10.01.16

Immunity of the European Patent Office and Lack of Oversight Within the Organisation Mean That It’s a Rogue Entity Above the Law

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli and Kongstad
Jesper Kongstad has turned the Organisation into a lapdog -- not a watchdog -- of the Office (autocracy of Kongstad’s predecessor), aiding even unprecedented secrecy around salaries

Summary: In light of remarks from the Attorney General in the Netherlands and in light of some recent and highly disturbing developments (like Board 28 folding for Benoît Battistelli), it is increasingly apparent that the EPO is disconnected from any accountability whatsoever

THE EPO‘s staff supports the staff union a lot more than it supports its own management. In fact, the President has a 0% approval rating. That’s how grim things are. The Board, which is increasingly complicit in all this, admits there is "a crisis".

The Attorney General in the Netherlands now says that the EPO’s staff union cannot hold the management accountable for breaking the law. We had the subject covered here shortly after this had made it into the Dutch media. Shortly afterwards we began seeing comments about it at a very old thread of IP Kat (which stopped its criticism of the EPO after the censorship, perhaps a prelude to legal bullying). We don’t think that many people can see these comments (buried very deep inside the site, under page 2 of a very old article), so we reproduce them below. The first comment said:

hoge Raad: Dutch judges are not allowed to assume responsibility in cases against the EPOrg.

So, immunity upheld. SUEPO cannot file charges against the EPO anywhere, neither nationally or with ATILO (only for employees, not for,staff organisations).

So, what about illegal activities of the national representatives who voted in favour of rules which are illegal in their own country?

This links to this report which says: “De Europese Octrooi Organisatie (EOO) beroept zich in een geschil terecht op immuniteit van jurisdictie. Dat betekent dat de internationale organisatie niet voor de Nederlandse rechter kan worden gedaagd voor geschillen over de officiële werkzaamheden van de organisatie. De Nederlandse rechter is onbevoegd om te oordelen in een geschil tussen het in Rijswijk gevestigde Europese Octrooibureau, een onderdeel van EOO, en de vakbondsunie van het Europees Octrooibureau en de overkoepelende vakbond voor werknemers van EOO. Dat schrijft advocaat-generaal Vlas vandaag in zijn conclusie, een advies aan de Hoge Raad.”

Here is a response to the initial comment:

should’ve read the publication (in Dutch) first, instead of just the headline….

This is the opinion of “an independent expert”. He states that the European Convention on Human Rights does not require access to indpendent courts, and that the internal procedures of the EPO, as well as ATILO, allow sufficient remedies.

Well, the SUEPO does not have access to internal remedies, nor to ATILO….

The new expected date for a decision is 20 January 2017.

Another person gave a direct link to the document and said:

Thanks for the press release.

I will have to digest the actual “opinion” before commenting.

Then came a more detailed comment:

From paragraph 2:19 of the opinion of the Prosecutor (Google translated):

“The mere appeal to an alleged particularly serious breach of a norm of international law, or even a norm of jus cogens claim immunity from jurisdiction can not override . Honoring the claim immunity from jurisdiction by the courts in no way means that they held that infringement of property rights is permissible. It follows that the nature of the substantive rights at issue and the alleged severity of the infringement should not be included in the key or the proportionality requirement is met in the context of determining whether an application should be granted immunity from prosecution. I believe that the component also succeeds in this respect.”

In other word, immunity is absolute, and does not depend from the nature of the infringement.

It is difficult to disagree, and a decision against SUEPO in January look improbable.

I don’t blame the Dutch Government to uphold this principle of International Law though its Prosecutor – yes, when a drunken diplomat kills a little girl with its car immunity is uphold, even in front of public outcry. I note, however, that in general the Diplomat will quietly be asked to leave the hosting state to silence the controversy.

This is the least that the Dutch Government, through the AC, should require from EPO, to not appear to abide the abuses happening there.

But this will never happen, of course, and a decision in favor of battistelli and his regime in January will only embolden him and his clique.

It will be like saying “Here, Mr. battistelli: a blank cheque for you.”

Separate threads, these ones nearly 4 months more recent (hence more visible), still talk about various aspects of lawlessness at the EPO. Consider the following new comment (from today):

The fear of M. Battistelli is that an independent audit checks the real situation at the EPO.

Currently all the numbers are given by M. Battistelli himself without any independent authority to supervise.

What’s worse is, he produces self-commissioned propaganda with which to mislead the supposed ‘overseer’ (now more like “yes men” of Battistelli). Next week we will look a little deeper under the kimono of the Administrative Council and show that the Council too — not just Battistelli — has some skeletons in its closet. We must realise that nowadays the Council and the Board (partly overlapping) are actually complicit in all these abuses. Battistelli has turned both (by various nefarious means) into a lapdog rather than watchdog, in the same way mass surveillance in the US is now regulated or overseen by many of the same people who were responsible for it (revolving doors and private industry conflict of interests is what much of it qualifies as).

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2016/10/01/epo-above-the-law-the-hague/

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. We Take Away Your Freedom for Your Own Safety...

    People are herded like cattle and protest/dissent will be demonised as part of the new norm; what will be the cost of the pandemic and will resistance to the status quo ever be permitted to resume?



  2. EPO President Pushes Illegal Software Patents in South America (Over the Telephone With a Misleading New Puff Piece)

    The EPO's "news" section has become worse than a form of distraction (from the EPO's internal rot); it celebrates illegal and unlawful practices, spreading them to other continents



  3. The Free Software Foundation Warns Against Using Twitter

    Richard Stallman said Twitter was OK because it was possible to use it without proprietary software; that's no longer the case, so the Free Software Foundation (FSF) speaks out against it. It speaks about it more than 3 months after the problem became a known one and also an irreversible one (maybe Twitter would have reversed the decision if the media or the FSF actually spoke about it early enough).



  4. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 25, 2021



  5. Stéphane Bortzmeyer Explains Gemini Protocol (February 2021)

    A recent talk from Stéphane Bortzmeyer about Gemini and what it is for (or why)



  6. Links 26/2/2021: Istio 1.7.8 Announced, Blender 2.92, Firebird 3.0 Language Reference, FSF Against Twitter

    Links for the day



  7. Special Thanks to Mogz

    Credit where it's due to Mogz



  8. Modifying WordPress to Include Gemini Links in All Articles (Assuming a Canonical URL Form)

    In order to promote the departure from the World Wide Web (where possible and suitable; sites with text don't typically need Web-like features) one can promote the analogous pages in one's Gemini capsule; we suggest a way of doing so in WordPress (the most widely used CMS)



  9. Links 25/2/2021: RHEL for Open-Source Infrastructure, GNOME 40 Beta, LXPanel 0.10.1

    Links for the day



  10. IBM and Qt Don't Understand Free Software and They Now Impose Terms and Conditions on Who Qualifies for Use of Free Software Free of Charge

    IBM and Qt Don't Understand Free Software and They Now Impose Terms and Conditions on Who Qualifies for Use of Free Software Free of Charge



  11. Techrights Gemini Capsule, Now With Over 35,000 Pages and Files

    Blog posts combined with static (plain text) files are now 36,000+ in number, just for Gemini protocol alone; that number keeps growing as our conversion proceeds and evolves (our software will be released under terms of the AGPLv3)



  12. Eventually, or Hopefully, Many People Will Come Back to What the Web Used to Be (Or Web Alternatives More Like the 'Old' Web)

    With RSS feeds making a comeback and a resurgence of personal blogs we can take back the Web from a cabal of tech/Internet giants and social control media, censored, curated and spied on by oligarchy



  13. If Wikipedia is Controlled by Corporations and Mobs, It Needs to Be 'Cancelled'

    Facts have never truly mattered in social control media sites; it certainly seems as though Wikipedia now suffers the very same issue/deficit, allowing oligarchs and their companies to define what goes on in the world and which people Wikipedia should regard as persona non grata



  14. GNU/Linux Reaffirms Its Status as the Universal and Inter-planetary Operating System

    The operating system made for and by scientists (not business sharks and marketing cults) is winning the battle, and not only in this planet



  15. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 24, 2021



  16. Links 25/2/2021: Kali Linux 2021.1, Wine Launcher 1.4.46, and Google's Security Posing

    Links for the day



  17. Links 24/2/2021: MariaDB 10.5.9, Krita 4.4.3 Beta, and Debuginfod Server for Debian

    Links for the day



  18. Self-Host Your Videos, Take Full Advantage of HTML5 and Video Attributes

    For self-hosting of videos over the World Wide Web (Gemini too can handle videos; its clients/browsers can, for example, link video files/URLs to external media players) it's worth reviewing the full set of features made available by the standards because a lot can be accomplished without JavaScript and without unnecessary bloat/complexity



  19. Trying Out NoiseTorch to Reduce Background Sound/Noise in GNU/Linux

    An introduction to noisetorch (or NoiseTorch), an application that helps create virtual microphones/devices with reduced background noise



  20. How the Big Banks and OIN Can Whitewash Software Patents and Do Nothing Concrete About Patent Trolls

    Response to the puff piece entitled "How the Big Banks and OIN Can Lock Out Patent Trolls with Enabled Publications"



  21. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 23, 2021



  22. How to Set Up a Gemini Server of Your Own, Even on a Simple Single-Board Computer

    Using Agate to start one's own Gemini capsule (self-hosted) is a lot simpler than one might be inclined to believe; this is a detailed HOWTO, hoping to encourage more people to join Gemini space, which is fast-growing and free of garbage



  23. Links 23/2/2021: Tails 4.16, Libinput 1.17, Fwupd 1.5.7, Firefox 86, NeoChat 1.1

    Links for the day



  24. The Word Master is Not Problematic in Most Contexts and Its Origin Hasn't a Connection to Slavery

    Slavery is to the word "master" mostly disconnected; it might, however, be closely connected in the minds of racists or the agenda of highly racist corporations (profiting from racism) that look for ways to distract from their racism



  25. On Misapplication, Misuse, Overuse and Abuse of Words (to Suit False Narratives)

    It is looking like the word "abuse" has been extended to basically mean all sorts of things including the act of actually exposing real abuse



  26. The Administrative Council Needs to Fix the EPO While It's Still Possible

    EPO staff and former staff (pensioners) aren't happy and the it's the responsibility of the Administrative Council to do something before it's too late (the reputation of the Office is already severely harmed and it's unable/unwilling to recruit suitable and qualified people, both as examiners and managers, respectively)



  27. 'These Questions Remain Unanswered': Campinos Became Battistelli Just Halfway Through His Term

    The Central Staff Committee of the EPO highlights the grim situation or the deadlock reached after totally dysfunctional Office management somehow managed to kill off channels of communication, in effect going back to where things were back in 2018 under Battistelli



  28. 'The One Percent': Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP) Supported Only by 1% of EPO Staff

    Out of 2,237 EPO workers who expressed their position on the SAP, which in essence lowers their salary, only 31 expressed support for it (that's 1.385%)



  29. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, February 22, 2021



  30. DDOS Attacks and Decentralisation

    Our server, which is shared among sites, has been under persistent distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks almost every day in recent weeks, culminating in much worse attacks last night, but we're not too worried anymore


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