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07.22.16

EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Another French term in Benoît Battistelli’s EPO after his de facto coup d’état

Brazil coup
Reference: The Intercept (among many more at the time)

Summary: Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office

TECHRIGHTS is not a political site in nature, but sometimes it’s impossible to avoid a little bit of politics. Half a decade ago we wrote about the Brazil-based US Ambassador Sobel (now Republican fundraiser) lobbying/working for Microsoft in Brazil in his capacity as a diplomat (Microsoft Brazil President at the time was Michel Levy) — a subject on which we expanded in later posts on the subject, citing diplomatic cables leaked by Chelsea Manning quite shortly thereafter. Corruption levels in Brazil are relatively high and some people try to capitalise on weak regulatory powers. It kind of sounds like Benoît Battistelli and his EPO cronies, but it’s not. We used to say that the only European thing about the European [sic] Patent Office is the staff, but right now even the (external) PR team belongs to a US company (meddling inside European media) and some of the staff — at partial capacity at least — is from the US.

Days ago we wrote about Albert Keyack's new role at the EPO (announced only internally). Keyack is not an EU national. The following comment cites Techrights and says:

Sovereign principality of EPOnia appoints consul to the United States.

My mind is so boggled that it’s becoming numb.

Well, Battistelli breaks the rules, including his very own Code of Conduct, so the above isn’t thoroughly shocking. What’s interesting are the following legitimate points about the sovereignty of the EPO and issues pertaining to loyalty. As one person put it, “could he rather be the US envoy to the province of EPOnia, like Rome or Imperial Britain” (as Battistelli serves the 1% and thinks of himself in Napoleonic ways, the analogy seems apt). Here is the comment in full:

Nomination of Albert Keyack als “EPO Attaché”:

Keyack was reporting from the US Embassy in Brazil as least as late as May 2015, and had an E-mail address from the State Department. That was only one year ago.

The tone of his report linked above reflects the orthodox US foreign policy on “IP”, and Keyack’s affiliation is given to be with the USPTO.

It is rather ironical that the President who wants to control for two full years the lives of anyone “disloyal” enough to leave the EPO actually hired someone whose was serving a “competing” patent office. Isn’t there a line somewhere in whatever is left of the Codex about not accepting any instructions from foreign governments?

Or is the fellow hired on a service contract concluded with an entity created ad hoc for this purpose?

Whose interests is he actually representing? Europe’s? (And then, what is that position, and who defines it?) EPOnia’s? (ditto) European or US industry? Small applicants?

Or could he rather be the US envoy to the province of EPOnia, like Rome or Imperial Britain sent governors to their vanquished peoples? (If then, why should he be paid by the EPO?)

The President does have a little leeway under the Codex to appoint staff under the EPC from states which are soon to become EPC signatories. Could the US accede the EPC? Is EPOnia about to be moved somewhere in Virginia?

Here is another comment which explains why it’s improper or inappropriate:

I thought the ServRegs forbid to hire nationals of non-EPC member states (actually, other way around: allows only hiring of employees with a nationality of member states)…. The last time I checked, the USoA was not a signatory of the EPC…
But then, this person is granted an easy income the next few years, for virtually nothing. Whatever he does will not influence filing strategies anyway….
And since he’s neither French, Corsican, or Croatian, nepotism seems to be less of a problem this time….

Man, I chose the wrong career… But then, I love my job…

Incidentally, in response to “Use of English as an official EU language” (by CIPA) Benjamin Henrion wrote “as long as other languages are not discriminated like for the horrible “automated translations” Unitary Patent deal.”

Well, the EPO’s management now brags about US stakeholders being dominant, even if no country in ‘mainland’ Europe has English as its main language (only a few islands do). MIP’s latest catchup with Canada on trademarks and patents speaks about “Brexit putting the brakes on CETA” and says (the complete summary of the latter part): “A dismissal of a suit against Pfizer indicating consumers cannot be compensated for expenditures on invalidated patents, the NAFTA arbitration hearing of Eli Lilly’s complaint against the government, IP agents getting confidentiality privilege, the Federal Court awarding Janssen nearly C$20 million, and Brexit putting the brakes on CETA were among recent Canadian patent stories” (Brexit also undermines the UPC, as we noted here many times before).

Well, even after Brexit (assuming it happens) the US is working to impose TTIP/ISDS on Britain, reveals the latest article from Dr. Glyn Moody. It’s not hard to see who often holds the leash. We’ll say more on that in our next post.

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