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05.30.18

Märpel Looks at Benoît Battistelli’s Toxic Financial Affairs at the EPO

Posted in Europe, Finance, Patents at 11:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Benoît Battistelli the Latest Example of Massive Bonuses Given to People Who Destroyed Their Own Organisation

Financial image

Summary: More and more people/circles raise serious questions about Battistelli’s financial dealings at the EPO

THE scandals at the EPO are greater in number and magnitude than it may seem. Some of them may take years to come to the surface. The USPTO, by contrast, has barely any scandals (we covered one yesterday, but those are rare).

Recently, the ‘gambling’ with EPO funds was brought up again (it happened around Christmas time when almost nobody paid attention). Märpel has just published this long post about it:

Now President Battistelli has decided he needed a blank check to play with that money on the stock and derivatives market. Apparently he did not learn about the toxic loans of Saint-Germain. Or maybe he knows them too well, Märpel cannot say. Usually money lost in risky investments is not lost for everybody.

The Council, in its rubber-stamping majesty, decided to approve the new investment guidelines last December. Lately the budget and finances committee cleared the small details. Interested readers having access to the EPO intranet may look for document CA/F 10/18.

Märpel finds difficult to believe what that document says. Apparently, the EPO is going to set aside “around 250 millions Euros” every year in the next 20 years and expects that the total treasury will reach EUR 12 billions Euros after a period of 20 years, which is lots of money even for cats. The expected long term return on the modelled portfolio is 4,0% and the annual risk is 15,1% of the Net Assets Value, which Märpel understands to mean that the EPO will invest in relatively high risk assets to get that level of return. Märpel’s compound interests calculator also notes that the figures do not match, even if the EPO would invest its complete cash reserve in that risky scheme (2.3 billions Euros) Märpel is short of some money. Märpel also notes that up to 75% can be invested in risk investments (equities, commodities, real estate and “alternatives”), which probably explains the 4% annual return in times when one is lucky to get 0.5%.

Nobody knows what the EPO is going to do with 12 billions Euros in 20 years. If the scheme succeeds (and that is a big “if”), the next-next-next-next President is going to have lots of money to play with. Or will he?

This subject was not too long ago tackled in a series of posts by Thorsten Bausch and recently by us as well. Bausch has just published this post about the Federal Court of Justice of Germany (not to be mistaken for FCC). He said:

The FCJ ordered that the petitioner must be granted access to the entire file wrapper. The objections raised by the plaintiff with regard to parts of the file which allow conclusions to be drawn on infringement proceedings conducted in parallel or which contain information on the designs challenged there were unfounded.

Bausch comes from a different world than yours truly because he works for a law firm, but judging by recent interactions he remains concerned about the financial dealings at the EPO. We’re now just one week away from the massive passage of EPO’s budget (i.e. stakeholders’ money) to Battistelli’s other employer in Saint-Germain. It remains to be seen what happens to all that money and whether Battistelli will be held belatedly accountable after his diplomatic immunity is voided (António Campinos had already enjoyed it under EU-IPO).

St. Germain’s “Système Lamy” and Its EPO Clone – Part 3: Shooting the Messengers and Defaming Opponents

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Firing squad

Summary: How Battistelli emulated — sometimes using nearly identical words — “Système Lamy” and what’s coming up in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, where Péricard and his Deputy Mayor for culture, Battistelli, seem to be getting ready for a large lump of EPO cash

In Parts 1 and 2 we looked at some of the features common to the “Système Lamy” in St. Germain-en-Laye and its EPO clone. In Part 3 we continue and conclude our study of the close political symbiosis between Battistelli and his fellow ENArque, Emmanuel Lamy.

Shooting the messenger and defaming opponents

“They have also showed themselves to be well-versed in techniques for defaming or “smearing” their opponents.”Both Lamy and Battistelli have demonstrated considerable enthusiasm and ability when it comes to “shooting the messenger”. They have also showed themselves to be well-versed in techniques for defaming or “smearing” their opponents.

Shooting the messenger

Lamy’s ad hominem attacks on Emmanuel Fruchard from the Saint-Germain Autrement opposition group in connection with the SIDRU “toxic loans” affair are illustrative of his style in this regard.

“The proposition that because Fruchard’s professional background enabled him to understand the technical details of the case he should have refrained from alerting the citizens of St. Germain to the risks of the “structured debt products” contracted by SIDRU is patently absurd.”In September 2011 Lamy used an interview with the local news paper, Courrier des Yvelines, as an occasion for a public attack on Fruchard [PDF] when he tried to discredit him by denouncing him as “a person who has participated in the design of so-called toxic products”:

“In this affair the Mayor of St. Germain denounces the attitude of the elected opposition councillor from St. Germain, Emmanuel Fruchard (Socialist Party) ‘I find it shocking that a person who has participated in the design of so-called toxic products is giving us moral lectures’, he says.”

CdY Lamy 14/9/2011

Lamy was evidently referring to Fruchard’s professional career as a quantitative mathematician and risk modelling expert which involved financial engineering and analyst positions with banks such as Credit Lyonnais and Lazard Frères & Cie in Paris as well as work in the area of financial software development as Director of Financial Engineering at Summit Systems in New York.

JSG 662, 13/2/2015

The proposition that because Fruchard’s professional background enabled him to understand the technical details of the case he should have refrained from alerting the citizens of St. Germain to the risks of the “structured debt products” contracted by SIDRU is patently absurd.

“Over at the EPO, Lamy’s acolyte “Sun-King” Battistelli has notched up an impressive hit-list of irksome “messengers” during the eight years of his unbridled “reign of terror”.”It just goes to show that Lamy was more interested in “shooting the messenger” than in responding to the problems to which Fruchard was trying to draw attention.

The following year during a meeting of the municipal council which took place in July 2012 Lamy accused Fruchard of causing harm to St. Germain because of his persistent attempts to investigate and clarify the details of SIDRU’s “toxic loans”:

“He accused Emmanuel Fruchard of turning the matter into a “personal fight” and uttered an incredible remark: by saying what you are saying, “you are causing harm to us”!!”

One of the most ridiculous accusations raised by Lamy against his political opponents came in September 2011 when he accused the members of the Saint-Germain Autrement group of “engaging in politics” – as if municipal councillors were prohibited from doing so!

The Saint-Germain Autrement group responded as follows:

“The Mayor accuses us of engaging in politics. Well yes indeed, derived from the Greek word politikos, politics covers everything that has to do with the governance of a community. And we will continue to express our vision and the aspirations we perceive about all matters concerning the life of our municipality, whether or not it upsets Mr. Lamy.”

Over at the EPO, Lamy’s acolyte “Sun-King” Battistelli has notched up an impressive hit-list of irksome “messengers” during the eight years of his unbridled “reign of terror”.

One of his first victims was Bernard Paye, the former head of Internal Audit at the EPO. According to reliable sources Paye was prominent in efforts among the EPO’s expatriate French community to canvass the French Administrative Council delegation against the endorsement of Battistelli’s candidature as EPO President in 2009.

If these stories are true, then they probably help to explain why Paye ended up as a prime target on Battistelli’s hit-list.

“Battistelli achieved international notoriety for the kind of vicious “smear tactics” he employed against his perceived opponents.”Paye’s openly stated opposition to Battistelli’s proposals for the abolition of the independent Audit Committee reporting to the Administrative Council led to his “elimination” as head of Internal Audit and to his subsequent forced assignment to a “fictitious” post as “Senior Advisor planning and preparation of the unitary patent” in October 2011. This vexatious transfer was later quashed by the ILOAT in its Judgment No. 3699 of 6 July 2016 and the Tribunal awarded Paye the sum of 12 000 Euros in moral damages and costs. See ILOAT 3699 [PDF].

Other more prominent and well-documented cases of irksome “messengers” who ended up as victims of Battistelli’s firing squad include staff representatives and staff union officials in Munich and the Hague, as well as a member of the Boards of Appeal.

Battistelli achieved international notoriety for the kind of vicious “smear tactics” he employed against his perceived opponents.

“It should be noted that Lamy — to his credit — never attempted to defame his political opponents as “Nazis”.”The title of one of his in-house EPO memos — “Defending our values”issued in October 2015 [PDF] bears a curious similarity to the style of language used by Lamy in the Journal de Saint Germain. By a strange coincidence Lamy used an almost identical title for one of his polemical broadsides directed against the opposition group Saint-Germain Autrement in 2007: “Fidèles à nos valeurs” (published in issue no. 512 of the JSG)

JSG

It should be noted that Lamy — to his credit — never attempted to defame his political opponents as “Nazis”. Perhaps such cheap and patently transparent “smear tactics” would not have had much resonance in a local municipal political context in France. Or perhaps Lamy was simply smarter than Battistelli and realised the risks of such dubious tactics backfiring as they ultimately did for Battistelli in the more sophisticated cosmopolitan environment of the EPO.

“The SIDRU “toxic loans” saga provides plenty of examples of Lamy’s modus operandi in this regard.”In any case the response of the EPO staff union to Battistelli’s “Defending our values” memo of October 2015 is still worth reading: “Not our values” [PDF].

Disclaiming responsibility for one’s own mistakes

Lamy and Battistelli have also shown themselves to be consummate masters of the fine art of disclaiming responsibility for one’s own mistakes and projecting the blame for any errors and failures onto others.

The SIDRU “toxic loans” saga provides plenty of examples of Lamy’s modus operandi in this regard.

From 2007 onwards Lamy appears to have been in a constant state of denial about the “toxic loan” problem and his own role in the affair.

In the beginning he simply denied that there was any issue to be discussed and made extravagant claims that the “structured debt products” which had been contracted under his chairmanship had resulted in impressive tax savings for the citizens of St. Germain-en-Laye.

Such claims were easy to make because the applicable accounting regulations for municipal and intercommunal associations like SIDRU assumed that such public bodies did not dabble in speculative financial products and consequently did not require the official accounts to include figures for the longer-term projected liabilities of such “structured debt contracts” (that is to say, the so-called “latent” or estimated losses over the lifetime of the loan).

Towards the end of 2010, as reported in the current affairs magazine L’Express in September 2011 [PDF], the competent local public audit body (Chambre Régionale des Comptes d’Île de France) began an investigation into the management of SIDRU and it published its report in May 2012.

Amongst other things the report [PDF] of the Chambre Régionale des Comptes (CRC) found that “SIDRU has taken risks that are incompatible with the principle of prudence that governs all public management” and spoke of “…an unpredictable speculation operation with unlimited risk”. Referring to the consequences of the dramatic rise in the applicable interest rates which occurred in 2011 the report noted that: “From 2011, [the toxic loans] will be transformed into net financial charges, to the point of jeopardising SIDRU’s financial equilibrium”.

The Saint-Germain Autrement opposition group issued a press release summarising the findings of the CRC report and noting that it had confirmed their warnings about the “toxic loan” time-bomb ticking away at SIDRU.

Lamy responded by publishing a statement on behalf of the UMP majority group in issue no. 611 of the Journal de Saint Germain under the title: “Gestion de nos déchets – du positif!” [Translation: “The management of our waste – positive news!”].

JSG 611, 6/7/2011

In this statement the CRC report was presented in terms which suggested that it had vindicated the management of SIDRU! Amongst other things, it was claimed that the report did not put the management of SIDRU into question and that it had “validated SIDRU’s accounts”. According to the statement the CRC report also “endorsed the measures which [SIDRU] had undertaken to secure the two swaps”.

A further milestone in SIDRU’s “toxic loan” saga was reached with the first instance judgment relating to the DEPFA loan which was delivered by the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance (TGI) on 29 January 2015 [PDF].

“Unfortunately Lamy’s optimism proved to be unfounded as the appeal proceedings before the Court of Appeal of Paris ended with a complete rout for SIDRU.”The TGI found that the DEPFA Bank had been at fault due to a failure to comply with its duty to warn SIDRU of the risks inherent in the loan contract. Nevertheless it rejected SIDRU’s request for an annulment of the contract and ordered it to pay outstanding loan amounts of the order of 10 million Euros.

The opposition group Saint-Germain Autrement published a detailed analysis of the TGI judgement on its website and concluded that it was a significant defeat for SIDRU.

Lamy’s response to the TGI judgment was to publish a “puff piece” in issue no. 611 of the JSG claiming “a first victory for SIDRU” along with a “spin-doctored” statement on behalf of the UMP majority group announcing that an appeal would be filed to ensure a final legally binding judgment in favour of SIDRU.

Unfortunately Lamy’s optimism proved to be unfounded as the appeal proceedings before the Court of Appeal of Paris ended with a complete rout for SIDRU.

“At the next meeting of the municipal council of St Germain on 16 November 2016 Lamy was obliged to defend himself in the face of questions tabled by opposition groups.”In its judgement of 4 November 2016 [PDF] the Court of Appeal revised the first-instance judgement to the further detriment of SIDRU and found it liable for all claims by DEPFA which in total amounted to just over 20 million Euros!

The Court of Appeal also underlined Lamy’s personal responsibility in the affair:

“The SIDRU is an informed party to the contract, whose director, Emmanuel Lamy, Mayor of the commune of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, ENArque, head of mission for general economic and financial control for the Ministry of Finance, had all the skills required to understand and analyse the possible consequences of both a strong rise in the Euro against the Dollar and a strong rise in the Swiss Franc against the Euro even if such a scenario had been presented as unlikely”.

In a statement published in the “Free Opinion” forum of issue no. 697 of the JSG the Saint-Germain Autrement group spoke in terms of a “damning judgment” against Lamy: “SIDRU: le jugement accable E. Lamy”.

JSG 697, 18/11/2016

At the next meeting of the municipal council of St Germain on 16 November 2016 Lamy was obliged to defend himself in the face of questions tabled by opposition groups.

According to a commentary written by Jean-Claude Merle, a former municipal councillor of the neighbouring municipality Marly-le-Roi, Lamy basically tried to dodge the question of his personal responsibility in the matter by referring to the collective responsibility of the 15 municipal councils that were the stakeholders of SIDRU as well as the roles of other authorities such as the regional prefect and the regional Chamber of Auditors.

“The public record indicates that Lamy remained in a state of denial about his personal responsibility for the SIDRU toxic loan crisis right up to the very end.”In a further “spin-doctored” statement on behalf of the UMP majority group in issue no. 697 of the JSG published on 18 November 2016, Lamy again tried to suggest that everybody else apart from himself was to blame for the débâcle. He even suggested that the real problem was that in contrast to other European countries French courts were too lenient with regard the “excesses” of banks in such cases!

In December 2016 the Agir pour Saint-Germain conservative opposition group which had become increasingly vocal in its criticism of Lamy’s role in the SIDRU affair published a statement in the “Free Opinion” forum of the JSG in which they deplored the fact that despite repeated calls for him to account for his role in the affair he had not seen fit to offer an apology for his mistakes nor had he even made any attempt to explain himself:

“And yet, in the City Council as in the Community Council, the Mayor having been questioned by our group about his mistakes and his responsibility did not deign to make amends, nor even explain himself.”

The public record indicates that Lamy remained in a state of denial about his personal responsibility for the SIDRU toxic loan crisis right up to the very end.

The EPO “Sun-King” Battistelli has shown a similar propensity to dodge responsibility for his own mistakes and to project the blame for problems and failures at the EPO onto any convenient scapegoats.

“The EPO “Sun-King” Battistelli has shown a similar propensity to dodge responsibility for his own mistakes and to project the blame for problems and failures at the EPO onto any convenient scapegoats.”Battistelli’s preferred official narrative is that he is the “good guy” who has been the hapless victim of a relentless “defamation campaign” organised by the EPO staff union SUEPO as claimed for example in an interview published in World Intellectual Property Review in September 2014 [PDF] (“AIPPI 2014 Battistelli accuses EPO union of defamation”).

EPO insiders can provide innumerable examples of Battistelli’s attempts to divert attention away from his own mistakes and to ridicule or belittle well-founded criticisms of his failures and excesses by independent observers.

One prominent example should suffice to give a flavour of the “Sun-King’s” modus operandi in such matters.

Following the judgment of the Hague Court of Appeal in favour of the EPO staff union SUEPO in February 2015 Battistelli used the EPO’s official website to issue a public denial that the EPO was violating fundamental human rights. (warning: epo.org link)

“Battistelli’s legal “enforcer” at the EPO, Raimund Lutz, can also be seen lurking in the background in one of the photos.”The statement opened with a rather bizarre reference to “a strange rumour [which] has recently spread across Europe in some media, political circles and even with national judges: that the EPO has not been respecting fundamental human rights.”

At that time the IPKat website was still publishing articles on EPO affairs and the pseudonymous Merpel was inspired to conduct a critical review of the EPO’s statement: “[A]s will be clear from her comments … she does not agree with much of the substance of the EPO post, and indeed finds the title quite astonishing.”

A close political symbiosis

The close political symbiosis between Lamy and his fellow ENArque Battistelli was plain to see during the hosting of the annual EPO-SIPO Heads of Offices meeting which by a strange and unexplained stroke of good fortune took place in St. Germain-en-Laye on 5 October 2016 [PDF].

“The 2016 SIPO event appears to have been a “dress rehearsal” for the 2018 European Inventor of the Year Award which is soon to be held in St. Germain-en-Laye.”The event was celebrated in an extensive “puff piece” [PDF] which appeared in issue no. 695 of the JSG complete with colour photos of Battistelli and Lamy and Commissioner Shen of the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office. Battistelli’s legal “enforcer” at the EPO, Raimund Lutz, can also be seen lurking in the background in one of the photos.

SIPO JSG 695

SIPO Lamy and Battistelli

The 2016 SIPO event appears to have been a “dress rehearsal” for the 2018 European Inventor of the Year Award which is soon to be held in St. Germain-en-Laye.

It would appear that Battistelli’s collaboration with the Mayor of St. Germain in such matters is continuing via Lamy’s successor, Arnaud Péricard.

“In particular, the inimitable duo seem to be taking great care to ensure that there is not too much advance publicity about the extravaganza in the local media and in the municipal council perhaps in order to avoid unwanted public scrutiny and awkward questions as to how exactly St. Germain came to be chosen as the venue a mere three years after the event had been held in nearby Paris.”All the signs indicate that the new Mayor, Péricard, and his Deputy Mayor for culture, Battistelli, are colluding closely in the preparations for the Inventor of the Year Award which is scheduled to be hosted in the municipal theatre, Théâtre Alexandre Dumas, on 7 June 2018.

In particular, the inimitable duo seem to be taking great care to ensure that there is not too much advance publicity about the extravaganza in the local media and in the municipal council perhaps in order to avoid unwanted public scrutiny and awkward questions as to how exactly St. Germain came to be chosen as the venue a mere three years after the event had been held in nearby Paris.

We suppose that readers of the “local Pravda” can look forward to another extensive “puff piece” with convenient photo-ops for the Mayor and Deputy Mayor in due course.

The Chinese Patent System Does a Fine Job Devouring China, But Sites of the Litigation ‘Industry’ Are Absolutely Loving It!

Posted in Asia, Patents at 2:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Three days ago: The Patent Extremists Resort to Trump-Styled China-Baiting in an Effort to Destroy US Patent Policy

Chinese Bridge
Chinese bridge. Trolls would love it.

Summary: China works on attracting and creating the world’s patent trolls — a miguided policy which would help nobody but the litigation industry (like Team UPC in Europe)

PART 3 about the “Système Lamy” and its EPO clone (to be published tomorrow) will help explain why the EPO is so eager to imitate China (in terms of human rights, not just the low patent quality). The patent microcosm in the US is trying to do the same to the USPTO. They too would love to see 1.5 million patent filings per year; imagine how much money they would make!

China’s patent system (office, courts etc.) is a laughing stock. We already wrote dozens of articles explaining just why. This system is favourable or useful to patent trolls, as well as very few government-connected companies like Huawei.

“This system is favourable or useful to patent trolls, as well as very few government-connected companies like Huawei.”Yesterday, for example, the patent trolls’ lobby (IAM) wrote about the Chinese company Oppo. “Chinese smartphone maker Oppo,” it said, “continues to be one of the most active players on the buy side of the patent market, with a steady stream of small-scale deals. After picking up Intel assets earlier this year, the Shenzhen-based company has now acquired patents from Sharp and a small US business. Recent USPTO recordals show Oppo obtained eight US patents from Bellevue, Washington-based Neocific back in February. The rights in question cover multi-carrier communications system technology. The deal also includes two Chinese patents in the same technical space. One of the listed co-inventors on the patents is Titus Lo…”

That’s a waste of capital, but Oppo has been on the receiving end of many lawsuits (e.g. Dolby a few months ago). Should they not focus on engineering rather than patent purchases? These aren’t indicative of success but of fear.

IAM’s Jacob Schindler went further, writing about China-based ‘assertion’ (PAE, a kind of troll) in relation to this parasite:

Thanks to generous government subsidies, China’s market for electric vehicles is the largest in the world. Sales are dominated by domestic players, and start-ups are popping up all the time to try to grab a piece of the pie. So far, these new entrants do not seem to have paid patents much attention. But one Hong Kong-based firm appears to have different ideas. Thunder Power (it sounds better in Chinese) has been around for years as a small-scale motor producer in Taiwan. But since 2015 it has been hitting the auto show circuit with concepts for all-electric SUVs and Sedans.

The article speaks of an “assertion offensive,” referring to patents. So instead of focusing on reducing pollution — a very high priority in China (the cause of many deaths) — they will pursue monopolies on green energy/technology and then deny access to it, based on patents. How on Earth is this beneficial? It’s like China does exactly what it takes to price electric vehicles out of reach while discouraging adoption of particular advancements (for fear of patent litigation).

“HGGC is a very opaque entity. Whether it will fulfill RPX’s plan of expanding in China, turning patent trolling there into ‘protection’ money, remains to be seen.”In other news about patents, IAM has this update about RPX, which was pursued (takeover) by patent trolls, hoping to gut it for extortion purposes. Several months ago we wrote about how RPX, seeing little prospect in the US (fewer trolls there nowadays), pondered expansion in China (where patent trolling had surged). RPX was eventually not sold to patent trolls (maybe it turned those down), but behind the paywall there are some details about the buyer and the motivation:

Last week RPX’s proposed takeover by private equity player HGGC passed an important milestone, as the private equity player commenced its tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of the defensive aggregator at its offer price of $10.50 per share. With a rival bid increasingly unlikely it’s looking more and more like a done deal. RPX also made a filing last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – a Schedule 14D-9 ¬- which disclosed a lot of information around the circumstances leading up to HGGC’s bid for the business.

HGGC is a very opaque entity. Whether it will fulfill RPX’s plan of expanding in China, turning patent trolling there into ‘protection’ money, remains to be seen. Either way, China is nowadays where patent trolls come to roost and real progress comes to die.

USPTO Has a ‘Revolving Doors’ Problem

Posted in America, Patents at 1:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Yet more reasons for independent assessment by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) or BoA in Europe

USPTO Revolving Doors

Summary: A newly-published paper (above, paywall) claims to have gathered enough evidence to assert that the USPTO too has been “creating a “revolving door” between government and the private sector.” (like in, e.g., regulatory agencies, referees, judges, politicians and so on)

COVERAGE AT TECHRIGHTS has been so focused on the EPO in recent years that USPTO matters typically get left aside (at least until weekends). But as "CIO Watchdog" occasionally reminds us, nepotism such as the hiring of relatives happens at the USPTO, not only at the EPO. Yesterday it wrote the following:

“We have been told that one SES has accepted a detail. Rhonda Foltz is on a 240 day detail. One can only assume and hope this is first step in leaving the agency. Foltz was hired by Owens and was an alleged friend of his wife. Is Isom next or maybe Newberger?”

The nepotism allegedly damages the morale of USPTO examiners, but they too are alleged to be part of the problem.

“The nepotism allegedly damages the morale of USPTO examiners, but they too are alleged to be part of the problem.”“Patent examiners grant significantly more patents to firms likely to hire them after they leave the USPTO,” Peter G. Klein said (patent maximalists highlight this with similar remarks) and “another reason to bin the entire patent system,” Dr. Glyn Moody wrote about it. The corresponding paper from Haris Tabakovic and Thomas G. Wollmann is new. Abstract: “Many regulatory agency employees are hired by the firms they regulate, creating a “revolving door” between government and the private sector. We study these transitions using detailed data from the US Patent and Trademark Office. We find that patent examiners grant significantly more patents to the firms that later hire them and that much of this leniency extends to prospective employers. These effects are strongest in years when firms are actively hiring, and these relationships hold for the intensive margin of intellectual property protection. Ultimately, this leads the agency to issue lower quality patents, which we measure in citations. Together with other supporting evidence, we argue these results are suggestive of regulatory capture.”

There’s a paywall, so we’re unable to say anything beyond that.

EUROCHAMBRES is an Echo Chamber of the Patent Litigation ‘Industry’ Hoping to Mislead the EU’s Competitiveness Council on UPC

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 1:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry does not represent Europe (ignore the misuse of EU-themed colours); it’s a malicious, self-serving lobbying body

EUROCHAMBRES

Summary: The Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobby shows no signs of abatement; it now relies on closed doors sessions that are stacked by UPC proponents (i.e. those who stand to benefit from a torrent of frivolous patent lawsuits)

THE EPO barely mentions the UPC because there’s not much to say anymore. The FCC can take several years to decide on it and the likely outcome, especially in light of political corruption, is that the UPCA (agreement) needs to be buried, not ratified.

“The FCC can take several years to decide on it and the likely outcome, especially in light of political corruption, is that the UPCA (agreement) needs to be buried, not ratified.”Team UPC — like Team Battistelli — is resistant to facts. Some of these people are literal thugs/bullies. Some of them would not only delete comments but also send legal threats. This is in line with what they do for a living

A few days ago, as scheduled, there was an almost secret meeting/debate about the UPC; as we pointed out a few days prior, the EU Competitiveness Council made it a closed session (Battistelli’s hallmark). No dissenting voices were allowed and EUROCHAMBRES later boasted: “UK ratification of the #UPC agreement should be a trigger for swift realisation of the #UnitaryPatent after decades of negotiations, we tell @EU2018BG chair prior to today’s EU Competitiveness Council discussion @EU_Growth @EBienkowskaEU @EPOorg pic.twitter.com/q9fZllz3cA”

“Who were EUROCHAMBRES speaking for and why? Why was this a closed session? Why was it stacked by UPC proponents?”Notice who’s there. It’s an echo chamber. Team UPC and UPC proponents galore. What sort of debate is that?

“You lied to the Council for the advancement of a coup by patent lawyers,” I told them, and “law has been repeatedly broken. This is why FCC stopped it.”

Bristows (Team UPC) then amplified EUROCHAMBRES. Edward Nodder quoted them as follows:

“We welcome last month’s ratification of the UPC Agreement by the UK as a significant step towards completion of the overall ratification process. We encourage those EU member states that still need to complete measures at national level in order to allow the entry into force of the UPC Agreement to do so swiftly. I urge you to ensure that this message is conveyed and recognized during the 28-29 May Competitiveness Council that you will chair.”

Who were EUROCHAMBRES speaking for and why? Why was this a closed session? Why was it stacked by UPC proponents?

Considering law firms’ spin at the start of this month (we still find new examples, e.g. [1, 2]), we’re aware that there’s a massive lobby, but should the EU (as in EU Competitiveness Council) become an extension of this lobby? That only serves to associate the EU with corruption. It’s not even about the EPO anymore but about the EU and EC (which was also present there).

“rumours still persist that Battistelli wants to become the chief of the UPC (it has already been decided that it needs to be a French person), in which case he basically prepares to take back his throne having burned the EPO to the ground and issued lots of low-quality patents — just what patent trolls need and can now buy.”Yesterday we saw Novagraaf writing: “This last step will also be crucial in light of possible changes to trademarks, patents and designs in the EU in the future. For example, when the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) is finally introduced and when Brexit occurs.”

Never. Stop spreading the lie that the UPC is a matter of time and ‘unitary’ patents are Brexit-compatible. They’re not. Moreover, the UPC promises nothing but an insurgence of patent trolls in Europe. Only yesterday, for instance, the patent trolls’ lobby (IAM) published this blog post titled “German pharma patent troll claims EPC loophole paves a path to gold” (remember that this is the same IAM which 1) denies patent trolls are a thing and 2) denies there’s an issue as such in Europe). To quote:

A company described as a new-style European patent troll has told IAM that it believes a deal with a large pharma company is likely at some point this year. The organisation, which has used a provision in the European Patent Convention to make applications for inventions highly similar to those developed by large life sciences innovators, also confirmed that it has been in discussion with potential investors – including well-known US patent monetisation entities – to help bolster its litigation capabilities. IP Gesellschaft für Management (IPGM) first received attention in late 2016, when a newsletter published by German patent law outfit Michalski…

As we noted here before, the UPC is also a Trojan horse for extending patent scope in the whole of Europe in one fell swoop (overriding national laws in enforcement).

Jan Zillies’s short post on FPC (not FCC) recalls an older case. From yesterday:

The Federal Patent Court (FPC) ruled on the interplay between limitation proceedings before the EPO and a national nullity action, and the circumstances in which a request for a declaratory judgment concerning (partial) termination of proceedings in relation to the limited part of the patent is admissible and well-founded.

If the UPC plot ever materialised (which we strongly doubt), then not only would that make parts of the EPO obsolete; rumours still persist that Battistelli wants to become the chief of the UPC (it has already been decided that it needs to be a French person), in which case he basically prepares to take back his throne having burned the EPO to the ground and issued lots of low-quality patents — just what patent trolls need and can now buy.

The European Patent Office: From Patent Maximalism to Corruption and Gerrymandering

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


YouTube version

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) has managed to become not just detached from the need for patent quality; nowadays it is totally detached from the law itself, having repeatedly broken laws and faced no consequences for breaking these laws

THE EPO is a deeply corrupt and profoundly abusive institution. Just ask the people who actually work there. Assuming they can speak privately (i.e. no fear of retaliation), they will say so.

“Software is software even if it runs on a ‘medical’ device (basically a computer mounted onto something).”Longtime readers are well aware that our original (and sole) concern about the EPO was patenting of software. Earlier this year we wrote about "SaMD" as a new sneaky term for software patents — a subject Judge Corcoran had indirectly dealt with before Battistelli attacked and defamed him. ‘Dressing up’ software patents as “medical device” isn’t a novel trick; we saw that in the US and what’s new really is the buzzword, “SaMD”. Patent maximalists from Finnegan are again promoting this buzzword (acronym for compacted euphemisms). As Patent Docs has just put it, “Cory C. Bell, Elizabeth D. Ferrill, and Susan Y. Tull of Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner will guide counsel for companies in the medical device industry on protecting software as a medical device (SaMD), and discuss the new FDA rules regulating SaMD and how to leverage IP law to protect SaMD.”

This is not OK. Software is software even if it runs on a ‘medical’ device (basically a computer mounted onto something).

The EPO’s silent departure from patent scope does not seem to bother patent law firms. Why should they complain? More patents mean more business (applications and lawsuits). Under “Who’s Who Legal,” some time yesterday Jakob Pade Frederiksen (Inspicos) published “‘Early Certainty’ In Inter-Partes Oppositions Before The European Patent Office,” in which he overlooked ramifications for patent quality at the EPO or maybe he really just doesn’t care (they bill for bad patents/lawsuits too).

Even the UPC was mentioned in there and here’s part of this self-promotional puff piece of his:

Within the framework of the EPO’s so-called Early Certainty initiative, a number of procedural and organisational measures have been launched that will drive parties in opposition proceedings into skipping former habits and developing new ones. Additionally, in consequence of a proposed revision to the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA), which may possibly be adopted in 2018, patentees and opponents alike are well advised to reconsider strategies for first-instance proceedings, as these will be – to a larger extent than before – defining the legal and factual framework of second-instance appeal proceedings.

While these initiatives of the EPO management and the Boards of Appeal will without doubt lead to decisions being reached swiftly, a risk exists that final decisions might be rendered on an insufficient basis, as EPO opposition proceedings are becoming even more frontloaded than hitherto.

The Early Certainty initiative is a terrible thing; it encourages making decisions in a rush, based on little or no information that was thoroughly investigated. It leads to mistakes, such as the granting of patents and then awards to literal frauds (such as Theranos).

Speaking of Theranos, mind the latest Inventor Award puff piece published a couple of days ago in the afternoon. As usual, it is all about Battistelli. We would not be surprised if it was composed (ghostwritten) by his PR agency, as usual. He’s using the event to effectively loot patent applicants and he paints himself as some kind of scientist:

“By combining their respective skills as a physicist and systems engineer, Banine and Loopstra have significantly contributed to develop a technology for industrial use that will help manufacture the next generations of microchips,” said Benoît Battistelli, president of EPO.

Battistelli has no science degree, yet he’s being painted (by his face-saving PR apparatus) as some kind of genius. His ingenuinty seems to revolve around tyranny, corruption, and gerrymandering/vote-buying.

As mentioned last week in Twitter, Battistelli seems to be doing a potential vote-buying tour in cyprus right now (Cyprus has a vote which is equal to that of Germany in terms of weight). Here’s the EPO’s latest puff piece (warning: epo.org link) which is — you’ve guessed it — all about Battistelli:

Ahead of the conference EPO President Benoît Battistelli met with the Cypriot Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Yiorgos Lakkotrypis with a view to strengthen the use of the patent system in Cyprus. Topics included recent developments in intellectual property, such as the role of patent protection in supporting innovation, but also in technology trade and in attracting foreign direct investment.

Battistelli is leaving next month, but the legacy he leaves in the EPO is so toxic that it not only embarrasses France but Europe as a whole. Did he pay enough politicians and establish enough political connections to assure he doesn’t end up like Nicolas Sarkozy when his immunity expires? Time will tell.

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