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


French Media Says Benoît Battistelli Turned the Patent Office Into a Sort of North Korea

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

North Korea flag and EPO

Summary: A new article from the French media shares some interesting new tidbits of information about the autocrat who has inadvertently come to destroy the European Patent Office

THE EPO continues to attract negative media attention, in spite of paying the media, which is Battistelli’s way of wasting millions of Euros of the EPO’s budget, corrupting the media in the process (the casualty outside Eponia, bloggers included).

Articles such as the aforementioned Le Canard Enchaîné article (mentioned last week) are good enough to be worth an English translation, so that is exactly what one reader sent to us. Here is the full translation:

Rich pickings at the European Patent Office

Completely out of control, this little-known but extremely rich organization treats its staff like in the old days – but not the good ones.

Imagine an offshore enclave, but in the heart of Europe, a sort of micro-state which dictates its own laws, completely out of control. Don’t imagine any more: It exists. The European Patent Office (EPO) is a discreet but extremely rich international organization, which answers to no-one. And no-one more so than its President, who turns out to be a Frenchman, and a graduate of the prestigious National School of Administration. Since he took over at the EPO in July 2010, Benoît Battistelli has behaved, according to his many detractors, like some kind of oriental potentate. Under his reign the Office has turned into a sort of North Korea.

On paper, working at the EPO is a good deal. The 7,000 officials, who are responsible for registering the patents for 38 countries, feature as among the best paid in Europe. More than half of them take home an average monthly wage packet of 11,000 Euros, and that’s after tax. Established forty years ago, the EPO, which sports a budget of two billion Euros, has never cashed in as much as it does under Battistelli’s iron rule, chalking up a profit of 300,000 Euros annually.

Strikes and pickets

But there’s a problem: Money doesn’t buy happiness. Last year, angry employees demonstrated in front of the headquarters in Munich, protesting against the management methods of the President, which are far from being patented. This has never happened before in the history of the organization. The staff union representing the majority of the employees, Suepo, pointed up the suicide of four staff members, two of which occurred at the workplace. What a coincidence; a number of Suepo representatives were then singled out for disciplinary procedures. To muzzle the competition better, the President of the Office, who in his off-duty moments is a Republican municipal councillor in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, decided to shut the union down. Faced with a democratic backlash, the National School of Administration graduate, who also holds the award of the Legion of Honour, also imposed restraints on the right to strike.

From now on, if the union wants to call a stoppage, it has to ask the management nicely, who will then arrange for the strike to be supervised. In order for a strike to be authorised, a majority of the staff members have to vote in favour of the principle, with a participation rate of 40%, if you please. And if, by some miracle, the strike is authorised, it cannot, under any circumstances, go on for longer than one month. This Friday, the High Court of Appeal of the Netherlands will be ruling on the complaint lodged by Suepo, advised by the French advocate William Bourdon, on the grounds of “Violation of fundamental rights against the rulings regarding the right to strike”.

Bercy backing all the horses

The French government is massively irritated by a situation which could damage the image of France abroad. Christophe Sirugue, Secretary of State for Industry, gives assurance that he “views with great disquiet the social climate which prevails within the Office, and which has seriously deteriorated over the past two years”. He hopes this will get up Battistelli’s nose – but Battistelli doesn’t give a damn.

With his six bodyguards, his diplomatic passport, and his CD plates on the official limousine, Battistelli is a lot more powerful than some under-minister.

One stash, more than one double deal

To help him run things, the President of the Office has recruited a dozen Frenchmen, close on half of whom come from the National Institute of Industrial Property (Inpi), of which he was the director for many years. It’s with them in tow that he is running the EPO milch cow in his own inimitable style. A veritable cornucopia, which in 2016 generated a profit of 560 million Euros. On the Administrative Council, the main management body, those who risk questioning the directives from the top are rare indeed.

“The only thing that matters to the members of the Administrative Council is that their countries get their cut from the patents registered with the EPO” was the sarcastic response from one EPO official, who preferred to remain anonymous. An annual manna of 500 million Euros. Germany alone, European champion when it comes to patents, pockets 150 million Euros every year. For having dared to stir things up, France has itself had to pay a price. French patents straight away went to the bottom of the pile….

That’s what you call a patented method.

Christophe Labbé

That last part was confirmed by a leak in 2015; if true, as evidence does seem to suggest, then Battistelli not only ‘buys’ votes but also ‘punishes’ countries that vote down his proposals or ‘dare’ criticise him. Not even North Korea went as far as this…

March on Battistelli, and worry not when the Office you once ‘led’ simply collapses. After the imminent retirement (Battistelli is too old to have been given this post in the first place) there will always be the memories and delusions of grandeur.

North Korean EPO

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. Links 18/2/2020: Linux 5.6 RC2, Wine 5.2, GNU Social Contract and Sparky 2020.02 Special Editions

    Links for the day

  2. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 16, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 16, 2020

  3. Links 16/2/2020: MX Linux 19.1 and MyPaint 2.0

    Links for the day

  4. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 15, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 15, 2020

  5. Guest Article: Au Revoir, GNU/Linux

    "Funny how OSI just ended up being another vehicle for their takeover of the computing world..."

  6. Former Microsoft Employee: ZDNet is Owned by Microsoft (and Others) in Some Senses

    A noteworthy message we've received from someone who knows Microsoft from the inside

  7. Links 15/2/2020: Blender 2.82, Qt 5.15 Alpha and NetBSD 9.0 Released

    Links for the day

  8. Microsoft Views 'Open Source' as a Zero-Cost Heist Opportunity (Making Proprietary Software/Spyware Using Other People's Free Labour)

    Making GPL-licensed (copyleft) software and hosting it outside Microsoft’s jaws is the best way to counter the abusive monopolist, which still says it “loves” what it is actually attacking

  9. Did Microsoft 'Buy' ZDNet?

    A look at what ZDNet tells its readers (screenshot from this morning) and a rare look at how its writers are censored/suppressed

  10. Anatomy of a Crime and Protection From Prosecution

    It’s hard to forget what António Campinos hides for his friend

  11. Today's EPO is a Fraud Managed by Frauds

    Beneath the scandals associated with systematic abuse against staff, union-busting (silencing whistleblowers) and en masse granting of invalid patents — the hallmark of grotesque maladministration — lie a bunch of even greater crimes

  12. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 14, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, February 14, 2020

  13. One Need Only Look at ZDNet's 'Linux' Section to Understand It's a Microsoft Propaganda Operation

    A timely new snapshot (or screenshot) that demonstrates what ZDNet became after hiring Microsoft employees as ‘journalists’ and censoring on behalf of Microsoft, defaming Free software figures and so on

  14. Links 14/2/2020: New Release of KStars, OpenSSH 8.2, Rhythmbox 3.4.4, Flatpak 1.6.2

    Links for the day

  15. The Uselessness of Social Control Media and Why We Need RSS Feeds' Resurgence More Than Ever

    Social control media became pure noise or misinformation, usually in pursuit of financial expansion alone, and it is also a censorship machine which discourages not falsehoods but unconventional thinking

  16. Another New 'Clown' for the UPC 'Circus'

    A former writer of IPPro Magazine (which seems to be defunct now) reports another shuffle -- perhaps the fifth in a few years -- of "IP" [sic] Minister for the UK; it doesn't bode well for the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

  17. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 13, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 13, 2020

  18. Links 13/2/2020: Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS, Septor 2020, Endless OS 3.7.7, Wayland 1.18.0, KDE Plasma 5.18 and GTK 3.98 Released

    Links for the day

  19. The Microsoft Propaganda Model

    Classic new examples (real screenshots) of how Microsoft-funded media entraps people looking for information about "Linux" to actually push Microsoft talking points and marketing, cover-up, face-saving lies etc.

  20. What's Evil is Forcing People to Use Something They Don't Want and Typically Dislike

    The difference between Google Search and Microsoft is that many people actually want to use Google (and don't have to)

  21. 2020: The Year Microsoft Became Honest... About Being Corrupt and Criminal

    Microsoft is destroying any past attempts to portray itself as a reformed company or 'recovering criminal'; nothing is really changing and everyone has noticed

  22. Free Software is Being Abandoned by Opponents of Software Patents and It's Being Attacked by Patent Trolls

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is rotting away as an advocate against software patents; Patents on algorithms are still being granted (even when courts repeatedly reject these) and Red Hat's Chief Patent Counsel remains Manny Schecter, one of the loudest proponents of such patents (citing the likes of Adam Mossoff this week, in effect Koch operatives); this is a very big problem because Free software projects come under a barrage of lawsuits, using patents like those IBM lobbies ferociously to legitimise

  23. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 12, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 12, 2020

  24. Links 12/2/2020: KDE Neon 5.18, Tails 4.3 and WordPress 5.4 Beta

    Links for the day

  25. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 11, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 11, 2020

  26. Links 11/2/2020: New Firefox and KDE Plasma

    Links for the day

  27. Sometimes ILO-AT is Good for Nothing But Law Firms in or Around Switzerland

    ILO-AT’s latest judgements are out. But ILO — and by extension the UN — are still morally deficient and they give the impression that don’t care about people (or that ILO is in bed with the same businesses WIPO (UN) serves, i.e. no better than WB/IMF).

  28. The European Patent Office Continues to Violate the European Patent Convention (EPC) With Impunity While the European Commission Lets That Happen

    The European Commission (and Union) can be seen as increasingly complicit in the EPO's abuses; this means that the EPO has become a liability or source of accountability for the integrity of Europe as a bloc

  29. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 10, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, February 10, 2020

  30. EPO Staff Representatives to Challenge Ridiculous and Unnecessary Austerity Measures

    The EPO's President of Nepotism "is currently finalizing his “package” of financial measures in order to reduce an alleged coverage gap of 5.8 B€ following a heavily biased and flawed Financial Study," according to EPO staff representatives who have already demonstrated it's a fake crisis that distracts from the real crisis and profound corruption

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

Recent Posts