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

03.15.16

Overthrowing Battistelli Only Part of a Bigger Job (Restoration of Quality and Human Decency at the European Patent Office)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A revolution

Summary: A status report one day before the staff’s demonstration and readers’ thoughts on what may be needed at the European Patent Office in order to attain peace

THE EPO is in a transitory phase right now. Battistelli’s job is at stake and more clarify will be given/provided tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. Philip Cordery wrote about this yesterday and we require an accurate translation of it. Based on the opening paragraph (automated translation from Google): “At my request, the European Affairs Committee held a hearing on March 1 the President of the European Patent Organisation (EPO), Mr. Battistelli. This was the question the functioning of the office, on the eve of the introduction of the unitary patent, but also on the social situation deteriorated in the Intergovernmental office.”

“Battistelli’s job is at stake and more clarify will be given/provided tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.”In French (until there is a proper translation this will be a more accurate text): “A ma demande, la Commission des affaires européennes a auditionné le 1er mars dernier le président de l’Organisation européenne des Brevets (OEB), Monsieur Battistelli. Il s’agissait de l’interroger sur le fonctionnement de l’office, à la veille de l’introduction du brevet unitaire, mais aussi sur la situation sociale dégradée au sein de l’office intergouvernemental.”

There is also coverage in Handelsblatt right now (newspaper published in Düsseldorf): “Der 68-jährige Franzose Benoît Battistelli leitet seit 2010 das Europäische Patentamt, kurz EPA. Battistelli antwortet erstmals in einem deutschen Medium auf die massive Kritik an ihm. Zum Interview lädt er in die EPA-Zentrale in München. In der Chefetage im zehnten Stock ist der Ausblick auf die Landeshauptstadt prächtig.”

In the English media, especially patents-centric media, one article speaks about tomorrow’s demonstration. As MIP put it: “EPO staff have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, but the SUEPO union has postponed organising a strike until after this week’s meeting of the Administrative Council” (summary).

Here is how IP Watch put it:

Over several years, Battistelli has angered SUEPO members by making changes to, among other things, employee strike, health and sick leave rules, internal appeals and investigation guidelines, and by firing three of the union’s representatives, SUEPO said in a 9 March statement.

The last demonstration took place on 17 February, the same day as a meeting of the AC Board, a sub-group of the full panel. The board gave Battistelli a document seen by IP Watch setting out its “very precise expectations from the Office management” on social and disciplinary issues, according to a 17 February summary of conclusions.

The document was necessary “as it appears that there are no other means of conveying the Council’s recurring concerns expressed over the past months,” it said. The board “has to deplore an obvious lack of willingness from the part of the President to embark on an overdue open discussion with the Council on contentious issues – foremost the social dialogue.”

[...]

Staff representatives are “all just waiting” to see what happens this week, said the knowledgeable source. Something is moving in the AC but what and why is unclear, the source said. In any case, the union will not strike without trying again to find a solution, the source added.

As we noted earlier on, Battistelli has received another chance, which he is likely to throw away based on his attitude towards Board 28. Patent quality is definitely getting worse at the EPO, as the previous post already explained (and the EPO ‘results’ are basically bunk). From a technical perspective alone, Battistelli has been a failure, so why was his term even extended at all? Just so that he can finish his effort trying to implement the UPC, which he so badly craves and lobbies for?

“The last rumours on Campinos as a likely successor of Battistelli at the EPO urge me to get this out of my chest,” one reader told us.

“Regardless of this last rumour,” the reader added, “it’s been a while [so] I wanted to vent this out and in fact I think Suepo and possibly most of the staff at EPO should be made aware of it (for what is possible to conceive the making “aware” such a union).”

“The downward spiral had been started, at least, with president Ingo Kober at the end of ’90s.”
      –Anonymous
“My statement is simple,” told us the reader, “kicking out and/or replacing Battistelli would now actually turn into an easy way out for the largest number of managers to keep the status quo as far as possible. And a lot of them do have this interest.”

We have been hearing the same kind of opinions for quite some time. It does not, however, mean that nothing whatsoever will change after Battistelli is out of the building. There are other people who have been the source of various problems and we named some of them before. Not all have been brought in (mostly as imports from France) by Battistelli.

“The general increasing pressure for productivity has since then selected, with a common and anthropologically natural set of mechanisms, a whole little army of “willing executioners” in all lines of management, in every department.”
      –Anonymous
To put it with some names in the words of an anonymous reader: “The state of things with incompetent management, understaffed and exploited or unemployed personnel, all things affecting human resources, productivity pressure, decreasing quality, personal exploitation, personal favours, nepotism, other obscure or parallel or somehow hidden networks, such as freemasonry, have a long history in EPO. The downward spiral had been started, at least, with president Ingo Kober at the end of ’90s. The general increasing pressure for productivity has since then selected, with a common and anthropologically natural set of mechanisms, a whole little army of “willing executioners” in all lines of management, in every department. Some of them have become well established household names, such as Willy Minnoye, Yann Chabod, Karin Seegert, Patrick Bodard, Ludwig Kirst, Albert Koopman, Oswald Schröder, Milena Lonati, Christian Archambeau, Ebe Campi, Theano Evangelou, Omer Bullens, Jacques Michel, Richard Flammer, the entire platoons of directors of the examining departments and clerk units, which are the first line of management above examiners and clerks. Some of them might have lost their state of grace after entering in conflict with their once protectors or simply after that these had changed, some other left the office, often for the same reason, other times, having found better things to do. It’s the case of Schröder, Lonati, Campi, Michel, Archambeau. But most of them are still there, even if in another place and function.

“Not all names above have have had anything to do with most heinous practices (but chances are high that they all have witnessed them, at least), but they are just examples that the uncontrollably harsh reality at EPO is older than Battistelli’s office terms and is made possible by a plethora of otherwise still obscure names, which every day do their bit for their own personal cause at expense of others. And they are many.

“We might be very wrong if we think we are just talking about petty misdemeanor here: old mean corridor rumours, gambits to gain favors, to step ahead of others, to serve superiors and get from them a pat on the shoulders, a nice sentence or a higher marking on your notation.”
      –Anonymous
“They were there already, long before Battistelli came, they had been nicely selected, placed and replaced by previous administrations. They made possible all the abusive and unrefrained behaviour of a number of managers, directors and principal directors before and now they made possible for Battistelli and his court to do what they do. In essence they are their tools. All these apparently minor characters are responsible every day: they actively take decisions to submit the request of disciplinary procedures to the president, spy on people, issue threats, break rules of the internal Statute (the EPO Service Regulations), manipulate and falsify minutes and reports, bend the procedures of internal appeals, break any rule that otherwise would automatically have the local Police alerted and operating, steal and falsify documents, enter and manipulate digital accounts and computer hard disks, stalk employees at home and wherever possible, (at times simply by using the skills of Control Risks, other times on their own means, using local manpowers, who can be easily bought or easily intimidated: doctors, mail couriers, local bureaucracy…).

“They all do what they do without having Battistelli or any of his strict associate lurking over their heads in their offices. They all do these things actively and willingly: that means within their full discretionary power. They could refrain from such practices, if they only wanted. Once they receive an instruction, they still can chose time and context for it. If they had just a decent threshold for humane values they could surely contribute to de-escalation of what has caused years of pain and abuse to so many people (the suicides being only the tip of an iceberg. But no, why not please the boss? Only because a colleague seems under stress? So they go for it. After all, what else do they have in their lives…

“They had been behaving this way for decades, only more increasingly and relentlessly in recent times time and indeed at a wonderful rate now, under brilliant B.

“At the time where another not too forgotten predecessor was in charge, Mr Lionel Baranes, a somehow exceptionally courageous Vice President, especially by the standards of EPO, who got so much in conflict with this boiling underground of “creative managers” that his term had to be curtailed by using the reason that he was of the same nationality of the President: that would not do. Oh, but that is not much of a problem now, is it? He left with an open letter to the Office with statements along the lines of “the human resources are in a disastrous state”. Didn’t he know enough?

“We might be very wrong if we think we are just talking about petty misdemeanor here: old mean corridor rumours, gambits to gain favors, to step ahead of others, to serve superiors and get from them a pat on the shoulders, a nice sentence or a higher marking on your notation.

“Sure, all this happens, but there are more consistent issues suffering from all this: think of all procedures at a higher scale and for higher purposes. They simply are shaped by the same type of mental habit. Also because they are made by the very same kind of people. If once you wanted a pat on your shoulders from your director, by harassing Mr and Ms, one day you might want to get, say Microsoft, Nestlé, Volkswagen or any other big corporation to pat on your shoulder and maybe show their appreciation more consistently…

“How can we think these thick layers of humanity that make the scaffold of EPO’s human resources and technical resources management will simply stop by changing the very tiny top of the pie? It would be a great mistake to believe it. And how about all those people who know, who always knew and saw and heard, but always kept looking away? Do we think they will become finally active on the good side? Not for one minute. On the opposite: it’s also their interest to keep hiding their past (and present) passive complicity.

“So if any interest in reforming EPO is to be taken seriously, it surely should go well beyond ditching Battistelli in the vain hope that it all will change for the better. Most likely it won’t unless further, deeper work is done.”
      –Anonymous
“Making Battistelli the scapegoat for what actually has happened at all levels in the EPO for two decades before his term can be a strong temptation. It would also serve the purpose to give off the façade, for the suddenly increased public attention, that an end is being put to maladministration, actually allowing the decades old tradition of mismanagement and abuses to go on as if nothing had happened.

“So if any interest in reforming EPO is to be taken seriously, it surely should go well beyond ditching Battistelli in the vain hope that it all will change for the better. Most likely it won’t unless further, deeper work is done.

“Now, to cast light into the deeds of older and less spotlight-loving management layers of EPO, is what Suepo and finally the Examiners should strive for.

“Especially the Examiners should finally stop being prey of their comfortable and well paid fears, by showing much more openly their direct support to protest and to the people directly hit by abusive unjust measures.”

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. Patents Roundup: Patent Litigation is Down and Seems to Have Shifted Away From Software Patents

    A roundup of recent patent cases of interest and what can be deduced from them, especially but not exclusively in the United States



  2. Half a Year Later the Patent Microcosm is Still 'Pulling a Berkheimer' in Vain

    Earth-shattering changes are being insinuated by people who are in the business of ‘selling’ services around patents, never mind if 35 U.S.C. § 101 remains unchanged and Federal Circuit caselaw suggests likewise



  3. The World Has Moved on and Beyond Software Patents, But Buzzwords and Hype Provide Workarounds

    A look at the status quo of software patents and some of the past week's reports, which still disguise such patents as "financial"



  4. Links 23/7/2018: Linux 4.18 RC6, Plans for Next KDE

    Links for the day



  5. 'Efficiency' in Action: António Campinos is Sending Jobs Abroad, Then Gagging Critics

    Campinos criticised for the decision to outsource EUIPO IT maintenance services to India as he starts blocking blog comments to muzzle his critics



  6. Cherry-Picking Dissenting Opinions on Patent Cases the Last/Latest Resort for Patent Maximalists

    Patent maximalists have run out of substantial things to celebrate, seeing that PTAB and CAFC aren't too interested in looking more deeply at abstract patents, such as software patents



  7. Can Trade Secrets Litigation Replace (in Part) Patent Litigation?

    Seeing DTSA as an opportunity to combat their competition, more firms now choose to file trade secret cases whereas patent cases continue their sharp decline



  8. Links 22/7/2018: Neptune 5.4, NetBSD 8.0

    Links for the day



  9. The EPO (European Patent Office) Under António Campinos is Just Another Battistelli EPO; Still UPC and Software Patents Lobbying

    Campinos has done pretty much nothing but a single blog post since taking Office; it makes one wonder what he's doing all day and whether he ever intends to tackle all the abuses that compelled the Council to replace Battistelli



  10. Cisco v Arista Networks is a Stain on the Reputation of the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and It's Beginning to Recognise This

    Cisco is leveraging software patents which PTAB deemed to be invalid against a much smaller firm (revenue ~30 times smaller), demanding an embargo and bypassing the ordinary routes of justice by turning to the ITC



  11. Openet Has Been Intimidated by Amdocs Using Another Patent Infringement Lawsuit

    Amdocs is still engaging in legal intimidation and litigious bullying against its much smaller rivals/competitors; Openet is the latest reminder of it, having paid an undisclosed amount of money to end the dispute



  12. Federal Circuit Judges Moore, Dyk and Reyna Tell Allergan That It is Not Above the Law

    Allergan and a Native American tribe have lost their ridiculous case; after swapping tens of millions of dollars in pursuit of immunity for patents they've lost again (in what's likely their last resort/appeal); expect the patent microcosm to attempt to distract from it (like they did Oil States)



  13. Links 20/7/2018: MusicBrainz is Back, Microsoft Pushing .NET Through Canonical

    Links for the day



  14. Some US Patents' Quality is So Low That There's a Garden Clearance/Fire Sale

    Rather than shoot worthless patents into orbit where they belong the Allied Security Trust (AST), collector of dubious patents, will try to sell them to gullible opportunists and patent trolls (even if the said patents would likely perish in courts)



  15. When Amplifying the Message of 'Global Innovation Index 2018' IP Watch Sounds Like WIPO and IP Watchdog (Watchtroll)

    In addition to senatorial efforts and misleading debates about patents, we now contend with something called “Global Innovation Index 2018," whose purpose appears to be similar to the debunked Chamber of Commerce's rankings (quantifying everything in terms of patents)



  16. Erosion of Patent Justice in Europe With Kangaroo Courts and Low-Quality European Patents

    The problematic combination of plaintiff-friendly courts (favouring the accuser, just like in Eastern Texas) and low-quality patents that should never have been granted



  17. Mafia Tactics in Team UPC and Battistelli's Circle

    Mafia-like behaviour at the EPO and the team responsible for the Unified Patent Court (UPC); appointments of loyal friends and family members have become common (nepotism and exchange of favours), as have threats made towards critics, authorities, and the press



  18. Australia Says No to Software Patents

    Rokt is now fighting the Australian patent office over its decision to reject software patents; Shelston IP, an Australian patent law firm (originally from Melbourne), already meddles a great deal in such policies/decisions, hoping to overturn them



  19. Links 19/7/2018: Krita 4.1.1, Qt Creator 4.7.0, and Microsoft-Led Lobby Against Android in EU

    Links for the day



  20. IAM is Pushing SEPs/FRAND Agenda for Patent Trolls and Monopolists That Fund IAM

    The front group of patent trolls, IAM, sets up an echo chamber-type event, preceded by all the usual pro-FRAND propaganda



  21. “Trade Secrets” Litigation Rising in the Wake of TC Heartland, Alice, Oil States and Other Patent-Minimising Decisions

    Litigation strategies are evolving in the wake of top-level decisions that rule out software patents, restrict venue shifting, and facilitate invalidation of patents even outside the courtroom



  22. The EPO -- Like the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent System -- is an Untenable Mess

    The António Campinos-led EPO, nearly three weeks under his leadership, still fails to commit to justice (court rulings not obeyed), undo union-busting efforts and assure independence of judges; this, among other factors, is why the Office/Organisation and the UPC it wants to manage appear more or less doomed



  23. Links 18/7/2018: System76's Manufacturing Facility, Microsoft-Led Lobby for Antitrust Against Android

    Links for the day



  24. What Patent Lawyers Aren't Saying: Most Patent Litigation Has Become Too Risky to be Worth It

    The lawyers' key to the castle is lost or misplaced; they can't quite find/obtain leverage in courts, but they don't want their clients to know that



  25. Software Patents Royalty (Tax) Campaign by IBM, a Serial Patent Bully, and the EPO's Participation in All This

    The agenda of US-based patent maximalists, including patent trolls and notorious bullies from the United States, is still being served by the 'European' Patent Office, which has already outsourced some of its work (e.g. translations, PR, surveillance) to the US



  26. The European Council Needs to Check Battistelli's Back Room Deals/Back Door/Backchannel With Respect to Christian Archambeau

    Worries persist that Archambeau is about to become an unworthy beneficiary (nepotism) after a Battistelli setup that put Campinos in power, supported by the Belgian delegation which is connected to Archambeau, a national/citizen of Belgium



  27. PTAB and § 101 (Section 101) Have Locked the Patent Parasites Out of the Patent System

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) have contributed a great deal to patent quality and have reduced the number of frivolous patent lawsuits; this means that firms which profit from patent applications and litigation hate it with a passion and still lobby to weaken if not scuttle PTAB



  28. Patents on Computer Software and Plants in the United States Indicative of Systemic Error

    The never-ending expansion of patent scope has meant that patent law firms generally got their way at the patent office; can the courts react fast enough (before confidence in patents and/or public support for patents is altogether shattered)?



  29. Yesterday's Misleading News From Team UPC and Its Aspiring Management of the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) enthusiasts — i.e. those looking to financially gain from it — continue to wrestle with logic, manipulate words and misrepresent the law; yesterday we saw many law firms trying to make it sound as though the UPC is coming to the UK even though this isn’t possible and UPC as a whole is likely already dead



  30. Time for the European Commission to Investigate EPO Corruption Because It May be Partly or Indirectly Connected to EU-IPO, an EU Agency

    The passage of the top role at the EU-IPO from António Campinos to Christian Archambeau would damage confidence in the moral integrity of the European Council; back room deals are alleged to have occurred, implicating corrupt Battistelli


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