EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.10.17

English-Speaking Media Catches Up With Latest Twists in EPO Fiasco, Including Appeal to the European Court of Human Rights

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This was publicly debated by Dutch authorities yesterday

House of Representatives (Netherlands)

Summary: Actions about or against EPO management have accelerated ahead of next month’s Administrative Council meeting, whose head is leaving after alleged orders/commands from his government (half a year after we exposed his conflict of interest/s)

AS we noted a few weeks ago, under the surface and behind the silence there was something brewing. The EPO scandals recently culminated in the apparent firing of Battistelli’s ‘boss’ (someone told us that the government forced his resignation — an EPO tactic where it’s made to look like early retirement) and the European Court of Human Rights may soon step in. Yesterday we reposted SUEPO's statement (which had also been sent by E-mail, based on a new comment from IP Kat).

This morning, the British media covered this latest twist (it’s in the front page of The Register right now). Kieren McCarthy wrote:

The staff union of the European Patent Office on Tuesday applied to the European Court of Human Rights in an effort to force greater accountability on the organization and its president, Benoit Battistelli.

The EPO has carried out a years-long campaign of surveillance, intimidation and disciplinary hearings against staff who have opposed Battistelli’s reform efforts: a campaign that would be illegal under the laws of the countries in which the organization resides.

But when the staff union, SUEPO, sued to force the organization to follow those laws, EPO management claimed immunity due to its status as an international organization. After a protracted legal battle, the Dutch Supreme Court ultimately agreed with that argument, and shortly thereafter EPO’s president Battistelli sacked another staff union representative, sparking more protests.

SUEPO is appealing that decision to the human rights court by making the case that the immunity provision only holds if an organization has effective internal remedies. It argues that the EPO does not, and that its own systems are also severely lacking.

Even blogs of the patent microcosm are starting to respond to the damage caused by Battistelli’s poor leadership and yesterday Kluwer wrote this:

EPO trade union files complaint against The Netherlands before European Court of Human Rights

[...]

In several other EPO member states – France, Germany, for instance – and at the European Union, the disastrous social climate at the EPO has been on the agenda repeatedly as well. Last month, the USF, the largest federation of Unions of the Public Service wrote a letter to the members of the European Parliament, stating: ‘Countless reports in the media about dismissed staff representatives, other scandals and a total loss of trust of the staff in the current EPO president, Mr. Battistelli, are evidence of the seriousness of the situation at the EPO.’ Recently, in a series of articles on this blog (I, II, III, IV), the negative consequences of the EPO policy for patent quality were questioned as well.

Crucially however, Battistelli still seems to have support of enough members of the EPO’s supervisory Administrative Council, which could have taken more measures against the authoritarian president than it has been willing to.

The complaint before the ECHR is the latest attempt to do something about the EPO crisis. In the Dutch newspaper Nederlands Dagblad, lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld explained it is directed against The Netherlands, ‘because it has actively promoted upholding the EPO’s immunity’. According to Zegveld, the Dutch government has a diplomatic interest in doing this, ‘as it hopes for international organizations to settle in the Netherlands’. It wasn’t immediately clear when a decision can be expected from ECHR, but it will probably take quite some time. A brochure of the court of 2012 indicates the aim is to finalize cases within three years.

EPSU, which has generally been supportive of SUEPO (as recently as a few months ago), tweeted me about it this morning. “Unions @EPOorg launch complaint against Dutch State with #ECHR as justice denied to workers,” EPSU stated. Over at IP Kat there are now rumours about what will happen after Jesper Kongstad’s (JK) departure:

Perhaps JK taking over as head honcho at the EPO could be Battistelli’s “Plan B” in the (perhaps unlikely) event that someone at the AC points out that BB [Battistelli] will be beyond mandatory retirement age from August next year? After all, if it cannot be BB himself, then it would have to be a “trusted” acolyte… if only to keep the lid on the explosive secrets that we all know are just waiting to be uncovered.

Secrets like that money which got spent building Battistelli a palace at the expense (losses) of a Dutch contractor?

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

5 Comments »

  1. john said,

    May 11, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Gravatar

    Nice news, but comes too late. Apparently suepo is dead: there will not be enough candidates for the staff committee (deadline is the 15th and candidates are lacking). Without elected representatives in the staff committee, suepo will not be present in meetings with the president, since they are not recognized as a union. Expect the rate of reforms to accelerate. Expect the pension reform to be implemented this summer without input from the staff.

    john Reply:

    Still no candidates for the nearest staff committee elections and the deadline is monday…
    Battistelli can prepare the champagne: the next two years will happen without input from the staff. First, the pension reform this summer and next year massive layoffs in the areas where the stock first reaches zero.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Do you (or others reading this) happen to know who might run next month for Kongstad’s position? Ernst? Campinos? I guess it’s already being discussed internally…

    john Reply:

    Too few people know for me to divulge that information on a public forum.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    If anyone has a clue/s, please get in touch. Can be done anonymously. It might help if candidates can be studied and appropriately scrutinised before June.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

What Else is New


  1. Great News: While IBM et al Try to Undermine Patent Reform the Supreme Court Deepens the Reform in TC Heartland Case

    In a unanimous decision, with the court ruling 8-0 against TC Heartland, the monkey business in East Texas (beneficial to patent trolls and large businesses that leverage software patents) may have just come to an end



  2. Speculations About Battistelli's End of Term, Campinos at EUIPO, and Failed UPC Ambitions

    Rumours and speculations surrounding the fate of the EPO's leadership now that the UPC gravy train is stuck again and Battistelli's protector, Jesper Kongstad, is about to leave



  3. Martijn van Dam is Wrong to Believe That Battistelli's Abuses Are Somehow Acceptable or Tolerable Because His Term is Possibly Ending

    Coverage of Martijn van Dam’s stance (he is the Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs) reveals that economic gain trumps ethics and justice, irrespective of what the law says



  4. Media and Staff Association Elections at EPO and WIPO Are Compromised

    A campaign of abuse (legal bullying) and gifting to the media, combined with a wide-ranging assault on critics who represent the interests of staff, have led WIPO and EPO down the route to totality



  5. New Documents Help Demonstrate That ILO Delivers Institutional Injustice to EPO Employees and Cushions Team Battistelli

    The International Labour Organisation Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) delivers not justice but merely the illusion of justice, probably in defiance of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)



  6. Leaked: 2017 European Inventor Award Finalists, or Stooges Whom the Tyrant Battistelli Exploits for PR Purposes and Media Manipulation

    The stupidest ceremony in Europe (turning serious science into something sketchy such as Eurovision) is disliked among EPO staff and is exploited by the person who destroys the EPO (Benoît Battistelli) to pretend all is fine and dandy, at huge expense to the Office (as extraordinary as about 5 million Euros for a ~2-hour show)



  7. EPO: Can the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) Still Save It?

    Genuine concerns about the slow process at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the lack of progress at ILO, which coincide with weakening of the unions and threat to jobs of patent examiners (leaving ordinary Europeans more vulnerable to meritless patent lawsuits)



  8. Links 21/5/2017: Linux 3.18.53, Tizen 4.0

    Links for the day



  9. Cloudflare's Enemy is Software Patents, Not Just One Software Patent or One Patent Troll

    With a bounty of $50,000, which is likely less than the cost of legal defense, Cloudflare looks for help with its own case rather than the underlying issues that need tackling worldwide



  10. Patent Laws -- and Especially Eligibility of Software Patents -- Are Being Hijacked by Large Corporations and Their Front Groups

    Intervention by large multinational corporations and their lawyers, front groups, etc. (like the classic lobbying model) gives room for concern in multiple continents where most software development is done



  11. Links 18/5/2017: Catching Up With the Past Three Days

    Links for the day



  12. The US Supreme Court Consults USPTO Director Michelle Lee Regarding the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Which is Invalidating Software Patents With CAFC's Approval

    Software patents continue to get knocked out by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) whose introduction of PTAB gave a helping hand to companies that are susceptible to abusive litigation (with bogus patents)



  13. IBM and Its Revolving Doors Lobby Are Plotting to Undermine Supreme Court Rulings to Restore Patentability of Software

    IBM has become so evil that it is now trying to steal democracy, label programmers "thieves", and basically attack the rule of law by extra-judicially overturning a Supreme Court decision



  14. 3 Years After the Alice Case at the Supreme Court the Plague of Software Patents is Easier to Cope With

    Litigation figures are down, rejection rates of software patents remain high, and only spin (e.g. cherry-picking) or constant lobbying can save those who used to profit from software patents



  15. The Attacks of Patent Trolls as Outlined in the Media This Past Week

    An outline of some of the latest troll cases to be aware of and their consequences too (e.g. software patents being used to literally shut down entire programs)



  16. Links 14/5/2017: Linux 4.12 RC1 and KDE Frameworks 5.34.0

    Links for the day



  17. Industry Giants Challenge Qualcomm's Patent Practices While the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Closely Examines Such Behavior

    Scrutiny of Qualcomm's patent aggression and coercion -- scrutiny that can profoundly change the way software patents, SEPs and FRAND are viewed -- as seen in various amicus briefs (amici) from industry giants that are affected



  18. Professor Lisa Larrimore Ouellette Questions Whether Patents Work When Patent Scope is Too Broad

    Citing MIT economist (and MacArthur “genius”) Heidi Williams, Professor Lisa Larrimore Ouellette from Stanford challenges old myths and quotes: “we still have essentially no credible empirical evidence on the seemingly simple question of whether stronger patent rights—either longer patent terms or broader patent rights—encourage research investments.”



  19. OIN is Still a Distraction Unless We Want GNU/Linux to Coexist With Software Patents (Rather Than Eliminate Those)

    Another wave of media coverage by/for the Open Invention Network (OIN) necessitates a reminder of what OIN stands for and why it is not tackling the biggest problems which Free/Open Source software (FOSS) faces



  20. Links 13/5/2017: Neptune Plasma 5 ISO, a Shift to Free (FOSS) Databases

    Links for the day



  21. Countries With a Dozen European Patents Are an Easy Photo-Op 'Sell' for Battistelli While the EPO's Demise is Largely Ignored by the Patent Microcosm

    Behind the façade of legitimacy, the EPO suffers from an incompetent, insecure and delusional boss, whose actions will almost certainly lead to the collapse of both the Office and the entire Organisation (whose founding document he routinely shreds to pieces)



  22. Our Assessment: Unitary Patent (UPC) Will Crumble Along With Battistelli's Regime at the EPO

    A reflection and an opinion on where the EPO stands and what it means for the UPC, which doesn't seem to be going anywhere (it's all talk and lobbying)



  23. The European Patent Office Has a Long History/Track Record of 'Screwing' Contractors

    The European Patent Office (EPO) appears to have quite an extensive track record/reputation for ‘screwing’ contractors and then misusing immunity to get away with it



  24. Links 12/5/2017: Wine 2.8, Kdenlive 17.04.1, NHS Windows Syndrome

    Links for the day



  25. Links 11/5/2017: New OpenShot, GIMP, and GNOME (3.24.2)

    Links for the day



  26. The Sickness of the EPO – Part IX: Using Confidential Medical Records as a Weapon Against Staff

    In defiance/violation of labour laws and medical oaths etc. the EPO is passing around medical information, either for dismissal pretexts or a sort of blackmail -- a serious abuse in its own right



  27. The EPO is in Disarray and Additional Complaints to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) May Be Imminent

    Team Battistelli reaps what it has sown, as complaints are being made to a court with “47 member states [that] are contracting parties to the Convention,” (European Convention on Human Rights) according to Wikipedia



  28. By Promoting the UPC, in Defiance of Public Will, the EPO Has Become Patent Trolls' Best Friend

    The patent–industrial complex, aided by the EPO under Battistelli's iron-fisted reign, is trying to convince us that the UPC is coming soon and that it is desirable (it's neither of those things)



  29. Links 10/5/2017: Mesa 17.1, Git 2.13, Qt Creator 4.3 RC1, MINIX 3.4 RC6

    Links for the day



  30. Team UPC Still Twists and Fabricates Statements to Make It Seem Like Unitary Patent is Happening Soon

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC), a terrible system which was envisioned and covertly constructed by those who stand to benefit/profit from injunctions and trolling, is not going anywhere, but media which is dominated by Team UPC would have us believe otherwise


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts