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

02.25.16

European Patent Office: Battistelli Gets Official Warning

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[Translation of this article about the EPO]

The member states of the European Patent Office (EPO) [sic – should be European Patent Organisation] are increasing the pressure on the President of the Office, Benoît Battistelli. This is evident from a letter from the Chairman of the Administrative Council, Jesper Kongstad, to the 38 member states’ representatives on the patent authority’s supervisory body. According to the letter, the member states are concerned about the enduring conflict between the Management and the unions, and about the sluggish process of reform for greater independence for the office’s internal judiciary. The meeting of the Executive Committee last week turned into an open skirmish between the member states and Battistelli, several sources report.

Benoît Battistelli

Benoît Battistelli

For around a year and a half, the Office has been rocked by an ongoing dispute between Battistelli and the two unions, over the President’s management style, his reform process for greater efficiency and for recognition of the unions. At the same time, a public debate has been ignited over the lack of independence of the Office’s internal judiciary, the Boards of Appeal. On top of this, Battistelli initiated controversial disciplinary proceedings against a judge and against three leading union members.

In reaction, the administrative Council issued a warning that the social conflict should be resolved and the reform of the Boards of Appeal should be set in motion. However, both of these processes have been delayed by several months.

According to Kongstad’s letter, the members of Board 28  expressed concern last week that Battistelli is not heeding the opinion of the Administrative Council sufficiently on these two points.

Kongstad writes that is had not been possible to hold a meaningful dialogue with the President. As a result, the Board 28 members addressed a formal written request to the President. However, Battistelli apparently rejected the request as legally inadmissible. From a formal point of view, the EPO President is not obliged to follow instructions of the supervisory body in his management of the office. The Administrative Council appoints the President and must approve the Office’s budget. Until recently, it could be counted on as the effective power base for the controversial Frenchman.

Battistelli’s Support Crumbles

However, this support is disintegrating remarkably, according to Konstad’s letter, and to information which JUVE has obtained from the inner circle of the Executive.  Board 28 intends to submit its formal demand to the entire Administrative Council so that it can be presented to the President on behalf of the whole Council. This is planned for the next meeting of the Administrative Council. Kongstad also mentioned in his letter that it had not been possible to set the agenda for the March meeting before Battistelli left the Board 28 meeting.

In the meantime, Kongstad’s letter, and a document with the formal request to Battistelli, are circulating on social media. Sources close to the Administrative Council have meanwhile confirmed the authenticity of both documents to JUVE. Battistelli is not responding to questions about the formal demand or its content.

JUVE has heard from several sources that there is grave concern in sectors of the Administrative Council over the current situation  in the Office. These concerns are focussed principally on the social unrest, the slow pace of reform of the Boards of Appeal and the fairness of the four disciplinary cases.

Observers suspect that the escalation has been triggered by Board 28′s demand that Battistelli accept an external review of the disciplinary measures and procedures taken against the three union leaders. The member states also want to appoint an external expert to work with the President on the preparation of a new proposal for the structural reform of the Boards of Appeal.

Open Conflict

These events are the first time that any dispute between Battistelli and a section of the member states has emerged into the open. However, it has not yet developed into a public rift. It appears that the Administrative Council is still seeking an amicable solution with Battistelli. However, it is now expecting more than ever that the EPO President fall into line

It was already apparent at the last meeting of the Administrative Council in December that Battistelli was losing support on the question of structural reform, when the member states rejected the reforms he proposed. Apparently it was mainly Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland who openly opposed the Battistelli proposals. As a result, the Administrative Council assumed responsibility for the reform process and agreed on five guiding principles, on the basis of which the President should prepare a new proposal for the June meeting of the Administrative Council.

The EPO issued the following comment regarding current developments: “The President and the Administrative Council work closely together in preparing the Council meetings. This applies also to the difficult social topics, on which the governments of the individual member states have rather varied opinions, and which therefore require a thorough debate.” The Office also announced that a proposal for structural reform would be made in June, and that a social study would be completed by September. In addition, the President would like to hold a conference in the second half of the year with all social partners.

(Christina Schulze, Mathieu Klos)

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. RecogniCorp v Nintendo is Another Nail in the Coffin of Software Patents in the United States

    A precedential new decision against software patents is terrible news for the patent microcosm -- something for them to spin or moan about for a long time to come



  2. Battistelli is Busy Securing the Vote of Countries Whose Support and Tickets Are Easy to 'Buy'

    Battistelli’s banana republic politics and tricks are viewed as his ticket to endless ‘leadership’ (domination by sheer force) of a sinking patent office, whose rules he repeatedly breaks (including lack of eligibility to run it, for multiple reasons)



  3. Patent Snake Oil From Brunel University London and PatentDive

    The ludicrous notion of replacing patent examiners (or searches by humans) with machines is seriously considered by some who should know better... but don't



  4. This is How 'Independent' the Boards of Appeal Are Under Battistelli

    A rather revealing new factoid about the interview that never happened (potentially contradicting a previous one with Battistelli), or why it did not happen



  5. Links 29/4/2017: Endless OS, Pinebook, and New Mozilla Foundation Board Members

    Links for the day



  6. Links 28/4/2017: Subsurface 4.6.4, GNOME Shell & Mutter 3.25.1

    Links for the day



  7. Kather Augenstein and Bristows Shift Attention to Germany in an Effort to Ram the Dying UPC Down Everyone's Throats

    Down the throat, hopes Team UPC, the Unitary Patent system will go, even though Britain cannot ratify, throwing the whole thing into grave uncertainty



  8. United for Patent Reform Defends USPTO Director Michelle Lee From Attacks by the Patent Microcosm

    Michelle Lee is finally (if not belatedly) shielded by a bunch of large technology companies; The deep-pocketed industry finally steps in line with our position, which is usually when things turn out the way we advocate for



  9. Team UPC and CIPA Are Lobbying, Publishing Puff Pieces, and Rewriting the Law for Unitary Patent (UPC) Behind Closed Doors

    A collection of the latest news and views on the UPC, which is being lied about by those who stand to benefit from it and is probably going nowhere because Brexit means that the UK stays out, in which case it must be reset and pertinent ratifications done all over again



  10. China's Suffering From Patent Maximalism Has Europe Forewarned

    The parasitic elements inside China -- those that just want lots of litigation (even if from patent trolls) -- are winning over, much to the detriment of the Chinese economy, and Team UPC threatens to do the same in Europe with help from Battistelli



  11. Links 27/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.5 RC1, Git 2.13.0 RC1, and Linkerd 1.0

    Links for the day



  12. The Latest Expensive PR Blitz of the EPO, Led by Jana Mittermaier and Rainer Osterwalder Under the 'European Inventor Award' Banner

    The PR agencies of the Corsican in Chief, who appears to be buying political support rather than earning any, are very busy this week, as yet another reputation laundering campaign kicks off



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

    Links for the day



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

    Links for the day



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

    Links for the day



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

    Links for the day



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

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



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

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



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

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


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts