10.05.17

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The European Patent Office’s New Relationship With Former Portuguese Colonies and the Connection to Battistelli’s Choice of Next President

Posted in Europe at 4:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Brazil

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) continues its track record of highly dubious and politically-motivated deals while SUEPO, the staff union of the EPO, expresses concerns about the positions of Battistelli’s successor

THE European Patent Office continues to look like a third-world island in Bavarian territories. See what we wrote yesterday. Unlike some third-world countries, the EPO’s management enjoys immunity from within and from the outside. It can simply do almost anything it wants.

“Unlike some third-world countries, the EPO’s management enjoys immunity from within and from the outside. It can simply do almost anything it wants.”In Twitter, earlier today the EPO mentioned this new post (epo.org link). It’s a factoid which we also mentioned yesterday; it’s ridiculous, as we noted last night, but this time it comes with the obligatory Benoît Battistelli photo op. To quote: “The EPO and Brazil have agreed to launch a joint Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programme to enable work-sharing and accelerate patent prosecution at both offices, with the aim of improving the global IP system, supporting applicants and encouraging innovation.”

We wrote about PPH this morning. It’s worrying enough when done near Russia, not where there are many corruption scandals at the moment (even arrests). It’s a very interesting timing for the EPO to connect with all sorts of Portuguese colonies (our series about Angola will resume soon) because Battistelli is rumoured to be grooming a Portuguese-French person to take over from him. We don’t expect anything to change for the better if that eventually happens. In fact, even SUEPO wrote today about its letter to Mr. Ernst, who took over from Jesper Kongstad last Saturday. This letter is dated Tuesday and SUEPO summarised it as follows (similar to the second paragraph in the letter): “We are in a transition phase: not only the chairmanship of the Administrative Council (AC) has changed, but we are also soon to welcome a new President of the Office. SUEPO has kindly asked Mr Ernst (AC Chair) to invite the candidates for President of the EPO to answer a few questions. The letter to Mr Ernst is available here.”

Here is the letter in full:

INTERNATIONALE GEWERKSCHAFT IM EUROPÄISCHEN PATENTAMT
STAFF UNION OF THE EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE
UNION SYNDICALE DE L’OFFICE EUROPEEN DES BREVETS

Zentraler Vorstand
Central Executive Committee
Bureau central

3 October 2017
su17056cl

Questions to the Candidates for President of the EPO

Dear Mr Ernst,

On behalf of the Staff Union of the EPO, we would like to extend our sincerest congratulations on your election as the new Chair of the Administrative Council.

We are in a transition phase: not only the chairmanship of the Council has changed, but we are also soon to welcome a new President of the Office. We are sure you are very keen to work towards a smooth transition and to lay healthy foundations for the new President’s future work. As a responsible social partner we will, of course, do our part.

The deadline of 14 September to apply to the position of EPO President has passed. The candidates who fulfil the criteria set up by the Administrative Council are now known. We respectfully ask you to invite the candidates to consider replying to the following questions we would like to ask them:

• What would be your first steps in re-establishing social peace and trust of EPO Staff in Management?

• What steps would you take to re-establish the rule of law at the EPO and make sure that the EPO legal bodies, e.g. Boards of Appeal, Appeals Committee and Disciplinary Committees are genuinely independent?

• Would you consider favourably working with the Staff Representation on an objective assessment of psychosocial risks at the EPO, and on ways to decrease them?

• Do you intend to look at the balance between quantity and quality of the service rendered by the EPO to its users?

We thank you for your kind attention, and remain,

Yours faithfully,
Joachim Michels
Chair SUEPO Central

Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO)
www.suepo.org

The examiners (or staff in general) have legitimate concerns. Battistelli has arranged succession that would barely promise change and probably be indebted to him (if the rumours are true about his ‘setup’).

“Battistelli has arranged succession that would barely promise change and probably be indebted to him (if the rumours are true about his ‘setup’).”To make matters even worse, the vision the EPO has had under Battistelli barely includes the EPO at all; it’s all about UPC, which would be a nightmare to European SMEs, contrary to today’s EPO lies about it (they do this every day now). The EPO is again spreading lies about SMEs in Europe, just as it was spreading lies about staff representatives (in order to have them dismissed). What’s more, it’s expected that many examiners will be rendered redundant soon. The EPO is trying to eliminate humans from the process (not just translations but searches and examinations too). Sure, in the process it is also driving away patent applicants, who realise they pay for very poor services. Take note of this EPO tweet from today. “Stephen Adams (Magister Ltd) will present the impact of technical change on the role of the human searcher,” it says.

It looks like there’s little or no future for the EPO as it exists at the moment. Battistelli demolishes it, perhaps consciously, while lobbying for a Paris-centric (among other locations) UPC.

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