01.31.16

Battistelli Y Su Guardia Pretoriana: ¿Paranoia, Megalomanía, o Ambas? ¿Está los ‘Redes de Suicidio’ Estilo-China en la OEP Próxima Agenda?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Original/English

Publicado in Site News at 11:22 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

La visión de Battistelli de la OEP es extremadamente triste

Foxconn suicide nets
Foxconn redes preventivas de suicidio. Photo credit: Gizmodo

Sumario: Una mirada atrás (cerca de doce años) a los días en que Pinocho Battistelli caminaba con guarda espaldas mientras que tenía sólo un oficial frances en la INPI.

Hay un montón de cosas que los empleados de la OEP no sabe. El flujo de informacion es impedido por una atmosfera de terror, que es impuesta desde arriba (desde la gerencia).

¨Noto algunas referencias a los guardaespaldas de Battistelli en tus artículos en Techrights,¨ un lector nos dice. ¨Parece que Battistelli tiene una inclinación por ellos que data antes que su presente trabajo en la OEP.¨

“Battistelli tiene todos los marcos de las ventanas en la OEP sellados.”
      –Anonymous
Nuestro lector continua: ¨Reciéntememte encontre un humoristico blog post frances de 2004 que reporta en el debut público como Director del Instituto Nacional Frances de Propiedad Intelectual Industrial (INPI) en el ¨Enjeux Press Review¨ que tuvo lugar el Lunes 5 de Julio de 2004. Al final del reporte es mencionado que en aquella ocación Battistelli estuvo acompañado de dos guardaespaldas.

“El blog post frances por Jean-Bernard Condat [de Paris] puede ser encontrado aquí. Añadí una traducción al Ingles [PDF] que atenta capturar el humor del original. Tengan la libertad de compartirlo con sus lectores!¨

Bajo Battistelli, la OEP nos hace recordar de una zona de guerra. Incluso usa lenguaje de guerra para mantener a sus empleados bajo control, como si estuviera combatiendo una gran legión de terroristas con armas de destrucción masiva. A sus representantes simplemente los llama ¨Mafia¨. Bueno parece que hay un elemento combativo dentro de la OEP, esto es algo que él trajo consigo en vez de heredarlo de Brimelow su predecesor. Esto no es un lider, es una monarquía; es REPRESIVA. Para citar partes del PDF (que incorpora fotos y más):

Benoît Battistelli, nuevo Director-General de la INPI, hace su debut público

[...]

BATTISTELLI permanece calmo and responde que “el no es personamente un ayatollah de derechos de IP para las PYMEs”.

[...]

BATTISTELLI se levanta para irse y sus dos guardaespaldas lo siguen. Se terminó el concierto.

“Battistelli tiene todos los marcos de las ventanas en la OEP sellados,” nos dijo una persona reciéntemente. Así es como ¨previene¨ suicidios en la oficina (que se maten en otro lugar no importa, pero no en ´mi´ oficina´). No más salto por las ventanas. Pero los colegas se mutilan a sí mismos en sus oficinas ahora mismo. A Pinocho no le gusta la sangrienta mancha que dejen atrás. Ha decidido silenciarlos al comenzar un proceso investigativo en su contra. Una vez este comienza, los empleados no tienen derecho de hablar acerca de cada detalle del mismo. El debe saber mejor -esto es una bomba de tiempo.¨

Es como esas redes anti-suicidio en Foxconn (China). ¨No estan resolviendo el problema,¨ como mi esposa lo puso cuando le pregunté su opinión, ellas ¨simplemente implementando un remedio temporario¨.

“No asesines a un hombre que esta cometiendo suicidio.”

Woodrow Wilson

EFF: “Las Patentes de Software Arruinan Todo”

Posted in EFF, Patents at 4:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

English/Original

Posted in EFF, Patents at 9:27 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EFF logo

Sumario: La Fundación Frontera Electrónica parece estar retornando a un directo criticísmo de las patentes de software en vez de criticar grupos particulares o personas que las explotan, ejemplo los trolles de patentes.

A través de los años (desde 2006 cuando Novell pago servicio de labios a la EFF con un dinero) hemos apoyado y criticado el punto de vista de la EFF sobre las patentes de software. Últimamente escribimos hace unos días. Otros articulos en tales materias incluyen:

Basado en Este nuevo artículo from de EFF (publicado reciéntemente), no sólo la EFF es capaz de nombrar a los Trolles de Patentes explícitamente (siempre era acerca de ¨estúpidas¨ patentes y ¨trolles¨), también esta preparada para golpearlas. Para citar algúnos paragrafos:

En Diciembre más de 3,000 de ustedes se reunierón a apoyar una propuesta del Departamento de Educacion (ED) que haría sus recursos Educacionales mucho más accesibles a educadores y estudiantes en todo el mundo.

Ustedes no fueron los únicos: La Fundación de Sofware Libre, Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, la Software Freedom Conservancy, y numerosos otros grupos a favor del usuario hablaron fuerte. Juntos, mandamos un mensaje a alto volumen: La red de equipo está en el lado de educación abierta.

Leyendo a través de todos los 147 comentarios, un modelo emerge. Proponentes de la Web abierta, grupos de educación abierta y muchos educadores profesionales todos apoyan la idea de recusos solventados por el Departamente de Educación sean COMPARTIDOS CON LICENCIAS ABIERTAS (aunque tengamos diferencias en ciertos detalles). Aunque un grupo nos seguía confundiendo: las universidades. ¿PORQUÉ HAY ALGUNAS UNIVERSIDADES OPONIÉNDOSE A UN MANDATO QUE BENEFICIARÍA DIRECTAMENTE A SUS ESTUDIANTES Y FACULTAD?

Cuando cavas un poquito más, parece que esta oposición a licensia abierta no tiene que ver con el acceso de los estudiantes a recursos educacionales. Lo que en realidad sale a la luz es una lucha larga acerca de como las universidades usan patentes, más específicamente patentes de software. La Educación Abierta y al alcance de las mayorías simplemente esta en medio del fuego.

[...]

Las Patentes de Software Arruinan Todo

La expresión de la AAU cuestiona ¨si el Departamento tiene la autoridad legal bajo la 35 USC 212 para emitir un requerimiento para licensiar abiertamente todo el código fuente de sofware financiado con fondos de grants.¨ Esto es una referencia a una ley de 1980, comúnmente conocida como la Bayh-Dole Act. Antes que ella las Universidades no podían aplicar por patentes creadas usando fondos federales; en vez de eso, el gobierno era el responsable de patentar invenciones fundadas federalmente [.pdf]; cuando lo hizo así sólo las dejaba usar a otros bajo licencias no exclusivas.

Despues de Bayh-Dole, toda una industria de transfer de tecnología de las universidades apareció. Cada programa de transfer tiene sus propias políticas, algunas son más flexibles y amicables a los deseos del inventor que otras pero todas existen para vender o licensiar invenciones de facultad a terceros. Algunas de ellas ejercen sus patentes directamentte, como la Universida de Wisconsin-Madiso hizo en su juicio contra Apple.

Es importante notar aqui que la propuesta de la ED no toca las patentes de ninguna manera. Ya que la propuesta cubre software, es posible que los recipientes quieran aplicar por algunas patentes cubiertas bajo esas policies. No hay nada en la propuesta que los impida hacer eso: no toda licencia de open source que obligaría a la política requeriría que sus creadores desistan de derechos de aserción de patentes.

Recuerden que las patentes de software están dando combustible a los trolles, así que cualquier discución acerca de trolles de patentes frecuentemente evade el núcleo central en vez de ello trata los simtomas (para la alegría de las grandes corporaciones). La OEP fundada Iam ´magazine´ que maquilla a lo trolles de patentes, acepta dinero de ellos y les organiza eventos, esta disfrazando las patentes de abiertas ahora mismo (¨innovación abierta¨) y muestra que pasa cuando los espéculadores de patentes habla o otros de su misma calaña. Iam se ha convertido en una clase de PROPONENTE DE TROLLS Y MAXIMALISTAS. Es suave y tierno con los trolles y los llamados entidades asertoras de patentes. En el otro extremo hay sitios como IP Troll Tracker, que ahora felicita a Florian Müller por criticar el sistema de patentes de los Estados Unidos. En todo es bueno ver que la EFF ahora habla un poco más acerca de las patentes de software no sólo de trolles de patentes. Los animamos a hacerlo más frequentemente. La Fundación De Frontera Electrónica parece estar retornando a un directo criticismo de las patentes de software en vez de grupos particulares que las explotan, ejemplo los trolles de patentes.

01.30.16

When European SMEs Make the Mistake of Relying on the EPO’s Integrity, Now Want to Even SUE the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And the European Patent Office (EPO) wants even more power with the Unitary Patent?

Sorting ideas

Summary: The EPO’s alleged mistreatment of small applicants that actually come from Europe (unlike prolific applicants that enjoy a fast lane and come from outside Europe) riles up even the most important stakeholders and creates a desire to sue the European Patent Office

TECHRIGHTS has mostly focused on the serious human rights violations by the EPO in recent years. Prior to that, software patents in Europe were the main subject of focus and earlier this month, opening the year 2016, we also revisited the gross discrimination against small European businesses. The EPO is not European (in the EU sense); it’s an international institution for internationalists, globalists, multinationals or whatever one calls billionaires and their large corporations that are politically connected and often evade tax using all softs of dirty (but legalised by their lobbyists) tricks.

“The EPO is not European (in the EU sense); it’s an international institution…”As recently promised, today we start shedding some more light on how small European businesses feel about the EPO. European businesses that actually had the displeasure of dealing with the EPO that is, not some mythical SMEs that the EPO's PR team speaks of…

We wish to start with the following letter, redacted a little in order to better protect various people’s identities and cases.

President Benoît Battistelli

European Patent Office

80298 Munich

Germany

Dear M. Battistelli

[redcated]

Further to my letter of [redcated] I have received a reply from [redcated]. I remain gravely concerned about how inventors, in particular individual inventors, are handled by the EPO.

My concern is that European citizens are able to secure the maximum possible Intellectual Property (“IP”) that they are entitled to in the shortest possible time so that economic value is maximised. This cannot be the case if the EPO refuses applications on which the EPO accepts there is patentable IP and if the EPO takes more than 6 years to arrive at this position.

In the case of my [redcated] EPO agreed to grant a patent on the basis of [redcated] as set out in the document [redcated] and that he could review that claim to ensure all IP was included and submit dependent claims. This resulted in submissions [redcated]. The first, [redcated], addressed the omissions and the subsequent filings were modifications to accommodate EPO objections. Contrary to the refusal letter just sent out [redcated] did not refuse [redcated] per se but was seeking the above augmentation (IP omitted and dependent claims) previously agreed. In accordance with the advice of [redcated] in his submission of [redcated] set out revised arguments and the order by which his claim revisions should be reviewed.

[redcated]

Had this review process been followed then, as a very disappointing minimum, there should have been a letter to grant on the basis of [redcated] and not the refusal [redcated].

Not only have the documents not been reviewed as outlined (they have reviewed [redcated]) but your examiners claim there is no [redcated] on file! If the examiners believed there to be no such document why did they not contact [redcated] to clarify the position? [redcated] is on file dated [redcated].

In addition to losing [redcated], your examiners appear to have lost the inventive step agreed at the first oral hearing. As the diagram below shows all the features present in [redcated] have been migrated into [redcated]. How therefore has the inventive step in [redcated] been lost in [redcated]? The text also shows the correction to the structure and addition of the [redcated].

[redcated]

Most troubling of all the issues is the basis on which the EPO has rejected [redcated]. [redcated] outlines this as follows: -

[redcated]

I am gravely concerned because it would appear that the examiners have themselves created a false inventive step solely for the purpose of rejecting claim [redcated]! Taking features in common between inventions then falsely making out that this is the inventions inventive step is clearly a basis by which all inventions could be refused. If this is so there is a very serious affair to address.

[redcated] has [redcated] for an explanation but none has been forthcoming from any of them. This in itself speaks volumes. [redcated] enquiries should be answered as a matter of urgency. The inventive step agreed at the first oral hearing is surely documented on the file. Please could I see this document? I am keen to understand the truth of this matter. I understand [redcated] has a recording of the first oral hearing which, if necessary, will provide definitive answers. Apparently inventive step was discussed for at least an hour.

I find it unacceptable that the EPO should issue a letter of refusal whilst disputed items are still being debated and to do so without first consulting the applicant. The examiners have written off years of work at the stroke of a pen despite accepting there is patentable IP to be had. The only option for [redcated] is further expense and further delay none of which seems fair or reasonable.

Surely it would be helpful in most instances to talk through the issues with the applicants in advance of reviews to ensure mutuality of understanding. I am dismayed that there has been no attempt on the part of the EPO to have any sort on conversation whether by email or conference call with [redcated]. Considering the process involves highly technical scientific and legal points between people of different cultures and languages I would have thought dialogue absolutely essential and by far the easiest way to remove misunderstandings and expedite matters.

Given the gravity of the situation I would ask that in addition to the specific questions raised that require an immediate response that it would seem appropriate that [redcated] file with the EPO be independently reviewed so that lessons can be learned from his experience and his invention can be considered fairly.

“I believe the action of the EPO has effectively stripped me of all economic value of my invention already,” told us the person who had been victimised above. “I think the only thing that will get them to sit up and pay attention/change is if they are sued. I am not sure if this is possible and what the risks and costs to myself might be. Have you ever heard of them being sued?”

“The EPO has become just an instrument of power to be habitually misused by people in power without them facing any consequences.”As even the Dutch government begrudgingly finds out, this isn’t so simple. The EPO cannot really be sued for various reasons (they cannot sue either, but they threatened to sue me in an effort to intimidate and induce censorship). One can find the reasons for their legal immunity/impunity in our past articles. This is in fact one of the more outrageous things about the EPO. They’re unaccountable and not liable to anyone.

It must be a thrilling experience working inside Team Battistelli, essentially being a tyrant above the law.

As various different factors serve to indicate, today’s EPO is not about invention but about protection or protectionism. The EPO has become just an instrument of power to be habitually misused by people in power without them facing any consequences.

“To us, the moment 8:17 A.M. means something – something very important, if it happens to be the starting time of our daily train. To our ancestors, such an odd eccentric instant was without significance – did not even exist. In inventing the locomotive, Watt and Stevenson were part inventors of time.”

Aldous Huxley

Translation: What If the European Patent Office Were to Torture?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Floris Bakels
The official photo of the presiding Dutch judge Floris Bakels, which one can find publicly here.

Summary: Increased pressure on Dutch courts to enforce a judgment against the European Patent Office in spite of unacceptable claims of immunity

EARLIER today, only a few hours after making the initial request (it had been mentioned here this afternoon), we got an excellent English translation of the article ‘Wat als het octrooibureau martelt?’ (with the quotes in the headline as these are not the author’s words).

“Latest Dutch news report about EPO matters,” as our translator put it, has something unique in it.

The original article by the NRC Handelsblad can be found here. English translation can be found below or as PDF with improved formatting.

What if the European Patent Office were to torture?

Trade Unions

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands [De Hoge Raad] cannot resolve the conflict at the European Patent Office on its own. Mediation may offer a solution.

Eppo König

30 January 2016

On Friday, one of the most senior Judges in the Netherlands issued a very unusual appeal to the European Patent Office in Rijswijk and its staff unions: make a serious attempt at mediation. This was the suggestion which came from Floris Bakels, Vice-President of the Supreme Court [De Hoge Raad], in the courtroom.

A day earlier, EPO staff had held a demonstration in The Hague to protest against the atmosphere of “intimidation” and the dismissal of union members at the European Patent Office (EPO), which with 2700 employees is the largest international organization in the Netherlands.

Three suicides

In 2013, an employee committed suicide by jumping out of the office in Rijswijk. In Germany there were two further suicides at the EPO. Since then the staff union SUEPO and the staff committee have called for an independent investigation. The French President Benoît Battistelli does not want this. In an interview with the NRC, he said, “Well, first of all suicides are always personal tragedies. I think it is not appropriate to instrumentalise these incidents for tactical purposes against the President and the management. This man [...] had just been given a permanent contract. We do not know what caused him to do this.” “The Labor Inspectorate in the Netherlands has no reason to intervene in such a case. We are not a Dutch institution.”

The EPO, which examines national patent applications and grants European patents, is accused by the staff unions of conducting a reign of terror that has driven some of its employees to suicide. The French President of the EPO, Benoît Battistelli, for his part speaks of “sabotage” of his reform policy.

The call for mediation was remarkable for a number of reasons. “Ordinary” judges often suggest mediation, but the Supreme Court normally only examines whether lower courts have done their job properly and delivers final judgments. The call for mediation goes further: it effectively means the recognition of staff unions as social partners.

The call is complicated by an additional “strain factor” because Guillaume Minnoye, the Flemish Vice President of the EPO and director in Rijswijk was in the audience. On Nieuwsuur [a current affairs programme on Dutch television] the night before Minnoye had predicted that the EPO would disregard an adverse ruling of the Supreme Court.

Inviolability

The ruling of the Court, which will probably come after the summer, will not bring any immediate solution to the conflict. The Supreme Court may answer an important question: how far does the legal immunity of the EPO as an international organization extend? This question is relevant not only for the EPO, but also for about thirty other international organizations in the Netherlands, such as the European Commission and the International Criminal Court.

The Appeal Court of The Hague ruled last year that the EPO must recognise its staff unions. E-mails from the unions must not be blocked, the unions must be consulted on working conditions and President Battistelli should not prevent strikes.

But the EPO disregarded this ruling, because it would not be bound by national legislation. The EPO has 38 member states and has offices in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Belgium. All 7,000 employees should be subject to the same laws and regulations, according to the EPO.

The Netherlands wants to be a good host for international organizations and thus the State has sided with the EPO. The government acted in a Janus-faced manner this week. On Thursday the government announced an independent investigation into the working conditions at the EPO in Rijswijk. A day later the attorney for the State stood before the Supreme Court and pleaded that the office is immune.

Both parties bring extreme examples to prove their case. The EPO refers to the mothers of Srebrenica. The mothers of murdered Muslim men may not sue the United Nations because the UN as an international organization is immune.

The lawyer for the staff unions went further. The EPO deploys detectives to investigate staff and to interrogate them without a lawyer, he said. What if the EPO now permits them to engage in torture? Could the state now still claim that the EPO has immunity?

In our view, based on things that we showed here before (and also things we are aware of and have not shown yet), the EPO does engage in torture. It is, at the very least, mental torture.

“For readers’ information,” wrote one of our sources, here is “more contact information at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.” It may be better targeted than national delegates, especially for matters of justice rather than governance of the European Patent Organisation.

For readers’ information: The Dutch Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economic Affairs who is responsible for EPO matters is Martijn Van Dam, as reported in the Dutch press. His official Web page is here (in Dutch). His E-mail address at the Ministry is m.vandam@minez.nl

The current Minister is Henk Kemp. His E-mail address is h.kamp@minez.nl

Dutch citizens need to become more familiar with the EPO situation and more actively involved, even politically, in order to resolve it. What’s being done by Battistelli, Minnoye and others is degrading the image of The Hague in the world and gradually becomes an embarrassment for the whole country.

Minnoye has just been publicly mentioned in the following way:

Minnoye has an impressive track record of opening his mouth before putting his brain into gear.

Remember this classic from January 2015:

http://ipkitten.blogspot.de/2015/01/judicial-independence-epo-responds-to.html

His latest performance on Dutch TV got a mention in the Dutch press today:
Wat als het octrooibureau martelt(“What if the EPO tortures ?”)

https://www.nrc.nl/handelsblad/2016/01/30/wat-als-het-octrooibureau-martelt-1586149

As we noted the other day, Minnoye had put himself in the firing line. Here is another new comment about this whole situation:

The Dutch Government is wrong to say that the question of human rights is irrelevant to the question of immunity. The ceding of sovereignty to an international organization is conditional upon adherence by the organisation to human rights standards equivalent to those prevailing in the country concerned. Otherwise a country could duck its human rights obligations simply by founding or joining an international organization. This condition of equivalence (the rights need not be explicitly the same, but must deliver the same effect) is implicit in all treaties or conventions setting up IOs.

The Dutch Court of Appeal indeed found that the protection available to SUEPO and the EPO staff was inadequate, both in terms of the ways in which the staff could not enjoy normal Union rights, and also in terms of the lack of any effective remedy in the form of timely access to a suitable court (the ILOAT only taking complaints from individuals, not unions, refusing oral hearings, and taking many years to render its judgments).

The Seat Agreement with the Netherlands and the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities is a standard one, which does not contain any special clauses. It accords a limited immunity, and in theory enforces co-operation with the Dutch Authorities on labour law and health law. Of course this co-operation has always been resisted by the EPO.

For these reasons the Vice-President of DG1 is on very shaky ground when he proposes to defy any negative Supreme Court ruling. The Dutch Government would also be gravely embarrassed by such defiance. If the Supreme Court decision is favorable to the EPO and the Dutch Government, it merely postpones the inevitable until case (against the Dutch Government) reaches the European Court of Human Rights.

In the coming days we will gradually make visible more political actions against the EPO in Europe. We just need to anonymise a few things so as not to compromise the ongoing processes.

“Decadence is a difficult word to use since it has become little more than a term of abuse applied by critics to anything they do not yet understand or which seems to differ from their moral concepts.”

Ernest Hemingway

Update (6/2/2016): SUEPO has produced this additional (alternative) translation of the article above [PDF].

The Connection Between the EPO’s Investigative Unit/Battistelli Policies and EPO Suicides

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Suicide message
Golden Gate Bridge

Summary: Remarks and observations, based on new information and much older information, serving to inform anyone out there who hasn’t been paying attention (or has been denied access to information because of gags/secrecy) of the truly horrible state of affairs inside the EPO, where depression and suicidal tendencies are now a crisis and an epidemic

“More abuses at the EPO” were reported to us some days ago. Eyewitnesses told us what they had seen and some were as mortified as the main victims of the bullying (or witch-hunt) — victims whom we never spoke to before. It doesn’t look like these victims are even able to communicate calmly as composure was lost amid mental torture by what a Dutch politician (whom we exchanged a few words with this week), John Kerstens, referred to as "the Gestapo". He was talking about the EPO’s Investigative Unit (I.U.), a dark secret of Team Battistelli. This undeclared cell or ‘dungeon’ clearly violates European laws, as we explained here before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Earlier today the Dutch media (NRC Handelsblad) published the article titled “‘Wat als het octrooibureau martelt?’”, which means/says: “What, if the European Patent Office EPO tortures?” We want a translation of this article.

“Unfortunately, any publication on the methods of the I.U. will put at risk those who are currently accused by the I.U.”
      –Anonymous
We already know some of the rogue things these people have been up to, but we’re discouraged from writing about these things. “Would it be possible to,” I asked, “with discretion, to name the interrogation methods used by the I.U. without naming any person in the I.U.?”

“Unfortunately,” told me a source in response, “any publication on the methods of the I.U. will put at risk those who are currently accused by the I.U.”

Well, the firing line won’t get smaller and the queue for the firing line won’t get shorter unless we publicly speak about these issues.

“The accusations against Elizabeth Hardon were only the beginning,” I was told at one time (well before the suspensions of staff representatives). Well, Hardon (since then) got suspended, slapped with a mock trial before being sacked and unless the public knows more about what’s going on, more people will suffer physical harm (not just mental harm) as she attested to several months ago. How many people must suffer or even die before the I.U. is finally held accountable? And if public officials don’t know what’s going on (people under investigation are prevented from talking about it), how can there ever be justice?

“…if public officials don’t know what’s going on (people under investigation are prevented from talking about it), how can there ever be justice?”The EPO uses the equivalent of a gag order or a non-disclosure agreement (where only one side agrees, or imposes) to suppress information and actively impede dissemination of information already in circulation. A lot of what we know we have known for a long time but refrained from commenting on. I actually had another article about depressions coming (about the EPO’s role in them) at one time, whereupon I found out about the culmination in suicides (including the 5th suicide). These suicides are proportional to depressions. Not every depression results in suicide. I had prepared a report about a previous suicide, but couldn’t quite keep up with the events. Everything was happening so fast. I eventually decided to wait until the date or the time that politicians got deeply involved and then publish the articles about the I.U., the suicides, and so on.

“Here is what happens to ill staff at EPO,” one person told me the other day, insinuating that there is a lot more to this framing of sicknesses. These don’t come about naturally; people’s immune systems have been severely weakened by the work environment, including abuses from various thugs, who rather than reduce harassment in the workplace (the publicly-stated goal of the I.U.) have done exactly the opposite.

As was mentioned here before, invalidities (incapacity) were correlated with suicides at the EPO. There are severe sanctions on imposed invalids and based on our understanding there were 0 people put on invalidity in 2015, which makes it likely that they were just fired instead. This means that injured or ill people may not have enjoyed the most basic work security, as typically offered/protected by European law. We have heard of such stories, which we may or may not share in the future. “Historically,” we’ve learned, “some 25 EPO employees were put on invalidity every year.”

“Once sacked, they receive no unemployment benefits, no severance grant, and have no access to social security in most European countries. That is because they are ex-international civil servants.”
      –Anonymous
We urge readers to tell their national delegates about this. Labour protection groups too need to be notified. The I.L.O. is too slow when it comes to dealing with complaints.

“Now Battistelli sacks employees who are too sick,” one person told us. “Once sacked, they receive no unemployment benefits, no severance grant, and have no access to social security in most European countries. That is because they are ex-international civil servants.”

Imagine not just being sick (or severely injured) but also losing the job, losing the pension (potentially), and so on. This is just an ideal way to break people down (mentally). “Staff representatives are in a desperate state,” we were told, “burned-out, depressed, on sleeping pills, divorcing, etc.”

“For some staff, including people with families in the Netherlands, intervention by the Dutch government can be a matter of life and death.”This is the lesser-known effect of Battistelli’s regime on the lives of thousands of people and the lives of thousands of families, including children. Watch what Battistelli did to Ion Brumme, who is left having trouble trying to cater for many children while the EPO can prevent him from seeking alternative employment (we hope EPO staff will financially help him). Brumme was dismissed despite the disciplinary committees advising against it (Battistelli just ignored these committees).

Based on information that we received, several medical practitioners at the EPO have independently noted a sharp increase in mental illnesses among EPO staff in recent months. Suicide prevention is on the agenda now. According to this new comment however:

The Isar building is a fairly rundown non-descript technocratic architectural folly from the 1970s where you can’t even open a window for a bit of fresh air.
The wings with a southerly aspect are prone to overheating in summer.

And before anybody makes a tasteless joke about “suicide prevention measures” the lack of openable windows has nothing to do with that. It’s simply a “design feature” somehow related to the air-conditioning system (which rarely functions at an optimum level).

Not exactly what most people would consider “luxurious employee facilities”.

The term “luxurious employee facilities” came from this prior comment which said: “The sweatshop reference is absurd, given the luxurious employee facilities at the EPO. It also distracts from the real issues, which are the EPO management’s lack of transparency, integrity and respect for the law.” the sweatshop reference can be found here:

It has probably already been said, but I would like to repeat it:

the Management of the European Patent Office are so hell-bent on getting rid of the staff representatives in order to reach their goals – even at the price of having the Supreme Court to confirm the decision of the Court of Appeal – that they do not even realise the damage that they have already done and continue to do to the image of the Organisation that they preside.

Nor does the Administrative Council, either in its sheer ignorance or willful complicity.

And even if the Dutch Supreme Court gives reason to the EPO, it will be a pyrrhic victory.

Because, from then on, the general public will be aware that the granting of a Patent in Europe is based on the violation of human rights and the international law.

At the end, the only difference between the EPO and a sweatshop will only be the salaries.

“That can easily be fixed,” added a later commenter.

In relation to what happened in Holland a few days ago, one person provided a sort of translation:

“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.”

The Government does indeed worry about the social situation at the patent office, but stated that “For the question whether an international organisation enjoys immunity or not, is independent of accusations of a violation of human rights or violation of other international rights by this organisation.”

That may be true, yet the PPI of the EPO includes specific obligations, and the EPO is invoking immunity contrary to courts finding that there is no immunity based on the PPI.

If the Dutch gave the EPO more immunity in their seat agreement than the PPI necessitates, then the Dutch are right, the EPO is immune, but they might need to renegotiate the seat agreement to bring it into line with the intentions of the PPI. And other host countries should check their seat agreements too, to not be faced with such a loss of face as the Dutch are currently facing.

“Es darf keine rechtsfreien Räume geben.”

Here is more about the behaviour of the Dutch Government:

Representatives of the Dutch Government talk about the EPO as an independent International Organisation. By doing that they try to distance themselves from the responsibility of what is happening. Truth is that NL is inside the EPOrganisation. Participates in the Council and in the Confidential sessions as member. It seats in the B-28.

The NL government line of action is a bit erratic

1-Now, officiallay they seem to be on the side of good sense and moderation. Pushing BB towards a more social attitude and more dialogue

2- But they insist to be on the side of the EPO and against SUEPO in the Cassatie case

3- Let us not forget that the Social Democracy, the Investigation Guidelines and the (criminal) Health Policy were proposed by BB but they became our Law because the Council voted in favour. By doing that the Council became co-responsible of this evil.The Netherlands voted IN FAVOUR of these three regulations, Dutch judges found that what happens at he EPO is illegal and contrary to fundamental Human RIGHTS .

Dear Dutch Government, thanks for your present support. Your votes in the past have led to the situation of today: Who is responsible? Where is the accountability?

We urge Dutch citizens to contact their delegates, whose E-mail addresses are as follows: derk-jan.degroot@agentschapnl.nl, p.h.m.vanbeukering@minez.nl. These citizens might also want to contact (or CC) the national Office assistant on b.becker@minez.nl and spokespersons on b.visser@minez.nl, P.vanStrien@minez.nl, and t.d.vanes@minez.nl.

For some staff, including people with families in the Netherlands, intervention by the Dutch government can be a matter of life and death.

The Greedy USPTO Leaves Loopholes, “Per Se”, for Patenting of Software in the United States Despite the Alice Case

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 9:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No loopholes “as such”, just loopholes “per se”

USPTO subject matter

Summary: The US patent office, USPTO, is still trying to sidestep rulings from the law setters in the United States, probably because of greed and no quality control motivations

THE United States’ Supreme Court was pretty clear about abstract patents and the USPTO very begrudgingly took this into account, only after courts have time after time thrown in the wastebasket patents granted by the USPTO, where quality control is worse than black comedy (is any examination being done at all or just stamping for a fee?).

“Unsurprisingly, in this extremely unregulated system, the patent office does the very minimum to realign as per court rulings and it leaves many loopholes for patenting of abstract software ideas.”Based on this page about “Patent Subject Matter Eligibility”, the USPTO does not want to actually obey the law as interpreted by the Supreme Court. Unsurprisingly, in this extremely unregulated system, the patent office does the very minimum to realign as per court rulings and it leaves many loopholes for patenting of abstract software ideas. The term “per se” is mentioned at least 5 times in this page and Benjamin Henrion (FFII) rightly said that the “USPTO is abusing the “per se”, as the EPO has abused “as such” to render software patentable at the end” (these words are like vague exceptions to each rule).

“Patents,” wrote a patents-centric person, “New entrant in § 101 (subject matter eligibility) tome. When do they update MPEP?”

Henrion, who will speak about similar issues pertaining to software patents in Europe tomorrow in Brussels, responded to the above by saying “that’s written by legalese guys that want to exploit loopholes.”

“USPTO is abusing the “per se”, as the EPO has abused “as such” to render software patentable at the end”
      –Benjamin Henrion
Another person who opposes software patents wrote: “Interpreting the Law to serve themselves? In order to obtain fees?”

Henrion later called it “EPO style power money grab” (recall how the EPO does this).

They are rendering software patents “acceptable” (or implicitly allowed) so as to grab more power and money at at the expense of citizens. This is just wrong. It shouldn’t be done. These organisations have .org and .gov domains, but they operate like greedy corporations and serve the greediest corporations, not citizens.

Writing about the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), this pro-software patents site (of patent lawyers) wrote yesterday that CAFC “Did Not Abuse Its Discretion To Allow Defendant’s § 101 Defense After Alice; Claims for “Anonymous Load Shopping” Using Generic Computer Technology Are Abstract And Unpatentable.”

It also said that “the plaintiff moved to strike the re-asserted invalidity defense under §101 as not made with good cause and as unfairly prejudicial. The defendant argued that the change was made in view of the Supreme Court’s §101 decision in Alice v. CLS Bank, which was decided two months before the final invalidity contentions were served. The district court agreed that the Alice decision was sufficient cause to re-assert the §101 defense in the final invalidity contentions. The district court later granted summary judgment of invalidity under §101. The plaintiff appealed.”

As can be seen here, the USPTO grants patents on software, but as per Supreme Court rulings, these patents are ruled invalid. This means that the USPTO no longer does what’s lawful and the wordings above (“per se”) help show that it’s not even interested in obeying the law. It just wants to exponentially grow the number of granted patents (the number doubled in a matter of a few years!).

This extreme greed means that a patent bubble is being created (leading to incorrect valuations of some companies) and it will inevitably explode/burst, causing a lot of damage to the US economy. It wouldn’t be so bad for patent lawyers when it finally happened.

Australian patent lawyers, in the meantime, try to figure out how to patent software in the US and in Australia. Lawyers’ media has just published “Business Method and Software Patent Eligibility: Australian and U.S. Standards” and it says:

RPL held that “[i]t is not a patentable invention simply to ‘put’ a business method ‘into’ a computer to implement the business method using the computer for its well-known and understood functions.” Stated another way, the computer cannot be “a mere tool in which the invention is performed,” but rather “must involve the creation of an artificial state of affairs where the computer is integral to the invention . . . .” The inventive aspect (“ingenuity” as termed by the Australian court) must be “in the way in which the computer is utilised,” not in the scheme, plan, or process that is being implemented.

At first blush, this sounds similar to the guide posts present in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l. The Supreme Court held that “a mere instruction to ‘implement’ an abstract idea ‘on a computer’ . . . cannot impart patent eligibility.” Instead, citing prior cases, Alice held that the invention may be patent eligible where it “improve[s] the functioning of the computer itself,” or “effect[s] an improvement in any other technology or technical field.”

More and more places around the world, including Europe, rule/deem software patents invalid, at least when they reach the courts. It’s time for the public to pressure patent offices and patent lawyers whom they interact with (all for the accumulation of money), demanding that they stop ignoring the law. They shouldn’t be pursuing software patents. They are a big part of plenty of today’s problems. If patents are being compared to “products” and maximisation of “sales” (to clients/customers, not applicants) is the goal, no wonder we ended up in an increasingly horrible, sordid mess.

“[The EPO] can’t distinguish between hardware and software so the patents get issued anyway.”

Marshall Phelps, Microsoft

Electronic Frontier Foundation Talks About Xerox Software Patents, Evoking Memories of Microsoft’s Patent Trolls and Proxies

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 8:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Xerox: from making machines to just feeding patent trolls and turning into a USPTO-sanctioned troll

Printer photocopier

Summary: The company best known for (and internationally synonymous with) photocopiers is now little less than stockpile of patents which are being passed to patent trolls (desperate reach for money) and have become part of a broader problem

THE EFF has just explicitly denounced software patents and now it now takes on a software patent from Xerox, whose patents were famously used against Linux at the hand of a Microsoft-connected patent troll called Acacia. That was almost 9 years ago. We have a whole category for Fuji Xerox, which had connections to Novell, signed a patent deal with Microsoft (implicating Linux), helped Microsoft extort other companies that used Linux, and itself became a massive patent troll. Today’s Xerox is a very malicious company. It is just a patent parasite these days. There aren’t many actual products with the Xerox logo on them anymore, but Xerox still cannot be characterised as non-practicing (strictly speaking).

“We have a whole category for Fuji Xerox, which had connections to Novell, signed a patent deal with Microsoft (implicating Linux), helped Microsoft extort other companies that used Linux, and itself became a massive patent troll.”To quote yesterday’s EFF article (reposted by TechDirt soon thereafter): “This month’s Stupid Patent is awarded to Xerox, who on January 19, 2016 was awarded a patent on essentially the library circulation card, but done electronically.”

There is already press coverage about it. The trolls expert, Joe Mullin, said: “Once a month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s crack team of patent lawyers reaches deep into the US Patent Office’s giant sack of freshly issued patents. Then they pull out one of the shadiest, saddest, painfully obvious, never-should’ve-gotten-even-close-to-issuance patents and subject it to public scrutiny.

“This month, EFF attorney Vera Ranieri selected a highly questionable Xerox patent and yanked it into the bleak January sunlight. US Patent No. 9,240,000, entitled “Social Network for Enabling the Physical Sharing of Documents,” boils down to a system of sharing documents online. It looks like exactly the kind of patent that shouldn’t have made it through the system, considering new guidelines put in place as a result of the Supreme Court’s Alice Corp. v. CLS decision.”

“Not just trolls but large companies too are to blame. The inherent, core problem here is software patents.”The significance of Alice is rightly being brought up and it should be noted that Xerox patents have a tendency to travel around and end up being used as a weapon at the hands of patent trolls. Not just trolls but large companies too are to blame. The inherent, core problem here is software patents.

“Ford [...] has joined RPX,” says this new article from patent maximalists, and it has “taken a licence with Intellectual Ventures,” which is Microsoft’s biggest patent proxy/satellite (there are more and Intellectual Ventures attacked Linux with patents as recently as last year). RPX is an example of patents being pooled by large companies that act like patent trolls, whereas the latter is patent trolls galore (Intellectual Ventures reportedly has thousands of satellite ‘enforcement’ entities that take companies to court if they don’t obey the Mafia’s Don, Nathan Myhrvold).

To quote the EPO-funded site:

While GM stays away from the patent market, it looks like the plan for Sidecar may be to become a lot more engaged with it. I got in touch with company CEO Sunil Paul who said that he wasn’t able to talk publicly about the company’s strategy beyond what has been said to date. So, instead, I asked a couple of licensing experts how they might approach monetising the 6356838 patent and any future granted ones. Their response was, “yeah, good luck with that”; and there was only one reason – Alice.

The Alice case and the question of patentability in the USPTO after 2014′s Supreme Court ruling on Alice will be the subject of our next post.

Guest Article: Introduction to Microsoft’s Growing Role in the R Project Through the Linux Foundation and E.E.E.

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Can Microsoft bury R like it so often does after E.E.E.?

R Project

Summary: Concerns about E.E.E. (embrace, extend, extinguish) by Microsoft, which this time targets science and a lot of schools (many young people)

THIS article deals with an important topic that we recently mentioned but have not had time to delve deeper into. Over the past fortnight we corresponded with people and debated in the IRC channels all sorts of possibilities. There are different speculations from various people about Microsoft’s latest E.E.E. (embrace, extend, extinguish) moves. One of our contributors, iophk, sent us the following executive summary regarding the R project.


I’ve looked and this is what I’ve found about R:

The R Project is protected by the GPL in parts and the LGPL for the rest. It is owned by the R Foundation. Further, it is an official GNU project: “R is an official part of the Free Software Foundation’s GNU project, and the R Foundation has similar goals to other open source software foundations like the Apache Foundation or the GNOME Foundation.”

It is developed by the R Development Core Team, which lists its individual members but not their organizational affiliation.

That base seems strong.

In contrast, the R Consortium is arranged by the Linux Foundation and has Microsoft as a founding member with representation on the board. It also contains TIBCO which is a past Microsoft partner but not currently.

TIBCO is reimplementing R as proprietary software.

But it appears, if I read correctly, that R Foundation members are members in the R Consortium as well, if they are not over burdened by the extra work.

The R Consortium lists support of the R Foundation as a goal, but there is a lot of wiggle room in the other goals.

The Linux Foundation can be considered an opponent of desktop Linux, as can Microsoft, which is also antagonistic to the GPL. Perhaps both are. The Linux Foundation’s recent move to eliminate community representation from the board can be interpreted by some as a move against the GPL. Being a Platinum Member, Microsoft is on the technical Infrastructure Steering Committee (ISC) of the R Consortium, which among other things determines APIs.

The R Consortium focuses exclusively on the useR! conference. The R Project itself supports two conferences, useR! and DSC. The former is the main one.

The media has been writing up Microsoft Revolution Analytics, but Mango-Solutions* is out there, too.

R itself might be safe, but it could get covered over in the media. I guess the main vectors might be E.E.E. via Revolution Analytics** products and entryism (E.E.E. with staff) for useR! and the R Consortium.
________
* Mango-Solutions seems OK. I can’t find financial data for either it or Revolution Analytics.
** As of 2012, Revolution Analytics was still declining to report its revenue, could be quite small then. whois information for the domain “revolutionanalytics.com” is cloaked; other domains like “inside-r.org” show a Mountainview, CA address. FWIW, Microsoft historically buys weak/weakest companies e.g. where FrontPage came from.


Time will tell if Microsoft can make R a Windows/OOXML/.NET ‘thing’ and if so, to what degree…

As will be made evident from IRC logs (when they are published), there are other FOSS project being subjected to E.E.E. by Microsoft right now.

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