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

11.19.16

European Media, Dutch Parliament and Spectacularly Enough Even IP Kat (Yes, It’s Back!) Subject the EPO to Serious Scrutiny

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scrutiny

Summary: Belatedly (after a lot of unjust suffering and half a dozen suicides), having taken a closer look at some of the latest terrible policies from Battistelli and his goons, the press along with politicians and bloggers chastise the EPO and call for immediate remedial action

THE EPO is rotting and along with it the reputation and demand for its services. Will the European economy be so thoroughly damaged by it? Unless Battistelli and fellow thugs of his are removed, everyone will suffer, not just patent examiners but also attorneys, applicants, grantees, large European corporations and of course the European public. We need to sort out this mess before it’s too late!

Yesterday we mentioned beer ingredient patents and New Europe now has this new article about it. To quote:

NGOs urge Carlsberg to rethink beer ingredient patents

The European Patent Office in Munich and the Carlsberg company were criticised on November 17 in an open letter by campaigners opposed to the patenting of plants and animals.

No Patents on Seeds, an alliance including Greenpeace, the Catholic charity Misereor, and globally networked small-scale farmers, called on the Danish brewer to voluntarily relinquish three patents it received earlier this year from the European Patent Office.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, documents published by the EPO also list Heineken of the Netherlands as a patent proprietor.

On several occasions last week, including last night, we wrote about growing concerns in Dutch Parliament. Remember that the latest staff representative to be sacked by Battistelli was a Frenchman working at The Hague. According to what’s typically a very pro-EPO (and pro-UPC) blog, there is a “debate in Dutch Parliament about deteriorating social climate at European Patent Office” and here is a fragment from this very long blog post:

MP Sharon Gesthuizen of the socialist SP received support for her request from a majority of the MPs earlier this week. They have asked Secretary of Economic Affairs Martijn van Dam for a government letter on the developments at the EPO, which has one of its main offices in The Hague.

John Kerstens of the social democrat PvdA, who gave a speech last month during a demonstration of 350 EPO workers in The Hague, stated they deserve ‘attention for the reign of terror – this is how I call it – at the EPO.’ Esther Ouwehand of the Animal Party said she is very concerned and wants to know how the EPO can be brought under democratic control, despite the legal immunity the institution has according to the Dutch government.

The dismissal of SUEPO secretary Laurent Prunier, also a member of the EPO’s Central Staff Committee, was the latest development in years of turmoil, protests and conflicts between EPO employees and the authoritarian president Benoit Battistelli, who is accused of creating a climate of fear, putting workers under intolerable pressure and ignoring the organization’s own rules.

In reaction to a critical article on the IAM blog about the dismissal of the union leader, Battistelli explained in a letter that Prunier had been harassing an EPO colleague. In an ensuing letter of Prunier, he denied the allegations and asked for transparency: ‘The easiest solution for the public to assess the truth vs. story-telling is for Mr Battistelli to lift the confidentiality he imposes on me and I will gladly publish all the documents.’

What’s noteworthy here is not just the news from the Parliament but also the fact that pro-EPO blogs are quickly turning against Battistelli. Even IAM is showing more and more signs of dissent. And remember IP Kat? The blog which used to be critical of the EPO until the EPO threatened it with sanctions? Well, Merpel is back and she has very detailed reports about the Boards of Appeal of the EPO. The latest report from her is a multi-part series on the EPO’s “house ban”, issued under Battistelli’s orders (his massive ego is even bigger than the EPC!). To quote some key parts from this good article:

Remember the House Ban? How two years flies past

[...]

It is almost two years since Mr Battistelli illegally suspended a member of the BoA, confiscated the computer belonging to the Board member, and imposed a “house ban” to prevent access to the premises of the EPO. As readers of the blog will know, the Administrative Council subsequently tried to regularise the suspension, and suspended the member on full salary until March 31, 2015 (yes, more than 18 months ago, it’s not a typo).

Three attempts have been made, all spectacularly unsuccessful, to petition the Enlarged Board of Appeal to remove the member from office. Along the way, Mr Battistelli forcefully told the AC that it should ignore the rule of law and the Enlarged Board, told the Enlarged Board he would refuse to authorise any witnesses to attend its hearings, and demanded the Enlarged Board to provide an assurance that it would neither hear the case in public nor call any EPO witnesses. All of which was rather presumptuous on his part when he was not even a party to the Enlarged Board proceedings (despite which it was EPO employees presenting the case on behalf of the Administrative Council, not independent lawyers appointed by the AC).

[...]

The Enlarged Board has issued three decisions in the House Ban proceedings. In each of these decisions, the Board has ordered the European Patent Office to publish the decision, but the Office has flagrantly ignored those binding orders.

In the third such decision, the Enlarged Board noted that the Office had failed to comply with both of its previous orders, repeated that the earlier decisions should be published and made a formal order to publish the third decision as well. And … nothing happened. The Official Journal continues to be published on schedule with such important matters as the accession of Djibouti to the PCT, but curiously omitting the mandatory publication of these fundamentally important decisions on judicial independence and the relationship between the Boards, the AC and the President.

[...]

For the AC’s credibility to be restored at this very late stage, certain actions seem to be required.

1. The Board Member at the centre of the House Ban affair should be reinstated without further delay. The legal path has been followed and its outcome is clear. Suspension for an extended period at the insistence of management is incompatible with the requirement of judicial independence.

2. A clear signal should be given in the minutes of the next AC meeting that the actions of Mr Battistelli vis-a-vis the Enlarged Board are unacceptable, in terms of his instruction to the AC to ignore the Enlarged Board, and the actions which the Enlarged Board interpreted as threats to its operation and independence.

3. It should instruct Mr Battistelli to reinstate the recently dismissed Mr Prunier – after all, that was the standing instruction which he ignored by continuing to pursue and target the union leadership.

4. It should order that the next edition of the EPO Official Journal contains the approved texts for publication of the three “Article 23″ Enlarged Board decisions. If Mr Battistelli can’t find them for the publishers, the ever-helpful Merpel reminds all involved that they can be found here: No. 1, No. 2 and No 3.

“Please don’t forget the reinstatement of Liz Hardon and Ion Brumme and of course Malika Weaver (after degradation),” one person added in relation to action 3 and “under Action 3,” added another person, “please do not forget Aurélien Pétiaud, Michael Lund both unfairly downgraded for having done their job as staff representatives in the Internal Committee and Laurent Prunier having just been fired who dared to take courageous positions in front of Battistelli at several occasions on several highly sensitive files (eg. New Main building worth 250 Mio EUR; suicides at the workplace etc.)”

“The President of the EPO wants to move the Boards of Appeal to Haar,” Merpel noted in a followup (part 2). We believe that Battistelli plans to ultimately deprecate them, under the assumption that UPC can someone be made a reality (he gave false predictions and timeframe estimates time after time). To quote Merpel:

The President of the EPO wants to move the Boards of Appeal to Haar. “Where?” Merpel hears you ask. Precisely. Haar is a municipality on the outskirts of Munich, most famous (not that it is famous at all) for housing the largest mental hospital in Germany. Is this just a sick joke on the part of M Battistelli? Because there is nothing else that could justify this – excuse Merpel – insane idea, which is to the detriment of applicants and patentees, opponents, professional representatives, and the Board of Appeal members themselves.

The official justification for the move is to increase the perception of independence of the Boards of Appeal. But in the consultation of users carried out by the EPO itself, the geographical location of the Boards was overwhelmingly not considered an important factor to their independence. An earlier proposal to move the Boards to another city or country completely (which would have destroyed the Boards as we know them) has thankfully been dropped.

The idea put forward that members of the Boards of Appeal might be influenced in their decisions by the possibility that they might encounter in the canteen an examiner disgruntled because they have been over-ruled is ludicrous in principle, and not borne out by the actual experience of the EPO over the last four decades, even when first instance examiners worked in the same building as the Boards of Appeal. They no longer do. First instance divisions are located in other buildings in Munich, or in The Hague, or in Berlin. The person who does however share the Isar building with the Boards of Appeal is, of course, the President of the EPO, and Merpel gets the impression that he wants those pesky Board members as far away from his domain as possible.

Some new information emerges also in the many (and growing number of) anonymous comments there, but we shall get around to highlighting some of them in the next few days, depending on relevance to the latest developments. Susan Pickin has told me and told the EPO that “We could have them [the boards] in the UK [...] UK could offer to have them here…”

Heck, how about opening a whole branch of the EPO here in the UK and actually ensure that staff enjoys human rights? As a reminder, the EPO has been highly discriminatory against British workers as of late. And later it wonders why the UK won’t ratify the UPC?

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. The Crook Goes to Brussels to Lie About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The person who spent years lying about the UPC and severely attacking critics (usually by blatantly lying about them) goes to Brussels for another nose extension



  2. The EPO's HR Roadmap Retrospective

    A look back at the terrible ‘accomplishments’ of the Jesper Kongstad-led Administrative Council, which still issues hogwash and face-saving lies, as one might expect from a protector of Battistelli that lies to national representatives and buries inconvenient topics



  3. Links 26/3/2017: Debian Project Leader Elections, SecureDrop and Alexandre Oliva FSF Winners

    Links for the day



  4. His Master's Voice, Jesper Kongstad, Blocks Discussion of Investigative and Disciplinary Procedures at the EPO

    The Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation is actively preventing not just the dismissal of Battistelli but also discussion of Battistelli's abuses



  5. Heiko Maas and the State of Germany Viewed as Increasingly Complicit in EPO Scandals and Toxic UPC Agenda

    It is becoming hard if not impossible to interpret silence and inaction from Maas as a form of endorsement for everything the EPO has been doing, with the German delegates displaying more of that apathy which in itself constitutes a form of complicity



  6. With IP Kat Coverage of EPO Scandals Coming to an End (Officially), Techrights and The Register Remain to Cover New Developments

    One final post about the end of Merpel’s EPO coverage, which is unfortunate but understandable given the EPO’s track record attacking the media, including blogs like IP Kat, sites of patent stakeholders, and even so-called media partners



  7. Everyone, Including Patent Law Firms, Will Suffer From the Demise of the EPO

    Concerns about quality of patents granted by the EPO (EPs) are publicly raised by industry/EPO insiders, albeit in an anonymous fashion



  8. Yes, Battistelli's Ban on EPO Strikes (or Severe Limitation Thereof) is a Violation of Human Rights

    Battistelli has curtailed even the right to strike, yet anonymous cowards attempt to blame the staff (as in patent examiners) for not going out of their way to engage in 'unauthorised' strikes (entailing dismissal)



  9. Even the EPO's Administrative Council No Longer Trusts Its Chairman, Battistelli's 'Chinchilla' Jesper Kongstad

    Kongstad's protection of Battistelli, whom he is supposed to oversee, stretches to the point where national representatives (delegates) are being misinformed



  10. Thanks to Merpel, the World Knows EPO Scandals a Lot Better, But It's a Shame That IP Kat Helped UPC

    A look back at Merpel's final post about EPO scandals and the looming threat of the UPC, which UPC opportunists such as Bristows LLP still try hard to make a reality, exploiting bogus (hastily-granted) patents for endless litigation all around Europe



  11. EPO Critics Threatened by Self-Censorship, Comment Censorship, and a Growing Threat to Anonymity

    Putting in perspective the campaign for justice at the EPO, which to a large degree relies on whistleblowers and thus depends a great deal on freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and anonymity



  12. Links 25/3/2017: Maru OS 0.4, C++17 Complete

    Links for the day



  13. Judge and Justice Bashing in the United States, EPC Bashing at the EPO

    Enforcement of the law based on constitutional grounds and based on the European Patent Convention (EPC) in an age of retribution and insults -- sometimes even libel -- against judges



  14. Looking for EPO Nepotism? Forget About Jouve and Look Closely at Europatis Instead.

    Debates about the contract of Jouve with the EPO overlook the elephants in the room, which include companies that are established and run by former EPO chiefs and enjoy a relationship with the EPO



  15. Depressing EPO News: Attacks on Staff, Attacks on Life, Brain Drain, Patents on Life, Patent Trolls Come to Germany, and Spain Being Misled

    A roundup of the latest developments at the EPO combined with feedback from insiders, who are not tolerating their misguided and increasingly abusive management



  16. It Certainly Looks Like Microsoft is Already Siccing Its Patent Trolls, Including Intellectual Ventures, on Companies That Use Linux (Until They Pay 'Protection' Money)

    News about Intellectual Ventures and Finjan Holdings (Microsoft-funded patent trolls) reinforces our allegations -- not mere suspicions anymore -- that Microsoft would 'punish' companies that are not paying subscription fees (hosting) or royalties (patent tax) to Microsoft and are thus in some sense 'indebted' to Microsoft



  17. Links 24/3/2017: Microsoft Aggression, Eudyptula Challenge Status Report

    Links for the day



  18. Bernhard Rapkay, Former MEP and Rapporteur on Unitary Patent, Shoots Down UPC Hopes While UPC Hopefuls Recognise That Spain Isn't Interested Either

    Germany, the UK and Spain remain massive barriers to the UPC -- all this in spite of misleading reports and fake news which attempted to make politicians believe otherwise (for political leverage, by means of dirty lobbying contingent upon misinformation)



  19. Links 23/3/2017: Qt 5.9 Beta, Gluster Storage 3.2

    Links for the day



  20. The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation Has Just Buried an Innocent Judge That Battistelli Does Not Like

    An innocent judge (never proven guilty of anything, only publicly defamed with help from Team Battistelli and dubious 'intelligence' gathering) is one of the forgotten casualties of the latest meeting of the Administrative Council (AC), which has become growingly complicit rather than a mere bystander at a 'crime' scene



  21. Nepotism at the European Patent Office and Suspicious Absence of Tenders for Big Projects

    Carte blanche is a French term which now perfectly describes the symptoms encountered in the European Patent Office, more so once led by a lot of French people (Battistelli and his friends)



  22. “Terror” Patent Office Bemoans Terror, Spreads Lies

    Response to some of the latest utterances from the European Patent Office, where patently untruthful claims have rapidly become the norm



  23. China Seems to be Using Patents to Push Foreign Companies Out of China, in the Same Way It Infamously Uses Censorship

    Chinese patent policies are harming competition from abroad, e.g. Japan and the US, and US patent policy is being shaped by its higher courts, albeit not yet effectively combating the element that's destroying productive companies (besieged by patent trolls)



  24. 22,000 Blog Posts

    A special number is reached again, marking another milestone for the site



  25. The EPO is Lying to Its Own Staff About ILO and Endless (Over 2 Years) EPO Mistrials

    The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)



  26. EPO’s Georg Weber Continues Horrifying Trend of EPO Promoting Software Patents in Defiance of Directive, EPC, and Common Sense

    The EPO's promotion of software patents, even out in the open, is an insult to the notion that the EPO is adhering to or is bound by the rules upon which it maintains its conditional monopoly



  27. Protectionism v Sharing: How the US Supreme Court Decides Patent Cases

    As the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) starts delivering some decisions we take stock of what's to come regarding patents



  28. Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

    Links for the day



  29. The Battistelli Regime, With Its Endless Scandals, Threatens to Crash the Unitary Patent (UPC), Stakeholders Concerned

    The disdain and the growing impatience have become a huge liability not just to Battistelli but to the European Patent Office (EPO) as a whole



  30. The Photos the EPO Absolutely Doesn't Want the Public to See: Battistelli is Building a Palace Using Stakeholders' Money

    The Office is scrambling to hide evidence of its out-of-control spendings, which will leave the EPO out of money when the backlog is eliminated by many erroneous grants (or rejections)


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