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05.06.17

Translations and Speculations About Jesper Kongstad’s Planned Departure From the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chairman of the Administrative Council Jesper Kongstad
Photo credit: DKPTO at Flickr

Summary: An official text describing Jesper Kongstad’s imminent departure from the EPO and DKPTO (by the end of September) and speculations about what will happen next

FOLLOWING the important if not historic news about Jesper Kongstad's planned departure from the EPO we’ve received not one but two translations from Danish. These help explain the circumstances a little better.

We got a pretty good a translation of this ‘official’ Danish announcement (not article per se but more of a press release from the Danish Patent and Trademark Office) and it goes like this:

By the end of September, 2017, Jesper Kongstad will cease to be director of the Patent and Trademark Office after 14 years in the post. The Director of the Patent and Trademark Office, Jesper Kongstad, has chosen not to apply for an extension to his contract. The contract expires on 30 September 2017.

“I’ve really enjoy my job and the office. But I have chosen not to seek an extension to my contract. The background is that I will be 64 this year. If I want to do some other things in life, then it must be now,” says Jesper Kongstad.

Jesper Kongstad has been employed as Director of the Patent and Trademark Office since October 2003. For the last 14 years, he has been working to professionalize and develop the office into a modern service company. Now the time has come to pass on the baton.

“It going well for the office now, so it’s a good time for me to stop. We have a clear course. We are confident that the office and the organization can continue the good work for our customers and collaborators at a high professional level.”

Business as usual

Jesper Kongstad will stay in his job until his last working day, on September 30, 2017. Until then everything will go on as usual: “The next five months will be business as usual. In the office, we will continue to concentrate on getting closer to our customers and becoming even better at understanding their situation and providing them with the best service,” says Jesper Kongstad.

The Ministry of Business will initiate the process of finding a replacement as soon as possible. It is expected that the new CEO will be in place on October 1, 2017.

“When he says “Office”,” our translator noted, “he means the DKPTO, not the EPO…”

Another reader pointed at this 7-page paper from September of last year [PDF]. It’s hosted by DKPTO and our reader called it “the EPO “future”… in 60 days in Argentina (of all places, well known for their great important role in the patent world) a grant! Can’t stop laughing about such “quality” initiatives!”

We’ve studied this document, which seems to suggest a continuation of Battistelli’s mission in Latin American nations with hardly any EPs, not to mention several visits to Asian countries with zero EPs. What on Earth is going on? Is he embarking on jets and flying places with a bunch of bodyguards just for a photoshoot? What does he think he is? Royal family?

Anyway, the most informative message we have received explains/elaborates a little about Kongstad’s motivations and current situation. “Jesper Kongstad’s planned departure,” it says, can be explained in part by the above press release.

“Here is a rough translation of the official announcement which appears on the PVS website,” said the message, offering another independent translation of the same text:

[PVS = Patent og Varemærkestyrelsen / Patent and Trademark Office]

The Director of the PVS (Patent and Trademark Office), Jesper Kongstad, has decided not to apply for a renewal of his contract. His current contract expires on 30 September 2017.

According to Jesper Kongstad:
“I’m very satisfied with my job and with the PVS. But I have decided not to request an extension of my contract. The background to this is that I will be 64 this year. If I want to do some other things in life now is the time.”

Kongstad has held the position of Director of the PVS since October 2003. For the last 14 years he has been working to professionalise and develop the office as a modern service company. Now the time has come to pass on the baton.

“Things are going well at the PVS so it’s a good time for me to stop. At the PVS we have set a clear course. We are confident that the PVS and the organisation will be able to continue the good work for our customers and partners at a high professional level.”

Business as usual

Jesper Kongstad will remain in his job until the final working day on 30 September 2017.
Until then everything will continue as usual.

“For the next five months it will be business as usual. At the PVS we will continue to focus on getting closer to our customers and improving our understanding of their situation and providing them with the best service,” says Jesper Kongstad.

The Ministry of Business will start the procedure for finding a successor as soon as possible.
It is expected that the new Director will take up his duties on 1 October 2017.

Some observations were then added as follows:

Kongstad isn’t resigning.

He is just not seeking a renewal of his contract which runs out at the end of September.

But it’s not clear what exactly is behind this decision.

There seem to be two possibilities.

Either he has fallen out of political favour in Denmark and has been encouraged to depart quietly or else he still has political support in Denmark and has something up his sleeve.

Until more information becomes available it can’t be ruled out that he might be planning to throw his hat into the ring in as a candidate in the upcoming Presidential election campaign at the EPO.

That’s nothing more than idle speculation at this stage but it is worth remembering that Kongstad was a contender in the 2009 Presidential election at the EPO and he only withdrew after concluding a deal with Battistelli.

So there is a distinct possibility that he could be considering a bid to take over from Battistelli in a move reminiscent of the Putin-Medvedev double act

Whatever Kongstad’s plans may be, it should be pointed out that his departure as Director of the Danish PVS doesn’t automatically mean that he will be leaving the Administrative Council. The head of the Swiss Intellectual Property Office, Grossenbacher, retired in 2015 but he still remains as the head of the Swiss delegation on the EPO Administrative Council. So theoretically Kongstad could remain on the EPO Administrative Council if he still has sufficient political backing in Denmark.

With that in mind, perhaps the celebrations are premature and as we pointed out yesterday, without Kongstad in charge of the Council it might be easier for Battistelli to gain even additional powers. Never underestimate the insatiable thirst for power of this Erdoğan copycat who knowingly breaks all the rules and perpetually makes up new rules (cumulative power grab). Mr. know-it-all will soon have even less supervision.

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