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

07.01.16

Battistelli’s Destructive Actions Will Drive EPO Applicants Away to National Patent Offices, Putting at Risk the Whole EU-Wide (and Beyond) Project

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

So much for ‘unitary’ and ‘best’ patent office (based on EPO-connected punditry)

EPO features

Summary: Battistelli’s regressive policies and extremely bad behaviour increasingly motivate people to avoid the EPO, which serves to reinforce the observation that Battistelli has become an existential risk to the EPO with his huge spendings on self-glorification, militarisation, and dubious secret contracts

THE LEGACY of Battistelli — irrespective of when he leaves the Office — will be one for the books. Battistelli won’t be remembered as anything but a tyrant who was so widely loathed by his own employees that his approval rate stood at a flat 0%, triggering warnings of a crisis inside the Organisation. Some top managers have left (or decided to leave) since.

Earlier tonight The Register composed a piece about the latest attack on the appeal boards, which the Office proudly lies about (the Office is accustomed to lying to staff, journalists and so on). Here is a portion of the article:

A determined effort to oust European Patent Office (EPO) president Benoit Battistelli amounted to nothing this week, as representatives from European countries instead spent two days rehashing a reform proposal.

The meeting of the EPO’s Administrative Council in Munich had threatened to become a showdown over Battistelli’s increasingly autocratic behavior – a situation the EPO’s staff encouraged by attempting to serve legal papers on the president and sending messages to council members asking them to fire him.

The council decided to effectively ignore ongoing disputes between staff and management however, punting the relevant agenda items to their next meeting in October.

Instead, the meeting focused on reform of the organization’s Boards of Appeal (BOA), which had themselves proved controversial due to Battistelli’s efforts to afford himself additional powers over what is supposed to be an independent body and process.

The council threw out the powergrab, approving a reform system that saw a new Boards of Appeal Committee set up as a subsidiary of the Administrative Council, and a newly created President of the BOA that will absorb some of the powers currently held by the EPO President.

At the moment, the sole comment there says “So very European,” which shows to what degree Battistelli has disgraced Europe, not just the EPO. He creates resentment towards EU institutions and distrust of/against French people, which as we noted earlier this year is a good reason for French politicians to stop him.

“Battistelli won’t be remembered as anything but a tyrant who was so widely loathed by his own employees that his approval rate stood at a flat 0%, triggering warnings of a crisis inside the Organisation.”George Brock-Nannestad, an occasional commentator who writes about the EPO, left a strongly-worded comment today. He said “it is no longer responsible to recommend obtaining a patent via the EPO,” directly as a result of Battistelli’s actions that can kill the Office in the long run. Don’t take the EPO for granted; when millions of Euros are spent essentially buying the media and tens of millions of Euros get thrown at private companies without even a tender we probably need forensic accountants to pay a visit, if Eponia permits it (even a bailiff is hardly allowed near the postbox and Croatian authorities struggle to successfully summon Željko Topić, who refuses to attend hearings about his alleged corruption). Here is Brock-Nannestad’s full comment:

The development, or rather winding down of the quality at the EPO is very saddening and yet another blow to the stability that permitted a certain amount of complacency of the professionals.

Apparently, nobody among those who are responsible for carrying out the letter and intentions of the EPC have any historical perspective. Like politicians they are only concerned with getting re-elected and of financing their seat [almost like in the US, where fundraising seems to be the main activity of those elected to Congress, at least by some reports].

However, changes that may be carried out in one year to what was a complete application processing system will have repercussions for 15+ years, and those users that need to consider where to put their “insurance” money cannot risk obtaining superficially shiny patents that hide structural weaknesses, and on the other hand they cannot tolerate similar quality patents from their present or future competitors.

For consultants to smaller enterprises at least, the lesson is clear: it is no longer responsible to recommend obtaining a patent via the EPO, and the sooner alternative solutions are found on an individual basis, the better, because then the reforms at the EPO will not be felt.

The remaning problem will be an overabundance of unworthy patents from the competition, compounded by the ease with which the wise fathers expect the Unified Patent to be obtainable, that is, what defences can smaller enterprises muster against patents that go from irritants to (almost) trollls? We are not foreseeing a move to remove the European Opposition as a legitimate means of defence (but who am I to predict anything?), and that is what is needed.

9 months (and much more, if you have an early awareness) is definitely sufficient to structure supplementary searches and to study the paltry arguments for patentability that we see more and more. There is indeed a matter of cost, but smaller enterprises have ganged together in the past in order to protect their mutual interests, and paying a patent opposition membership fee corresponding in some agreed way with their turnover. And remember, due to the asymmetry of the EPC, the losing proprietor cannot go to the courts to try to reverse the decision and thereby gain further extortion time. Even if the EPO were to reject all oppositions, the opponents still have the courts available.

I think we need to think this way, and the AC members will not really be opposed: their patent offices will once more have responsibilities, and if they cannot lift them now, due to complacency and heavy reliance on EPO examination service contracts, they will b….y well have to re-charge their batteries. The EPO project will be a parenthesis in history, a brain trust of huge dimensions will disintegrate, and there will be human sacrifices. Let us celebrate the 30 years during which we were proud, but we must move on.

My candidate for a single country in Europe in which it would be worthwhile to apply in all cases, is Germany. Dependent on your purse and competitive situation you would choose other countries as well. We are back to before 1978! Luckily there are still some practitioners out there with experience that goes that far back.

An ex/former UK-IPO examiner argues that AC delegates “not wishing to show ignorance will tend to follow the herd” and thus they’re accepting Battistelli’s proposals, never mind money and free dental care. To quote:

I fear that we have seen BB using the BBB principle to good effect (BBB = “Bullshit Baffles Brains”, and old UK Armed Forces saying). I know nothing about the AC delegates, but it seems to be a law of nature (as expounded many decades ago in the classic textbook “Parkinson’s Law”), that the sort of person who ends up in a committee like the AC, has seldom had “hands on” experience in the day-to-day operation of the organisation that they represent (often having come in from another field at high level), and, not wishing to show ignorance, will tend to follow the herd, especially if arguments are presented forcefully enough.

The EPO, argues this one person, is “expensive and unpredictable. It may be OK for the big boys, but it’s no longer a sensible option for SMEs.” The same is true for UPC, which Battistelli strives and works hard to make a reality:

National patents are suddenly much more attractive. Especially as many of the main patenting states have relaxed their requirements for local representation. The national route is now highly cost effective, and much less risky than putting all your eggs into the EPO basket. The EPO’s new appeals regime makes the whole EPO route much too expensive and unpredictable. It may be OK for the big boys, but it’s no longer a sensible option for SMEs.

Here is an explanation of why AC delegates are not speaking about Battistelli’s abuses and his many sackable offenses; instead he attacks those whom he abused even further (collective punishment a possibility for their defense of a colleague) and delegates just mindlessly play along:

Upon further reflection, it is possible that some interesting (deliberate) tactics may have been employed by BB at the latest AC meeting.

The reason for reflecting is this: why was the discussion of the reform of the BoAs so pressing (i.e. no. 1 item on the AC’s agenda), so complex (i.e. involving multiple proposals that, for no good reason, were tied together by the Office) and so controversial (i.e. so blatantly against common sense as to guarantee vigorous debate at the AC meeting)?

It could perhaps be that BB believes that the best form of defence is attack. If he can control the agenda and tie the AC in knots with a debate on the first item, then he neatly side-steps an issue that could have truly seen him in the firing line. He also gains months (instead of only days) to prepare his defence to any criticisms stemming from the recent EBoA (Article 23 EPC) debacle.

It may well be a lot more complicated than that. However, if it really was that simple, then the delegates to the AC need to wake up to the fact that BB may well be playing them for fools.

It should definitely be noted, just in case intention is misunderstood, that I’m a big proponent of the EU and also a defender of the EPO as an EU-wide project (and beyond the EU). However, what goes on right now inside the EPO means that Europe will lose on competitiveness and damage its reputation. The sooner Battistelli is tossed out along with his cronies, the better. We’re now approaching the point where doing so might be too late (boards of appeal are already being scuttled, making the situation irreversible and decisions virtually irrevocable).

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. This Week Techrights Crosses 26,000 Posts Milestone, 3 Weeks Before Turning 13 (2,000+ Posts/Year)

    A self-congratulatory post about another year that's passed (without breaks from publishing) and another milestone associated with posting volume



  2. No Calls to "Remove Gates" From the Board (Over a Real Scandal/Crime), Only to "Remove Stallman" (Over Phony Distraction From the Former)

    Jeffrey Epstein's connections to Bill Gates extend well beyond Gates himself; other people inside Microsoft are closely involved as well, so Microsoft might want to cut ties with its co-founder before it becomes a very major mess



  3. “The Stupidest [Patent/Tax] Policy Ever”

    It’s pretty clear that today’s European patent system has been tilted grossly in favour of super-rich monopolists and their facilitators (overzealous law firms and ‘creative’ accountants) as opposed to scientists



  4. Meme: Software Patents at the EPO

    The evolution of “technical effect” nonsense at the EPO



  5. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 13, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 13, 2019



  6. Firm of Microsoft's Former Litigation Chief Uses Microsoft-Connected Patent Lawsuit Against GNU/Linux (GNOME Foundation) for New Breed of FUD Campaigns

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



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

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



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

    Links for the day



  9. Bill's Media Strategy Amid GatesGate

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



  10. Hard-Core Micro-Soft

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



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

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



  12. Projection Tactics

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



  13. Meme: Richard Stallman Irrelevant

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



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 12, 2019



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

    Links for the day



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

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



  17. Openwashing Reports Are on Hold

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



  18. Support the GNU Project and Support Free Speech

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



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

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



  20. The Campinos Car Crash

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



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

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



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

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



  23. Microsoft Tweets in Linux Platforms

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



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

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 11, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, October 11, 2019



  26. MIT Scandal in a Nutshell

    What happened a month ago, explained using a meme



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

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



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

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



  29. If the EPO Plans to Go 'Virtually' Private (Outside Contracting), Then Failing It Would be Deliberate

    Sooner rather than later EPO workers need to entertain the possibility that so-called 'plan Battistelli' is to enrich a bunch of well-connected people rather than improve the Office or its services



  30. Linux Oughtn't Be Just a Brand

    The non-Linux-using Linux Foundation and how it views the Linux project


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

Recent Posts