EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.05.17

Raw: Staff Representative Whom Battistelli Drove to Collapse for Wanting to Conduct an EPO Staff Survey (Which Battistelli Had Abolished)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: An explanation of what Battistelli did to the long-running staff survey, which helped highlight governance and social climate issues that Battistelli severely accentuated

IT IS widely known within the EPO that the person behind this letter collapsed after he had been ‘interrogated’ (i.e. mentally tortured) by Battistelli’s “gestapo” in The Hague. What is not widely known, however, is the reason for it. Over the years people told us it was all to do with a staff survey and we were also told that this person’s spouse was ill-treated by Team Battistelli. As we noted in our last post, Battistelli crushed transparency at the EPO and even his own contract became a secret (unlike his predecessor’s). The letter below mentions very explicitly the difference between the predecessor (Brimelow) and Battistelli, then rationalising the need for the staff survey.

staff-survey-epo-1

staff-survey-epo-2

staff-survey-epo-3

staff-survey-epo-4

When a staff survey was commissioned by SUEPO about a year later it showed 0% (literally 0) support for Battistelli. No wonder this sort of administration, led by the non-presidential President, suppressed any surveys (unless these could be carefully controlled and distorted, in ways which we explained here before).

At the EPO Under Battistelli Truth is Being Called “Defamation”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s actually Battistelli who keeps defaming (making false claims about) those who expose his abuses

A militant EPO

Summary: SUEPO did not actually call the EPO a dictatorship, but even if it ever did, it would be absolutely right in doing so

When the EPO blocked Techrights more than two years ago it used the word “defamation” (with legal connotation) to ‘justify’ it. In that regard, Battistelli’s EPO is no better than Erdoğan’s Turkey. They just threaten anyone who is exposing (or close to exposing) truths. Even SUEPO was accused of that, not too long before SUEPO’s leaders got sacked using bogus ‘trials’.

An “Open letter addressed to WIPR” about 3 years ago is probably worth sharing again, in order to remind readers what today’s EPO looks (and acts) like.

REBUTTAL: BATTISTELLI ACCUSES SUEPO OF DEFAMATION.

1In an exclusive interview with WIPR at the AIPPI World IP Congress in Toronto on September 17, President Battistelli said the EPO’s staff union “has been contacting the media throughout Europe” to complain about issues such as transparency and governance, and accused it of mounting a “defamation campaign” against him by alleging that he is guilty of “non-accountability, non-transparency and dictatorship”.

The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) responds as follows.

SUEPO actively opposes any lack of transparency and any questionable form of governance in the EPO. Primarily, SUEPO opposes the fact that the EPO concentrates wide legislative, executive, and quasi-judicial powers essentially in one function: that of the President, without any effective democratic control, without any guarantee of compliance with fundamental rights otherwise enjoyed by all European citizens. If, in addition to these systemic problems, Mr Battistelli uses his powers in ways that not only anger staff but also would not be countenanced in any of the (European) member states, it is only normal that a Union should react.

SUEPO has voiced its criticism to the President himself, to the Administrative Council of the EPO, to Ministers of the Member States, and before Courts of Law. Criticism does not necessarily amount to defamation. Defamation is the communication of a false statement that harms the reputation of an individual. None of the information published by SUEPO is untrue, and we challenge the President to show otherwise. In particular, we challenge the President to deny the following:

- Non-accountability: Mr Battistelli himself has boasted that he is free to do what he deems right without having to report to anyone. The Head of the French Delegation in the last Administrative Council recommended organising an independent audit on the social governance of the EPO, but so far there are no indications that Mr Battistelli has agreed.

- Non-transparency: In spite of repeated calls to disclose the information, the President has kept his contract and its terms (including, but not limited to, the extent of his generous remuneration) a jealously guarded secret. Many decisions, including in the Council, and involving expenditures of hundreds of millions of Euros are taken behind closed doors. All this would not be possible in any other public European institution. Meanwhile, a request for the Office’s governance to be assessed by a transparency and governance specialist (Transparency International) has not been accepted.

- Dictatorship: This is a strong word that SUEPO has not used in public. SUEPO has criticized and does criticize Mr Battistelli for acting unilaterally, for ignoring his own rules, for muzzling dissenting voices, for using intimidation as a “managerial tool” (including using disciplinary sanctions against staff representatives and union officials for acting according to their mandate).

If Mr Battistelli is so certain of being in the right, perhaps he should stop invoking immunity from jurisdiction and let independent Courts and national Labour Inspectorates do their job and assess objectively what is truly going on at the EPO.

SUEPO Central

Just because Battistelli leaves in less than 8 months does not mean he should not be held accountable for the many abuses observed under his stewardship (including nearly 7 suicides so far). We urge readers to take notes of what is (or has been) happening at the EPO and inform us. The EPO cannot move on and improve unless it acknowledges/admits its past errors — something which Campinos is very unlikely to ever do given his strong ties to Battistelli (who helped put Campinos in power).

The “Big Holdup” at the EPO: Battistelli Wants Access to the Pension Reserve Fund (PRF)

Posted in Europe, Finance, Patents, Rumour at 10:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sarkozy and Battistelli

Summary: Rumours regarding Battistelli and his political career in Saint Germain en Lay, which not only raises questions about his eligibility for EPO presidency but also about his true intentions (Sarkozy is said to have helped put him in charge of the EPO, with billions of euros and minimal financial transparency [1, 2])

SOME years ago we became aware that quite a few (if not many) former employees of the EPO — not just current employees — read this site. They rightly worry about their pension, seeing how quickly Battistelli rubbishes their past employer (with a famous promise of a generous pension). As is widely known internally, EPO pensions have been subjected to ‘clawbacks’ under Battistelli. We covered this before and we intend to speak more about it in the coming days/weeks/months. The matter may mostly concern EPO staff (more so than stakeholders), but it still needs airing. There’s a lot to be learned from it regarding European/French politics. ‘Liabilities’ to staff are being systematically and pro-actively cut.

We would like to start a series of overnight posts with the following message, which appears to have come from an EPO insider. To quote:

let me share with you some thoughts about the EPO. In a past article there was a reference to a comment posted by an insider about the objectives set by Dr.(h.c) Battistelli and the respective achievements. I cannot find the comment but the objectives were in substance dismantling the union (done), reducing sickness and invalidity (done) and the last point was a reform of the pension system which has not occurred so far at least not for the personal in place for decades.

This comment has kept my mind busy with some results. A reform of the pensions “a la systeme Battistelli” is likely to be extremely unpopular. But there is still one way to implement a last unpopular measure and the would be just before Dr (h.c.) Battistelli leaves the office, therefore, leaving the consequences to his successor who couldn’t be blame for what DR. (hc) Battistelli did. His last action would be a kind of “flipping the staff the bird” a last time. But this is not enough, in the last years Dr.(h.c.) Battistelli has accustomed us to show his finger therefore that wouldn’t be spectacular. I believe there is something bigger on its way.

Remember Dr.(h.c.) Battistelli requested recently the full access to ALL EPO bank accounts? Remember there is somewhere a colossal amount of money called Pension Reserve Fund (PRF), afaik about 8 billions?

Do you really believe that Dr.(h.c.) Battistelli is going to return to Saint Germain en Lay to be a city Councillor in charge of culture, thus just dedicated to bully the local theatre troupe, after 10 years as a dictator in Eponia? How naive!!

The Corsican Dr.(h.c.) Battistelli wants the full access to the 8 billions for himself and for his accomplices. I guess that this was the ultimate purpose of sacking the EPO.

By the way, this was picked in the news this morning: “City councilman shot dead in Soccia (Corsica)”
http://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/corse/corse-du-sud/conseiller-municipal-tue-balle-soccia-1359911.html

But it has nothing to do with Dr. (h.c.) Battistelli at first glance. Hasn’t it? Or could the news be used to keep the bodyguards after retirement?

“Social idiocracy,” said the followup message, can also be seen in French media. To quote:

More about Dr. h.g. Battistelli “Benoit BATTISTELLI, Maire-adjoint chargé de la Culture”. Maire-adjoint translates deputy mayor.

https://www.saintgermainenlaye.fr/648-7/ficheAnnu/benoit-battistelli.htm

and here more, when the social democracy strikes in Saint Germain en Laye. Unbelievable there is in this town an association named “workshop for environment and democracy” Guess who is presiding the association. Yesssss. LOL: Benoit Battistelli!

http://lesateliers.typepad.fr/

We recently wrote about this in light of reports from France. Taking the eyes off Battistelli’s ball would be unwise, knowing what he and his political associates have been caught doing. Here are some past articles:

Any more input on this (from readers) would be greatly appreciated.

European Patent Office No Longer “Strives to Stand out as a Model International Public-Service Organisation”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Compare

EPO mission

To

EPO mission new

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) acts as though it’s no longer what it used to be, as envisioned by the EPC several decades ago

Mission statements are typically ambitious and self-virtuous, but if/when the EPO decides to water down its own statement, then a lot can be learned from it. Mission statements should not, after all, be satirical.

“I have always been impressed by the evolution of the EPO “mission statement”,” one reader told us. “Not that I am very fond of the term which I dislike as much as expressions like “pragmatic” or “proactive” which are much used by “global players”. I understand a “mission statement” as a company logo. It should in a few words define the objectives and qualify the enterprise. The EPO mission statement has changed over the years as if the mission of the EPO itself had also constantly changed.”

“The EPO mission statement has changed over the years as if the mission of the EPO itself had also constantly changed.”
      –Anonymous
We previously highlighted the difference in the EPO’s approach towards software patenting, but we rarely looked further than this.

To quote further: “Do you know the “Wayback machine”? A great tool! Look by yourself: mission statement 4th July 2008 and mission statement 26th June 2017. Observe the changes. In the last mission statement consider the differences between “what we want to be” and “what we do”. Note also that the no longer “strives to stand out as a model international public-service organisation” as this was the case in 2008. Yes, indeed we have noticed the changes! And now a challenge: Imagine the mission statement for 2018! I suggest: “The EPO is to serve the president and his/her friends…””

Support for PTAB is Growing and US Congress Will Tackle Native American Tribes’ Misuse of Immunity in Two Days

Posted in America, Patents at 11:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The relevant subcommittee is led by Darrell Issa of California

Darrell Issa
Photo in the public domain, via Wikipedia

Summary: The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which is responsible for eliminating patents that should not have been granted by the USPTO, will receive additional support from US politicians (the House Judiciary Committee), who 3 days ago said that they would address attempts to dodge scrutiny

THE improvement in the US has seen the climate of patent litigation coming to a standstill. Many companies no longer bother suing (unless they’re certain their patents are strong and defensible).

The other day Joe Mullin wrote about the EFF’s success story after the EFF had written a post about it (on Halloween). It’s a success story for PTAB too, as an inter partes review (IPRs) affirmed the EFF’s assertion that the patent had been wrongly granted. To quote:

Even spookier than a Halloween costume is a patent that just won’t die.

But it looks like a once-scary patent—Personal Audio LLC’s ridiculous claim to own podcasting—is finally gone. Personal Audio has been making headlines for years now, especially after it started threatening podcasters and became the target of an EFF crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to knock it out.

EFF used that money to file an “inter partes review” at the US Patent Office, which knocked out the patent in 2015.

Inter partes reviews don’t always result in invalidation. There’s a panel of experts (technical people) and a judge deciding on such matters.

FatPipe, which was mentioned here a couple of weeks ago in relation to PTAB, is an “inventor and holder of multiple patents for software-defined networks,” by its own description. Over the past week it spent a lot of money to disseminate this press release across many sites (e.g. [1, 2, 3]) only to say that a patent was upheld. The summary says:

Key Claim covers multi-line session and packet load balancing, over disparate networks, one of the main aspects of SD-WAN

What is good about this case is that it helps debunk accusations that patents are just being thrown away without proper assessment. That’s simply not true and various firms spend money dissemination all sorts of press releases bragging about new patents and a total number of patents. Not all press releases are marked as such; IP Pro Patents, for instance, a site we habitually name for dodgy behaviour, has just published this marketing spam for Fish & Richardson (a firm often involved in patent trolls’ cases). It’s a great example of articles that aren’t. Either way, PTAB is becoming a hotly-debated subject (almost more so than court cases) and it's expected that the US Congress will soon take action in support of PTAB. This was futher reaffirmed by Jan Wolfe (Reuters) on November 2nd [1, 2, 3]. He wrote a report to say this:

A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on Thursday called a Nov. 7 hearing on the legitimacy of an agreement between drugmaker Allergan Plc and a Native American tribe intended to shield patents from administrative review.

The House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on intellectual property, chaired by Republican Representative Darrell Issa of California, said in a statement that the hearing would include testimony from four experts on patent law, including a former in-house attorney at drug company Johnson & Johnson and a lawyer with a trade group representing the software industry.

An Allergan spokesman declined to comment on whether the company would send any executives to the hearing.

This was later covered by another high-profile site, bearing the headline “House committee to hold hearing on patent rights for Native American tribes” and stating:

The hearing has become necessary after a drug company named Allergan [corporate website] entered into a contract with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe [official website] in which Allergan transferred a number of patents to the tribe in exchange for an exclusive license for the patents. The tribe then claimed that due to its sovereign immunity, the US Patent & Trademark Office [official website] has no jurisdiction to hold inter partes review (IPR) hearings against the patents. The IPR hearings are used to invalidate patents. Allergan is also filing lawsuits against competitors for violating the same patents that cannot be invalidated by the IPR hearings. SRC Labs LLC has also transferred patents to the same tribe and are suing Amazon and Microsoft for violating those patents.

[...]

Chairman Goodlatte has stated that the hearing is necessary to ensure the patent system protects and promotes American innovation. Subcommittee Chairman Issa stated the hearing is important to ensure that sovereign immunity is not being used to “game” the system to shield patents from checks and balances.

This is very good. Congress, judges and even large companies support PTAB. Soon it will be the Supreme Court (we hope). The EFF’s Vera Ranieri commented on the CCIA’s submission to the Supreme Court (in support of PTAB, obviously). She said: “I’m really interested to read @CCIA’s Oil States amicus, written by John Duffy. Section II is an interesting and intriguing take” (there’s a screenshot there).

From the official statement of CCIA: (via)

The Computer & Communications Industry Association joined a Supreme Court amicus brief filed Monday evening in a patent case that is being closely watched by the thousands of companies sued every year by those abusing the patent system.

The case will determine whether inter partes review (IPR) is constitutional. CCIA and others believe IPR is a crucial tool to fight poor quality patents, which are often used in abusive litigation.

For additional information, please see CCIA Patent Counsel Josh Landau’s blog post today.

We mentioned it before, in conjunction to the one important submission from the EFF. With such widespread and bipartisan support for PTAB we expect Justices to see that opposition to PTAB comes mainly from the litigation ‘industry’ and the patent trolls’ lobby.

A High US Court (CAFC) Continues Rejecting Software Patents (Even of Microsoft’s Patent Trolls)

Posted in America, Courtroom, Microsoft, Patents at 10:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft too has trouble in that court, but will Microsoft change its course?

Sharon ProstSummary: Under Chief Judge Sharon Prost (who took over after the corrupt Randall Ray Rader had been pushed out 3 years ago) CAFC has become the opposite of what it used to be, at least when it comes to patents

THE Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) is where software patents were born. Nowadays, in spectacular and sharp contrast, CAFC is where many software patents come to die (for good). Things have certainly not been the same since Alice.

“Things have certainly not been the same since Alice.”Firms that profit from software patents are not happy about this. Some are attacking CAFC judges, whereas others are more polite. Fox Rothschild LLP, for example, was promoting software patents a few days ago and it was pressuring CAFC to allow software patents in defiance of the Supreme Court. It’s yet another one of those thousands of rants about Alice and decisions which cite Alice. Here is the original, which was cross-posted (probably for a payment) and said: “In the past year, several Federal Circuit decisions defined situations in which software inventions could be eligible for patenting in the United States. However, two recent Federal Circuit decisions show that the path for patent-eligibility is not yet clear, especially for patents that claim methods of processing or presenting data.”

“They’ll just carry on asking for the contrary stance/more “clarity”, as if the Justices got it all wrong and need to be lectured by the patent ‘industry’.”This has in it the false assumption that some software patents should be allowed. Or that it all boils down to “clarity”. So far this year CAFC has rejected software patents almost all the time. Why don’t they just get a clue? The Justices were clear enough about abstract patents, but patent extremists refuse to understand (or pretend not to). They’ll just carry on asking for the contrary stance/more “clarity”, as if the Justices got it all wrong and need to be lectured by the patent ‘industry’.

From Fox Rothschild’s conclusion: “The Federal Circuit’s case-specific, and sometimes inconsistent, interpretations of Alice leave software patent applicants, patent litigants, and USPTO Examiners with even less definitive guidance as to the patent-eligibility of software inventions than they had a few weeks ago. And with the Supreme Court’s recent decision to deny certiorari in a case that asked “Whether [a] technological breakthrough is not an inventive concept under the second step of Alice merely because the court believed the breakthrough could theoretically be implemented without a computer,” clarification from a higher authority is not likely on the horizon.”

“Seeing the sorts of abuse from the patent microcosm is a testament to its misery and agony.”There’s no need for “clarification”; what’s needed is amendment of USPTO guidelines to altogether end software patents — something which is rumoured to be work in progress.

Seeing the sorts of abuse from the patent microcosm is a testament to its misery and agony. These people refuse to accept reality. One of them portrayed CAFC as a killer with threats, with words like these: “RecogniCorp’s Petition for Cert Re Patent Kill under Alice Threatening Validity of Much if not All Computer Tech: https://dlbjbjzgnk95t.cloudfront.net/0980000/980981/2017-11-01%20petition%20for%20writ%20of%20certiorari%20-%20recoginicorp%20v.%20nintendo.pdf …”

“Microsoft’s biggest patent troll (IV) is repeatedly finding out that its large arsenal can be trivially invalidated.”There is another case involving Intellectual Ventures (IV), which has had many of its patents found to be invalid under Alice. Here is that word “Kill” again, as in: “Fed. Cir. Affirmed a 12(b)6 Alice Kill of an IV Patent: cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/…
https://t.co/iNyNZR2POL”

Then came another patent maximalist, stating that the “Federal circuit now wants in on the game of invalidating patents without much work, 101 is just such a convenient, tempting tool https://twitter.com/patentbuddy/status/926482154598608901 …”

Well, it’s the law. De facto law.

The above invalidation has since then been covered by Law 360. Microsoft’s biggest patent troll (IV) is repeatedly finding out that its large arsenal can be trivially invalidated. According to the following, this troll has now amassed over 70,000 patents:

The Federal Circuit affirmed Friday a lower court ruling that found an Intellectual Ventures patent on screening for “errant” computer files was invalid under the U.S. Supreme Court’s Alice ruling, agreeing that the company failed to show that the patent’s claims were not abstract.

Intellectual Ventures, a major patent licensing company that owns more than 70,000 patents, accused Erie Indemnity Co. and other insurers of infringing four patents through their databases and other software.

As can be expected from Patently-O, there’s now some more CAFC bashing. Judges rather than laws are being scrutinised. They’re being criticised for knocking out software patents (the Two-Way Media case):

The Federal Circuit’s decision in Two-Way Media is in some amount of tension with the court’s 2016 decision in Amdocs v. Openet Telecom. In Amdocs, the court noted that the claims appeared problematic under Section 101 (abstract ideas), but that the architecture – as specifically described in the specification but more generically claimed – showed that the invention was actually a technological improvement.

Attempts to use Alice to throw out patents (also Two-Way Media) were also covered in another post from Patently-O. For background: “Two-Way sued Comcast (and others) for infringement. However, the district court granted the defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings – holding that the claims were invalid as ineligible under 35 U.S.C. Section 101 as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Alice and Mayo. In that process, the district court refused to consider evidence of the patents’ novelty and nonobviousness – holding that such evidence would be irrelevant to a Section 101 inquiry. [...] Note here that the court seemingly offered a road-map for the patentee — a technological arts test — noting that the specifications appear to describe a “system architecture as a technological innovation” but “the claim—as opposed to something purportedly described in the specification—is missing an inventive concept.””

“They’ve long attempted to change the debate and warp examination using words alone.”Haug Partners LLP’s Jon Gordon, writing for IAM (the patent trolls’ lobby), says that CAFC already clarifies when/where software patents are banned. To quote: “Patents directed to software-implemented inventions commonly describe and claim the invention in terms of the inventive idea and this disclosure suffices to enable persons skilled in the computer arts to practise the idea. [...] principles are indeed emerging and they show the beginnings of the path to patentability for software-implemented inventions.”

The term “software-implemented inventions” seems new; it’s like a combination of software patents and CII (computer-implemented inventions) and these are mostly syntactic/semantic tricks. They’ve long attempted to change the debate and warp examination using words alone. But code is still code, no matter what people call it (code is not an “invention” though, it’s development like that of a building or sculpting).

“Microsoft along with its trolls carry on leveraging software patents — typically behind closed doors — to demand ‘protection’ money.”These people try hard to study ways of fooling examiners and getting patents past judges as well. Patently-O has taken stock of popular CAFC cases and later recalled MasterMine v Microsoft.

MasterMine v Microsoft was mentioned here back in the summer and again last week when the case suddenly resurfaced. CAFC gave some new life to it and Patently-O then said that “the decision here continues the Federal Circuit’s implicit rejection of the Supreme Court’s Nautilus decision.”

“What remains noteworthy, all in all, is CAFC’s intolerance of software patents. What’s also noteworthy is the patent microcosm’s intolerance of CAFC.”Well, Microsoft ought to fight against software patents, but this case won’t be enough to convince it. Microsoft along with its trolls carry on leveraging software patents — typically behind closed doors — to demand ‘protection’ money. Here is what WIPR wrote about this latest twist:

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has reignited a patent battle between multinational Microsoft and software company MasterMine Software.

Yesterday, October 30, the Federal Circuit affirmed a lower court’s claim construction of two data-mining patents owned by MasterMine, but reversed the court’s determination that they were indefinite and remanded the case.

In 2013, MasterMine sued Microsoft for infringement of two related patents, US patent numbers 7,945,850 and 8,429,518, at the US District Court for the District of Minnesota.

What remains noteworthy, all in all, is CAFC’s intolerance of software patents. What’s also noteworthy is the patent microcosm’s intolerance of CAFC. It’s probably worth commending CAFC for what it is doing, reminding the judges that the real industry (i.e. not mere litigators) support its recent judgments. Its older judgments have been repeatedly overturned by the Supreme Court, so perhaps it’s learning to adapt to this new reality.

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts