10.05.19

Corruption on Every Level Persists at the European Patent Office

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

This French ‘cabal’ holds nobody accountable and not even once did Campinos undo a Battistelli policy

From left to right: Benoît Battistelli, President of the EPO; Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services; Antonio Campinos, President of OHIM

Summary: Management of the European Patent Office (EPO) wants us to think that everything is rosy, but virtually none of the issues have been addressed since António Campinos replaced Battistelli 15 months ago

SOME PEOPLE in European media like to believe — or at least to pretend — that there’s nothing to see in EPOnia any longer. “Move along, people, nothing to see here…”

Some EPO workers like to believe that things will improve; few believe things have already improved (there’s no evidence to that effect except long periods of silence).

Here at Techrights we try to be realistic, so our ideological foes view that as “subjectivity”; apparently pointing out pertinent facts makes one “subjective” and to ignore what goes on at EPOnia makes one “objective”…

“Why is the media removing articles about it? Whose instructions are followed and why?”The lack of communication and honest, frank, sincere transparency is hurting the EPO. Months ago the EPO outsourced a lot of work to a large and notorious private company. That was Serco. Virtually all articles about this have been revoked except this PDF on Serco’s own site. Already-published press releases and articles vanished from the Web. No explanation was given. We feel like we should at least ask ourselves, will the EPO going private (Serco) and ‘undercover’ (secrecy associated with the contract) make it easier for EPOnia to get away with crimes (at a corporate level)? Will the EPO ever ‘come clean’ and was it ever explained to staff (the nature of the Serco contract)? Why is the media removing articles about it? Whose instructions are followed and why?

As we stated this morning, we’re going to become more sceptical of the media because it’s failing — sometimes deliberately — to do its job.

Yesterday the Battistelli-friendly “Kluwer Patent blogger” repeated uncritically ludicrous claims from the so-called 'study' along with SUEPO’s claims. SUEPO soon linked to it, perhaps as it helped highlight staff’s grievances. Nothing has concretely changed at the EPO which is crushing staff, obliterating patent quality, and this is fifteen months after Campinos came. His administration keeps breaking the law every single day with impunity.

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) and SUEPO are mentioned as follows (if anyone reading it has the original document, please pass us a copy):

While the EPO published a report late September about the importance of intellectual property rights for the European economy, internally meetings were held by EPO president António Campinos both with the Central Staff Committee and representatives of trade union SUEPO to normalize relations between staff and management. Campinos announced several encouraging measures. Still, there is little confidence of real change. Ahead of the meeting of the EPO’s Administrative Council, next week in Munich, SUEPO called for the implementation of ‘seventeen measures to restore staff’s trust and engagement and ensure long-term financial health’.

[...]

Also last month, president Campinos held meetings with the Central Staff Committee (CSC) and the SUEPO about the dire social climate at the EPO, a legacy of former president Benoit Battistelli. Fourteen months after Campinos took office, many feel let down by him. In their eyes, he has done nothing to improve things, for instance for staff and union representatives who were harshly sanctioned by Battistelli for very questionable reasons. Last year, a staff survey showed many employees don’t trust the senior management.

[...]

The 17 points from SUEPO concern issues varying from production pressure and quality, temporal contracts, sickness and pension regulations, to the functioning of staff committees and unions, and – again – the unsolved cases of disciplinary actions against representatives who were downgraded or fired.

It has been 15 months. Campinos is obviously not interested in defying any of Battistelli’s wishes. What has he ever done to undo Battistelli’s legacy? These people are friends and their agenda is the same. Remember how they put Christian Archambeau in charge of the EUIPO. “EU News” reports on Archambeau meeting Gurry, the thug whose abuses are similar to Battistelli’s. He has just met the man who ‘arranged’ his job with Campinos and Battistelli, based on internal rumours. To quote: “The meetings enabled the EUIPO to reach out to 73 IP offices in total, including candidate and potential candidate countries, TM5 and ID5 partners, and other regions of the world with which the EUIPO has bilateral cooperation agreements or with which cooperation activities will soon be launched. These 73 IP offices represent overall 23.92 % of all EUTMs and 14.06 % of all RCDs, respectively.”

Then came this:

The meetings gathered 160 experts from intellectual property offices of the EU, user associations, the European Patent Office (EPO), and the EUIPO.

The working groups reviewed the progress made on 9 different European Cooperation projects, including the New Tools project on Decision Desktop and Academy eLearning Portal, the Shared Services and Practices (CP8, CP11 and CP12), the European Network of Authenticities, and the major improvements to the existing tools, in which the new beta version of TMview was presented.

Notice that first sentence. So the EPO is breaking the law and EU officials aren’t stopping this violation of the law, only issuing mere statements on the subject (softly-worded condemnations). The EPO insists it’s not part of the EU, hence above the directives that come from the EU. But here we see the EPO in bed with EU agencies like EUIPO, whose chief is a former EPO Vice-President. These two agencies are very much connected. In fact, as recently as yesterday the EPO cited its collaboration with EUIPO when it said: “One in three jobs in Europe are in industries that make intensive use of intellectual property rights like patents, trade marks, designs and copyright.”

“So the EPO is breaking the law and EU officials aren’t stopping this violation of the law, only issuing mere statements on the subject (softly-worded condemnations).”Aside from the fact that copyrights are not the domain of the EPO, this statement is pretty meaningless. To highlight how foolish a statement it is (false connection and causality) we say that three in three jobs in Europe are in industries that have on-site lavatories, hence toilet breaks are the drivers of business success! Right? That’s the logic here…

What they really strive to accomplish or to get here is a state of unregulated operations with blind faith from Parliament; as in, let us do as we wish or else businesses will suffer. This is how they justify patent maximalism and other sordid policies. They’re also making up buzzwords, paying the media to repeat those buzzwords, and then claiming a “growth” (in those buzzwords or patents associated with those buzzwords); it corrupts the media and distorts truth.

“What they really strive to accomplish or to get here is a state of unregulated operations with blind faith from Parliament; as in, let us do as we wish or else businesses will suffer.”Then they prop up trolls’ front groups like this one which said (soon to be retweeted by EPO): “Fourth Industrial Revolution-intensive industries account for 1.9% of total EU employment and 3.9% of EU GDP in 2014-16, says latest @EPOorg- @EU_IPO report”

That’s a meaningless buzzword, just like that inane ‘study’ which even IP Kat ridiculed. They never comment on the EPO’s collaboration with patent trolls’ front groups like LESI. This is today’s EPO (another example from yesterday). It’s actively harming Europe and lawyers don’t seem to mind because they can profit from this harm. Moreover, the EPO is still googlebombing “SMEs” every other day (example from yesterday) to distract from the EPO's real impact on SMEs.

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