Longtime “Friendship” and “Cronyism” (or Loyalty) Perhaps an Appointment Criterion?
Summary: Benoît Battistelli’s predecessor Roland Grossenbacher, who has a track record of protection and support for Battistelli (no matter the magnitude of abuses), reportedly takes a key position with Battistelli’s approval, debunking the notion that the appeal boards will enjoy greater (perceived) independence from the Office
THE EPO (Organisation) does not function — or no longer functions — like an institution with separate branches or pillars. In principle it’s supposed to (as envisioned by the EPC), but in practice, as we noted here before, Roland Grossenbacher and Benoît Battistelli appeared to have ganged up against President Brimelow [1, 2, 3, 4] (previous EPO President) and now have have another odd couple swapping seats at the Council, namely Benoît Battistelli and Jesper Kongstad. What happened to the Council as Battistelli’s ‘boss’ (or watchdog)? They’re inseparable under Battistelli and he even jokes about it, saying it would take an “earthquake” for the Council to stop being a lapdog. He allegedly gives them gifts at the expense of the Office, European taxpayers, or both.
“EPO staff — those who have been at the Office long enough — are no strangers to Mr. Grossenbacher.”We are saddened to see that things keep getting worse rather than better. Battistelli is about to totally destroy the EPO, not just demolish the boards that he loathes so much (collective punishment for a judge, UPC fantasies, and decreased patent quality that must remain undetectable for Battistelli’s lies to stick).
EPO staff — those who have been at the Office long enough — are no strangers to Mr. Grossenbacher. He’s not exactly liked, either. Several years ago SUEPO’s front page said “there was a demonstration held in Bern, in front of the Swiss Patent Office – home of Mr. Grossenbacher, the Chairman of the Administrative Council. National and individual interests (many of which financial) are dominating the decision making process and making it increasingly difficult for staff to maintain a high quality output of valid patents.”
Mr. Grossenbacher is no longer spending quite so much time at the EPO, but when he visits the EPO he continues to protect his friend, Mr. Battistelli, who is also protected by Kongstad, a Danish man with plenty of conflicts of interest and a large 'slaughterhouse' of chinchillas. Speaking of which, see the following new comment. It spells out CHINCHILLA (this funny new ode):
C uddly little furry things on the farm
H ere, the Danish government sees no harm
I n an opening statement from the AC Chair
N o scandal here, no scandal there
C aptain Batters got little or nothing waved through
H ave the AC FINALLY landed a coup
I ‘m delighted to learn VP3 has been thrown some meat
L ittle less pay, but keeps him off the street
L astly, a threatening object was found under a delegates car
A rogue laptop, good weekend, I’m off to the bar
As we noted here before, the writers at IP Kat do not cover EPO scandals anymore. Perhaps the EPO scared them when it imposed sanctions on them and the Kat ran away with its tail between its legs, to use somewhat of a pun (or a catty metaphor).
“All along it was expected that Battistelli would play a role in the appointments and put in high positions people who are loyal to him and can help impose the dismissal of a judge.”“New BOAC constituted,” one new comment said this weekend, but “IPKat asleep as usual.”
This links to an article in German from Mathieu Klos of Juve. It contains new information which an automated translation (can anyone translate this manually for us, with reliable facts and no risks of mistranslation?) highlights: “According to JUVE information from the environment of the Board of Directors, the three representatives of the Member States are Bucura Ionescu, Patricia García-Escudero-Márquez and Roland Grossenbacher. Ionescu is Director-General of the Romanian Patent Office and heads the Romanian delegation to the EPO. García-Escudero-Márquez, head of the Spanish delegation, also leads the national Patent and Trademark Office. Grossenbacher represents Switzerland and is the honorary president of the Board of Directors.”
All along it was expected that Battistelli would play a role in the appointments and put in high positions people who are loyal to him and can help impose the dismissal of a judge. “Disciplinary case still open,” says the article’s translation under a heading. Here’s more of this automated translation (we manually corrected only typos in the names):
However, the Board of Directors has not taken any decision in the pending disciplinary proceedings against a Board of Appeal. This was suspended in December 2014 by Benoît Battistelli. As a disciplinary oversight, the Board had then called for the removal of his office. However, a prerequisite for this is a corresponding recommendation by the Enlarged Board of Appeal. The highest court in the EPO had refused this in June, after Battistelli had intervened in the proceedings.
According to the statutes of the Office, the imprisonment is no longer possible. The Board of Directors had reportedly instructed its Chairman, Jesper Kongstad, to work out a solution. The case was on the agenda of yesterday’s meeting, but no decision was taken.
On the other hand, according to information received from the board of directors, the Member States rejected two proposals by Battistelli concerning the revision of the provision on disciplinary and investigations. The reform had been called for by the administrative board to defuse a conflict between the authorities and the trade unions. Here, Battistelli has to improve.
Does the judge need to be found innocent (or not guilty) five times in a row for Battistelli to stop taunting him? Each time this happens Battistelli makes a mockery not just of the Office but the whole Organisation. Not to mention how bad it makes Jesper Kongstad look…
To quote another new comment:
Yes. He remains suspended. Until the end of his term.
In accordance with the will of the President.
If we are told that the boards enjoy independence (a lie), then we must assess who’s in charge of them and remember that Battistelli personally plays a role in these appointments.
Wikipedia calls Benoît Battistelli “a French civil servant” and it won’t be long before an edit made to say “a French evil servant” would be totally appropriate. █