrities (e.g. FIFA or David Bowie), the matter is now mainstream news, at least in Holland.

“SUEPO has called for independent mediation between it and the EPO several times to no avail. In the meantime, Union officials are sacked, demoted, subjected to secret investigations and made sick.”
      –Anonymous
Yesterday we posted a video of VP1 Minnoye (a better video is now available though Twitter). Minnoye was mentioned here several times before, e.g. in [1, 2, 3, 4] (he’s no friend of Techrights, which he reportedly moans about).

By agreeing to speak for the EPO (maybe it was the default choice for language-related/lingual reasons) Guillaume Minnoye put himself in the firing line. We’d like to share just a sample of (the more polite) responses to his appearance on Dutch TV.

One person wrote that this “pathetic VP1 [is] stating “his door is always open” when he is one of the most aggressive ones towards SUEPO officials is an absolute must see” and the response was this: “Does the revelation by SUEPO in October that VP1 met a journalist of the Financiele Dagblad shortly before the latter published confidential information relating to a disciplinary procedure against a judge to discredit him (http://techrights.org/2015/10/19/benoit-battistelli-smears/) perhaps explain the sudden mad hunt then triggered against the Union?”

We wrote about this at the time. A Dutch article probably defamed an EPO/board judge. If Minnoye was behind it, then maybe some time in the future Minnoye can be sued for defamation. See the hypocrisy here?

“EPO VP Minnoye seems to be singing from the same hymn-sheet as the Dutch government.”
      –Anonymous
“This is a bit weird,” another person wrote. “The Dutch government seems to deliberately show a Janus-face regarding this issue. On one hand they now start an independent investigation into working conditions and are publicly negative about EPO management, but on the other hand they are extremely dismissive of the decision reached by the The Hague Court of Appeal (and in my view disrespectful regarding the judiciary) in SUEPO v EPO last year. They formally were allowed to join the proceedings in appeal at the Hoge Raad (supreme court) last year on the side of EPO. According Volkskrant in that case, oral arguments are heard today (Friday 29).

“I wonder if these are two fully separate processes, or whether it is a deliberate attempt to act socially but at the same time maintaining the image of an international organization friendly privileges respecting nation….”

Regarding the investigation to be launched into the EPO’s practices, one person noted that “no social study will be performed by the Netherlands. They “just” refer to the study of the Administrative Council as Tweedy Chambers mentions….”

The following comment agrees:

Yes, the “social study” is not being done by the Dutch government, but was something forced on the President by the AC in what someone correctly called its “hand-wringing” mode. If I remember rightly BB announced that it would be done in “close co-operation” with himself. Whatever about the study’s so-called independence after this statement the AC is simply kicking the ball down the road.

SUEPO has called for independent mediation between it and the EPO several times to no avail. In the meantime, Union officials are sacked, demoted, subjected to secret investigations and made sick.

For Merpel’s information about the sick Union official: in the “good old days” if the EPO’s doctor disagreed with a treating physician about an employee’s sickness, there was a dispute resolution mechanism involving one of a panel of third specialists to which they could jointly refer the case. This worked well, too well for it to be allowed to continue under BB. I do not know if he bothered to send an office doctor in this case, but rather formed his own opinion. It would not be the first time that he has ignored medical opinion, even from a doctor of the office, when it has suited him.

“The literal translation,” noted another commenter about a related matter, “is: The government worries on the social situation within the Patent Office, but remarks that it is irrelevant for the question whether or not an international organisation has immunity if it is accused of violations of human rights or other violations of international law.”

“Did you hear that, excellent judges of the Supreme Court? Don’t even BOTHER to render a decision! Because “the Rule of Law and Human Rights will never apply at the European Patent Office!”
      –Anonymous
Anonymous then wrote: “Congratulations to my management. Have just watched the National News on Dutch TV. EPO and this sordid story – news item number 5 (and the apparent wonderful production figures over the last few years didn’t feature once in the item – we were even the item before Iranian President’s visit to France !). All this when there are an awful lot more important things going on in the world. Rather sad. Some say that there is “no such thing as bad press”, some also say that “what goes around, comes around”,, all we know he’s managed to make a mountain out of a molehill by trying to use a hammer to crack a nut,,,”

One person had written that “Minnoye declaring to the NL TV that should the Cassation case be lost for the EPO they will simply disregard its application ….” (we don’t have a translation of what he said, but let’s assume he did say so).

“Did you hear that,” joked one commenter, “excellent judges of the Supreme Court? Don’t even BOTHER to render a decision! Because “the Rule of Law and Human Rights will never apply at the European Patent Office! NEVER! Mwuhahahahaha!!”

If this is the sort of mentality that Minnoye brings to the EPO, what does that say about Minnoye?

Here is another new take on it:

EPO VP Minnoye seems to be singing from the same hymn-sheet as the Dutch government.

I’m not 100% sure whether I correctly understood this article from NOS but the last line seems to say that the Dutch government takes the position that immunity of an IO has to be accorded precedence over alleged violations of human rights and other international law:
“De regering maakt zich weliswaar zorgen over de sociale situatie bij het Octrooibureau, maar stelt: “voor de vraag of een internationale organisatie immuniteit toekomt (is) niet van belang of haar mensenrechtenschendingen of andere schendingen van internationaal recht verweten worden.”

http://nos.nl/nieuwsuur/artikel/2083389-hoe-ver-gaat-de-immuniteit-van-het-europees-octrooibureau.html

Maybe a Dutch native speaker can clarify ???

The Hague is probably best known (or internationally-renowned) for international justice, but the EPO has made a laughing stock out of it. Instead of the The Hague being synonymous with criminal justice (e.g. war crimes) it may soon become synonymous with docility and complicity for the betterment of corporate power. As this one comment put it:

Really? Are they not thinking about the consequences? Do the really want to have a decision that would discredit the whole system of International Organizations in the Netherland?

What credibility wold be left e.g. for

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
International Court of Justice
International Criminal Court
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
Permanent Court of International Justice
Special Court for Sierra Leone
Special Tribunal for Lebanon

“Oh, but wait: we are allowed to violate human rights and international law in order to enforce human rights and international law”?

Would it not be easier to dump Battistelli?

Whatever is happening in The Hague right now (politically or otherwise), this is an embarrassment to the Dutch and it’s the EPO’s fault. Dutch politicians ought to get more actively involved in order to salvage what’s left of this city’s courts’/tribunals’ reputation, especially after last year’s ruling, which Battistelli simply snubbed and disregarded. Earlier today I exchanged a few words with John Kerstens. He is one among several Dutch politicians who should be commended for having the courage to confront the out-of-control EPO management, which even threatens politicians and delegates.

“It is strangely absurd to suppose that a million of human beings, collected together, are not under the same moral laws which bind each of them separately.”

Thomas Jefferson

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 26/4/2017: SMPlayer 17.4.2, Libreboot Wants to Rejoin GNU

    Links for the day



  2. PatentShield is Not the Solution and It Won't Protect Google/Android From Patent Trolls Like Microsoft's

    A new initiative called "PatentShield" is launched, but it's yet another one of those many initiatives (Peer-to-Patent and the likes of it, LOT Network, OIN, PAX etc.) that serve to distract from the real and much simpler solutions



  3. Patent Quality Crisis and Unprecedented Trouble at the European Patent Office (EPO) Negatively Affect Legitimate Companies in the US As Well

    The granting en masse of questionable patents by the EPO (patent maximalism) is becoming a liability and growing risk to companies which operate not only in Europe but also elsewhere



  4. Blog 'Takeovers' by Bristows and Then Censorship: Now This Firm Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Then Deletes Comments That Point Out the Errors

    Not only are Bristows employees grabbing the mic in various high-profile IP blogs for the purpose of UPC promotion (by distortion of facts); they also actively suppress critics of the UPC



  5. Links 25/4/2017: Kali Linux 2017.1 Released, NSA Back Doors in Windows Cause Chaos

    Links for the day



  6. Astoundingly, IP Kat Has Become a Leading Source of UPC and Battistelli Propaganda

    The pro-UPC outlets, which enjoy EPO budget (i.e. stakeholders' money), are becoming mere amplifiers of Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand UPC woman Margot Fröhlinger, irrespective of actual facts



  7. EPO Fiasco to be Discussed in German Local Authority (Bavarian Parliament) Some Time Today as the Institution Continues Its Avoidable Collapse

    Conflict between management and staff -- a result of truly destructive strategies and violations of the law by Benoît Battistelli -- continues to escalate and threatens to altogether dismantle the European Patent Office (EPO)



  8. In the US and Elsewhere, Qualcomm's Software Patents Are a Significant Tax Everyone Must Pay

    The state of the mobile market when companies such as Qualcomm, which don't really produce anything, take a large piece of the revenue pie



  9. In South Asia, Old Myths to Promote Patent Maximalism, Courtesy of the Patent Microcosm

    The latest example of software patents advocacy and patent 'parades' in India, as well as something from IPOS in Singapore



  10. Links 24/4/2017: Linux 4.11 RC8, MPV 0.25

    Links for the day



  11. Why Authorities in the Netherlands Need to Strip the EPO of Immunity and Investigate Fire Safety Violations

    How intimidation and crackdown on the staff representatives at the EPO may have led to lack of awareness (and action) about lack of compliance with fire safety standards



  12. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part IX: Testament to the Fear of an Autocratic Regime

    A return to the crucial observation and a reminder of the fact that at the EPO it takes great courage to say the truth nowadays



  13. For the Fordham Echo Chamber (Patent Maximalism), Judges From the EPO Boards of Appeal Are Not Worth Entertaining

    In an event steered if not stuffed by patent radicals such as Bristows and Microsoft (abusive, serial litigators) there are no balanced panels or even reasonable discussions



  14. EPO Staff Representatives Fired Using “Disciplinary Committee That Was Improperly Composed” as Per ILO's Decision

    The Board of the Administrative Council at European Patent Organisation is being informed of the union-busting activities of Battistelli -- activities that are both illegal (as per national and international standards) and are detrimental to the Organisation



  15. Links 23/4/2017: End of arkOS, Collabora Office 5.3 Released

    Links for the day



  16. Intellectual Discovery and Microsoft Feed Patent Trolls Like Intellectual Ventures Which Then Strategically Attack Rivals

    Like a swarm of blood-sucking bats, patent trolls prey on affluent companies that derive their wealth from GNU/Linux and freedom-respecting software (Free/libre software)



  17. The European Patent Office Has Just Killed a Cat (or Skinned a 'Kat')

    The EPO’s attack on the media, including us, resulted in a stream of misinformation and puff pieces about the EPO and UPC, putting at risk not just European democracy but also corrupting the European press



  18. Yann Ménière Resorts to Buzzwords to Recklessly Promote Floods of Patents, Dooming the EPO Amid Decline in Patent Applications

    Battistelli's French Chief Economist is not much of an economist but a patent maximalist toeing the party line of Monsieur Battistelli (lots of easy grants and litigation galore, for UPC hopefuls)



  19. Even Patent Bullies Like Microsoft and Facebook Find the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Useful

    Not just companies accused of patent infringement need the PTAB but also frequent accusers with deep pockets need the PTAB, based on some new figures and new developments



  20. Links 21/4/2017: Qt Creator 4.2.2, ROSA Desktop Fresh R9

    Links for the day



  21. At the EPO, Seeding of Puff Piece in the Press/Academia Sometimes Transparent Enough to View

    The EPO‘s PR team likes to 'spam' journalists and others (for PR) and sometimes does this publicly, as the tweets below show — a desperate recruitment and reputation laundering drive



  22. Affordable and Sophisticated Mobile Devices Are Kept Away by Patent Trolls and Aggressors That Tax Everything

    The war against commoditisation of mobile computing has turned a potentially thriving market with fast innovation rates into a war zone full of patent trolls (sometimes suing at the behest of large companies that hand them patents for this purpose)



  23. In Spite of Lobbying and Endless Attempts by the Patent Microcosm, US Supreme Court Won't Consider Any Software Patent Cases Anymore (in the Foreseeable Future)

    Lobbyists of software patents, i.e. proponents of endless litigation and patent trolls, are attempting to convince the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to have another look at abstract patents and reconsider its position on cases like Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International



  24. Expect Team UPC to Remain in Deep Denial About the Unitary Patent/Unified Court (UPC) Having No Prospects

    The prevailing denial that the UPC is effectively dead, courtesy of sites and blogs whose writers stood to profit from the UPC



  25. EPO in 2017: Erroneously Grant a Lot of Patents in Bulk or Get Sacked

    Quality of patent examination is being abandoned at the EPO and those who disobey or refuse to play along are being fired (or asked to resign to avoid forced resignations which would stain their record)



  26. Links 21/4/2017: System76 Entering Phase Three, KDE Applications 17.04, Elive 2.9.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  27. Bristows-Run IP Kat Continues to Spread Lies to Promote the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Advance the EPO Management's Agenda

    An eclectic response to some of the misleading if not villainous responses to the UPC's death knell in the UK, as well as other noteworthy observations about think tanks and misinformation whose purpose is to warp the patent system so that it serves law firms, for the most part at the expense of science and technology



  28. Links 20/4/2017: Tor Browser 6.5.2, PacketFence 7.0, New Firefox and Chrome

    Links for the day



  29. Patents on Business Methods and Software Are Collapsing, But the Patent Microcosm is Working Hard to Change That

    The never-ending battle over patent law, where those who are in the business of patents push for endless patenting, is still ongoing and resistance/opposition is needed from those who actually produce things (other than litigation) or else they will be perpetually taxed by parasites



  30. IAM, the Patent Trolls' Voice, is Trying to Deny There is a Growing Trolling Problem in Europe

    IAM Media (the EPO's and trolls' mouthpiece) continues a rather disturbing pattern of propaganda dressed up as "news", promoting the agenda of parasites who drain the economy by extortion of legitimate (producing) companies


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