Remember these ridiculously Orwellian recent recruitment efforts in LinkedIn?
Summary: Even Elodie Bergot’s circle is suffering brain drain as a Director reportedly quits, and she’s not alone (pending confirmations)
SEVERAL sources have independently taught or informed us that the EPO suffers brain drain not only at the examination tier but also the managerial/secretarial tier. The crisis is ascending higher up to the top-level management and some rumours falsely suggest that Elodie Bergot is out after her highly suspicious — if not incredible — promotion. She’s not out. “The woman who resigned is Edda Feisel,” we learned, “head of “Recruitment and Talent Management”. Elodie was her line manager.” Nevertheless, the rumours around Bergot continue to swirl and sometimes get distorted in transmission (broken telephone). As one person put it: “Lots of other rumours flying around (i.e. Board 28 demanded that Elodie goes), but the Director resignation seems to be the only fact.”
“The crisis is ascending higher up to the top-level management…”“Upon reflection,” told us another person “it would be surprising that this kind of information should circulate so quickly over a weekend.
“Concerning Elodie, the word I got back is that the news are false, or more likely that someone confused somebody else for her. A woman has indeed just left the HR department, but it wasn’t Elodie but a person lower down the ladder who wad been recently hired and was still in her probation period. Reasons for the sudden departure [are] unknown.”
Having inquired further about the Elodie Bergot rumours, one person said: “If it is true, then Battistelli might be cutting ballast loose in order to survive himself.”
We shall reserve further commentary about the situation until we have something concrete and confirmed, whereupon we’ll give updates and disseminate other rumours that came our way (some go as far as suggesting that even Željko Topić may be on his way out, perhaps to be replaced by Elodie Bergot). Wouldn’t that be an incredible career leap? Either way, it’s a rumour which is hard to believe, so please send further information to help us separate facts from rumours. █
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It must be fun being above the law…
Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) continues to enjoy the protection of the German political system, which clearly has little or no interest when it comes to ending the EPO’s abuses
Earlier today we noted that Germany cannot be entrusted to handle the patent system (examination, courts, and so on) for various reasons including self interest. As further evidence of the problem consider the latest SUEPO update which states: “Surrounding the demonstration planned in Munich on 20 January, SUEPO Munich sent a letter to Herrn Ministerpräsidenten Horst Seehofer. A reply has been received on 5 February by Dr. Marcel Huber, MdL Minister of State. Translations of the reply are provided in English, French and Dutch.“
The tldr; version of the below is, I didn’t attend and can’t do anything, but will circulate the concern. It’s not entirely pessimistic but it’s not optimistic either. It’s like a template response one typically receives from politicians or reasonably apathetic national delegates. Here is the full version contained in the PDF:
Chief Executive of the Bavarian State Chancellery
Minister of State for Federal Affairs and Special Tasks
Dr. Marcel Huber, MdL (Member of the Provincial Government)
Chair of SUEPO Munich
Dr. Elizabeth Hardon
P.O. Box 31 02 07
Your communication of
Our communication of
Our Ref. B II 3–1353-872-279
Direct line: 089 2165-2290
SUEPO Demonstration on 20 January 2016
Dear Madam, Chair of SUEPO
I wish to thank you for the presentation of your petition on 20.01.2016. Due to the closed meeting lasting several days of the CSU fraction of the Provincial Parliament in Wildbad Kreuth, I regret that it was not possible for me to receive your petition personally. I have nevertheless read this with care, and I have been fully informed of the course of the demonstration and of your demands.
The Munich patent centre enjoys an outstandingly fine reputation in Germany and Europe, and the employees of the EPO have played a major part in achieving this. Nevertheless, I
must ask for your understanding that the Bavarian Government is unable to become involved in the business operations of supra-national organizations. I have, however, been informed by the State Ministry of Justice that my colleague, Minister of State Prof. Dr. Winfried Bausback, MdL, has raised the issue of your concerns in a discussion with the Federal Minister of Justice. The problems within the EPO are known to the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, and active efforts are in hand there towards improving the situation and reviving the social dialogue.
I have forwarded a photocopy of your petition and of this letter to my colleague, Minister of State Prof. Dr. Winfried Bausback, MdL, such that your arguments will also be taken into
With my best regards
Dr. Marcel Huber, MdL
Minister of State
What good is the rule of law when it cannot be enforced and arrogant people like Minnoye openly state that they would not obey court orders? Why isn’t Germany taking action here? Just look how its media, as usual [1, 2], totally ignored the latest protest in Munich and recall the element of patent lobbying in the German justice system [1, 2]. Bavaria and by extension Germany is becoming a facilitator of a banana republic, EPOnia. █
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Summary: Claudine Lepage is the latest French Senator to get involved in the scandal created by her fellow countryman, Benoît Battistelli
THERE is a lot happening inside the EPO right now, even if the corporate media and EPO management say nothing about it. There’s some kind of a "blackout" which we are still trying to tackle and there are covert political actions underway (we shall publish the details one day when the time is more suitable).
SUEPO has just updated its public-facing page and revealed a letter from Claudine Lepage. To quote SUEPO:
[Claudine Lepage] Politique sociale à lOffice européen des Brevets : ma question au ministre
On 5 February 2016, Claudine Lepage, French Senator, reported on the social situation in the European Patent Office. Translations are provided in English, German and Dutch.
Here is the letter in English (as HTML):
Social policy at the European Patent Office: My question to the Minister
Posted on 5 February 2016 by admin
For a number of years I have been regularly called upon to intervene with regard to the social situation at the European Patent Office. Essentially, a form of management which is authoritarian and arbitrary, which has been condemned, among others, by the Court of Human Rights at The Hague, is causing massive dysfunction within the institution. There have been a number of suicides over the past few years, and, most recently, the dismissal has been announced of a number of employees, among them members of the staff union executive. I must again urgently draw the French government’s attention to this situation, by submitting a written question to the French Minister Emmanuel Macron:
Claudine Lepage is calling the attention of the French Minister of the Economy, Industry, and Digital Affairs to the situation at the European Patent Office (EPO). This intergovernmental organization and its 7000 highly qualified staff members, recruited from among the 38 Member States, unquestionably make a huge contribution to innovation, competitiveness, and economic growth within Europe. For a number of years, however, the authoritarian and arbitrary social policy of the Office has been incurring great difficulties, in particular with regard to the fundamental rights of the individual, and the violation of social law. We must emphasise that four suicides in 32 months have occurred among the personnel, a deplorable situation. Above all, in February 2015, the Court of Appeal at The Hague, to which recourse was made by representatives of the staff, condemned the social policy adopted by the EPO, ruling it contrary to fundamental rights. The French President of the Office, however, refuses to respect this decision, on the pretext that the Office enjoys a status of immunity. This management, which must be strongly subject to censure, is causing a direct impact on the reputation of France among international institutions. Claudine Lepage is demanding to know whether measures will be taken to remedy this situation, which can only become worse, and which threatens the very future of the institution, at the very moment at which, after 30 years of negotiation, an agreement has been reached on the unitary European patent, with the EPO being entrusted with seeing this put into effect.
Separately, SUEPO catches up with the words of Ana Gomes, which we covered here in English and in Spanish. SUEPO has just added two translations:
[Ana Gomes] Written question to the European Commission: “Re-establishing fundamental rights at the European Patent Office”
On 17 November 2015, Ana Gomes (S&D) posed a written question (French and English versions) to the European Commission regarding the re-establishing fundamental rights at the European Patent Office. Translations are provided in German and Dutch.
An article which we mentioned here when it was published and later mentioned again in Spanish also got the attention of SUEPO. At the end we got a translation of the article, but so has SUEPO. Here is what SUEPO has just released:
[JUVE] Kommentar: Warnschuss für EPA-Präsidenten Battistelli
On 2 February 2016, JUVE reported on the structural reform of the Boards of Appeal proposed by Benoît Battistelli, President of the EPO. Translations of the article are provided in English, French and Dutch.
SUEPO’s English translation is different from ours, so for the sake of completeness we place it below as HTML:
Comment: Warning Shot for EPO President Battistelli
Benoît Battistelli, President of the European Patent Office, has gone too far. Trying to combine the structural reform of the Boards of Appeal with the questions of location and performance-related payment for judges was not a good move. Both issues have stirred up anxiety among members of the Boards of Appeal. And the fact that the Administrative Council of the Patent Office let the President have his way was a mistake too. But now the representatives of the Member States have backtracked. At long last, the Council is taking on its responsibility of setting the course with regard to the Boards of Appeal reforms.
The decision to have a sub-committee lay down new guidelines, and not Battistelli himself, is a sign of things to come. The perpetual turmoil surrounding the Office and its President has seriously damaged the reputation of the patent authority, and there are clear indications now that the once unrestrained support for the President shown by the Council is starting to dwindle, and a number of influential delegations are even voicing concerns about the future of the Office. But that does not mean that Battistelli himself is wavering. The basic features of his reform proposals are still being maintained, and he is still involved with the specific pursuit of the reforms; but decisions about the guidelines are now in other hands.
Battistelli needs to take a lesson from the move made by the Advisory Council with regard to the structural reform. The 38 Member States mean business with the demand that social peace be restored within the Office. The public rift between some sections of the staff and the management is creating a split in the Office. When it comes to the thorny questions of the location of the court branch and performance-related emoluments for the judges, Battistelli needs to backpedal. He has underestimated the unnecessary unease among the members of the Boards of Appeal, and it is now essential for the President, at long last, to approach the matter of social dialogue with a focus on consensus. A first step would be independent disciplinary proceedings against the member of the Board of Appeal who was suspended by the President.
It’s probably important to focus right now on who’s leaving and what happens to Battistelli’s inner circle. Please get in touch regarding these matters. █
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EPO: The French connection and a rumoured link to the Bygmalion affair
Summary: Benoît Battistelli’s strong links to Sarkozy and new reports about a corrupt network around Sarkozy lead some people to the suspicion that Battistelli too could (just could) be implicated
THE EPO is in a terrible state right now. This might soon leave the Office looking for new management. “Here is an update about the latest rumours at the EPO,” one reader wrote to us, taking note of something which we were never quite aware of, even though we knew that Battistelli was close to Nicolas Sarkozy, who is widely vilified by now (and for good reasons).
“It seems that there is talk of a link to the “Bygmalion affair” in France,” our reader told us. “The “Bygmalion affair” concerns the funding of Sarkozy’s failed Presidential election campaign in 2012. The latest rumour is that Battistelli is also under investigation in France for having allegedly “redirected” EPO funds to help finance Sarkozy’s election campaign.”
“This might soon leave the Office looking for new management.”
–AnonymousIf true, then he and Željko Topić might have another — pardon the pun — topic for discussion.
“So far this is only an unconfirmed rumour but the allegations seem plausible,” our reader told us; nonetheless it is circulating in the Office right now. “Battistelli is a member of the same political party as Sarkozy and he even holds an elected political office in France as a town councilor in St. Germain-en-Laye,” our reader added.
As a matter of fact, according to the ILOAT in Geneva such party political connections are not supposed to be allowed for international civil servants
[PDF]: “…an international civil servant, though entitled to hold his own political views, must stand aloof from demonstrations of adherence to a political party. Integrity, loyalty to the international civil service, independence and impartiality are the standards required of an international civil servant and they require him to keep clear of involvement in national party politics.”
“Battistelli is a member of the same political party as Sarkozy and he even holds an elected political office in France as a town councilor in St. Germain-en-Laye.”
–AnonymousWe took note of this before, but if there is also a connection to the aforementioned scandal, then further debates are worth entertaining. “Another interesting coincidence worth mentioning,” our reader said, “is that Battistelli persuaded the Administrative Council to abolish its independent Audit Committee in 2011. This meant that all the audit functions at the EPO were under the direct control of the President!”
“Honi soit qui mal y pense!
“It’s incredible to think that the Administrative Council would have agreed to such a move but they did. They may now be about to discover the consequences of their monumentally stupid decision to abolish the Audit Committee!
“If there is any substance to the rumours about a connection to the “Bygmalion affair”, it is very likely that the Ides of March are approaching for Battistelli and his crew.”
We also received some rumours regarding Bergot’s department, but we shall say more about that a little later today (as we meanwhile leave a window of time for further affirmation or refutation). Our reader “didn’t hear anything about Bergot,” s/he told us. “But at the moment everything is possible if the rumours about Battistelli’s link to the “Bygmalion affair” are true.
“Sarkozy was President of France until 2012 so the picture that is starting to emerge is that Battistelli was “planted” into the EPO by Sarkozy in order to siphon off funds for party political purposes in France.”
–Anonymous“Some background information about Sarkozy and Bygmalion can be found here [in English] or here.
“The subscription article from mediapart.fr states that so far 32 people have been implicated in the “Bygmalion affair” so this is a major political scandal in France. If there does turn out to be a link to the EPO, then it will be political dynamite on a European level. Sarkozy was President of France until 2012 so the picture that is starting to emerge is that Battistelli was “planted” into the EPO by Sarkozy in order to siphon off funds for party political purposes in France.
“If Battistelli really did siphon off funds for Sarkozy, then the Administrative Council of the EPO is also seriously implicated in the affair because those geniuses were the ones who agreed to Battistelli’s proposal to abolish the EPO’s independent Audit Committee in 2011 as previously covered by Techrights.
“At the moment it’s too early to predict where exactly this is going to lead but some serious “doo-doo” is likely to hit the fan pretty soon.”
–Anonymous“If an independent Audit Committee had still been in existence in 2011 and 2012 it’s doubtful as to whether any kind of financial irregularity on the scale being suggested could have taken place.
“At the moment it’s too early to predict where exactly this is going to lead but some serious “doo-doo” is likely to hit the fan pretty soon. And it won’t be pleasant for Battistelli and his crew.” █
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A Germany-centric court and filings system would further empower the software patenting agenda
Summary: Germany’s attitude towards software patents makes it even more abundantly clear that it’s not suitable to take the lead in a Europe-wide patent system
THE situation in Europe is dire because of ill-situated bureaucracy. Just look at what Team Battistelli has done. It’s Europe’s embarrassment and shame. Europe needs to put the EPO under control of citizens and/or their representatives. Right now it’s above the law (detached from the European Union), thus dangerous. It’s largely controlled by German authorities that shelter it (see how German media treats this subject [1, 2]) because it’s beneficial to the German economy in various ways.
Now that patent trolls penetrate Europe along with software patents (close correlation exists between these two) we are reminded that: “The costs of a lawsuit from a patent troll are astronomical, and can reach tens of millions of dollars.”
“Just look at what Team Battistelli has done. It’s Europe’s embarrassment and shame.”This mostly hurts small businesses, which Europe is composed of in many pertinent countries (more so than in the US). “How NOT to make EU innovative” is what Professor James Bessen wrote about the article “Get Ready for Patent Wars as IP Europe Consortium Is Unveiled” (we mentioned this article before).
Bastian Best, a German national who is a patent lawyer, wrote again about last month’s post (the blog is in favour of software patents, as is the case with every lawyer’s blog) about German’s acceptance of software patents under certain scenarios, provided lawyers cleverly use words to mislead examiners and judges. Of interest to this bizarre situation (Germany being open to software patents) are the following older articles of ours (among others):
Recall Microsoft’s FAT patents in Germany — patents which were used against a lot of companies that use Linux, even a Dutch company (TomTom) which Microsoft took to court over it. These are software patents which are still being used against Linux (we last covered an example earlier this month). We recently wrote about Germany’s special role in the UPC [1, 2] and we continue to worry that Germany’s notable tolerance of software patents (never mind tolerance of Battistelli’s abuses) will spread to other countries, including the UK where the UK-IPO has also been relatively friendly towards software patents. █
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EPO staff is afraid to speak out (fear of revenge), but Techrights has no such issues
Summary: In an effort to put together reliable information about what’s going on inside the secretive European Patent Office (EPO) we kindly request more input from readers
TECHRIGHTS has been receiving a lot of information regarding what evidently becomes some kind of managerial exodus at the EPO. We are still, however, trying to ascertain the accuracy of information we receive. A couple of nights ago one person wrote that “Mrs Elodie Bergot ha[d apparently] resigned.” Based on further investigation, it does not appear to be the case (at least not yet). We think we know the source/reason for confusion here. It’s not too easy to keep track of resignations because there are quite a lot of them right now. There are also early ‘retirements’. We are going to write more about that later today and in the mean time we appeal for additional verifications (these can be posted below, in the comments, or sent through other methods/channels).
Hurrah! Is she BB’s scapegoat or is this the beginning of the end for BB’s inner circle?
Let’s hope that the following persons will follow:
Régis Hannart, the distributor of cooperation money which convinced most delegations to blindly follow BB’s crazy management line;
Mr Lutz, one of the most incompetent judges Germany ever produced, who provided the legal basis for BB’s actions;
Mr Willy Minnoye, a bullying, arrogant, ignorant manager (see contributions in Techrights.epo)
Mr Gilles Requena, grey eminence in BB’s office and Mrs Bergot’ husband.
Unfortunately, the above rumour is not confirmed. But the wish list of resignations remains.
Let’s wait and see the developments in the next days.
Until we post an updated list of the status/resignations (with high level of certainty and corroboration) please consider getting in touch with us. We need to at least try to organise this kind of informative list which EPO management is trying to suppress, as usual. █
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No sane population (i.e. people insufficiently indoctrinated by maximalists) should tolerate software patents
Summary: India has once again managed to steer public policy in the right direction, but only after immense pressure from the public
SEVERAL months ago there were new and well-founded fears that the software patents lobby (IBM, Microsoft and so on) was again making headway in India. They nearly got their way again, but the public woke up, NGOs spoke out, and the government came under pressure which soon thereafter temporarily blocked this silly initiative (similar to recent efforts of Facebook in India). If this isn’t People Power at work, then it sure is something that the Western populations can learn from and emulate, e.g. when mobilising against TPP, TTIP, UPC, etc. For those who haven’t been following these developments, this Wiki page can help (chronological list of articles on the topic).
“Software patents in India have always been like a zombie that keeps trying to come back to life because megacorporations (usually foreign) lobby for that.”This morning we found the English article “India’s patent office says no to software patents, again”. It claims that “India’s apex patent office has said no to software patents in the guidelines for examining computer-related inventions, which were published on 19 February.”
Another article, this one coming from a legal site, says: “The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks has issued an order dated February 19, 2016 publishing the revised Guidelines for Computer Related Inventions. The current guidelines are in tune with the provisions in the Patents Act, 1970 (as amended).”
This is great news. Software patents in India have always been like a zombie that keeps trying to come back to life because megacorporations (usually foreign) lobby for that. They still can’t quite colonise the country by legislation. Anivar, a longtime supporter of ours (nearly a decade) from India, writes: “New Software patent guidelines follow the spirit of Indian patent law 3(k) clause.” (he moreover links to the original PDF, which is in English). In the US, in the mean time, software patents are getting a lot weaker. Europe and New Zealand are under enough pressure from the public to prevent them — at least for now — from formally tolerating software patents (more on that later today).
This week has begun with a lot of good news on the patent front. Stay tuned. █
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Publicado en Europe, Patents at 8:03 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz
La UPC es un Caballo de Troya de los que se enriquecen con las patentes.
Sumario: La Corte Unitaria de Patentes, el último nombre del esfuerzo de una década para incrementar litigación, daños, mandatos, trolling, etc. dentro de Europa, esta siendo embaucada en le sistema como un caballo de Troya, confiando en la apatía del público (ya que este no sabe nada acerca de su existencia y la dura realidad)
LA UPC, de la que escribimos hace cuatro dias, es de gran importancia para la gerencia de la OEP. Incluso propició un evento propagandístico a su favor en los Estados Unidos, que tendrá lugar dentro de unos dias con la ayuda de los abogados de patentes y sus medios. Esto no es democracia, es un golpe de estado que únicamente sirve para desacreditar la democracia Europea.
Amerikat (Ward) de IP Kat continúa impulsando la UPC como si ya fuera una realidad (no lo es) y algún ¨Abogado de IP y Tecnología¨ promueve este golpe de estado de la UPC en el cual los ciudadanos europeos nunca votaron por el. No son sólo mujeres promoviéndolo pero casi todos los abogados de patentes, lo que es revelador, no es cierto? ADR es también parte del nuevo #marco de patentes. Diseño #reglas de mediación de la UPC ya fuerón publicadas¨ el último escribió.
Benjamin Henrion (FFII) respondió diciendo: ¨Las Reglas NO pueden ser escritas por un comite administrativo¨
“…en el peor caso, ellos copiarán y pegarán las reglas y pedirán a los parlamentarios que la sellen.”
–Benjamin Henrion (FFII)¨Las Reglas NO pueden ser escritas por un comite administrativo,¨ añadió más tarde, ¨sólo por parlamentarios elegidos¨ (¨no se preocupen,¨ dije, ¨ellos siempre pueden sobornar algunos políticos para firmar las reglas que son pasadas a ellos¨).
Una cuenta pro-patentes saltó para decir: ¨Supuestamente tiene que ser vigilada por el Consejo de la UE, cuyos miembros supuestamente tienen que ser vigilados por los parlamentarios elegidos, los que a su vez son vigilados por el pueblo.¨ Pero si el pueblo se duerme (lo que sucede por apatía) entonces estamos jodidos.
¨¿Cuándo estuvo la UPC monitoreada por personas que no sean abogados de patentes y otros que se ENRIQUECEN POR ELLAS?¨ Respondí comparándolos con zorros en el gallinero. Entonces Henrion dijo ¨eso es robar la democracia. Hay reglas claras de la ECHR para esto.¨
“Bueno no es que a los abogados de patentes honestamente les importe la justicia,” “ellos tuercen las leyes!” De eso viven, por ello la gente les paga un montón de dinero.
Como Henrion lo puso: “en el peor caso, ellos copiarán y pegarán las reglas y pedirán a los parlamentarios que la sellen.”
Entonces, ¨patentlyGerman¨ (su ocupación no es difícil de adivinar) dijo: ¨La división local de Munich de la #UPC será ubicada en un aburrido pero céntrico edificio¨ (abogados de patentes y sus propagandistas lo dicen en tiempo ¨futuro¨ no como ¨posibilidad¨, como sí la UPC ya es inevitable e imparable).
“La UPC ES UN CABALLO DE TROYA QUE LOS CIUDADANOS EUROPEOS NI QUIEREN NI NECESITAN (por lo menos aquellos quienes estan al tanto de ella y de sus objetivos).”Agredezcamos que alguna gente comenzo a despertar. España esta en lo correcto al rechazar la UPC, a pesar del chantaje político.
Muéstrenos algún otro que no sea abogado de patentes (o la OEP) que este promoviendo la UPC y le daremos un premio. Lo que tenemos aquí es un golpe de estado. La UPC es un caballo de troya que los ciudadanos europeos ni quieren ni necesitan (por lo menos aquellos quienes estan al tanto de ella y de sus objetivos).
La UPC es un escupitájo en la cara de la democracia Europea. Es tiempor para que más sitios (no sitios pertenecientes a abogados de patentes) hablen abiertamente acerca de ella e informen correctamente al público. Al no hacerlo como ha ocurrido hasta ahora para ventaja de los abogados de patentes quienes se ENRIQUECEN Y BENEFICIAN de ellas el público es mal informado y manipulado a creer que las patentes de software son buenas para ellos. ¿Donde estan las PYMEs Europeans? Es tiempo de agruparse hablar y sentar sus puntos de vista, si no lo hacen ustedes (PYMEs) están condenadas al fracaso y poniendo a Europa bajo el control de GRANDES CORPORACIONES EXTRANJERAS. █
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