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. This Week Techrights Crosses 26,000 Posts Milestone, 3 Weeks Before Turning 13 (2,000+ Posts/Year)

    A self-congratulatory post about another year that's passed (without breaks from publishing) and another milestone associated with posting volume



  2. No Calls to "Remove Gates" From the Board (Over a Real Scandal/Crime), Only to "Remove Stallman" (Over Phony Distraction From the Former)

    Jeffrey Epstein's connections to Bill Gates extend well beyond Gates himself; other people inside Microsoft are closely involved as well, so Microsoft might want to cut ties with its co-founder before it becomes a very major mess



  3. “The Stupidest [Patent/Tax] Policy Ever”

    It’s pretty clear that today’s European patent system has been tilted grossly in favour of super-rich monopolists and their facilitators (overzealous law firms and ‘creative’ accountants) as opposed to scientists



  4. Meme: Software Patents at the EPO

    The evolution of “technical effect” nonsense at the EPO



  5. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 13, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 13, 2019



  6. Firm of Microsoft's Former Litigation Chief Uses Microsoft-Connected Patent Lawsuit Against GNU/Linux (GNOME Foundation) for New Breed of FUD Campaigns

    The patent troll of Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold has fed a patent troll that's attacking GNU/Linux and a firm owned by Microsoft's former litigation chief says it proves "Open Source Software Remains a Target"



  7. "Widespread Adoption" (Did You Mean: Takeover by Monopolies?)

    "Quite a few of them are people that would rather replace David with Goliath, just because he's bigger. Quite a few are already taking money from Goliath."



  8. Links 13/10/2019: Red Hat CFO Fired and KDE Plasma 5.17 Preparations

    Links for the day



  9. Bill's Media Strategy Amid GatesGate

    There are many ways by which to game the media’s news cycle — an art mastered by the groper in chief



  10. Hard-Core Micro-Soft

    The word "core" is increasingly being (mis)used to portray user-hostile proprietary software as something more benign if not "open"



  11. Free Software Timeline and Federation: When Free Software Advocacy/Support is a Monopoly Expansion Becomes Necessary

    Support for Software Freedom — like support for Free software (think Red Hat/IBM and systemd) — should be decentralised and compartmentalised to make the movement stronger and adaptable



  12. Projection Tactics

    The corporate media hasn't been doing its job lately; it has systematically defamed the wrong people, perhaps in an effort to distract from 'big fish'



  13. Meme: Richard Stallman Irrelevant

    Saint IGNUcius — Richard Stallman — just isn’t the Saint Bill Gates is



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 12, 2019



  15. Links 13/10/2019: Mastodon 3.0, GNU Binutils 2.33.1, and the Road to KDE Frameworks 6

    Links for the day



  16. The New York Times About the Real Epstein-Software Scandal (Nothing to Do With Stallman)

    The media is belatedly catching up with and covering the real MIT scandal which extends far beyond MIT



  17. Openwashing Reports Are on Hold

    The need to stress Software Freedom and shun all that "open" nonsense has quickly become apparent; some of the people who oppose Stallman turn out to be "Open Source" proponents who don't even value freedom of expression (free speech)



  18. Support the GNU Project and Support Free Speech

    Techrights is loyal to Software Freedom and those eager to promote it; it cannot, however, support those who don’t support free speech



  19. Today's EPO is Working for Patent Trolls and the 'Aye Pee' (IP) 'Industry' Instead of Science

    The EPO is making allegiances and alliances with groups that represent neither science nor businesses but instead push for monopolies, litigation and extortion; lawlessness appears to have become the EPO's very objective instead of what it intends to tackle



  20. The Campinos Car Crash

    The EPO is crashing and we know who’s to blame other than Battistelli



  21. Software Patents (or Monopolies on Algorithms) Are Not 'Property' and They're Not Even Legally Valid

    The EPO insists that it's OK to grant patents on just about everything and propaganda terms are being leveraged to justify this dangerous attitude



  22. The EPO's Universal Patent Injustice Concealed With Polyglottic Tricks

    The EPO is fooling nobody; it's desperate to hide the very simple fact that Battistelli did something illegal and over the past few years every decision issued by the EPO was legally invalid (as per the EPC)



  23. Microsoft Tweets in Linux Platforms

    This observation about the Linux Foundation seems very appropriate (and true) now that Linux.com’s sole editor is (re)posting Microsoft tweets (shades of Jono Bacon)



  24. Links 12/10/2019: Rspamd 2.0, Kdenlive 19.08.2, Plasma Mobile Progress, FreeBSD 12.1 RC1

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 11, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, October 11, 2019



  26. MIT Scandal in a Nutshell

    What happened a month ago, explained using a meme



  27. António Campinos, With Diplomatic Immunity, Continues Breaking the Law by Granting Patents the EU and EPC Forbade

    The EPO shows how immunity leads to crimes being committed with total impunity; at this point the EPO's immunity must be removed and judges should be permitted to do their job, which is enforcing the law



  28. EPO is Trying to 'Force-Feed' Europe Some Fake Patents by Hijacking Courts

    Having granted a lot of dubious European Patents (to maintain constant growth despite a decreasing number of applications) the EPO seeks to subvert the court system; so far only the constitutions and the laws are being subverted — to the point where these ambitions are collapsing in Europe’s highest courts



  29. If the EPO Plans to Go 'Virtually' Private (Outside Contracting), Then Failing It Would be Deliberate

    Sooner rather than later EPO workers need to entertain the possibility that so-called 'plan Battistelli' is to enrich a bunch of well-connected people rather than improve the Office or its services



  30. Linux Oughtn't Be Just a Brand

    The non-Linux-using Linux Foundation and how it views the Linux project


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

Recent Posts