03.26.17

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With IP Kat Coverage of EPO Scandals Coming to an End (Officially), Techrights and The Register Remain to Cover New Developments

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO is playing a game of Whac-A-Mole, but McCarthyism tends to backfire

Kieren McCarthySummary: One final post about the end of Merpel’s EPO coverage, which is unfortunate but understandable given the EPO’s track record attacking the media, including blogs like IP Kat, sites of patent stakeholders, and even so-called media partners

“Great blogs come and go,” said one person about the end of Eponia coverage by Merpel (EPO scandals) and another person asked: “So this is the end of any possibility for people to give their comments on eponia? Where else can we go?”

Well, Techrights remains committed to covering EPO matters to the very end (of Team Battistelli and those who protected it, Jesper Kongstad included). This may take some time, but we’ll get there. I’m not going anywhere, not even if the EPO is attempting to silence me. The more aggressive the EPO becomes, the more enemies it will make, and the more eager they will be to end this aggression. Battistelli and his cronies already know that they are circling down the vortex and they attempt to grab any money they can put their claws on while descending towards the drain. They’re making an implosion or brewing an explosion even bigger (when of if authorities finally tackle these issues and belatedly investigate).

Another person later said:

Dear Merpel

Thank you for your commentary and hard work. It is very sad to see you bow (meow!) out of commenting on EPONIA matters. I do not understand but I am grateful.

You have provided balanced insight into difficult situations, and hope for the unheard.

There must be a reason behind this. If it is personal – so be it – sometimes life takes us away from the path we might have wished to follow and I thank you for your efforts.

If it is something else – whether external pressure or internal frustration – could you try to find another blogger who can take on the mantel of Merpel in this role of providing sensible commentary on EPONIA. Son of Merpel (or daughter of Merpel) has a nice ring to it, someone to take on this difficult, task. Someone must be the “ringbearer” if the present incumbent cannot go on.

Who will take up the challenge – Merpel would you help such a person if they approached you anonymously? I do hope so.

“Cutting, unabashed and your often funny interventions make you special,” another reader (“Ashley”) said. “We will miss you.”

Here is a joke about Battistelli barking:

Personally I never understood that a cat could understand something of this IP business.This is not serious.

I see despite my greatness and endless competence in all matters I do not master, how difficult this is. So a cat talking IP…. Hahahahahah

All of this must be modernised at once: now the cat will be investing its time in more productive actions, eg chasing mice and if below target, the cat will meet the Dog.

Benoit stop barking, quiet please I am dealing with it, calm down my Benoit, calm down, the cat will soon get it trust me

“Raising the profile of the goings on at the EPO might have been better accomplished had the blog posting not been under the pseudonym of a kat,” noted another person. “Why anyone would believe that others will pay heed to such anonymous comments is beyond me.”

Considering the abuse by the EPO’s management against bloggers and apparently even broadcasters, anonymity may make sense. These people are so certain they’re immune from prosecution, so they’ll stop at nothing!

“Thanks Merpel,” wrote another reader. “Giving paws for thought. Enjoy a bit of me-ow time… And ignore the snarky know it all comments. We know you’ve made a difference!”

She has. She helped us too.

The following commenter asked, “can’t you stay one more year”? Well, Battistelli is staying one more year, unless delegates can get their act together and toss out Battistelli prematurely. Here is the comment in full:

During all these years Merpel has been our “radio Londres” the voice of the resistance.
Things would have been much worse without you.
Where would have Laurent found a place to speak, to be listened ?
We have heard the voice of the real Europeans who are the examiners, but also seen the pure mediocrity of those who pretend to be superior but in reality are less than nothing.
Thanks to you (and a few others) he has lost the battle of communication and this made him even more mad and mean than he already was.
I thank you for all, but things here are dark and I fear the last year is going to turn even darker.
Please Merpel, can’t you stay one more year ?

“I used to say of Merpel that her presence on the Eponia battlefield made the difference of forty thousand men,” this reader remarked and another person said:

Dear Merpel, we hate to see you go. Your coverage was precise, the documents good. The problem with the “wider press” is that often they have no clue at IP and especially the special legal construct of the EPO. You did know all that (see your impressive summary in this post) – a tip of the hat! The style of your writing is also something I’ll miss. Oh yes – one last detail re BB: the restriction of internal appeals at the EPO in 2011 already, to the effect that appeals against “general” regulations were not possible anymore, i.e. they had to go to ILO. The start of the deluge there. With all these actions, its hard not to see a master plan in action. The final goal??? All the best to your kittens, Merpel! Maybe one of them wants to continue this sorely needed blog?

That’s actually an important point right there about lack of understanding among journalists. This is so often exploited by EPO management, which attempts to paint staff as spoiled (obsessing over money) while distracting from the serious abuses against that staff.

The following comment corrected a statement made by Merpel:

But a Dutch court decision lifting the immunity of the EPO from national jurisdiction, on the basis that the delay at ILO-AT denied EPO employees effective access to justice, was overturned on appeal.

As I understood the Appeal Court ruling, that’s not quite correct, Merpel.

The EPO’s immunity was lifted not because of delays at the ILOAT but because the Staff Union (as a collective body) has no possibility to bring a complaint before the ILOAT. In other words the (main) reason for lifting immunity in that case was because the Staff Union has no access to the ILOAT.

The position taken by the Dutch Supreme court appears to have been that this did not amount to denial of access to justice. For the Supreme Court it was sufficient that individual Staff Union members could – as EPO staff members – bring individual complaints before the ILOAT.

Earlier this month EPO management lied to staff about ILOAT. They hoped that nobody would challenge them on it, so they posted this internally only.

The following comment said that “at the EPO’s Administrative Council, voters are not so dumb” but many may be corruptible and they are managed or represented by a disgraced Dane who misleads and antagonises them. Here is the comment in full:

We are living through a period in which voters notoriously cast their vote against their own long term interests. Meanwhile, at the EPO’s Administrative Council, voters are not so dumb. They vote quite deliberately in what they callously and ruthlessly perceive to be their own national (and maybe also personal) financial interest. EPO staff are seen as privileged and pampered, and therefore undeserving, so that their warnings of irreparable harm being done to the Organisation by its President are hand-waved away as nothing more than self-serving. How ironic!

How naive is it, to suppose that AC members would vote any other way?

We quite liked the following comment as well. It says that the “IP world value the EPO (as was). If it were otherwise, would any of us be quite so concerned about how bad things have got?”

What is your point? Does the EPO deserve a pat on the back for some of its truly worthwhile achievements? Absolutely! But does this mean that the media should think twice before reporting very disturbing developments in Eponia? Absolutely not!!

Actually, this all goes to show how highly those in the IP world value the EPO (as was). If it were otherwise, would any of us be quite so concerned about how bad things have got?

This was preceded by the statement that “there is a layer of society that considers itself to be above the law [...] but [nothing assures] absolute immunity.”

It is not naïve to assume that AC members (and the EPO management) would respect the rule of law. On the contrary, it is the minimum that the users of the patent system (and the general public) should be entitled to expect.

Whilst this situation has been allowed to persist by the EPO management’s reliance upon legal immunities (and cronyism within the AC), this is no answer to the basic charge – that what has been done is contrary to EU law, the EPC and the European Convention on Human Rights.

I know that there is a layer of society that considers itself to be above the law, but to allow this situation to continue unchallenged would frankly not only be immoral but also a high risk strategy for those involved who do not have (or who cannot guarantee retaining) absolute immunity.

It seems as though, at least here in Britain, it’s mostly us and The Register who are left to cover the EPO saga. The Register‘s Kieren McCarthy can be contacted here and we too can be contacted anonymously.

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