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08.03.17

EPO, Lufthansa, and the German Government – Part III: DZIV and EPO Nepotism

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO, Lufthansa, and the German Government

Summary: A first look at some of the conflicts of interest and/or nepotism in the Croatian authorities and the relevance to Andrej Matijević and Željko Topić (EPO)

THE previous short part was introductory and the one before that focused on Andrej Matijević. We are not yet dealing with the EPO connection, but research and background seem vital for this series. Things will connect later.

“Several people in Croatia who are familiar with these matters informed us and reinforced additional details regarding Kuterovac and Topić.”We were especially careful in establishing some of the facts here; it took us a while, for example, to gather more information — preferably press reports or something more official — about the sexual-in-nature accusations against VP4 of the EPO as everything published here we typically have hard proof of (even if we choose not to publish it). We never publish anything without a strong factual basis and in this particular case we have court proceedings to support the accusations. Public information from the court in Zagreb, namely a case between Željko Topić and the portal Tjedno.hr, had Topić (during the court proceedings) saying that his marriage had collapsed because of Ljiljana Kuterovac. Several people in Croatia who are familiar with these matters informed us and reinforced additional details regarding Kuterovac and Topić.


ENThere are a number of factors that speak for the severity of the offences. The legal action before the Court in Strasbourg is based, for example, on the fact that the professional circles of the two accused are “well-oiled” as demonstrated by the current situation at the DZIV and the EPO. Both Matijević and Željko Topić continue to direct procedures at the DZIV in an unhindered and questionable manner. For example, Ljiljana Kuterovac, rumoured to be Topić’s longtime mistress, was appointed as Director of the DZIV under questionable circumstances. After attaining his current residence in Munich, Željko Topić went one step further and secured an appointment for his “escort lady” Kuterovac as a member of the supervisory board of the EPO Academy. (See Document #1)

The well-oiled nature of this corruption apparatus is also demonstrated by the fact that during Ms Kuterovac’s term of office as Director of the DZIV the lawyer Andrej Matijević was appointed as President of the Boards of Appeal in the field of Industrial Property Rights. Their close collusion or collaboration is also clearly visible on the attached private photo (Photo #1). It remains to be clarified whether it is merely a coincidence that Mr Matijević and Ms Kuterovac are to be seen on the same photo in the company of a member of the Croatian police who is responsible for the monitoring breaches of intellectual property law and is also assigned to the police department of the Ministry of the Interior directly connected to Interpol headquarters in Lyon. The lawyer Andrej Matijević was reported to the Croatian Parliament’s Committee on the Conflict of Interests on the basis of activities such as those described above and a more than obvious work-related conflict of interest. The influential Croatian newspaper Jutarnji List (“Morning Post”) reported on this in the attached article (Photo #2).


DEEs gibt mehrere Faktoren, die für die Schwere ihrer Vergehen sprechen. Die Klage des Gerichtshofs beruht beispielsweise darauf, daß das Umfeld um die beiden Angeklagten „geschmiert“ ist, wie die aktuelle Situation bei DZIV RH (Staatsamt für intellektuelles Eigentum der Republik Kroatien) und EPO zeigt. Sowohl Matijević, als auch Željko Topić leiten ungestört auf fragliche Art und Weise Prozesse bei DZIV. Dies äußert sich zum Beispiel so, daß dort unter fragwürdigen Umständen Topić’s langjährige Liebhaberin, Ljiljana Kuterovac, als Direktorin von DZIV ernannt wurde. Der korrupte Željko Topić ist dabei noch einen Schritt weitergegangen und hat im Bestreben seinen jetzigen Wohnort in München zu erreichen, seine “Eskortdame” Liljana Kuterovac zum Mitglied des Aufsichtsrates von EPO ernannt.

Daß diese Korruptionsmaschine gut geschmiert ist, beweist weiterhin die Ernennung des Rechtsanwaltes Andrej Matijević zum Präsidenten des Berufungsausschusses von DZIV auf dem Gebiet „Patente und Industrieeigentum“ während des Mandats der Direktorin Frau Kuterovac. Deren Zusammenhalt bzw. (Foto #1) Zusammenarbeit ist auch auf dem beigelegten Privatfoto bestens erkennbar. Es sei dahingestellt ob es ein Zufall ist, daß Matijević und Kuterovac auf eben diesem Foto in der Gesellschaft eines Mitglieds der kroatischen Polizei zu sehen sind, welches mit der Aufsicht des Missbrauchs vom intellektuellem Eigentum beauftragt ist und welches zudem bei der Polizeidirektion des Innenministeriums angestellt und direkt mit dem Sitz von Interpol in Lyon verbunden ist. Aufgrund Handlungen wie der soeben beschriebenen und dem mehr als offensichtlichem Interessenkonflikt bei der Arbeit, wurde der Rechtsanwalt Andrej Matijević beim Ausschuß für Interessenkonflikt der Republik Kroatien angezeigt (Foto #2. Die einflußreiche kroatische Zeitung “Jutarnji List” (Morgenzeitung) berichtete darüber, der zugehörige Artikel befindet sich im Anhang).


Photo/Foto #1

Andrej Matijevic and Ljiljana Kuterovac

Photo/Foto #2

Andrej Matijevic article

Document #1

Letter to Ljiljana Kuterovac

EPO, Lufthansa, and the German Government – Part II: Andrej Matijević and Željko Topić

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO, Lufthansa, and the German Government

Summary: Our opening dual-language part in this series about the Lufthansa case, which appears to implicate not only the EPO’s Željko Topić but also the government of Germany

THIS EPO series, which we started earlier this week, will be published gradually, in many parts, in both English and German. We have decided to publish in two languages, in tandem even, in order for German media to pay attention. We also perform fact-checking and translations can take time. All parts will be indexed and grouped together at the end.


EN

CORRUPTION SCANDAL INVOLVING LUFTHANSA SETS OFF SHOCK WAVES IN THE EU: NEW DETAILS ABOUT ABUSE OF THE AIRPLUS TRADEMARK

New information has emerged about the corruption affair involving the airline Lufthansa and revealing the extent of the suspected criminal activities of those accused. The main suspects include the legal representative of Lufthansa in Croatia, Mr Andrej Matijević, and Mr Željko Topić. Both Mr Matijević, a lawyer from Zagreb and Mr Topić, former director of the DZIV (State Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia) and now a Vice-President of the EPO in Munich and thus also the right hand of the EPO President, Benoît Battistelli, are named in a legal action filed at the Court of Justice in Strasbourg on 20 July 2017. Subsequently, various newspapers have reported on the affair, including the associated trading of political influence and the extent of the corruption of the Croatian judiciary and other institutions, which according to the reports has been initiated by the international airline.


DE

KORRUPTIONSSKANDAL UM LUFTHANSA ERSCHÜTTERT EU: NEUE ERKENNTNISSE IN DER MISSBRAUCHSAFFÄRE DER MARKE AIRPLUS

Im Korruptionsfall rund um die Fluggesellschaft Lufthansa sind neue Information zum Vorschein gekommen, welche das Ausmaß der kriminellen Aktivitäten der Beschuldigten aufzeigen. Zu den besagten Personen gehören auch die juristischen Vertreter von Lufthansa in Kroatien, Herr Andrej Matijević und Herr Željko Topić. Herr Matijević, ein Rechtsanwalt aus Zagreb und Herr Topić, ehemaliger Direkter des DZIV RH (Staatsamt für intellektuelles Eigentum der Republik Kroatien) und jetzt Vizepräsident von EPO in München und somit auch rechte Hand des Unternehmenspräsidenten B. Battistelli, sind am 20. Juli 2017 beim Gerichtshof in Straßburg angeklagt worden. Im Anschluss berichteten verschiedene Zeitungen über den im Zusammenhang mit dem Fall stehenden Handel mit Einfluss und die Reichweite der Korruption in der kroatischen Justiz und anderen Institutionen, welche laut den Berichten durch die internationale Fluggesellschaft initiiert wurden.

PTAB/CAFC: Cleanup of Bogus Patents Carries On

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 3:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

USPTO video: Typical Day for an Administrative Patent Judge at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)

Summary: Bad (erroneously-granted) patents are being swept away (invalidated) by the now-famous duo which can deal with about a thousand petitions to invalidate (IPRs) per year

THE USPTO recklessly grants a lot of software patents (still), but it is often stopped — where necessary — by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). As we argued yesterday, USPTO examiners ought to stop granting software patents altogether. These grants cause a lot of 'extrajudicial' damage. Sometimes these patents end up in court and if appeals are filed and a high court (re)examines the patents, they almost always get invalidated. This post outlines some relevant news and demonstrates that things may be improving.

“The first half of 2017 was a record for Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) petition filing,” Managing IP reminded readers this week when it listed some of the targeted [sic] patent owners [sic] (loaded language), revealing that Rovi (connected to Microsoft’s patent trolling operation [1, 2, 3]) is a top nuisance. Here is a passage from the publicly-accessible part:

Comcast taking its dispute with Rov ito the PTAB made them the top petitioner and patent owner at the PTAB in the first half of 2017. Apple and Samsung have fallen down the petitioner rankings while Fish & Richardson, Sterne Kessler and Finnegan dropped in the law firm rankings, with Banner Witcoff, Baker Botts and Ropes & Gray making strides

As a reminder, this year and last year the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) concurred with PTAB about 4 out of 5 times while the number of petitioned soared to all-time highs. This seems to upset patent maximalists like Dennis Crouch, who continue to focus on (if not attack) AIA, PTAB, IPRs, Section 101 etc. They view these as threats to their agenda and their business model.

“The interesting thing is, CAFC keeps getting it wrong on patents in the sense that it’s overly pro-patents (even weak patents).”The other day Patently-O said that as “we continue to transition to patent prosecution under the AIA, many of us have made misstatements drawn from the substantial rewriting of 35 U.S.C. 102.”

The interesting thing is, CAFC keeps getting it wrong on patents in the sense that it’s overly pro-patents (even weak patents). It got it wrong on TC Heartland and recently, as this new article put it this week, “SCOTUS Overturns Federal Circuit Decision On Patent Exhaustion”. A few years back CAFC was a deeply corruptible court (see Rader’s scandal) where patent injustice had become the norm. It’s CAFC that implicitly authorised software patents in the first place (decades ago). 4 days ago at IP Watch there was this critique of CAFC. To quote the introduction (outside the paywall): “It’s been another dismal term for the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Six of its patent law decisions were reviewed in the US Supreme Court’s 2016-17 term, and the Federal Circuit’s decisions were overturned in all six cases. That, unfortunately, is not surprising. Over the past 15 years, the tribunal once known as the nation’s “patent court” has seen many of its most important patent law decisions reversed by the Supreme Court– sometimes in withering opinions. This has seriously undermined the Federal Circuit’s power, reputation, jurisprudence, and (apparently) self-confidence – causing a major problem for the United States’ patent system.”

“It’s CAFC that implicitly authorised software patents in the first place (decades ago).”Yes, CAFC has become pretty bad and the patent microcosm seems rather mortified by it. In writing about CAFC, Dennis Crouch now refers to a nonprecedential decision in Enzo Biochem v Applera (mentioned here before). It’s about DOE (Doctrine of Equivalents), which Wikipedia explains is dealing with “legal rule in many (but not all) of the world’s patent systems that allows a court to hold a party liable for patent infringement even though the infringing device or process does not fall within the literal scope of a patent claim, but nevertheless is equivalent to the claimed invention.”

“So here is another one of many cases where “litigation misconduct” is noted and reaffirmed by courts.”Going a few days back, Crouch’s site wrote about the court “finding Regeneron’s U.S. Patent No. 8,502,018 unenforceable based upon inequitable conduct during prosecution.”

It was also covered by Kevin E. Noonan here.

In a nutshell:

In a split decision, the Federal Circuit has affirmed a S.D.N.Y. judgment – finding Regeneron’s U.S. Patent No. 8,502,018 unenforceable based upon inequitable conduct during prosecution. The inequitable conduct allegation here follows the typical pattern – the patentee failed to submit four relevant prior art references. The majority opinion was penned by Chief Judge Prost and joined by Judge Wallach. Judge Newman wrote in dissent.

Although the materiality portion of the discussion is important, the most interesting segment is intent. No intent to deceive was found – rather the court affirmed the district court’s adverse inference of bad intent as a sanction for litigation misconduct. The case may be a wake-up-call for some litigators who will read through the list of misconduct and see it as only business-as-usual.

So here is another one of many cases where “litigation misconduct” is noted and reaffirmed by courts. What CAFC probably chooses to sweep under the rug is its own misconduct too. Thankfully, we have it all documented.

“The patent microcosm likes to use terms like “drain the swamp” (by which these people mean fire patent reformers), but it looks like the real swamp is basically a swamp of nearly a million US patents of questionable quality.”The bottom line is, patent litigation isn’t as easy as it used to be; it’s not necessarily because courts have changed their tune but because abusive patent trolls now dominate the system and a lot of bogus patents have been assigned US patent numbers (only to be voided later).

The patent microcosm likes to use terms like “drain the swamp” (by which these people mean fire patent reformers), but it looks like the real swamp is basically a swamp of nearly a million US patents of questionable quality.

High Cost of Erroneous Patent Grants

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 2:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patents granted in the absence of economic rationale/basis can be a heavy burden on society

On patent externality

Summary: An in-depth look, courtesy of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, into the cost of invalid patents being granted, then used extrajudicially against small companies that cannot afford a challenge or have little financial incentive to do so

THE migration/emergence of patent trolls to/in Europe is real. We have pointed this out many times (I also heard stories like that, e.g. over the telephone). It will never make it into the press because extortion rackets rely on silence; a lot of this is due to reckless patent offices that grant bogus patents, not realising how much pain these patents may cause to many people. Battistelli's latest lies and distraction from decreased patent quality symbolises the sort of sycophancy which endangers the EPO.

But this post is not about the EPO. It’a actually about this long new article from the CCIA (Computer and Communications Industry Association) and it focuses on the USPTO, whose low-quality patent grants cost the American economy a lot of money. Here are some portions from this article:

The Cost Of Bad Patents: It’s Not Just The Lawsuit

The cost of bad patents is not just the cost of lawsuits.

This may seem obvious, but apparently it isn’t. I’ve recently noticed a trend from the anti-reform lobby: someone testifies in front of Congress about patent reform, they complain that “they’ve only been sued once or twice, why are they being asked to testify, what would they know?” They base their dismissal of the witnesses’ experience purely on the number of times that they’ve been sued. If you haven’t been sued enough times, in the mind of the anti-reform lobby, then you don’t know anything.

But any patent attorney with any experience knows that just isn’t true.

Most Assertion Activity Doesn’t Show Up In Court

At the DOJ/FTC hearing on Patent Assertion Entities back in 2012, Colleen Chien provided two estimates of the number of times a company will see a demand based on a patent compared to the number of times they see a lawsuit. A general estimate, provided by a sell-side patent broker (i.e., someone who sells patents for a living) is that there are between 25 and 50 patent demands made for each lawsuit actually filed. Another, based on the behavior of a real NPE, noted that the NPE sent out more than 8,000 demand letters, but only filed 26 lawsuits. That’s 307 demand letters for each filed lawsuit.

These demand letters are essentially invisible—they don’t show up in court and companies rarely publicize them. In other words, there’s a lot more than just lawsuits. You can face trolls any number of times without ever actually having a suit filed against you.

And it’ll cost you a meaningful amount of money every single time.

[...]

Even if you’re successful in convincing the other side that they don’t have a case, you’re still out the money and the time. You’ve still paid for the privilege of not having a lawsuit filed against you, and you’ve still learned about how trolls (and the Eastern District of Texas) operate.

None of which will ever show up in a lawsuit—or in the news.

The above mentions, notably, Conversant (MOSAID), which is particularly malicious. It pays IAM and receives puff pieces from IAM, but in reality it’s a litigation machine lubricated in part by Microsoft and Nokia.

We must always remember that for each lawsuit we publicly see/hear about there may be lots of shakedowns (in the above example, there’s one lawsuit per 307 demand letters). It’s good for the patent microcosm, which wants to then jump to the ‘rescue’ (from the mess it contributed to). Problem-solution business model.

Here is an article from yesterday that’s titled “What to do if you’re accused of patent infringement”; law firms keep selling their services (Katherine A. Hamer and Nathan E. Whitlock in this case) and for each of these demand letters they can make a lot of money at both ends (accuser/sender and accused/recipient). The patent microcosm makes money not just from the party suing/threatening but also the recipient of the threats/defendant. It’s obscene.

In the US, being merely accused of patent infringement can cost one dearly (anyone can accuse anyone else and it’s now done extensively by copyright trolls too). It’s a ruinous thing and it should not be tolerated. As the promotional article from yesterday puts it:

Just as you are looking forward to the weekend, you receive a cease-and-desist letter accusing your company of patent infringement. Or, worse, you receive a summons and complaint. You have been sued. There goes the weekend.

As CEO, CTO or in-house lawyer, you may have only cursory experience with patents. It never occurred to you that what you sell could have been patented by others. And, until now, you had never heard of the company that owns the patent. What do you do?

Basically, pay some law firm. That’s the advice of law firms. And as CCIA points out, the whole thing can end up costing thousands of dollars if not tens of thousands of dollars even without it reaching a court.

Patent grants come at a high cost — a societal and collective cost. Patent offices and examiners hopefully realise the nature of this externality.

Trolls Roundup: Buying up the Competition Using Patents and the Post-TC Heartland Figures

Posted in America, Asia, Patents at 1:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent tax in a new gown/clothing

Equity (finance)
Reference: Equity (finance)

Summary: The latest trends in patent trolling, an activity which relocates and evolves rather than simply vanish

THE USPTO used to be the most patent trolls-friendly office and the US in general the most patent trolls-infested country. The term was obviously coined there.

“Trolls are shrinking or dismantling themselves.”Right now it’s China which is rapidly becoming the cesspool of patent trolls (the US gradually stops being that), so the patent microcosm is envious of China. It can't stop mentioning "China!" all the time (Watchtroll did that again this week) because it’s infested with trolls and lawsuits. But who really benefits from that other than the patent microcosm?

The matter of fact is, under Michelle Lee the system has been cleaning up its act and the Supreme Court contributed to this. Trolls are shrinking or dismantling themselves.

“The matter of fact is, under Michelle Lee the system has been cleaning up its act and the Supreme Court contributed to this.”This optimism should not signal apathy, however, as trolls are evolving in a way.

Consider for example what Dominion Harbor [1, 2] is doing and mind yesterday’s news about this pool (the press is framing it as “for startups”, but the opposite is true).

To quote Bloomberg:

A handful of large patent holders, including telecom giant AT&T Inc., have agreed to pool patents for sale to startups in exchange for equity when the up-and-coming companies raise venture capital funds.

Patent advisory and transaction firm Aqua Licensing said Aug. 2 in a statement that it will launch a program to match startups looking to purchase intellectual property to defend against potential litigation with patent holders interested in selling patents that aren’t essential to their core businesses.

AT&T, Lenovo and Rambus were loathsome enough even before they entered this scheme. Here is how IAM put it:

The new platform has echoes of similar initiatives from the likes of Dominion Harbor and InterTrust who have both looked to create value from patents by offering start-ups defensive cover and providing those businesses advice on patent strategy in exchange for equity. What marks this new initiative out however is the backing of some seriously heavyweight operating businesses that are looking to use IP which might otherwise remain unused and be a drag on their balance sheets.

So this is done “in exchange for equity.” We added the image at the top for the uninitiated or those unfamiliar with accounting terminopoly. How is that beneficial at all? They are using patents for financial leverage over small companies. We expect to hear more about this in the coming days/weeks, but it’s a form of predation. The above blog post compares it to InterTrust, which is a horrible patent bully.

“They’re simply evolving and attempting to make money out of patents without litigating.”What we have here is a bunch of already-controversial companies (for surveillance, patent bullying and hostility towards GNU/Linux) trying to put a happy face on their behaviour. They’re simply evolving and attempting to make money out of patents without litigating. It’s a form of ‘protection’ money. Microsoft too changed its methods.

Incidentally, TC Heartland has had a negative impact on classic trolls, as expected.

Uniloc tops plaintiff ranking,” Managing IP says this week, but much of the attention has moved to whether cases can move out of Texas:

In the first half of 2017, TC Heartland became the talk of the town. Many of the most unsettled questions of patent law moving into the second half stem from the Supreme Court’s May 2017 decision.

Writing behind paywall, IAM “show[s] the share of new patent litigation cases filed in selected federal districts before and after the US Supreme Court decision in TC Heartland LLC v Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC. The ruling held that, as applied to domestic corporations, ‘residence’ in the patent venue statute Section 1400(b) refers only to the state of incorporation.”

“We expect the patent aggressors to generally come up with new ways to extract money out of small businesses, with or without lawsuits.”There was another article about this, titled “Does TC Heartland signal the end of East Texas’ dominance?”

We expect the patent aggressors to generally come up with new ways to extract money out of small businesses, with or without lawsuits. The above initiative is a reminder of this threat (akin to MPEG-LA, which also attempts to reinvent itself now that key MPEG patents are expiring/expired).

Benoît Battistelli Distracts From Declining Patent Quality at the EPO by Diverting Attention Away to “Timeliness”

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 12:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli and the EPO are running out of time (and applications)

Big clock

Summary: The declining quality of services at the EPO — a decline which is being noticed and likely contributes to the decline in the number of patent applications — is something which Battistelli covers up by bragging about the very symptom of declining patent quality (and thus reduced certainty)

AT THE EPO, according to leaks, patents are granted faster and with less examination. It’s atrocious. Speed and quality are very different things, but according to an anonymous insider, the latest EPO lie was conflating those two things.

“Speedy grants don’t offer legal certainty but the very opposite.”Yesterday, Benoît Battistelli bolstered this lie in his blog (warning: epo.org, so it can be used to harvest IP addresses of visitors). The graphs shown by the Liar in Chief merely serve to confirm that the Office works in a rush, granting patents irrespective of quality (as the number of examiners did not grow). “The EPO therefore offers legal certainty,” Benoît Battistelli concluded. Is he really that foolish? One can tell based on his career path, which involved no science at all and nothing regarding “IP” until his mid fifties.

Speedy grants don’t offer legal certainty but the very opposite. If the EPO grants bogus patents that courts will reject upon closer scrutiny, certainty around patents is lowered and those who benefit most are patent trolls (litigation tourists) which go after small businesses as these aren’t able to afford legal defense. What a disaster! Look at what’s already happening in Germany

“Why should the users of system pay for a service which is not any longer delivered by the EPO?”

That was the question posted in a comment yesterday. Here it is in full:

Why should the users of system pay for a service which is not any longer delivered by the EPO? The fees are high enough, and it is ´clear that there are gripes about the falling quality.

There is one way to draw the attention of the management, and it is for free: file a complaint.

Be careful, in such a situation it is the examiner which will be the primary target.

Do you really want this?

Inquire as to what happened to the examining division which granted the building site wagon with a window to be used as hair dresser saloon.

Incidentally, yesterday an article was published by a legal firm that said “Abbvie repeatedly withdrew their patents when they were about to be decided upon.” It’s about the EPO too. Here is the relevant bunch of paragraphs:

Fujifilm and Abbvie had entered into lengthy EPO and UK validity proceedings where Abbvie repeatedly withdrew their patents when they were about to be decided upon. Ultimately, Abbvie tried to avoid the grant of a declaration in this UK case by abandoning their UK designations of patents and undertook that they would not seek relief in the UK.

The High Court found that in light of the prior art adduced by Fujifilm, the skilled team would have had a high expectation that the dosage regimen would be efficacious in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, thereby holding that the proposed administration of Fujifilm’s products was obvious at the relevant priority date of the patent application.

Fujifilm sought an Arrow declaration arguing that the purpose of Abbvie abandoning the patents was to avoid adjudication of its patentability by the UK court and EPO whilst seeking to ensure that the subject matter of the alleged invention was maintained by a further divisional application. Fujifilm said that it would be many years before the EPO would be in a position to adjudicate on the patentability of the divisional in question, and that the granting of the Arrow declaration would serve a useful purpose, by achieving commercial certainty in respect of Fujifilm’s product by the date of its intended launch in the autumn of 2018.

It looks as though Battistelli has ‘imported’ the worst elements of the USPTO into Europe. Patent trolls are already taking advantage of this, as we have been showing for a number of months (the raw numbers speak for themselves). UPC would only further exacerbate this.

Antonio Campinos in Charge of the EPO Would Mean Greater EUIPO/EPO Overlap

Posted in Europe, Patents, Rumour at 12:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EUIPO EPO logo

Summary: The EUIPO and EPO — with overlaps notwithstanding (including staff intersections at the very top) — revisited in light of reports that reinforce the connection and expect Campinos to become Battistelli’s successor

FOR a number of years German media looked the other way when EPO scandals went on. Recently, however, things have improved somewhat and in the coming days we intend to publish in English and in German (in tandem). We are going to expose a scandal which quite likely implicates the German government, hence maximal impact (in the media/awareness sense) is paramount. We kindly ask readers to contact German journalists/publishers and make them aware of these things; no need to pressure, just a gentle/polite reminder would do. The Croatian media is already writing about these things and watching us closely. The nature of the scandal involves trademarks and the EPO (even though they may seem unrelated).

“The nature of the scandal involves trademarks and the EPO (even though they may seem unrelated).”Germany has various different reasons to sweep these things under the rug. We have written over a dozen articles listing some of these motivations. One of these motivations is the UPC, which Maas definitely wants. Yesterday, in this comment at IP Kat someone brought up the costs of Britain leaving the EU (and the UPC with it), noting: “I wonder how much the UPC court will be…”

Currently, 12 countries have NOT ratified the UPC, but Bristows (part of Team UPC) prefers to spin it all using tiny economies, arguing that “13 countries that have now ratified.” (that’s just about half of the total).

Germany and the UK are not ratifying, so that alone is a fatal barrier. A lot of it is due to EPO scandals, not just EU-related woes.

“Will there be greater alignment between EUIPO and EPO?”A couple more comments from yesterday [1, 2] highlighted a report from Stuttgarter-Zeitung.de (we are guessing that SUEPO might produce a translation soon). “The AC is reportedly looking for someone with “social competence” to lead the EPO,” one of these comments said. There is another German article about this subject and it names Antonio Campinos (as did other publishers in Germany). Is he the next boss of the Office? Will there be greater alignment between EUIPO and EPO? Some people hypothesise that it’s a real possibility. We wrote about that in past years and as recently as last month (more than once). The two ‘agencies’ already do some joint work (e.g. commissioned reports).

Kieren McCarthy, writing from San Francisco yesterday, revisited the EPO scandals yesterday. Under “Sorry, psycho bosses, it’s not OK to keylog your employees” he mentioned Battistelli as follows, in light of the latest legal developments in Germany:

All of which is bad news for psycho bosses. It is, however, unlikely to impact one of the most recent high-profile cases of keylogging software on employees’ computers – at the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich – even though that installation was done secretly by a special investigation force set up by EPO president Benoît Battistelli.

Why? Because the EPO claims it is not beholden to any national laws, given its status as an international organization.

None of that would change under Campinos, whose immunity is already a subject of controversy.

“None of that would change under Campinos, whose immunity is already a subject of controversy.”One last comment said that “at least Battistelli still gets to order the most expensive plonk in exclusive restaurants in Brussels …”

Is Campinos about to get Battistelli's penthouse? Maybe the excessive (waste of money) bodyguards too? We’re not too sure, but whoever succeeds Battistelli will inherit one heck of a mess. We’ll say more about that in our next post.

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