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

05.17.18

So-Called ‘System Battistelli’ is Destroying the EPO, Warn Insiders

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

EPO patent grants
Source: “European Patent Office Attacks its Examination Backlog”

Summary: Low-quality patent grants by the EPO are a road to nowhere but a litigious climate in Europe and an unattractive EPO

THE EPO never had as many patents as the USPTO granted (e.g. per year or totals), but that is not a bad thing. What matters is the goodness of patents, not the number (quality over quantity). But Battistelli is currently just printing patents like a lunatic at the spigot. He clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing and having surrounded himself by “yes men” (mostly French, many former colleagues) nobody will tell him just how crazy he is. What do they care? They participate in the destruction and they profit while it lasts.

Someone has just passed to us a new document which circulates around the EPO and warns about what Battistelli is doing. We’ve decided to reproduce it below.


MORE and MORE, but NEVER ENOUGH

Examining staff in Principal Directorate HBC recently received a communiqué1 that started with:

“HBC strives to deliver consistently high qualitative and quantitative output, i.e. an output which is in line with the agreed2 objectives.

After 4 months, I can report that we are well on target with respect to our qualitative goals3 – well done and thank you for this. However, at this very moment HBC as a whole is behind in view of the set production objectives with approx. 3.8% which means approx. 1.900 SEO products.”

What follows is yet another call to make an extra effort and produce more “to achieve the common goal in what we call “to be green in June””.

Similar calls are made in the other technical areas. But: why, how, and what for? And more importantly: what next?

Why?

Battistelli has claimed record performances for many years, both financially and in terms of production/productivity. The EPO is currently making an operational surplus (“profit”) of well over a million EUR/calendar day. It is sitting on an over 2 billion cash reserve. It seems that the EPO’s search backlog has all but vanished. Its examination back-log has been greatly reduced.

So why are examiners being whipped to do even more?

How?

In the recent years, Mr Battistelli has already used every means at his disposal to increase examiner4 productivity. Among the more controversial measures by Mr Battistelli are:

- a new reporting system solely based on annual production, thereby excluding staff members who have a significant period of sick leave, who take maternity leave (!), or who work part-time from any form of career advancement or other rewards.

- use of the electronic file cabinet to oblige examiners to prioritise “easy” files , e.g. files that only have “A” documents,

- the suppression of time made available for non-examining tasks (examining staff are asked to do such “work packages” in addition to their normal duties, in return for a modest financial reward,

- the suppression of time for company visits (examining staff is asked to take annual leave),

- the suppression of (time for) training,

- the suppression of leave days, including national holidays,

- refusal of part-time, parental leave or even annual leave,

- reduction of time available for staff representation to less than half.

The above-mentioned Communiqué explicitly calls for staff “to take their our responsibility (sic) in maximizing presence in the office during the months May and June and to contribute to the best possible output.” It also talks about part-timers who “express the readiness to temporarily return to 100% full time” (question: just for May and June?). But otherwise the Communiqué brings no new ideas.

What for?

Mr Kober, one of our previous Presidents, at some point called for a one-off increase in productivity. When the objective was achieved, all staff in the Office was rewarded with a bonus, on top of the normal step advancements and promotions. In other years staff was rewarded for the good results with one or two days extra leave. Under Mr Battistelli, staff lost days of leave. And it was “rewarded” for its record-breaking performances with a new career system that suppressed step advancements and promotions for a majority of staff. That makes us worry what “reward” will be in store for staff should it reach Mr Battistelli’s mid-year targets.

What next?

Probably the most important question now is: what will come next? Mr Battistelli will leave his successor an exhausted and demoralised work-force, not only in DG1 (now examiners and formalities officers) but all around the Office, and a stock from which the “easy” files have already been picked, together with an Administrative Council that has been mesmerised by “record-breaking” results achieved using sweatshop management practices.

Mr Campinos will have to choose how to continue: either trying to outperform those results or else returning to a more realistic and sustainable management policy. We hope that he will chose wisely.
___
1 Communiqué HBC 03 May 2018
2 There are no longer any agreed objectives. The following paragraph more correctly refers to set production objectives.
3 Presumably « timeliness ».
4 Patent Administration expected to follow the pace despite a serious shortage of staff


They neglect to mention that ‘stock’ is running out, which probably means layoffs or grossly under-worked staff.

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. Reader's Article: Affaire Benalla Strongly Connected to EPO/OEB/EPA and Former President Benoît Battistelli

    A Macron scandal has led French media to finally (and years too late) exploring some of the much more explosive scandals at the EPO, revealing some interesting new details in the process



  2. Language Patent Lawyers Are Using to Warp the Debate and Decrease Public Understanding of Patents

    The patent microcosm, trying to get the public all baffled/confused about the patent system, continues (mis)using words to convey things in misleading ways



  3. USPTO FEES ACT Makes the US Patent Office a Money-Making Machine That Systematically Disregards Patent Quality

    The lingering issues with patent assessment at the US patent office, which unlike US courts isn't quite so impartial an actor (it benefits more from granting than from rejecting)



  4. Guest Post on Ronan Le Gleut and Benalla at the French Senate (in Light of Battistelli's Epic Abuses)

    Thoughts on the possibility that Battistelli will belatedly be held accountable for his abuses, knowing that a senator representing French Citizens residing Abroad comes from the EPO



  5. A Lot of US Patents Are Entirely Bogus, But Apple Was Willing to Pay for Them

    Apple's resistance to Qualcomm's patent aggression was preceded by very heavy ("thermonuclear" by Steve Jobs' description/words) patent wars against Android and even legitimisation of clearly bogus software patents from Amazon



  6. 'Owning' Nature, Thanks to Patent Insanity and People Who Profit From That

    Questionable patents on things that always existed and are merely being explained or reassembled; those sorts of patents typically serve to merely discredit the patent system and courts too increasingly reject such patents (e.g. SCOTUS on Mayo Collaborative Services and Myriad Genetics, Inc.)



  7. Patents Stranger Than Fiction and 'Protection' From Fictional Things

    Fictional things are being treated like "inventions" and insurance companies now look to exploit fear of fictional things (man-made concepts), such as ownership of mere ideas or words



  8. Benoît Battistelli Refuses to Talk to the Media About Bringing Firearms to the EPO

    Benoît Battistelli's highly aggressive approach has attracted the attention of French media; Battistelli has reportedly refused to comment on that matter, knowing that he lacks a defense (same thing happened after he had hauled millions of EPO euros to his other employer)



  9. Patent Law Firms Have Become More Like Marketing Departments With an Aptitude for Buzzwords

    What we're observing, without much reluctance anymore, is that a lot of patent lawyers still push abstract software patents, desperately looking for new trendy terms or adjectives by which to make these seem non-abstract



  10. Interlude: The Need to Counter Misinformation From the Patent and Litigation 'Industry'

    24,500 posts reached; so we pause and reflect, seeing that many sites/blogs of patent maximalists gradually ebb away



  11. Advocacy of the Unitary Patent System Has Become Almost Identical to the 'Leave' (Brexit) Campaign

    The charades of Team UPC carry on in Kluwer Patent Blog — a blog which for a very long time served no purpose other than Unified Patent Court (UPC) advocacy



  12. Open Invention Network is Rendered Obsolete in the Wake of Alice and It's Not Even Useful in Combating Microsoft's Patent Trolls

    Changes at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and in US courts' outcomes may have already meant that patent trolls rather than software patents in general are a growing threat, including those that Microsoft is backing, funding and arming to put legal pressure on GNU/Linux (and compel people/companies to host GNU/Linux instances on Azure for patent 'protection' from these trolls)



  13. Bogus Patents Which Oughtn't Have Been Granted Make Products Deliberately Worse, Reducing Innovation and Worsening Customers' Experience

    How shallow patents — or patent applications that no patent office should be accepting — turn out to be at the core of multi-billion-dollar cases/lawsuits, with potentially a billion people impacted (their products made worse to work around such questionable patents)



  14. EPO is Like a Patent Litigation (Without Actual Trial) Office, Not a Patent Examination Office

    Examination of patent applications isn't taken seriously by an office whose entire existence was supposed to be about examination; bureaucracy at the top of this office has apparently decided that the sole goal is to create more demand (i.e. lawsuits) for the litigation 'industry'



  15. Philippe Cadre From the French National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) Wants to Join António Campinos

    Yet another example of INPI's creeping influence if not 'entryism' at the EPO and this time too patent quality isn't a priority



  16. Links 22/9/2018: Mesa 18.2.1, CLIP OS, GPL Settlement in Artifex/First National Title Insurance Company

    Links for the day



  17. Links 21/9/2018: Cockpit 178, Purism 'Dongle'

    Links for the day



  18. Criticism of Unitary Patent (UPC) Agreement Doomed the UPC and Patent Trolls' Plan -- Along With the Litigation Lobby -- for Unified 'Extortion Vector'

    The Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC) was the trolls' weapon against potentially millions of European businesses; but those businesses have woken up to the fact that it was against their interests and European member states such as Spain and Poland now oppose it while Germany halts ratification



  19. It Wasn't Judges With Weapons in Their Office, It Was Benoît Battistelli Who Brought Firearms to the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The EPO scandals deepen in light of a very major scandal which has occupied the French media for a couple of months



  20. Links 20/9/2018: 2018 Linux Audio Miniconference and Blackboard's Openwashing

    Links for the day



  21. Links 19/9/2018: Chromebooks Get More DEBs, LLVM 7.0.0 Released

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/9/2018: Qt 5.12 Alpha , MAAS 2.5.0 Beta, PostgreSQL CoC

    Links for the day



  23. Today's European Patent Office (EPO) Works for Large, Foreign Pharmaceutical Companies in Pursuit of Patents on Nature, Life, and Essential/Basic Drugs

    The never-ending insanity which is patents on DNA/genome/genetics and all sorts of basic things that are put together like a recipe in a restaurant; patents are no longer covering actual machinery that accomplishes unique tasks in complicated ways, typically assembled from scratch by humans; some supposed 'inventions' are merely born into existence by the natural splitting of organisms or conception (e.g. pregnancy)



  24. The EPO Has Quit Pretending That It Cares About Patent Quality, All It Cares About is Quantity of Lawsuits

    A new interview with Roberta Romano-Götsch, as well as the EPO's promotion of software patents alongside CIPA (Team UPC), is an indication that the EPO has ceased caring about quality and hardly even pretends to care anymore



  25. Qualcomm's Escalating Patent Wars Have Already Caused Massive Buybacks (Loss of Reserves) and Loss of Massive Clients

    Qualcomm's multi-continental patent battles are an effort to 'shock and awe' everyone into its protection racket; but the unintended effect seems to be a move further and further away from 'Qualcomm territories'



  26. Links 17/9/2018: Torvalds Takes a Break, SQLite 3.25.0 Released

    Links for the day



  27. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Helps Prevent Frivolous Software Patent Lawsuits

    PTAB with its quality-improving inter partes reviews (IPRs) is enraging patent maximalists; but by looking to work around it or weaken it they will simply reduce the confidence associated with US patents



  28. Abstract Patents (Things One Can Do With Pen and Paper, Sometimes an Abacus) Are a Waste of Money as Courts Disregard Them

    A quick roundup of patents and lawsuits at the heart of which there's little or no substance; 35 U.S.C. § 101 renders these moot



  29. “Blockchain” Hype and “FinTech”-Like Buzzwords Usher in Software Patents Everywhere, Even Where Such Patents Are Obviously Bunk

    Not only the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) embraces the "blockchain" hype; business methods and algorithms are being granted patent 'protection' (exclusivity) which would likely be disputed by the courts (if that ever reaches the courts)



  30. Qualcomm's Patent Aggression Threatens Rationality of Patent Scope in Europe and Elsewhere

    Qualcomm's dependence on patent taxes (so-called 'royalties' associated with physical devices which it doesn't even make) highlights the dangers now known; the patent thicket has grown too "thick"


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts