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

09.20.16

The EPO’s ‘Investigative’ Function is Totally Out of Control and Continues to Get Bigger, Whitewashed by So-called ‘Review’

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Like his political ilk in France, Battistelli is a “big government” proponent who does not mind even torturing people (as if his personal ends justify the means)

Gestapomen following the white buses

Summary: An update on the situation which still causes great unrest at the European Patent Office (EPO), namely abuse of staff by the so-called Investigative Unit (Eponia’s equivalent of unaccountable secret services)

An article about the EPO’s Investigative Unit has been long overdue. It’s like the goons or thugs of the Office, or the militant guards of Team Battistelli, which are complemented by a fleet of bodyguards in spite of low threat levels. Staff is subjected to scans as though it is boarding a plane and sometimes subjected to psychological torture. Almost everyone we hear from says that working for the EPO is a nightmare if not torture; some seriously think about leaving. They can’t take it anymore. It wasn’t always the case; Battistelli made it so. Over the past couple of years the EPO has been acting like a frightened state with secret services and armed bodyguards, not like a public service or institution. We already published a series of articles about it last year [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Nothing at all has changed for the better; in fact, things have gotten even worse. Things continue to exacerbate and lying has become so chronic that next month there will be a whole “report” and “conference” to tell the world that EPO staff is happy. Even North Korea has not yet stooped this low…

“External quality review of the EPO investigative function” was not too long ago sought by particular EPO workers. “The administration has started an “external quality review of the EPO investigative function”,” they wrote, and one “can find an in-depth analysis of the investigation guidelines and the functioning of the Unit…”

We have made a local copy of it [PDF]. The document is 14 pages long so we haven’t converted it to HTML. Instead, “short observations on the review process” can be found below:

Investigating the EPO Investigative Unit – a peer review?

Introduction
When the Investigation Guidelines were adopted, a review was foreseen after three years, i.e. early 2015. At the time Mr Battistelli did not seem interested. That has changed: in its December meeting the Administrative Council insisted on a review, not only of the Guidelines but also of the Unit itself. Ms Bergot has now informed the CSC that an external review of the EPO quality function will soon take place. That could be good news, or it could be a white-washing exercise.

External review of the WIPO Investigation Function
Interestingly, a very similar review has taken place in WIPO only half a year ago. The external reviewers were a “senior investigation officer” from an UN organization, Mr Sébastien Godefroid and Mr Claudio Zanghi, head of the EPO Investigative Unit. The EPO Investigative Unit is hardly a best practice example. Maybe not surprisingly the report recommends strengthening the WIPO Investigative Unit by hiring staff, providing less information to the accused, and making access to electronic data easier. Data protection issues are not even mentioned in the report.

External review of the EPO Investigation Function
The two external reviewers selected by the EPO are Mr James Finniss, who is currently Deputy Director of the Investigation Division of the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), and Ms Olivia Graham who is Ethics Officer at the International Monetary Fund, i.e. both are working for international governmental organisations. This almost certainly means that the standards applied will be those common in such organisations. Almost all international organisations show a lack of transparency (excess demands of confidentiality), a lack of accountability (no truly independent overview, immunity of suit) and a lack of respect for staff rights (fundamental rights, labour rights, data protection e.a.). The circle of investigators working in international organisations is furthermore rather small. They form a rather tight-knitted community: they regularly visit each other, meet at conferences etc. To have this relatively small group of people assessing each other in turn would not seem the best way to guarantee independence.

To quote from the corresponding PDF:

The application of Circular No. 342 in practice has confirmed fears expressed by staff representatives prior to its introduction. The Circular has been used to transform the EPO into a “police state”. The most relevant issues in this regard are summarised in the present document. In particular, it is noted that investigators are immune from any independent external control or oversight and there is no effective means for holding them to account for any irregular or otherwise disproportionate actions involving breaches of internal EPO regulations or national law.

Regarding so-called investigators — the ones whose jobs were advertised almost a year ago — a couple more got hired and “the general reaction is,” according to a source of ours is: “Hell, another bunch of parasites we have to feed” (people who produce nothing).

Big government, eh?

“The boards of appeal,” our source added, “will lose some relatively young members due to retiring.” We guess they know what’s coming. We don’t think there are any job openings advertised at present for the boards. This, perhaps, is just what Battistelli prefers. As the UPC won’t happen (at least not any time soon), Battistelli is now stuck between a rock and a hard place. The Office is collapsing and there’s no remedy. They’re scaring away all the skilled people and are unable to recruit equally-skilled replacements. Europe will suffer.

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. The Good Work of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Latest Attempts to Undermine It

    A week's roundup of news about PTAB, which is eliminating many bad (wrongly-granted) patents and is therefore becoming "enemy number one" to those who got accustomed to blackmailing real (productive) firms with their questionable patents



  2. District Courts' Patent Cases, Including the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX/TXED), in a Nutshell

    A roundup of patent cases in 'low courts' of the United States, where patents are being reasoned about or objected to while patent law firms make a lot of money



  3. The Federal Circuit's (CAFC) Decisions Are Being Twisted by Patent Propaganda Sites Which Merely Cherry-Pick Cases With Outcomes That Suit Them

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues to reject the vast majority of software patents, citing Section 101 in many such cases, but the likes of Managing IP, Patently-O, IAM and Watchtroll only selectively cover such cases (instead they’re ‘pulling a Berkheimer’ or some similar name-dropping)



  4. Patents Roundup: Metaswitch, GENBAND, Susman, Cisco, Konami, High 5 Games, HTC, and Nintendo

    A look at existing legal actions, the application of 35 U.S.C. § 101, and questionable patents that are being pursued on software (algorithms or "software infrastructure")



  5. In Maxon v Funai the High 'Patent Court' (CAFC) Reaffirms Disdain for Software Patents, Which Are Nowadays Harder to Get and Then Defend

    With the wealth of decisions from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) wherein software patents get discarded (Funai being the latest example), the public needs to ask itself whether patent law firms are honest when they make claims about resurgence of software patents by 'pulling a Berkheimer' or coming up with terms like “Berkheimer Effect”



  6. Today's European Patent Office Works for Patent Extremists and for Team UPC Rather Than for Europe or for Innovation

    The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) and other patent maximalists who have nothing to do with Europe, helped by a malicious and rather clueless politician called Benoît Battistelli, are turning the EPO into a patent-printing machine rather than an examination office as envisioned by the EPC (founders) and member states



  7. The EPO is Dying and Those Who Have Killed It Are Becoming Very Rich in the Process

    Following the footsteps of Ron Hovsepian at Novell, Battistelli at the EPO (along with Team Battistelli) may mean the end of the EPO as we know it (or the end altogether); one manager and a cabal of confidants make themselves obscenely rich by basically sacrificing the very organisation they were entrusted to serve



  8. Short: Just Keep Repeating the Lie (“Quality”) Until People Might Believe It

    Battistelli’s patent-printing bureau (EPO without quality control) keeps lying about the quality of patents by repeating the word “quality” a lot of times, including no less than twice in the summary alone



  9. Shelston IP Keeps Pressuring IP Australia to Allow Software Patents and Harm Software Development

    Shelston IP wants exactly the opposite of what's good for Australia; it just wants what's good for itself, yet it habitually pretends to speak for a productive industry (nothing could be further from the truth)



  10. Is Andy Ramer's Departure the End of Cantor Fitzgerald's Patent Trolls-Feeding Operations and Ambitions?

    The managing director of the 'IP' group at Cantor Fitzgerald is leaving, but it does not yet mean that patent trolls will be starved/deprived access to patents



  11. EPO Hoards Billions of Euros (Taken From the Public), Decreases Quality to Get More Money, Reduces Payments to Staff

    The EPO continues to collect money from everyone, distributes bogus/dubious patents that usher patent trolls into Europe (to cost European businesses billions in the long run), and staff of the EPO faces more cuts while EPO management swims in cash and perks



  12. Short: Calling Battistelli's Town (Where He Works) “Force for Innovation” to Justify the Funneling of EPO Funds to It

    How the EPO‘s management ‘explained’ (or sought to rationalise) to staff its opaque decision to send a multi-million, one-day ceremony to Battistelli’s own theatre only weeks before he leaves



  13. Short: EPO Bribes the Media and Then Brags About the Paid-for Outcome to Staff

    The EPO‘s systematic corruption of the media at the expense of EPO stakeholders — not to mention hiring of lawyers to bully media which exposes EPO corruption — in the EPO’s own words (amended by us)



  14. Short: EPO's “Working Party for Quality” is to Quality What the “Democratic People's Republic of Korea” is to Democracy

    To maintain the perception (illusion) that the EPO still cares about patent quality — and in order to disseminate this lie to EPO staff — a puff piece with the above heading/photograph was distributed to thousands of examiners in glossy paper form



  15. Short: This Spring's Message From the EPO's President (Corrected)

    A corrected preface from the Liar in Chief, the EPO's notoriously crooked and dishonest President



  16. Short: Highly Misleading and Unscientific Graphics From the EPO for an Illusion of Growth

    A look at the brainwash that EPO management is distributing to staff and what's wrong with it



  17. Short: EPO Explains to Examiners Why They Should and Apparently Can Grant Software Patents (in Spite of EPC)

    Whether it calls it "CII" or "ICT" or "Industry 4.0" or "4IR", the EPO's management continues to grant software patents and attempts to justify this to itself (and to staff)



  18. Links 21/4/2018: Linux 4.9.95, FFmpeg 4.0, OpenBSD Foundation 2018 Fundraising Campaign

    Links for the day



  19. As USPTO Director, Andrei Iancu Gives Three Months for Public Comments on 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Software Patenting Impacted)

    Weeks after starting his job as head of the US patent office, to our regret but not to our surprise, Iancu asks whether to limit examiners' ability to reject abstract patent applications citing 35 U.S.C. § 101 (relates to Alice and Mayo)



  20. In Keith Raniere v Microsoft Both Sides Are Evil But for Different Reasons

    Billing for patent lawyers reveals an abusive strategy from Microsoft, which responded to abusive patent litigation (something which Microsoft too has done for well over a decade)



  21. Links 20/4/2018: Atom 1.26, MySQL 8.0

    Links for the day



  22. Links 19/4/2018: Mesa 17.3.9 and 18.0.1, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Flidas, Elections for openSUSE Board

    Links for the day



  23. The Patent Microcosm, Patent Trolls and Their Pressure Groups Incite a USPTO Director Against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Section 101/Alice

    As one might expect, the patent extremists continue their witch-hunt and constant manipulation of USPTO officials, whom they hope to compel to become patent extremists themselves (otherwise those officials are defamed, typically until they're fired or decide to resign)



  24. Microsoft's Lobbying for FRAND Pays Off as Microsoft-Connected Patent Troll Conversant (Formerly MOSAID) Goes After Android OEMs in Europe

    The FRAND (or SEP) lobby seems to have caused a lot of monopolistic patent lawsuits; this mostly affects Linux-powered platforms such as Android, Tizen and webOS and there are new legal actions from Microsoft-connected patent trolls



  25. To Understand Why People Say That Lawyers are Liars Look No Further Than Misleading Promotion of Software Patents

    Some of the latest misleading claims from the patent microcosm, which is only interested in lots and lots of patents (its bread and butter is monopolies after all) irrespective of their merit, quality, and desirability



  26. When News About the EPO is Dominated by Sponsored 'Reports' and Press Releases Because Publishers Are Afraid of (or Bribed by) the EPO

    The lack of curiosity and genuine journalism in Europe may mean that serious abuses (if not corruption) will go unreported



  27. The Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Complain That They Are Understaffed, Not Just Lacking the Independence They Depend on

    The Boards of Appeal have released a report and once again they openly complain that they're unable to do their job properly, i.e. patent quality cannot be assured



  28. Links 18/4/2018: New Fedora 27 ISOs, Nextcloud Wins German Government Contract

    Links for the day



  29. Guest Post: Responding to Your Recent Posting “The European Patent Office Will Never Hold Its Destroyers Accountable”

    In France, where Battistelli does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, he can be held accountable like his "padrone" recently was



  30. The EPO in 2018: Partnering With Saudi Arabia and Cambodia (With Zero European Patents)

    The EPO's status in the world has declined to the point where former French colonies and countries with zero European Patents are hailed as "success stories" for Battistelli


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