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

06.15.16

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:

Meldrew,
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:

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2016/541.html

(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.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 27/2/2017: GNU Linux-libre 4.10, Weston 2.0.0, Git 2.12.0, Linux From Scratch 8.0

    Links for the day



  2. Top Officials in French Government Are Growing Tired of Battistelli's Abuses at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    An automated translation of a recent debate about the EPO in the French government, culminating in intervention by Richard Yung



  3. A US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Which is Hostile Towards Patent Maximalists May Closely Examine More Patents That Apple Uses Against Android

    A company which often takes pride in designers rather than developers (art, not technical merit) may lose that leverage over the competition if its questionable patents are taken away by the Supremes



  4. As Long as Software Patents Are Granted and Microsoft Equips Trolls With Them, “Azure IP Advantage” is an Attack on Free/Libre Software

    Microsoft is feeding enemies of GNU/Linux and Free/libre Open Source software (FLOSS) in order to sell its 'protection', which it names "IP Advantage" in a rather Orwellian fashion (same naming as back in the Novell days)



  5. Patent Trolls on Their Way Out in the United States and Their Way Into China, No Thanks to the Open Invention Network (OIN)

    An update on patent trolls and the role played by supposed allies of Free/libre software, who in practice do everything to exacerbate the problem rather than resolve it



  6. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part VIII: When Governed by Criminals, Truth-Tellers Are Cast as Criminals and Criminals as Justice Deliverers

    The bizarre state of affairs at the European Patent Office, where being an honest and transparent person makes one incredibly vulnerable and subjected to constant harassment from the management



  7. The Sickness of the EPO – Part V: Shedding Light on Institutional Abuse Against Ill and/or Disabled Individuals

    The seriousness of the situation at the EPO and a call for action, which requires greater transparency, even if imposed transparency



  8. The EPO's Race to the Bottom in Recruitment and Early Retirements Explained by an Insider

    The European Patent Office under Battistelli is failing to attract -- and certainly failing to retain -- talented examiners



  9. Wouter Pors and Other UPC Boosters Believe That Repeating the Lies Will Potentially Make Them Truths

    The lobbying campaign for UPC, or hopeful lies (sometimes mere rumours) disguised as "news", continues to rely on false perceptions that the UPC is just a matter of time and may actually materialise this year



  10. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is Utilised in Fixing the US Patent System and the Patent Microcosm Loses Its Mind

    A roundup of PTAB news, ranging from attacks on the legitimacy of PTAB to progress which is made by PTAB, undoing decades of overpatenting



  11. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Federal Circuit (CAFC) Take on Patents Pertaining to Business Methods

    Patents on tasks that can be performed using pen and paper (so-called 'business methods', just like algorithms) and oughtn't be patent-eligible may be the next casualty of the America Invents Act (AIA)



  12. Google's Stewardship of GNU/Linux (Android, Chromebooks and More) in Doubt After Company Resorts to Patent 'First Strikes'

    Google has just turned a little more evil, by essentially using patents as a weapon against the competition (by no means a defensive move)



  13. Links 24/2/2017: Ubuntu 17.04 Beta, OpenBSD Foundation Nets $573,000 in Donations

    Links for the day



  14. IAM, Greased up by the EPO, Continues Lobbying by Shaming Tactics for the UPC, Under the Guise of 'News'

    The shrill and well-paid writers of IAM are still at it, promoting the Unitary Patent (UPC) at every opportunity and every turn



  15. Patent Scope Gone Awry: European Vegetable Patents Office?

    In its misguided race to raise so-called 'production', the EPO lost sight of its original goals and now facilitates patent royalty payments/taxation for naturally-recurring items of nature



  16. Yes, There is Definitely Brain Drain (Experience Deficit) at the European Patent Office and Stakeholders Feel It

    The direction that the European Patent Office has taken under Battistelli undoes many decades (almost half a century) of reputation-building and progress and naturally this repels existing staff, not to mention hampers recruitment efforts



  17. The Sickness of the EPO – Part IV: Cruel Management That Deliberately Attacks the Sick and the Weak

    The dysphoric reality at the European Patent Office, which is becoming like a large cell (with bolted-down windows) where people are controlled by fear and scapegoats are selected to perpetuate this atmosphere of terror and maintain demand (or workload) for the Investigative Stasi



  18. Links 23/2/2017: Qt 5.9 Alpha, First SHA1 Collision

    Links for the day



  19. UPC Roundup: War on the Appeal Boards, British Motion Against the UPC, Fröhlinger Recalled, and Fake News About Spain

    Taking stock of some of the latest attempts to shove the Unitary Patent (UPC) down Europe's throat, courtesy of Team Battistelli and Team UPC



  20. The Sickness of the EPO – Part III: Invalidity and Suicides

    An explanation of what drives a lot of EPO veterans to depression and sometimes even suicide



  21. The Appeal Board (PTAB) and Federal Circuit (CAFC) Maintain Good Pace of Patent Elimination Where Scope Was Exceeded

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues to accept about 4 out of 5 decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) refuses to intervene



  22. Software Patents Are Ebbing Away, But the “Swamp” Fights Back and Hijacks the Word “Fix”

    The club of patent maximalists, or those who profit from excess prosecution and legal chaos, isn't liking what has happened in the United States and it wants everything reversed



  23. Report From Yesterday's Debate About the European Patent Office (EPO) at the Bavarian Landtag

    A report of the EPO debate which took place at the Bavarian Landtag yesterday (21/2/2017)



  24. Links 22/2/2017: Wine-Staging 2.2, Nautilus 3.24

    Links for the day



  25. French Politician Richard Yung Tells the Government About Abuses at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The subject of EPO scandals has once again landed in French politics, just a couple of months since it last happened



  26. The Sickness of the EPO – Part II: Background Information and Insights

    With a privatised, in-house (sometimes outsourced and for-profit) force for surveillance, policing, justice, public relations and now medical assessment (mere vassals or marionettes of the management) the EPO serves to show that it has become indistinguishable from North Korea, where the Supreme Leader gets to control every single aspect (absolutely no separation of powers)



  27. EPO Cartoon/Caricature by KrewinkelKrijst

    A new rendition by Dutch cartoonist and illustrator KrewinkelKrijst



  28. Inverting Narratives: IAM 'Magazine' Paints Massive Patent Bully Microsoft (Preying on the Weak) as a Defender of the Powerless

    Selective coverage and deliberate misinterpretation of Microsoft's tactics (patent settlement under threat, disguised as "pre-installation of some of the US company’s software products") as seen in IAM almost every week these days



  29. The Sickness of the EPO – Part I: Motivation for New Series of Articles

    An introduction or prelude to a long series of upcoming posts, whose purpose is to show governance by coercion, pressure, retribution and tribalism rather than professional relationship between human beings at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  30. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part VII: EPO Hypocrisy on Cancer and Lack of Feedback to and From ECPC

    The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC), which calls itself "the largest European cancer patients' umbrella organisation," fails to fulfill its duties, says a source of ours, and the EPO makes things even worse


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts