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10.25.18

António Campinos Just a Quieter Version of Battistelli

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Older: António Campinos Gagging Critics of His at EUIPO

No comments for EPO

Summary: Examiners slowly learn to accept that the new President is not the redemption promised by the Council when it basically rubber-stamped Battistelli’s choice and then made its Chairman, Dr. Ernst, inferior to Campinos (turning from 'boss' of Campinos into his assistant or 'lapdog' — a harrowing memory of the relationship between Battistelli and Kongstad)

BACK in early 2015 the EPO‘s management invoked immunity to avoid having to obey Dutch court orders after it had lost the case over SUEPO’s activities and rights, including communications. Does António Campinos finally decide to obey court orders (like he did months late in the case of ILO)? No, not really. “No comment” is his policy. This is the man who shut down comments after he had been rightly criticised for doing something that was likely illegal in the EU. Welcome the real Campinos. It’s a Battistelli sans the big mouth, one whose tantrums are reportedly suppressed/discouraged from being reported (but do exist).

“The message is clear; the EPO wants more software patent applications.”IPPro Patents has just said that management of the “EPO [is] accused of upholding SUEPO email ban” and we assume that Techrights is still banned in all branches of the EPO not because of falsehoods but due to fear that EPO staff will see refutation of lies (primarily those of EPO management). IPPro Patents did not manage to get the EPO to respond (see final paragraph), nor could SUEPO.

The Staff Union European Patent Office (SUEPO) has accused the office of upholding a blocking system that occludes emails to staff from SUEPO.
According to SUEPO, the blocking system was brought in during the reign of the EPO’s immediate past-president, Benoît Battistelli.

During his tenure, Battistelli implemented a number of controversial policies that were vehemently opposed by the staff union.

A recent meeting between SUEPO and the EPO’s new president, António Campinos, on 7 September was seen by the staff union in a positive light, as was a recent meeting between Campinos and the office’s Central Staff Committee (CSC).

The meeting had focused on “normalising the relations between SUEPO and the EPO administration”, according to SUEPO.

SUEPO said that the meeting was “undoubtedly a fist step in the right direction” and hoped to see more steps to achieve “concrete result for EPO staff”.

[...]

private email address on 25 September. This was allegedly met with silence.

The staff union then proceeded to send a PDF file with the contents of the two previous emails to Campinos’s EPO email address from an EPO email address, indicating that the request was still pending.

SUEPO said that to date, this email has also not been answered. A similar request from the CSC following its own meeting from Campinos has been “equally unsuccessful” according to SUEPO.

“We can only conclude that Mr Campinos’s administration is not in favour of lifting the ban on emails to staff from Staff Committee and SUEPO, as imposed by Mr Battistelli and his Associates,” SUEPO added, “this should not come as a surprise”.

[...]

“The fact is that all controversial top managers brought to the EPO by Battistelli—who are responsible for the deteriorated work atmosphere and work quality—are still in charge. Sincerely we are starting to worry for the EPO’s future if it goes on like this.”

The EPO declined to comment on the matter.

The mask of Campinos rapidly falls off (it has only been a few months and he barely says anything). He’s just another Battistelli i.e. authoritarian who disregards the rule of law and crushes unions. Give him another few months and things won’t improve; if he says nothing, people will assume the worst. If he says something, it will either be a lie (like his blog post about patent quality) or an escalation that invites reaction from staff.

An article by Andreas Holzwarth-Rochford, Dorothée Weber-Bruls, Robert W. Kantner, Carl A. Kukkonen III and Mariana Zaichuk has meanwhile been published (only hours ago). Another day goes by and another law firm (Jones Day) spams/advertises its presence in an effort to capitalise on EPO management actively promoting software patents in Europe, more recently under the guise of “AI” (rather than “4IR”, “ICT” and other buzzwords).

“Patenting Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Innovations In Europe” is the title and it says this:

The Response: The European Patent Office (“EPO”) has recognized the growing need to clarify the rules on how inventions related to, and made by, AI will be handled, and to determine what patent protection exists for this rapidly developing technology. The recently updated EPO Guidelines for Examination, which come into force in November 2018, address only technical issues.

As we’ve been saying here dozens of times, almost every modern algorithm can be spun as “AI”. It doesn’t mean it’s innovative, but examiners will be under pressure to grant anyway. After all, “Papa Campinos” is looking to cut staff (hiring freeze is already in place) and nobody wants to be that ‘pest’ who ‘dares’ (or has the courage to) say “no!” to applications that say “AI”. And just when an outsider reckons they have lost all sense of shame they reach new lows and openly promote software patents again (using the term “CII”). To quote this morning’s tweet: “How to get a #patent for computer-implemented inventions in #biotechand #healthcare? Sign up for our webinar to find out: https://bit.ly/2yu81Fn”

The message is clear; the EPO wants more software patent applications. Just say the magic words; “AI” is “open sesame”. Send in lots of applications and “Papa Campinos” will make sure they’re accepted because quality doesn’t matter anymore, only a blog post he wrote about “quality” a few weeks ago (just like Battistelli had done countless times).

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