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12.15.16

Shame on the German Media for the Media Blackout Surrounding EPO Protests in Munich (and Sometimes Berlin)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Where are the real journalists these days?

Ring binder

Summary: Remarks on the conspicuous lack of German media coverage (or even interest) in the face of large protests on German soil, which British media now covers a lot more often than German media

THINGS of historical significance (not to mention economic significance) are happening at the EPO, but for reasons we mentioned here before (or hypothesised about) the German media is nowhere to be seen (or rarely seen). The media is ignoring some potentially big stories while giving the EPO, which is largely based in Germany, far too many puff pieces (or no pieces at all, especially since the FTI Consulting contract got extended in Germany and threatening letters got sent by the EPO to writers).

The publicity stunt that was announced just a couple of days ahead of Administrative Council's meeting was suspicious to us and already we are seeing the yield, like this piece by the firm Boult Wade Tennant. It says:

The EPO has announced that cases will be stayed if they depend entirely on the question of whether products of essentially biological processes are patentable. Relevant cases will be those in which the subject-matter of the invention is a plant or animal obtained by an essentially biological process.

This, in our view, is both a distraction from the real news (common PR tactic) and also an attempt to paint the EPO as strict on patent quality/scope — a subject which was tabled for discussion at the Administrative Council’s meeting (still ongoing today).

Where is the German media? As far as we can tell, only rare mentions have been spotted, including one short article from Juve (mentioned here minutes ago). We are not aware of any articles regarding yesterday’s protest, except this one from WIPR and Kieren McCarthy’s new article which reuses photos that we published yesterday.

To quote WIPR:

Some staff members at the European Patent Office (EPO) held another demonstration yesterday with the support of several EU-based staff unions.

According to a statement from the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO), the demonstration took place in Munich. A source close to SUEPO claimed that hundreds of people attended.

SUEPO added that the EPO’s Administrative Council met yesterday and is meeting today, December 15.

“Topics of discussion are likely to include the controversial removal of the EPO Boards of Appeal to Haar [near Munich] and the office’s reaction to judgment number 3785,” it said.

To quote The Register:

Staff at the European Patent Office (EPO) have pleaded with the organization’s Administrative Council for a third time to take action against its rampaging president.

In an open letter sent to the 36 country representatives that make up the council, a group that calls itself the EPO-FLIER team walk through the wave of criticism directed at Benoit Battistelli in recent weeks as he continues a campaign against staff that have resisted his reform efforts.

The letter was sent on the first day of the Admin Council’s last quarterly meeting of the year in Munich – a meeting that has also been marked by large staff protests outside the EPO headquarters.

“It is time for the Members of the AC to act,” reads the letter, “Mr Battistelli is causing immeasurable damage to the Office; he is now untenable.” It asks that he “be removed, or alternatively, to be suspended until the end of his term.”

As usual, the British media covers protests in Germany (EPO) more than the German media covers it. If that’s not rotten, what is? We have contacted German publishers for a while and we never ever received a response. It’s like they have some implicit/delicate internal policy to not touch the EPO because Germany benefits from it.

“Batistelli and his criminal crew has to be stopped NOW,” a person wrote this week, but if Germans don’t even know what’s wrong and there is no media outrage in Germany, how will they fight back? They don’t know what’s going on. Here is the full comment:

Read http://www.ilostaffunion.org/?p=2185 and http://ipso.de/page.php?c=3

Broad support and crowdfunding for our dismissed colleages is what we need. When all labour organisations participate it is a strong weapon. Batistelli and his criminal crew has to be stopped NOW. A neutral and independent investigation should start within the EPO as soon as possible.

There is also this new ode about the EPO:

A t last The Muppet Show returns to tread(on)the Boards
P arty time at Christmas,the office can affords
P erhaps this year Batters can desist from lighting a fag
L et the fire brigade have a night off from this running gag
A move to Haar just needs to be waved through
U nlikely that the revellers will block his newest coup
S o what use are these people? I can only ask
E PO is dysfunctional,they are not up to the task

Speaking of Germany, the EPO is currently promoting an event in Munich, Germany (how valuable to Germany’s economy!) and in response to their invitation I wrote: “Does that mean that those joining you will also be spied on with hidden cameras and keyloggers?”

These are serious offenses if not crimes by German law, but apparently accusing the EPO of crimes gets a person nothing but legal harassment, even in Germany (the letters they sent me previously bore the name of someone else with a German-sounding name). Perhaps this is why German media is so silent. Watch what the EPO's management did to Bavarian TV for daring to point out the growing death toll of Battistelli's horrible regime.

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