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

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 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. 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



  2. 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)



  3. 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



  4. Links 21/2/2017: KDE Plasma 5.9.2 in Chakra GNU/Linux, pfSense 2.3.3

    Links for the day



  5. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's Wall

    Battistelli's solution to everything at the EPO is exclusion and barriers



  6. The 'New' Microsoft is Still Acting Like a Dangerous Cult in an Effort to Hijack and/or Undermine All Free/Open Source Software

    In an effort to combat any large deployment of non-Microsoft software, the company goes personal and attempts to overthrow even management that is not receptive to Microsoft's agenda



  7. PTAB Petitioned to Help Against Patent Troll InfoGation Corp., Which Goes After Linux/Android OEMs in China

    A new example of software patents against Free software, or trolls against companies that are distributing freedom-respecting software from a country where these patents are not even potent (they don't exist there)



  8. Links 20/2/2017: Linux 4.10, LineageOS Milestone

    Links for the day



  9. No, Doing Mathematical Operations on a Processor Does Not Make Algorithms Patent-Eligible

    Old and familiar tricks -- a method for tricking examiners into the idea that algorithms are actual machines -- are being peddled by Watchtroll again



  10. Paid-for UPC Proponent, IAM 'Magazine', Debunked on UPC Again

    The impact of the corrupted (by EPO money) media goes further than one might expect and even 'borrows' out-of-date news in order to promote the UPC



  11. Lack of Justice in and Around the EPO Drawing Scrutiny

    The status of the EPO as an entity above the law (in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and so on) is becoming the subject of press reports and staff is leaving in large numbers



  12. Links 19/2/2017: GParted 0.28.1, LibreOffice Donations Record

    Links for the day



  13. The EPO is Becoming an Embarrassment to Europe and a Growing Threat to the European Union

    The increasingly pathetic moves by Battistelli and the ever-declining image/status of the EPO (only 0% of polled stakeholders approve Battistelli's management) is causing damage to the reputation of the European Union, even if the EPO is not a European Union organ but an international one



  14. Patent Misconceptions Promoted by the Patent Meta-Industry

    Cherry-picking one's way into the perception of patent eligibility for software and the misguided belief that without patents there will be no innovation



  15. As the United States Shuts Its Door on Low-Quality Patents the Patent Trolls Move to Asia

    Disintegration of Intellectual Ventures (further shrinkage after losing software patents at CAFC), China's massive patent bubble, and Singapore's implicit invitation/facilitation of patent trolls (bubble economy)



  16. Links 17/2/2017: Wine 2.2, New Ubuntu LTS

    Links for the day



  17. Bad Advice From Mintz Levin and Bejin Bieneman PLC Would Have People Believe That Software Patents Are Still Worth Pursuing

    The latest examples of misleading articles which, in spite of the avalanche of software patents in the United States, continue to promote these



  18. Patents Are Not Property, They Are a Monopoly, and They Are Not Owned But Temporarily Granted

    Patent maximalism and distortion of concepts associated with patents tackled again, for terminology is being hijacked by those who turned patents into their "milking cows"



  19. SoftBank Group, New Owner of ARM, Could Potentially Become (in Part) a Patent Troll or an Aggressor Like Qualcomm

    SoftBank grabbed headlines (in the West at least) when it bought ARM, but will it soon grab headlines for going after practicing companies using a bunch of patents that it got from Inventergy, ARM, and beyond?



  20. Technicolor, Having Turned Into a Patent Troll, Attacks Android/Tizen/Linux With Patents in Europe

    Technicolor, which a lot of the media portrayed as a patent troll in previous years (especially after it had sued Apple, HTC and Samsung), is now taking action against Samsung in Europe (Paris, Dusseldorf and Mannheim)



  21. Michelle Lee is Still “in Charge” of the US Patent System

    Contrary to a malicious whispering campaign against Lee (a coup attempt, courtesy of patent maximalists who make a living from mass litigation), she is still in charge of the USPTO



  22. Our Assessment: EPO Wants a Lot of Low-Quality Patents and Low-Paid Staff With UPC (Prosecution Galore)

    The European Patent Office seems to be less interested in examination and more interested in facilitating overzealous prosecution all across Europe and beyond; The Administrative Council has shown no signs that it is interested in profound changes, except those proposed by Battistelli in the face of growing resistance from staff and from ordinary stakeholders



  23. Links 16/2/2017: HITMAN for GNU/Linux, Go 1.8

    Links for the day



  24. Yet More Complaints About the European Patent Office in the Bavarian Regional Government

    Some German politicians do care about the welfare of EPO staff, a lot more so than the EPO's management that is actively crushing this staff



  25. EPO Staff Representatives to Escalate Complaint About Severe Injustices to the EPO's Secretive Board 28

    In a new letter to President Benoît Battistelli it is made abundantly apparent -- however politely -- that Battistelli's gross abuses could further complicate things for Battistelli, who is already embroiled in a fight with his predecessor, Roland Grossenbacher



  26. New Survey Reveals That High Patent Quality, or Elimination of Bad Patents, is Desirable to Patent Holders

    A new survey from Bloomberg BNA and AIPLA reveals that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which still grows in prominence, is supported by people who have themselves gotten patents (not those who are in the bureaucracy of patents and self-serving politics)



  27. Open Patent Office is Not the Solution; Ending Software Patents is the Solution

    Our remarks about the goals and methods of the newly-established Open Patent Office and what is instead needed in order to combat the menace that threatens software development



  28. New Scholarly Paper Says “UK’s Withdrawal From the EU Could Mean That the Entire (Unitary Patent) System Will Not Go Into Effect”

    A paper from academics -- not from the patent microcosm (for a change) -- provides a more sobering interpretation, suggesting quite rightly that the UPC can't happen in the UK (or in Europe), or simply not endure if some front groups such as CIPA somehow managed to bamboozle politicians into it (ratification in haste, before the facts are known)



  29. Patent Trolls Update: Rodney Gilstrap Maintains His Support for Trolls, MPEG-LA Goes Hunting in China, and Blackberry Hits Nokia

    A roundup of the latest news about patent trolls and what they are up to in the United States, Europe, and Asia



  30. Guest Post: EPO, an Idyllic Place to Work

    The true face of the EPO as explained by an insider, recalling the history that led to the negative image and toxic work atmosphere


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