03.28.17

A “Perfect Recipe for Fraud” at the European Patent Office (EPO)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Antoine Battistelli article
Old article about the 'Battistelli Mafia' (Italian name) in Corsica

Summary: How the world’s leading patent office became a world-leading source of abuse, corruption, nepotism, injustice, incompetence, censorship, alleged bribery, pure deception, distortion of media, defamation, and suicides (among many other things)

THE EPO crisis continues to deepen. It’s now testing the water and teasing the boundaries where Europol or Interpol ought to step up and march in (into Eponia).

Writing to us about a “taboo” subject quite recently, an EPO insider reminded us of fraud allegations that only a lack of whistleblower protections prevented from coming out (putting side frauds that Battistelli's silly ceremonies helped prop up). As our source put it: “In a coming [opportunity] I’ll tell you a nice story about corruption, also a taboo subject in the office. Everyone knows about it but no one wants to talk about it.”

This is the kind of thing that can contribute to the EPO getting aggressive. The devastating impact on some managers must make them frightful. But we’ll leave all that for another day, pending further verification and collection of sufficiently strong evidence. It’s flirting with territories of the criminal.

“It’s now testing the water and teasing the boundaries where Europol or Interpol ought to step up and march in (into Eponia).”Looking around for some new comments/input such as this, “The Max Planck Institute is organising an event in May,” said one person, linking to this event (to take place in May). Prof. Dr. Siegfried Broß, the Nemesis of the Battistelli-led EPO regime, will be there. Broß repeatedly compared what the EPO is doing to illegal torture in Guantánamo Bay. How far can the Office go before judges (or retired judges) such as Broß compel the authorities — including Angela Merkel and Heiko Maas — to actually enforce the law?

Another new comment about the EPO disaster said the following yesterday, noting that the “AC lets the President and Mr Kongstad get away with such blatant manipulation of the agenda…”

Looking at the fate of CA/32/17 (proposed revisions of the EPO rules governing internal investigations, disciplinary procedures and appeals), it is clear that one of the ways in which “rebel” AC members are being outmanoeuvred is through control of the agenda for AC and Board 28 meetings. It seems that Monsieur le President can count upon the unwavering support of Mr Kongstad in ensuring that the “rebels” do not get their way.

Whist it is clear to see how such underhand tactics can work, their success does beg a rather pressing question: how is it that the AC lets the President and Mr Kongstad get away with such blatant manipulation of the agenda?

I have my suspicions as to how this all works. A quick glance at the small number of delegations behind the submission of CA/32/17 (France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland) reveals that this seems to have been very much a minority effort. The other delegations are presumably less keen to rock the boat.

With so many delegations acting as BB’s “facilitators” (including by inaction or abstention on crucial matters), what is the betting that those pesky, unresolved issues (such as the continued, groundless suspension of a Board of Appeal member and the failure of the President to comply with the AC’s demands from March 2016) will effectively be “buried” for at least the remainder of BB’s term in office?

It beggars belief how shockingly impotent the AC has been rendered, especially in a period when the EPO has suffered the indignity of being held by a national court to be acting in contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The only crumb of comfort that I take in all of this is that at least BB’s “facilitators” will be on the hook when the dirty secrets behind the AC’s impotence eventually (and inevitably) come to light.

Kongstad’s role in protecting Battistelli may become a heavy liability to him some time down the line. One has to wonder why he’s so desperate to defend rather than oust Battistelli. Quite a few comments in The Register raise similar questions.

As for EPO workers, they certainly are aware of the 'looting' of the Office. Not too long ago someone ‘leaked’ to us this document [PDF] which says more about that. To quote a relevant section:

Functional allowance for top managers: the EPO as a self-service?

The functional allowances are currently – in a fully non-transparent way – reserved for colleagues working close to Principal Directors or Vice-Presidents or rendering special services to top management. GCC/DOC 7/2017 does not resolve this lack of transparency. Instead it increases the maximum amount of the allowance, and no longer excludes top managers from the list of beneficiaries. v

As a consequence, all managers, including Vice-Presidents, Principal Directors and Directors, could receive every year a functional allowance – without anyone being informed but themselves – of up to two months salary!

Would that be tolerated in an organisation — either public or private — where accountability exists? Further down it’s noted that: “In view of the complete lack of transparency in the attribution of such rewards, could not this current proposal simply be a perfect recipe for fraud?” (emphasis in the original)

“Would that be tolerated an in organisation — either public or private — where accountability exists?”It also says: “We also hear the concern that the new career is allowing straightforward appropriation of Office money to the benefit of few people in a fully non-transparent way. For example, from Communiqué 1/2017, it would appear that preparation (and/or participation) to some so-called strategic office-wide projects (like the social conference) may have influenced the final attribution of rewards in February 2016.”

Quite obviously, as the latter/last put puts it: “Staff is now (im)patiently waiting for the current top management to leave the Office. [...] Instead, the new “social democracy” version 2.0 shows that Mr Battistelli and Ms Bergot are more interested in suppressing the Staff Representation than in discussing anything with them.”

“Well, Battistelli could certainly pursue a patent on “method for destroying the world’s leading patent office in less than 5 years!””The “social democracy” buzzword was covered here before [1, 2] and it’s an insult both to society and to democracy when exploited by the EPO. The final words are these: “Is the Administrative Council willing to act before the consequences become irremediable? Or will the AC instead prefer to believe the President when he presents them with his alternative “facts” that somehow demonstrate that the EPO is the best place anywhere for employment and that quality improves hand in hand with productivity. This latter claim is unique in the world for a knowledge-based organisation like ours, so perhaps the EPO management have a secret patent pending on it? Time will tell.”

Well, Battistelli could certainly pursue a patent on “method for destroying the world’s leading patent office in less than 5 years!” He has already demonstrated that the method works. And he made plenty of money in the process, so there is material gain, not just an “inventive step”.

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