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05.16.16

UPC an Attack Not Only on the European Public But Also on Staff of the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

If it looks like a coup…

Brazil's media

Summary: Ousting of existing EPO staff and replacement of public interests with corporate interests (even large companies from abroad) is what the UPC turns out to be all about

THE EPO is undoubtedly being transformed, albeit covertly and silently, not just gradually. While there’s room for speculation around EUIPO (with ever-growing EPO overlaps/intersections and many mentions in the EPO’s Twitter account these days), one thing we know for sure is that UPC — if it ever became a reality — would change a lot at the examination and prosecution levels (both, not either one or the other). Software patents are just one aspect among many. According to this new press release: “Redline Detection announced today that in a first instance decision, the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich, Germany, has unanimously ruled to revoke in its entirety Star EnviroTech’s European Patent No. 1,384,984 dealing with the use of nitrogen generated smoke with dye to leak test vehicles in Europe.” This is owing to the appeals system (like PTAB in the US) and while an appeal is still possible, it does show the power of revocation of patents erroneously granted. If the UPC became a reality and the boards were eliminated, would that still be possible at all? The boards, in our experience, are probably the most skilled for this type of task.

Later in the day yesterday we wrote about the forced reform that violently crushes anything resembling scepticism, criticism or resistance. This is class war. There may be suicides and other human tolls, but at the end Battistelli and his bosses want to get their desired laws rammed down everyone’s throat.

We are gratified to see that Merpel is back to digging/drilling into EPO affairs. “Thank you for the article,” one person told her, adding:

Just a quick note: the day after it was published that article was already in the top viewed, now it is at the very top. Apparently, this kind of article is very popular… maybe we could have them more often (hint, hint…).

Merpel has not written much about the EPO so far this year. We are not sure why. Merpel asks, “Does the UPC spell disaster for the EPO Boards of Appeal?” That’s almost a rhetorical question. Here are some portions from her article:

However, the Administrative Council has taken no decision to allow members of the Boards of Appeal to serve as UPC judges, and Merpel understands that there is no plan to do so. What she is not sure about is where the pressure not to allow BoA members to also serve on the UPC has come from. She has heard that the EPO President is against the idea, as he does not wish to relinquish any EPO employees. Presumably, the Administrative Council is not in favour, otherwise they could take such a decision irrespective of the wishes of the President, but it seems that they have chosen not to. But she also now wonders whether the Preparatory Committee is also not in favour.

This seems to be a great mistake. The Boards of Appeal represent the largest concentration of expertise in adjudicating contentious patent disputes in Europe, with a proven track record of doing so in a transnational manner. An early decision to potentially second a significant number of Board of Appeal members could have allowed this resource to be used for the benefit of the UPC, while allowing significant extra flexibility for the manpower of the UPC, whose caseload in the initial stages is unknown and unknowable. The alternative that seems to be now being pursued of recruiting a set number of judges risks over- or under-staffing.

Perhaps the Administrative Council and the EPO President are concerned that the backlog of cases at the EPO Boards of Appeal (currently estimated at around 8000 cases) can only worsen if some Board members go off to be UPC judges part time. This is an issue of concern, but it seems to Merpel that the solution is not to prohibit the Board members from being UPC judges part time, but rather to increase the manpower of the Boards to compensate. The Boards of Appeal are large enough to accommodate some flexibility in staffing levels, much more easily than the fledgling UPC.

[...]

Merpel has now realised a further problem for the Boards of Appeal themselves. As she reported earlier, they are currently significantly under strength. If BoA members are not allowed to serve part time on the UPC, it must be very attractive to instead resign from the EPO and go to the UPC full time. This is a time of potential significant upheaval for the Boards, with likely changes to location, career structure, independence, and work expectations. The UPC must look like an attractive escape route. But when there are already a large number of unfilled places, any significant exodus at this time could irretrievably lose expertise in some technical areas. Such damage could take years to restore. Moreover, it will result in precisely the outcome (increase in backlog of appeal cases) the avoidance of which is presumed to lie behind not releasing Board members to serve part time at the UPC.

No doubt the Boards of Appeal are at the crosshairs. They know it. Now, consider some of the comments which reinforce this suspicion. Among the comments we find some mean-spirited claims such as this:

Well… BoA members do NOT have any experience in patent litigation, do they ?

Claim interpretation, claim construction, doctrine of equivalency means nothing to them.

So they may be somewhat qualified for nullity actions in view of EP oppositions, but I doubt that they can be regarded as qualified for litigation…

Merpel responds as follows:

Do you really think so? Do you consider that it is possible to evaluate the novelty of claim without claim interpretation and claim construction? And even if they do not currently apply it on a daily basis, Merpel thinks it absurd to suggest that equivalence is not something that a Board of Appeal member cannot easily adapt their experience to decide.

The idea that nullity and infringement are different animals is a strange one to practitioners in many countries.

A more valid criticism, in Merpel’s mind, is that BoA members will be unfamiliar with the procedural rules of the UPC, but then again so will everyone else.

This was rebutted by an habitual commenter (called Fritz) also:

If you see the mess that drafting patent agents often make of claims which are then granted, often without any A84 objection, it is unavoidable that the BoA deal with claim interpretation and construction. Especially in chemistry, exactly that is the BoA’s daily job. How many times are A83 objections made and elaborately discussed before the BoA while in fact they are A84 objections? How many decisions do not start their reasons with the interpretation of the claims? Someone who seriously thinks that the BoA have never dealt with construction and interpretation of claims, has no experience with the BoA and has not taken the trouble to read the decisions. Just take the white book and look up A84.

The question of nullity is not different from that a normal opposition situation. What is different is the question of infringement, where the evaluation of proof will play a big role. However, the judgement of the validity of proof is also not or not much different form that used in cases of alleged public prior use. So I, as a former patent agent, think that the BoA members are absolutely the best to start with UPC and to lay a good coherent basis for what is new to all of us. Apart from their experience with working in different languages.

Then comes up the fact about under-staffing of the Boards — a subject which we covered here many times before. To quote:

Does Merpel have any thoughts about the (deliberate?) under-staffing of the Boards? I have witnessed the President state that there was no recruitment freeze, but this is clearly not the case; it is easily demonstrated by e.g. review of job advertisements / purrr-rusal of the business distribution scheme, that until recently there was a significant paws, er, pause. But what – other than petulance or “pay-back” for perceived wrongs – is the end game here?

Well, Battistelli is trying to kill Boards (of Appeal), but he won’t admit this. He is like a silent assassin, an ENA neoliberal whose sensitivity to human emotions is next to zilch. That’s what many managers are trained to do and feel (or not feel). As one comment put it:

Perhaps the UPC will preserve us from the occasional nuttiness of the Boards of Appeal, whose decisions sometimes give the impression that they are made just to check that we’re awake and paying attention.

Whether this was sarcastic or not, the matter of fact is that without the Boards of Appeal things would be a lot worse. One comment that’s not agreeing with the OP must have come from a patent lawyer or attorney:

“The Boards of Appeal represent the largest concentration of expertise in adjudicating contentious patent disputes in Europe”. Really? Since when? Yes, they adjudicate on validity. But that is not the same (despite your wish that it were) as adjudicating on infringement matters.

And how many times have European Patent Attorneys tried to argue points of construction and interpretation before BoA members only to be told subtle matters like these are part of “enforcement” proceedings and, hence, not taken into account by the EPO? The BoA members have made good careers by avoiding these matters – particularly evidence in forms other than patent documents.

Perhaps Patent Attorneys might be better placed than EPO Examiners to take up Technical Judge positions in the UPC – at least they will be used to advising on enforcement as well as validity?

An “anonymous” German practitioner from Munich writes:

According to my personal experience BoA members simply do not bother about anything, which happens after grant/opposition. Infringement discussions or equivalency are completely new matters to them (not in the sense of novelty :-)).

Being a DE practitioner I am of course maybe biased/bifurcated in my thinking, but in my view the BoA will have to learn quite a bit of different thinking when being confronted with infringement issues.

This may of course be different for a UK judge, who is used to thinking about both issues in parallel…

This seems nonsensical because the nature of rulings in a court is very similar to examination or appeals, except when it comes to damage calculations. “The attorney arrogance displayed in some of the above comments is just frightening,” noted the following comment, correctly stating that people who work for the Boards are perfectly suitable for the task:

Somebody who thinks that the boards of appeal do not deal with claim interpretation and equivalence cannot have spent much time before the boards or in their decisions.

Infringement is another matter, but as the applicable rules very from country to country, every judge at the UPC will have to learn a lot in this domain.

The attorney arrogance displayed in some of the above comments is just frightening. If like me you have to deal with EP attorneys every day, you wonder what gives them the right to look down on others. Really. Speck and plank, remember?

But who needs the UPC in the first place? It’s best suited for large corporations, even foreign, definitely not for SMEs, which Europe is internationally known for. As one person called ‘MaxDrei’ (a patent attorney) put it, the UPC “looks to me like a deliberate and cold-blooded re-boot of the patents system in Europe.”

Here is the comment in full:

This looks to me like a deliberate and cold-blooded re-boot of the patents system in Europe. Ever since 1978, the patent litigators have been grinding their teeth in frustration, that patent attorneys and a Patent Office have been in the driving seat, when it comes to matters of patent validity in Europe. Who do they think they are, the judges and litigators cry.

One has to admire the lobbying skills of the litigators, to persuade the politicians and the judges and industry, that this aberration in Europe must cease, and that the age-old order must be restored. The conduct of pan-European cases on validity must be wrested away from mere patent attorneys, and brought home to the wise visionaries within the international law firms, serving their CEO clients. Never mind that the White Book of the case law of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO is far and away the most coherent and intellectually rigorous body of caselaw on the validity of patents that the world has ever seen. The only thing that has ever enabled strong FTO opinions to be given to industry is that White Book. Compare the mess of patent law that any national Supreme Court makes, when it ignores the teachings of the White Book.

As ever, you only know what you’ve got when it’s gone.

“MaxDrei makes an excellent point regarding “wise visionaries”,” this comment says. “Hear hear.”

Looking at another thread, one person notes that UPC “will have unprecedented commercial power in the Europe and the world.” The person recalls the saying “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” and here it is with some context:

For the UPC to be based on the EPO’s granting of patents, when the EPO seemingly does not have a Judiciary independent of the Executive, where the Executive of the EPO can apparently ignore the EBA or court judgements, is very worrying.

The UPC/UP will have unprecedented commercial power in the Europe and the world. Patents granted under it must be granted by an organisation that is properly held to account under international law and justice.

Who was it who says ….Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely…. a notion too far perhaps … I do hope so and that I worry unduly.

The UPC conspirators, as we noted before, try to hire people for the UPC before it's even approved (and it is definitely not unstoppable/inevitable). A comment on those ‘job advertisements’ from Bristows staff says:

It makes an interesting read. Note there is a specific ban on acting simultaneously as a member of the EPO Boards of Appeal and UPC legal judge (presumably technical judge too). One requirement is that “(c)andidates shall possess the qualifications required for appointment to judicial offices in the Member State of which they are nationals. This is a high bar here in the UK (though the paucity of information in the accompanying literature does not make this clear). It is not clear to me even whether UK members of the Boards of Appeal have such qualifications, which would be crazy. That august body would seem to provide a reservoir of candidates, though they’d have to learn a bit about infringement.

“It is not clear to me even whether UK members of the Boards of Appeal have such qualifications, which would be crazy.” Well, maybe it’s tailored to exclude members of the Boards of Appeal, just like that opening that Bergot took over (almost certainly with help from her husband and his old buddy, Battistelli [1, 2, 3, 4]). In another post from Merpel she previously took note of what had been happening to the Boards of Appeal. Here is the relevant part in full:

Boards of Appeal – disciplinary case
There are two issues relating to the Boards of Appeal.  First is the suspension of a member of the Board of Appeal by the Administrative Council, following the imposition on him of a “House Ban” by the President all the way back in December 2014.  Many (including almost all internal members of the Enlarged Board of Appeal Appeal and many distinguished external members – see IPKat post here) considered that the “House Ban” contravened the EPC, since only the Administrative Council can exercise disciplinary authority over a Board of Appeal member, but the position was somewhat regularised by the AC’s later action.  Later, the Service Regulations were amended by the Administrative Council last December, so that Board of Appeal members can be suspended pending disciplinary proceedings for up to two years, rather than four months as was previously the case (and is still the case for normal EPO employees).

The removal from office of a Board of Appeal member requires a proposal from the Enlarged Board of Appeal.  The EPO has now twice petitioned the EBA for such a proposal.  The first was rejected as inadmissible (See IPKat here).  The second case (given the unusual number “Art 23 2/15″, indicating that it is a proceeding pursuant to Article 23 EPC) has terminated in a Decision of 11 February 2016 that is rather inconclusive.  All of the admissible requests made to the Enlarged Board were withdrawn, while further requests will apparently be considered as a further reference – now the third related to the matter.  The Decision states it is to be published, but Merpel has not yet seen an official publication of it by the EPO.  Furthermore, Merpel wonders how many more opportunities the administration is going to have to put its case to the EBA while following the norms of natural justice.

Boards of Appeal – reform
There is general agreement that the Boards of Appeal of the EPO need some organisational reform.  Most see the main issue as being perception of independence from the rest of the EPO structure, given the quasi-judicial role of the Boards in reviewing EPO decisions and actions.  However, the proposal from the President of the EPO to reform the Boards was widely criticised, both for some of the specific details (some of which were considered to be incompatible with the EPC), and for the overall approach, which conflated independence with efficiency and seemed fixated on moving the Boards to another physical location.  Moreover, the Boards of Appeal were themselves not consulted during the drawing up of the proposals.  At the Administrative Council meeting of 16 and 17 December 2015, these proposals were not adopted; instead the AC mandated its own sub-group “Board 28” to elaborate guidelines to take the reform project forwards.  After a falling-out between the President and Board 28, at the March meeting of the Administrative Council, the President was asked to formulate proposals based on these guidelines (see the text of the AC Resolution below) for consideration at the June AC meeting.  We await details of what these proposals are.

The Boards of Appeal have put forward their own proposals for reform, and you can read the history of the reform from the point of view of the Boards on the website of their organisation AMBA.  Merpel understands that the Boards have NOT been consulted even in the latest re-formulation of a proposal for reform.

Merpel understands that the President is still fixated on the idea that the Boards need to be in a different building from the rest of the EPO, although now the idea is that it will be in another location in Munich, not another city altogether such as Vienna.  The Munich suburb of Garching, halfway out to the airport, is the latest rumour. The motivation to move the Boards from their current location seems odd since the justification is that the members of the Boards should not be mingling with the first instance Examiners whose decisions they are reviewing.  But the Boards largely work in the Isar building, whereas the Examiners work almost exclusively in the PschorrHöfe buildings.  The main other occupant of the Isar building is the President…

Boards of Appeal – resourcing
The original proposals for reform of the Boards of Appeal presupposed that they have an issue with efficiency.  These turned out to be based on misleading comparisons.  While the Boards themselves agree that something has to be done about the growing backlog of appeal cases (estimated at about 8000 cases), and some increase in efficiency probably needs to be part of that, most of the respondents to the EPO’s own consultation on reform of the Boards of Appeal emphasised that the reform and any efficiency increases need to be considered together.   A more pressing issue in the ability of the Boards to deal with the caseload was that for some considerable period no new appointments had been made, and reappointments left to the very last minute (this raising concerns that the delay in reappointment could be used to make Board members more biddable in the meantime).   Precise numbers are a little difficult to establish, but by March 2016, Merpel understands that no new appointments had been made for about 2 years,  7 Boards lacked a chairman and about 13 technical board member positions were vacant.  Finally, a few new appointments (2 chairmen and 3 technical members) were made at the March 2016 meeting of the Administrative Council.  Apparently the President denies that there has been any issue with the levels of staffing of the Boards, and considers that since he agreed to the creation of a new Board, the Boards have been “expanded”; it is to him apparently immaterial that this “expansion” is more than offset by the number of vacant positions and Merpel understands that this new Board was never in fact filled.  Merpel very much hopes that the Boards will continue to be fully staffed.

This post attracted many comments that relate to the Boards of Appeal. One person wrote:

“The Decision states it is to be published, but Merpel has not yet seen an official publication of it by the EPO.”

This point is of little impact on the individual case (the decision has reached the IPkat and the internet after all) but may have wide-reaching implications.

Does it mean that the EPO can disregard the order of a decision of a BoA?

Should we expect in the future that decisions of first instance departments are subject to a review by the BoA only as far as the orders of their decisions please the president?

Maybe next time the EPO could decide to ignore an order to refund the appeal fee or to maintain a biotech patent in an amended form which is “inconvenient” for the EPO.

Apart from these provocative questions it seems to me that the interference of the president in the Boards´decisions and their independence turns out to be a much bigger problem than what has been assumed until now.

“The [judge's] removal from office would,” according to another person, “under different circumstances, merit a good laugh.”

Well, there is nothing funny about being falsely accused of violence. That was quite a defamatory move from Team Battistelli and there may soon be legal action over it. Here is the comment in full:

No progress on the possible removal from office of the member of the Boards of Appeal, no progress on the reform of the Boards, no consultation of the Boards on the reform, no progress on the social agenda. The removal from office would, under different circumstances, merit a good laugh. It is probably hard to find a comparable level of incompetence, in particular in such a delicate matter.

In the meantime, the EPO continues to infringe on Human Rights, as decided by an appeal court in the Netherlands back in February 2015 [sic]. SUEPO obtained that judgment, the EPO is challenging it, and the Vice President DG1 (search, examination and opposition) stated on Dutch TV that a judgment against the EPO would in all likelihood be ignored. SUEPO shall nevertheless sign a memorandum of understanding accepting the regulations in question.

The Administrative Tribunal of the International Labor Organization (ILO-AT), the only external “court” to which EPO officials can turn, has raised serious concerns about EPO governance. ILO-AT is drowning with EPO cases, impeding its ability to serve as tribunal for other organizations.

All things considered, the current President continues to apply his “all or nothing” strategy. Escalation is followed by further escalation. It is hard to imagine that the current situation will improve under this President.

“A typical management tactic,” wrote another person, “which pre-dates Battistelli, is to promise to be good in the future, if only the Union will accept the status quo.”

Well, they should fight on. Here is this comment about SUEPO:

SUEPO is right to insist on revisiting the so-called “reforms’ (a term which gives the measures a legitimacy they simply don’t have; after all “reforms” are always good, aren’t they?). The investigation guidelines are one such “reform”, as are the measures taken against SUEPO and its officials, the house arrest of sick staff, the unrealistic targets, the promotion rules which reinforce arbitrariness, etc etc. Using the term “reforms” for these measures is not neutral – it is adopting the management’s rhetoric, and reinforcing the scenario it would like the public to belief it – that of idle time-serving workers paid too much to do too little. (Extraordinary, therefore, that the EPO’s proud reputation over all the years of its existence was built on such a shaky foundation).

A typical management tactic, which pre-dates Battistelli, is to promise to be good in the future, if only the Union will accept the status quo. It is always an empty promise, but it allows the management to seem reasonable and the Union to seem intransigent. SUEPO must and will, I hope resist it.

Right now the pattern we’re seeing is simple to interpret. Anyone who is not 100% on board with Team Battistelli must be crushed and made an example of. Regarding the suspension of a judge one person wrote the following:

Does it mean that the EPO can disregard the order of a decision of a BoA?

The answer is yes, definitely. Should the EBA for instance decide to reject the AC´s late request for dismissal of a judge and decide he should be reintegrated into DG3, the president could simply maintain the house ban he imposed upon him 18 months ago, and there is absolutely nothing anybody could do.

The interference of the president in the Boards´decisions and their independence indeed is a much bigger problem than what has been assumed until now. The legitimacy of the whole EP (and UPC) construction would no longer stand up to scrutiny by a national constitutional court.

Going back to the previous thread — the one which focuses on the UPC — DG3 is noted as follows:

Merpel may also wish to consider the recent mooted change to dg3 rules concerning the requirement of approval for employment after leaving the epo. Thus even retiring or resigning would not clearly free a BoA member, particularly if his/her pension were being held hostage? I think that was part of the proposed changes to ensure the Boards’ independence.

Given the excellence of the White Book of DG3 case law, patent disputes in Europe these days usually come down to an argument over the facts. Is the teaching in the patent sufficient to perform the claimed invention? Is there in D1 a disclosure good enough to enable something within the claim? Was there a novelty-destroying prior use or not? How actually does the accused embodiment perform? Once the facts are established, the law is almost invariably straightforward to apply, both on infringement and on validity.

But readers, where (if anywhere) is fact-finding done better than at the EPO? In the courts in London, I would of course say, but at what cost?

What would be nice is top quality objective and dispassionate English common law fact-finding applied to the established DG3 law on claim construction and the substantive law of the validity of patents. Fat chance of that though, eh? Nowhere near enough work for mainland patent litigators, is there?

Regarding the gradual elimination (or phasing out) of the Boards, one person hypothesises as follows:

Well, I could think of further reasons for the UPC not takin on BoA-members.

1) Would a board member risk incurring the wrath of His President, in cases where he/she would have to rule in a way not favourable to the EPO?

2) The risk of the impression of a bias is indeed high.

3) Maybe not everyone agrees with MaxDrei in the quality of the BoA rulings and his dismissal of the national courts. As a DPMA-examiner I find the BGH decisions pretty coherent. In the cases I had to look at EPO-decisions (in parallel examinations or opposition proceedings) I found them often questionable and the reasons for the decisions often insufficiently disclosed (in German proceedings the courts would talk of “Begründungsmangel”).

The above does not quite pass muster for the following reason, as noted by MaxDrei:

Good point from Fragender. But how many English decisions does he read, I wonder. He would then be even more keen to disparage individual decisions of individual EPO Boards of Appeal. Naturally, as an Englishman, I find that the reasoning in the decisions of my own domestic courts appeals to me much more than what I find in EPO decisions. I guess it’s the same for him, as a German.

My point though is the integrity of the “body” of established case law of the EPO, in the White Book and a distillation of more than a thousand decisions each year for more than thirty years now.

I regret that the BGH (unlike the UK Supreme Court) persists in maintaining its own line, choosing not to defer to the established case law of the EPO Boards of Appeal. Just as the USA thinks it only matter of time before the world swings in to line with American case law, so the legal community in Germany supposes it only a matter of time before all Europe adopts the BGH line.

But now, with the coming of the UPC though, it is indeed perhaps only a matter of time. If so, what a pity.

In response:

I didn’t mean to say the BGH-line is necessarily better. In some respects I think the BoA-line is better, in others the BGH line. The EPO has dumbed down the person skilled in the art way too much for my liking (I have over 12 years of experience as a design engineer…).
I simply wanted to say they are not necessarily making a mess, simply by not following the BoA-decisions.
And yes, I do read fewer British decisions than German ones – but I try to read at least the interesting ones. They seem to be well written, usually.
It will be interesting to see, which line the UPC will develop.

That is if the UPC actually develops into anything at all…

An EPO examiner added the following input:

1) and 2): I think that it is rather the other way round. BoA members are excluded exactly because they ruled in a way that dipleased Battistelli in the past. The exclusion must be seen together with the understaffing of the boards, the attempts to move them out of Munich and to reform them in a way to render them more loyal.
Other EPO employees that have been more loyal and are surely more biased (maybe Mr. Lutz and friends) do not seem to be excluded from the UPC because the exclusion mentions only board members.

3) I think that it depends to what you are looking for. I agree with maxdrei and I find that english decision are better reasoned on the fact finding. BGH decisions seem, when you manage to extrapolate the reasoning from the amtsdeutsch, less reasoned than the average BoA decision. Decisions of my colleagues in the examinaning and opposition division are of course different and not to be compared with BoA decision: unfortunately I must agree with you that some of them are not very well reasoned.
But all this is, of course, a personal opinion.

Putting side this string of comments on why Battistelli is crushing the Boards and the role the UPC plays in achieving this, one person believes that Battistelli is “doing his best to ensure that the UPC is dominated by France.” Look how many French people are now in EPO management. Some of them are relatives and some are former colleagues of Battistelli. Coincidence? Lucrative jobs with astronomical (and sometimes secret) salaries? Therein lies a major scandal and this is why French politicians need to take action. It has become a national embarrassment to France. Here is the comment in full:

In my enthusiasm for the point that the UPC will go all German I had overlooked the role of Battistelli in the build-up to the launch of the UPC, doing his best to ensure that the UPC is dominated by France. Not Germany, and certainly NOT by any judges who learned their profession at the EPO.

When Germany, France and the UK are united, that no judge coming from the EPO will have any chance of judging at the UPC, what chance do DG3 members have, in the Brave New World of patent law made by the EU?

Here is one comment which suggests that not the UPC but some new rules that pose an existential threat to the Boards:

From what I hear it is not the UPC that looms in the future of the BoA. Rather it is the new rules which were refused by the AC in december that spell disaster. Those rules will be presented to the AC in June without any serious change, so I heard, and render the BoA very dependent on the opinion of the president, so then indeed there is a danger that BoA members dare not decide independently anymore. Again, those new rules have been put together without any consultation of the BoA and dead against the opinions of the users of the system, who heavily criticised the fact that independence was mixed up with efficiency, which was in general found satisfactory. Also it will be impossible for former BoA members to work in the field of patents without the consent of the AC. By the time such a consent might be given, if at all, time has gone by and the request has become moot. In fact that amounts to a Berufsverbot for members of the BoA. So no returning to their old job e.g. as a patent agent, no consultancy, etc., preventing any possibility to create some extra income. Again an example of the utter undemocratic way the EPO is governed nowadays, going against all legislation found normal in the member states, which, should these rules be accepted this time, I cannot but regard as a vindictive collective punishment of the BoA members. What a world…..

This, according to the above, is “an example of the utter undemocratic way the EPO is governed nowadays, going against all legislation found normal in the member states…”

It seem abundantly clear that both EPO staff and patent attorneys (or lawyers) now realise that the UPC is a ruinous plan of Battistelli et al. It benefits not them but few external forces, such as billionaires and their multinational corporations which probably evade tax (as usual). We need more people to mobilise against the UPC as it literally harms more than 99% of Europeans for the gains of 1% (or less) who are not even European.

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



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

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



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

    Links for the day



  11. Bill's Media Strategy Amid GatesGate

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



  12. Hard-Core Micro-Soft

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



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

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



  14. Projection Tactics

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



  15. Meme: Richard Stallman Irrelevant

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



  16. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 12, 2019



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

    Links for the day



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

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



  19. Openwashing Reports Are on Hold

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



  20. Support the GNU Project and Support Free Speech

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



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

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



  22. The Campinos Car Crash

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



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

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



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

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



  25. Microsoft Tweets in Linux Platforms

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



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

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 11, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, October 11, 2019



  28. MIT Scandal in a Nutshell

    What happened a month ago, explained using a meme



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

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



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

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


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