03.26.17

Gemini version available ♊︎

Thanks to Merpel, the World Knows EPO Scandals a Lot Better, But It’s a Shame That IP Kat Helped UPC

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Also see: IP Kat is Lobbying Heavily for the UPC, Courtesy of Team UPC (competing interests in the same blog)

Bristows LLP and EPO

Summary: A look back at Merpel’s final post about EPO scandals and the looming threat of the UPC, which UPC opportunists such as Bristows LLP still try hard to make a reality, exploiting bogus (hastily-granted) patents for endless litigation all around Europe

Right now, with UPC lobbying in full force (just three days left before Article 50 invocation), some IP Kat circles like Bristows LLP/Bristows UPC (using the blog for lobbying) could probably use Battistelli’s EPO as an ally. Merpel never publicly acknowledged the EPO’s sanctions (blog banned), further actions, or hints thereof as playing a role in self-censorship about EPO scandals. Truth be told, it’s like an NDA scenario; I should know as the EPO tried to gag me about threats that it had sent me. It’s a classic modus operandi and SLAPP-happy lawyers use that sparingly. Shiva Ayyadurai and his lawyer (who attacks the media on behalf of Melania Trump) did this to me earlier this year.

We are gratified for the time Merpel spent shedding light on the EPO. We use a lot of her revelations to this day. In fact, to date, some information that’s in the public domain is a Merpel “exclusive”. That information is still publicly accessible, so the EPO never successfully deleted history. It’s all documented online.

Now that the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation sounds like its master's voice (Battistelli) action is urgently needed. After the Dutch election (earlier this month) allies of EPO staff are even fewer. The EPO conflict persists and the issue is anything but resolved, or even near a solution. Merpel is unlikely to change her mind, even if she ever publicly acknowledged that her assumption was wrong (about things improving or reaching a breaking point). “‘Public’ institution threatens non-profit blog that informs the public, blog gives up,” I told her earlier this month, adding, “please don’t give up fighting for justice, for staff and parties affected (all of Europe).”

It certainly feels like IP Kat actually did want to write about EPO scandals, but someone in the blog capitulated to the bullies. Techrights will carry on of course, and The Register too does a good job covering these scandals. This already tarnishes the image of EPO management and politicians cite these articles in support of their motions (recently in Dutch Parliament for instance). It seems like too few people are both capable (have the background knowledge) and willing to expose and tackle EPO abuses. We hope IP Kat will rethink its self-censorship on the matter, but we can’t be optimistic about it. We’ll just assume that no matter the persistence and persuasion from readers, Merpel has already made up her mind. She did not respond to any of the comments urging her to carry on.

“Keep going,” one person wrote, “don’t stop! He will have his Waterloo soon…surely, please God!” (“From: a “customer” of the EPO, that like quality “products”…even if they to wait a little while to get them”).

We need to keep fighting not just for EPO workers but for Europe in general. A lot is at stake here. As the following comment put it: “No strikes anymore, no resistance, nothing. Good bye, EPO!”

Unless something is done to redeem the EPO, the whole institution will be destroyed. Here is the comment in full:

Thank you for your regular reports in the past. It appears that also applicants lost their interest in the EPO. Why should we pay enormous fees for fake quality? I feel sorry for the examiners, but they are digging their own graves by solely looking at production figures in order to get more money. No strikes anymore, no resistance, nothing. Good bye, EPO!

Someone then responds with claims that the “unfortunate reality is that highly qualified, highly intelligent examiners are viewed as mindless drones” under Battistelli. Therein lies one of the core causes of brain drain. Here is the full comment:

We EPO Examiners are not “solely looking at production figures in order to get more money” as you put it. We are doing our best to perform our job as it supposed to be done, in an increasingly hostile environment, whilst trying to keep our jobs; no more, no less. More money does not come into it, and never has.

Don’t forget, examiners are all either scientists or engineers; once you have done our job for more than a few years, it is hard to change jobs, and is especially hard to do if you have a family. The unfortunate reality is that highly qualified, highly intelligent examiners are viewed as mindless drones by EPO higher management, and are treated as such…

The next comment speaks of “dubious (AC / EPO management) practices that are a serious threat to the reputation of all of us who work in the patent microcosm.”

Yes, the term “patent microcosm” was used and they too worry about what Battistelli has done. To quote:

Merpel – many thanks for covering the EPO up to now. The information, insights and commentary that you have provided have been invaluable in shedding light on dubious (AC / EPO management) practices that are a serious threat to the reputation of all of us who work in the patent microcosm.

I do hope that you will be able to pass the baton over to another member of the IPKat family. With the reputation of the EPO now in tatters, it would be a shame if the IP world lost an important source of information that helps it to critically assess the picture painted by the management of the EPO.

“EPOmustGO,” said an anonymous comment. “Replacing the president won’t change anything in its democratic deficiency,” the person added. Actually, while the EPO was never a paradise, it wasn’t ever this horrific. Insiders say that even several years ago things were more or less acceptable.

A more courteous comment said this to Merpel at al:

Guys be proud of the work you did for the benefit of the IP community since the dysfunctionings of the EPO impact the IP community obvsiouly.

Your posts will be missed but hey that’s life.

All the best to you and thanks for work done.

“Now EPO has decided to PACE everything,” the next comment from “Observer” said, “but without listening to its users and exclusively pleasing its shareholders.”

There is also something inherently discriminatory about PACE. It reveals the favouritism. Here is the comment in full:

Warm thanks to Merpel for what she did, but I am sad to see her resign.

I hope that Merpel’s renouncement has not been provoked by threats uttered against her.

It is a pity that a voice like Merpel goes out. In the end, the president of the EPO will be grinning: another one I manage to shut down…..

That things should change at EPO which had entered a certain trot is not to be denied. But did it have to be done with an ax? There is a difference between what is legal and what is moral; what was done looks legal but is certainly not moral.

It is sad to see that how an office which was thriving and having an excellent reputation is driven in the wall by would be managers.

Under other skies it is called shareholder value. Here the shareholders will be happy that they can cash in annual fees much earlier, so that disapproval by the AC is probably not on the table.

I wonder whether this frenzy of quick granting of cases is really in the interest of the applicants at large. I have always heard that it becomes expensive once the patent is granted, and the numerous publications about PACE, i.e. acceleration of search and examination, in old editions of the OJ have never been followed by increasing numbers of such requests. There were certainly good reasons for not following this invitation, unless absolute necessity. Now EPO has decided to PACE everything, but without listening to its users and exclusively pleasing its shareholders.

In the end, one cannot suppress the feeling that what is going on at the EPO is to quickly obtain patents, which are worth what they are, so that litigation can start at the UPC. This would be to the profit of certain applicants, I do not count SMEs under those, supported by certain law firms who have been very active and keen to push the UPC through.

This also touches upon the boards of appeal and the way they have been treated. Why do we need them, if we have the UPC? The less case law the boards of appeal produce, the less chances there are of colliding jurisprudence.

I do not want to see it all as a plot. However, I cannot help but ask questions.

Mind the part about the UPC: “In the end, one cannot suppress the feeling that what is going on at the EPO is to quickly obtain patents, which are worth what they are, so that litigation can start at the UPC. This would be to the profit of certain applicants, I do not count SMEs under those, supported by certain law firms who have been very active and keen to push the UPC through.”

That’s a toxic combination of low quality patents and easy, far-reaching litigation and injunctions. We’ve braced for a disaster, but right now it seems likely that we’ll just say “UPC is dead, long live the next UPC attempt” (maybe later this week). What about all these falsely-advertised UPC jobs that never existed and probably will never exist?

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 08, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 08, 2021



  2. Microsoft Corporation is Still Protecting a Violent Criminal Who Assaults Women (Employing Him as Manager, Protecting Him From Arrest, Paying Him a Salary)

    Ahead of court and amid arrest warrant Microsoft still deems this a good idea? Then again, this same company works for ICE, helping to kidnap babies from their mothers...



  3. Links 8/12/2021: Linux 5.15.7 Out, Linux Mint 20.3 is Near

    Links for the day



  4. Links 8/12/2021: Zorin OS 16 Milestone and Calculate Linux 22 Released; Kubernetes 1.23

    Links for the day



  5. A Call for Sources and Whistleblowers From Microsoft's GitHub

    Remarks on our publications from this morning and a call for more leakers and whistleblowers, who know GitHub better than anybody else (including lots of fools who still outsource all of their hard labour to Microsoft through GitHub)



  6. [Teaser] Rape is Not a Joke

    Having just uploaded a police report, we’re starting to move the ongoing series to the next phase, which will still be — for the most part — weekly installments on Mondays (for months to come)



  7. [Teaser] Meet Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley (Updated)

    Alex Graveley, a serial abuser, has been protected by Microsoft; what does that say about Microsoft and about Nat Friedman, GitHub’s CEO whom Alex considers his "best friend"? Stay tuned as we have plenty more to show



  8. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 07, 2021



  9. Links 8/12/2021: FreeBSD 12.3, EasyOS 3.1.13, and WordPress 5.9 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  10. [Meme] EU Assurances

    The EPO‘s staff cannot be blamed for losing patience as elected public representatives completely fail to do their job (with few exceptions)



  11. Clare Daly (GUE/NGL) Does What Every Public Official in Europe Should Have Done About EPO Shenanigans

    There’s another (new) push to hold the EPO accountable, seeing that the overseers clearly do not do their job and instead cover up the abuses



  12. Links 7/12/2021: Firefox 96 Beta and Fedora 37 Abandons ARMv7

    Links for the day



  13. Links 7/12/2021: Plasma Mobile Gear 21.12 and Tails 4.25

    Links for the day



  14. All IRC Logs Now Available as GemText Over Gemini Protocol

    Today we've completed the transition from plain text over gemini:// to GemText over gemini:// for IRC logs



  15. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, December 06, 2021



  16. [Meme] Rowing to the Bottom of the Ocean

    The EPO‘s Steve Rowan (VP1) is failing EPO staff and sort of “firing” workers during times of crisis (not at all a crisis to the EPO’s coffers)



  17. EPO Gradually Reduced to 'Fee Collection Agency' Which Eliminates Its Very Own Staff

    Mr. Redundancies and Mr. Cloud are outsourcing EPO jobs to Microsoft and Serco as if the EPO is an American corporation, providing no comfort to long-serving EPO staff



  18. Linux Foundation 2021 Annual Report Made on an Apple Mac Using Proprietary Software

    Yes, you’re reading this correctly. They still reject both “Linux” and “Open Source” (no dogfooding). This annual report is badly compressed; each page of the PDF is, on average, almost a megabyte in size (58.8 MB for a report of this scale is unreasonable and discriminates against people in countries with slow Internet connections); notice how they’re milking the brand in the first page (straight after the cover page, the 1991 ‘creation myth’, ignoring GNU); remember that this foundation is named after a trademark which is not even its own!



  19. Links 7/12/2021: OpenIndiana Hipster 2021.10 and AppStream 0.15

    Links for the day



  20. Microsoft “Defender” Pretender Attacks Random Software That Uses NSIS for installation; “Super Duper Secure Mode” for Edge is a Laugh

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  21. Links 6/12/2021: LibreOffice Maintenance Releases, Firefox 95 Finalised

    Links for the day



  22. “Wintel” “Secure” uEFI Firmware Used to Store Persistent Malware, and Security Theater Boot is Worthless

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  23. No Linux Foundation IRS Disclosures Since 2018

    The publicly-available records or IRS information about the Linux Foundation is suspiciously behind; compared to other organisations with a "tax-exempt" status the Linux Foundation is one year behind already



  24. Jim Zemlin Has Deleted All of His Tweets

    The Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin seems to have become rather publicity-shy (screenshots above are self-explanatory; latest snapshot), but years ago he could not contain his excitement about Microsoft, which he said was "loved" by what it was attacking. Days ago it became apparent that Microsoft’s patent troll is still attacking Linux with patents and Zemlin’s decision to appoint Microsoft as the At-Large Director (in effect bossing Linus Torvalds) at the ‘Linux’ Foundation’s Board of Directors is already backfiring. She not only gets her whole salary from Microsoft but also allegedly protects sexual predators who assault women… by hiring them despite repeated warnings; if the leadership of the ‘Linux’ Foundation protects sexual predators who strangle women (even paying them a salary and giving them management positions), how can the ‘Linux’ Foundation ever claim to represent inclusion and diversity?



  25. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IX — Microsoft's Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot Sought to be Arrested One Day After Techrights Article About Him

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley has warrant for his arrest, albeit only after a lot of harm and damage had already been done (to multiple people) and Microsoft started paying him



  26. The Committee on Patent Law (PLC) Informed About Overlooked Issues “Which Might Have a Bearing on the Validity of EPO Patents.”

    In a publication circulated or prepared last week the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO explains a situation never explored in so-called 'media' (the very little that's left of it)



  27. Links 6/12/2021: HowTos and Patents

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 05, 2021



  29. Gemini Space/Protocol: Taking IRC Logs to the Next Level

    Tonight we begin the migration to GemText for our daily IRC logs, having already made them available over gemini://



  30. Links 6/12/2021: Gnuastro 0.16 and Linux 5.16 RC4

    Links for the day


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