03.07.17

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With a Week Left Before the Administrative Council’s Meeting, Pressure on Battistelli to Leave the EPO Continues to Grow

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

More embattled than ever before…

Battistelli besieged

Summary: The number of pressure vectors against Battistelli has grown since the above diagram was rendered (UK, Switzerland, stakeholders and many more can be added), which makes an implosion seem like a matter of time

Techrights will soon publish more EPO leaks, specifically Administrative Council (AC) leaks. Battistelli now reaches lower than the bottom of he barrel and it is becoming a liability to delegates, whose reputation too is stained by him. Laws don’t apply to Battistelli, but laws certainly apply to delegates and they have the power to remove Battistelli if they work collectively and coordinate with one another while Battistelli isn’t watching.

As someone put it yesterday in a comment:

The next meeting of the Administrative Council takes place on 15 and 16 March. I hope Merpel can keep us informed about the outcome.

If the case of the suspended BOA member is deferred yet again, the AC will have lost whatever shreds of credibility it has remaining in my view.

Well, “I hope Merpel can keep us informed about the outcome,” one anonymous person wrote, but IP Kat self-censors on EPO scandals, especially after sanctions (a one-day ban on IP Kat at the EPO). To quote the full comment from another thread:

Talking of (self-)censorship on IPKat, there seems to have been a bit of an inexplicable time lapse in posting my 4 March response to zoobab.

Yes, well… as we shall show in a separate post (later on), the site now pushes fake news about the UPC; that’s all we get after the EPO intimidated IP Kat into dropping EPO criticism and even deleting some comments related to the EPO. It’s not only self-censorship of articles but also omission of comments [1, 2]. The EPO corrupts the media not just by paying it but also by threatening it.

“AC members under chairman “His Masters Voice” Jesper KONGSTAD know the situation at the EPO in detail,” said the next new comment, which also took note of Koenders' letter to the EPO. To quote:

Battistelli will never accept an independent investigation at the EPO as requeted by Mr Koenders. The only inspection Battistelli eventually could accept is an inspection done by him chosen friendly and thus not independent auditors and paid (bought) by ¨himself¨ with the EPO money and who will clearly repeat his rosy point of view that everything is more than okee in the EPO.

The AC members under chairman ¨His Masters Voice¨ Jesper KONGSTAD know the situation at the EPO in detail. They are afraid of the scandal that an independent inspection will find soon. Because immediately questions will rise: Why did the AC let the situation go so far without control? Why the AC approved regulations that violate human rights and violate the rules of law? Which personal advantages did the AC members received from the EPO president to vote “yes” during years? How are/were the salaries of the top-management inclusive the president determined and increased?

I am afraid that Battistelli and the AC will do nothing to make the situation transparent.He will only continue with fake measurements and actions to gain time, to promote Battistelli´s inner circle and rob more money from the EPO. Mr. Koenders should contact Mr. Maas in Germany soon to make an effective plan together to stop this scandalous situation.

The next comment said: “If Battistelli were a reasonable person, he would now step down because of the lack of trust of both the workforce and the applicants. But he is not a rational man and he will choose the deserved difficult and painful way. It is time to say goodbye……”

The Register‘s Kieren McCarthy has meanwhile published an article based on our posts (“Hat tip to Techrights for spotting the two letters,” it says) and the article is titled “Come in King Battistelli, your time at the Euro Patent Office is up” (highlights below).

Time is running out for European Patent Office president Benoit Battistelli.

After years of turmoil at the international organization thanks to his heavy-handed reform efforts, it seems that patience at the political level is finally giving out.

In the past week, two documents have been posted online indicating that the Dutch government and the International Labor Office have had enough of the Frenchman and are prepared to take steps to make sure he is ousted.

[...]

Although the language may seem soft, for a diplomatic letter it is tantamount to a declaration of war.

[...]

In addition to politicians, the International Labor Office (ILO) has also published an extraordinary paper to be considered at a meeting of its governing body later this month in Geneva.

One comment about it is not quite so optimistic. The reader said: “Don’t imagine one sec that Battistelli will resign. on the contrary he will do all he can to stay with little dirty trics to divide and rule the 38 members states so that the decision to select his successor be delayed. Battistelli ? this is Fillon at EPO!”

It was almost 2 years ago when Battistelli was rumoured to have threatened to resign.

The comments at The Register, as is typical over there, don’t get posted by EPO insiders (or very rarely get posted by EPO insiders). One person said: “The story has evolved for so long with new twists that I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for closure.”

“This has given me almost as much fun as SCO v’s the World,” wrote another person, alluding to the SCO case which we wrote a lot about. “Though I hope Battistelli does not last as long.”

“Battistelli sounds like a very nasty piece of work,” wrote another person. “For the staff at the EPO, I hope he gets kicked out quickly.”

Someone there knows an EPO insider and wrote: “I have a friend working there (Netherlands), and it went from a beautiful place to work, to someplace you dump toxic waste… His workload has tripled maybe even more. No longer a happy worker.”

Then there’s this (unedited): “Being the most [redacted] boss possible. A sort of PHB of PHB’s. That way they’ll never forget his time at the top (or at least until the patent expires)”

One more person said: “So how long has his current contract got to go and can he just extended it himself because everyone is too afraid to go against him?”

And another one: “The ILO, also being an international organization, can presumably just create it’s [sic] own army/police force and invade the EPO’s Dutch office. I mean, it might be against the laws of Holland , but apparently those wouldn’t apply.”

That’s sarcasm of course. None of the above adds much new information (The Register‘s readers are not insiders, unlike many IP Kat readers).

According to what we privately heard from an insider this week, the concept of an EPO without Battistelli is not so far-fetched, even quite soon. Writing about “EPONIA and paranoia,” one person sent us these thoughts on what goes on right now:

Obviously the management vermin team is turning paranoid. The Isar premises look like Fort Knox. Hence my advice to the colleagues willing to disseminate information. Never use copiers available in the EPO. All copiers are monitored. All, no exceptions. With internal hard drives and remote access. Therefore use your phones, send the data to a personal cloud. Encrypt your smartphone, use encrypted containers on an Sd card and tools to hide your sensitive applications and data. Modern smartphone are very valuable to wannabe James Bonds . Oh yes there is another point: did you notice to black unused VoIP phone on your desk. Unplug it completely….

We wrote about the issue with these phones over a year ago. But having said that, we also warned about the use of mobile phones at the Office, as controversial devices such as Stingray might presently be in use.

In drafts at the moment we have about a dozen EPO articles and hundreds of documents. We have backlog or sorts, but based on the context (or hot topic du jour) we typically have something interesting we can pull out and publish.

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