10.26.17

Professor Siegfried Broß Again Complains About the Situation at the EPO and Issues With the UPC

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Failure of European media should alarm also those outside the EPO

About censorshipSummary: In spite of the suspicious absence of real coverage/journalism regarding the Unitary Patent (as opposed to puff pieces penned by Team UPC), voices come out in opposition of the Unitary Patent and comments continue to be deleted (usually by Team UPC, which orchestrates a media blackout on UPC matters)

Professor Siegfried Broß is no stranger to the EPO scandals. Being retired probably means that he has more time to study the situation and earlier this year he wrote a very long article about it (in German).

“Being retired probably means that he has more time to study the situation and earlier this year he wrote a very long article about it (in German).”Broß is loved by EPO employees and it’s easy to see why; he says the truth about Team Battistelli (comparing what Battistelli has made of the EPO to “Guantánamo Bay”). He, unlike many in his profession (in active service), speaks truth to power.

Earlier today a pro-UPC blog (Kluwer Patent Blog) published this new interview with Broß. It is already being discussed by Team UPC (see here for example) and the introduction is as follows: “European states lack awareness of their obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and have established associations such as the EPO and the UPC, without anyone accounting for guarantees with regard to democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Professor Siegfried Broß said this in an interview with Kluwer IP Law about the constitutional complaint that has been filed against German ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement. Broß is a former judge of the Xth Civil Panel of the Federal Court of Justice (1986-1998), responsible among others for patent cases, and of the German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC, 1998-2010).”

“He, unlike many in his profession (in active service), speaks truth to power.”Broß clarifies that he has nothing to do with the UPC complaint and has in fact never spoken to the complainant, who is also German. Looking down at the comments section, it is already disrupted (again) by the same anti-SUEPO commenter whom we prefer to ignore.

Don’t expect Team UPC to draw much attention to this interview. They reject or hide what does not suit their agenda. Earlier today, for example, Fiona Nicolson from Bristows did some more spin. “Another draft Statutory Instrument (The Unified Patent Court (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2017) is currently before the UK Parliament,” she wrote. Actually, the UPC is pretty much abandoned here and it was removed off the agenda (Bristows did not report that, it preferred for nobody to notice).

Censorship and omissions are very commonplace when it comes to UPC matters. We have already caught, on numerous occasions, IP Kat and Kluwer Patent Blog censoring comments that were hostile towards the UPC. They always have their excuses ready, but it happened so many times that it’s clearly not attributable to technical errors.

IP Kat itself is having credibility issues, having decided to nuke almost 40 comments and make a blanket statement about them. There are new comments being posted about censorship of comments (we can imagine that these too may be filtered). Among them:

All very well, Merpel. But why delete all of the comments and not just the “offensive” ones?

I had not forgotten the “rules” for posting on EPO-related matters. Indeed, I took great care to follow them. So I am particularly offended that my comments were deleted. Could you please therefore extend me the courtesy of restoring them (as well as all of the other comments that comply with the “rules”)?

Here is another example:

Does this count as a personal attack on an identifiable individual?

“The current EPO President Benoît Battistelli has been attacking all parts of the EPO with ruthless efficiency. The strands of this are almost too numerous to enumerate, but Merpel will attempt a brief summary. (Most of the posts on this topic are labelled “Eponia” so a search on this should reveal to any keen readers the majority of Merpel’s posts.)

A Board of Appeal member remains in limbo having been suspended, but the Enlarged Board of Appeal three times (showing admirable and rare backbone) having declined (also noted here) to propose his removal from office.
The staff representation has been emasculated, and the main staff union SUEPO has been constantly under attack, with four of its officers either sacked or demoted on dubious charges (see posts here and here).
The Boards of Appeal have likewise been emasculated and banished to Haar, approved by the AC last October, seemingly in retaliation for the lack of compliance of the Enlarged Board of Appeal with the President’s wishes.
Examination quotas have been continually increased for Examiners, and while the mantra about “quality not affected” is often raised, there is actually no proper assessment of examination quality, with many reports that it is suffering. The astonishing 40% increase in granted patents in 2016 has been widely reported, although this is presumably partly due to the changed examination priorities which, inter alia, involve progressing rapidly to grant cases that are clearly allowable.
The social situation at the EPO has deteriorated with repeated amendments to the employment regulations, and the atmosphere between Examiners and managers grows increasingly toxic.”

The last comment says this:

“The overwhelming majority of comments were purely libellous ad hominem attacks on a man that has not even taken office.”

That is simply NOT true. Those very few posts that would fall into that category could have easily moderated out.

For anyone interested in making up their own mind, the original posts are hosted as a PDF a the (rather opinionated) Techrights site.

People are always safe to comment in Techrights. We delete logs so we cannot comply with searches and we never ever deleted even a single comment. Alternatively, get in touch with us in the usual ways. Our intention is to help inform staff and stakeholders — something which mainstream media in Europe is evidently unwilling to do (with few exceptions every now and then).

Speaking of mainstream media in Europe, someone sent us this new article about “Battistelli a la culture,” to quote the sender, who said s/he had “[p]icked this [in the] morning in the news…”

Can anyone translate it for us please? It’s in French. We try not to rely on anything automated. It might help to know what Battistelli plans to do when his term is finished.

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