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12.08.16

Boards of Appeal Still Under Attack From Team Battistelli While the EPO Proceeds to Granting Patents on Carlsberg BEER!

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Good for Denmark, where crooked Kongstad still manages the national patent office

Kongstad beerSummary: The lunacy of the EPO with its patent maximalism will likely go unchecked (and uncorrected) if Battistelli gets his way and turns the EPO into another SIPO (Croatian in the human rights sense and Chinese in the quality sense)

A COUPLE of days ago we warned that the EPO is replacing well paid (and experienced full time) staff with interns. There’s a pattern to it and yesterday (again) the EPO tweeted this: “This programme allows participants to learn by “shadowing” technical board of appeal members…”

These boards have been intentionally understaffed for years (Kongstad and Battistelli didn’t seem to bother advertising to fill up vacant positions) and now they want some temporary workforce to replace skilled staff? This is part of a pattern that staff representatives have been warning about for a while.

“This is part of a pattern that staff representatives have been warning about for a while.”As we noted here last week, the Enlarged Board of Appeal does invaluable work keeping the scope of patents in check (see this latest coverage about its key decision [1, 2, 3, 4]; an article by Julian Asquith of Marks & Clerk was also reposted in another site of lawyers two days ago) and the last thing Battistelli wants right now is a bunch of independent staff stating out in public that he has demolished patent scope. Who would be brave enough to state the obvious, seeing all the ordeals/suffering one judge — along with his wife — has been subjected to for over two years (his salary too got slashed a few months ago)?

Mr. "production" Battistelli strives to only ever demolish the boards, little by little (because his actions are still technically limited by the EPC). It doesn’t take a genius to assess the trajectory of things and deduce that Battistelli wants an Office with no quality control and nothing independent, having already demolished and even shut down some auditory divisions. No king/autocrat wants to have his power questioned, let alone effectively challenged.

We have already written about the exile, the fee hikes, shortened appeal window, the intimidating manner in which Battistelli tries to compel staff to fire a colleague and so on. Marks & Clerk has just produced this this new article about when it will be “too late to file submissions with the Board of Appeal at the EPO” (Battistelli shortened and limited this even further, probably in an effort to further marginalise these boards). To quote this article:

In T 416/12, the Board of Appeal at the European Patent Office (EPO) considered the admissibility of amendments submitted by the patent proprietor made 29 days before the date of oral proceedings. Whilst it is possible for the Board to admit such submissions, it was ruled that the amendments in question should not be admitted since it was too late to fairly deal with the submissions at the impending oral proceedings. The patent was subsequently revoked. This case provides confirmation as to how the relevant regulations may be interpreted regarding the timeliness required for filling submissions before oral proceedings at the EPO.

Well, how much time is left for the BoA (whatever is left of it) to even exist after Battistelli is done burning the whole Organisation to the ground? Time is running out. The other day we saw a new article by BRIFFA about Carlsbergate — a little scandal which we covered here last month [1, 2]. To quote the article:

Are Carlsberg’s New Beer Patents Controversial? Probably …

This year, the European Patent Office (EPO) granted three new patents to Carlsberg (EP2384110, EP2373154 and EP2575433) relating, broadly, to the harvest of kernels from barley plants, the process for brewing and the drinks produced by these methods. European patent law prohibits patents on plant varieties and breeding; however, notwithstanding these prohibitions, the patents have been granted by the EPO.

The European Commission has stated that plants and animals resulting from essentially biological breeding should not be patented. Accordingly, there have been calls for Carlsberg to voluntarily relinquish the three patents on the basis that there should be no patents on beer and brewing barley since the cultivation of plants and beer brewing stems from a tradition that is centuries old. There have also been calls for European governments to bring the EPO under political control.

It remains to be seen whether the EPO will respond to statements made by the European Commission and the European Parliament and whether Carlsberg will respond to calls to voluntarily relinquish the patents.

Well, Kongstad’s high society Danish friends must be happy. Maybe they can have a good laugh (and a drink of Carlsberg!) over this, maybe in his chichillas slaughterhouse this cold winter. Kongstad is evidently uninterested in taking any action amid this EPO crisis, no matter how much pressure comes from politicians, from staff, from stakeholders, from labour rights groups, from ILO/UN, and from people all across Europe. Earlier this year someone passed to him a polite letter from me and suffice to say — as usual from Kongstad — he didn’t even bother replying. He only replies indirectly and by attacking style, not substance. Given that he knows Battistelli’s salary and constantly helps cover Battistelli’s behind, there is no doubt Kongstad is inherently complicit, much as we alleged even back in 2014.

The EPO is so rotten right now that with the help of yeast we can probably make Battistelli intoxicated enough not to see it and maybe we can even patent this method at the Battistelli-led EPO (an EP on a method for making a naked emperor drunk enough not to realise he’s naked).

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