12.19.17

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Dr. Siegfried Broß Says UPC is in Constitutional and Democratic Grey Area, Abuses at the European Patent Office Contribute to That

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Judge Broß has been writing lengthy articles on the subject

Bross article page

Summary: Warnings about the inherent problems with the Unified Patent Court (UPC) are stressed amid Constitutional complaints/backlash in Germany — almost certainly a fatal blow to “unitary” anything any time soon

LESS than a month ago (28th of November, 2017) there was a ceremony of the firm Cohausz & Florack in Munich. At the opening of the event there was a speech which has just been mentioned by UPC boosters like Christopher Weber and then FFII. UPC is mentioned about 3 dozen times and for preservation purposes (these things tend to vanish years down the line) we’ve made a copy of the translation (the copyright is the speaker’s). The FFII picked this paragraph from pages 16-17: “If we now look more closely at the Unified Patent Court, we need to consider the following issues individually. To start with, we need to point out that the planned Agreement on the Unified Patent Court within the EU is destined not to succeed from the outset because it is predated by quite fundamental misconceptions. This agreement does not cover patent law per se, but rather the patents granted in accordance with the European Patent Convention. At first look, there may be nothing to objectionable about this. However, if we consider the constellation professionally and objectively with some critical distance, we notice that the Agreement is only intended to afford judicial protection within the EU if a patent application was successful in accordance with the European Patent Convention. Conversely, no access to the EU’s Unified Patent Court is intended for failed applicants in proceedings before the European Patent Office. This finding throws up various questions and casts the whole project into a constitutional and democratic grey area.

There are many more things in these pages (especially the second half) which slam the UPC as a concept. Not entirely surprising, especially given the speaker. There are serious violations of the law and the principles of law at the very heart of the EPO. Broß spoke and wrote about these issues many times before (in journals, news sites, television and more).

Speaking of these violations, check out the last comment in IP Kat. Having written about whistleblowing for nearly a decade, I know that Judge Corcoran’s speech is protected and moreover, what he said wasn’t so different from what a lot of EPO staff was saying (and circulating) at the time. Battistelli and his Croatian bulldog just needed a convenient scapegoat at the time — someone whose life they can destroy to scare all the rest.

On your first reason, if public comments amount to a disciplinary offence, then the fact that they are pseudonymous doesn’t change that. The issue is what the comments say, not whether the public can identify who made them.

On your second reason, whistleblowing may sometimes be justified to expose serious wrongdoings in the public interest, but pseudonymous comments on the internet would not be the right way to go about it.

Where someone has serious allegations and evidence to back them up, but there is effectively no internal channel, it may be justified to take them to a reputable investigative journalist. Such a journalist would check the facts before publication, and protect the source. A report in a reputable newspaper would consequently be much more believable and much more likely to achieve results.

While I’ve not seen the comments made in the present case, the pseudonymous nature and absence of independent checking would make it difficult to determine whether they were justified by hard evidence. Or were they merely repeating allegations made elsewhere and stating opinions? Or possibly a mixture of all these?

Just remember that, as we wrote on Thursday morning, the Corcoran affair serves to show that at the EPO the criminals try to criminalise those who speak about their crimes. A system so chronically incapable of introspection would be characteristic of small dictatorships in Africa, certainly not Bavaria.

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