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10.08.17

Battistelli’s Club Med at the EPO – Part VII: Quo Vadis EPO?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Campinos Casado and Escudero

Summary: An analysis of a shift in the EPO and what motivates this shift, which likely dooms decades of EPO excellence and integrity

THIS seventh part of the series is probably the most important one.

The EPO‘s deal with Angola was mentioned in part 1, parts 2, 3 and 4 looked more closely at Angola and in parts 5 and 6 we looked again at Europe. Now it’s back to the EPO. We’ll wrap things up in the next (and final) part of this series.


At first glance, the revelations about Luso-Angolan and domestic Portuguese corruption networks may seem very remote from the EPO.

“Another point that should be kept in mind here is that the current master plan of “King” Battistelli aims at the installation of the “Dauphin” Campinos as his successor at the head of the EPO.”However, the lack of effective external oversight at the EPO means that bilateral “co-operation agreements” with countries such as Angola give rise to very real risks of a misuse of official funds.

The dubious dealings of WIPO’s Francis Gurry with North Korea and the general lack of accountability of international organisations provide an example that should set alarm bells ringing.

Another point that should be kept in mind here is that the current master plan of “King” Battistelli aims at the installation of the “Dauphin” Campinos as his successor at the head of the EPO.

The driving force behind this high-level political intrigue seems to be a Franco-Iberian axis led by the Corsican Battistelli, his faithful Spanish lieutenant Casado and a pair of Iberian “pet chinchillas” on the Administrative Council, namely the Director General of the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (Ms Patricia García-Escudero Márquez) and the Director of the Portuguese National Institute of Industrial Property (Maria Leonor Mendes Da Trindade).

“The driving force behind this high-level political intrigue seems to be a Franco-Iberian axis led by the Corsican Battistelli, his faithful Spanish lieutenant Casado and a pair of Iberian “pet chinchillas” on the Administrative Council…”The Franco-Iberian axis is said to be supported by a group of smaller Southern European states, including Monaco and San Marino, as well as a number of relatively recent EPC member states from Eastern Europe.

The close collusion between Battistelli, Casado and Campinos is reflected by their heavy involvement with the Spanish private university Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP). They frequently turn up at UIMP events or feature as guest lecturers at seminars and conferences organised by the UIMP and Battistelli has even been awarded with an honorary doctorate from the UIMP.

By a curious coincidence in April 2016 both Casado and Campinos received awards from the Spanish government “for their dedication to the promotion and protection of IP rights”. On that occasion they appeared together for a photo-op with the Spanish PTO Director Mrs. García-Escudero Márquez. [Photo here showing Casado, Campinos as well as García-Escudero Márquez]

“The Franco-Iberian axis is said to be supported by a group of smaller Southern European states, including Monaco and San Marino, as well as a number of relatively recent EPC member states from Eastern Europe.”Casado who was Vice-President of the EU’s Intellectual Property Office in Alicante (formerly the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market – OHIM from 1994 to 2004 has recently been appointed as head of the new EPO Directorate-General Patent Granting Process.

Although he has largely remained in the shadows up until now, his new appointment as Willie Minnoye’s successor seems to confirm suspicions that Casado is a die-hard Battistelli loyalist who is destined to play a leading role during the last year of Battistelli’s presidency. It is speculated that one of his task is likely to be to prepare the EPO for the planned takeover of Campinos.

As far as Campinos is concerned it is worth noting that he is of Luso-Angolan ancestry. His father Jorge Campinos was born in Lobito in 1937 when Angola was still a Portuguese colony and it is a matter of historical record that Campinos Senior was involved with the Angolan MPLA during the colonial era in the 1960′s. Following Portuguese withdrawal from Angola in 1975, the MPLA became the dominant political party which has governed the country since independence. José Eduardo Dos Santos assumed the leadership of the MPLA in 1979.

“The close collusion between Battistelli, Casado and Campinos is reflected by their heavy involvement with the Spanish private university Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP).”Given this background it could be useful to investigate what connections, if any, Campinos Junior might have to the key players in the contemporary circles of the post‑colonial Angolan elite as well as the domestic Portuguese networks exposed by Operation Marquis.

Regardless of what such investigations might or might not reveal one thing seems certain.

Battistelli’s plan to install Campinos as his successor — if it proves successful — will be likely to produce a shift of the EPO’s political centre of gravity southwards away from the “founder states” of North and Central Europe (U.K., Benelux, Germany and Switzerland) and towards the Mediterranean region.

The appointment of the EPO’s “first Portuguese President” is likely to be accompanied by frantic efforts to gloss over his strong French connections and shouts of acclamation by his fan club about progress towards “a more diverse EPO” (to quote Battistelli).

Looking at the levels of systemic high-level political corruption uncovered by official investigations such as Operation Gürtel in Spain and Operation Marquis in Portugal, it is questionable as to whether such a triumph for the Franco-Iberian axis would really be a cause for celebration.

“The appointment of the EPO’s “first Portuguese President” is likely to be accompanied by frantic efforts to gloss over his strong French connections…”It is interesting to note that compared to other EU member states the countries at the forefront of Battistelli’s “Club Med” have relatively poor rankings in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) published by Transparency International. According to the CPI 2016 out of a total of 176 states surveyed France was ranked at position 23, Portugal at 29 and Spain at 41.

Spain’s position in the 2016 CPI plummeted sharply as a result of the recent prominent corruption probes implicating both of the major political parties, the governing conservative Partido Popular and its main opposition the Socialist Party.

It will be interesting to see whether the revelations emerging from “Operation Marquis” will have a similar effect on Portugal’s rating in next year’s CPI.

“This struggle is reported to be between a group of states which supports Battistelli’s “Club Med” and a counter-bloc whose core is formed by the main EPC founder states including Germany, Netherlands, UK and Switzerland.”At the EPO some insiders are already talking about a power struggle or a “clash of civilisations” within the Administrative Council which is predicted to intensify in the coming months.

This struggle is reported to be between a group of states which supports Battistelli’s “Club Med” and a counter-bloc whose core is formed by the main EPC founder states including Germany, Netherlands, UK and Switzerland.

The role of France in all this is shrouded in uncertainty. It is reported that the Corsican Battstelli who is considered by many of his compatriots to be an international embarrassment for France does not enjoy the support of the new government under Emmanuel Macron (in spite of the ENA connection). It is also rumoured that those responsible for IP matters at governmental level are at best “lukewarm” about the prospect of Campinos as the next EPO President. But the official position of the French government is not yet known.

“It is also rumoured that those responsible for IP matters at governmental level are at best “lukewarm” about the prospect of Campinos as the next EPO President.”Whatever happens over the coming months, the outcome of this power struggle within the EPO’s Administrative Council is likely to determine the direction in which the organisation moves in the post-Battistelli era.

It may well be that future historians will view Battistelli’s presidency as a watershed era during which the old “historical” EPO with the sense of mission based on the vision of its “founding fathers” to serve European interests, uphold patent quality and respect the rule of law was gradually and surreptitiously replaced by a new “modern” EPO designed to serve the hidden “corporate” and “global” agendas of European political elites and their “business partners” in developing world kleptocracies such as Angola.

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