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10.09.16

Has IP Kat’s Unofficial (Self-)Censorship Policy Expanded From Protecting the EPO’s Image to Protecting the UPC?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IP Kat gags

Summary: Suspicions that the popular blog IP Kat is suppressing criticism of the UPC are being aired, belatedly, over at IP Kat, hinting at the possibility of self-censorship due to financial motivations rather than fear of the EPO’s legal bullying, or strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP)

THE EPO, as we last noted this afternoon, is trying to control not only media companies but also blogs, staff, and any other means of communication. The Office wants media blackout and information lockdown. Nobody but the chronic liar (Battistelli or cronies like Margot Fröhlinger) is allowed to have a voice. AMBA, for example, is too afraid/reluctant to even respond to E-mails from Managing IP. This is basically the current strategy of the EPO and in a sense it’s both clever and effective. That’s why North Korea and Iran adopted it.

Remember the times when IP Kat was a go-to place and a critical voice regarding the EPO? That was quite a while back. They write nothing about the subject anymore, so I asked them about it online. I am still waiting for an answer.

Several interesting (but old) comments were published at IP Kat shortly after we had noted something about IP Kat not publishing particular comments (we wrote about it in the afternoon), though the timing is quite possibly a coincidence, so we’re not suggesting that they did this in response to something we had written.

Here is what one comment asked: “Dear team of IPkat, I haven’t seen a post about the situation at the EPO since a couple of months. How come? Do you think there are no news? Have you been threatened? 3 staff rep in The Hague are being under investigation at the moment. Staff is planning demo next week. How come you do not report about it?”

No response since. I too asked them and have not received a response. “Has IP Kat been threatened — not just censored — by the EPO,” I asked IP Kat and its founder. “Given the circumstances, no reply might be “yes”,” I added.

Remember that IP Kat already received threats from other such bodies, as did a few other bloggers (not even big publishers and paid journalists).

Nowadays it feels like IP Kat writers, not wanting to have particular things mentioned, simply suppress particular things (censorship and also self-censorship). Some believe it’s done for fear that the EPO would censor them again (or maybe even send threatening letters as they did to me). Some bloggers did humorously insinuate that IP Kat was next on the EPO’s naughty list. First they were added to the censorship list (after they had done this to me), so is a threat of lawsuit next in line? Just the thought itself would be enough to gag (self-censor) IP Kat. It’s known as the Chilling Effect and next week — not fearing retaliation — we shall write about the chinchilla effect.

Here is a comment about alleged criminals at the top of the EPO. The EPO simply chooses call those who mention charges against them “defamation”. Here is the comment which is days old and IP Kat has not published until a relatively short while ago (I see publication time through my RSS feeds):

To further reinforce the narrative about defamation, VP3 sued the member of the board of appeal for in a German court – you may have read the outcome above (28/09): it appears that the Procurator dismissed the case recently.

Actually it was VP4 who tried to file a lawsuit in Germany.

His litigation track record is not so hot.
In January 2015 he apparently lost a defamation lawsuit in his home country:

http://techrights.org/2015/03/18/full-judgment-against-topic/

Now it seems that the German Procurator didn’t even consider it worthwhile opening proceedings against the person accused of defamation.

But don’t worry he still enjoys the favour of the Lord Protector of Eponia.

“Well,” the person later added. “my last comment about VP4 seems to have been suppressed.”

This comment too was suppressed (no way it was detected/identified as spam), so it looks like IP Kat hoped nobody would notice what had happened. I was already told, since almost a year ago by multiple people, that IP Kat had been deleting (not publishing is the equivalent of that) their comments. They deleted mine too. See this example and also this one (later they blamed the latter on spam filtering, but the former they just simply deleted).

For IP Kat to suppress discussions about EPO’s scandals is a lot easier these days; now the blog just no longer writes anything on the topic (hence every comment would be off topic); the only comments about it (if published at all) are clustered in some very distant page from 4 months ago. “I think it is still possible to post,” one person wrote, but there’s no guarantee that what gets posted will in fact be published. Well, maybe it depends on what it’s about. Selective publication of comments is a form of censorship, by definition (I have been reading and writing about the subject of censorship for several years, so I am very familiar with the methods).

One person asked “Has the thread reached its limit” and “It seems so” was the response, until IP Kat suddenly published half a dozen comments in this thread alone (in the mean time it did publish numerous other comments, every day in fact, so being absent from moderation is not a valid excuse).

Please note, based on the above, that there are no offensive words in there or anything that should invoke a spam filter (potential excuse in these cases). There are no clickable links, either.

Another new comment, this one regarding the UPC which the blog habitually promotes/markets, says the site “seems to be so highly unwilling to put information like this in the public domain” because it’s against the UPC. The thread touches on (promotes) the UPC, so the comment is relevant, it’s definitely on topic, and it refutes the original propaganda from the Bristows employee by stating:

This is my second attempt to get this comment posted, after the first one made on 10/06/16 at around 11:30 a.m. CEST still remains to be published, despite its receipt having been confirmed.

To the commentators on 10/04/16, 21:13 and on 10/05/16, 8:30:

Don´t forget to mention Mr Haft who is also a member of said committee of the German Bar Association. His firm Hoyng ROKH Monegier was created just recently by a Dutch and a German firm joining forces in joyful anticipation of the UPC. Should the UPC now not become a reality, this may well consitute a delicate situation for them… It is vested interests like these that bring about desperate suggestions such as going ahead with the UPC at any cost and even without a crucial participant like the UK.

It is left to the imagination of the readers why the IPKat (and more specifically the author of this post) seems to be so highly unwilling to put information like this in the public domain, apparently going so far as to even censor respective comments.

These conflicts of interest in the collusion behind UPC 'experts' were previously noted in relation to Tilmann, whom we mentioned here before in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. This seems to suggest that the IP Kat blog not only censors criticism of the EPO but not also expands its suppression of comments to the UPC (although evidence is too scarce at this stage).

If IP Kat deleted (or did not publish) your comment/s, please get in touch with us so that we’ll know how broad the problem has become. If we are seeing selective coverage of particular sides depending on one’s agenda/goals/objectives/profit motive, then it is more severe than censorship and self-censorship for fear of SLAPP from the EPO.

For the record, Techrights accepted each and every one of the 33,583 comments posted over the years (zero censorship), including extremely rude and racist comments. That is what free speech means.

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