11.20.20

Inside the EPO During Corona: The EPO is Violating Workers’/Stakeholders’ Privacy and Breaking Data Protection Law (Again)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Organised crime with a boardroom table is still a crime. Why does the EPO enjoy immunity and why does it exercise/conduct illegal behaviour with complete impunity?

Meeting Room

Summary: There’s no respect for the law or for the dignity/privacy of EPO staff; whenever the subject is being brought up there’s nothing but stonewalling and the Data Protection Officer is a friend of the offender, who would be reluctant to oversee anything

WE HAVE already covered countless privacy abuses at the EPO (more than we can recall and enumerate, but the wiki has a whole category/colour scheme for illegal surveillance at the EPO). Nobody was ever prosecuted for any of these abuses. Benoît Battistelli, had he enjoyed no diplomatic immunity, would even face a prison sentence for some of these abuses, which were severe at times. António Campinos is repeatedly being reminded by staff that some of the practices adopted during lockdown are downright and outright illegal; he consequently appointed as a data ‘something’ officer an old friend or colleague of his (also indebted for getting that high-paying job), so it’s obviously just face-saving cover-up, not a genuine effort at respecting privacy laws.

“Later they wonder why people get angry and vote to leave the EU…”This is so typical at the EPO. They commit crimes, then they appoint friends of theirs to look the other way or to somehow justify that. The longer it goes on for, the worse it’ll get. They have the equivalent of crime/accountability ‘debt’; they’re amassing endless abuses and they even bribe large publishers to not write about those things. Later they wonder why people get angry and vote to leave the EU…

Grant Philpott E-mail regarding MicrosoftA couple of months ago the Central Staff Committee wrote: “Trust and openness in the exchanges among the members of the Divisions are essential for the good quality of the work in examination and opposition proceedings. Sometimes, individual team managers or directors misuse information that examiners exchange confidentially during their deliberations, e.g. for reporting purposes. In this open letter to the President, we suggest that the Office should take all necessary steps to ensure that the software is configured In such a way that only the members of the Divisions have access to the written information they exchange during their deliberations. We also have doubts whether the software complies with our EPO data protection guidelines.”

Here’s that letter in full:

Reference: sc20141cl-0.3.1/1.2.2
Date: 25.09.2020

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

ISAR – R.1081

OPEN LETTER

Patent Workbench: confidentiality of deliberations

Dear Mr President,

Trust and openness in the exchanges among the members of the Examination and Opposition Divisions are essential for the good quality of the processing of patent applications and oppositions and the results of the examination and opposition proceedings1.

At present personal consultations in the Divisions are made considerably more difficult due to the currently increasing use of teleworking and the paperless processing of files. To a large extent the necessary exchanges therefore take place with electronic means. The current official software (Patent Workbench, (q/pwb or q/tasklists)) electronically implementing the workflow of the decision-making process in the Divisions provides the feature that each Division member can store in the respective electronic file a text comment visible to all members. In particular, a member can communicate his doubts or objections against a proposal for the grant of a patent in the comment field provided for this purpose.

In principle, there would be no objection to such a form of communication within the competent Division, provided that the confidentiality of the deliberations is guaranteed in all cases (see also Decision of the Board of Appeal, T305/01, reason 5.3)2.

____
1 For example the Enhancing Collaboration (ECo) Project under SP2023, Goal 3, aims to build up an enhanced collaboration system along the Patent Granting Process, promoting a culture of continual improvement and contributing to improving the quality of our products (see Project Description in the Project Brief 3.2.1.04 Enhancing Collaboration).
2 In T305/01, reason 5.3 the Board held that “third parties including a (prospective) opponent have no right to know the reasoning which led the examining division to grant the patent, such right being also in conflict with confidentiality of deliberation.”


Unfortunately, the text comments are not only accessible to the members of the Divisions but also at least to the team managers and directors. Sometimes, individual team managers, being aware of the text comments, have interfered in the debate within the Division and in the decision-making process and have expressed their judgment, for example on the quality of the work of individual Division members. They thus greatly disturbed the atmosphere of trust and cooperation between the members of the Division.

We are therefore concerned that the current software does not seem to meet the prescribed requirement of confidentiality of the deliberations within the Divisions, and that good and trustful cooperation among the members of the Divisions is thus at stake. We believe that this could impair the ability of the Divisions to work and fulfil their tasks properly and also deteriorate the examiners’ confidence in their team manager and/or director. Also line managers could be tempted to take the comments into account for reporting purposes. We also doubt that the software meets our own EPO data protection requirements.

We would therefore kindly ask you to take immediately all steps to ensure that the software is configured so that only the Division members can access the comments and that any third parties, including team managers, directors and others, are denied access. In addition, the software should be amended such that the text comments are deleted immediately after the decision has been made.

Furthermore, we would like to ask you to have the software checked by the Data Protection Officer to ensure that it complies with data protection requirements.

We would appreciate being informed as soon as possible of the steps and recommendations taken, if any. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

Yours sincerely,

Alain Dumont
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

To be continued…

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2020/11/20/data-protection-law-broken-with-impunity/

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 14/4/2021: Alpine Releases and X.Org Server 1.20.11 Release (Security)

    Links for the day



  2. Links 14/4/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 2.7, Tor Browser 10.5a14

    Links for the day



  3. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 17: Jawohl, Herr Minister!

    A French-German co-production of "Yes, Minister!" starring Raimund Lutz, Heiko Maas and Christoph Ernst. Directed by Benoît Battistell.



  4. Over 1,000 EPO Workers Initiate Legal Challenge Against the EPO's Attack on Salaries (in Defiance of Assurances Made to Workers Who Relocate to Another Country With Whole Families)

    The EPO’s attack on workers and pensioners isn’t going ahead without challenge; while the “Mafia” (what EPO workers call the management) loots the organisation it takes away money from the workers — i.e. from besieged folks who do all the work and face growing workloads during a pandemic



  5. Who is Richard Stallman?

    Reproduced with permission



  6. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, April 13, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, April 13, 2021



  7. Links 13/4/2021: FreeBSD 13.0 Final, Slackware 15.0 GNU/Linux Beta Release and OpenMandriva Lx 4.3 Plans

    Links for the day



  8. IBM Stroking the Masters

    IBM continues to diminish its weakly-supported thesis about the word “Master” being inadequate in all contexts and IBM’s front group, the Linux Foundation, has just promoted more of that same self-serving agenda in the corporate media (screenshot below from 5 minutes ago)



  9. The 'Stallman Support' Web Site and How You Can Support Truth, Not Just Software Freedom

    The Stallman Support Dot Org Web site (stallmansupport.org, "In Support of Richard Stallman“), endorsed by Stallman himself, sets the record straight while the corporate media keeps peddling lies and distortions



  10. An Examination of Correspondence Between the Tweedledum-Tweedledee Duo, Lutz and Ernst

    A quick look at the letters and E-mails sent back and forth from the current VP5 and former VP5 of the EPO, Europe’s second-largest institution that the German government has let exist outside the rule/reach of any law



  11. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 16: An Inimitable Duo

    How the efforts to reform the EPO's data protection framework were derailed by the actions of Lutz and Ernst



  12. How the GNU Operating System Really Started (Almost a Decade Before Linux Came Out)

    Later this year Linux turns 30, but Linux is just a component added to the GNU Operating System, developed a very long time earlier based on the design of UNIX (the mainstream media likes to distort that part of history); here’s the creator of the GNU Operating System, telling me his story here in the United Kingdom (we did many clips like these and this one seems very timely)



  13. Richard Stallman: The Other Things I Have to Say I Put on Stallman.org... Reject the Idea That You Have to Accept Something Like Facebook

    Transcript below



  14. An Ode to Dr. Ernst

    THE BUDGET is right...



  15. During Pandemic, With Rising Inflation, Corrupt EPO Management With Its 'Shadow Budget' Cracks Down on Education and Childcare Allowance

    While hoarding and misusing money (by basically granting lots of patents that ought not be granted) the management of the EPO hides it aside, then proceeds to crushing salaries and benefits of staff, even pensioners



  16. IRC Proceedings: Monday, April 12, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, April 12, 2021



  17. In Support of Richard Stallman Normalizing Truth, Reason, Dialogue: Introduction

    Reproduced with permission.



  18. Lunduke: Stallman & The FSF Respond To The Mob!

    A video response in support of RMS



  19. Links 12/4/2021: RSS Guard 3.9.2 and IBM-Funded Hacks Keep Attacking RMS

    Links for the day



  20. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 15: Different Strokes for Different Folks

    Dr. Ernst and Raimund Lutz colluded to protect EPO management from a much-needed investigation; Ernst has since then been rewarded with a do-nothing job by António Campinos



  21. EPO President Campinos Lying to JURI

    Benjamin Henrion recorded today's hearing and uploaded it. “Campinos,” according to him, claims that (to paraphrase) “London [is] irrelevant to get UPCA running” (that’s very obviously a lie), so what we have here is António Campinos lying on behalf of the entire EPO, just as Benoît Battistelli did. Campinos has decided to “have fun,” we’ve been told, speaking of UPCA “upper law” (which is meaningless junk) at around 51:00. He clearly didn’t come prepared and he mumbles a lot. What awful leadership for what was supposed to be the best of Europe’s science…



  22. Supporting RMS With a Meme!

    As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.



  23. If You Want to Support a Real Community...

    We’ve just mentioned the fake 'community' of openSUSE and now it’s time to examine what Fedora has truly become under IBM



  24. OpenSUSE Hates Your Freedom, But It Loves the Proprietary Software Reseller That Is the True 'Master' of OpenSUSE

    OpenSUSE is inclusive of Microsoft and other companies that attack human rights and [cref 141916 enable nationalists]; but apparently what bothers OpenSUSE very, very much is the people who started the operating system SUSE is selling



  25. Links 12/4/2021: Lagrange 1.3.2, Linux 5.12 RC7

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 11, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, April 11, 2021



  27. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 14: The Notorious Revolving Door

    The Benoît Battistelli-António Campinos shuffle left some people in the EPO’s upper management better off; they’re being rewarded for complicity, so there’s no incentive to do the right thing but to do the wrong thing



  28. Links 11/4/2021: GnuPG 2.3.0, Linux 5.13 Additions

    Links for the day



  29. All EPO Articles Are Available Over Gemini Protocol

    For lighter and more privacy-preserving access to Techrights use the Gemini capsule instead of the Web site



  30. Judge and JURI

    The Committee on Legal Affairs, a.k.a JURI, meets the EPO tomorrow (in 24 hours); will abuses by António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli be brought up?


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