German Justice Minister Heiko Maas, Who Flagrantly Ignores Serious EPO Abuses, Helps Battistelli’s Agenda (‘Reform’) With the UPC
Summary: The role played by Heiko Maas in the UPC, which would harm businesses and people all across Europe, is becoming clearer and hence his motivation/desire to keep Team Battistelli in tact, in spite of endless abuses on German soil
IT wasn’t too long ago that we mentioned Heiko Maas in relation to his complicity, by inaction, in EPO scandals. He has received so many letters (and copies of letters) about the situation, yet he seems to be deaf in both ears and blind in both eyes. It’s like everything about the EPO goes right into his shredder as a matter of policy.
Suffice to say, Germany has plenty to gain from the UPC because it cements Germany’s near-monopoly on EU-wide patents. It does to prosecution what was already done examination- and appeals-wise.
“We are now starting to suspect that Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas ignores EPO abuses (crimes by national laws) out of convenience.”Found today via Christine Robben from Team UPC is this blog post from her employer, which said just before Christmas that a “draft bill for the implementation of the UPCA was published on 9 December 2016 by Justice Minister Heiko Maas. Together with the UK, Germany is one of the two countries that still have to ratify the UPCA before the Unitary Patent system can start functioning.”
We are now starting to suspect that Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas ignores EPO abuses (crimes by national laws) out of convenience. Moreover, he pushes Battistelli’s agenda forward with the UPC. Is he complicit then? Or just a bystander-type enabler? One who refuses to intervene because he has something to gain (or to fear)? How does that relate to Germany's media blackout regarding EPO abuses as of late? It’s almost as though large publishers/editors receive instructions not to ‘meddle’. The EPO wastes a lot of money trying to accomplish just that.
Let it be clear that for Germany to oppose the UPC would make no sense. “Entering into force of provisional [UPC] phase (early opt-outs) is still unclear,” Alexander Esslinger wrote about it, but Germany’s main barriers at the moment are Spain and the UK. WIPR gives a platform to those who promote the UPC in the UK, but the UPC has no future here; even Lucy has just been sacked (or resigned), only a few weeks after she promised the impossible.
The UPC would be utterly disastrous to European businesses. We wrote many articles about this in the past. The UPC would also be very damaging to EPO staff, notably judges. Things are already being pushed to the brink of planned failure, as Battistelli understaffs the boards of appeal (BoA) and limits access to them. Battistelli does to the appeal boards the same thing Tories do to the NHS, as a preparatory step preceding replacement.
Ricardo Ontañón of Clarke Modet & Co has just published this article about the weirdness of EPO oppositions in the Battistelli era. To quote the first paragraph:
Analysis of the lack of clarity in opposition proceedings before the EPO
The European Patent Office (EPO) confirmed in recently issued Decision G3/14 the practice highlighted in earlier decisions (T301/87), whereby establishing that during opposition proceedings of a European patent the Opposition Division of the EPO can only analyze the lack of clarity of the amended claims when the amendments made may introduce an alleged lack of clarity.
Ultimately, considering how eagerly Battistelli seems to be following China's footsteps, all these steps that helped assure patent quality may be phased out/deprecated, leaving both plaintiffs and defendants spending a fortune in ‘unitary’ courts that don’t speak their language and handle patents whose legitimacy ought to have been questioned/scrutinised at the European Patent Office/BoA, not in the courtroom (high costs associated with flights, lawyers, interpreters etc.).
Now that we know Heiko Maas is a wilful enabler of the UPC we are going to approach his utterly reckless attitude towards the EPO’s management as part of the problem. █