01.03.19

The EPO is So Backwards That the Boss Has Just Become Subservient to the Subject of Oversight

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IP Kat will never mention these things anymore because it’s nowadays dominated by Team UPC (the editors)

Mitze

Summary: Just like the EPO’s Boards of Appeal, which are subjected to the wrath of the Office President (in clear defiance of the founding document of the EPO) and people s/he appoints, the Administrative Council completely fails to demonstrate separation from the Office because its Chairman now works for the President

SEEING that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has its own nepotism issues, we haven’t quit covering its affairs. But seeing that the EPO resumes (this new year) the same old agenda, we have to prioritise this.

This is the European Patent Office (EPO) again, for the second time in a day today, promoting software patents in Europe. They just can’t help themselves, can they?

The person who helped Battistelli deny the decline in patent quality is now joining the team of António Campinos; separation of powers? Forget about it! Campinos needs someone to rub his back or tickle his belly, so he has got some roles reversed; Christoph Ernst has turned from the President's boss into his assistant because the EPO lacks any sense/concept of oversight. In the EPO’s own words: “EPO’s new vice-presidents take up their posts” (warning: epo.org link) and here’s the part about Ernst:

Christoph Ernst will lead the Directorate-General Legal and International Affairs, which is in charge of European and international co-operation, patent law and multilateral affairs, legal services, patent information and the European Patent Academy.

Before taking this new post, Mr Ernst was head of directorate at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, and served as Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation from October 2017 until December 2018. He is experienced in economic, commercial and tax law, and also has extensive knowledge of intellectual property. Mr Ernst has represented Germany in the Administrative Council of the EPO and other IP organisations, including the EUIPO and the WIPO.

He had also been involved in UPC matters, so no doubt he can help Campinos meddle in the affairs of the FCC.

There’s a big bunch of dead blogs dedicated to the UPC in an age when even some of Team UPC throws in the towel. Here’s one that woke up again with a ridiculously loaded headline and premise. The question in the headline is the very opposite of what is true, but we can understand that Team UPC blogs try to become active again (in spite of the UPC’s death). The blogger wrote in Twitter: “Now that the EU and the UK have agreed on a #Brexit deal, is the UK’s participation anymore likely and is the coming into force of the #UnifiedPatentCourt Agreement anymore certain?”

Well, the deal and Brexit are theoretical and nobody knows what will happen next, at least not yet; this uncertainty in its own right is a form of blockade or deadlock. From the said blog:

The UK government and the European Union signed the Brexit deal on 25th November 2018. Although the UK parliament still needs to approve the deal, the “Political Declaration setting out the Framework for the Future Relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom” calls regarding intellectual property for “the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights to stimulate innovation, creativity and economic activity“. It also urges the parties to “establish a mechanism for cooperation and exchange of information on intellectual property issues of mutual interest, such as respective approaches and processes regarding trademarks, designs and patents“.

That does not say anything about UPC and the person who ratified it has quit his job due to Brexit. Either way, the above serves to illustrate that several potential issues exist because Campinos gains greater powers than Battistelli ever had; his boss has become like his ‘butler’ and that butler of his may have connections in Germany; we already wrote about the connections between Ernst and the UPC. Will stunts be attempted? Another Lutz (facilitator of many of Battistelli’s abuses)?

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