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

05.11.17

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

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jesper Kongstad, Battistelli's protector, is alleged to have been ousted by the Danish government; is Battistelli next?

European Court of Human Rights logo

Summary: 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

TECHRIGHTS is encouraged to see the USPTO (or at least courts which govern patents in the US) cracking down on software patents (we shall cover that separately). At the EPO, by rather sheer contrast, software patents are being ‘smuggled’ into Europe, in direct and clear defiance of the rules (certainly against the standards of national patent offices and against the spirit of patent law). This has long been our principal if not sole criticism of the EPO, predating by many years the union-busting débâcle of Battistelli. Our track record, as in our past coverage, makes this abundantly clear.

“Earlier this year we asserted that the EPO had become a laughing stock for being (perhaps) the first major office to grant patents on CRISPR, leading to a ‘domino effect’ that can negatively affect other patent offices.”Last year the number of patent grants soared; EPs were granted quickly and leniently, irrespective of merit, due to unreasonable pressure from management. Those who don't play along get fired (asked to resign). Earlier this year we asserted that the EPO had become a laughing stock for being (perhaps) the first major office to grant patents on CRISPR, leading to a ‘domino effect’ that can negatively affect other patent offices.

The EPO granting patents on life (seeds, plants, pigs etc.) in defiance of its own rules is not a new thing. But it now looks like a bottomless pit/slippery slope, where patent quality matters not at all and patent scope is discarded/disregarded/dismissed as a barrier to “production” (a term Battistelli loves to use). See this new press release that says “Caribou Biosciences, Inc., a leading genome engineering company, announced today that the European Patent Office (EPO) has granted a broad CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing patent to The Regents of the University of California, the University of Vienna, and Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier. Caribou holds the exclusive license to the foundational CRISPR-Cas9 patent estate from the University of California and the University of Vienna.”

“Thankfully, staff is now taking the EPO to one of the highest courts in the entire world.”The floodgates have opened and before there is a chance for opposition or referral to the appeal boards the Office continues to grant patents on genome! This is a travesty! Ask any examiner in that area; they too should know the ramifications. But in order to keep their job they probably have to play along.

Thankfully, staff is now taking the EPO to one of the highest courts in the entire world. It has rather broad jurisdiction. Various people are noticing articles about this (e.g. in IP Kat comments; funny how IP Kat refuses to cover this major development!). It’s not just in Dutch anymore but also in German and in English (WIPR and Christian Kirsch in German media that EPO management previously censored by threatening those who linked to reports from it). Battistelli has made a disgrace of the EPO and people notice the outcome:

The Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) over its dispute with the European Patent Office (EPO).

In January this year, the Dutch Supreme Court ruled that courts in the Netherlands have no jurisdiction to rule on the wrangle, in a win for the EPO.

The trade union alleged that the EPO limited the right to strike, blocked emails from SUEPO and refused to recognise the union, violating the European Convention on Human Rights.

Another British publication that wrote about this is The Register. Funny that the British media covers EPO scandals more often than the German media, in spite of the EPO being based in Germany. The German media has generally been extremely uncooperative and disinterested; I never managed to convince anyone in it to cover EPO scandals. I tried. Many times.

The latest report from The Register has few factual errors but otherwise it’s pretty accurate. There are some comments that are short and/or factually not correct (or purely sarcastic) because most readers of The Register are outsiders to all this. “I can’t imagine it’s being very productive in the past couple of years,” one person wrote, “for an EU body…”

No, the EPO is not an EU body. There are a few other comments there which we would rather skip, but here is a handful of quoteworthy ones:

vote in a suitable replacement

could interfere with plans to vote in a suitable replacement for Battistelli when his term runs out in 2018:

By which time Battistelli will have re written the rules so that only people whose surname starts with a B and have been approved by the current President can stand.

That’s what more and more people now suspect and worry about.

Here is a more ‘radical’ approach:

Time to bin the EPO and create a replacement

I think it’s clear that the EPO is horribly injured and should be humanely euthanised.

Like people on a poorly led open source project, if the staff in the EPO were given the option to move to a new organisation I imagine they would take it.

I can see the talk in capitals around Europe being along the lines of “well, whatever we do let’s not setup another supranational organisation like the EPO”.

Knowing ICANN’s scandals, one person wrote this:

Battistelli’s fallback position

If he gets ousted at EPO eventually, I’m sure he’d be welcome to join ICANN’s board.

Then there’s this:

Above the law

No organisation, and certainly no individual, should ever have that much power. It’s utterly obscene, especially given that the organisation in question is just a glorified business operation, not some life-or-death public utility.

Not only does the totalitarianism of the EPO urgently require intervention, but the whole concept of “immunity” from any sort of accountability, due to some bogus and outmoded diplomatic protocol, needs to be not just reviewed but summarily abolished.

Benjamin Henrion said, “you cannot sue the EPO for maladministration, can you?”

One cannot sue the EPO for anything, unless it lifts its own immunity. We covered this a couple of years ago when the EPO threated to sue yours truly, a blogger. WIPO does something similar right now.

“We hear that yet more complaints to ECHR might soon be made, not just by SUEPO but also individuals who are EPO staff.”Henrion responded to this tweet from Dr. Luke McDonagh, who had retweeted Abel & Imray, adding: “European Patent Office being brought before the European Court of Human Rights (p.s. law students, remember neither is an EU institution!)”

As we noted recently, ILO part of the issue at hand. ILO too is immune and it’s failing to fulfill its mission which is assuring justice in other international institutions.

We certainly hope that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will recognise that it has a big mess in its hands. It ought to decide to seriously take on the matter, albeit it can take up to 3 years for a final determination to be made (by which point SUEPO might be altogether squashed and EPO layoffs eliminate the remainder of the representatives). We hear that yet more complaints to ECHR might soon be made, not just by SUEPO but also individuals who are EPO staff/former staff.

As a new comment put it minutes ago: “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.”

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 17/10/2019: Ubuntu Turns 15, New Codename Revealed, Ubuntu 19.10 is Out

    Links for the day



  2. Free as in Free Speech (Restrictions May Apply)

    When limits of speech are not safety-related rules but political correctness or conformism



  3. There Won't be Patent Justice Until Patent Trolling Becomes Completely and Totally Extinct

    SLAPP-like behaviour and extortion/blackmail tactics using patent monopolies are a stain on the patent system; it's time to adopt measures to stop these things once and for all, bearing in mind they're inherently antithetical to the goal/s of the patent system and therefore discourage public support for this whole system



  4. EPO Staff Union and Staff Representatives Ought to Demand EPO Stops Bullying Publishers and Censoring Their Sites

    An often neglected if not forgotten aspect of EPO tyranny is the war on information itself; EPO management continues to show hostility towards journalism and disdain for true information



  5. Bribes, Lies, Fundamental Violations of the Law and Cover-Up: This is Today's European Patent Office

    It has gotten extremely difficult to hold the conspirators accountable for turning Europe’s patent office into a ‘printing machine’ of the litigation industry and amassing vast amounts of money (to be passed to private, for-profit companies)



  6. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Lost Almost Half (3 Out of 8) Board Members in Only One Month

    As the old saying goes, a picture (or screenshot) is worth a thousand words



  7. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 16, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 16, 2019



  8. Startpage and System1 Abuse Your Privacy Under the Guise of 'Privacy One Group'

    Startpage has sold out and may have also sold data it retained about its users to a privacy-hostile company whose entire business model is surveillance



  9. Links 16/10/2019: Halo Privacy, Ubuntu Release Imminent

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 15, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 15, 2019



  11. No, Microsoft is Not an 'Open Source Company' But a Lying Company

    The world’s biggest proprietary software companies want to be seen as “open”; what else is new?



  12. Meme: Setting the Record Straight

    Stallman never defended Epstein. He had called him “Serial Rapist”. It’s Bill Gates who defended Epstein and possibly participated in the same acts.



  13. EPO Staff Resolution Against Neoliberal Policies of António Campinos

    “After Campinos announced 17 financial measures,” a source told us, “staff gathered at multiple sites last week for general assemblies. The meeting halls were crowded. The resolution was passed unanimously and without abstentions.”



  14. Satya Nadella is a Distraction From Microsoft's Real Leadership and Abuses

    "I’m merely wondering if his image and accolades that we’re incessantly bombarded with by the press actually reflect his accomplishments or if they’re being aggrandized."



  15. Raw: EPO Comes Under Fire for Lowering Patent Quality Under the Orwellian Guise of “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI)

    Stephen Rowan, the President’s (António Campinos) chosen VP who promotes the notorious “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI) initiative/pilot, faces heat from the CSC, the Central Staff Committee of the EPO



  16. Making The Most of The Fourth Age of Free Software

    "For better or for worse, we can be certain the Free Software Foundation will never be the same."



  17. FSF is Not for Free Speech Anymore

    The FSF gave orders to silence people



  18. Links 16/10/2019: Plasma 5.17.0, Project Trident Moves to GNU/Linux, NuTyX 11.2

    Links for the day



  19. ...So This GNU/Linux User Goes to a Pub With Swapnil and Jim

    It's hard to promote GNU/Linux when you don't even use it



  20. How to THRIVE, in Uncertain Times for Free Software

    "The guidelines are barely about conduct anyway, they are more about process guidelines for "what to do with your autonomy" in the context of a larger group where participation is completely voluntary and each individual consents to participate."



  21. When They Run Out of Things to Patent They'll Patent Nature Itself...

    The absolutely ridiculous patent bar (ridiculously low) at today’s EPO means that legal certainty associated with European Patents is at an all-time low; patents get granted for the sake of granting more patents each year



  22. EPO Boards of Appeal Need Courage and Structural Disruption to Halt Software Patents in Europe

    Forces or lobbyists for software patents try to come up with tricks and lies by which to cheat the EPC and enshrine illegal software patents; sadly, moreover, EPO judges lack the necessary independence by which to shape caselaw against such practices



  23. Professor Dr. Maximilian Haedicke on Lack of Separation of Powers at the EPO (Which Dooms UPC)

    Team UPC (“empire of lies”) is catching up with reality; no matter how hard media has attempted to not cover EPO scandals (after the EPO paid and threatened many publishers that tried), it remains very much apparent that EPOnia is like a theocracy that cannot be trusted with anything



  24. As Expected, the Bill Gates Propaganda Machine is Trying to Throw/Put Everyone off the Scent of Jeffery Epstein's 'Incestuous' Ties With Gates

    Media ownership up on display; it's amplifying false claims for a whole month, whereas truth/correct information gets buried before a weekend is over



  25. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 14, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, October 14, 2019



  26. [ES] El Kernel de Linux está introduciendo Open Source Privative Software

    Linux, el kernel, continúa su trayectoria o el camino hacia convertirse en software propietario de código abierto (OSPS).



  27. Linux Foundation Board Meeting

    More sponsored keynotes and tweets — like more sponsored articles (or “media partners”) — aren’t what the Linux Foundation really needs



  28. Links 14/10/2019: Linux 5.4 RC3, POCL 1.4, Python 3.8.0

    Links for the day



  29. This Week Techrights Crosses 26,000 Posts Milestone, 3 Weeks Before Turning 13 (2,000+ Posts/Year)

    A self-congratulatory post about another year that's passed (without breaks from publishing) and another milestone associated with posting volume



  30. No Calls to "Remove Gates" From the Board (Over a Real Scandal/Crime), Only to "Remove Stallman" (Over Phony Distraction From the Former)

    Jeffrey Epstein's connections to Bill Gates extend well beyond Gates himself; other people inside Microsoft are closely involved as well, so Microsoft might want to cut ties with its co-founder before it becomes a very major mess


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