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

10.11.18

Friend Brings a Friend, Boss Becomes Subordinate: the EPO Under António Campinos is Starting to Look a Lot Like Team Battistelli 2.0

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Original: English [PDF]

Jesper Kongstad and Battistelli working together

Summary: The new President of the EPO contributes to the perception that the Office is a rogue institution. Governance is all in reverse at the Office because it still seems like the Office President bosses the Council rather than be bossed by it (as intended, as per the EPC)

THE DAWN of the destructive Battistelli era at the EPO is well documented. Kongstad and Battistelli were arranging the roles among themselves. They undermined the structural basis of the EPO, thwarting any sense of reasonable governance in the institution which grants millions of monopolies in Europe. This later contributed to Battistelli’s ability to pretty much select his successor, his compatriot António Campinos.

The EPO nowadays looks like some African dictatorship or a Mafia family, where bodyguards are picked whose behaviour resembles that of terror groups.

“Some are renowned if not notorious for publicly denying that the EPO suffers a patent quality crisis (even though EPO examiners do say so).”With the EPC gone down the shredders, the same old patterns carry on. The EPO’s Administrative Council is nowadays a joke. It’s so incredibly toothless. Ernst, the ‘boss’ of the President (head or Chairman of the EPO’s Administrative Council), is becoming his deputy. Overnight!

Let’s start with yesterday’s EPO tweet which said: “A decision by the EPO’s Administrative Council in 1988 remains the cornerstone of European patent information today. >From that day on, the EPO has worked hard to increase & to harmonise patent information dissemination in Europe. [] 1988 was the year the European patent information policy came to life.”

Now they try to do the same to enforcement/litigation (UPC), but they have thus far failed miserably. Patents as a form of information would be benign; with patent maximalists in charge, however, patent litigation can kill innovation and depress progress.

People whose appreciation of patent quality is rather poor have been put in charge by Battistelli and now Campinos puts people with background in trademarks… in charge of patents. Some are renowned if not notorious for publicly denying that the EPO suffers a patent quality crisis (even though EPO examiners do say so). So what hope is there for imminent improvements at the Office?

“Nellie Simon has been appointed as EPO Vice President Corporate Services by the Administrative Council of the EPO, replacing the controversial predecessor Željko Topić,” one person wrote in Twitter some hours ago. “Criminal or crooked perhaps,” I responded, “not “controversial”. Wrong C word.”

It’s an understatement to call him “controversial” given all he has done even outside the EPO, especially in his home country. We wrote about Nellie Simon earlier this month because we heard that the job had been secured by her if not reserved for her (and the job description tailored for her background/skills, as some people allege). Era dawns for nepotism of Campinos? He is bringing a former colleague, just like Battistelli (EUIPO and INPI, respectively). The EPO tweeted about it after publishing this page (warning: epo.org link) titled “Nellie Simon appointed as next EPO Vice-President for Corporate Services.” (same text as the tweet)

To quote:

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation has appointed Nellie Simon Vice-President of the European Patent Office’s Directorate-General Corporate Services. Ms Simon, an Austrian national, will succeed Željko Topić of Croatia. The appointment takes effect on 1 January 2019 and is for five years.

Ms Simon is currently Head of Cabinet and Acting Director of the Academy at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

The EPO’s Directorate-General Corporate Services is responsible for delivering support services including Human Resources, Information Management, Finance, General Administration, and Central Procurement.

Campinos brings with him former colleagues rather than people best suited for the job, just like Battistelli did.

Next in line? Christoph Ernst, a king of nepotism. The EPO tweeted about it. So Campinos turns his boss into his assistant. Just when you thought that the EPO is a joke it tries hard to prove it. From the corresponding page: (warning: epo.org link)

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, in a meeting chaired by the Council’s Deputy Chairman, Josef Kratochvíl, has appointed Christoph Ernst Vice-President of the European Patent Office’s (EPO) Directorate-General Legal and International Affairs. Mr Ernst will succeed fellow German Raimund Lutz. The appointment is for five years starting on 1 January 2019.

Christoph Ernst is currently head of directorate at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, and has served as Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation since 1 October 2017.

The EPO’s Directorate-General Legal and International Affairs is in charge of European and international co-operation, patent law and multilateral affairs, legal services, patent information and the European Patent Academy.

As Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation he ‘bossed’ Campinos; now he’ll take instructions or orders from Campinos. Makes a lot of sense, right? Maybe if he was tougher on Campinos (or even Battistelli) he would not be ‘awarded’ this full-time job.

Welcome to African dictatorship-type ethical standards at the very heart of Europe. EPO-connected publishers wrote about the next appointment: “The European Patent Office appointed a UK Intellectual Property Office director as the vice president for its patent granting process today.”

Here is the original: (warning: epo.org link) [via Twitter]

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, the Organisation’s legislative body, has appointed Stephen Rowan Vice-President of the European Patent Office Directorate-General Patent Granting Process. The appointment will take effect on 1 January 2019 and is for five years. He will succeed Alberto Casado Cerviño of Spain, who will retire at the end of 2018.

Mr Rowan is currently Director of Patents, Trade Marks, Designs and Tribunals at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO).

Some time this morning SUEPO linked to this article from Ben Wodecki in Munich. To quote:

Rowan, who succeeds the retiring Alberto Casado Cerviño, is currently the director of patents, trademarks, designs and tribunals at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). He will take up his new role on 1 January 2019.

Rowan’s tenure as vice-president for patent granting process will last five years, and he will responsible for the entire patent granting process from end to end.

Examination, publication and opposition, along with all other patent-related formalities will be undertaken by Rowan.

Observers aren’t missing any of this. Some are very critical of these appointments, some of which were predictable (at the very least based on rumours). After a relatively soft piece about Campinos came 5 comments, one of which accused the EPO of “pretending towards staff they would care about quality when, at the same time, they instruct their managers to keep production pressure to reach non-sensical targets.”

By “More of the same?” comes this long comment:

Very good article: indeed during the past 3 months nothing concrete has happened under Campinos

All those responsible for the mess are still comfortably seating at their positions (eg Mrs Bergot in HR, her husband at the Presidential Cabinet).

As shown by IPPropatents recently (see http://www.ippropatents.com/ippropatentsnews/article.php?article_id=6101) principal directors in DG1 practice a double language: pretending towards staff they would care about quality when, at the same time, they instruct their managers to keep production pressure to reach non-sensical targets.

Campinos meets staff directly? Don’t be fooled: this means nothing else but him circumventing the statutory (elected) staff representation (please keep in mind that Campinos has not met yet with the SUEPO Central (which represents only about half of EPO staff).

The abusively sanctioned staff reps whose case are still on-going (eg Els Hardon, Laurent Prunier and others) have not yet been redressed. Several who won their cases at ATILO are still shamelessly mistreated by DG4 despite their case clearly won.

Worse: Campinos even fired an examiner despite the Staff Representatives having asked to postpone the decision since it is very likely that the legal provisions are illegal (more dismissal are in sight since DG4 wants to continue its mad carpet bombing towards the workfloor).

For someone (Campinos) who is said to have a positive track record when it comes to social matters, sorry but his first 3 months are really disappointing!

As a comparison see Air France: a new CEO arrives and within 2 weeks he has met ALL unions and the HR boss (largely responsible for the social mess) leaves the company…

WAKE UP Antonio Campinos

“Cautiously positive” then wrote about “crazy production targets”:

Yes, we are all patiently waiting for his next moves.
For the time being, as you wrote, not much has happened.
Good news is that from 2019 we will enjoy again two days of national holidays (such as the 15th of August) that BB had boldly decided to take away from us (yes, he did that as well). Rumor says that fresh fruits and water (?!) will also be made available for free to EPO employees.

Well, I am afraid that much more than that is expected by Mr Campinos to get the EPO back in track, starting from IMMEDIATE lowering of today’s crazy production targets. Also, several “promotions” are urgently needed for us to get rid of those people who – all of them – are still around “poisoning the working atmosphere” every single day.
Things will become much clearer already after the administrative council next week, featuring the production targets for 2019 and the nomination of three new vicepresidents. Many say that both the targets and the winners were decided (by BB) long time ago. Let’s see whether Mr Campinos is willing to surprise us.
Good luck Mr President. We are watching you, cautiously positively.

“David Dickinson” complained about censorship by the EPO:

With regards to once again allowing comments to be posted on the President’s blog, something President Brimelow had introduced and then President Battistelli had suppressed, for the moment the “facility” remains on the website, but it has not been restored. Always the optimist, I understand that this “normal” channel will be opened again soon.

However, for the moment, submitting a comment just leads you nowhere. I tried in early July and didn’t even get an acknowledgement, let alone a posting or a rejection (all postings are subject to screening). A follow-up enquiry to Internal Communications went similarly unanswered, as did an e-mail to the President’s Office. Finally, it was even brought up in a personal face-to-face meeting with the President, where it was acknowledged that things would (have to) change (hence my optimism above), but until now I have neither seen nor received one iota of follow-up.

I accept this is probably not the highest priority on the Presidential agenda, but I would have appreciated some acknowledgment of receipt of my comment, if only out of common courtesy. I certainly do not blame the President, but I do wonder whether it ever received serious consideration for publication or was simply “filtered out” by some over-zealous bureaucrat.

By the way, the content of my posting was not at all critical, rather complimentary. Acknowledging the apparent opening up of the blog, it wished the (then brand-new) President well and hoped that it was his intention to try and realise his goals through collaboration and openness with staff rather than intimidation and Diktat …

Tamara wrote: “Mr Campinos is following a well-worn path in having “face -to-face” meetings with individual staff. We have been here before, times out of mind. There was the “Broad Consultation” and other similar initiatives by newly-arrived Presidents and Vice-Presidents. I can’t remember the names of all of them, but they had in common an attempt to seem to be addressing staff’s concerns, whilst studiously avoiding the staff’s elected representatives. You will not get an honest picture from a group of staff that either self-selects with a view to ingratiating themselves with the new powers that be, or is selected against for known unpalatable views. On one occasion there was even written proof that the management planned to falsely claim that performance -related pay had been demanded by staff in one such “consultation”.”

Battistelli used the same tricks, which SUEPO complained about. Team Battistelli cherry-picked which staff it can speak to in order to construct propaganda about the working atmosphere. Campinos and his sheep clothing are getting rather thin and people start to see that Campinos is to Battistelli what Fanta is to Coca Cola (Fanta is owned by Coca Cola, but the branding can confuse some people).

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. Links 22/9/2019: LLVM 9.0.0 and FreeBSD 12.1 Beta

    Links for the day



  2. Links 21/9/2019: Plasma 5.17 Beta in Kubuntu, Cockpit 203

    Links for the day



  3. IBM Cannot Become a True Friend of Free Software Because of Its Current Patent Policy

    IBM needs to quit bullying people/companies with software patents; that would help towards appeasement of IBM critics and sceptics



  4. When Patent 'Professionals' Sound Like Children Who Learned to Parrot Some Intentionally-Misleading Buzzwords, Myths and Lies

    With buzzwords like "AI" and misleading terms like "IP" the litigation zealots are trying to convince themselves (and the public) that software is a physical thing and a "property" which needs "protecting" from "theft"; it doesn't seem to bother these people that copyright law already covers software<



  5. The European Parliament Needs to Become More Outspoken About EPO Abuses

    There are few encouraging signs in Europe right now because the EPO's disregard for patent law (striving to just grant as many patents as possible) earned it much-needed backlash from the European Parliament



  6. Links 19/9/2019: German Federal Ministry of the Interior Wants FOSS, Top Snaps Named

    Links for the day



  7. Buying the Voices of 'Linux' People to Repeat Microsoft's Talking Points While Removing Our Icons and Leaders (Calling Them Sexist)

    The dirty games leveraged by several companies including Microsoft target charismatic people who are essential for morale and leadership; these tactics aren't particularly novel



  8. When the EPO Sees Itself as Above European Law, Grants Patents in Defiance of the EPC (Its Founding Document) and Violates Staff's Labour Rights/Protections (International Law)

    The absurd state of affairs at the EPO has reached the point where laws at every level are being violated and even judges are being threatened or vainly ignored; the EU is belatedly trying to tackle these issues, which have actually cost its credibility a great deal and threaten the perception of Rule of Law at multiple levels



  9. Links 19/9/2019: Samba 4.11.0 and Kubernetes 1.16

    Links for the day



  10. Update on Koch v EPO: Internal Appeals Committee (IAC) Composition Still Likely Illegal

    An important EPO case, concerning a dismissed staff representative, shows what ILO-AT and the EPO's Internal Appeals Committee boil down to



  11. Links 18/9/2019: Fedora Linux 31 Beta, PCLinuxOS 2019.09 Update

    Links for the day



  12. Links 17/9/2019: CentOS 7.7 and Funtoo Linux 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  13. EPO is Not European

    Internationalists and patent trolls are those who stand to benefit from the 'globalisation' of low-quality and law-breaking patents such as patents on algorithms, nature and life itself; the EPO isn't equipped to serve its original goals anymore



  14. The EPO's Central Staff Committee and SUEPO (Staff Union) Respond to “Fascist Bills” Supported by EPO President António Campinos

    Raw material pertaining to the latest Campinos "scandal"; what Campinos said, what the Central Staff Committee (CSC) said, and what SUEPO said



  15. Storm Brewing in the European Patent Office After a Hot Summer

    Things aren't rosy in EPOnia (to say the least); in fact, things have been getting a lot worse lately, but the public wouldn't know judging by what media tells the public (almost nothing)



  16. Why I Once Called for Richard Stallman to Step Down

    Guest post from the developer who recently authored "Getting Stallman Wrong Means Getting The 21st Century Wrong"



  17. As Richard Stallman Resigns Let's Consider Why GNU/Linux Without Stallman and Torvalds Would be a Victory to Microsoft

    Stallman has been ejected after a lot of intentionally misleading press coverage; this is a dark day for Software Freedom



  18. Links 16/9/2019: GNU Linux-libre 5.3, GNU World Order 13×38, Vista 10 Breaks Itself Again

    Links for the day



  19. Links 16/9/2019: Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D; BlackWeb 1.2 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  20. Richard Stallman's Controversial Views Are Nothing New and They Distract From Bill Gates' Vastly Worse Role

    It's easier to attack Richard Stallman (RMS) using politics (than using his views on software) and media focus on Stallman's personal views on sexuality bears some resemblance to the push against Linus Torvalds, which leans largely on the false perception that he is sexist, rude and intolerant



  21. Links 16/9/2019: Linux 5.3, EasyOS Releases, Media Backlash Against RMS

    Links for the day



  22. Openwashing Report on Open Networking Foundation (ONF): When Open Source Means Collaboration Among Giant Spying Companies

    Massive telecommunications oligopolies (telecoms) are being described as ethical and responsible by means of openwashing; they even have their own front groups for that obscene mischaracterisation and ONF is one of those



  23. 'Open Source' You Cannot Run Without Renting or 'Licensing' Windows From Microsoft

    When so-called ‘open source’ programs strictly require Vista 10 (or similar) to run, how open are they really and does that not redefine the nature of Open Source while betraying everything Free/libre software stands for?



  24. All About Control: Microsoft is Not Open Source But an Open Source Censor/Spy and GitHub/LinkedIn/Skype Are Its Proprietary Censorship/Surveillance Tools

    All the big companies which Microsoft bought in recent years are proprietary software and all of the company’s big products remain proprietary software; all that “Open Source” is to Microsoft is “something to control and censor“



  25. The Sad State of GNU/Linux News Sites

    The ‘media coup’ of corporate giants (that claim to be 'friends') means that history of GNU/Linux is being distorted and lied about; it also explains prevalent lies such as "Microsoft loves Linux" and denial of GNU/Free software



  26. EPO President Along With Bristows, Managing IP and Other Team UPC Boosters Are Lobbying for Software Patents in Clear and Direct Violation of the EPC

    A calm interpretation of the latest wave of lobbying from litigation professionals, i.e. people who profit when there are lots of patent disputes and even expensive lawsuits which may be totally frivolous (for example, based upon fake patents that aren't EPC-compliant)



  27. Links 15/9/2019: Radeon ROCm 2.7.2, KDE Frameworks 5.62.0, PineTime and Bison 3.4.2

    Links for the day



  28. Illegal/Invalid Patents (IPs) Have Become the 'Norm' in Europe

    Normalisation of invalid patents (granted by the EPO in defiance of the EPC) is a serious problem, but patent law firms continue to exploit that while this whole 'patent bubble' lasts (apparently the number of applications will continue to decrease because the perceived value of European Patents diminishes)



  29. Patent Maximalists, Orbiting the European Patent Office, Work to 'Globalise' a System of Monopolies on Everything

    Monopolies on just about everything are being granted in defiance of the EPC and there are those looking to make this violation ‘unitary’, even worldwide if not just EU-wide



  30. Unitary Patent (UPC) Promotion by Team Battistelli 'Metastasising' in Private Law Firms

    The EPO's Albert Keyack (Team Battistelli) is now in Team UPC as Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP; he already fills the media with lies about the UPC, as one can expect


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

Recent Posts