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

12.08.17

European Media Covers the Latest EPO Scandal and the EPO’s Refusal to Obey Orders of a Court

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Patents at 5:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Presidential trends of 2017…

Refusal to Obey Orders of a Court

Summary: European media is starting to catch up with the latest from ILO and the great importance not only of the rulings but also the EPO’s response to these

THE latest EPO scandal is an unfinished story. Expect strikes next week (at least one in Munich) and plenty of discussion in the European press. The case is extraordinary because the EPO basically rejects a court’s ruling. It reinforces the stigma associated with the EPO. We wrote 5 articles about this yesterday:

  1. ILO is ‘Forcing’ Team Battistelli to Compensate the Banned Judge and Give Him Back His Job
  2. Meanwhile in Eponia, Tyrant Battistelli Must be Seeking Advice on How to Refuse to Obey Court’s Orders (Again)
  3. ILO Said Give the Judge His Job Back, But Christoph Ernst’s Administrative Council Will Likely Let Him Go (Unemployed)
  4. Less Than 24 Hours Later the EPO Already Refuses to Obey Court Orders From ILO (Updated)
  5. Battistelli’s EPO is Once Again Caught in Very Gross Violation of the European Patent Convention (EPC)

Plus 3 so far today:

  1. EPO Scandal Spills Over to Irish Media, So It’s Time for the Backstory
  2. SUEPO Announces Protest, EPO Distracts From the Scandal, and Readers Spill the Beans
  3. Antonius Tangena From the European Patent Institute (EPI) ‘Aids’ Željko Topić’s Appointment at the European Patent Office (EPO)

Expect much more on this subject. Over the weekend we’ll also release some more documents.

Mathieu Klos of JUVE has meanwhile published this article, which he summarised in English as follows: “Lawyer of suspended EPO-judge demands reinstatment – immedeatly [sic] our report…”

So German media now covers the latest scandal in Munich. Expect French/Dutch media to join in. Earlier today the British media revisited the subject (second time this week) and wrote about the refusal to obey the court’s orders, then some words from the Central Staff Committee:

Despite the ruling however, which explicitly stated he should be handed back his user ID and be allowed to access EPO buildings effective immediately, when Corcoran turned up at the EPO’s Isar Building in Munich after lunch on Thursday – reportedly to have a cup of tea with colleagues – he was turned away by the head of the EPO’s security who reportedly informed him that she was under instructions to ignore the court order.

[...]

In the meantime, the EPO’s staff union Central Staff Committee has written a letter to EPO management and the Administrative Council arguing that the ILO rulings demonstrate that Battistelli cannot be allowed to enact any further reforms before his term ends next year.

The letter highlights the (many) criticisms of Battistelli within the ILO’s rulings. “We cannot help but interpret the judgments both as a massive motion of no confidence in the President of the Office and a warning letter to the AC,” the letter states and argues that the council was “misled about essential points” in the Corcoran case by Battistelli.

“We have repeatedly warned against the content and pace of major reforms which have been pushed through without genuine consultation,” the staff representatives note, while pointing out that even if the EPO does follow the ILO’s judgments (which, so far, it has not), that they still do not address the underlying governance problems at the EPO.

“The ball is now with the AC,” the letter concludes, “which urgently has to answer the following question: should these reforms be left to a President and team having such a record of performance?”

The Register has already attracted many comments about ILO and what some people within the comments suspect to be AstroTurfing from the EPO (or a PR firm).

One person asked: “What are the sanctions going to be? If the ILO have no power to impose sanctions then they are pissing in the wind.”

A lot of the comments are abusive or distracting. A few comments in Kluwer Patent Blog are the same. Well, the author of the article then responded to some “aggressive” (ad hominem) comments as follows:

Thanks for your aggressive queries.
I had three separate sources confirming what happened earlier today.
I don’t know whether you’ve been following events at the EPO, but for several years its management has been aggressively investigating and disciplining staff that criticize its president or his reform plans. As a result, people aren’t all that keen on having their names published.
As for the ILO decisions, the organisation put out a news alert and a special announcement that it would be revealing the results of 8 cases a month earlier and in pubic. It said 5 of those 8 were about the EPO. It also live streamed the meeting on YouTube.
I found out about both these events because I am a journalist and that is what I do for a living.
Hope this helps.

One person responded to this article by asking: “Will Member States and EU put the final nail on the coffin of fundamental justice for EPO workers? Let them do that soon then.”

Over at Kluwer Patent Blog, “Concerned observer” expressed his/her belief that the EPO will simply disregard a court’s decision again (in spite of political pressure and staff protests). To quote:

This could be where we enter interesting territory. Article 19(2) of the PPI of the EPO reads as follows:
“The President of the European Patent Office has the duty to waive immunity where he considers that such immunity prevents the normal course of justice and that it is possible to dispense with such immunity without prejudicing the interests of the Organisation. The Administrative Council may waive immunity of the President for the same reasons”.

From the long and tortured history of the case of the “judge” that was the subject of the ILO’s judgements, there are several points where it is clear that the national courts could have a role. I shall give two examples.

The first is the alleged “defamation” of the President. Whilst immunity has not stopped senior EPO management from trying to sue in the national courts, it is a far from ideal state of affairs. That is, it creates an inequality of arms: the management can sue (and make allegedly “defamatory” comments in the course of doing so), but are immune from counter-suits. This is a powerful reason to strip the President of his immunity in connection with the case of the “judge”: if Mr Battistelli TRULY believes that he has been defamed, then the best way to sort it out will be in the national courts … but the price for pursuing this course of action will be loss of immunity from counter-suit. A fair compromise, no?

A second point on which the national courts may have a role is the manner in which the “evidence” against the judge was gathered. I for one would be keen to ensure that the EPO is not able to “snoop” on me (and my confidential communications) if and when I ever enter the EPO’s premises. I very much doubt that I am alone here, meaning that there is a strong public interest in ensuring – through investigations by national authorities and, if necessary, by prosecutions in national courts – that the management of the EPO is rendered incapable of authorising monitoring activities that break EU laws.

On both of these points, it is perfectly possible to conclude that “immunity prevents the normal course of justice”. Thus, the only question that remains is whether “it is possible to dispense with such immunity without prejudicing the interests of the Organisation”. That one is easy to answer too: the Organisation has an overriding interest in maintaining a good reputation. It will be impossible for the Organisation to do that without taking positive action to expunge the stains that have been left from the case of the “judge” that was subject to a house ban.

In the light of all of this, I suppose that the only relevant question to ask will be: which “excuse” will the AC come up with this time for not taking any action?

My bets are on no “excuse” at all. That is, I predict that they will simply ignore the judgement (like they did with the judgement of the Enlarged Board of Appeal which concluded that the President’s actions compromised their judicial independence). There is a grave danger for the AC if it chooses this path, though. This is because this issue will simply not go away, meaning that inaction on the part of the AC will only prompt further questions. These may well include questions relating to whether the AC is performing its function, and if not why not.

Of course there is nothing whatsoever for the AC to fear if there is nothing to see here – that is, no (financial) impropriety of any sort, nor any “conspiracy” to cover up misdeeds. But what are the chances of that?

We warmly welcome any more information on this subject. There’s more that we already know and intend to publish soon. It’s somewhat liberating to know that a lot of “dirty laundry” can come out now.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 19/6/2019: Linux Mint Vs Vista 10, Qt 5.13 Released

    Links for the day



  2. The Linux Foundation's Business Model

    The Linux Foundation's plan, illustrated



  3. Links 18/6/2019: i386 Abandoned by Canonical and a New osquery 'Community'

    Links for the day



  4. Indifference or Even Hostility Towards Patent Quality Results in Grave Injustice

    The patent extravaganza in Europe harms small businesses the most (they complain about it), but administrative staff at patent offices only cares about the views of prolific applicants rather than the interests of citizens in respective countries



  5. Links 18/6/2019: CentOS 8 Coming Soon, DragonFly BSD 5.6 Released

    Links for the day



  6. 'AI Taskforce' is Actually a Taskforce for Software Patents

    The mainstream media has been calling just about everything "HEY HI!" (AI), but what it typically refers to is a family of old algorithms being applied in possibly new areas; patent maximalists in eastern Asia and the West hope that this mainstream media's obsession can be leveraged to justify new kinds of patents on code



  7. Patent Maximalism is Dead in the United States

    Last-ditch efforts, or a desperate final attempt to water down 35 U.S.C. § 101, isn't succeeding; stacked panels are seen for what they really are and 35 U.S.C. § 101 isn't expected to change



  8. Links 18/6/2019: Linux 5.2 RC5 and OpenMandriva Lx 4

    Links for the day



  9. Weaponising Russophobia Against One's Critics

    Response to smears and various whispering campaigns whose sole purpose is to deplete the support base for particular causes and people; these sorts of things have gotten out of control in recent years



  10. When the EPO is Run by Politicians It's Expected to Be Aggressive and Corrupt Like Purely Political Establishments

    António 'Photo Op' Campinos will have marked his one-year anniversary in July; he has failed to demonstrate morality, respect for the law, understanding of the sciences, leadership by example and even the most basic honesty (he lies a lot)



  11. Links 16/6/2019: Tmax OS and New Features for KDE.org

    Links for the day



  12. Stuffed/Stacked Panels Sent Back Packing After One-Sided Patent Hearings That Will Convince Nobody, Just Preach to the Choir

    Almost a week ago the 'world tour' of patent lobbyists in US Senate finally ended; it was an utterly ridiculous case study in panel stacking and bribery (attempts to buy laws)



  13. 2019 H1: American Software Patents Are as Worthless as They Were Last Year and Still Susceptible to Invalidation

    With a fortnight left before the second half of the year it seems evident that software patents aren't coming back; the courts have not changed their position at all



  14. As European Patent Office Management Covers up Collapse in Patent Quality Don't Expect UPC to Ever Kick Off

    It would be madness to allow EPO-granted patents to become 'unitary' (bypassing sovereignty of nations that actually still value patent quality); it seems clear that rogue EPO management has, in effect, not only doomed UPC ambitions but also European Patents (or their perceived legitimacy, presumption of validity)



  15. António Campinos -- Unlike His Father -- Engages in Imperialism (Using Invalid Patents)

    Despite some similarities to his father (not positive similarities), António Campinos is actively engaged in imperialistic agenda that defies even European law; the EPO not only illegally grants patents but also urges other patent offices to do the same



  16. António Campinos Takes EPO Waste and Corruption to Unprecedented Levels and Scale

    The “B” word (billions) is thrown around at Europe’s second-largest institution because a mischievous former EUIPO chief (not Archambeau) is ‘partying’ with about half of the EPO’s all-time savings, which are supposed to be reserved for pensions and other vital programmes, not presidential palaces and gambling



  17. Links 15/6/2019: Astra Linux in Russia, FreeBSD 11.3 RC

    Links for the day



  18. Code of Conduct Explained: Partial Transcript - August 10th, 2018 - Episode 80, The Truth About Southeast Linuxfest

    "Ask Noah" and the debate on how a 'Code of Conduct' is forcibly imposed on events



  19. Links 14/6/2019: Xfce-Related Releases, PHP 7.4.0 Alpha

    Links for the day



  20. The EPO is a Patent Troll's Wet Dream

    The makers of software and games in Europe will have to spend a lot of money just keeping patent trolls off their backs — a fact that seems to never bother EPO management because it profits from it



  21. EPO Spreading Patent Extremists' Ideology to the Whole World, Now to South Korea

    The EPO’s footprint around the world's patent systems is an exceptionally dangerous one; The EPO amplifies the most zealous voices of the patents and litigation ‘industry’ while totally ignoring the views and interests of the European public, rendering the EPO an ‘agent of corporate occupation’



  22. Guest Post: Notes on Free Speech, and a Line in the Sand

    We received this anonymous letter and have published it as a follow-up to "Reader's Claim That Rules Similar to the Code of Conduct (CoC) Were 'Imposed' on LibrePlanet and the FSF"



  23. Links 13/6/2019: CERN Dumps Microsoft, GIMP 2.10.12 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Links 12/6/2019: Mesa 19.1.0, KDE neon 5.16, Endless OS 3.6.0 and BackBox Linux 6

    Links for the day



  25. Leaked Financial 'Study' Document Shows EPO Management and Mercer Engaging in an Elaborate “Hoax”

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) lies to its own staff to harm that staff; thankfully, the staff isn't easily fooled and this whole affair will merely obliterate any remnants of "benefit of the doubt" the President thus far enjoyed



  26. Measuring Patent Quality and Employer Quality in Europe

    Comparing the once-famous and respected EPO to today's joke of an office, which grants loads of bogus patents on just about anything including fruit and mathematics



  27. Granting More Fundamentally Wrong Patents Will Mean Reduced Certainty, Not Increased Certainty

    Law firms that are accustomed to making money from low-quality and abstract patents try to overcome barriers by bribing politicians; this will backfire because they show sheer disregard for the patent system's integrity and merely lower the legal certainty associated with granted (by greedy offices) patents



  28. Links 11/6/2019: Wine 4.10, Plasma 5.16

    Links for the day



  29. Chapter 10: Moving Forward -- Getting the Best Results From Open Source With Your Monopoly

    “the gradual shift in public consciousness from their branding towards our own, is the next best thing to owning them outright.”



  30. Chapter 9: Ownership Through Branding -- Change the Names, and Change the World

    The goal for those fighting against Open source, against the true openness (let's call it the yet unexploited opportunities) of Open source, has to be first to figuratively own the Linux brand, then literally own or destroy the brand, then to move the public awareness of the Linux brand to something like Azure, or whatever IBM is going to do with Red Hat.


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 Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts