Summary: Exploring the potential conflicts of interests implicating the EPO’s Boards of Appeal Committee
Alberto Casado Cerviño is the Vice President of Directorate-General 2 (Operational Support) which is in charge of delivering support for patent administration activities to internal and external users of EPO services, and includes Quality Management, Patent Administration and Information Management.
“The only negative publicity which he has attracted so far within the EPO seems to have been the fact that a number of suicide cases were related to staff in his Directorate-General 2 where Ciaran McGinley (reported to be due to retire shortly) is a Principal Director.”On a day-to-day basis Casado’s role within the EPO is a mostly unobtrusive one and he doesn’t really attract much attention. In fact some people have said that he is almost invisible although he does occasionally appear for management-staff meetings. The only negative publicity which he has attracted so far within the EPO seems to have been the fact that a number of suicide cases were related to staff in his Directorate-General 2 where Ciaran McGinley (reported to be due to retire shortly) is a Principal Director.
But despite his apparently unobtrusive role Casado seems to be a key member of Battistelli’s inner “circle of trust” and is probably relied on to provide important connections to influential circles in Spain.
“Casado’s previous position at the EUIPO in Alicante is worth noting because it underlines the close cross-connections between the upper management of the EPO and the EUIPO (formerly OHIM).”Before joining the EPO, Casado was the Director General of the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM). Previously he held the posts of “Expert Consultant” of the World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO) and was a Vice-President of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), the EU Trademark Office based in Alicante, which has recently been renamed the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
Casado’s previous position at the EUIPO in Alicante is worth noting because it underlines the close cross-connections between the upper management of the EPO and the EUIPO (formerly OHIM). The current Executive Director of the EUIPO is Antonio Campinos who is rumoured to be interested in the position of EPO President and has been touted as a potential successor to Battistelli. Campinos’ deputy is Christian Archambeau who previously worked at the EPO as Director of Personnel (2002-2010) which is the position currently occupied by Madame Bergot. We wrote about this before.
“Campinos’ deputy is Christian Archambeau who previously worked at the EPO as Director of Personnel (2002-2010) which is the position currently occupied by Madame Bergot.”As previously reported on Techrights [1, 2, 3], the appointment of Casado’s successor as Director General of the OEPM was shrouded in controversy and rumours of procedural irregularities.
The current Director General of the OEPM, Patricia García-Escudero Márquez, is the sister of Pío García-Escudero Márquez (English Wikipedia | Spanish Wikipedia), Count of Badarán, a scion of the Spanish aristocracy and a leading figure in the main conservative party Partido Popular who has been the Chairman of the Spanish Senate since 2011.
With Fair Use arguments (under “criticism”), here are publicly-available photos of Patricia García-Escudero Márquez.
In a follow-up article we shall take a closer look at some of the recent Spanish political affairs surrounding the Partido Popular and the role played by Pío García-Escudero Márquez in these matters.
But for the moment let’s get back to Casado whose close connections to the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP) deserve a mention.
The UIMP is a public university with administrative headquarters in Madrid and campuses in Santander, Valencia, Barcelona, Cartagena, Cuenca, Granada, Seville and Tenerife. Interestingly not only Casado but also Patricia García-Escudero Márquez, Campinos and Battistelli seem to have close connections to the UIMP and all of them are regular participants in events organised by the University, in particular the Summer IP Seminars which have been jointly organised by the OEPM and the UIMP since around 2006.
Casado is not too private a person. Here he is at a UIMP event.
And some more casual photos in the public record.
In July 2011 an IP Seminar under the title “Innovations, Patents and Internationalising Businesses” was chaired by Casado in his role as Director General of the OEPM supported by Patricia García-Escudero in her then role as the Head of the OEPM’s Dissemination, Communication and Support Unit.
Two of the key speakers were Benoît Battistelli (EPO President) and Antonio Campinos (OHIM President). There was also a roundtable discussion moderated by Casado and featuring Campinos and Battistelli.
In July 2014 at the conclusion of one such event Battistelli was awarded with an honorary doctorate by the UIMP. Here is a photograph:
The latest event entitled “Protecting innovations in Spain: the new Patent Law” was held in July 2016. A video of Battistelli’s contribution can be seen here. Somebody should make a copy of the video before it disappears. For the sake of curation and long-term preservation we are making local copies of the event’s details
[PDF] and also a programme from 2011
[PDF] (as referred to above).
“In July 2014 at the conclusion of one such event Battistelli was awarded with an honorary doctorate by the UIMP.”Battistelli is introduced by the current OEPM Director-General Patricia García-Escudero and the third person at the speaker’s table is none other than EPO Vice-President Casado.
Some readers may ask why these connections are of interest.
The answer lies in the recent appointments to the new supervisory body of the EPO Boards of Appeal, the Boards of Appeal Committee or “BOAC” as it is known internally. One of the members of this body is the OEPM Director-General Patricia García-Escudero.
“Based on the connections outlined above we are inclined to think that his favorite “pet chinchilla” on the BOAC is most likely to be Ms. García-Escudero.”Techrights recently reported that Roland Grossenbacher has also been appointed to this body and referred to him in this context as a longtime ally of Battistelli. We are not sure that Battistelli can still rely on Grossenbacher as a loyal ally, based on information received just days ago. Based on the connections outlined above we are inclined to think that his favorite "pet chinchilla" on the BOAC is most likely to be Ms. García-Escudero.
This first part will be followed by an article about recent Spanish political affairs surrounding the Partido Popular and the role played by Pío García-Escudero Márquez (brother of the current OEPM Director General and Casado’s successor). After that we will have a short update about VP4 (Željko Topić), who is effectively Battistelli’s ‘bulldog’ at the EPO (with a notorious and long track record). █