04.02.17

Growing Suspicions of Planned Obsolescence at the European Patent Office

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UPC (patent) trolling and EPO (budget) looting in transit

Planned Obsolescence
Reference: Planned Obsolescence (the monopoly the EPO has on granting patent monopolies is part of the problem, with UPC as the new ‘product’ to be sold when the EPO becomes obsolete)

Summary: The EPO is being rendered obsolete by Battistelli, but the eventual vocation remains uncertain, with some suspecting that Battistelli is willing to altogether destroy patent examination and swap that with a lot of litigation, preferably within a framework that’s designed to benefit large (deep-pocketed) multinational corporations

WE GENERALLY do not disclose who we speak to (nationality, gender, affiliation) and how many people we speak to regarding the EPO as that would only help the horrific, Nazi era-esque Investigative Unit (I.U.) [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], which seems to be the only thing that is growing at the EPO.

“Some don’t believe that there is a future to the EPO and Battistelli as an “agent of change” (so-called ‘reforms’) is more like an angel of death.”People whom we speak to have been concerned about the EPO for quite some time. Some don’t believe that there is a future to the EPO and Battistelli as an “agent of change” (so-called ‘reforms’) is more like an angel of death. If his goal is total destruction of the Office and the Organisation too, then he is doing a terrific job. Bravo, Bennie! But such destruction would in no way serve Europe’s interests; instead, it would devastate the continent’s economy for decades to come.

In the last post about the EPO from pseudonym "Merpel" (several different people use this name) it was acknowledged that things had gotten worse. There was a glimmer of optimism over intervention, but as one who covered this closely for nearly 3 years I know that the biggest battle — if battle is a suitable word in this context — is still ahead. Information is crucial in this battle because the EPO lies so routinely that it’s embarrassing to Europe. It’s the standard I expect when traveling somewhere like Turkey (not that I would travel there any longer).

“Information is crucial in this battle because the EPO lies so routinely that it’s embarrassing to Europe”As EPO insiders have already explained, the writings are on the wall and layoffs can be expected as early as next year. Not a few layoffs here and there but a massive avalanche of redundancies. What would then happen to examiners with their highly restrictive contracts? What would happen to EPs? Who would be left to properly examine applications rather than package and dispatch them like hot crème patissière? While calling these ‘products’ and arrival of applications ‘demand’ (as if these are invoiced in some ordinary business or production line)?

“You bet the EPO is heading for the closure of its expertise as we know it,” the following comment noted as the weekend kicked in. We thought it’s worth reproducing below because it looks like an insider wrote it:

Running out of work
Just follow the management decisions since the last 5 years and try to explain what they are up to:
- remove almost all extra-activities, projects from examiners.
- remove all time budget for medical visits.
- reduce holidays.
- pressure increase on sick workers.
- reduce time budget for classification, second examiner and chairman duties.
- remove the time budget for industry visits.
- reduce the time budget for learning and development.
- limiting the part-time workers by forbidding it or penalising the worker.
- forbidding all sort of leaves, even unpaid leaves.
- recruiting in large numbers creating an over-capacity.
all of these to increase the number of hours man-power,
and,
- pushing into a higher productivity, results in:
increased number of man-power and increased productivity equals a great increase of Production.
Now, after this tremendous call for the “war front line” , when we have almost all man-power devoted to the core-business, what does the management decide?
- the management decided to refund 75% of the fee for examination if the applicant withdraws the request. the management is even considering refunding 100% of the fee.
- let me remind all that we are running out of files/work!
Can anyone find an explanation?
Would a car factory wanting to stay in business refund the money for ordered cars? Do you believe that the stakeholders of this factory would be happy to return the money even though the factory C.E.O. argued that there was/is a backlog? Wouldn’t you as a stakeholder investigate what’s happening? Wouldn’t a worker question what the hell is going on? … and if something is really “going on” wouldn’t the C.E.O. do anything possible to quiet all contradicting voices?
You bet the EPO is heading for the closure of its expertise as we know it. Now, if examiners are digging their own grave, isn’t the whole IP world just washing their hands? perhaps in a couple of years the EPO won’t be around and there won’t be Search reports and examinations by this office. My question is: does this suit the european industry? Is it fine with the attorneys with the EQE? Are the countries happy with this? You see, examiners do digg their own graves, but we are so used to make a good job and wish to keep always the inventors happy, that if you want to give as a hand, just stand quiet and watch us go down.
Just food for a though!

This provocative long comment attracted quite a few responses, including one that asked, is the “EPO on the path to become the EU WIPO?”

Running out of work

you write : My question is: does this suit the european industry? Is it fine with the attorneys with the EQE? Are the countries happy with this?

well the answer is obviously a YES since they are all aware and do nothing

The EPO on the path to become the EU WIPO ?

Maybe SIPO Europe is a better analogy. Or another INPI, where examination is barely in the lexicon. It’s almost mortifying to see what the EPO has become. As a software professional I worry that the EPO is granting software patents by the thousands each year and when/if the EPO goes under, the trolls will cross the Atlantic ‘bridge’ and come knocking on our doors, with or without a UPC-like regime. It is a real possibility — one that we have warned about for a decade.

“As EPO insiders have already explained, the writings are on the wall and layoffs can be expected as early as next year.”Another new comment was posted to that effect. “Running out of work” is the heading/signature and it says that “the title on this post aptly says: “it’s curtain time. The new structure that replaces Minnoye will sweep the floor for the big change which is planned for 2018.”

Staff representatives have already explained that it's against the EPC, but who is going to enforce the EPC? Certainly not this chinchilla of a man.

“As a software professional I worry that the EPO is granting software patents by the thousands each year and when/if the EPO goes under, the trolls will cross the Atlantic ‘bridge’ and come knocking on our doors, with or without a UPC-like regime.”Well, the latest comments suggest that several EPO workers certainly know that EPO is collapsing and believe it’s all intentional, or simply planned. “That is precisely what I told 5 years ago,” an EPO insider wrote, “but back then nobody believed me…”

“Weekend call,” one of the commenters joked about Battistelli's extravagant habitat by saying: “Yesterday security was called in for the 10th floor Isar, apparently a pair of BB’s shoes went missing. Were the royal suits burglared?”

Well, security was sent to chase away a bailiff, so the above sounds almost believable.

“This gross kind of abuse can happen because nobody is left to supervise Battistelli and his clique.”Commenting on Battistelli's latest money grab, this latest comment jokes about embrace of a new ‘calender’ — one with which to help Battistelli and his cronies loot the EPO even faster. “Since this month of March,” the commenter joked, “the EPO introduced a new (and inventive) Calendar. No, no! EPO does not follow the Gregorian Calendar , and the Julian Calendar is old news; The EPO implemented the Benotian Calendar, this is one calendar with 14 months and it goes like this: Janvier, Fevrier, Mars, Benier, Batisttil, Avril, Mai, Juin….., corresponds to 2 extra salaries, but Benier and Batisttil applies only for certain managers and it only works in French.”

This gross kind of abuse can happen because nobody is left to supervise Battistelli and his clique. 0% of stakeholders support Battistelli, yet somehow — miraculously — he keeps his job.

Speaking to some EPO insiders, we must conclude that at least some of them seem to believe that Battistelli won’t necessarily leave his job but instead he will bury the office under him (in his seventies), or sink with the ship that he is actively sinking. It’s quite scary a thought. It’s like a movie plot about a Mafia. The EPO is embroiled in many legal disputes and in many of them the EPO simply disregards the rulings of judges (ILO for example), then lies about it.

“Speaking to some EPO insiders, we must conclude that at least some of them seem to believe that Battistelli won’t necessarily leave his job but instead he will bury the office under him (in his seventies), or sink with the ship that he is actively sinking.”“I have spoken with my lawyer about the issue of going public,” one reader once told us. “In principle he agrees we might go public, but he begged to avoid it now right in these days: we actually start to get [to] actively pushing on them and they are going defensive. So when things are to go public we would like to have it going big — an embarrassment that they cannot patch up.”

That’s just one case of many we are aware of. We have a lot of documents and sooner or later all that ‘dirty laundry’ of the EPO is bound to be smelled. But will there be any EPO left by then? Something to actually salvage?

Quite a few people out there wish to go public with their cases, but seeing how Battistelli gets away with anything, they are reluctant. “Doing it now,” one person once told us, even “in a still rather limited section of the public, will surely irritate them but it will push EPO into some kind of (hysteric) reaction, irrational and typically self-indulgent yet enough to mess about and give us additional trouble, something we don’t need right now.”

“We have a lot of documents and sooner or later all that ‘dirty laundry’ of the EPO is bound to be smelled.”It’s no secret that Battistelli holds as ransom/hostage people’s pensions, so even employees who are unjustly dismissed are afraid to talk. That’s the strategy of tyrants, along with collective accountability, collective punishment, harassment of spouses (yes, Battistelli’s office has done that too), and so much more.

The reason protections (such as ILO) exist in the first place is prevention of such scenarios, which allow a tyrant to simply 'take over' (entryism or coup) in a destructive and irreversible fashion. But these protections too are being abolished, ignored, etc.

One day, perhaps after the regime of Battistelli is toppled, a lot of shocking stories are likely to come out. Given the nature of the regime at the moment (like the Battle of Berlin) we reluctantly agree that the time is not right for publishing any of the personal accounts (unless anonymity can be preserved). I keep my complete notes on various cases for some form of publication in the future, as soon as it seems safe enough a thing to do.

“Is Battistelli willing to totally crash the EPO in order to make the UPC a reality? We certainly think so.”Many people think that big changes may be coming to the EPO (like dismissals of managements), but UPC progress — if any is made — may help determine the outcome. If Battistelli fails to deliver the UPC this year (even with the UK excluded, necessitating a massive rewrite), then his big business buddies (almost like bosses) will be upset and he will have lost popularity in these circles too. The only reason we believe Battistelli can survive right now is a bunch of low-profile billionaires who view Battistelli as the man to forcibly feed Europe the UPC, granting them all sorts of powers to bully their competitors (something like a ‘micro’ ISDS, wherein companies are collectively sued instead of states).

Is Battistelli willing to totally crash the EPO in order to make the UPC a reality? We certainly think so. The goal is to ‘manufacture’ as many patents as possible while preparing for mass litigation, fermenting a war on Europe from the outside (including from China, which already does this strategically in East Texas).

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