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02.07.16

EPO Staff Responds to Team Battistelli’s Expansion to Include French Economic Propagandist on the Payroll

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli’s secret weapon in the fight against economists who prove him wrong (e.g. on UPC)?

String puppet

Summary: With strings attached (like string puppets of Battistelli in various units including the Investigative Unit), can the new Chief Economist, who is French and paid by Battistelli, ever be trusted?

THE EPO‘s Team Battistelli, which is basically Battistelli and his inner circle, appears to be growing. Battistelli's days at the European Patent Office may be numbered, but not only he is the problem. There is entryism going on. Team Battistelli is so convinced that it is above the law and soon it will be able to manufacture its own supportive ‘research’ (in support of the lies).

“Team Battistelli is so convinced that it is above the law and soon it will be able to manufacture its own supportive ‘research’ (in support of the lies).”At the EPO, patents are not for SMEs, no matter what the PR team says. The patents are for large businesses, including many that are not at all European. According to this new article from IP Kat: “The Office of Chief Economist at EPO typically runs as fixed-term appointment from as short as one year to as long as nearly six. The appointment has always been external and the career profile has thus far been civil servant, academic or consultant. Most previous post holders have had strong ties with France or Belgium. Yann, a French national, will be the fifth Chief Economist.”

We mentioned this several days ago and we are gratified to see that commenters at IP Kat (many of whom work at the EPO) respond similarly. They point out some of the obvious problems, including influence in Brussels, lobbying, and so on. One commenter said: “Congratulations with your nomination, Yann. Here are three things your new boss might not have told you yet:

  1. Battistelli nominated nearly exclusively french staff in top positions at EPO, hence the negative comments as to your nationality.
  2. One of your predecessors Prof. van Pottelsberge was quite critical towards the patent system, for example: http://bruegel.org/2009/06/lost-property-the-european-patent-system-and-why-it-doesnt-work/
  3. Your challenge will be to prove Battistelli is right, while most believe he’s not.

Another commenter wrote: “what a coincidence : another frenchman ! It is like the staff reps sanctioned : all suepo officials… another coincidence like VP1 recently said in an interview for Dutch Nieuwsuur” (more on that soon).

Here is a similar comment that says: “Oh, look! Another French appointment to the highest ranks of the EPO. Along with BB’s almost-entirely-French inner circle. I thought the EPO was a multinational organisation? Surely it is time for a chief economist who does not have “strong ties with France or Belgium”? Perhaps someone with a more Anglo-Saxon or Frankfurt-school view of economics, just for a change?”

“Strong ties with Belgium should come as no surprise,” added another person, “given that it’s the location of the European Commission. Paris has the OECD, where Dominic Guellec is now, and also produces some excellent IP and innovation economists. That said, there are plenty of good IP centres through the member states. For example, Nikolaus Thumm is in Spain at the Commission’s Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, and there are some excellent economists at Bocconi in Milan and Max Planck in Munich – to name just a few. A perhaps more glaring lack of diversity is that fact that all five appointees are male and white.”

“Oh, look! Another French appointment to the highest ranks of the EPO.”
      –Anonymous
Responding to Nicola from IP Kat, who decided to focus primarily on the gender rather than nationality or ethnicity, one person wrote: “I agree with half of your statement but the other half has no bearing on the matter. The proportion of non-whites in Europe is insignificant.”

Another person told Nicola: “It’s hardly surprising is it ? In case you had not noticed the EPO is governed by a white male European geronotocracy. A good exemple is the Suisse delegation headed by the “honorary chairman” of the Admin Counsel (an innovative made-up position invented by the current EPO President when he was chair of the Admin Counsel). http://www.epo.org/about-us/organisation/administrative-council/representatives.html#ch The alpha male in question has retired as head of the national IPO and was replaced by a female (coincidentally a white European one):
http://kluwerpatentblog.com/2015/07/06/dr-iur-et-lic-rer-pol-catherine-chammartin-new-director-general-of-swiss-federal-office-of-intellectual-property/ Despite being well past his sell-by date he still continues to hog the seat on the Admin Counsel. And as for Mr. Minnoye and Mr. Lutz, just do not get me started on that track …”

“Perhaps someone with a more Anglo-Saxon or Frankfurt-school view of economics, just for a change?”
      –Anonymous
Another person added: 1. Whether you have a man or a woman at the top you won´t be able to see a difference in the way they lead a company. Yes, a woman will not assault chambermaids like Strauss-Kahn but from the point of view of managerial decisions being a woman is irrelevant. 2. Women have enjoyed a lot of privilege in the EPO, see the latest example of Elodie Bergot, with her spectacular jump from A3 to A6.”

We wrote about this leap from Bergot before (see part one, part two, part three, and this final part). She is the wife of Battistelli’s ‘protégé’ from INPI days. She was under-qualified.

“To Nicola,” one person wrote: “It is not that a discussion of gender or racial bias is out of place. It is that the real problem is somewhere else: all of Battistelli close men come from the same background: they are French, they come from the same universities and they are all freemasons. The fact that none is of a different race, gender or nationality is a consequence of that: the special political club to which they belong is only open to white males. So: your observation is true, but it is the symptom of a much bigger problem than you think.”

As far as I know, Battistelli is not in freemasonry (common misconception). He’s from a prestigious school which some say is more powerful a network.

“Women have enjoyed a lot of privilege in the EPO, see the latest example of Elodie Bergot, with her spectacular jump from A3 to A6.”
      –Anonymous
“Thank heavens you didn’t mention the following mysterious connections,” responded another person, linking to this article from Techrights.

After Nicola had said that “more glaring lack of diversity is that fact that all five appointees are male and white” one person responded with: “To be honest, the situation at the EPO in respect of gender diversity is not such bad: amongst the union members severely sanctioned lately, there are two females and only one male.”

“While Europe is ethnically homogenous compared to other parts of the globe,” another person added, “the proportion of non-whites is not insignificant (in neither statistical or colloquial senses.) The non-white population of London alone is roughly 3.3M, which is bigger than many EPO member states. I fail to see how geographical/gender diversity has bearing but race/ethnicity doesn’t.”

“I guess that the EPO being a non-tax organisation, there is no need for the tax fiddling skills illustrated by certain multinational companies.”
      –Anonymous
One more person said: “I agree that in a broader context that the fact that all five appointees are white and male is a glaring lack of diversity. However, this appointment surely must also be viewed in the much narrower context of the current management situation of the EPO. The upper echelons of the EPO appear to in the process of being stacked with French nationals. So the appointment of yet another French national (regardless of gender or race) to such a position appears to be a much greater immediate concern than the, present but perhaps less immediately relevant, issues about gender and race.”

The point about race and gender misses a much more important point. It probably serves to distract from the debate people really ought to be having.

“C’mon Nicola,” said one more person, “that’s probably just another EPO ‘coincidence’,,,,,,,isn’t it???,,,. I can’t imagine for a minute that a thoroughly modern model European organisation like the EPO has a diversity glass ceiling that is potentially treble glazed and armour plated, can you?”

Another person added sarcastically: “I guess that the EPO being a non-tax organisation, there is no need for the tax fiddling skills illustrated by certain multinational companies.”

Here is a person making fun of President Battistelli’s qualifications in another thread (referring to INPI as “FPO”):

How kind of Madhouse to write in and say that I am “rather wrong”.

In fact, Madhouse confirms what I said, that the FPO indeed does not examine for patentability, bearing in mind that the key issue for patentability in 90% of cases is obviousness, which the FPO doesn’t go anywhere near.

Mr Moody you will perhaps already have grasped, that whether claimed subject matter is or is not novel is more or less a black and white issue, whereas whether or not it is obvious (within the meaning of the EPC) though, that is a judgement that requires years of specialised education, professional training and experience, of which President Battistelli has none.

Well, some people claimed that INPI just grants patents without examination. This is untrue. In any event, watch how a discussion that should have focused about Battistelli’s inner circles and vested interests/agenda got turned into a debate about feminism or political correctness. It’s unhelpful given the real (or core) issue at the EPO.

As a side note, economics shouldn’t be mistaken for a science. Economists are often hired to write a seemingly (on the surface) technical analysis to support an agenda of someone (or a business or a government), with omission where it doesn’t suit the required outcome/conclusion/hypothesis. Quantifiable measures in the economic sense/context are beyond the scope of this post, but there is plenty of literature out there about why economics are a sort of pseudo-science where money buys ‘results’.

If the new Chief Economist is as loyal to Battistelli as all staff must be (examine the evidence which is the vocation of people not 100% on Battistelli’s side), then Battistelli just got himself a lobbyist, not an analyst.

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