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10.12.17

Truly Terrible ‘Journalism’ About António Campinos Boils Down to Lobbying and Agenda-Pushing

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 11:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FTI Consulting, which lobbies for the fracking industry, may still be working for Battistelli

FTI Consulting for fracking

Summary: The expectedly shallow coverage of the appointment (succession) of Battistelli’s French pick, which will likely change nothing of significance at the European Patent Office (EPO)

THE EPO will have a new President after 6 months in 2018. Does it mean much will change? We strongly doubt it. The EPO tweeted about it later on Thursday (yet again) and media coverage, as we noted on Thursday, had been appalling. We can’t help but wonder where these millions of euros in PR budget end up landing.

“We can’t help but wonder where these millions of euros in PR budget end up landing.”Not too shockingly, yesterday the EPO made the news again in relation to a former Portuguese colony (Brazil). Most sites took no note of it; nor did they mention anything about Angola (it was in the meeting, not in the media).

At the core of this failure of the media is an echo chamber effect. No outsiders asked. No opinions from anyone other than the choir.

“They’re no strangers and they can have a fluent chat in French (the mother of António Campinos is French, he was born in France and studied in France).”António Campinos was parachuted by Battistelli who had lobbied across Europe (mostly small nations) to shield ‘Battistellism’ at the EPO. Almost nobody bothered mentioning this.

Hours ago someone alerted us regarding this article, which is more of that echo chamber about António Campinos. This was soon cross-posted in other sites and it quotes people who are connected to small nations, including Željko Topić’s:

Director General`s Office of the Croatian Intellectual Property Office:

“We welcome the election of Mr Campinos as the next president of the EPO in an open and transparent procedure. His outstanding experience and results in leading the intellectual property organisations will surely provide further ambitious and dynamic development of the EPO in line with the needs and expectations of patent system stakeholders.”

It’s lots of these shallow quotes that we see everywhere. James Nurton (historically close to Battistelli) did the same thing and even US-based sites like Law 360 mentioned it (however shallowly). To quote: “Battistelli congratulated Campinos on his election by the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation in a statement released Wednesday.”

“Battistelli’s apologist Joff Wild has already used (or exploited) the news about António Campinos to do some UPC advocacy (Wild was paid by the EPO’s PR firm, FTI Consulting, for UPC promotion).”That’s like one friend congratulating another. They’re no strangers and they can have a fluent chat in French (the mother of António Campinos is French, he was born in France and studied in France).

Incidentally, the EPO mentioned less than a day ago that “San Marino, Monaco and Portugal help the Federated Register service to 21 countries…”

Monaco and Portugal. What an interesting new pair.

Anyway, the German media covered this too and there’s more discussion about it here (in German) among EPO people. They’re not exactly happy.

Battistelli’s apologist Joff Wild has already used (or exploited) the news about António Campinos to do some UPC advocacy (Wild was paid by the EPO’s PR firm for UPC promotion).

Here is the UPC part:

If that were not enough, there is also the small matter of the unitary patent regime to throw into the mix. Right now, we are in a holding pattern as we await promised UK ratification of the Unified Patent Court agreement and the resolution of a court case that is holding up Germany’s sign-off, but all things being equal by the time Campinos arrives in Munich both should be done and the UPC regime will either be up and running or on the verge of beginning. For the EPO that means the administration of a brand new right – the unitary patent – as well as handling all the complications that come with the UPC’s transitional provisions. There are bound to be major challenges, and the buck will stop at Campinos’s desk. All in all, then, there will be no gentle bedding-in process for the new president next year; he will have to hit the ground running.

Wild is far too optimistic about it. What he calls “promised UK ratification of the Unified Patent Court agreement” probably predates Jo Johnson and is now in serious jeopardy because of “hard Brexit” talks/prospects. Wild also trivialises a serious and potent constitutional challenge, referring to it as “court case that is holding up Germany’s sign-off” (as if it’s inevitable). But anyway, what else can be expected from IAM? It’s in bed with Battistelli.

“Wild also trivialises a serious and potent constitutional challenge, referring to it as “court case that is holding up Germany’s sign-off” (as if it’s inevitable).”Another curious report turned up yesterday with the headline “SUEPO willing to work with new EPO president” (which overstates the reality).

“Some of them have been doing it all the time with the old ones nonetheless,” one person remarked. Don’t expect Campinos to be very different; he’ll probably be like Kongstad, i.e. just keeping silent, complicit by apathy (to avoid confrontation/controversy). Campinos can be a ‘cute’ face for a French antipathy. SUEPO has no choice but to be diplomatic about it — that is to say, assume or hope for best of intentions/good faith. To quote the article:

The source close to SUEPO explained that the union would “like to see the end of a system based on the total distrust of all staff, this by a handful of top managers brought by Battistelli”.

“The EPO cannot continue to function by violating fundamental rights of its staff and disrespecting the rule of law. Anxiety and insecurity do not enhance sustainable business models,” the source said.

“SUEPO is professional. SUEPO looks forward not backward and hopes for better days where intelligence prevails over emotions, where the EPO is re-established as a respected international institution delivering the best patents for the public.”

The source commented: “Now António Campinos is elected. For him and all stakeholders (staff and the organisation) one can only wish for a better future.”

So please do notice that all the above is based on an anonymous “source close to SUEPO,” not SUEPO itself. They ought to correct their headline. But they won’t. Because patents-centric news sites (in this case, IP Pro Patents, which does marketing SPAM, as we shall show in the weekend) are not into journalism but into lobbying/agenda-pushing. Therein lies their business model. They’ll say anything to make Campinos look like an heroic knight in shining armour poised to salvage the EPO’s long-lost reputation.

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