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06.28.17

Ignore the Press Releases and Puff Pieces, the EPO is Going on Strikes

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Envelope journalism
Reference: Envelope journalism

Summary: Unrest at the EPO is at an all-time high (strikes planned), but people out there can barely tell because the media — for the most part — ignores all this, just like the last time

THE EPO scandals include corruption of media — an aspect we cannot emphasise strongly enough. Why does British, German, French (and to a lesser degree Dutch) media cover an expensive PR charade like EIA 17 and not EPO strikes? Is it because it’s indirectly PAID to cover EIA 17 and these payments mean that it will stay silent when negative news/atmosphere may loom over the palm which feeds it?

Weeks after an EPO strike was planned (much later than it was possible to cover that) a site other than Techrights finally wrote about the strikes. Yes, plural. It’s too late to actually raise awareness for participation in the ballot (imagine how many people would vote if the press mentioned it), but better late than never. Well, a lot of people told us about it, some publicly.

Weeks after an EPO strike was planned (much later than it was possible to cover that) a site other than Techrights finally wrote about the strikes. Yes, plural.”Dugie Standeford, who is familiar with these matters and covers them at IP Watch sometimes, cites our article and says: “European Patent Office employees, fed up with a series of reforms proposed by President Benoît Battistelli, have called “Respect Staff” strikes on 30 June and 3 July in all European Patent Office locations – Munich, The Hague, Berlin and Vienna.

“Their “most prominent and urgent reasons for discontent” include the president’s lack of respect for the rule of law and employees’ fundamental rights; and the “disastrous consequences” of the reforms for the health of the staff, quality of EPO services and the office’s reputation, the Staff Committee said in an open letter to Battistelli and the Administrative Council (AC), which meets on 28 and 29 June. They are also angry about the EPO chief’s attempt to boost his authority over the patent granting process. The EPO didn’t immediately comment.”

“We wrote a great deal about the media’s role in this, essentially becoming an enabler of EPO oppression. Passivity too is a choice or a position.”It’s reassuring that IP Watch covers such matters (it’s in the news circulation), but where is the rest of the media? Where is the corporate media? Does it not deem it newsworthy? Over the years we have seen/witnessed/reported how such media generally snubs sources on these matters (it barely bothers replying at all). We wrote a great deal about the media’s role in this, essentially becoming an enabler of EPO oppression. Passivity too is a choice or a position.

In alternative media, we were actually approached to write a summary of EPO scandals for a wider audience, whereupon it published the following summary: “Roy Schestowitz at Techrights has summarized the situation at the European Patent Office (EPO) with a Primer on the Crises and Scandals. Spying on staff, filtering staff web access, and union busting are just a sample of the shenanigans by top EPO management. And of course one chronic tale of woe includes the continued attempts by a few within the organization to introduce software patents into Europe. Software patents are a solid threat to all who use software for personal or, especially, business ends. As they fade from North America, vigilance is needed in Europe.”

“More importantly, nobody (almost nobody) bothers covering very historic news about strikes.”There are some comments there too. People are becoming growingly familiar with these issues, especially geeks.

As for mainstream media? Hardly interested.

What’s mentioned in media that’s Dutch at the moment is this silly old news about a building (via) and it’s probably because the EPO is pushing talking points into the media. (warning: epo.org link)

“As if nothing at all is going on at the EPO right now…”They obviously don’t mention that a contractor got burned by this fire hazard. The EPO does not tell the full story about this. Neither does the media. More importantly, nobody (almost nobody) bothers covering very historic news about strikes. Why is that?

Search the news for “EPO” and it’s mostly press releases like this one [1, 2] this week. As if nothing at all is going on at the EPO right now…

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