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02.18.16

Danish Left’s Alternate for European Parliament Slams the European Patent Office While Staff Protests Are Again Ignored by the German Media

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As if this patent institute is totally unchallengeable, like immigration law in Merkel’s Germany

Karen Melchior

Summary: The latest information from and about the European Patent Office/Organisation, where there has just been a major protest (in Munich), albeit nobody would know it based on or due to the silence of the media

THE Administrative Council (AC) of the European Patent Organisation (EPO) is led by a Dane and some rumours suggest that it may be pursuing (or at least exploring) removal of Battistelli and his team, who have become a disgrace and source of great shame to the Organisation. Karen Melchior, a rather popular (on the Web) Danish diplomat/lawyer*, has just said “Shame on @EPOorg” (European Patent Organisation, led by a Dane), the context being software patents in Europe (context about the EPO in general can be found in our corresponding Wiki).

“Willy Minnoye, as head of internal services was in fact promoted after being found guilty of breaching fundamental rights several years ago when he confiscated private union mail (see ILO judgment 1547).”
      –Anonymous
Thankfully we have many sources (more than before, especially after the EPO foolishly chose to censor and threaten us), both outside and inside the EPO. “Willy Minnoye,” told us a source privately, “as head of internal services was in fact promoted after being found guilty of breaching fundamental rights several years ago when he confiscated private union mail (see ILO judgment 1547).” It sure looks like Battistelli and his team have quickly become a massive liability for the Organisation as a whole. “Dear Roy,” wrote to us a person, “thanks for the great work.” But it’s becoming harder to do such work without further input from readers. A partial media blackout in the whole of Europe prevents people from finding out what really goes on inside the EPO. EPO members of staff find themselves fearing communication even with their colleagues and German media might not want to remark negatively about the EPO for reasons we explained here before [1, 2]. All we know so far about the protest and surrounding developments comes from this comment:

Latest news from The Staff Committee is that they have informed the AC that they no longer support the planned Social Survey. Their version is that while BB invited them to nominate an observer for the organising committee, the nominee then wasn’t invited to any meetings and was given the results at the last minute as a fait accompli. The SC consider that their nominee is just a fig leaf to show that BB had dealt with them but that this was not bona fide consultation. Also it seems that no AC members are part of this either so that it is all being organised by BB. Quelle surprise!

In his 4th Feb speech to staff, BB gave the impression that his door was open but that the SC kept refusing to come on in! I wonder how he’ll organise an independent study if no staff will speak to the survey.

Meanwhile, SUEPO is organising a follow-up to a survey from a couple of years ago. Should be revealing but I presume BB’s PR gurus are already writing their rebuttals…

If anyone can please send us material which is related to the protest or the second Board 28 meeting of this year, that will help a great deal and enable dissemination of information. This is the worst nightmare of the abusers: a flow of reliable information, not Battistelli-led propaganda. The pressure on Mr. Kongstad has grown over the years because of letters (including from Transparency International), protests, and so on. Will he listen more carefully if fellow Danes speak speak out?

“Danish is not an official EPO language,” Benjamin Henrion pointed out yesterday. “And DK companies won’t get a legally binding translation.”

“Only about 10% of European patents get validated in DK [Denmark] currently. Polish gov’t report made similar observation.”
      –Jesper Lund
There’s a reason why some of last year’s protests targeted the Danish Consulate (this actually received press coverage from several Danish newspapers), and it’s not just Mr. Kongstad’s complicity by silence (letting Battistelli totally off the hook and helping Battistelli hide his salary from the European public).

Jesper Lund, who is Danish, responded to Henrion by saying “we happily swallowed the EPO pill in 2014 and accepted a 10-fold increase in patents valid in DK :( [...] That’s “over time”. Only about 10% of European patents get validated in DK [Denmark] currently. Polish gov’t report made similar observation.”

“The 10x increase is not there yet? With the UPC many countries will see drastic patent warming,” Henrion added.

In order to keep this concise, we shall cover these matters in a separate post about the UPC.

Despite the fact that we are now better equipped to quickly capture any morsel of information about the EPO, we are still not seeing anything about yesterday’s protest, so input from readers is sorely needed right now. Here is how to get in touch.
______
* Melchior prefers “Danish radikale politician.” According to her Web site, she is “a foreign policy professional with an academic background in law [who] worked more than 7 years in the political systems of the EU, Denmark, UK and France.” She attended “Transparency International Summer School on Integrity 2014,” which brings back memories of the EPO’s relation (good and bad, implicating the Danish AC Chairman and Control Risks Group) to Transparency International.

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