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11.26.17

Early Certainty Battistelli Will be Gone Soon: “JUVE Interview Creates the Impression That Benoit Battistelli’s Term in Office is Already Over.”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Full PDF

ECfS

Summary: Dr. Christoph Ernst, who prematurely replaces Jesper Kongstad as Battistelli’s boss, has harsh (albeit still diplomatic) words for Battistelli (see what some insiders are saying [1, 2]), but he also ought to admit the decline in patent quality (EPs), owing in part to “Early Certainty from Search” (ECfS)

YESTERDAY we wrote about the interview in which Battistelli’s new boss criticised him (in a properly-functioning EPO the Chairman is superior to rather than subservient to the President of the Office).

This morning, in an article by “Kluwer UPC News blogger” (Unitary Patent boosters), this very same interview received some coverage under the headline “Christoph Ernst: ‘rigid regime’ cloud over achievements EPO president Battistelli” (so they too have seen what we are seeing).

To quote:

EPO president Benoit Battistelli has strengthened the overall position of the European Patent Organisation, but the social problems cloud these achievements. Christoph Ernst, chairman of the EPO Administrative Council (AC), has said this in an interview with the German legal website JUVE.

According to Ernst, who has been AC member for years and succeeded Jesper Kongstad as Chairman in October, the ‘working processes now run better, productivity is higher and the Boards of Appeal have been reformed. In addition, Battistelli has initiated a number of social reforms (…)’. However, he has criticism as well: ‘The verdict on the success of reforms he achieved will certainly be clouded by the fact that President Battistelli has overseen a very rigid regime with a heavy-handed approach. I would have occasionally liked to see more compromise and more understanding for differing interests.’

[...]

As chairman of the AC, Ernst expects willingness from the EPO’s union SUEPO, ‘to sit down with the new president and discuss objectives and how to achieve them’. Asked about the possibility to halt, as a gesture of goodwill, the disciplinary proceedings against an EPO judge, which has been dragging on for years (Wikipedia) and in which Battistelli intervened controversially, Ernst responded: ‘legal obstacles remain before the case can be brought to a conclusion. We need to see whether we can overcome these hurdles in the time that remains.’

If more stakeholders knew how “Early Certainty from Search” (ECfS) and PACE worked, they would be furious. In the name of fast-tracking the examination or patent-granting process, the Office has chosen poorly-implemented methods, usually with zero input from examination staff (or representatives) and no consultation with stakeholders, e.g. applicants. The result, which is described in this PDF, will make nobody happy.

“Kluwer UPC News blogger” correctly notes that Ernst is still in denial about the collapse of patent quality; this in its own right is problemaic. Face-saving won’t come from rejection of reality. He should listen to examiners (discreetly if necessary).

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