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The EPO’s Media Strategy at Work: Union Feuds and Group Fracturing

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 8:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apologies to Mr. Lucas for this famous meme’s reuse

EPO meme
Adding the caption/s to the photo op is an easy game to play now

Summary: The efforts to demonise SUEPO using ‘good child’ FFPE EPO are well underway, with insults flying both ways (classic union-busting pattern where one side is embraced to help discredit/malign/alienate/mischaracterise/undermine another)

THE EPO’s management is rather frantic/panicky about the negative press coverage (here is German radio coverage for those who might want to send us a summary or a translated transcript). So, as one might expect, in cooperation with outside help (FTI Consulting) the PR team keeps bombarding journalists with self-created (strategic) distraction, such as the above photo op and (dis)infographics about so-called ‘results’.

“This is clearly the intention; timing isn’t a coincidence here.”We are worried that the EPO’s scandals (here is a primer for the uninitiated) may somehow be brushed aside because of the charm offensives, aided to a large degree by the FFPE EPO MoU, which we wrote about in [1, 2, 3, 4]. This is clearly the intention; timing isn’t a coincidence here. In fact, based on documents, the day of the signing was chosen by the EPO’s management. It hardly feels like a two-sided agreement because EPO management calls the shots at all levels, even before the signing of a binding agreement. Would anyone trust an abusive partner to somehow be less abusive (or even violent) after marriage, as if matrimony alone would magically soften the person?

Speaking of coincidences, someone sent me “Coincidences at EPO” over the weekend, listing them as follows (verbatim):

Please be informed of more coincidences at EPO:

(Coincidence 36) Current FFPE-EPO’s treasurer Michiel Sonius recently became a manager in team Battistelli.

(Coincidence 37) The four other FFPE-EPO committee members have Dutch names.

(Coincidence 38) The FFPE-EPO union received office space within the EPO premises, whereas union SUEPO was ejected from EPO premises a year ago.

(Coincidence 39) SUEPO has 3400 members who feel Battistelli is bashing them and their union. FFPE-EPO claims to have 70 members, at least one of which feels bashed by SUEPO.

(Coincidence 40) By signing a MOU two weeks before the AC meeting, Battistelli gets EPO staff to quarrel over details. He can now fully focus on votes for his survival.

Looking at SUEPO’s public site, there has been no word from there since the MoU. They probably know well enough that lashing out at (or bashing) FFPE EPO would be immediately exploited/framed/interpreted as SUEPO being excessively combative and unnecessarily divisive. We have read and published leaked documents from Microsoft where there are explicit admissions of this strategy, namely finding or accentuating differences between groups (e.g. BSD/GPL) in order to incite them against one another. It’s related to the divide-and-conquer (or divide and rule) strategy, somewhat akin to sectarian violence.

Even with SUEPO saying nothing at all, and with only some anonymous comments posted at IP Kat, an apologist of FFPE EPO (or rather, someone who chooses to view or portray FFPE EPO as the victim) wrote:

What you see here is union-bashing….exactly what Suepo accuses the EPO management of. The message seems to be clear: if you do not agree with Suepo you are wrong. This is what happened to the independent staffreps, they were bullied away.
Samuel, you have my respect for trying to fing a solution to the current situation!
EPO staff, if you want to be represented by bullies, vote Suepo again next elections.
After all, they have been very successful so far.

This is a very provocative comment. Unsurprisingly, it immediately led to responses such as: “Just the opposite, as an EPO outsider I find the comments very factual and informative. I doubt it very much that the information is coming from a sole source, or SUEPO as your posting suggests. FFPE-EPO is a new actor on the scene, so it is normal that they get scrutinized at the beginning and have to face some wisdom of the crowds. As Mr van der Bijl as a chairman of the FFPE-EPO is about to resign, it may be an opportunity for you to shape the EPO future differently and put your candidacy forward. Good luck!”

“At that stage, if not well beforehand, Battistelli too might already be out of the Office (for good), perhaps back in Corsica (with or without a forced exile from Eponia).”A lot of this is true. The comments don’t come from SUEPO (nothing suggests so) and the current Chairman must finish his term next month, so who knows what will happen then? At that stage, if not well beforehand, Battistelli too might already be out of the Office (for good), perhaps back in Corsica (with or without a forced exile from Eponia).

Looking at some other comments which people posted on Sunday, one says (about the provocative comment, which merited a reply): “Nonsense. What you see is valid criticism of both the content of the MoU and the timing. Given the present situation, the timing is unfortunate at best and downright suspicious at worst. The fact that half the membership of FFPE-EPO were against the signing of the MoU, and some members have even left the union precisely because of this, speaks volumes.”

“As you know, it is prohibited to express outside opinions without a previous authorization from the EPO administration.”
Writing to Samuel van der Bijl (referring to him by name), one other person wrote: “While all EPO staff (including staff representatives and SUEPO elected members) have to remain anonymous on the Web, I´m happy to see that you enjoy a privileged status and you can sign your comments with your name. As you know, it is prohibited to express outside opinions without a previous authorization from the EPO administration. Then my question: Did you get the authorization from the president to comment on IPKAT, and then you act as a EPO spokesman? Or next Monday will you be investigated by our investigation unit and probably dismissed?”

Here is another comment:

Firing elected unions members.
The AC asked for revision.
It’s illegal in most of the European countries.
It’s not only legally but also morally indefensible.
FFPE signs a MOU with people claiming the indefensible and furthermore proud to do so (see TV reports, interviews, etc, etc.).
FFPE complains to be a victim.

FFPE is being opportunistic, it’s not a victim. It’s misguided, if anything (or at best), and it has only itself to blame for its horrible decision. How could it not foresee these consequences? As one very recent comment put it: “The only reason to sign such a pamphlet is opportunism. It doesn’t give any rights except to send twice a year a management approved email to all staff. Compared to the “acquired rights” from the pre-BB [Battistelli] era, this is just a joke. If BB & Co would be genuinely interested in staff, they would respect the elected representatives – at least what they have to say (play the ball and not the person …). I guess FFPE will learn the hard way what it means to have a Pyhrric victory.”

“FFPE is being opportunistic, it’s not a victim. It’s misguided, if anything (or at best), and it has only itself to blame for its horrible decision.”“If I understand rightly,” said another person, “disagreeing with FFPE-EPO is considered Union-bashing? You and the union are free to make whatever decisions you like. But not to allow criticism or comment is setting the bar a little low. Abuse or threats or intimidation should be deplored and not permitted. But to point out the folly of only 24 people voting for a MoU which will have knock-on consequences affecting 6500+ staff is hardly unallowable, surely?”

From the above we learn quite a bit of new stuff, even if not everything is verifiable. If it’s true that most FFPE EPO members OPPOSED the MoU with Team Battistelli (see the comments), then by signing it with the management anyway the FFPE EPO’s Chairman demonstrated that his group is as undemocratic as the EPO’s management. That’s just self-discrediting a move. “only 24 people voting for a MoU which will have knock-on consequences affecting 6500+ staff,” said this comment. 24 people out of 75 is less than a third. That’s far from a majority.

“That’s one of the classic elements of yellow unions in principle and in practice.”Regarding the person who wrote “disagreeing with FFPE-EPO is considered Union-bashing,” let’s consider how laughable a dichotomy that is. It’s not a case of either one agrees with the signing of the MoU or one bashes this union. Far from it.

FFPE EPO, having fallen into Battistelli’s trap, probably created a rift, as expected all along; it’s a fracturing strategy — an unfortunate situation which helps distract staff and resort to infighting rather than fighting the real abusers (Team Battistelli). That’s one of the classic elements of yellow unions in principle and in practice. That’s why yellow unions are banned in many places. It’s a ban that came about due to situations such as this.

According to this comment, half of FFPE EPO’s members have quit because of this back-stabbing deal with Battistelli. Is this true? Can anyone verify?

“They’re in the job of crushing movements of activists, whistleblowers, competition and so on, not just unions.”To Battistelli, FFPE EPO is just something to exploit and throw aside. It’s collateral damage. We now enter a new (apparently predictable) phase in union-busting action. The forces behind union-busting are demonising SUEPO and they needn’t even do this directly. Watch what Control Risks and FTI Consulting have done for EPO management. Absolutely despicable an act, not doubt, and both firms are on the wrong side of history. Consider the history of Control Risks in Iraq (the invasion) and known Stasi connections. Helping the EPO with union-busting moves is ‘small peanuts’ to them. Don’t forget FTI Consulting's role in dirty energy AstroTurfing, either. These people know what they are doing. They’re in the job of crushing movements of activists, whistleblowers, competition and so on, not just unions.

The following new comment calls SUEPO “immovable object”, creating or reinforcing a narrative where SUEPO is just some bad stubborn boy (spoiled brat) rather than a genuine union that’s pursuing justice for workers. To quote the comment in full:

What I’ve seen for quite some time is an irresistible force (Battistelli) coming up against an immovable object (SUEPO). The inevitable result is the present train wreck.

What is needed is flexibility on both sides. We haven’t seen it from either side.

SUEPO has been an immovable object since before Battistelli arrived. Because of Battistelli’s inflexibility, SUEPO is even less likely to be flexible now. They are so deeply entrenched in their position that there is no way for them to change. And they criticise anybody on the staff side who isn’t equally immovable.

It appears the Admin Council has privately been telling Battistelli to be more flexible, even though supporting him in public. But he has ignored them. As a result, he might lose their support at the March AC meeting. Maybe they will force him to be more flexible, or maybe they will replace him.

But that would still leave a problem. If the management does become more flexible, when will SUEPO become more flexible? I don’t see it happening. They are still the same old immovable object.

“Basic human rights & labor rights aren’t negotiable,” responded one person to the above, “full stop!” The above spins the situation somewhat. It puts the blame and the burden on SUEPO, as if the whole situation is SUEPO’s fault.

Here is another new comment:

About BB’s statement in the Dutch press: “…I sincerely hope that SUEPO realize that their “empty seat” is not to the advantage of employees or of the patent office. ”

Does the reader observe here that BB is missing SUEPO? …maybe putting a pair of empty boots near the “empty seat” to remind him that there is still an important invisible party in the room.

The latest comment says: “Shame on you Mr van der Bijl and FFEP : this is the regime that you now support.” It points to the BR “Kontrovers” program on YouTube (just posted here).

Right now the EPO’s management has a cowardly, weak, incapable partner which it calls a union. It’s on the verge of being just a corporate union, as it won’t be able to rock the boat and it hardly ever tried to. As this one comment put it the other day: “Just to put this in perspective, the union which has signed this MOU represents only 1% of staff, is biased towards one specific nationality (Dutch), was set up specifically to complain about the expat privileges of non-Dutch staff and is only open to staff in the Netherlands. Thus it is not even slightly representative of the majority of staff at the EPO.

“There is now a fictional (perceived) fiery feud between unions (as will be framed by Team Battistelli although there’s no public confrontation between the two), so the tension has been misplaced and Battistelli can soon allege that there’s a “civil war” or infighting (not involving him personally), reinforcing his fictional narrative of ‘unreasonable’ SUEPO which is intolerant to negotiations and is basically “Mafia” or “dangerous cocktail”.”“The FFPE btw are something of a laughing stock at the EPO and haven’t even been active for years – their public pages haven’t been updated since 2008 I believe.”

We noticed that too. And if it’s true that half of their members have just left (we need confirmation, as for now it’s just a rumour), then all FFPE EPO will be (or be remembered for) is a silly photo op (PR ammunition) that will be used as ‘evidence’ later this month (by Team Battistelli) that there is peace for our time. There isn’t. There is now a fictional (perceived) fiery feud between unions (as will be framed by Team Battistelli although there’s no public confrontation between the two), so the tension has been misplaced and Battistelli can soon allege that there’s a “civil war” or infighting (not involving him personally), reinforcing his fictional narrative of ‘unreasonable’ SUEPO which is intolerant to negotiations and is basically "Mafia" or "dangerous cocktail".

Update/Postscript: Near the time of publishing the above another comment was added — this one from “Former SUEPO official” — and it echoes some of our sentiments, then mentions the vote for a strike. To quote the comment in full:

I must confess to be deeply disturb by the current trend of these comments. Whilst I do not appreciate the move of the FFPE, I appreciate even less the aggressive tone and the words used against FFPE members and Samuel van der Bijl, presumably from many embittered SUEPO supporters.

My opinion is that they are doing a pretty bad job at trying to defend the interests of staff: the document they signed is not helping to solve any of the problems affecting staff and they have apparently not even realised that with the pressure on the president they could have amended the document to something potentially useful. That looks pretty bad for wannabe staff representatives.

But this is nothing more than my opinion. And everyone must respect diverging opinions. I understand that the perspective of being recognised officially as a representative union despite systematically failing to have FFPE candidates elected as staff representatives (even with a tailored-made elections rules unknown in Europe and in the democratic world) overweighted all the other aspects. This step matches well my opinion of the strategic thinking of the successive FFPE leaders until now.

Regardless how pitiful it looks, FFPE has the right to choose this path. Their opinion can be properly challenged and battled against. But some of the posts above target the FFPE as a whole or its head. I fear their authors have forgotten through their emotions that the FFPE is neither responsible for the current situation nor the stupid rat race into which examiners are forced to enrol. The office will not last very long this way, the public and the service we are supposed to provide are blatantly ignored, the applicants will soon feel the unwanted consequences of these mad policies, and the staff will be left with nothing.

If we want to change to course of destruction set by the president, all the staff must be united. FFPE members, SUEPO members, ethical managers that still believe in the office if any are left, non union members, and even former staff members or families! Infighting is a luxury we cannot afford if we still want to have a chance. And whilst the signature of FFPE on this document is not the smartest idea of the year, we have all made mistakes. Past cannot be changed but we should all (at least try) to make things better in the future!

For instance, FFPE and SUEPO could both call clearly to massively vote in favour of the strike on Tuesday. Individually, you can all participate to the strike! For those you have never participated to a day of strike, sometimes cowardly taking a day off or faked strike participation, change it NOW! Please show that you are worth serving the European public and have values!

Kontrovers: German Program (With Subtitles) About the European Patent Office

Posted in Europe, Patents, Videos at 8:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: English subtitles added to last week’s investigative report (TV program) about the EPO

“SUEPO Munich” uploaded the following yesterday. This is a two-part video of the program we mentioned here the other day.

The attacks on the unions continue, especially because SUEPO’s popularity grew enormously, necessitating some form of character assassination (the subject of our next post).

Vote for EPO Strike This Tuesday in Order to Replace EPO Management

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stanisław Lentz painting
Strike, a famous painting by Stanisław Lentz

Summary: In order to dethrone the tyranny created and protected (by expansion of an inner circle) after Battistelli had been undemocratically put in place, vote this Tuesday for a strike, enjoy an extra day (or more) off, and watch the Administrative Council (AC) explaining to Battistelli that he needs to leave (not just a ‘house ban’)

IRRATIONAL people probably still think that the Office will survive the latest storm. Well, it will, but not with Battistelli. He will have to go soon. The EPO’s Twitter account (i.e. the PR team) is even working on a Saturday now, propping up puff pieces it managed to get The Local to publish (twice even!). Working on a Saturday isn’t normal. It is very rare (we saw that only once before, even on new year's day when hogwash was desperately needed). This is telling. They are probably hoping to save the king, as the famous saying goes. They disseminate the propaganda, even with awkward videos of Battistelli lurching on a pew in a studio with many cameras, reading a script with dubious claims (some of them outright lies). How much more pathetic can it get for Battistelli? They scheduled this propaganda probably to coincide with a TV program they are desperate to bury and distract journalists from.

“How much more pathetic can it get for Battistelli?”The other day we received information from a reader, noting that “the call for strike is a genuine call the strike, by genuine staff.” There is no doubt about it and when we wrote about it last month we didn’t see documents which later showed us that non-vote would be misleadingly presented by Battistelli and his circle/crew as lack of interest (we covered this days ago). Our source further reinforces this belief, stressing that if the ballot turnout is poor on March 8th, Battistelli “will argue that he has the majority of staff behind him. This will influence the AC and might jeopardise their plans to sack him in the meeting on 16/17 March.”

“So please go and vote for a strike, and more importantly tell others to do the same.”Yes, this was realised a while back when we became aware, based on numerous documents, that Battistelli was planning to have a sort of Crimean ‘election’/’referendum’. If people come by the thousands to vote for a strike, there’s no opportunity for retribution, even if the process somehow tracked people’s votes. So please go and vote for a strike, and more importantly tell others to do the same. It’s strength in numbers and the more people vote in favour, the better protected colleagues (who do the same) will be. This is an opportunity to show to the AC not only that people are fed up with Battistelli — demonstrably a terrible leader — but are also prepared and willing to take the risk (with keyloggers of all) of voting for a strike. With proven support for a strike from EPO staff (effectively a vote of zero confidence in the management), delegates need not fear voting against Battistelli, who terrified them to make an example, at the next meeting (10 days from now).

“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.”

Andrew Carnegie

Busted Battistelli: EPO President Publicly Lies About the State of the EPO, So What About His Secret Contract, Salary and Other Undisclosed Benefits?

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 11:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And how can a leader who is lying to the media be tolerated by the Organisation?

Benoît Battistelli: My relationships are excellent.

Summary: Benoît Battistelli’s credibility is rapidly being diminished by dubious statements, semi-truths, truth-bending, and even outright lies

SQUIRMING to get himself out of a mess of his own creation, President Battistelli, soon to be just Mr. Battistelli, makes statements which he will find hard to defend (if properly scrutinised).

What Battistelli says about his “success” is untrue. We heard it from multiple sources, both inside and outside the EPO. People know that the data which EPO marketers brag about is at best spin. It’s not atypical to lie to staff of the EPO and even to journalists. It is a bad-spirited thing. It is a truly (or falsely) misguided strategy because sooner or later the recipients of lies find out, feel betrayed, and then get angry. Then they just stop believing the boy who keeps crying “wolf!” It’s thus a short-term strategy.

“It is a truly (or falsely) misguided strategy because sooner or later the recipients of lies find out, feel betrayed, and then get angry.”“I actually know lots of insider data,” told us one person, “but unfortunately it is too sensitive.” A lot of people have a lot to say, but people are afraid to say it. The emperor is naked but there’s expected punishment for those who say this to the crowd. Reprisal, with demonstrable effects (like dismissed staff representatives), prevents truth from getting disseminated. That’s when people increasingly need to rely on hearsay, or as the media calls it, “rumours”.

When will the “results” data of the EPO be publicly subjected to fact-checking? Are there any decent journalists out there? Prepared to embark on a harder project than just parroting the PR Team or editing E-mails from them (ghostwriting)? For instance, this new article from lawyers’ press mentioned the PR team‘s “Rainer Osterwalder, a spokesman for the EPO” and attributes to him these dubious figures. These people aren’t scientists, they’re marketers and this is what they’re paid to do.

Relating to something we published on Saturday (and have just translated into Spanish), one reader said that we missed the most interesting part of the IAM data (from the screenshots that speak about a survey of readers in an EPO-friendly niche site). In 2012 “68% or respondents stated that the EPO’s quality is either “excellent” or “very good”, that’s up from 62% in 2011.” However, in 2015 “the EPO did even better among private practice respondents, achieving 62% at either excellent or very good.” Not exactly sure how that agrees with Battistelli stating that: “More users have confirmed that they’re highly satisfied with the quality of our products.”

“The emperor is naked but there’s expected punishment for those who say this to the crowd.”That’s actually a fair point. However, we don’t believe Battistelli actually wrote that talking point. He just sat there in a studio on a chair, reading an English script with a photo of Munich superimposed on the background with some dynamic backdrops (Caesar of Germany in his own mind). Either way, the very fact that he spreads this misleading stuff and it comes from his buddies at IAM (they rub each other’s back) while calling this “independent” is in itself somewhat amusing. If not just comical, it’s outrageous. It damages Battistelli’s credibility (what’s left of it).

Battistelli’s salary is probably the subject many people are speaking about these days. What if the President has just hidden/concealed/canceled his bonuses (perhaps renaming the benefits package), got a new contract, and prayed nobody would find the old one/s? A lot of things are theoretically possible and without hard evidence people are left wondering.

“In April 2015 his salary was reported as 250k Euros,” noted a reader of ours, recalling this article titled "Truce at the Tax Haven of the European Patent Office".

“Battistelli’s salary is probably the subject many people are speaking about these days.”“If the earlier figure was correct this would presumably indicate that the “new” 300k figure refers to his salary following the extension of his contract in the summer of 2015,” this reader added. “What remains unanswered is what additional payments he gets on top of his basic salary. He denies getting any “bonus”. That might be formally correct because additional payments might not be officially designated as a “bonus” in the contract. The real problem here is the lack of transparency about the terms of his contract. Not even the Administrative Council who appointed him appears to have been allowed to inspect the contract.”

Well, Mr. Kongstad does know what’s in the contract. We pointed this out several times before. “IAM,” our reader added, “which is otherwise best known for its EPO puff pieces, got upset about the lack of transparency back in 2010″ and wrote: “The lack of transparency surrounding the selection of Benoît Battistelli as the next president of the EPO was never a good idea. Where senior appointments are made in the murk and without full explanation or disclosure there is always room for rumours to emerge. And that is exactly what is now happening.”

“Kongstad is one of the very few people who know (and apparently sign off) Battistelli’s salary.”Towards the end Mr. Kongstad too gets mentioned: “On top of this, not to make the terms public is entirely self-defeating. As the SUEPO newsletter states: “… it seems clear that if Mr. Kongstad feels he has to hide the contract that there is something to hide”. The simple fact is that if you are not transparent in your selection process, you leave room for doubt. We don’t know why Benoît Battistelli was chosen to be the next president of the EPO and we do not know under what terms he will hold the post. Most people inside the European patent bubble will probably think this is not a desirable state of affairs, but in the end they will just shrug their shoulders and get on with it. However, most Europeans are not inside that bubble and a good number of them are suspicious of or dubious about patents and those who administer the patent system. This seemingly total absence of transparency will not help to change their minds.”

Kongstad is one of the very few people who know (and apparently sign off) Battistelli’s salary. Maybe the rift is now partly motivated by self interest, namely Kongstad trying to secure/save his own job. As IAM pointed out 6 years ago, it’s just odd that the contract is kept secret; it suggests that they are hiding something. If Battistelli is willing to make statements about it to the media but still refuses to show the contract (including past contracts), then he is not telling the full truth. His predecessor did disclose her salary, so it wouldn’t be unprecedented a thing to do. It wouldn’t be defensible to hide under a rock; there’s no use of a valid excuse here because none exists.

“The uncertainty leaves people speculating, and it sometimes works against Battistelli. But it’s better for him to say nothing at all than to say something he might later regret (unless there’s not much time left for him anyway).”We could use confirmation (smoking gun, not hearsay) regarding the salary of Battistelli, but the answer to the question wouldn’t be so simple, definitely not as simple as Battistelli wishes for it to appear. We had a lot of people tell the number/s, but there is some variation there and it seems to vary depending on definitions. More people than just Kongstad know the actual salary, “but as you can imagine that is very confidential,” as one source put it. The uncertainty leaves people speculating, and it sometimes works against Battistelli. But it’s better for him to say nothing at all than to say something he might later regret (unless there’s not much time left for him anyway).

Back when we wrote about the unreasonable compensation demands we noted (to paraphrase a little) that this served to prove a lot of what we wrote before, but the part about Battistelli’s salary we very much doubted as it would serve to suggest that his ‘real’ salary was hiked to almost 2 million euros (per annum). Another possibility is that the number is not correct and that it’s actually 10 years’ salary, based on extrapolation of a much lower figure (salary). Either way, this is where Battistelli’s unacceptable secrecy about his salary (his predecessor disclosed hers) actually harmed him even more.

“Nothing to fear, nothing the hide,” says the billionaires’ media to us…

“Another thing,” told us a source, relates to the bogus letter of support.

“There have been so many leaks that I think soon it may be possible to get a list together about who signed and who refused to sign that stupid petition,” our source told us, and “that will be quite interesting. Very telling the reactions of the PDs.”

Well, those who signed it (or allowed it to be signed in their name) might regret this later (days/weeks down the line) because of an unnecessary/avoidable embarrassment, especially after Battistelli is history.

Traducción JUVE: EPO Lista Para Anunciar la Exitósa Historia de Diálogo Con Sindicatos Pequeños

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Publicado en Europe, Patents at 6:16 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sumario: Traducción al Español de un artículo de Christina Schulze

Ayer pedimos una traduccíon de este artículo de Christina Schulze (más de ello, e incluso una respuesta de la FFPE EPO, será publicada mañana). Tomó menos de un día para que un voluntario nos provea con la siguiente traducción.

EPO Lista Para Anunciar la Exitósa Historia de Diálogo Con Sindicatos Pequeños

La Oficina de Patentes Europea (EPO) y el sindicato Fédération de la Fonction Publique Européenne in the European Patent Office (FFPE-EPO) han firmado un Memorándum de Entendimiento. Es la primera vez que la EPO formalmente ha reconocido el rol de los sindicatos como socios sociales; hasta ahora las uniones no tenían un estado legal en la agencia Europea.

 Benoît Battistelli

Benoît Battistelli

La EPO fue sorprendentemente rápida para anunciar la firma. Las investigaciones de JUVE revelan que el Presidente de ella Benoit Battistelli reciéntemente ha venido bajo intensa presión de parte del Consejo Administrativo para buscar un diálogo con los representantes de sus empleados, y reconocerlos.

Sin embargo, la EPO sólo ha firmado el Memorándum de Entendimiento con la pequeña unión FFPE-EPO, la que JUVE reconoce que tiene menos de cien miembros, principalmente en la Oficina de EPO en La Hague. Más aún, es reportado que no han habido progresos entre la gerencia de la EPO y el más grande sindicato SUEPO, que representa a casi la mitad de sus empleados, y la que ha estado convocando a mayores protestas. La EPO comenzó procesos disciplinarios contra tres de sus líderes principales en al rama de SUEPO en Munich, después los degradó y despidió a su presidenta.

Asi que la nueva exitosa historia debe ser vista a la luz de la creciente presión del Consejo Administrativo, que previamente actuó como la base de poder de su Presidente. El conflicto entre una parte de los estados miembros y Benoit Battistelli primero salió a luz a mediados de Febrero, cuando una carta de los representantes de los 38 estados miembros al Presidente del Consejo Administrativo, Jesper Kongstad, fue publico. Entre otras cosas, la carta solicita que se permita una investigación externa a las medidas disciplinarias y procedimientos contra los tres líderes sindicales. El Consejo Administrativo podría decidir presentar sus demandas al Presidente en su próxima reunión a mediados de Marzo.

La Oficina ha sido sacudida por un continuo conflicto entre Battistelli y los sindicatos por año y medio aproximadamente, centrándose en la forma como el Presidente dirige, su proyecot para aumentar la productividad y el reconocimiento de sindicatos. En paralelo, un debate público ha provocado sobre la inadecuada independencia de las cortes internas de la Oficina, el Jurado de Apelaciones. (Christina Schulze)

EPO y IAM: un Matrimonio de Conveniencia

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 11:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Publicado en Engaño, Europe, Patentes at 7:30 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

De un video publicado por la EPO hace dos días


Sumario: IAM, quien es financiado por la firma de PR (FTI Consulting) la que a su vez esta bajo salario de la EPO, provee a ella con propaganda o puntos para hablar, usando una encuesta no científica

TECHRIGHTS se ha enterado que la EPO, así como su [ equipo PR [http://techrights.org/2016/01/01/epo-pr-team/], disfruta de una red de apoyo. Ellos typicamente sirven a la la linea de partido de Battistelli.

Ayer encontramos esta rara lectura de guión de Benito Battistelli (uno de varios videos de propaganda publicados el 3/3, el ¨día de propaganda de la EPO¨, en un esfuerzo de fabricar cubrimiento positivo por parte de la prensa cuando es dolorósamente necesaria para la distracción), completa con los viejos puntos para hablar (refutados aquí anteriormente), propaganda por la UPC, y números de IAM, quien es financiado por la EPO (recuerden los ~$1,000,000/anual contrato con la FTI Consulting). Vean la captura de pantalla de arriba. Para aquellos que se pregunten de donde viene estos números, es de los ¨lectores de IAM¨, difícilmente buena así como estadisticamente suficiente (o neutral) gente para encuestar. Es también fácil de manipular. Aquí esta el reporte del 2012 y una captura de pantalla parapasar el muro de pago:

2012 at IAM

En el lado privado 68% de los encuestados dijeron que la calidad es ¨excelente¨ o ¨muy buena¨, eso es 62% más alto que el 2011. Los resultados del lado corporativo revelaron que un 55 % consideró la operación de la EPO ser ¨excelente¨ o ¨muy buena¨; mientras que un 37% la consideraron ¨buena¨. Comparaciones directas con el año pasado del lado corporativo no fue posible por que no hubo posibilidad de escojer ¨bueno¨ el 2011 sino ¨excelente¨, ¨muy bueno¨, ¨bueno¨ o ¨pobre¨. Mientras que las figuras fueron 19% por la oficina de patentes del Japón, 23% por la USPTO, 39% para la oficina Coreana de IP y 45% para la Oficina Estatal China de IP.

From 2015:

2015 at IAM

Preguntados por el estado de sus percepciones acerca de la calidad de las patentes otorgadas por cada una de sus oficinas, 60% del lado corporativo le otorgo un status de ¨excelente¨ o ¨muy bueno¨, una figura que crece a 81% cuando la categoria ¨buena¨ se incluye. La EPO llego segunda con 35% de encuestados calificandola de ¨excelente¨ o ¨muy buena¨ (61% con ¨buena¨ también) la USPTO tercera con 32%, la KIPO 67% -con 16% 41% terminó arriba de SIPO que consiguió 12%/35%. La EPO consiguió mejor calificación en la práctica privada, 62% ¨excelente¨ o ¨muy buena¨ y 87% ¨buena¨ incluída. La JPO fue de nuevo segunda con 33%/70% y la siguió la USPTO con 30%/69%. Fue historia similar para los ejecutivos de la NPE que también pusieron la EPO arriba, JPO segunda y USPTO tercera.

En el video de arriba, con el logo de la Encuesta de IAM del 2015 en el fondo, Battistelli dice (o lee el guión que alguién le preparó): “Más usuarios nos han confirmado que están altamente satisfechos con la calidad de nuestros productos.

Battistelli llama a esto una ¨encuesta independiente¨. !Qué tal chiste! Es como escuchar a un ejecutivo de la Shell/BP/Exxon comentando en los efectos de su compañía en el calentamiento global. Ellos pagan a compañías de Relaciónes Públicas PR a engañar al público acerca de ello.

A Battistelli le preocupa (o sabe acerca) de ciencia y estadísticas tanto como la gestión de residuos lo hace. El compensa su ignorancia con una actitud que aterra.

Links 6/3/2016: KDE Sprint at CERN, Collabora Office 5.0

Posted in News Roundup at 10:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • ReactOS Participation in Google Summer of Code 2016
  • ReactOS: Building a Free-Licensed Windows

    From dual-booting to WINE, free software has always struggled to provide a solution for running Windows applications. However, few of these efforts have been more ambitious than ReactOS, a free-licensed implementation of Windows. The project has been at work since 2006 and, in February 2016, ReactOS finally released its first alpha version, after a decade of difficult and necessarily cautious development.

  • ReactOS Gains Btrfs File-System Support

    ReactOS, the project aiming for binary compatibility with Microsoft Windows (Server 2003), now has Btrfs file-system support.

    While there’s just a primitive Btrfs driver for Windows, ReactOS has already gained native Btrfs file-system support.

  • MAME is now Free and Open Source Software

    After 19 years, MAME is now available under an OSI-compliant and FSF-approved license! Many thanks to all of the contributors who helped this to go as smoothly as possible!

    We have spent the last 10 months trying to contact all people that contributed to MAME as developers and external contributors and get information about desired license. We had limited choice to 3 that people already had dual-license MAME code with.

  • 10 months later, MAME finishes its transition to open source

    Almost a year after the folks who maintain the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator or (MAME) said they would make the project completely open source, they’ve declared the transition a success.

    MAME is seen by many developers to be the foremost emulator of arcade games, and while MAME source code has long been freely available for use, it hasn’t technically been open source.

  • MAME is now free as well as free of charge

    MAME, the arcade emulator originally created by Nicola Salmora 19 years ago, is now comprised entirely of free and open-source software. It’s taken a lot of wrangling, reports MAMEDev.org, due to the large number of contributors and interlinked components.

  • After 19 Years, MAME Goes Open Source

    The MAME Team has announced that after 19 years – MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) has gone open source.

    The arcade emulator is now available under an OSI-compliant and FSF-approved license. This means the source code for the long-running emulator is readily available to fans – you’ll now be able to modify, utilize, and distribute it for a variety of purposes.

  • Machine Learning for Hackers with Debian and Ubuntu

    Data Science and Machine Learning are hot topics at the moment. Many people are considering how to extend their skills into these areas and many solutions have appeared, including full online degrees, free online courses combined with free software and for those who prefer hard copy, a staggering choice of books on the topic.

  • Machine Learning and Open Source: What You Need to Know Now

    The basic goal with most machine learning tools is to take a vast quantity of data and reduce it to manageable, actionable insights. Now, some of the biggest tech companies are putting the tools in place to let the community advance these efforts. Expect much more in this space as 2016 continues.

  • Serro unveils new open source SDN framework, AuSM

    Serro Solutions, a San Francisco-based technology services firm, has made its new SDN framework open source. Automated Service Manager, or AuSM, is aimed at connecting network tools via API. AuSM creates a single platform from which users can write unified business policies and implement them consistently across data center networks, WANs and storage systems.

  • The One thing you can do to Ensure Success in Open Source Deployments

    What is it about an Open source project that gets business excited? and more importantly, is – ROI- under the hype?

    The primary reason most enterprises focus on Open source solutions is the potential cost savings. This is followed closely by the abilityto fix or modify the technology to something specific for the business, without having to wait for enterprise software updates. Thereare more Open source middleware products, such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings and application development frameworks, with the ability to change out an underlying, closed source vendor.

  • HFOSS: Quiz #1

    In the Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software Development (HFOSS) course at the Rochester Institute of Technology, quizzes are in the form of blog posts submitted during the class period. The room stays quiet, but it is an open IRC quiz, so many of the students collaborated with each other in #rit-foss on freenode for the quiz.

  • VoIP Supply Bolsters its PBX Appliances via Three Open-Source Models
  • NFV/SDN Reality Check: DDoS attack security for NFV- and SDN-powered networks – Episode 49
  • DDoS attack security for NFV- and SDN-powered networks
  • OPNFV Unveils Second Release of Open-Source NFV Platform

    “Brahmaputra” brings a range of new features that come from collaboration with other projects, including OpenDaylight and OpenStack.

    The industry consortium developing an open-source platform for network-functions virtualization is unveiling the second release of its software, which not only brings an array of new features and use cases but also is an indication of the growing maturity of the group.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome 49 released to stable channel, smooth scrolling now enabled by default
      • Taint Tracking for Chromium

        For future work in the Web context, the approach presented here can be made compatible with server-side taint tracking to persist taint information beyond the lifetime of a Web page. A server-side Web application could transmit taint information for the strings it sends so that the client could mark those strings as tainted. Following that idea it should be possible to defeat other types of XSS. Other areas of work are the representation of information about the data flows in order to help developers to secure their applications. We already receive a report in the form of structured information about the blocked code generation. If that information was enriched and presented in an appealing way, application developers could use that to understand why their application is vulnerable and when it is secure. In a similar vein, witness inputs need to be generated for a malicious data flow in order to assert that code is vulnerable. If these witness inputs were generated live while browsing a Web site, a developer could more easily assess the severity and address the issues arising from DOM-based XSS.

    • Mozilla

      • Introducing the WebVR 1.0 API Proposal

        2016 is shaping up to be a banner year for Virtual Reality. Many consumer VR products will finally be available and many top software companies are ramping up to support these new devices. The new medium has also driven demand for web-enabled support from browser vendors. Growth in WebVR has centered on incredible viewing experiences and the tools used to create online VR content.

      • Mozilla Jumps On IoT Bandwagon

        Mozilla has been clarifying some of its plans to convert the Firefox OS project into four IoT based projects. At a casual glance this seems like a naive move that is doomed to failure.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Collabora Office 5.0 Release
    • Bruce Byfield Interview: Designing With LibreOffice

      Our colleague Bruce has a book coming out! It’s called Designing with LibreOffice. It tackles the subject of how to make documents look good and professional, while taking advantage of all the design features LibreOffice has to offer. So I got together with Bruce and we talked about his book, LibreOffice, design, and the eternal struggle of documenting Open Source projects.

    • Collabora Office 5.0 Released As Its LibreOffice Enterprise Flavor

      The folks at Collabora have released version 5.0 of Collabora Office, their downstream distribution of LibreOffice.

      Collabora Office 5.0 pulls in features from upstream LibreOffice 5.0 as well as some backported features from LibreOffice 5.1. Collabora Office 5.0 features improvements to the Microsoft filters, UI enhancements, remote file open/save support, security fixes, and much more.

    • Losing the Art of Wiki

      The past few months I read here and there around the LibreOffice community complaints about our wiki. According to these sources, our wiki is unusable, chaotic and poorly maintained. As we have a full time team dedicated to infrastructure management I am pretty sure that last criticism is unjustified to a large extent at least, but it also dawned on me that very few people around the LibreOffice project or any other community, for that matter, hail wikis as their most important tool or platform. Obviously, we are no longer in 2007. But what’s happening here is interesting, because it seems that people may have actually forgotten about the basic reasons wikis are around.

    • How To Cite PDF & Make Bibliography with Zotero & LibreOffice
    • How to create list for LibreOffice Calc cell
  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 10.3-RC1 Brings Security Fixes, Hyper-V Tweaks

      FreeBSD 10.3-RC1 was released today as the newest development milestone leading up to FreeBSD 10.3 that should be officially released later this month.

      FreeBSD 10.3-RC1 has a number of OpenSSL security fixes, Hyper-V driver changes, regression fixes, and other bug fixes.

    • Pre-orders for 5.9 are up!

      OpenBSD 5.9 is shaping up to be quite a big release, and pre-orders for the CD sets have just been activated.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Helsinki region utilities turn to open source

      Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY) is turning to open source software solutions for its web applications and other online services. The first open source-based service to go live is the one for water metering. Others will follow soon, says Risto Sipilä, who works for Cybercom, an IT consultancy contracted by HSY to help build the services.

    • Basque open source sector almost doubles

      The revenue and number of IT workers employed by open source service providers in the Basque Country has nearly doubled in 2015, according to figures published by a regional trade group for the sector, ESLE. The combined 2015 revenue of the nearly 40 companies that ESLE represents is 58 million compared to 31 million the year before. The number of workers grew by 413 new staff members. Altogether, ESLE members now employ 1033 people.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Source on another level

      BrewDog, a UK brewery which soon celebrates its tenth anniversary, has decided to “open source” all of their 215 beer recipes. From their original and still extremely popular (and tasty) beer “PUNK IPA“, moving on to “Hops Kill Nazis“, “Doodlebug” and finally arriving at their latest “Jet Black Heart” which was first brewed last month (!)

    • Raspberry Pi 3, Linux Mint security breach, Google data processing for the Zika virus, and more
    • This Open Source Script Lets You (and Police) Search Twitter For Guns

      It’s now possible to do both of these things, thanks to a free, open-source tool designed by security researcher Justin Seitz as a part of his larger open-source intelligence project.

    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware

      • First Open Source GPU Could Change Future of Computing

        Nyami is significant in the research, computing and open source communities because it marks the first time open source has been used to design a GPU, as well as the first time a research team was able to test how different hardware and software configurations affect GPU performance. The results of the experiments the researchers performed are now part of the open source community, and that work will help others follow in the original research team’s footsteps. According to Timothy Miller, a computer science assistant professor at Binghamton, as others create their own GPUs using open source, it will push computing power to the next level.

      • We are happy to share our FREE and OPEN-SOURCE microprocessor system PULPino!

        Not a toy design: PULPino is a mature design: it has been taped-out as an ASIC in UMC 65nm in January 2016. The PULPino platform is available for RTL simulation as well for FPGA mapping. It has full debug support on all targets. In addition we support extended profiling with source code annotated execution times through KCacheGrind in RTL simulations.

        And it is free, no registration, no strings attached, you can use it, change it, adapt it, add to your own chip, use it for classes, research, projects, products… We just ask you to acknowledge the source, and if possible, let us know what you like and what you like and don’t like.

      • Wiring was Arduino before Arduino

        Hernando Barragán is the grandfather of Arduino of whom you’ve never heard. And after years now of being basically silent on the issue of attribution, he’s decided to get some of his grudges off his chest and clear the air around Wiring and Arduino. It’s a long read, and at times a little bitter, but if you’ve been following the development of the Arduino vs Arduino debacle, it’s an important piece in the puzzle.


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