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

03.01.16

Team Battistelli’s New Media Strategy at Times of EPO Emergency

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 4:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IP Watch

Summary: In an effort to defend Battistelli and his ‘circle’, who have lost the support of the Administrative Council (AC), a new slew of recycled material (the above is from January but published only yesterday)

THE EPO is in ‘damage control’ mode right now. The mode isn’t entirely new, but now it culminates in lying to journalists. It looks like the Battistelli-led effort to circulate a letter in his own support backfired pretty badly. Based on this new comment: “A new persistent rumour in the EPO is that, since the directors decided in DG1direct not to sign the paper supporting Mr Battistelli (this is much more than a rumour), the principal directors agreed that the paper should be signed by them and sent on behalf of the principal directors only. A support letter from higher management will of course not carry as much weight as a letter from the directors.”

We don’t know yet if that’s a fact, but we shall soon find out. Meanwhile, to quote this new article composed by highly-regarded patent lawyers in central Europe:

Kongsted [sic] reportedly explains in his letter to the AC members it was unavoidable to send a formal request to Battistelli, as it had turned out to be impossible to engage in a meaningful dialogue with the EPO president. The Techrights blog published what it says is a copy of Kongsted’s letter.

According to the IP Kat blog, the letter ‘was shown to Mr Battistelli at a meeting [with Board 28, the presidium of the AC, ed.] on February 17th, but Mr Battistelli rejected the document and questioned the legal basis for certain of the AC’s requests (…) before walking out of the meeting’.

Benoît Battistelli has not reacted publicly on what’s going on at the moment. A letter from the EPO management – it isn’t clear who have signed it – has appeared however, urging the AC members not to support the Resolution (Techrights, again, has published what is said to be a copy of the letter).

The Resolution of Kongsted will be discussed and voted on during the Administrative Council’s meeting 16 and 17 March 2016 in Munich. According to Art 10 (1) of the European Patent Convention ‘The European Patent Office shall be managed by the President, who shall be responsible for its activities to the Administrative Council’.

It remains to be seen whether the management letter will help Battistelli. An AC meeting last December showed he does no longer have the traditional support from the Council. His controversial proposals for the reform of the Boards of Appeal were rejected, according to a report of the German legal website JUVE, and a new procedure to handle the reform was initiated. Earlier, the Presidium of the BoA, the Association of Members of the BoA (AMBA) and the president of epi had written to the AC, complaining Battistelli ignored the views of the Boards and their criticism on his reform proposals, although he maintained he had broad support for them.

[...]

However, sources of the Dutch daily De Telegraaf said it’s likely that Battistelli will step down soon and that he has already demanded ten year salaries in return, which adds up to 18 million euro.

“The EPO hasn’t reacted to questions by Kluwer IP Law on the reported tensions,” noted the author. Sometimes the EPO claims that Battistelli’s job is secure, but sometimes it says nothing at all. Well, silence can say a lot sometimes and Kluwer Patent Blog shows a certain change (potentially) in the media strategy of the PR team.

“The ‘problem’ with EPO staff right now is that it ‘dares’ to ask too many questions and it scares the ‘superiors’.”Kongstad (the AC Chairman) is the only one in upper management who knew the salary of Battistelli or at least signed it off, based on our sources. 1.8 million/annum in salary for Battistelli? Brimelow would be jealous; unlike Battistelli, she did disclosure her salary and it was nowhere close to that. 6 times the salary of the President of Europe with a term almost one decade old? We are still trying to verify/ascertain this. Either way, Battistelli is finished. He won’t finish his term and the scandal over his secret salary hasn’t even started yet. Based on some sources (the subject of investigation/verification at Techrights for a number of weeks), Battistelli’s salary is nearly double that of the EU president, but some say 6 times (or at least 4 times) more. Kongstad knows the exact number. As AC Chairman, at least for now, he should be protected, as he’s the only person who can fire Battistelli even if he helped him in the past. Kongstad (AC Chairman) knew all along how much Battistelli had his circle pay him. We still wait to see the final outcome of the Bygmalion Affair. There too a lot of money circulated, even fraudulently (in the case of Sarkozy). It’s a lot harder to brainwash (and make docile) patent examiners than it is to brainwash 18-year-old troops who obey an elders’ orders unquestionably. The ‘problem’ with EPO staff right now is that it ‘dares’ to ask too many questions and it scares the ‘superiors’.

Some people now joke about the “villa” or the “golden parachute” that’s expected for Monsieur Battistelli (as an undeserved departure gift). How can he even expect to receive severance pay after all that he has done? One of the famous victims of Željko Topić (the EPO Vice-President and union buster) is in the hospital right now. He suffered a lot from Topić, who had already left a deadly warpath in Croatia; there are even suicides there, just like at the EPO. Remember that the problem at the EPO isn’t just Battistelli but also many of the people whom he brought in to become his de facto protégés and protégées. When EPO-funded sites cover the latest EPO situation it expectedly echoes the defensive narrative, wherein Battistelli is the victim, not the abuser who left a bunch of victims. To quote IAM (as of today):

Against this backdrop, events at the European Patent Office have taken a dramatic turn, with the leak of a letter from Jesper Kongstad, the director general of the Danish patent office and chairman of the EPO’s Administrative Council. Sent to all members of the council, the letter outlines a series of disagreements with the office’s president Benoît Battistelli and proposes that a recent Battistelli decision to fire several members of the trade union SUEPO over alleged misconduct be subject to external review.

The Kongstad letter is the first tangible sign that Battistelli may no longer enjoy the full support of the Administrative Council. It is all the more noteworthy because Kongstad and Battistelli are long-term collaborators who campaigned on a joint ticket during the drawn-out process that saw Battistelli first elected president back in early 2010. If Kongstad no longer has full confidence in Battistelli’s decision-making, that would leave the president significantly exposed.

Indeed, the Dutch tabloid De Telegraaf has reported (link in Dutch) that Battistelli is now planning to step down and has demanded €18 million – equivalent, the newspaper says, to 10 years’ salary – as severance pay. There is no real indication currently that this is actually the case, though, while the amount quoted is a clearly ridiculous figure (though one that will circulate and gain in currency as there is no transparency around the president’s actual package).

Speaking to me yesterday evening an EPO spokesperson expressed surprise at the leak, but did confirm that the letter was genuine. However, I was also told that it is outdated: later, more conciliatory notes are now circulating that emphasise that many of the points raised in Kongstad’s original correspondence relating to, for example, the future of the Enlarged Board of Appeal and social dialogue with office employees are in the process of being satisfactorily addressed. But if that is the case, none of them have been seen in public; while what is undoubtedly the main bone of contention – the future of the SUEPO officials who have been fired or downgraded – does seem to remain a point of difference.

Another site which helps Battistelli’s site now says “the organisation has been for three years the victim of a defamation campaign”; no, Mr. Battistelli disgraced it. There was no “defamation” when people simply spoke about what Topić had done in Croatia. As one Twitter user put it the other day, “EPO-like institutions have always homegrown zealous servants aplenty. They’d offer their zeal to anyone being bossy enough, I guess.” The headline of the interview is wrong by the way. "Investigations" should be rewritten "Union-Busting".

“There was no “defamation” when people simply spoke about what Topić had done in Croatia.”Another person said: “According to the KING everybody is committing a serious misconduct except himself, right?”

This was said in reference to the latest interview with Battistelli, which was actually conducted in January, based on what IP Watch told me. We are already in March, so what took so long to publish? When the EPO led by Battistelli says it’s trying to introduce reforms it means “reforms” in the same sense that Lenin meant reforms. As a longtime critic of the EPO (and victim of the EPO's SLAPP) put it, it’s “surprising that with Battistelli there could be other subjects than his coming resignation” (which is widely expected unless one asks the EPO directly).

It is not even mentioned at all in the interview because, as IP Watch explained to me last night, the interview is from January. Well, Battistelli is almost certainly about to resign. Everyone knows it, but there are no articles about this in patent lawyers’ sites. The EPO either refuses to comment on it or simply denies it. They have a history of lying to the press and to staff.

“Well, Battistelli is almost certainly about to resign. Everyone knows it, but there are no articles about this in patent lawyers’ sites.”In the interview, which we prefer not to quote too sparingly (it’s a lot of Battistelli lies with loaded promotional questions such as “Memorandum of Understanding that you are trying to get with trade unions?”), the interviewer is playing along with the EPO’s PR strategy. There are even UPC softball questions, complete with euphemisms such as “global patent harmonisation stand” (patent harmonisation is an old term, used in the media well before they came up with “Unitary Patent”).

To name some other bits from the article, Battistelli basically says he is “very proud and most of the staff is supportive” of him and his policies. That’s a lie. Or maybe he’s just delusional. He also says “I accepted a demand of the Administrative Council to serve”; well, they’re about to fire him, so the use of words like “accepted a demand… to serve” is rather laughable. Recall how he treats delegates. Battistelli does not want to step down, resign, or quit. But he’d have to (and would) if otherwise he’d get the sack. Resignation would be a face-saving move. That’s where he is right now. But first he wishes to ensure that he receives a lot of money.

“MIP (Managing Intellectual Property) has been trying to do an interview with Kongstad, but they tell me that he is not even responding to their request.”In summary, it seems as though Battistelli will step down soon. People who read the IP Watch article (interview/propaganda with softball questions to Battistelli) must remember that it is well out of date (this took place back in January). Based on what I heard from reliable sources, the EPO’s PR team/department is sanitising questions as a condition to conducting interviews with Battistelli. Self- censorship is thus assured. Self-censorship is how the EPO has been getting a lot of puff pieces out there, not even with FTI Consulting directly involved (FTI Consulting paid IAM, which wrote the soft piece above, and earlier today IAM staff, Joff Wild, told me that they don’t know how much FTI Consulting had paid).

We already wrote a great deal about the IP Watch article online. Will this essentially be Battistelli’s “I’m not a crook” goodbye speech? Will there ever be more interviews? MIP (Managing Intellectual Property) has been trying to do an interview with Kongstad, but they tell me that he is not even responding to their request.

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. Hey, Where's Red Hat (IBM)?

    Red Hat is conspicuously silent at these critical times (in its home country); Must be too busy hailing and cashing in on Trump's military (state) while dishing out shallow and self-contradictory diversity PR/fluff…



  2. Microsoft's Latest Vapourware About Supercomputers

    Microsoft has spent almost two decades dropping supercomputers vapourware on the media, but those misinformation dumps always turn out to be 100% hot air, no substance



  3. 2020: A Time for Resolutions or Revolutions?

    There are nonviolent means by which the current system can be corrected; we need to convince peers and relatives to change the way they behave and not cooperate with unjust elements of the system



  4. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 02, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, June 02, 2020



  5. The Gates Press (GatesGate) -- Part I: Lost the Job After Writing an Article Critical of Bill Gates for Attacking Some Actual, Legitimate Charities (Because They Had Spread GNU/Linux)

    The sociopaths from the fake 'charity' of Bill Gates would go to great lengths to squash criticism and also to eliminate critics; this series tells the story of some of those personally affected



  6. Don't Fall for the Spin, Microsoft is Laying Off Workers and It's Not Just Because of the Pandemic





  7. All They Want is Litigation, Not Innovation

    It's getting difficult to ignore or to overlook the fact that the 'litigation lobby' (the likes of Team UPC and today's EPO management, guided by groups like the Licensing Executives Society International) doesn't care about innovation and is in fact looking to profit by crushing innovation



  8. Reminder: Microsoft Profits From Crushing Protesters for Donald Trump

    Don't lose sight of the fact that what's going on in the United States right now is very profitable to Microsoft



  9. No, GNU/Linux Isn't at 3% and Windows Isn't at Over 90%, Either

    This ludicrous idea that "Linux" (however one defines it) enjoys just 3% of the "market" is false and it should be treated as laughable spin (it is being widely promoted this week, often by Microsoft boosters looking to make charts where Windows stays at above 90% and Vista 10 is 'gaining'... at the expense of Windows)



  10. Links 3/6/2020: Devuan Beowulf 3.0.0 and Tails 4.7 Released

    Links for the day



  11. Links 2/6/2020: New Firefox Release (77), Debian-based MX Linux 19.2, KDevelop 5.5.2, GNU/Linux Growth on Desktops/Laptops

    Links for the day



  12. Techrights Can Figure Out Source Protection/Anonymisation Whilst Operating Very Transparently

    We're still quite radically transparent whilst at the same time enjoying 100% source protection record; we're also improving the software we use to publish more quickly and efficiently



  13. IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 01, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, June 01, 2020



  14. This is How GNU Finally Dies

    "Brace for when GNU falls the way that OSI, FSF, FSFE, Mozilla, and the Linux Foundation did."



  15. Latest Microsoft Layoffs Spun as 'Innovation' (There's Always a Positive PR Angle)

    The public is expected to simply ignore the fact that Microsoft is laying off employees (again); instead we're expected to think it's all about Microsoft being very brilliant and innovative



  16. Microsoft Playing the Victim, Irrationally 'Hated' by Victims of Its Abuse

    We're meant to believe that those whom Microsoft bribes against are the opinionated 'haters' and Microsoft is a victim of 'hate'



  17. Links 1/6/2020: Linux 5.7, FOSSlife Born, LibreOffice 7.0 Beta1, Linux Mint 20 Making Early Promises

    Links for the day



  18. Linux Without Linus

    The Linux Foundation seems to be acting like Linus (Linux founder) is somewhat of a liability (forcing him to take a ‘break’ from his own project) while taking even the most notorious proposals from corporations, including those that called Linux a “cancer”



  19. What It Would Take for Linus Torvalds to Leave Linux Foundation Without the Linux Trademark and Without Linux

    It's nice to think that the founder of Linux can just take his project and walk away, moving elsewhere, i.e. away from the Microsoft-employed executives who now "boss" him; but it's not that simple anymore



  20. The Past Does Not Go Away, Except From Short-Term Memories

    People who are drunk on power and money (sometimes not even their own money) like to portray themselves as the very opposite of what they are; but in the age of the Internet it's difficult to make the general public simply forget the past and "move on..."



  21. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 31, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 31, 2020



  22. Links 1/6/2020: OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 2020.05, Linux Lite 5.0 Release, FreeBSD 11.4 RC2

    Links for the day



  23. It's a Common Mistake and Common Misconception/Error to Treat Microsoft as Just Another 'Large Company' (or 'Big Tech')

    What's wrong about Microsoft isn't its size; what's wrong with Microsoft is its behaviour, which isn't just illegal (crimes are the norm) but also hugely unethical



  24. Lessons of Michael Arrington (About Microsoft)

    Microsoft and Bill Gates have a long history bullying their critics; the quote above (or below) shows how even people who advertise with Microsoft are becoming the target of abuse



  25. 'Best' of Both Worlds: GNU/Linux Freedom + Malware With Keyloggers and DRM

    Running a Microsoft-controlled GNU/Linux instance under Vista 10 ("Windows Subsystem for Linux") in the age of virtual machines, dual boot and containers makes as much sense as chopping some carrots to go with the veal meal to appease vegetarian diners



  26. First They Bribe the Employer, Media Lynch Mobs May Follow

    The 'cancel culture' lynch mobs, which leverage social causes (or marginalised groups), remain a convenient means by which to oust one's political/business opposition; but money too is a massive contributing factor and the more one has of it, the easier it is to control media narrative and subversive focus



  27. Upcoming Series Teaser: The Bribery Operation of William Henry Gates III

    Bribery goes a very long way when it comes to the megalomaniac who pays the media to portray him as the world's most generous person



  28. Windows Ransomware Must Not be Unspeakable When People Die in Large Numbers Due to That (and Windows Has Intentional Back Doors)

    Loss of electronic patient records, ransom and downtime among the severe consequences of deploying Microsoft inside hospitals; yet the media rarely names the real culprit (manslaughter charges theoretically possible) and nobody gets punished except those who offer real solutions



  29. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 30, 2020



  30. Burning the House That Richard Stallman (RMS) Built: An Open Letter to GNU Maintainers Who Opposed RMS

    An open letter to people who petitioned RMS to step down and who outsource GNU projects to Microsoft (GitHub)


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