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06.11.17

Bristows/IP Kat Still Promoting UPC and Patent Trolls, Also Accused of Deleting Comments and “Brown-nosing” Judges to Help Patent Trolls

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sucking up to a judge who helps patent trolls’ entrance into Britain

Colin Birss

Summary: Bristows LLP spends far too much time infiltrating blogs and media in pursuit of patent trolls’ and UPC agenda, at the expense of integrity of the system and accuracy of information online (some of which it is deleting once it enters the editorial process)

FORGET anything you knew and saw about EPO scandals at IP Kat. As an EPO insider put it the other day: “Bear in mind that IPKat = Bristows mouthpiece as of recently. Both pro UPC !”

We actually wrote quite a few articles (such as this one) on this demise or ‘whoring’ (to the EPO) of IP Kat. It started when the blog’s founder left and accelerated further when “Merpel” (a pseudonym used by several people) simply vanished without a trace.

“It started when the blog’s founder left and accelerated further when “Merpel” (a pseudonym used by several people) simply vanished without a trace.”Bristows, sadly, has infected quite a few blogs other than IP Kat. One other example is Kluwer Patent Blog. Mind tweets such as this one, ignoring some of the latest UPC setbacks and going along with fake news from Bristows (regarding Bristows itself!)…

The following post does not state the name of the poster (maybe Cordery or a colleague from Bristows, in which case they reference themselves as a source with an even more misleading headline that constitutes pure lobbying). To quote a passage:

According to a Bristows report, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden meet these requirements. Also, ‘Germany and the UK have each consented to the Protocol. (…) it appears that other countries (such as Greece, Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia) may be in a position to enable the Provisional Application Phase to start before the summer break.’

Estonia is mentioned above because Bristows is latching onto Estonia again, in a desperate effort to show signs of life (the UPC is otherwise in a limbo).

IP Kat is killing a decade’s reputation by letting Bristows exploit it like that.”It often seems like Bristows is everywhere when it comes to the UPC and it not only spreads lies but also deletes comments that are not convenient to Bristows, the private firm that betrays its own country. Here are Bristows’ Pat Treacy and Matthew Hunt promoting a case for patent trolls in the UK, found via IAM and via the Microsoft AstroTurfing group called ACT (pretending to represent small companies for about a decade now). Have they no shame?

IP Kat, having been ‘hijacked’ by Bristows (liars and censors), is also doing this. It’s now openly promoting patent trolls using this case. Remember that Bristows has high stakes in the UPC and it promotes patent trolls in the UK for self indulgence. Here it is being accused — in the comments — of “brown-nosing” the judge, Colin Birss. To quote: “You quote Mr Birss eleven times in your post, and he even made it into the title. Looks like brown-nosing to me. No wonder UK judges become big-headed. Really, it is the judgement that counts, not the one who wrote it.”

“Look who’s on the panels: Alan Johnson (Bristows) and Michael Froehlich (EPO).”IP Kat is killing a decade’s reputation by letting Bristows exploit it like that. Some IP Kat writers have apparently already left because of it. UPC proponents certainly love this brainwash from Bristows and Christopher Weber links to it. IP Kat, or whoever is in charge of it these days, has decided to become megaphone to EPO management and Team UPC. “Disgusting” is an understatement. Here, in this two-part series [1, 2] from Eibhlin Vardy (of Stephenson Harwood) we see stacked panels which proclaim to be a discussion of UPC. They are nothing but staged lobbying events and IP Kat should have ignore these. Look who’s on the panels: Alan Johnson (Bristows) and Michael Froehlich (EPO).

Could it get any more insidious?

“As expected, censorship by Bristows et al kicks in again…”Read the fourth comment in the first part (it miraculously manahed survive the culling/censorship). “It would be nice to obtain the views of other people than from Bristows and consorts,” it said. There are many more comments to that effect, e.g. the first one here (in part 2).

As expected, censorship by Bristows et al kicks in again (we have already given several examples of that, as recently as two weeks ago). IP Kat appears to be censoring comments that are hostile towards the UPC, based on the following comment:

Tim – I agree that the missing comments have likely been “lost” for technical reasons. I very much doubt that there is any “selective editing” going on.

The part of the G&P opinion that I am thinking of is at the end of para 59:
“Whilst Article 1 of the UPCA and Article 71a of the Brussels Regulation designate the UPC as a “court common to a number of Member States”, we do not consider that such secondary legislation is capable of converting the UPC’s fundamental status as an international court into that of a court which is part of the national legal order”.

That seems to pretty clearly set out the position that G&P view the UPC as not being a “court common to the (EU) Member States”. Or am I missing something?

This is a key point, as my understanding is that the UPC will only retain the ability to refer questions to the CJEU if it remains part of the (national) legal order of EU Member States… which it can only do by being a court common to EU Member States. The participation of a non-EU State would seem to rather throw a spanner in the works on that point.

This was said in response to the following comment (reproduced in case of retroactive deletion):

Gordon and Pascoe conclude that the UPC is not “a court common to the Contracting Member States”.

I’ve not gone back to check, but I don’t think that’s quite what they said. They did acknowledge that there would need to be some changes to the definitions and wording around “Member State” and “Contracting Member State”.

At the moment, the definitions in Article 2 UPCA say that a
“Contracting Member State” is a Member State party to the UPCA itself. The suggestion is that the UK could remain as a contracting state party to the UPCA, with those changes to the wording and given the necessary political will.

However, Article 2 also defines a “Member State” as an EU Member State. I think that’s why changes to the wording would be needed.

Proof, in the past I’ve also had posts that just disappeared. I’ve come to the conclusion that it happens when I make a long post that includes HTML tags. If I get the HTML syntax wrong, the error message is very small and tucked away at the top of the post. In a long post, you can’t see it unless you scroll up looking for it, and it is easy to assume that the post was successful.

And prior to this someone said: “Two days on and no one has rushed to counter the proposition that either the UK cannot stay in the UPC post-Brexit or the UPC Agreement is incompatible with EU law. Does this mean that either everyone agrees with that proposition or that no one who disagrees has noticed it?”

People are difficulties leaving comments. Here is another:

Hmmmn. Can’t think what was wrong with my comments that (twice) failed to reach this thread. Let me try again, with a bit of rephrasing.

The article states that “Now, the general consensus seems to be that the UK can participate even after it leaves the EU”. But what is meant here by “the general consensus”? Is it the consensus of all informed practitioners or instead the majority view amongst regular commentators on the UPC? I suspect the latter, not least because I have never heard of any survey seeking views on this point. If my suspicion is correct, then I would caution against using phrases such as “the general consensus”, particularly in view of the fact that regular commentators on the UPC are a pretty self-selecting (and likely unrepresentative) group.

There is another aspect of all this that puzzles me even more, though.

Before the Brexit vote and the Gordon and Pascoe opinion, the “general consensus” was quite the opposite of what it is now alleged to be. But how is it that the consensus amongst regular commentators on the UPC has performed such an astonishing volte face when there has (to my knowledge) been so little attention paid to the key arguments that underpin the rather surprising conclusion in the Gordon and Pascoe opinion?

It appears to me that there are two main possibilities here. The first is that Gordon and Pascoe’s opinion is so clear, persuasive and obviously correct that it has removed the scales from all of our eyes so that we can now see how wrong we were beforehand. On the other hand, the second possibility is that the desire of proponents of the UPC to believe in the conclusion has hindered detailed, critical analysis of the opinion.

Sadly, I suspect that the latter possibility is the best explanation of what has happened. This is primarily because Gordon and Pascoe’s opinion is heavily reliant upon what appears at face value to be a very counter-intuitive conclusion. That is, despite several statements to the contrary in the UPC Agreement itself (the recitals, Article 1 and Article 21), Gordon and Pascoe conclude that the UPC is not “a court common to the Contracting Member States”. Whilst I would not expect commentators to dismiss that argument out of hand, I am more than a little surprised that so little attention has been paid to the question of whether it can possibly be correct.

More worryingly, no one seems to have questioned whether, apart from the possibility of the UK remaining in the UPC post-Brexit, any further consequences might flow from Gordon and Pascoe’s conclusion. I find this particularly alarming as it seems to me that one inevitable conclusion is that the UPC Agreement would be incompatible with EU law.

The reason for my conclusion on this point is that it is only by being “a court common to the Contracting Member States” that the UPC becomes part of the EU legal order, which (amongst other things) affords it the ability to refer questions to the CJEU.

I cannot overstate the importance of this point. If Gordon and Pascoe are correct and the UPC is truly an “international” court (as opposed to part of the national legal system of various EU Member States), then it would have the same status as the Boards of Appeal of the EPO… which are of course unable to refer questions to the CJEU.

Does the “general consensus” take this consideration into account?

Another commenter said: “Is there a problem with the comments facility on this thread? My comments from 2 June and from this morning seem to have both gone astray…”

IP Kat isn’t what it used to be.”I too have had several comments of mine deleted by IP Kat, whereupon I stopped commenting altogether. This isn’t an open forum anymore and it’s clear that they omit (delete) comments based on somebody’s agenda; it doesn’t look like it’s random and it’s not due to technical issues (not all the time anyway).

IP Kat isn’t what it used to be. The sooner we recognise and accept it, the better.

The British Election May Have Just ‘Killed’ the Unitary Patent (UPC)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn might actually become the next Prime Minister. Photo credit: Sophie Brown.

Summary: With political turmoil in the UK, including a chaotic coalition with nationalists in it, UPC is again at the very bottom of all priorities and it’s possible that Conservatives will fail to form a government, throwing into disarray any promises previously made in relation to the UPC

TECHRIGHTS has hardly said anything about the UPC for a couple of weeks (due to absence and catchup time), but a lot has happened, especially in light of the British election. Why? Because the UPC is in a limbo, primarily because of the British. The election backfired badly on Theresa May (whose career is now uncertain and whose party might even let loose the Prime Ministerial position). Where does that leave the UPC? Let us clarify before the spin comes around, primarily from Team UPC (probably as early as Monday).

First, let’s start with a little bit of background and recent developments. The EPO‘s management obviously wants the UPC, but the impression we get from ordinary EPO staff is that they hate it. They know that the UPC would potentially doom them and end their careers, not to mention harm Europe. They would be correct to feel this way and we have written on the subject for nearly a decade. Even when it was known as “EU” or “Community” patent the benefits to Europe were dubious at best. It just made Europe more attractive to sue in, not to sue from. After several rebrands they decided to go with words like “unity” (and “unitary” or “unified”), basically marketing the same pile of dung under false pretenses.

“Even when it was known as “EU” or “Community” patent the benefits to Europe were dubious at best.”We often joke about the pronunciation of UPC, which is of course just an acronym. We could perhaps pronounce it “oopsie”, one person told me, “as UP oop C says its name…”

This proposition came up after I had suggested that we collectively pronounce UPC as “oops” or “whoopsi”, much like “Oh Oh XML” (OOXML) for OpenXML, which was neither open nor XML (it has binary enclosures in the tree).

The name aside, what is the UPC really? It’s the wet dream of the litigation industry and its biggest clients, which are more often than not foreign (not European, just hoping to sue in Europe, taking action against European companies).

Looking at Managing IP (MIP) coverage prior to the election, it talked of “the delayed start of the UPC, the impending Brexit has cast a shadow of uncertainty over IP law.”

“No,” I’ve told MIP, “it’s not “delayed”, UPC might be dead in the UK but keep flogging this horse…”

“It’s the wet dream of the litigation industry and its biggest clients, which are more often than not foreign (not European, just hoping to sue in Europe, taking action against European companies).”For those who have not been paying attention, MIP is responsible for a lot of UPC propaganda. A lot. It recently issued yet another one of its infamous “progress reports” for the UPC — those that have us deluded into thinking that it’s all just a matter of time. It recently published “Are you braced for Brexit?” and “This article is brought to you by our Trademark Times 2017 sponsors…”

Yes, sponsors. Like those pro-UPC events that MIP keeps organising, filled with staked panels and typically some liars from Team Battistelli.

The truth of the matter is, the Preparatory Committee of the UPC has already pressed the brakes on progress and is mostly silent these days. There is no concrete, substantial preparation (except preparation of propaganda). Here is a pro-UPC blog, run by Team UPC itself, saying that according to the Preparatory Committee the “Unified Patent Court will not start operating this year” (that’s the headline). The key part:

The previously announced target date for the entry into operation of the Unified Patent Court, envisaged for December 2017, cannot be maintained. This has been reported by the UPC Preparatory Committee.

So once again they have lied or created false expectations. They do this every year. Why would anyone still trust anything they say? As a pro-UPC voice put it: “The previously announced target date for entry into operation of UPC, envisaged December 2017, cannot be maintained.” (linking to this official site)

IAM retweeted this and added: “The UPC won’t enter into force in December 2017. Whether it will in 2018 – or even ever – remains to be seen. Much depends on Brexit talks.”

“The truth of the matter is, the Preparatory Committee of the UPC has already pressed the brakes on progress and is mostly silent these days.”And now that Theresa May is in serious trouble it’s not even clear if there will be Brexit talks later this month as scheduled (some reports this morning said it would happen, citing May’s team, but it’s not clear if this team is about to get broadly sacked, just like May’s senior advisors). According to a new poll (to be added to daily links later today), 60% of Conservatives (actual insiders!) oppose May and another new poll says that half the public wants her to step down.

Incredible, eh? So much has changed so quickly.

CIPA, a malicious pressure group of patent law firms (it lies to the public, corrupts our politicians, helps patent trolls and so on), recently set up a seminar which according to this site further promotes the delusion of UPC inevitability. Who are these people kidding? Are they trying so hard to make lawyers synonymous with liars?

“McDonagh, an expert in this area, labeled it “patently unclear” and this lack of clarity means that the UPC remains in perpetual limbo, preventing any progress from being made.”Dr. Luke McDonagh, a scholar from London, responded to the result of the election by stating : “The most important issue of the day is, of course, what will happen to UK participation in Unified Patent Court?”

McDonagh, an expert in this area, labeled it “patently unclear” and this lack of clarity means that the UPC remains in perpetual limbo, preventing any progress from being made.

The other day we saw the lawyer’s press acknowledging some of the issue as follows:

The entry into operation of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will not occur in December 2017, the previously announced target date. This means the long-awaiting Unitary Patent (UP) and Unified Patent Court (UPC) regimes will not be up and running, at the earliest, until sometime in 2018.

Delays in the progress of national procedures concerning the ratification of the UPC Agreement and the participation in the Protocol on Provisional Application have been cited as the reason for the December 2017 target date being unable to be maintained. A revised target date has not yet been published.

They’ll then say 2019, 2020 and so on. Wait and watch. It’s becoming expensive and cumbersome for law firms that put many of their eggs in the UPC basket, notably the likes of Bristows, whose lies will be the subject of our next post. In Germany, Christopher Weber wrongly asserts or at least assumes that the the UPC is inevitable (money first, common sense later) when he writes: “More stalling by the UK could lead to fewer qualified judges applying for UPC. Plan B: UPC w/o UK.”

“By the time there’s clarity Battistelli might already be in a mental ward, the EPO utterly destroyed (many layoffs are expected), and people like Maas (UPC proponent) out of their job.”Yes, that might actually happen, but they cannot just dump the UK until it’s clear what is happening. The UK is under considerable political uncertainty at the moment (it’s all over the news this weekend), so Plan B won’t be considered for a long time to come, perhaps even years. By the time there’s clarity Battistelli might already be in a mental ward, the EPO utterly destroyed (many layoffs are expected), and people like Maas (UPC proponent) out of their job.

No More Battistelli Photo Ops With Michelle Lee as EPO Allies Run Out, Countries Without European Patents Pursued Instead

Posted in Africa, Europe, Patents at 3:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO in Angola

Summary: Desperate for some sense of legitimacy, Battistelli travels far and obtains ‘trophies’ from countries that are irrelevant to the EPO while his few remaining allies quit their jobs

THE EPO is running out of allies. It’s running out of allies pretty fast as it’s widely recognised that it’s run by a bunch of crooks. No person in this field has overlooked all the negative media coverage. Nobody. People have noticed just how few high-level officials even pose for photos with Benoît Battistelli these days. It’s not a coincidence. The same is true (to some degree) about the US President…

“People have noticed just how few high-level officials even pose for photos with Benoît Battistelli these days.”Battistelli’s allies mostly come from countries that are notorious for human rights violations, e.g. China the other day (promoted in Twitter via this and that). In some ways, the EPO is becoming SIPO and is mimicking Chinese (infamously low) standards for patenting. This isn’t what Europe needs; it’s what Europe needs to compete with.

More interesting, however, was this tweet from the USPTO (June 1st), headed at the time by a Director of Chinese descent. Mr. Klutz, the clown who facilitates the authoritarian regime of Battistelli, is in there (in the photos) and the USPTO wrote: “Commemorating 10 years of cooperation, @EPOorg, @JPO_JPN, @KIPOworld_en, SIPO, and #USPTO sign the IP5 Joint Statement today, June 1.”

“In some ways, the EPO is becoming SIPO and is mimicking Chinese (infamously low) standards for patenting.”Well, here we can see Michelle Lee touching Battistelli’s hands. It will be the last time. Here is the corresponding puff piece from the EPO (warning: epo.org link) and Battistelli’s immature brag in his ‘blog’. (warning: epo.org link)

What he probably did not know at the time is that Lee was about to leave. Days later she did. Abruptly even.

“We shall see if the Trump administration puts an utterly corrupt man like Rader in charge of the USPTO.”We first found out about it when a reader mailed us USPTO director Michelle Lee has resigned without warning. It correctly noted (as we did at the time) that “[i]n April, more than 50 companies, including Facebook and Cisco, sent a letter to President Trump asking him to keep Lee on board, believing the office would apply stricter standards to technology and software patents under her leadership.”

It didn’t take long for this news to spread [1, 2] through the mainstream media and many cited the above report (the first we saw). “According to Arstechnica.com,” one site said a few days ago, “major technology companies asked President Trump to keep Michelle Lee on board, believing the former Google executive would applying stricter standards to technology and software patents under her leadership.”

“As the number of applications from the US declines (the EPO tried to hide it) we can expect the EPO to become more like China and appeal to the Chinese, not the Americans.”Indeed, this departure wasn’t expected. The media makes it seem as though it was her decision to step down, albeit she was possibly pushed out. We shall see if the Trump administration puts an utterly corrupt man like Rader in charge of the USPTO. The USPTO had a good leader, but she is moving on. It’s the EPO that should oust/drive out the head, not the USPTO. We believe, based on our heavy coverage on the matter (over a dozen articles about it), that Lee was pushed out by thugs who started a witch-hunt against her. MIP says that “USPTO associate solicitor Joseph Matal has taken over her duties” and Lee’s foes (and supporters of the corrupt Rader as her successor) say “an acting successor has not been named. However, Commissioner for Patents Drew Hirshfeld was being touted by some DC observers as the likely choice, given that current deputy Director Anthony Scardino doesn’t have a background in IP.”

So… not Rader. What a relief.

These foes of Lee also said: “The battle to succeed Lee will be unlike anything we’ve seen before at the USPTO. The stakes are very high. [] The USPTO director can change rules relating to PTAB & rework examination guidelines. BigTech will be desperate to ensure neither happens.”

The LA Times covered it as follows:

America’s top patent and trademark official has abruptly resigned from her post.

Michelle Lee, who has been director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for more than two years, submitted a letter of resignation Tuesday afternoon.

“I am confident that the leadership team in place will serve you well during this transition,” Lee wrote in an agency-wide memo to staff.

How does that matter to the EPO? Simple. As the number of applications from the US declines (the EPO tried to hide it) we can expect the EPO to become more like China and appeal to the Chinese, not the Americans. The EPO is stretching and leaning to the bottom.

“Angola received not a even a single European Patent last year, but Benoît Battistelli and Klutz do a business trip to Angola.”Benoît Battistelli, for example, goes to a photo ops expedition in Angola. Yes, that’s right. Angola! Which Battistelli's old 'boss', Nicolas Sarkozy, also strategically visited. All one needs to know is that Angola is totally irrelevant to the EPO (no patents granted) and this EPO puff piece (warning: epo.org link) about the visit demonstrates nothing but a waste of money on Battistelli and his bodyguards (Klutz is there too). When will Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand man Klutz go to Zimbabwe for ‘recognition’ from Mugabe? He too enjoys an above-the-law status. Maybe they can share some experiences about how to crush people…

Angola received not a even a single European Patent last year, but Benoît Battistelli and Klutz do a business trip to Angola. That says a lot, does it not? Might as well be a trip for leisure, disguised as “for business”… there are safaris in Angola.

The irony should not be missed. In relation to the two terror attacks in England, Battistelli has of course not missed the opportunity for political exploitation. Here is the exploitation of Manchester and the exploitation of London (warning: two epo.org links). Again, in relation to terror, the EPO says it “believes in an open and inclusive society based on the fundamental principles of freedom, equality and justice.”

“They, Team Battistelli, are once again milking tragedy (with many human victims) to disseminate patently false characterisations of themselves.”Liars.

It takes quite some nerve to say that. They also said: “As an international organisation, we believe in an open and inclusive society based on the fundamental principles of freedom, equality, justice and tolerance. Such attacks will never be able to destroy these principles.”

That makes just about as much sense as Mugabe saying it. It’s beyond laughable. It is deeply offensive. They, Team Battistelli, are once again milking tragedy (with many human victims) to disseminate patently false characterisations of themselves.

European Patent Office May Become Just a Mirage of Examination Office, Much Like INPI (France)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Immolating the European Patent Office (EPO)

Hot road mirage
Photo credit: Brocken Inaglory

Summary: The depressing vision of Benoît Battistelli, whose EPO is collapsing (EPs losing value, applications throughput declining, staff leaving)

THE long-prevailing rumours inside the EPO (insiders) suggest that Battistelli is abolishing examiners to make the EPO more like INPI, the office which he came from. Decisions on patents, he believes, should be left for courts (e.g. UPC) to decide on, not some examiners and certainly no independent oppositions and appeal boards. It’s not hard to see why this is a recipe for disaster, especially harming small companies that are incapable of putting together funds for lengthy court battles (a vortex of appeals included).

“It’s not hard to see why this is a recipe for disaster, especially harming small companies that are incapable of putting together funds for lengthy court battles (a vortex of appeals included).”The other day we saw Bastian Best, a proponent of software patents (no, he is not a software developer), stating: “Good to see that the French courts align with the EPO when it comes to software patents…”

Benjamin Henrion, who actually does develop software (as do I), noted this “[a]lignment of French courts on EPO case law regarding computer-implemented inventions” and linked to this post which states:

Like in the Sesame decision, I must say that I am quite impressed by the capacity of French legal judges to level up to EPO case law’s subtleties in the area of software patentability, which is not known as the most limpid literature even to technical practitioners such as European patent attorneys.

So it certainly seems as though software patents have been pushed into Europe from the back door under Battistelli’s watch (to some degree Brimelow’s also). It’s catastrophic to software companies, which understand the growing threat of patent trolls.

At the same time, the EPO is trying to expand the reach of such patents. See this new puff piece about Battistelli’s plan to produce shoddy services around automated (and flawed) translations. It says: “The service now receives approximately 15,000 translation requests on average every day, mostly from India, Japan, Russia and the United States. This is in addition to requests coming from the EPO member states, according to EPO President Benoît Battistelli.”

“This should not only scare examiners but also software developers and all sorts of companies that merely use software, i.e. virtually every company in Europe.”Benoît Battistelli is actually clueless (or greedy) enough to think that machine translation gives something workable. He also wrote about it in his ‘blog’ some days ago. (warning: epo.org link, which can unmask IP addresses once clicked)

We predict that Battistelli will pursue a France-centric UPC, with minimal examination (just filing/registration), perhaps with him sitting at the top, in spite of his age approaching 70 and his decision-making abilities being utterly deficient. The man is crooked. This should not only scare examiners but also software developers and all sorts of companies that merely use software, i.e. virtually every company in Europe.

German Media Would Rather Write Articles About Beer Than About Serious and Unprecedented EPO Scandals

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: Shame on the German Media for the Media Blackout Surrounding EPO Protests in Munich (and Sometimes Berlin)

SUEPO beer
Will a site redesign such at this help compel journalists to care?

Summary: Further reaffirming our observations, it seems as though the German media, financially connected to the German government, simply overlooks the plight of EPO staff

A COUPLE of weeks ago we got told that while EPO scandals get mostly ignored by German media, relatively small protests (unrelated to these scandals) receive sympathy from German journalists and publishers are willing to lend a ear.

Not too long ago the EPO granted patents on genetics and there was a lot of press coverage about it. The other day there was also this article in English in the German media, regarding an issue we tackled last year. To quote:

Dozens of protesters, six brewery horses and a marching band have demonstrated in front of the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich to object to a patent by beer giants Carlsberg and Heineken.

In 2016, the two companies jointly patented a strain of barley that improved the taste of beer and allows for a more energy-efficient brewing process.

The beer patents haven’t gone down well with Germans, a nation proud of its centuries-old tradition of barley cultivation and beer brewing. Breweries fear financial losses if patents on crops become the new normal, and activists believe food security is under threat.

“As usual, and perhaps due to the agenda of media owners, German media doesn’t care about the most important scandals and instead focuses on smaller ones.”“Dozens of protesters” have apparently attracted more media attention than thousands of EPO employees protesting against their own employer. As usual, and perhaps due to the agenda of media owners, German media doesn’t care about the most important scandals and instead focuses on smaller ones. There was also coverage in German, e.g. this article. As someone put it, “well it catches ppl where they are. Covering a #beer story stands symbolic for what #patents are doing. people in #germany are difficult to mobalize. but with beer you even get the most conservatist to act.”

The only person in the German media who bothered with EPO scandals lately was Stefan Krempl, who published this article which said: “Der Verwaltungsrat für das Europäische Patentamt hat erste Schritte eingeleitet, um Benoît Battistelli vertragsgerecht Ende Juni 2018 als Präsidenten der Behörde abzulösen. In seiner Periode war und ist der soziale Unfrieden groß.”

“We can’t stress this often enough as there’s an element of complicity to it.”A translation of the entire article will hopefully be published by SUEPO at some point. It has already taken note of it and anger is directed at Battistelli in the comments.

When the German media does bother covering relatively small protests but not far bigger protests it makes one wonder about the government's and its media’s (connected to the government by its budget) agenda. We can’t stress this often enough as there’s an element of complicity to it.

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