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07.02.18

Asked by the Media Why European Inventor Award Was Held in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the EPO Refuses to Explain

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli’s colleagues at Saint-Germain-en-Laye are also worried about it (too many European Inventor Award ceremonies had been held in France, representing a passage of large sums of money — the funds derived from stakeholders)

Wirtschaftswoche

Summary: António Campinos would be encouraged to look closely at the financial dealings of his predecessor because, as various experts explain to the media, those dealings are illegal and Battistelli’s diplomatic immunity has just officially ended

THE EPO‘s misuse of funds will be interesting to watch now that a former banker, António Campinos, is the President (starting today). SUEPO has meanwhile produced a translation of this article mentioned a little over a week ago. It cites us and it asked the EPO’s management for an explanation. It received none, which actually says quite a lot (evasiveness). We’ve reproduced the English translation below with highlights:

Politics Economy

The Sinister Gamble

The European Patent Office has accumulated 2.3 billion Euro – and now wants to go gambling with the speculators. The Federal Audit Office is alarmed.

By Petra Sorge

Sundown over the Danish Baltic coast. The Great Belt bridge rises over the mirror-flat water, not a cloud in the sky – what a sweet picture of longing and parting, with which the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich illustrates its latest brochure, assessing the performance of the President, Benoît Battistelli: “Modernisation for Excellence and Durability”.

[...]

European authorities, public money, privatised profits – how did that happen? Former constitutional court judge and now patent examiner Siegfried Bross refers to the 2.3 billion Euro fund as a “shadow budget”. This is “violating the fundamental democratic principle according to which public budgetary arrangements must be subject to Parliamentary supervision.” This “financial behaviour” is not covered by the European Patent Convention, the foundation instrument of the EPO, and is therefore “impermissible”.

Munich patent attorney Thorsten Bausch from the firm of Hoffmann Eitle also considers the new investment strategy as “fundamentally a scandal”. He fears that the Office is alienating its resources from their purpose. “The money belongs to the patent applicants, and the EPO has no right simply to gamble it on the stock market”, he says.

[...]

Without adequate supervision

How things have actually been run up to now at the EPO with regard to compliance is demonstrated by another case. 7 June, a Thursday, perhaps the most important annual date in the Patent Office calendar; the presentation of the European Inventor Award. The trophy goes to people who have brought about progress in medicine, energy, and IT technology. And the shindig can cost up to five million Euro, the “Techrights” blog already estimated before the event.

As the venue, the EPO selected a small town to the north of Paris, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Battistelli’s home town. The departing EPO President is Deputy Mayor for Culture. The prize is awarded in the Alexander Dumas Theatre, where according to the Web site, Battistelli is one of the “team”. Pascal Lévêque, chair of the local branch of the Socialist Party, finds this strange: The town council were never asked about the inventor prize event. “The mayor simply agreed to the choice of location and signed on the line”, Lévêque explains. “The double office held by Mr. Battistelli undoubtedly does raise some questions.” No comment from Battistelli or the EPO.

Jurist and former Austrian Patent Office President Friedrich Rödler says that Battistelli has never asked the Administrative Council about the matter of the Inventor Award. There is always “only a notification to the Council as to where next year’s event is to be held, and they’re all happy about it, because they’ll be being regaled in another new town.”

[...]

Captions:

Questionable venue: The Patent Office is staging the Inventor Award in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris – home town of President Battistelli

More and more patents approved: Critics warn of loss of quality at the European Patent Office

“The Patent Office investment strategy is a scandal. The money belongs to the patent applicants.”
Thorsten Bausch, Hoffmann attorneys

The ball is in your court now, Mr. Campinos. Do something about it. Prove that you’re not just a younger Battistelli.

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