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

02.26.16

Member States Are Turning Against “Tyrannical” Chief of European Patent Office (Benoît Battistelli)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

De Morgen

Summary: Another new article translation from this week’s Dutch newspapers

Having just published a translation of this article about Dutch EPO protests, we also got another translation from Petra Kramer. It’s this Dutch article (just republished in the Belgian media).

Here is the full text:

Member states are turning against “tyrannical” chief of European Patent Office

The days of the controversial president of the European Patent Office, Benoît Battistelli, appear to be numbered. Employees have been complaining for some time that Battistelli behaves like a tyrant and a Sun King. But now for the first the Member States are against the Frenchman.

The European Patent Office (EPO) gives patents to all kinds of conceivable inventions, ranging from thermos bottle to computer chip. Rijswijk is one of the five offices, where 2,700 people work. The 38 participating countries act as principals and supervisors of the EPO.

Thus far they still supported the rule of President Battistelli who took office in 2010. He is very controversial among the staff because he deteriorated all kinds of working conditions and he took harsh reprisals against trade union representatives who express criticism. Meanwhile two union directors have been laid off at its headquarters in Munich. Two union representatives at the Rijswijk office are on sick leave after they were subjected to what they call intimidating integrity investigations. Colleagues set up a ‘bread’ fund last month to provide one of them of income, because management has suspended his salary.

According to the top of the EPO, it’s pure coincidence that the punished staff are all trade unionists. Member States up until now have let Battistelli plot his course. This is the straw that broke the camel’s back, according to a letter from Jesper Kongstad, the Danish president of the Administrative Council, a sort of supervisory board in which the 38 countries participating in EPO are represented.

Kongstad asks Battistelli to examine all disciplinary measures taken against members of the union by an independent external committee. The layoffs and other sanctions should be suspended until the results of this examination are made public.

“Unfortunately we can not hold any significant conversation with the president,” Kongstad writes in his letter. Battistelli has immediately rejected the proposal and questioned the legal basis of it. “There is no legal obstacle for the council to make requests to the EPO president,” Kongstad writes however. “It is up to the president to respond positively to such requests.”

Kongstad’s flip-flopping is remarkable, because he was regarded as one of the ‘friends’ of Battistelli. Their personal connection, according to trade union Suepo, caused the festering of the conflicts within the organization.

Healthy organization

At the next meeting of the Administrative Council on March 16, delegates from the 38 participating countries will officially cast their votes on the proposal of Kongstad. Battistelli now lobbies with Member States to move them to shoot down the independent investigation. According to a letter from Battistelli, his organization “healthier than ever”.

It is not very likely that the supervisory countries will vote against the proposals of their own president Kongstad. That will leave Battistelli with two options: resign or accept to have his controversial actions examined by an independent commission. “It’s not so much the question whether Battistelli will have to resign, but how many millions he will receive as a severage package, claims lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld representing the trade union Suepo.

She booked last year’s success at the Hague Court of Appeal, which concluded that the EPO violates human rights because it hinders the work of the union. A remarkable verdict, because the EPO as an international organization enjoys legal immunity. The court ruled that human rights in this case outweigh those legal immunity. EPO nevertheless rejected the verdict and got support from the Dutch government in doing so. At present, the case is in the Supreme Court.

Endless gratitude goes out to Petra Kramer for her work on this translation.

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. Links 16/1/2017: Linux 4.10 RC4, Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' KDE Edition Beta

    Links for the day



  2. 'Financial Director' Publishes Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Response to some of the latest UPC propaganda, which strives to misinform Financial Directors so as to enrich the author and his firm



  3. Independent and Untainted Web Sites About Patents Are Still Few and Rare

    Commentary about news sources that we rely on, as well as the known pitfalls or the vested interests deeply ingrained in them



  4. The 20% Rule: Patent Trolling Suffers Double-Digit Declines and Patent Troll Technicolor is Collapsing

    Significant demise or total catastrophe for the modus operandi (method) of going after companies with a pile of patents and threats of litigation



  5. US Supreme Court Did Not End Apple's Patent Disputes Over Android (Linux), More Cases Imminent

    An overview of some very recent news regarding the highest court in the United States, which has been dealing with cases that can determine the fate of Free/Open Source software in an age of patent uncertainty and patent thickets surrounding mobility



  6. Links 15/1/2017: Switching From OS X to GNU/Linux, Debian 8.7 Released

    Links for the day



  7. Number of New Patent Cases in the US Fell 25% Last Year, Thanks in Part to the Demise of Software Patent Trolls

    Litigation and prosecutions that rely on patents (failure to resolve disputes, e.g. by sharing ideas, out of court) is down very sharply, in part because firms that make nothing at all (just threaten and/or litigate) have been sinking after much-needed reform



  8. America Invents Act Improved Patent Quality, But Right Wingers Threaten to Make It Worse Again

    The past half a decade saw gradual improvement in assessment of patents in the United States, but there is a growing threat and pressure from the patent microcosm to restore patent maximalism and chaos



  9. PTAB -- Not Deterred by Courts -- Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continues to make progress reforming the patent system by eliminating a lot of patents and setting an example (or new standards) for what is patent-eligible after Alice



  10. EPO Abuses Come Under Fire From Politicians in Luxembourg

    Luxembourg is the latest nation in which concerns about the EPO's serious abuses are brought up not only by the media but also by politicians



  11. Constitutionality as a Barrier and Brexit Barriers to UPC Keep the Whole Pipe Dream Deadlocked

    The UPC is still going nowhere fast, but the demise (or death) of the UPC as we know it must not be taken for granted



  12. Links 14/1/2017: Wine 2.0 RC5 and AryaLinux 2017 Released

    Links for the day



  13. Links 13/1/2017: Linux 4.9.3 and Linux 4.4.42

    Links for the day



  14. Brexit Means No UPC (Unified Patent Court)

    Now that Jo Johnson, Boris Johnson's brother, is officially declared the new minister for intellectual property in the UK everything that Lucy Neville-Rolfe wrote is as solid as paper bag on a rainy London day



  15. Patent Trolls and Software Patents: CloudTrade, Patent Practitioners Density, and Via Licensing

    Software patents armament from a British company, charted concentration of the patent microcosm in the United States, and US-leaning patent trolls that prey on China



  16. Patent Maximalism -- Like Copyright Maximalism -- Relies on Misconceptions and Mass Deception

    The latest examples of discussions about patent scope, courtesy of those looking to benefit financially by pushing such monopolies to the max



  17. Software Patents Still Promoted by IBM and Its Lobbyist (and Former Employee) David Kappos, in Defiance of Much-Needed US Patent Reform

    While the corporate media celebrates IBM as though it's some kind of 'champion' for hoarding patents that it then uses to attack companies which actually grow



  18. Brexit/Trump Effect: Patent Systems With Institutional Corruption and Nepotism

    Rumours about Britain's head of patents (and copyrights etc.) being the brother of the Brexit campaigner and Foreign Minister; meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, rumours suggest that the corrupt judge Rader might be the next head of patents in the United States



  19. Links 11/1/2017: X.Org Server 1.19.1, GitHub's Atom 1.13

    Links for the day



  20. The Patent Microcosm is Already Sucking up to Donald Trump in an Effort to Enrich Itself at Everyone's Expense

    Four new examples of patent maximalists embracing/adopting the pseudo-populist slogan to advance their goals of increasing litigation (which they profit from) and undermining PTAB (which made patents great in the quality sense)



  21. Patent Quality in the United States Can Only be Assessed at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Courts

    The travesty of patent offices in the US and China, where the goal or the accomplishment is measured in terms of the number of patents rather than their quality



  22. Gradual Collapse of Microsoft's Extensive (and External) Patent Trolling Operations

    The President of Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC (patent troll) leaves and the founder of Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's largest peripheral patent troll, joins Sherpa Technology



  23. No End to Battistelli's Witch-hunts Against the Media, Against Staff, and Against Politicians

    Rumours about the fate of people who are (or have been) criticising Battistelli's reign of terror at the EPO



  24. Links 10/1/2017: Synfig 1.2, Kodachi Linux 3.7

    Links for the day



  25. With Help From the US Supreme Court (Key Cases), Patent Trolls Are Going Away

    The demise of patent trolls in the United States, a trend partly attributable to Alice and other Supreme Court decisions, will likely accelerate soon (later this year) as the future of the Eastern District of Texas courts is at stake



  26. Patent Maximalism on Display: Patent Aggressor IBM Celebrated in the Media

    The patent lust at IBM, which is suing if not just shaking down companies using software patents, earns plenty of puff pieces from the corporate media



  27. FFPE-EPO, the EPO Management's Pet/Yellow Union, Helps Union-Busting (Against SUEPO) in Letter to Notorious Vice-President

    In a letter to Elodie Bergot (as CC) and Željko Topić, who faces many criminal investigations, FFPE-EPO ringleaders reveal their allegiance not to EPO staff but to those who perpetually attack the staff



  28. Links 9/1/2017: Civilization VI Coming to GNU/Linux, digiKam 5.4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  29. Links 9/1/2017: Dell’s Latest XPS 13, GPD Pocket With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  30. Update on Patent Trolls and Their Enablers: IAM, Fortress, Inventergy, Nokia, MOSAID/Conversant, Microsoft, Intellectual Ventures, Faraday Future, A*STAR, GPNE, AlphaCap Ventures, and TC Heartland

    A potpourri of reports about some of the world’s worst patent trolls and their highly damaging enablers/facilitators, including Microsoft which claims that it “loves Linux” whilst attacking it with patents by proxy


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