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11.12.19

EPO and EU: People Behind the Faces

Posted in Europe, Finance, Patents at 12:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When they say EPO breaks the law. So they alter the lighting.

Summary: It’s no secret that the EPO breaks the law and European officials have taken no concrete steps to intervene; to make matters worse, potentially new EPO allies may soon be put in charge of the EU Commission

THE European Patent Office (EPO) has been run mostly by French people in recent years. Battistelli is the best (or worst) known example and his successor António Campinos is also French (born there, studied there, mother is French, has French nationality). Last year we made this image just to make a point:

French EPO

Some of Techrights’ upcoming posts may seem political in nature, but this is not deliberate; it’s the only way to explain particularly obscene (for lack of a better term) aspects of EPO corruption. France needs to arrest more than just Battistelli and ‘Sarko’. It is a national embarrassment and if not properly tackled it will tarnish the national brand and harm France’s status in the EU. This point was explained already by French politicians, who had themselves been worried and repeatedly warned about it.

“One part (number 17) will look at Breton’s connections to Battistelli and the EPO.”
      –Anonymous
A new series about Thierry Breton is about to kick off. “We have been busy working on a new series,” told us the authors, who in our experience have a sterling record. “It’s about Macron’s latest nomination for EU Commissioner, Thierry Breton.”

Readers would be well aware (if they paid attention) that we are pro-EU. This series is not an attack on the EU.

“This is a subject with a lot of mileage and the material which we have gathered has been spread out over a total of 18 parts,” the authors clarified.

We are going to start later today with a teaser and the first 14 parts are good to go. We’ll set the pace of publication according to current events. Sometimes particular issues or facts arise in response to something we publish. We’ll try to take these into account. We’ll listen rather than just preach with our ears shut. “There is still some work needed on the last four parts,” the authors said. “One part (number 17) will look at Breton’s connections to Battistelli and the EPO.”

“A lot of readers in the “Anglosphere” may not be familiar with Thierry Breton although they have probably heard something about Atos where he was CEO from 2008 onwards.”
      –Anonymous
We mentioned these before, but only in passing and only in social control media. This needed exploring and fact-checking.

“We realise that this is a “political” rather than a “technical” subject,” the authors said, “but it might be of interest to Techrights readers judging by Benjamin Henrion’s comment here.

“A lot of readers in the “Anglosphere” may not be familiar with Thierry Breton although they have probably heard something about Atos where he was CEO from 2008 onwards. This recent article helps to explain why the Breton nomination is so controversial.”

From the article:

After seeing his first pick for Commissioner rejected by the European Parliament due to concerns of conflict of interests, French President Macron seems to have doubled down with a potentially even more controversial nomination: Thierry Breton, CEO of Atos.

If approved, this would likely be the first time that a CEO was chosen to join the College of Commissioners, a move more reminiscent of the Trump administration than the EU civil service. There is a striking and massive overlap between the interests of the company Breton headed and the remit of the Internal Market portfolio Macron has negotiated for him, including industrial policy, defence, tech and space. This overlap creates a maze of potential conflicts of interest that would be very difficult to solve.

[...]

Atos has also been one of the main recipients of EU funding from the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (EU-LISA), to build what have been called “virtual walls”. These are IT systems that control, monitor and survey people at the EU’s external borders. According to the Transnational Institute, these programmes use “stringent controls following generalised threat assessments based on biometrics and features, not in the least skin colour”. Moreover such border control systems can also be seen as trial runs for a possible later deployment in the general population.

An internet monitoring system dubbed ‘Eagle’, which was developed by Atos’ subsidary, Bull, is even now the focus of an investigation by the Paris Prosecutor’s office. The system was sold to various repressive regimes including the Khadaffi regime in Libya, Ben Ali’s Tunisia and the Moroccan secret service, allowing them to monitor citizens and journalists. Breton was a board member of Bull.

If Breton is approved by the European Parliament he would now become responsible for steering EU policy in these areas. The mission letter assigned to Commissioner-designate Breton would put him in charge of investing in technologies like “blockchain, high-performance computing, algorithms, and data-sharing and data-usage tools”; “defining standards for 5G networks”; coordinating an “European approach on artificial intelligence and on the new Digital Services Act”; and, finally, building a real single market for cybersecurity”.

[...]

This would not be Breton’s first spin through the revolving door between private and public, between regulated and regulator. He had already previously been plucked from France Telecom (now Orange) in 2005 to become France’s Finance Minister. He stayed in this role for two years. Directly after leaving he took a job at the Rothschild Bank as a senior advisor and within one year he was appointed CEO of Atos.

Breton is a typical member of the French economic and political elites: 35% of the CEOs of companies listed in the Paris Stock Exchange (CAC40) come from the two top universities, which typically train most of the country’s senior politicians and high officials (the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, where Macron studied, and – the Polytechnique, from which Breton graduated), and the Board members of publicly listed French companies have the highest rate of simultaneous mandates in boardrooms among European countries.

There’s lots more in that article. It’s rather fascinating, but we’ve taken particular interest in his past when it comes to patents.

“Because Breton is being lined up by Macron for a key position on the EU Commission,” the authors of our series wrote, “the issue is a “live” one where there is still time to contact MEPs to ask questions/raise objections about his nomination.”

“If the Breton nomination gets approved by the EU Parliament, then that would give Macron and his clique two key levers of EU policy (the ECB and the Commissioner responsible for industrial policy).”
      –Anonymous
There are also familiar faces that are connected to Battistelli.

“It is worth noting that an old “buddy” of Breton’s, namely Christine Lagarde, has already been parachuted in as head of the European Central Bank by Macron,” the authors noted.

“If the Breton nomination gets approved by the EU Parliament, then that would give Macron and his clique two key levers of EU policy (the ECB and the Commissioner responsible for industrial policy).”

This series takes a great deal of work and preparation. If errors are found along the way, they will be corrected. As always, readers’ input is more than welcome.

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