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Benoît Battistelli Apparently Breaks the Rules Again and Says That Transparent Trial is Unlawful, Threatens Those Involved

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli seems to have had another tantrum/temper attack which he’s already quite infamous for

Battistelli versus EBoA

Summary: The effort to make the hearing (or ‘trial’) secretive backfires on Battistelli as the media (that which Battistelli isn’t paying or manipulating with PR agencies he spends millions of Euros on) catches up and reports more widely the absurdity of this whole situation

We have already published numerous articles about the so-called ‘trial’ against a judge who said the truth about the EPO [1, 2, 3, 4]. The more one knows about it, the more infuriating it can become (it seems as though the judge is being defamed in the media, probably with direct involvement from Team Battistelli and maybe FTI Consulting as well).

As of midnight (a few hours ago), The Register has this article (screenshot above) which summarises some of the latest developments (but not all). To quote:

President of the European Patent Office (EPO), Benoit Battistelli, has been caught threatening an independent appeals board looking into the case of a judge he summarily dismissed.

In an extraordinary turn of events in Munich this week, a planned public hearing of the organization’s “Enlarged Board of Appeal” was abandoned after it said it had received a “threatening letter” demanding that the hearing be held in private.

The board did not say who the letter was from or precisely what threats it contained, but several sources have confirmed it was sent by Battistelli, and in it he warned the appeal board that holding its hearing in public was “unlawful.”

It is not known what Battistelli threatened to do if the board continued with its plan to hold the meeting in public, but under recent reform plans that his office has drawn up, the EPO president has introduced a range of measures that would effectively give him the right to hire and fire the president of the – supposedly independent – Board of Appeals.

According to those familiar with events, the appeal board responded to the letter by pointedly asking the chair of the EPO’s Administrative Council whether he agreed with the letter’s contents.

According to a brief public statement made just before the appeal board shut down its meeting, the chair refused to disown its contents. In response, the appeal board refused to continue with its disciplinary proceedings.

Someone also leaked to us SUEPO’s report. Since we already saw the original and can confirm it is the same, including the typos (like “treats” instead of “threats”), we might as well paste the comment below and add the formatting to it:

Further details, according to an internal post of SUEPO:


Enlarged Board of Appeal dismisses the case against the DG3 member amid treats by the EPO President Battistelli


Public oral proceedings before the Enlarged Board of Appeal (“the Enlarged Board”) were scheduled to start yesterday, 14 June, at 9.00h, to decide on the request for removal from office of a member of the Boards of Appeal by the Administrative Council (Article 23(1) EPC). The Administration required members of the public to enrol on a list with their name and the information whether they were EPO employees or external to the Office. About 25 badges allowing entry to room 109 were then distributed essentially according to the order of the list.

The hearing did not start as scheduled. During most of the day a conference in camera (i.e. not the hearing as such) took place. The discussion apparently centred around a letter sent a few days ago by the President of the Office to the Enlarged Board. Essentially, it appears that the President condemned the decision to make the hearing public as “unlawful” and affecting the proper functioning of the Office. The exact content of the letter is, however, unknown.

The Enlarged Board apparently perceived the letter as a threat and asked the Chairman of the Council whether the Council endorsed – or not – the position taken by the President. Apparently the EBA did not receive a clear and/or reassuring answer.

The Chair only officially opened the hearing at about 17:15h. In the presence of the public, a decision along the following lines was announced (note: this is not verbatim):

The EBA received a letter from an authority which is not a party to the proceedings and which they perceive as a threat. The AC, as the disciplinary and appointing authority of the members, was asked whether it endorsed that letter. The Chairman of the AC did not distance himself from the letter. Under these circumstances, the Board cannot continue the proceedings and consequently does not propose to remove the respondent from office.

After the above announcement the Chair requested the public to leave the room.

SUEPO central

One person wrote about the typo, which is also in the original:

How nice of the President to have distributed treats to staff.
Jolly ungrateful of the EBA to have complained about this.

Here is a more serious comment:

Presumably, such a letter passed over the desk of the head of the legal division. It beggars belief that he didn’t consider the ramifications this would have on the case being heard. Having received such a communication seeking to influence the decision of the EBoA members, the members could have each declared themselves unable to take part in accordance with A.24(2) EPC but instead took the pragmatic decision to end the proceedings. Well done!

“Here [is] a further summary of the recent events,” says this commenter, linking to an article of Mathieu Klos from Juve (quite a few people have spotted this report by now, but we need an English translation).

The thing about this judge is, Battistelli tried to get rid of him repeatedly, i.e. many times, over a long of period of time (causing stress to the judge whose wife was apparently somewhat involved too — not the first time we heard of a spouse being subjected to abuse by proxy, probably by Team Battistelli), costing the Office reputation, money, time, and productivity.

Here are some tidbits from the article:


(link to a Google translation)

Ugly: the Court had requested the testimony of 3 witnesses from the Investigative Unit, but the President did not authorize them to depose because they could reveal how the computers were monitored, while the has always maintained that proper rules were followed …

A broader overview of this article was as follows:

The apparent source of the Juve article is the accused BoA member’s lawyer, Senay Okyay. This lends it some authority.

But where is Battistelli’s threat? From the other reports here, I would have assumed it was explicit: “If you hold these proceedings in public, then I will do [something bad]“.

But according to Juve, Frau Okyay merely reports that “The President described a public hearing as unlawful by the statutes of the Office.”

Certainly, it was both wrong and stupid for Battistelli to attempt to interfere directly like this. The right people to argue this issue were the Admin Council’s representatives (who are of course employed by Battistelli). Perhaps they had already tried and lost.

But in different circumstances, I think an appeal board or a national court would just have ignored such an intervention, perhaps rebuffing it with some trenchant comments. And then they would have continued to make an independent decision about whether to hold the proceedings in public.

So what this incident underlines is the fragile state of relations between the Boards of Appeal and Battistelli. Because of all the very real threats that Battistelli actually has made to the Boards (unwelcome reforms, removal to Berlin or Vienna), they are ultra sensitive.

The result is that the Enlarged Board feels threatened by a letter which, in different circumstances, they might just have ignored. They fear how Battistelli might retaliate, even if he makes no explicit threat.

The independence of the Boards of Appeal is still as big an issue as it ever was.

Questions remain, however, about whether it all ended and whether the judge will get his job back (it might be impossible as long as Battistelli remains in Office, simply because he would not reconcile). To quote a comment about this:

I wonder whether the Enlarged Board really closed the case, by taking a final decision on the merits. All reports are a bit vague on this point. If a decision had been taken, it would probably have been announced with the public present. It would make sense to simply put the whole procedure on hold, since every decision would be tainted by interference in the independence.

This approach would leave the current request from the Council in pending, with the procedure suspended. The nice side effect is that any new request – #4 according to my count – would not be admissible, due to the procedure still pending.

Another person wondered: “Did Juv[e] not also report that the President refused to allow witnesses from the EPO to be heard? Hardly a threat admittedly, but certainly interference.”

“It is rather revealing that Battistelli cannot stand the idea that his defamation of a judge will become evident and lay bare for all to see; maybe there’s also an element of penis envy because the judge is far more qualified than Battistelli and so are his colleagues at the board.”Battistelli cannot recognise a fair trial because it’s not his area. He is not a scientist and not a judge either. The accused judge is both. It is rather revealing that Battistelli cannot stand the idea that his defamation of a judge will become evident and lay bare for all to see; maybe there’s also an element of penis envy because the judge is far more qualified than Battistelli and so are his colleagues at the board. They’re just a lot more modest and professional. Battistelli is coming to grips with his inability to get his outlandish desires fulfilled (something he rarely encounters these days), whereupon he just acts like a spoiled brat instead. It’s self-discrediting.

What next for Battistelli? Buying some more media contracts and enhanced PR cooperations? How can the public be distracted/taken away from all that negative publicity now that it’s in the mainstream media? EIA2016 is already old news and millions of Euros down the toilet. This was just a truly stupid and spurious festival whose real purpose was to glorify or launder the reputation of a serial human right abuser, whom a retired high-level judge spoke about to Juve, making a comparison to torture sites and repeatedly shaming Battistelli (with his own reputation as a famous judge on the line).

At this stage, Battistelli would be wise to step down like Ciaran McGinley. He might lose his job (or face immense pressure) later this month anyway.

Update: As of moments ago, someone posted an excellent explanation of why what Battistelli had done is totally unacceptable. To quote it in full:

The President described a public hearing as unlawful by the statutes of the Office.

Yes, of course: the narrative now is “The President only wanted to help and they overreacted”.

Please, read again Art 23(1) EPC:
(9) Unless and to the extent that the Enlarged Board decides otherwise, the proceedings shall not be public and shall be confidential.

Clearly, the Enlarged Board had decided otherwise, and in general they seem to be well-versed in the procedure – contrary to the President who has previously attempted to convince the AC to dismiss the member of the BoA without even passing through the EBoA, as the rules require.
If the Enlarged Board had decided otherwise, the President should have no say in that.

I think an appeal board or a national court would just have ignored such an intervention

They probably would, with the difference that:
1) Angela Merkel would never write a letter to some judges to tell them how to proceed:
2) the proceedings in a national court are public. Not so at the EPO, where Secret Trials are held on the pretense of confidentiality.

You did not refer to the fact that the President barred the witnesses from the Stasi – ehm, Investigative Unit, to appear at the proceedings.

Let me explain you why.

When the computers in the public – public – area of the Office were put under control, there was no request to the Data Protection Officer. The request was made only after the guy was caught doing whatever he was doing.

From the article Welcome to EPOnia, the strange land of European patents that is outside the law:

A strange letter from the head of the EPO’s Investigative Unit to the organisation’s internal data protection officer asked whether the spying described above “would have been authorised”—implying the request was being made after the fact. Also curious is the handwritten authorisation on the document, which is dated December 3, 2014—exactly when the Board of Appeals member was suspended for “alleged dissemination of material which was, as was also alleged, defamatory.”

Which means that the data collected from the public computers were obtained illegally. They cannot be used.

(Btw, Techrights has still a copy of the request to the DPO with the date clearly visible.)

Had the witnesses of the IU confirmed this, in a public proceedings, the case would have crumbled. So, the President barred them because their deposition could have helped the defendant.

To conclude, the president is trying to interfere with the proper administration of justice: did the Enlarged Board really overreact?

There is something rather awkward about the following comment because it seems to give Battistelli a carte blanche and it also dismisses the claim (which we heard from several sources) about a “threat”. The comment says:

The President’s refusal to allow EPO witnesses to be heard is neither a threat nor interference. However, it does weaken the case against the accused BoA member.

Perhaps requesting that the oral proceedings be public (guessing that the President would then withhold the witnesses) was a clever tactic by Frau Okyay?

Regarding the first line/sentence, it seems to have gone far beyond “refusal to allow EPO witnesses,” but we don’t know enough because it’s all shrouded in secrecy — a secrecy induced by Battistelli himself (no wonder).

As for the second paragraph (above), the rules are very clear about this and Battistelli disregards the rules.

Benoît Battistelli’s Façade Continues: Exploiting Terror Attacks Again, Throwing Expensive Parties at the EPO’s Expense, Crushing More Workers’ Rights

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 9:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Like watching a flower being squashed to perfume oneself

A militant EPO
The Office — much like Paris — is better known as a militaristic operation now, not an examination institution

Summary: Another depressing look at how Battistelli manages the EPO, once a meritorious patent office which has become a laughing stock not only among EPO employees but also among the stakeholders who are the source of the EPO’s income

Benoît Battistelli is embarrassment to the EPO. He does to the image of the EPO and the European Union what Blatter did to the reputation of FIFA and UEFA.

Benoît Battistelli is once again (as in many times in the past year) exploiting terror attacks (warning: epo.org link) to pretend that he’s anything other than a thug, or a bully who terrorises staff, terrorises lawyers, terrorises delegates, and even terrorises bloggers. What a total hypocrite. This is a typical routine of his, after every major terror attack (we covered other such examples in the past). This helps boost/feed the fictitious narrative of urgent need for 6 bodyguards [1, 2, 3] and makes it seem like he’s the “defensive” party. What next? Will he be strutting around with a plaster across his face like Blatter did? Cosby too used such strategies to garner sympathy. Are these blog posts written with advice from FTI Consulting? Maybe ghostwritten by the PR team? These have been written since the initial FTI Consulting deal. Is Battistelli sitting up there in his office near the Isar waiting for the next terror attack so that he can write blog posts and ‘private’ letters (opportunistically published to the whole world), painting him as sympathetic and caring? The latest is being sent to the head of the USPTO, a terrible patent system with no real quality control and a lot of patent trolls (i.e. what Battistelli strives for with the UPC). There is hardly any connection between her and the victims. She probably lived in the West Coast and is of East Asian decent, whereas the attack happened in the (South) East Coat and mostly killed Latinos. But never mind all that; terror attacks are always convenient excuses for policy-pushing (gun control, foreign policy etc.), especially for politicians like Battistelli. He’s not a scientist, he's a politician, which in itself is a problem. This could disqualify him if not rationalise impeachment.

“But never mind all that; terror attacks are always convenient excuses for policy-pushing (gun control, foreign policy etc.), especially for politicians like Battistelli. He’s not a scientist, he’s a politician, which in itself is a problem.”Speaking of the low patent quality at the USPTO, it seems evident that Battistelli — whether inadvertently or not — emulates the same thing (including the patent trolls). Meldrew wrote today that: “There is a bouncing ball that might be spun in different ways.” Meldrew alluded to number of patent grants, which help demonstrate that Battistelli killed patent quality at the EPO; how long will it take for applicants to realise this and for value of existing (and future) patents to be accordingly/appropriately depreciated? In his/her blog, Meldrew wrote: “Applying some rough and ready guesswork, one can guess a total number of patents granted in 2016 as in the region 88,000 to 102,000 representing an increase of 29-49% in the number of grants over 2015.”

Yes, how ‘natural’. Unless the industry as a whole suddenly experienced a 29-49% growth in ‘innovation’…

That’s ENA’s neo-liberalism ‘at work’, racing to the bottom to help portray the businessman (Battistelli) as a king of all trades, master of jacks, and holder of no scientific qualifications. Meldrew asked: “What is happening in the background that explains this sudden increase?”

Well, recall the push to grant quickly, even at the expense of examination quality. Also recall the apparent fudging of numbers [1, 2, 3]. Another person explained this as follows:

A partial explanation… Grants actually reflect work done 7-8 months previously as the decision to grant is based on the intention to grant delayed by time for translation and any amendments. Thus the current ‘surge’ is actually a surge taking place in early 2015.
That relates to a time when Early Certainty From Search started and examiners dossier management system prioritised search over examination. With one exception! Grants could be made immediately even if they were low ranked and the system identified files which were possibly ready for grant based on the info supplied for ESOP or WOISA. In order to reach targets examiners thus took this option and, in effect, non-grantable files became secondary at best. Priority was search and grant. Examination had to wait for search deadlines (priority 1) to be met. This may change soon so the apparent surge may not continue. Indeed, at some point examiners will have to do the examinations as priorities will change. But in the meantime the examination work is skewed to grant rather than further communications, even if the applicant has amended and feels it is ready for grant the examiner must deal with highly ranked files – legal search deadlines etc. – first and is not allowed to choose lower files.

Meanwhile, the EPO’s Twitter account (i.e. PR people) is still milking the staged events and linking to puff pieces like this one. Applicants’ money is apparently being wasted by the millions on a silly festival rather than a thorough/comprehensive/exhaustive patent search (for prior art). Cutting corners to improve the bottom line in the short term seems like ENA ideology. If Battistelli manages to survive until the end of his term, why worry about the mess he leaves behind him? It’s like a 4- or 8-year presidential cycle, where one typically leaves the bubble for successors to grapple with as it implodes.

“Grossenbacher has earned quite a negative reputation, for reasons we named here before. Some suspect he is also the reason Brimelow stepped down and made room for Battistelli.”EPO and Battistelli are busy wasting a lot of money on a lobbying event, dressed up as an award ceremony or science. Here is Battistelli writing about his lobbying event (warning: epo.org link) which took place one week ago. This event, which he spent millions of Euros (EPO budget) on, will “continue to assert itself as the ‘Nobel prize’ of innovation,” according to Battistelli’s blog post. So he thinks he’s Nobel again, having said something to that effect at the event as well (we covered this at the time). Megalomania at work?

Speaking of megalomania, Battistelli must be so intolerant toward quality control at the EPO that he is still working towards demolition of appeal boards (like court of appeals). Based on today’s legal news [1, 2], a fortnight from now the boards may be further marginalised. “Early Certainty,” the EPO labeled it today (euphemisms galore), “new opposition procedure from 1 July.”

We have already mentioned it here the other day, as it’s clearly an attack on appeal rights and hence on the boards. Patent quality would be severely damaged. That was a cornerstone of the EPO and it was how the high costs (fees) were justified for decades. These fees are presently being wasted by Battistelli, who is buying the media to control the message (improve an image) rather than improve the Office. To the tune of millions of Euros, Battistelli flushes money down the toilet because the image of the EPO remains tarnished.

Many comments appeared today at IP Kat and we wish to quote some relevant ones. At the EPO, according to one person, Roland Grossenbacher (who is Swiss like Blatter and the person who started the Investigative Unit) “must be viewing the present mayhem with a certain satisfaction.”

Grossenbacher has earned quite a negative reputation, for reasons we named here before. Some suspect he is also the reason Brimelow stepped down and made room for Battistelli. To quote the comment in full:

Personally, I have always seen the dead hand of Eminence Grise Roland Grossenbacher (or ‘Roland’ as BB warmly refers to him in meetings of the AC) in all this. He has led the hawkish element in the AC ever since he became head of the Swiss delegation and if there is any concertation involved in the various measures introduced by the BB regime, he is at least the arranger, if not the bandmaster. This is not to say BB is his creature: I think Benoît is now beyond anyone’s control. But Roland must be viewing the present mayhem with a certain satisfaction.

As for the third leg of the milking stool, I suspect that Jesper thought he was playing as an equal with the big lads, but probably now realises that the game has got too rough for him. Certainly, he does not seem to be exercising any leadership in the AC, for someone who is supposed to be its chairman.

“If an ordinary CEO had done [what Battistelli did] in the UK,” one person commenter, “he would have committed a criminal offence” (laws don’t apply at Eponia, Battistelli makes them up and changes them whenever he pleases).

Here again is the comment in full:

Truly astonishing. If it can be proven that there was a “threatening” letter, then it is hard to see how that could amount to anything other than an attempt to pervert the course of justice. If an ordinary CEO had done this in the UK, he would have committed a criminal offence that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

So does that mean we are now in the situation where it is unarguable that the EPO is being run by a person who, under national law, could fairly be described as a criminal?

Regardless of the semantics, the AC needs to act now, even if they have arguably been complicit in bringing this situation about. On this occasion, the president has unarguably overstepped the mark (and in a serious way). Given that the president has also taken other actions that are directly contrary to instructions given to him by the AC, then what choice does the Council have but to give him his marching orders? There would appear to be no options for “finessing” this situation so that business can carry on as normal.

I shall finish with a thought experiment. Imagine you are BB. Also imagine that there is some reason why it is essential to your survival that you keep from the public certain details pertaining to the investigations into the Board of Appeal member that you are trying to get rid of. Then what, in this imaginary situation, would you do if the Enlarged Board decided to make the dismissal hearing open to the public? Apart from making it as difficult as possible for the public to attend, you would perhaps try to engineer a situation where the Enlarged Board would be forced to close the hearing without having discussed the substance of the case (and hence without revealing to the public the material that could really damage you).

This kind of tactic would be akin to ensuring that your claims go down for added matter upon appeal, just in order that you do not receive a public (and final) pronouncement of unpatentability on a substantive ground such as novelty or inventive step.

The observable facts appear to fit the theory pretty well. However, could BB and his team be that devious? If so, just how explosive / damaging is the information that such tactics are aimed at suppressing?

The EPO still threatens people using their pensions, which is why some people suspect Ciaran McGinley decided to retire now (exceptionally early). Here is one new comment about it:

Here is an example of a restrictive covenant which was upheld by the Danish Courts:


(see §43 onwards)

Here, compensation of 50% of final salary was paid for a 12 month covenant, with the prohibited acts restricted fairly narrowly. While there may be good reasons for the EPO to restrict certain acts after employment at the EPO ends, it is reasonable for the restrictions to be narrowly defined such they demonstrably protect the interests of the office rather than being open ended subject to the whims of the management of the day.

“They’re not acquired rights,” another person added, “they are contractual terms. And that was the intention when new examiners signed the contract. But bona fide is not in the legal lexicon of the EPO, it seems.”

Finally, here is the latest comment on this thread:

Staff Regulations of the European Union Article 16: An official shall, after leaving the service, continue to be bound by the duty to behave with integrity and discretion as regards the acceptance of certain appointments or benefits. Officials intending to engage in an occupational activity, whether gainful or not, within two years of leaving the service shall inform their institution thereof. If that activity is related to the work carried out by the official during the last three years of service and could lead to a conflict with the legitimate interests of the institution, the Appointing Authority may, having regard to the interests of the service, either forbid him from undertaking it or give its approval subject to any conditions it thinks fit. The institution shall, after consulting the Joint Committee, notify its decision within 30 working days of being so informed. If no such notification has been made by the end of that period, this shall be deemed to constitute implicit acceptance.

Looks very much like the new service regulations article 19. Nevertheless there are some differences which can be problematic.

Based on the type of comments we have been seeing today, Battistelli’s EPO has an appalling reputation, not just among EPO staff but also externally. Patent stakeholders (such as attorneys) increasingly view the EPO in a negative light. Does Battistelli care? And if so, what would he do? Dump several more millions of Euros (of applicants’ money) on media and PR companies? The EPO seems to have gotten itself a Sarkozy in charge, with or without a Bygmalion affair.

EPO Crisis: What If There Was an Administrative Council Meeting and Nobody Came?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Delegates’ no-show protest?

Empty Administrative Council meeting

Summary: A reader lays out one possible approach for national protests that can help put an end to the Battistelli era at the European Patent Office (EPO)

GIVEN THE abundant evidence of gross abuses by EPO management, any national delegate would have to be blind, dishonest, or even corruptible to pretend that everything is fine, even when Board 28 admits it's a disaster.

One of our readers tried to come up with a plan. How can one bypass Battistelli's timely gifts and protest without facing the severe consequences from the Napoleonic Nobel wannabe.

“Judging by what I read from the recent Techrights posts,” said this reader, “chances are high that Bastardelli [sic] will have his ass saved by a bunch of votes bought from minor countries. Like this, I guess also those countries who oppose him will save their faces by stating they voted against but kept actually enjoying the present regime with him still on the saddle.”

“…I guess also those countries who oppose him will save their faces by stating they voted against but kept actually enjoying the present regime with him still on the saddle.”
We have actually heard things along those lines (or to that effect) for quite some time. Battistelli is playing games with other people’s money. He continues to use money as a carrot-and-stick utility.

“They will simply say that there is nothing else they could do,” our reader added, alluding to what s/he called “minor countries.”

The reader continued: “Well, actually there is something, and it is quite something, major Countries could do: to withdraw their delegates in protest from the Council and from the Convention altogether.

“I know this is a strong step, but just the threat of it would be effective: it would devoid of legitimation the very existence of the AC and of the European Patent Convention. In fact, it seems to me that in case Battistelli stays on, this would be the only way to press on the whole AC and on Kongstad to take responsibility, for an intolerable situation that should no longer exist. It would also turn to be of major impact for the public, FIFA style.

“Unless, of course, major court cases explode nationally, but that would take more time and may still not happen at all: national Courts would still need major reasons for wanting to pick up their responsibilities in EPO related issues, pretending to respect an immunity that should not actually exist for criminal charges.

“It would also turn to be of major impact for the public, FIFA style.”
“To withdraw a delegation from the AC would be equivalent to the closure of diplomatic relations between countries, the step previous military hostilities… I guess this would be the only way left that “virtuous” Countries could play to limit and eventually reverse the power bought by Battistelli in the AC and possibly to start a tide against Battistelli.”

Such a strategy would only be truly effective if several major delegations participated in it at the same time, so coordination may be needed.

“Maybe we should make a lobby in sync to every delegation for that,” our reader suggested, “I considered that for my own delegation, but as a single individual issue, that would never be taken seriously. Now issues are far from being individual ones. And if more countries dare this threat…”

“This theatre should have been stopped already a long time ago,” one new comment in IP Kat said earlier today. Here is the full comment:

After a few years following the development within the EPO under Battistell(BB) as President and Jesper Kongstad (JK) as chairman of the Administrative Council (AC) I come to the conclusion that only the representatives of the big countries in the AC (NL,DE,GB,FR,CH,IT,SP) can stop this disasterous development by demanding very strongly a diplomatic conference as forseen in the EPC. BB and JK are big friends. It is the tactics of this ¨team¨ BB and the AC with chief JK and with many BB-friends in the group of representatives of the small countries, to demand from BB as AC things to do and not do and when BB is doing nothing the AC is also doing nothing. This theatre should have been stopped already a long time ago.

This seems to be a strategy supported by quite a few people. Here are the contact details of all the delegates. Maybe our readers can explain to them this strategy and put an end to Battistelli’s coup (or reign of terror, even over delegates whom he reportedly threatens/bullies).

EPO Brain Drain Goes All the Way to the Top as Head of Patent Administration Abruptly Resigns

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A pattern of resignations continues [1, 2, 3, 4] as Ciaran McGinley too will fall this fall (having just announced intent of resignation or retirement intent far too early in his career)

A photo from EPO Vienna

Summary: People who are allegedly responsible for the unprecedented lawlessness at the EPO are leaving again, perhaps realising what’s next to come and shrewdly trying to dodge it based on insider information which they possess

IN OUR previous post we showed how SUEPO leaders and staff representatives are being abused inside the IU (EPO Investigative Unit). They’re gagged, so not much is known about what goes on inside. No wonder there are strikes this year. The EPO has become an embarrassing institution to work for, based on what EPO workers sometimes tell us. It wasn’t always like that. The EPO used to have relatively good reputation (we had an amicable attitude towards the EPO back in the Brimelow days), not just based on EPO mouthpieces.

“The EPO has become an embarrassing institution to work for, based on what EPO workers sometimes tell us.”Based on the latest news, Board 28 was right to say there's a "crisis" at the EPO. Now, only a few months later, the top managers have begun quitting their jobs. Vacuum remains behind them, compromising the quality of operations (not just as measured by number of approved applications but actual patent quality). We are growing rather concerned that it puts in jeopardy the entire organisation (hence everybody’s jobs, including delegates’).

When one sees his or her employees committing suicide under the Battistelli regime it’s not too shocking to see high-level resignations. If Battistelli does not step down pretty soon, signaling change and hope (to use the Obama buzzwords), a lot of other managers (even those in Battistelli’s circle but especially good, moral, respected ones) will vanish. This will compromise the entire Office, so the Organisation must act fast and decisively. This might also save lives (recall this letter from Ciaran McGinley about the fourth suicide).

Several different sources told us about the latest resignation. Basically, the head of Patent Administration (where many of the suicides happened at the EPO) has just unexpectedly resigned. This was known about yesterday, but now the word is circulating more widely. “I got the news yesterday lunchtime,” told us one person, “however I wasn’t allowed to share” the information, “but since it’s live now, here we go:

It could either mean personal damage control or jumping from the sinking ship (SOS Titanic) or both! The time will tell us.



with among other one striking sentence “However, looking to the future leads me to the conclusion that early retirement from the EPO is the right step both personally and professionally.”

In our experience (writing about software), people often retire early right before (or shortly after) major scandals that jeopardise one’s ‘peak’ or memorable legacy.

Our theory about this is that he cannot take it anymore, no matter the compensation (salary) working for incompetent top-level managers whom the staff hates so much that some commit suicide. There have been stories like this in other companies. That’s a sort of “acceptance” stage and appropriate action. We begrudgingly commend Ciaran McGinley for this decision, which surely he knew would damage Battistelli’s legitimacy before his potential sacking later this month (well overdue).

“Regarding the resignation of McGinley,” told us another source, “my first thought was exactly like what was portrayed below the first lines: Ciaran McGinley must know something that everyone else don’t.”

Is there more on the way? For completeness of our records, here is Ciaran McGinley’s farewell message in full:

From: Silke Johmann On Behalf Of Ciaran McGinley
Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 1:35 PM
To: PA_all Staff
Subject: To all staff in Patent Administration

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to inform you of my intention to take early retirement later this year, namely from 1st November onwards. I have informed Alberto yesterday evening and the President this morning.

Since taking up my duties at the European Patent Office on 1 January 1982, it has been a continuous privilege to have worked in, and to have contributed to, this organisation. It has furthermore been an honour to have served under, and worked directly with, all six Presidencies. The last years have been especially enjoyable as Principal Director of Patent Administration and I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the wonderful contribution made by each and every one of you. Serving you since 1 January 2010 has been a highlight of my professional career at the EPO.

However, looking to the future leads me to the conclusion that early retirement from the EPO is the right step both personally and professionally. After all these years, I believe that the circumstances are now such that it is time for me to move on.

No doubt we will have the opportunity to share, reminisce and thank each other more personally in the coming months. I very much look forward to that.

Yours faithfully,

Ciaran McGinley
Principal Director, Patent Administration

So Ciaran McGinley, who has worked for the EPO since I was just two weeks old, is now leaving prematurely. Here are some thoughts we found about this, which look upon McGinley rather negatively, framing him as a big part of the problem:

An iconic EPO top manager is prematurely leaving the EPO…

- PD 21, Mr. Ciaran McGinley has announced to his staff his “intention to take early retirement later this year, namely from 1st November onwards”. This announce has come as a great surprise: Mr McG has been a notorious EPO manager for his long and (hyper-?) active time in the EPO but is still far from the EPO statutory pension age of 65.

- He has served in various positions, in particular as advisor to two EPO Presidents (worked under six of them), and is/was renowned for the legions of bold and staff-unfriendly reform ideas, which he repeatedly defended (against all parties preferably, in particular staff) with little diplomacy but with a remarkable skillful and eloquent stamina year after year… Just to cite one: the abolition of Automatic steps, which is unfortunately now a reality under Mr. Battistelli last career reform… So why should such a reform champion leave?

- Surely, personal reasons must prevail (enough pension rights, financial sustainability, personal and professional plans, etc..). Or has this manager informations about an imminent pension reform, that staff does not know about (at least not the Staff representation), rendering a quick departure a tactically clever thing to do? However, most “great leaders” who identify with their organisation, tend to feel essential for the future of the office and often believe in being unreplaceable: so why stopping now so “early”, so suddenly Surely not for simple mundane criteria such as stability and safety.

- Clearly when a herald of “tough” reforms thinks that “circumstances are now such that it is me for [him] to move on”, it does raise a few eye-brows… One cannot but have the impression that, perhaps, even for him, the radical provocateur he always likes(d) to posture himself, the present climate and today’s leadership may have gone a few unbearable steps too far.

- The question is not if other staff or managers think along these lines (a look in the staff survey should be enough to know the answer): the question is when will the Administrative Council understand and act to stop this?

That’s actually a good question. McGinley may be one among several ‘bigwigs’ to fall. Several people believe so. Stay tuned… there’s a lot more coming.

EPO Investigative Unit Causes “Trauma, Will Ruin the Health or Even the Family”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ion Brumme’s alleged ‘crime’ is that he invited people to join the staff union

A photo of Ion Brumme

Summary: Staff representative gives details in an intervention, offering a personal testimony about the work of the “investigation/investigative unit” (IU) at the EPO

THE EPO, or Eponia which acts as though it’s a state with ‘intelligence agencies’, ‘courts’ and ‘security’ personnel (private bodyguards who are grossly overpaid), operates a secretive (mental) torture chamber called the Investigative Unit. We wrote about it last year [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and explained how it had come into existence before Battistelli turned it into something to be expected from East Germany under Soviet occupation.

Here is a recent statement about what happens inside the Investigative Unit and what it did to Ion Brumme (above) among others because they ‘dared’ to sign people up for SUEPO, the Staff Union of the EPO. In French (original):

« Je ne cesse d’entendre que nous ne sommes pas là aujourd’hui pour discuter de cas individuels. Les cas de Ion Brumme et Malika Weaver sont pourtant exemplaires. Ce sont des représentants du personnel, sanctionnés dans l’exercice de leurs fonctions de représentants du personnel. Cela concerne tout le personnel. Le personnel a le droit de savoir. Si je suis dans cette salle aujourd’hui, ce n’est que contraint et forcé. Mon collègue Ion Brumme a été licencié et, ma collègue Malika Weaver ne pouvait être là aujourd’hui. Elle est fortement atteinte pas sa sanction de rétrogradation. Je la remplace.

La plupart d’entre vous assis en face de moi n’ont jamais vu comment se déroule un interrogatoire de l’unité d’investigation. Vous ne savez pas. Nous, à la représentation du personnel, on a vu, on a subi, on sait. C’est un traumatisme. Cela ruine la santé, voire la famille également. Le texte des Circulaires 341 et 342 qui est sous nos yeux aujourd’hui donne encore plus de pouvoir à cette unité d’investigation. Plus de pouvoir, ne veut pas dire, plus d’indépendance, bien au contraire. A l’heure où le Board 28 cherche à calmer la situation sociale, l’administration de l’office propose un texte aujourd’hui encore plus répressif.

J’aimerais attirer votre attention sur l’article 2 définissant le misconduct. Je vois que l’élément (n) qualifie de misconduct le fait d’enfreindre de manière manifestement intentionelle ou négligente une loi nationale. Je ne peux m’empêcher de penser à un membre du personnel de l’office, qui, sans doute avec la collusion de plusieurs, a ignoré un jugement de la Cour d’Appel de La Haye – l’intéressé allant jusqu’à dire que “les juges ont commis une erreur”. Naturellement, l’intéressé bénéficie de l’immunité de l’office et de plus, c’est maintenant écrit, ne peut faire l’objet d’une enquête par l’unité d’investigation. Cette caractéristique du texte symbolise en somme tout le cynisme de la démarche de l’administration de l’office. Cynisme qui s’est encore manifesté vendredi dernier.

Le Board 28 avait pourtant demandé à l’administration de l’office de calmer la situation sociale. Et vendredi dernier, on apprend que mon collègue Ion Brumme voit son licenciement confirmé, et ma collègue Malika Weaver, reste rétrogradée.

Je pense à eux. Je pense beaucoup à eux. Et aujourd’hui c’est le lieu pour en parler. »

Here is an automated translation:

“I keep hearing that we’re not here today to discuss individual cases. The case of Ion Brumme and Malika Weaver are copies. They are representatives, sanctioned in the performance of their duties staff representatives. This concerns all staff. The staff has the right to know. If I am in this room today, it is only under duress. My colleague Ion Brumme was dismissed and my colleague Malika Weaver could not be here today. It is strongly not reached his demotion penalty. I replaced.

Most of you sitting in front of me have never seen what happens during an examination of the investigative unit. You do not know. We, the staff representation, we saw, we suffered, we know. It’s trauma. This will ruin the health or even the family. The text Circulars 341 and 342 that is before us today still gives more power to the investigative unit. More power, not to say, more independence, quite the contrary. At a time when the Board 28 seeks to ease the social situation, the administration of the office offers a text even more repressive today.

I would like to draw your attention to Article 2 defines the misconduct. I see that the element (n) refers to the fact misconduct violate grossly negligent or intentional way a national law. I cannot help thinking of a member of the office staff, which, no doubt with many of collusion, ignored a judgment of the Court of Appeal Hague – the person up to say that “the judges made a mistake.” Naturally, the person enjoys immunity from office and more, it is now written, cannot be investigated by the investigation unit. This feature of the text symbolizes in short all the cynicism of the process of the administration of the office. Cynicism that has yet appeared last Friday.

The Board 28 had however asked the administration of the office to calm the social situation. And last Friday, we learned that my colleague Ion Brumme confirmed sees his dismissal, and my colleague Malika Weaver, left demoted.

I think of them. I think a lot of them. And today it is the place to discuss it.”

Accompanying text described the above as: “Intervention made by an elected Staff representative during the GCC of the 13.06.2106, dealing with Review of the disciplinary procedures framework and of Articles 52 and 53 ServRegs and the Revision of Investigation framework called Standards of conduct and administrative “fact findings” – while a spontaneous Staff Demonstration was taking place simultaneously outside against the President decision to confirm the disciplinary measures against Malika Weaver and Ion Brumme, former high ranking officials from SUEPO Munich.”

“Battistelli fancies himself a judge (and accuser, jury, and executioner) against a real judge, making up a ‘legal’ process (never-ending series of tiring show ‘trials’) and fabricating evidence to defame a judge who actually used legitimate evidence and is being punished for it.”It is worth noting that we have heard about the impact on the judge’s wife (the one who is on ‘house ban’) and we previously wrote about the spouse of Jesus getting affected (in relation to the attack on staff representatives at The Hague). This is totally unacceptable. It’s quite obviously a breach of human rights (though a human rights lawyer would be needed to lay out the specifics). It’s outrageous, but the EPO (or Eponia) does not care what the law says. It would even disregard the highest courts at The Hague (not obeying judges’ orders), by its very own admission. A later article will deal with the judge’s case.

Battistelli fancies himself a judge (and accuser, jury, and executioner) against a real judge, making up a ‘legal’ process (never-ending series of tiring show 'trials') and fabricating evidence to defame a judge who actually used legitimate evidence and is being punished for it.

British Media Tackling Other British Media That the EPO’s Benoît Battistelli Paid for His Propaganda Campaign

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Emptying the EPO’s savings/coffers in a desperate effort to control (and distort) the message stakeholders receive

The EPO-FT relationship

Summary: British media (the largest online publication about technology) criticises an article that the Financial Times (influencer of the rich) published in order to promote the UPC, just shortly after becoming a ‘media partner’ of the EPO

THE TRUE DEPTHS of the scandals at the EPO are yet unexplored. Benoît Battistelli never ceases to amaze, having just broadened his secret PR contracts. To make matters worse, Battistelli’s EPO is now buying the media. How long before this blows up both in the face of the media and in the face of Battistelli? There’s moral/ethical breach here. It’s sometimes considered to be journalistic misconduct.

“It’s institutions like the EPO (once run and ruined by Battistelli) which discredit the EU (even if non-EU an institution) and thus jeopardise European unity.”Put in simple terms and quite bluntly, the EPO has truly corrupted the media. This in itself should be a massive scandal which everyone should speak about. Unlike propagandists from the Financial Times (FT) and other EPO ‘media partners’ (i.e. Battistelli puppets/mouthpieces), I never make money from EPO reports. I just do this because it’s the right thing to do.

Battistelli’s puff pieces and recent campaigns at the Financial Times (of London) should raise many questions both inside and outside the EPO. It’s institutions like the EPO (once run and ruined by Battistelli) which discredit the EU (even if non-EU an institution) and thus jeopardise European unity.

Earlier today we found this new article (modified screenshot above). It seems like Battistelli’s Kool-Aid is hard for people to drink/swallow, even if they don’t realise that the EPO PAID the FT for propaganda. I quite safely assumed that they (most probably) didn’t know this, so I told them after they had published this article.

For those who don’t know what the EPO and FT conspired to achieve, see last week’s articles. All the gory details are in an article we published 5 days ago as well as a few articles from around that time regarding the EPO’s PR campaign with FT (including “FT Reports”, which magically enough started “following” me in Twitter a couple of days ago, having not enjoyed the attention).

Andrew Fentem from The Register wrote:

In 2017, the EU is going to open the Unified Patent Court. This court will make it much easier for patent trolls and corporations in the US – armed with dodgy patent applications and IP attorneys – to reach into the UK and strangle your startup at birth. Think about it.

Last week the Financial Times reported )that two-thirds of patent cases in the US are now brought by “patent trolls”. In the last five years this has cost US startups more than $20bn in VC investment.

Patent trolls don’t innovate or build anything, but specialise in suing legitimate innovative businesses. This activity is primarily enabled by the US’s massively dysfunctional patent system, a system that will rubber-stamp patent applications often with minimal vetting – resulting in a system choked with applications ranging from the spurious to the wildly ludicrous. Patent trolls then tour the world, armed with these “patents”, extorting money out of honest innovators and engineers.

Although patent trolling is now increasing rapidly in Germany, Professor James Bessen of Boston University School of Law says that it is not currently a major problem in the UK – where fewer software patents and a “loser pays” litigation costs regime are real disincentives for that sort of “opportunistic behaviour”.

However, the EU’s new Unified Patent Court will, according a German law expert, “increase patent trolling in Europe” and open the UK up to patent trolling because “a judgment from the UPC will … cover the territory of all participating member states… This significantly increases the business risk.”

We kindly ask patent attorneys, examiners etc. to pay careful attention to these arguments against the UPC. Like many arguments in favour of the UK remaining in the EU, these ones are based on logic and facts, thorough analysis rather than Battistelli propaganda, promises and fiction for those too lazy to examine it for themselves. In spite of the UPC, I am against Brexit, which probably helps demonstrate that my opposition to UPC is principled but not blind.

We urge all EPO workers to study the real impact of the UPC on their jobs and on European interests. Don’t believe a word which comes out of Battistelli, his ‘communications’ staff, and his ‘media partners’. Remember who Battistelli, an ENA graduate, really works for [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Also check who desperately wants the UPC (hint: the same kind of people or corporations that strive to ram TPP down Europe’s throat and incidentally some of those who want Brexit, as per today’s article at Corporate Europe Observatory).

Links 15/6/2016: Saving Old Chromebooks, PCLinuxOS With Trinity

Posted in News Roundup at 4:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Give New Life to Old PCs with Linux

    Do you have some old hardware collecting dust in the basement, attic, or garage? Don’t let it go to waste just because it’s not powerful enough to run modern operating systems. Linux can breathe new life into such machines. I have revived many old PCs in this way. For example, I use one as my main file server, another as a family laptop in the living room for quick browsing, and third one as a media center in the kids’ room. Additionally, I have donated two revived laptops to a cause.

    So, don’t let good hardware die of old age.

  • Desktop

    • Liberating Crippled Chromebooks

      This seems like a great idea for anyone already confident in their use of GNU/Linux. Liberate the Chromebook from the straight-jacket of Chrome OS. It is a GNU/Linux OS but anchored to the browser. This procedure should permit full use of the hardware to run general applications. Amen.

  • Server

    • 3 Reasons IBM Participates in Linux Foundation Projects

      It’s impressive that IBM was founded more than a century ago with decades of research, technologies, and products behind it. But even more impressive is that the company continues to evolve and embrace emerging technologies. It’s done so, in part, due to its continued involvement with Linux and open source through The Linux Foundation.

      “IBM has a long history with The Linux Foundation,” says Todd Moore, VP of Open Technology at IBM. “We’ve been one of the bedrock members of The Linux Foundation since its inception.” And, more generally, says Moore, “We have a long history of doing open source projects throughout many communities.”

    • A Shared History & Mission with The Linux Foundation: Todd Moore, IBM
    • ON.Lab releases latest ONOS SDN platform

      The Open Network Lab’s Open Network Operating System project unveiled its seventh release targeting a software-defined networking operating system, dubbed “Goldeneye.”

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Dispatches from the GTK+ hackfest

        A quick update from the GTK+ hackfest. I don’t really want to talk about the versioning discussion, except for two points:

        First, I want to apologize to Allison for encouraging her to post about this – I really didn’t anticipate the amount of uninformed, unreasonable and hateful reactions that we received.

  • Distributions

    • New Linux Lite Is a Powerhouse Distro in Disguise

      Linux Lite 3.0 offers a great deal of flexibility and usability for both recent Microsoft Windows expatriots and seasoned Linux users. A new user application puts all of the needed information for using the distro in one spot. Just click on the topic and automatically view the information in a Web browser display.

      All of the system controls and settings are located in the Settings option within the main menu display. Windows users will find a close similarity to the Control Panel in that OS. Even recent Linux newcomers will not need much exploring or head-scratching to navigate their way around Linux Lite.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Day in the life of a Fedora Packager

          Ever wondered what it’s like being involved with the Fedora Project? There are many different roles and types of people that help make Fedora what it is. One common form of contributing is packaging. This is when someone takes software, “packages” it in the RPM format, and publishes the RPM to the Fedora repositories. There’s some steps along the way to being a packager. In this article, Fedora packager James Hogarth, responsible for ownCloud, Certbot (formerly LetsEncrypt), and more, details a day in the life of what it’s like being a Fedora Packager.

        • Fedora Wallpaper

          For some a computer wallpaper is not thought about and the default wallpaper stays for the live of their computer, others they like to pick a soothing scene of peace and serenity. At time I like The Serenity, but I usually like to rotate my wallpaper on a semi-monthly basis. While search the web for a new wallpaper I stumbled across a Legends of Zelda Logo wallpaper that I liked the look of. Not a fan of the Legend of Zelda I wanted to do something similar for Fedora.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi Zero: Hands-on with the Zero4U 4-Port USB Hub

      In browsing around the UUGear web page I saw that they have a variety of other boards, such as a 7-port USB Hub designed for the “standard-sized” Raspberry Pi models and an acrylic case to fit that assembly.

      One last thing. There have been a number of comments about two things that some people think the Raspberry Pi is “missing” – a real-time clock and a complete power-off at shutdown capability. UUGear offers another board called the Witty Pi which incorporates both of those. They also have an acrylic case for this assembly, and even a larger case for the Pi, 7-port USB Hub and Witty Pi all together. Good stuff.

    • Putting the ‘Micro’ Into Microservices With Raspberry Pi

      I decided to really put the ‘micro’ into ‘microservices’, so I prepared a system of Raspberry Pis and pcDuinos. WebSphere Liberty is so lightweight that it can easily run on a Pi, and it’s so small and cheap that I can easily build up a collection of computers. I called it the ‘data center in a handbag.’ Because each machine really is a machine, the topology is more obvious.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • How to manage Smart Storage on your Nextbit Robin Android device

          If you’ve purchased an unlocked Nextbit Robin, you’ll want to take advantage of the impressive Smart Storage feature. Jack Wallen shows you how.

        • New Android ransomware targets smart TVs
        • Android N 7.0 review – hands on, how to get it, best features, release date, name

          Bucking its usual trend, Google has been treating us to Developer Preview versions of its next mobile operating system, Android N. While its name is still yet to be officially decided, following Google I/O you’re now able to try out Developer Preview 3, which Google is describing as the first beta-quality candidate.

          As such, if you were sat on the fence as to whether or not to try it out on your main phone or tablet, now might be the time to jump in and get among the Beta fun. If you’re already on the Beta, an OTA update should be rolling out to get you to the latest version. If you’re looking to do a fresh install, instructions are below.

        • Android inventor Andy Rubin thinks the future of smartphones might be a single AI

          Andy Rubin, who co-founded Android and jump-started Google’s robotics efforts, imagines a future where artificial intelligence is so powerful that it powers every connected device. Speaking at Bloomberg’s Tech Conference in San Francisco today, Rubin said a combination of quantum computing and AI advancements could yield a conscious intelligence that would underpin every piece of technology. “If you have computing that is as powerful as this could be, you might only need one,” Rubin says. “It might not be something you carry around; it just has to be conscious.”

        • Hyve Mobility announces Buzz and Storm smartphones with pure Android

          Hyve Mobility, a new technology startup has announced its first two smartphones. The Buzz and Storm smartphones will run pure Android.

          Hyve Buzz and Storm smartphones run stock Android 5.1 Lollipop, although an Android Marshmallow update is being promised soon.

          The focus here is not the devices itself, but the pure Android experience. However, apart from pure Android, Hyve Mobility’s Buzz and Storm are just like any other smartphone in the market.

        • Android continues market share gains around the world as Apple’s iPhone slips

          Thanks to the growing wave of first-time smartphone buyers, Android is expanding its market share lead over Apple’s iOS.

          That conclusion was part of Kantar Worldpanel ComTech’s latest smartphone report.

          Kantar found that for the three months ending April 2016, Android grabbed 76 percent of smartphone sales in Europe’s five largest markets, up 5.8 percent from the 70.2 percent it had for the same three months a year ago. (Those five markets: Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.)

Free Software/Open Source

  • A History of Open Source Fonts

    With the advent of free software for non-programmers, users ran into a licensing dilemma in a world of proprietary fonts.

    Most Linux users soon hear of the influence of the GNU General Public License (GPL) in the development of free software. However, fewer have heard of the influence of the SIL Font License, although it is as important for design as the GPL has been for software. Just as the GPL is responsible for the development of free software, so the SIL Font License has enabled the rise of the free font movement, making Linux a practical choice for designers and artists. Today, it is the most popular free license for fonts, although few know its story.

  • Events

    • How My Trip to SELF Turned Into a Nightmare

      Our writer goes to the Queen City of Charlotte, North Carolina for the SouthEast LinuxFest. Instead of having a good time, however, the trip turned into a nightmare — but the fault lies with Econo Lodge, not with SELF.

      What a great time I had during the day I spent at this year’s SouthEast LinuxFest. Those of you who read Friday’s Week-in-Review know that I had planned to stick around for the full three days of festivities at my favorite community oriented Linux and open source conference on the East Coast, but alas that wasn’t meant to be. But what a blast I had during the day I was there.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Healthcare

    • Leeds and Ripple pick Lockheed Martin to help build open source digital care record

      It added that Lockheed Martin will help support the work that is underway in Leeds for the benefit of frontline health and care staff. Leeds, which has the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) – soon to be renamed NHS Digital – based in the city, as well as the second largest teaching hospital in Europe, is regarded as one of the best cities for health and well being. At the same time, facing continuing austerity, the city council sees its role as one of leadership, facilitation and commissioning.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)


    • GnuTLS 3.5.1

      Released GnuTLS 3.5.1 a feature update release in the next stable branche.

  • Public Services/Government

    • European colleges share SMEs open source training

      Tertiary education institutes (hochschule and university college) and ICT training specialists from across Europe are creating a course to train students to help small and medium-sized enterprises select and use open source cloud services. The course will be tested on Spanish and British exchange students working for SMEs in the two countries.

  • Programming/Development

    • Top 100 Most Popular Programming Languages Of 2016

      You might be familiarized with the top programming languages like C++, Java, Python, JavaScript etc., but there exists a vast pool of programming languages that you need to know about. All these languages have different strengths and applications that should be studied before learning them. Here, we are sharing a list of the top 100 most popular programming languages of 2016.

    • What cognitive linguistics can teach developers

      Chris Prather never metaphor he didn’t like.

      That’s what he tells developers, at any rate. And on stage at SouthEast LinuxFest in Charlotte, NC, Prather explained how a deep understanding of metaphor—and the critical role it plays in cognitive function—can improve an open source software developer’s work. He delivered his presentation, “I Never Metaphor I Didn’t Like: How Cognitive Linguistics Can Help You Be A (More) Bad-ass Developer,” last Friday.

      Metaphors “are more than just flowery language, even though that’s how they’re taught to us in gradeschool and college,” said Prather, CEO of Tamarou, a boutique Perl development shop.


  • This USB adapter is Microsoft’s final admission that Kinect failed

    Microsoft had a bold vision for its Xbox One console that involved its Kinect accessory. While the Kinect for Xbox 360 was one of the most popular game console accessories of all time, a bundled Kinect with the Xbox One introduced a $100 price premium over the PS4 competition. Despite switching course and unbundling the Kinect, Microsoft hasn’t recovered yet in the games console battle, with reports suggesting it has sold 20 million Xbox One consoles vs. Sony’s 40 million PS4 shipments.

  • Science

    • On Agent Orange, VA Weighs Politics and Cost Along With Science

      Last year, a group of federal scientists was debating whether as many as 2,100 Air Force veterans should qualify for cash benefits for ailments they claimed stemmed from flying aircraft contaminated by Agent Orange.

      An outside panel of experts had already determined that the scientific evidence showed the vets were likely exposed to the toxic herbicide.

      The scientists within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs agreed the airmen had a strong case. But they had a more calculated concern: If the VA doled out cash to these veterans, others might want it too, according to an internal document obtained by ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot.

  • Security

    • Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump [Ed: Microsoft Windows again]

      Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach.

    • Bears in the Midst: Intrusion into the Democratic National Committee

      The COZY BEAR intrusion relied primarily on the SeaDaddy implant developed in Python and compiled with py2exe and another Powershell backdoor with persistence accomplished via Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) system, which allowed the adversary to launch malicious code automatically after a specified period of system uptime or on a specific schedule. The Powershell backdoor is ingenious in its simplicity and power. It consists of a single obfuscated command setup to run persistently, such as…

    • Big data will fix internet security … eventually [Ed: Microsoft’s Grimes says mass surveillance (‘big data’) will fix Internet security eventually]

      I’ve always thought that improved computer security controls would “fix” the internet and stop persistent criminality — turns out it might be big data analytics instead.

    • Symantec dons a Blue Coat [Ed: two evil companies are now one]

      Symantec will pay US$4.65 billion in an all-cash deal to buy privately-held Blue Coat to ramp up its enterprise security offerings.

    • How A Student Fooled 17,000 Coders Into Running His ‘Sketchy’ Programming Code

      Using the typosquatting technique, a German college student tricked more than 17,000 people from cybersecurity and programming community into clicking his fake software packages. More than half the time his code ran with administrative rights, affecting government and military organizations.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • 4 people shot in downtown Oakland, 1 fatally

      Four people were shot in downtown Oakland early Tuesday evening — leaving one dead, according to police.

    • Drawing Wrong Lessons from Orlando

      America’s mass shootings, especially those linked to Islamic terrorism like the slaughter in Orlando, Florida, prompt a reflex of responses, but some reactions are particularly unhelpful, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Mitch McConnell Says He May Be ‘Open’ to Post-Orlando Gun Control

      Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says he be may be “open” to placing new gun controls on law-abiding citizens following the terror attack on Pulse Orlando.

      According to CBS News’s Steven Portnoy, McConnell has a meeting with FBI director James Comey and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Wednesday. Portnoy Tweeted that McConnell has signaled he may be willing to consider new gun controls after that meeting.

    • Your One-Size-Fits-All American Mass Slaughter Article

      We American value efficiency. We like to “get to it.” So why do we have to write and read pretty much the same articles, and do the same stuff, every time another mass slaughter occurs?

      So to help out, here’s your one-size-fits-all article. I hope you bookmark it, and refer back to it when the next act takes place. And a request– for those commenting, please try and keep your remarks as generic as possible as well in the spirit of things.

    • Orlando Mass Shooting Not Deadliest in American History

      To call it that is to forget the last hundred years of U.S. history of mass violence fueled by racial hatred and homophobia. Although precise numbers of deaths are impossible to specify, at least 100 African Americans were killed in East S​t.​ Louis, Ill., in one bloody night in July 1917; anywhere from 55 to 300 blacks were massacred in Tulsa​, Okla.,​ in 16 hours in June 1921; and dozens more were killed in Rosewood, Fla., in January 1923. And of course, more recently, 32 died in the 1973 bombing of the UpStairs Lounge, a gay bar in New Orleans.

    • Muhammad Ali’s True Patriotism

      Muhammad Ali angered much of America by declaring “I ain’t got no quarrel with the Vietcong” and refusing to fight in Vietnam, but his principled stand was vindicated by history and is a lesson for today, says Ivan Eland.

    • How the FBI’s Pursue-Every-Lead Policy Allowed the Orlando Shooting

      The FBI first discovered Omar Mateen, the man who would kill 49 and injure more than 50 others at a gay nightclub, when he boasted of a friendship with terrorists.

      Mateen told one of his co-workers at a private security firm in 2013 that he knew Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Mateen’s co-worker reported that information to the FBI.

    • What the FBI Was Doing Instead of Catching the Orlando Shooter

      After the most recent mass shooting in Orlando, Florida – the worst in U.S. history – one might ask how the FBI was able to investigate the perpetrator, twice, without deciding to take any further action. This question is further confounded by the fact the perpetrator was, according to his wife, an abusive, unstable man suffering from bipolar disorder.

    • Despite Orlando Killer’s Desire to Glorify ISIS, Discussion Moves on to His Sexuality

      As the first details about the massacre in Orlando trickled out on Sunday, Ali H. Soufan, a former counterterrorism agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, watched the media coverage unfold in a familiar way.

      Soufan, who now runs a consulting firm, told The Intercept that before it became known that the killer, in a call to the police during the attack, had dedicated his rampage to the leader of the Islamic State militant group, news reports focused on the timing and location of the shooting spree. An attack on an LGBT club during a month dedicated to expressing pride in that community — and the gunman’s personal profile — seemed strongly suggestive of a hate crime.

    • Orlando Shooting – RT Interview
    • When Media Learned Killer’s Ethnicity, Then They Knew to Call It ‘Terrorism’

      News coverage over the past 48 hours of the Orlando nightclub attacks has shown how corporate media use specific vocabulary to manipulate public perceptions and perpetuate harmful stereotypes and xenophobia.

      In the early hours of June 12, as reports poured in about a shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, news outlets were reluctant to characterize the incident beyond calling it an act of violence.

    • Orlando Shooter Wasn’t the First Murderer Employed By Global Mercenary Firm

      The man who shot over 100 people and killed 49 in an Orlando nightclub Saturday worked at a retirement home as a security guard for G4S – a giant, often controversial global contracting corporation that provides mercenary forces, prison guards and security services. G4S is one of the world’s largest private security companies, with more than 620,000 employees and a presence in over 100 countries.

    • Post-Orlando Demagoguery Described as Trump’s Most Horrifying to Date

      “A man on TV is trying to make political capital out of the mass murder of innocent people.”

      “This is the scariest political speech I have ever seen in America.”

      “As a woman, and daughter of immigrants with an Arabic last name, this is probably the most frightening Trump speech I’ve heard.”

      Those were just a sampling of responses to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s fear-mongering and fallacy-ridden speech, delivered Monday afternoon in New Hampshire as a response to the mass shooting in Orlando.

    • Queer Muslims exist – and we are in mourning too

      A strange thing happened a few months ago. I got a news alert that my photo project, Just Me and Allah, which documents queer Muslims and their diverse experiences, had been mentioned in a major LGBT magazine website.

      I didn’t recall having done an interview with them, so I clicked on the article. The piece was about a 17-year-old Muslim girl in North Dakota allegedly having had a gun pointed at her head by her father after he discovered that she was a lesbian. In the piece, I was cited as proof of the existence of pro-LGBT Muslims – as if that were an anomaly. I wondered whether some random LGBT Christian would’ve been mentioned had the story involved an evangelical father and his daughter.

    • Euro 2016: Police fire tear gas at fans in Lille

      Tear gas has been used against football fans in Lille amid reports of renewed clashes at Euro 2016.

      It has not been been made clear which team’s fans were involved. England and Wales fans have been gathering in Lille ahead of their match in nearby Lens.

      Russian and Slovakian supporters are also in Lille, after their match at the city’s Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

      There are also reports that hundreds of England fans have been surrounded by riot police in the city’s main square.

    • End of Ceasefire in Syria: Aleppo on Fire

      On June 9, the defense ministers of Russia, Syria and Iran met in Tehran to discuss counter-terrorism activities and security initiatives that would prevent jihadists from conducting wider operations in the region. Russian Defense Ministry statement said the talks were focused on «priority measures in reinforcing the cooperation» in the fight with Islamic State (IS) and al-Nusra terrorist groups.

    • China says Dalai Lama-Obama meeting will damage bilateral ties

      China has lodged diplomatic representations with the United States over a planned meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama at the White House on Wednesday saying it would damage Chinese-U.S. ties, the Foreign Ministry said.

      China considers the exiled Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader a dangerous separatist, and ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular briefing the meeting would encourage “separatist forces”.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Indonesia hits back at Singapore in latest haze row

      Indonesia insisted Monday Singapore cannot take legal action against its citizens over the haze that choked Southeast Asia last year after the city-state sought to question the director of an Indonesian company.

      Forest fires in Indonesia produced acrid smog that shrouded Singapore, Malaysia and other parts of the region for weeks, pushing air quality to unhealthy levels, causing many to fall ill and disrupting air travel.

      The blazes are an annual occurrence during the dry season as land is cleared using slash-and-burn methods but they were the worst for years in 2015, with Singapore particularly angered at what it said was Jakarta’s failure to take action.

      Tempers have frayed again after Singapore last month attempted to call in the director of an Indonesian company suspected of being linked to the haze for questioning, Singaporean media reported, citing the National Environment Agency.

    • Why is this liberal congresswoman spreading anti-solar arguments?

      With the home solar panel industry and the electric utility industry at war, you might expect a liberal Democratic congresswoman from New York City to support the solar side. But that’s not what happened recently when Rep. Yvette Clarke decided to wade into this fight. Instead, she signed her name to a letter apparently written by utility lobbyists that warns about the risk of solar companies duping consumers.

      The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is holding a workshop on June 21 to learn about the booming rooftop solar market and how it’s affecting consumers. There are concerns on both pro- and anti-solar sides: The solar industry is hoping that the FTC will look into what they consider to be anti-competitive practices by the electric utility industry, intended to stymie the growth of solar. The utilities hope to prod the FTC to investigate allegedly unscrupulous solar companies, in the name of protecting consumers.

    • World’s Banks Driving Climate Chaos with Hundreds of Billions in Extreme Energy Financing

      Turning their backs on climate science and the consensus of governments and civil society across the globe, the world’s biggest banks are dangerously advancing the climate crisis by pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the world’s most polluting fossil fuel industries, according to a new report published Tuesday.

  • Finance

    • Rolls-Royce says Brexit will heighten investment risk

      Engineering giant Rolls Royce has written to employees saying it wants the UK to stay in the European Union.

      Brexit would “limit any company’s ability to plan and budget for the future,” the firm said.

      Meanwhile, the CBI has said a vote to Leave would “put British businesses out in the cold”.

      But Leave campaigners said the CBI does not represent British business and is “the voice of Brussels”.

    • NYT Dismisses Social Programs, Routine in Much of the World, as ‘Unsustainable’

      And as his candidacy’s political purpose became clearer, corporate media criticism of his intention to stay in the race has become sharper. After the June 7 primaries, when it became mathematically impossible for Sanders to win a majority of the pledged delegates, much of the media circled the wagons, insisting Sanders drop out in the interest of “party unity” and “stopping Trump”—something Sanders himself has pledged to work toward.


      With this one sentence, the New York Times not only embraced a right-wing canard that’s been peddled by everyone from the Wall Street Journal to the neoliberal Urban Institute, it also contradicted its previous editorial stance on the issue. In 2013, the Times (9/29/13) presented universal healthcare as a widespread standard that the US ought to meet…


      One major change was in the official policy position of the Democratic Party. While universal healthcare was once a broad goal of putative liberals, the Democrats’ soon-to-be leader, Hillary Clinton, says that single-payer healthcare will “never, ever happen.” New York Times Clinton partisan and leading center-left economist Paul Krugman insisted in January that single-payer was “a distraction.” Adam Gaffney of the New Republic wrote in March, “Republicans are no longer afraid of the menace of single-payer, for a perfectly good reason: The mainstream of the Democratic Party has largely abandoned it.”

    • Bankers win big on UK referendum ballot

      The financial sector has used the threat of Brexit via the UK referendum on EU membership to promote its deregulatory agenda since 2013, according to a new study (1) by Corporate Europe Observatory.

      “How Cameron’s referendum delivered victories to Big Finance” tells the story of how, from the day a ballot on UK membership was first announced by David Cameron three years ago, the financial sector has sought and won significant lobbying victories thanks to a complicit UK government and EU efforts to keep the City of London happy.

      The appointment of Jonathan Hill as European commissioner for financial services, the deregulation agenda of the so-called “Capital Markets Union”, the impending roll-backs on rules to protect against financial instability, and special decision-making privileges for the UK should the interests of banks come under attack, are all highlighted as the key triumphs of the sector and its allies in the UK government since the prospect of Brexit was raised as a serious possibility.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Sanders: End of Voting Does Not Mean End of Political Revolution

      Bernie Sanders held a press conference on Tuesday calling for reform of the Democratic party—starting with the ouster of Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz—and said he would remain in the presidential race until the end.

      Speaking ahead of a planned meeting with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, Sanders said, “The time is now—in fact, the time is long overdue, for a fundamental transformation of the Democratic party.”

    • A Campaign Based on Conspiracy Theory

      Conspiracy theories – suspicions without evidence – have become a bane of modern life, but Donald Trump seeks to make them a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, as Todd Gitlin describes.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Bryan Lim’s threat should be treated more seriously than Amos Yee’s

      While I do not ascribe to any of his points of views, I view him as nothing more than a teenager trying to find his way in the world. As a fellow citizen, I am of the opinion that we should nurture his intelligence rather than alienate him. It is painfully obvious that he isn’t some kind of violent criminal. Nor has he incited anyone to violence. All he has done is mouthed off on religion and the late Mr Lee. Now, I am not suggesting that he is a respectful child. But since when has disrespect become a crime?

    • Peter Thiel’s Gawker-Killing Lawyer Now Issuing Bogus Defamation Threats Over Story On Donald Trump’s Hair

      Earlier this week we noted that Peter Thiel’s legal vendetta against Gawker went way beyond just the Hulk Hogan case. In fact, it appeared that Thiel not only paid the lawyer, Charles Harder, to set up his own legal practice (without revealing to Holder who was really paying the bills), but basically sought to help pay the bills of lots of folks pushing legal claims on Gawker, no matter how tenuous. That included a questionable labor dispute (where even the plaintiff said he felt used by the lawyer) and a weird defamation case in which the court easily tossed out the defamation claim against Gawker, but the plaintiff, Meanith Huon, settled the claim against Above The Law (where his argument was marginally stronger), but appealed the ruling against Gawker, telling the court that he wasn’t concerned about the appeal because he was “getting support from Hulk Hogan’s lawyers in California.” The deeper you look at the Huon case, the more ridiculous it seems.


      We see these kinds of notices all the time, and know that you absolutely can republish such threat letters without fear of actual infringement, but as Gawker’s reporter rightly notes, doing so might only give Harder yet another opportunity to pile on a questionable lawsuit. After some consideration, however, Gawker changed its mind and posted the letter. It’s as ridiculous as you’d expect. It lists out 19 specific statements from the original article, which it claims are false and defamatory. At the very least, that’s more advanced than most purely bogus threats that don’t highlight exact statements.

      Still, the key statements that Harder claims are defamatory are taken directly from other lawsuits against Ivari, and there’s what’s known as fair reporting privilege, which allows you to quote what’s found in a lawsuit and not be liable as if you’d said it yourself. Many of the other statements are minor issues that hardly rise to the level of defamation in any sense of the term, let alone hitting the necessary standards of being done recklessly with malicious intent, as would be necessary for a defamation claim to succeed. Incredibly, in the very first item, Harder even changes a word to misrepresent what Gawker’s article said.

    • Donald Trump revokes Washington Post press credentials

      Donald Trump says he is “revoking” the Washington Post’s press access at his campaign events because the newspaper is “phony and dishonest.”

      In a Facebook post, the presumptive GOP nominee attributed the decision to the newspaper’s “incredibly inaccurate coverage” of him.

    • Google’s Arbitrary Morality Police Threaten Us Yet Again; Media Sites Probably Shouldn’t Use Google Ads

      Two years ago, we wrote about a ridiculous situation in which the morality police who work for Google’s AdSense team threatened to kill our account because they saw that their ads were being displayed on this page, which has a story (from 2012) about a publicity rights claim involving a music video using footage of a porn star without her permission. The story was quite clearly about the intellectual property issues at play, but the AdSense team insisted that since the still image displayed from the embedded video showed a (clothed) woman pole dancing, it violated their policies on “adult or mature content.” We protested and AdSense rejected our protest, insisting that the still image of the pole dancing violated their policies. Never mind the fact that the same exact video was hosted on Google-owned YouTube where it had Google’s ads enabled…

      For what it’s worth, this happened just months after we had started using Google AdSense, after representatives from that team put together a big effort to get us switch from the other ad provider we’d been using at the time.

    • Censorship in cinema

      ‘Udta Punjab’ is in the news for the wrong reasons. After a wrung-out battle with the CBFC, the film is set to hit the screens soon. Here is a quiz on other such movies that have run into trouble due to their content.

    • Sadiq Khan’s ‘unrealistic body’ ads ban nothing more than censorship – advertising’s loss will be PR’s gain

      For two short years, before I wormed my way into PR, I worked as a personal trainer – and, slight dip since starting a business aside – still like to look after myself.

      What does that have to do with anything? Well, some of you will have read that, from next month, London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan is moving to ban ads promoting an ‘unhealthy’ or ‘unrealistic’ body image from appearing on London’s transport network – and I’d like to look at this logically, knowing what I know and having worked with hundreds of people of all shapes and sizes.

      As per an election promise, Khan’s going to issue a total ban on ad campaigns that could “pressurise people” (don’t get me started on pressurise – since when was ‘pressure’ not good enough?) to conform to idealised body standards.

      In his statement, Khan said that he was going after the kind of advertising that can demean people and make them feel ashamed of their bodies – noting, as the father of two teenage girls, that women were often particularly affected by this.

    • Twitter, Facebook & Google Sued For ‘Material Support For Terrorism’ Over Paris Attacks

      It’s an understandable reaction to tragedy. When faced with the unthinkable — like the death of a loved one in a terrorist attack — people tend to make bad decisions. We saw this recently when the widow of a man killed in an ISIS raid sued Twitter for “providing material support to terrorists.” Twitter’s involvement was nothing more than the unavoidable outcome of providing a social media platform: it was (and is) used by terrorist organizations to communicate and recruit new members.

      That doesn’t mean Twitter somehow supports terrorism, though. Like most social media platforms, Twitter proactively works to eliminate accounts linked with terrorists. But there’s only so much that can be done when all that’s needed to create an account is an email address.

      As difficult as it may be to accept, platforms like Twitter, Facebook, etc. are not the problem. Like any, mostly-open social platform, they can be used by terrible people to do terrible things. But they are not responsible for individual users’ actions, nor should they be expected to assume this responsibility.

    • Myanmar censors ban movie at human rights film festival
    • Paving the Way for Peace in Burma
    • Myanmar scraps screening of film critical of military’s excesses during its 49-year rule
    • Twilight Over Burma: Myanmar censors pull film from festival
    • New Govt, Old Censorship Laws: Film About Shan Prince Banned as Threat to ‘Ethnic Unity’
    • Filmmakers reel after human rights festival motion picture ban
    • Myanmar scraps screening of film critical of military’s past
    • ‘Twilight Over Burma’ Eclipsed by Censorship Board

      “Twilight Over Burma,” a film about the real-life story of an Austrian woman, Inge Sargent, who became royalty when she married Sao Kya Seng, an ethnic Shan prince, was banned from premiering in Burma at the annual Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival that started on Tuesday. A film censorship board member told The Irrawaddy that the film was under review because it could allegedly damage ethnic unity in the country.

    • In China, it’s a cat and mouse game between censors and internet activists
    • Russia and China seek media control
    • China takes its authoritarian ways to the Internet
    • ASNE condemns Trump’s attempt at press censorship
    • Editorial: The slippery slope of censorship under Trump
    • Censorship attempts must end
    • Post Reporter at Trump Rally Despite ‘Ban’
    • Donald Trump’s ban on news outlets should alarm voters (Your letters)
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • John Cornyn Wants to Pass Law Letting FBI Collect Information on Omar Mateen It Already Collected

      The bodies from Sunday’s Orlando massacre are not yet buried, but that hasn’t stopped John Cornyn from trying to use their deaths to expand surveillance that would not have stopped the attack.

      Cornyn told reporters yesterday he will use the attack to push to include Electronic Communications Transaction Records in the things FBI can obtain with a National Security Letter.

    • Encryption and human rights: La Quadrature du Net takes part in a UN conference

      La Quadrature du Net is participating at the panel “Encryption and Human Rights” organised at the United Nations by the Committee Justice and Peace of the Dominican Order. This conference will talk about the right to encryption and to privacy in a time where in Europe, those rights are at regularly at risk. The video of this conference will be available on the Mediakit of La Quadrature du Net.

      Right to encryption is one of the essential condition to the existence of the right to privacy and to freedom of speech.

      Individuals and civil society are regularly subject to intrusions and restrictions of those rights by State, when those are asked to respect privacy of their citizens. The development of mass surveillance technologies and their legalisation in the name of the fight against terrorism act as a barrier to the application of those rights and seriously infringe a large number of civil liberties. Encryption has increasingly become a major breaking point and appear as a essential barrier against the demolition of our liberties in the digital era.

    • One Creepy Word Captures the NSA’s Culture of Secrecy

      A bill reforming the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is on its way to the president right now. It makes clearer the presumption of disclosure and centralizes requests for information from the feds. The Obama White House has arguably the worst record of finding records following FOIA requests of any administration, according to the AP. One advantage to keeping records locked up is that it helps to remove any sense that lower echelon public servants close to a given issue have doubts about political leaders’ chosen course of action.


      One word in one document has been bugging us ever since: “corporate.”

      An NSA writer used the word in a newsletter story about its Legislative Affairs and Intelligence Security Issues office. That office watches budgets, answers questions from elected officials and vets all communication between NSA staff and Congress. As the newsletter article put it, if a staffer needs to communicate with a legislator, the office “will assist you in analyzing the request, providing background and context to the responsible action office, and reviewing the responses to ensure that they meet the five Cs (candid, complete, correct, consistent and corporate) for dealing with Congress.”

    • Why LinkedIn and Microsoft Isn’t Crazy [Ed: Calling people "dataset", along the lines of "assets" or "products".]
    • Microsoft buys LinkedIn: the value of data

      By acquiring the world’s largest professional social network, Microsoft gets immediate access to data from more than 433 million LinkedIn members. Microsoft fills out the “social graph” and “interests” circles.

    • Microsoft to Acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 Billion

      At the same time, I expect that many free tech advocates will begin abandoning LinkedIn as much as possible as soon as the site begins to push users to take advantage of features requiring the use of Microsoft products, if not before. As one member of an email list I’m on commented upon hearing the news, “Anybody recommend a good alternative to LinkedIn?”

    • You don’t need a Linkedin account

      In recent years, Linkedin has perceivably become a rather important part of the modern business world. People use this social network to search for jobs, advertise jobs, and get their own work-related resume out there into the spotlight. Which is why I always get a funny look when people ask me to add them on Linkedin, and I tell them, I don’t have one.

      The same why I told you why you should not be using Facebook back in 2010, and the arguments still hold valid, I would like to tell you why you might want to entertain the idea of not having a business profile on a social media site, and why this could actually be good for your career. To wit, let us philosophize.

    • Dropbox CEO Pushes Toward Profitability in a ‘Post-Unicorn Era’

      Since attaining a $10 billion valuation from investors in 2014, Dropbox Inc. has become a symbol of unicorn startup exuberance. But several shareholders have recently written down the value of their investments in the cloud storage company while it cut costs and focused on generating more revenue.

    • Tuesday’s papers: Finland’s surveillance plans, Metro expansion boss under fire, Finnish director’s Chinese fantasy

      A working group on cyber security has submitted a list of proposals to Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, aimed to improve Finland’s cyber surveillance, according to newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

      The proposals, drawn up by a joint group from the Ministry of the Interior, the Security Intelligence Service, the National Bureau of Investigation and a police task force, include the recruitment of 101 new cyber crime police officers.

      According to the paper group also suggests changing laws to broaden law enforcement’s capabilities of monitoring telephone communications.

      Additionally, the group proposes increased training in computer crime of police.

      The group’s report also point out laws on the books that they say hampers police work, the paper writes.

      The report states that even though identity theft was criminalised in Finland last autumn, the majority of cases are never reported to the police and many cases that are reported are often left unresolved.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Alabama Cop Snatches Camera from Man Recording Police Station to Prevent Terrorism

      Fearing a terrorist plot, an Alabama police officer snatched a camera from a man who was video recording a police station from across the street, turning the man’s camera off to keep it from recording.

      However, the man had a back-up body camera that was live streaming.

      “I don’t care about your First Amendment rights,” said the Wetumpka police officer, who has been identified as Charles Shannon.

      “I don’t know if you’re a terrorist or not, trying to film our building.”

    • Alabama Cops Retaliate Against Citizen Journalist After PINAC Readers Call Flood Police Department (Updated II)

      One day after PINAC posted a video showing an Alabama cop snatching a camera from a man recording a police station, sparking a call flood from hundreds of angry readers, that same police department retaliated by having the man arrested on felony charges.

      Wetumpka police claim that Keith Golden aka Bama Cameradisrupted their emergency phone lines by posting their non-emergency phone number in his video, which we then reposted in our article.

    • British Islamic scholar faces ban from Australia for preaching ‘death is the sentence’ for homosexuality

      Farrokh Sekaleshfar preached in Orlando in March but no evidence he influenced Omar Mateen who killed 49 people in a gay nightclub in Orlando

    • Killing Homosexuals Is Not ISIS Law, It Is Muslim Law

      Various reports indicate that the death toll from the jihadist attack overnight at a popular gay club in Orlando may exceed 50 people, with more than 50 others wounded. The terrorist’s identity has been reported: He is Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old American citizen and devout Muslim from Fort Pierce, Fla., the son of immigrants from Afghanistan.

    • Clement Freud, My Part in his Downfall

      It is hard to know what to make of Freud owning a holiday villa close to where Madeleine McCann disappeared. Clement was apparently not in Portugal at the time. When you add in the fact that the McCanns’ sleazy “spokesman”, Clarence Mitchell, works for Freud’s son Matthew, the coincidences do add up. I am not jumping to any conclusions at present. But I found the following fascinating.

    • CIA Lied about Leaking to Screw David Passaro and Protect Bush and Tenet

      In the SSCI Torture Report, it has two references to how press people were leaking details of the the torture program to the press even while lawyers were claiming that the program was top secret. In this document, someone notes “our Glomar fig leaf is getting pretty thin.” In this one, a lawyer admits the declaration he had just written “about the secrecy of the interrogation program” was “a work of fiction.”

    • CIA Finally Declassifies “Gloves Come Off” Memorandum of Notification Reference

      The title was part of some smart CYA on the part of George Tenet. When things started to go south with the torture program in 2003, he wrote this document, ostensibly putting order to the torture program, but also making it clear the whole thing operated on Presidential authority. (The document, which should have been released to David Passaro in his criminal trial for torturing a detainee who subsequently died, was withheld, which prevented him from pointing out anything he did, he did with Presidential approval, so Tenet’s CYA didn’t help him at all.)

    • The Senate’s Popular Sentencing Reform Bill Would Sort Prisoners By ‘Risk Score’

      At a time when Democrats and Republicans in Congress can’t agree on just about anything, there is one issue that unites them: the urgent need for criminal justice reform.

      A Senate bill on the issue has attracted an impressive 37 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle. The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act has gained support from figures as politically diverse as the Koch brothers and President Obama for its goals of reforming mandatory minimum sentences, reducing prison populations, and rehabilitating prisoners.

    • 7 Questions With EFF’s New Criminal Defense Staff Attorney Stephanie Lacambra

      EFF’s team of fearless lawyers defends your rights on the frontlines of technology and the law, from police stops on the street to arguments in the courtroom to the halls of government where policies are ground out. EFF’s latest hire, Criminal Defense Staff Attorney Stephanie Lacambra, is a fierce and accomplished public defender who will lend her unique expertise to our ongoing and emerging battles against law enforcement and prosecutorial overreach.

      I sat down with Stephanie to learn more about her story up until now and where she hopes this new endeavor will take her.

    • America’s Gestapo – The FBI’s Reign of Terror

      We discuss the seemingly-inexorable transformation of the USA into a police state

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Court Backs Rules Treating Internet as Utility, Not Luxury
    • U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Net Neutrality Rules In Full
    • Obama’s Web Rules Upheld in Win for Google, Loss for AT&T
    • After net neutrality loss, ISPs get ready to take case to Supreme Court
    • Net Neutrality Won Big Today, But Don’t Celebrate Just Yet
    • Net Neutrality Rules Upheld: Go Team Internet!

      In a crucial win for Internet users, today a federal appeals court upheld [PDF] clear net neutrality rules that will let us all use and enjoy the Internet without unfair interference from Internet service providers. The rules will keep providers from blocking or slowing traffic, or speeding up traffic for those who pay.

      Last year, EFF and other advocacy groups, along with millions of Americans, called on the FCC to do its part to defend Internet expression and innovation. We urged them to adopt focused rules based on a legal framework that would finally stand up to the inevitable legal challenge, but also limit their own authority in order to help prevent a future FCC from abusing its regulatory power. The FCC responded with an Open Internet Order that largely did just that.

    • The Cable Industry Trots Out Mitch McConnell To Fight Against Cable Box Competition

      We’ve been talking for weeks about how the cable industry has dramatically ramped up lobbying in an attempt to kill the FCC’s plan to bring some competition to the set top box market. The cable industry opposes the idea for two reasons: competition would dramatically reduce the $21 billion the sector makes each year off of rental fees, but the flood of new, cheaper boxes would also likely direct users — historically locked behind cable’s walled gardens — to a huge variety of streaming video alternatives.

      But the cable industry can’t just come out and admit that they’re terrified of competition — so they’ve been attacking the FCC’s plan with a two pronged approach. One, pay for an absolute torrent of hysterically-misleading editorials that claim set top competition will hurt consumers, scare the children, ramp up piracy, and knock the planet off of its orbital axis. The other prong of their attack involves a lobbying mainstay: throwing money at politicians to take positions they don’t have the slightest actual understanding of.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • EU Trade Secrets Directive to come into force on 5 July 2016 [Ed: anti-whistleblowers law in Europe]
    • UN Development Agency Issues Guidelines For Pharmaceutical Patent Examiners

      A new set of guidelines for pharmaceutical patent examination has been published by the United Nations Development Programme that seek to help reduce poor quality patents and ensure efficient market entry of generic products.

      The guidelines, written by a well-known advocate of access to medicines, aim at advising patent examiners in assessing the patentability requirements of applications relating to pharmaceutical products and processes.

    • Generics, Biosimilars Makers Join Global Medical Harmonisation Body

      Doors to a global medical harmonisation organisation opened to the generic and biosimilar industry, which described it as an historical moment for them. The industry will now be able to sit on the assembly of the international body that joins regulators and the pharmaceutical industry.

      At issue is the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH). According to a press release, the ICH‘s General Assembly today approved the International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (IGBA) as an ICH assembly member. ICH is a Geneva-based organisation that brings together regulatory authorities and the pharmaceutical industry.

    • Panels Brainstorm Ideas On Innovation And Drug Access

      The quest of balance between encouraging medical innovation and the imperative of broad access to medicines has so far been elusive. Two Harvard University programmes jointly organised a workshop this week with the aim of encouraging a conversation between global health actors and see if some “outside the box” thinking is possible.

    • Trademarks

      • The Metaphorical Trademark “Bully”: A Problem?

        Many have tried to answer the question of whether there is a trademark bullying problem–also known as trademark enforcement abuse. First, there have been anecdotal accounts of trademark holders making overreaching claims against persons or entities with less resources. In the United States, these claims are particularly troublesome when First Amendment values, such as free speech, are implicated or when fair competition may be threatened. One of the first trademark “bully” accounts that received substantial attention involved Monster Energy drinks and its enforcement of its trademark against a small brewery offering a beer called, “Vermonster.” However, my favorite trademark “bully” story involves Louis Vuitton who sent a cease and desist letter to the IP student group at University of Pennsylvania Law School directing them to stop using some of Louis Vuitton’s trademarks in an advertisement for a law school symposium. Anecdotal examples abound.

    • Copyrights

      • Ruling From EU’s Top Court Confirms Copyright Levies Are A Ridiculous, Unworkable Mess

        It’s really not clear how that could be done in practice. Maybe by allocating a tiny tax rebate to companies by way of “reimbursement” for the copyright levy payment made from the state budget. But that would add yet another layer of complexity to the tax system, hardly a welcome outcome. It would be far simpler just to get rid of the unwieldy and anachronistic copyright levy system altogether. It’s time to recognize that everybody has a fundamental right to make copies of stuff they own, and that the “fair compensation” for doing that is a big, fat nothing.

      • BREIN Wants Usenet Providers to Expose Prolific Uploaders

        The Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN is going after two anonymous Usenet uploaders, who shared more than 2,000 books in total. The group requested the personal details of the users from their providers, but they refused to hand them over citing privacy concerns. As a result, BREIN is now taking the matter to court.

Battistelli’s European Patent Office Broadens FTI Consulting Contract to Undermine the Media, Wastes Millions of Euros

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FTI Consulting is hired when powerful people need to whitewash (or greenwash) truly evil things like fracking

FTI Consulting for fracking
FTI Consulting for fracking. From FTI Consulting’s own brochure [PDF], bragging about helping to poison British people on behalf of big clients.

Summary: Shedding light on what happens to EPO budget and how it’s put “to work” under Battistelli’s unprecedented tyranny (Eponia) right at the very heart of Europe

MANAGEMENT at the EPO has turned worse than nasty and malicious. It is now an existential threat to the Office and the whole Organisation, having wasted a lot of money buying positive publicity and earning utterly negative publicity (which is mostly definitely deserved). This reputation-laundering exercise may help determine if Battistelli and his thugs survive with their miserable careers.

Based on this morning’s Twitter activity (they have changed their tune somewhat since yesterday), the EPO’s lobbying of delegates is imminent, shortly after EIA2016 (a lobbying opportunity) and before the Administrative Council’s meeting: “In Tirana this week we’ll be discussing with EPO member states how to improve services for businesses & inventors. Stay tuned for updates!” (yesterday’s tweet was a lot more revealing as there is budget at stake)

“What we wish to draw attention to right now is the distraction and diversion campaign that portrays EPO staff as violent, armed, and dangerous.”This is another opportunity to grease up delegates and their nations before a vote that ought to sack Battistelli. “Keep on dreaming,” told us one person about this prospect, “Battistelli will never ever be sacked by the AC! Kongstad and Battistelli are close friends.”

Moreover, he appears to be 'buying' votes. What we wish to draw attention to right now is the distraction and diversion campaign that portrays EPO staff as violent, armed, and dangerous. It helps Battistelli surround himself with six bodyguards which are grossly overpriced (and raise questions about the very legitimacy of the secret contract). It turns out that Battistelli’s friend’s wife, a short French lady, is also strutting around with bodyguards (yes, plural!) these days and the sky is the limit in Napoleon’s EPO. Moreover, the PR contracts (i.e. manipulation of the media) are on the rise and they are expanding, broadening the reach of obnoxious PR people who also tried to push fracking into the Manchester area. These people have business objectives; they don’t have ethics.

HB GaryRecall some of the awful strategies used by HBGary on behalf of corporate clients against Wikileaks, against journalists, and against the public. These are the tactics EPO workers ought to expect from EPO management right now. EPO management sent threats my way only weeks after signing the FTI Consulting deal and that’s about the same time when EPO used German and Dutch media to defame a falsely-accused (of fictitious things) judge whose 'trial' ended in his favour yesterday (for the third time).

There are truly nasty tactics being employed by the EPO at the moment. Those who are not aware of it must not have paid sufficient attention. These attempts to anonymously defame the judge, as we noted the other day, came right after the contract with FTI Consulting. Guess what EPO management is doing. Will it shy away and end the FTI Consulting contract? No, it broadens it, offering financial awards for what sank the EPO into an unprecedented crisis. In the following text which we received, note the part about the bodyguards as well:

The EPO is very secretive about its finances. Hence the few documents that it publishes – internally only – are worth reading. Someone recently drew our attention to the very last entry in CA/F 6/16 that refers to “close protection” (i.e. bodyguards) and concerns 6 contracts with 6 individuals, at a total of €550.000 for a fixed period of 6 months. Over a year this makes 1.1 million Euros, just to protect Mr. Battistelli (4 bodyguards) and Ms. Bergot (2 bodyguards) from what seem to be largely imaginary dangers. As far as we know the Office never made “awards” of this kind to individuals, but only to companies. It is not clear why this time things are different. We also wonder how the individuals concerned were selected. Could they be old friends of one of our newly recruited managers? There are more pearls to be found in CA/F 6/16, e.g. we note a contract worth €280.200 for FTI consulting – already graced with some €870.000 at the end of last year – for “EPO’s position campaign for Germany, the Netherlands and France”. That makes more than 1.1 million Euro purely for propagating the Office’s story telling, on top of the European Inventor of the Year award, estimated to cost several million Euros. There is also a contract of almost €800.000 for Lenz & Staehelin, lawyers in Geneva, for “legal support for EPO cases at ILOAT”, i.e. for the Organisation to fight its staff. To that the sum paid to ILOAT (estimated at 20-25k per case) must be added. The President and VP4 nevertheless continue to provoke ILOAT cases, among others by refusing even modest compensations e.g. for excessive delays awarded by the Internal Appeals Committee – for the results see herein further below.

No wonder EPO staff is up in arms. Look how the Office is run. It’s madness. If it was a private company, it would have folded long ago. Paying publishers for UPC propaganda events in the US is small potatoes when the budget is as incredible as more than a million dollars per year (to a US-based PR firm).

Using PR and purchases of press contracts (media ‘partnership’), which is a growing trend, the EPO management is trying to maintain the illusion that everything is going well. It’s appalling to watch such an expensive charade going unpunished, with zero accountability in fact (no matter if people’s money goes down the drain). Last year the EPO did publicity stunts for a fraud which is responsible for many deaths. When EPO management is making “entertainment” out of frauds and crooks like Elizabeth Holmes, for example, what does that say about EPO management? Regarding this one examples (Holmes), one reader asked us, “did you notice they are making a blockbuster film about Elizabeth Holmes with her being played by Jennifer Lawrence? I really hope that someone catches onto the idea of “the corrupt world of patents” and does a bit of digging…”

“This ‘article’ says “King Battistelli” but does not properly explain that it’s a cynical label for Battistelli because he’s a megalomaniac tyrant and infamous thug.”This is about that dumb European Inventor Award ceremony, which is called a “Eurovision for” Battistelli (they say “Hot Patent Talent”) by this new puff piece that EPO links to (as of last night, shortly after it got published). After waste and abuse (purchasing of media) we cannot quite understand how it really came about; maybe FTI Consulting contacted Etan Smallman or someone else at Vice? And at what cost? At whose expense?

This ‘article’ says “King Battistelli” but does not properly explain that it’s a cynical label for Battistelli because he’s a megalomaniac tyrant and infamous thug. Instead they attribute it to extravagant tendencies as follows:

It is the flagship event of the European Patent Office (EPO), a quango that employs 7,000 people and has been embroiled in a peculiar amount of publicity and controversy of late. While the inventors themselves are invariably modest to a fault, the same can’t be said for the EPO’s president, Benoît Battistelli, recently referred to rather scathingly as “King Battistelli” by one tech website. His face receives a whole page in the event’s brochure and each year he insists on mounting the stage—with accompanying introduction from the glamorous host—for the announcement of every single category.

The reason he’s called “King Battistelli” is that he does not obey the law. He doesn’t even obey ServRegs. Battistelli is breaking his own rules. As one person put it last night:

Mr. Battistelli sent a threatening message to the Enlarged Board of Appeal

If true, then according to the Guidelines for Investigation, everyone concerned has a DUTY to report Mr. B. to the investigative unit. According to what had been presented as his contract, he is after all submitted to the same staff regulations as every one else…

When Mr. Battistelli leaves service in one way or another, will he be submitted to the whim of his successor before applying to a new job?

And if there is a vacancy at the top, does this mean that no one can leave the EPO anymore?

As one person noted, Battistelli “is appointed by the AC so it is they who would decide his future employment? But if he leaves within 10 years is his pension still retained by the EPO?”

More comments on this topic (but another thread) were as follows:

The EBoA was right in considering that its independence was threatened. Mr Battistelli has just put a document for the June session of the AC which defines Standards of Conduct applying to everyone including the BoA. All EPO employees must act solely in the interests of the organisation. Nothing is said about the interests of the users of the patent system and the public. And its the EPO Stasi, the Investigative Unit which will track those deviating from the standards.

Is that the end of it before the EBA with regard to this ‘case’ (number 3) or did the EBA just suspend procedures? If ended, who will rid BB [Battistelli] of these troublesome judges? Will there be legal advice (VP5?) that the EPO judiciary is out of control and not acting correctly? Surely now the AC will have to resolve the big issue – BB v DG3. They either decide to overrule DG3 or they overrule BB, it’s difficult to see any form of co-existence.

Amazing. A new low for the EPO.

I’m confused, and trying to make sense of the bigger picture. Does anyone have any insight into why the EPO has descended into such farce? The common narrative seems to be that, once Battistelli realised he was above national law, and could change internal regulations at will, and was answerable only to a disparate bunch of spineless bureaucrats, he decided to give the EPO a good shake-up – either for ideological reasons (ENA-style) or because he’s simply a nasty piece of work, depending on whose narrative you read.

But isn’t it more likely that the AC gave Battistelli specific objectives, such as improving productivity, and that he was simply not able enough to deliver on these without causing all a whole lot of collateral damage to the office and its reputation?

And whose idea was it to set Battistelli these objectives anyway? Was change really needed? What was the motivation for the changes? Fear of the UPC? The TTIP?

Whatever the reasons, there needs to be some transparency and public accountability. The current situation is not only farcical but also a touch sinister – is it really a good idea to entrust important national legal and economic issues to an organisation with no effective accountability?

What we’re seeing right now at the EPO is beyond words. It is a lot worse than anything we saw in FIFA. It’s a lot more similar to the Watergate Scandal, but this one is lasting years and there’s still no resolution, not even a resignation. Eponia is one heck of a crazy place run by crazy people, where managers needlessly waste millions of Euros on bodyguards, millions of Euros on PR firms whose role is to lie to the media, and even give millions of dollars to media companies in order to compare the EPO to “Eurovision”, whereupon the EPO’s PR team links to that as ‘proof’ that Battistelli is an awesome king whose haters are just utterly jealous.

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