12.06.20

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The Non-dialogue: António Campinos is No Jorge Campinos

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Part 1 of 3

António Campinos with money
António Campinos is more like his predecessor (who ‘fixed’ this job for him and is mixed into his mug, shown above) than he is like his father, a left-leaning reformer

Summary: The EPO’s staff union (SUEPO) wrote to countries’ representatives (the Administrative Council) about the failure or difficulties of speaking to the supposedly ‘nice’ and ‘different’ new president of the EPO

THE EPO‘s current president, António Campinos, derived much goodwill from his father’s name and work against imperialism/colonialism. His father (Jorge) did not live long and we heard that he kept telling staff about his dad (in personal, one-on-one meetings) as if he inherited something from him other than political connections. One needs to understand Portuguese to better understand Jorge Campinos and his legacy. He seems like a decent person who instead of working to guard corporate monopolies actually worked to tear that down (unlike his son). History lessons from Wikileaks tell us how the US government viewed the father.

Jorge Campinos interviewBenoît Battistelli, a Corsican with Italian name, is a friend of Campinos. Battistelli is right-leaning and connected to very corrupt politicians; and that tells us a lot about António, who was born in France to a French mother. We’re led to believe that António is “his mama’s voice” (like “master’s voice”), who only opportunistically borrows his father’s name for ‘street creds’. Looking at his record prior to the EPO (where he was parachuted into the very top position, with barely any background in patents), we see nothing like a ‘Jorge’. Nothing. What has young António ever done for the oppressed? What has he done to be worthy of Jorge’s tribute? Nothing that we were able to find…

“Political dynasties are certainly a ‘thing’; each and every country on this planet has at least one example of people put in positions of power because of some dynasty or some ‘elevated’ status by kinship…”So now we have a European body, Europe’s second-largest one, run by some clueless man with no background in science, trained to parrot buzzwords like “HEY HI” (as he promotes illegal software patents in Europe, an appeal to perceived novelty), and who can blame examiners for disliking him? The majority of them are more qualified than him to run the Office.

Political dynasties are certainly a ‘thing’; each and every country on this planet has at least one example of people put in positions of power because of some dynasty or some ‘elevated’ status by kinship (offspring, matrimony, acquired by corporate means) and today’s EPO has nothing to show for dialogue except a man with a name (at least in Portugal) and political strings. This is an extension of the nepotism epidemic at the Office; too many people are put in top roles for their friendship, loyalty and sometimes even family connections. This leads to a kakistocracy of sorts.

Last year the staff of the EPO wrote to the delegations of the Administrative Council (basically the people who are supposed to oversee the Office on behalf of its member states). As readers can recall, two of the most important delegations (Dutch and German, where the EPO’s sites are based) are starting to realise that the Campinos ‘pedigree’ is no success story as staff becomes increasingly active, even despite the pandemic. Piggybacking the name of a long-deceased politician won’t be enough to salvage the reputation of Campinos (the son) as based on a survey only 3% (or less) of EPO staff can trust him at this stage. As we saw with Battistelli and surveys conducted during his term, those numbers only decrease over time because promises are broken, censorship increases, and the masks fall off (not in the case of young Campinos; you’d struggle to ever see him wearing a mask! Maybe he thinks he’s invincible like Donald Trump)

Here’s a March 2019 letter sent ahead of an important meeting, roughly 9 months after Campinos had been parachuted into the Office.

19 March 2019
su19010cl – 0.3.1./3.1

To: The Heads of Delegations of the Administrative Council

Restoring Social Dialogue at the EPO

Dear Heads of Delegations,

Mr Campinos took up his duties as President of the EPO nine months ago. We believe it is time to take a preliminary stock of the situation, especially concerning social dialogue.

Interactions with the current President are certainly more cordial and the change in attitude is becoming slowly evident. However, the apparent good intentions proffered by the President since last July have not yet translated into positive results, possibly due to the interference of the former President’s administration officials.

More importantly, Mr Campinos was primarily tasked with restoring social dialogue, in line with CA/26/16. As part of this, it was expected that Mr Campinos’ first actions would be to take serious steps to address the cases concerning all staff representatives and union officials abusively sanctioned by his predecessor (three of which have already been declared as being unlawful by the ILOAT).

Unfortunately, no clear action has been taken in this direction. It should not be forgotten that Mr Battistelli’s concerted actions against these staff representatives not only ruined their lives but also severely tarnished EPO’s reputation in the Public. After nine months of a new presidency, it is not unreasonable to expect that now, more serious and effective actions will be taken to indicate change in the Administration’s attitude towards the staff representatives, including by rightfully restoring the rights of all our colleagues unfairly sanctioned.

We hope that Mr Campinos will now act swiftly to once and for all close the darkest chapter in the EPO’s history.

Yours sincerely,

Joachim Michels
Chairman SUEPO Central

“Preliminary stock taking on restoring social dialogue,” SUEPO told staff, was a mixed bag. “Interactions with the current President are certainly more cordial. However, the apparent good intentions proffered by the President since last July have not yet translated into positive results, possibly due to the interference of the former President’s administration officials.” (similar to the text in the letter)

As we’re going to show, things only deteriorated from that point on.

The thoughts from the Central Staff Committee were generally similar to those of the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) because overlaps exist (similar people). We’ll come back to that or progress to that in the next couple of parts. Any corrections from EPO insiders would be more than welcomed; we base what we write on the best of our understanding, having covered this closely for a long time while speaking to a lot of people.

Let’s get rid of the ‘populist’ myth of António. He’s no Jorge.

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