12.19.17

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Secrecy Surrounds the Fate of Patrick Corcoran, Even AMBA is Being Kept in the Dark by Carl Josefsson

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Association of the Members of the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office (AMBA) cannot provide certainty of independence or anything remotely like it

A secret

Summary: The AMBA Committee speaks out, revealing the depths of the EPO’s secrecy over the Corcoran case, which seems more serious the more one looks at it (Corcoran is the one being defamed, yet he’s being accused of defamation)

THE scandals won’t end this way. They will only deepen. Earlier this month we showed Carl Josefsson's message, which assured that Judge Corcoran would be allowed back into the Board, in lieu with the ILO’s ruling. We then heard all sorts of rumours, some of which were later confirmed.

The Administrative Council (AC), chaired by Ernst, had a meeting less than a week ago. It talked about Corcoran, but this was done strictly behind closed doors, apparently with gag orders as well. The Register wrote about this extreme secrecy last Thursday and today the following comment was posted:

It is almost 1 week now since the AC discussed (in camera) the case of the suspended judge. Am I the only one to wonder why there is no publicly available information regarding the AC’s decision on his status?

There does not even appear to be a report about any aspect of the AC’s meeting. If I didn’t know better, I would find this highly suspicious.

What kind of image does the AC hope to project? It’s just covering up Battistelli’s abuses again.

The following message is circulating today:

Dear amba members.

As a consequence of the ilo decisions the committee wrote an email to Carl Josefson [sic] on 8 December 2017 in which it set out its hope that he would be able to influence the Administrative Council at its meeting last week to take a positive view on Patrick Corcoran’s reappointment. We met with Carl last Thursday and he informed us that a decision had been taken in the disciplinary case and that, as regards reappointment, due to confidentiality obligations he was unable to provide further information. At present we have no details on what the administrative council decided I. [sic] The disciplinary case. The amba committee regrets that the administrative council did not take a decision to reappoint Patrick Corcoran, as the consequence of this is that the case will continue to be a burden to everyone involved.

The amba committee.

So Josefsson is in effect gagged. Wonderful!

And Josefsson actually thought about kick-starting the UPC? With this sort of shambolic state of affairs? It’s not acceptable.

Here is another longer comment that was posted earlier today.

It says: “The journalist could then, for example, speak to Techrights in order to independently confirm that they have received “threats” from the EPO’s lawyers that were aimed at “taking down” certain reports about the EPO.”

We already posted original letters pertaining to this. We did that a long time ago. Similar things happened in Croatia. These aren’t conjectures but verified facts. Here’s the full comment:

To be frank, I have no idea what the pseudonymous, public comments were. Chances are they were made on this blog, though.

The point that you make about going to a journalist is an important one. However, I am not sure that you appreciate the enormous difficulties (due to the complete lack of independent oversight, the activities of the internal “Stasi” and the draconian disciplinary rules and procedures) that EPO employees face in doing this… or in generating even the smallest scintilla of interest for an “independent journalist” in a story about the EPO.

The topic of the present discussion is a perfect case in point. Apart from an article in the Irish Times – which is understandable in the circumstances – the ILO judgements have received attention only from the usual suspects, that is, a smattering of “specialist” (legal or technical) websites. Why is this?

It is not as if it would be hard for a journalist to independently confirm (eg by reading the Enlarged Board and ILO decisions, as well as the “defamation” actions in Germany and Croatia) important details relating to the present case. Those details would include, for example, official rulings holding that the President has threatened the independence of the EPO’s judiciary and that he had a conflict of interest that meant he should never have been involved in the case in the first place.

The journalist could then, for example, speak to Techrights in order to independently confirm that they have received “threats” from the EPO’s lawyers that were aimed at “taking down” certain reports about the EPO. They might also make further investigations to establish whether other “publishers” have received similar letters from the EPO’s lawyers.

In short, it would be very easy indeed for such a journalist to put together a strong (ie readily defensible) story that contains some “shocking” revelations and that could pose difficult questions for the EPO’s management and the AC.

So why is it that no such stories have ever been published in the “mainstream” press? Are we to assume that the world of patents is just too “niche” for the general public to have even the slightest interest in stories that have profound implications for the rule of law in Europe?

That’s a very fair question. We brought that up before.

I’ve been covering patents for well over a decade and even though I’m not trained as a lawyer (my background is technical) I understand many of the key concepts and cases. I spent a lot of my life doing that. I had to learn this out of necessity.

Another new comment says this:

“It is however worth noting that there was no firm and public denial by Mr Corcoran of the facts which were held against him.”

And that’s because the rules introduced by Mr. Battistelli – with the approval of the AC – forbid any individual under investigation to discuss the case with anyone – smart move to isolate the accused person while Mr. Battistelli can talk about “weapons and nazi memorabilia” in the press.

The same applied to the suspended and then fired Staff Representatives.

In EUROPE.

It’s actually far worse. As we pointed out in 2015, the EPO got together with Dutch and German journalists in order to defame Mr. Corcoran. It’s him who should be suing them for defamation, not the other way around. But the “them” might be immune from prosecution/discovery, unless it’s the publishers whom he should sue. They gave away his nationality, which in turn made his identity pretty obvious to insiders. They also revealed information from an ongoing ‘investigation’ (this itself is a violation) and peppered the ‘reports’ with words like “Nazi” (falsely accusing people of Nazism in Germany is a very serious matter). The so-called ‘journalists’ should be questioned for their participation in what — as we noted at the time — was akin to journalistic misconduct, similar to what incredibly wealthy accused rapists do with cooperative journalists to smear/intimidate the accuser/s.

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