Crisis at the EPO Deepens as Dutch Parliament Dives in, European Parliament Snubbed by EPO Management, and Battistelli Relies on ‘High Corruption’ States
The EPO is going nowhere fast
Summary: New problems for the EPO, another new example of EPO defying Parliamentary instructions and laws, and an update about the UPC, which makes progress nowhere but countries that recently received ‘gifts’ from Battistelli
THE situation at the EPO is growingly chaotic (whereas the USPTO is rather stable). It’s not because of an erratic workforce but because of an insane management style. “Fired?” one person asks about the President of the EPO today. “If the article is correct, he should be imprisoned.” Well, Battistelli won’t be imprisoned, not just because the EPO is effectively above the law but because rich and well-connected people tend to be exempted from such laws. As we noted here before, Battistelli is close to Nicolas Sarkozy, who got away with corruption and has thankfully just lost the opportunity to seize power again. Some readers wrote to us about it.
The article from which we extract this comment was published this morning and said:
Fallout from Euro Patent Office meltdown reaches Dutch parliament
The extraordinary meltdown at the European Patent Office (EPO) has started to draw political attention, with the Dutch parliament planning a debate on the organization and its ongoing problems.
Socialist member of the Netherlands Parliament, MP Sharon Gesthuizen, received strong backing to her request for the debate following the dismissal of a key EPO staff member earlier this month by EPO president Benoit Battistelli, and a majority of MPs have now supported the motion.
As a result, the Dutch government is expected to draw up a formal response about the EPO and its view on recent events.
The debate is an escalation of a long-running battle at the patent office that has seen Battistelli suspend several prominent members of its staff union, as well as a member of the Boards of Appeal, for blocking his reform efforts and for criticizing his heavy-handed efforts to force them through.
This has been known for a while and it was possibly Techrights which was first to report it about a week ago. “It’s hard to believe this is still on-going,” one person wrote. “This is well past the stage of “He might be doing the right thing”. Now, he’s taking the piss. Batelli needs fired imo.”
The thugs who run the EPO already give the EU a bad name and one commenter weighed in to point out the same old fact: “Please note that the EPO is quite separate from the EU. Different organisation, different treaties, some differences in member states.”
Does the EU/EC realise just how much damage the EPO is doing to it?
According to this new observation from Benjamin Henrion (FFII), “EPO explains how they keep granting software patents with their “further technical effect”” (link to new PDF from the EPO omitted for privacy reasons).
Indeed, based on our fast assessment, in page 22 and thereabouts the EPO makes it abundantly clear that it snubs the EU Parliament on the subject of software patents, which are supposed to be banned in Europe.
Earlier today the EPO promoted its pro-software patents event in another country where software patents are not even legal. How crooked does the EPO hope to appear worldwide? Also today the EPO pushed out there what it called “facts”. These are not “facts” but disgusting propaganda and lies from the EPO and EUIPO, as foreseen as long as a month ago and debunked repeatedly since.
As I pointed out to Henrion the other day, when the EPO says “no comment” these days it’s actually an improvement because whenever it makes a statement this year it’s almost always filled with lies. Distortion of the truth has become the norm at the EPO (management) and reports of cosmetic changes at the EPO this week overlook the fact that not many stakeholders will still pursue EPs after the current crisis (not at these prices/fees anyway).
Speaking of crookedness under Battistelli, recall what happens in Lithuania when it comes to patents and what Battistelli did in Lithuania at a very strategic time. According to this new update on the UPC (going nowhere without the UK), Lithuania is still acting like a Battistelli “yes man”:
A bill on ratification of the UPC Agreement and a bill on the establishment of a Nordic-Baltic regional division of the UPC were approved on 3 Novermber 2017. They will enter into force on 1 July 2017, according to the website of the Lithuanian IPO. Before that time, amendments to the patent law of Lithuania will have to be adopted. These have already been submitted to the parliament.
What a total waste of time. The UPC in its current form isn’t going to happen. But if one believes the lies from Battistelli and the EPO, then it looks achievable. █