12.13.20

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How EPO Management Manufactures Non-News to Distract the General Public From EPO Lawbreaking and Strikes (With Help From Paid-for Publishers)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No press coverage about a strike; plenty of paid-for fluff about a so-called ‘study’ wrapped in a buzzword

Action for peace

Summary: With the EPO strike just a couple of days away one might expect the media to say something about Europe’s second-largest institution reaching the boiling point; but instead we find EPO-scripted fluff in dubious publications connected to the EPO and the litigation fanatics, in effect cheering/egging on the EPO’s management

THE EPO‘S PRESIDENT António Campinos has failed. He failed very quickly. Yesterday we wrote a couple of articles to show proof that he had failed within months, not years. Not only could he not restore peace; his popularity sank, he became a 'lame duck', and many people want him out. Strikes under the banner of “enough is enough!” are a belated culmination of it all.

“Strikes under the banner of “enough is enough!” are a belated culmination of it all.”We strongly encourage EPO insiders and outside observers alike to pay attention to the role media has played in cover-up as well as distraction. There are several things they don’t want the public to see; one is the crime and the illegalities, including the Commission's role in it (the second is strike-related ‘media blackout’). How come nobody covered that? Also see the comments here (pretty much all of them blasting CIPA, a longtime booster of Benoît Battistelli, which now supports a violation of the EPC). Litigation firms and media in their pockets are squashing a genuine discussion about these matters. So while management of the EPO keeps breaking the law we’re supposed to not care? Trust those “responsible adults” to sort things out while even the Commission is complicit? There’s this new analysis from a law firm which concludes that “depriving parties and representatives of their right to personal appearance before the EPO infringes Article 116 EPC” (it’s actually in Lexology), but where has the mainstream media been?

Where?

Jorge Campinos and António CampinosWe’re meanwhile seeing no lack of arse-covering fluff; days ago the EPO used puff pieces from Watchtroll (link to this ‘article’ intentionally omitted, as usual) and from the government of China (china.org.cn) to promote some pro-software patents fluff and to distract from the strike. Muireann Bolger of World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR), a person whose name we never saw before, issued this piece of EPO ‘spam’, echoing the same buzzwords salad as the EPO’s: “…smart connected technology, Internet of things, patent filings, 5G, AI, data management, wearable technology, fourth industrial revolution” (clueless nonsense and hype).

This is what happens when the patent office and the media are run by PR people, or “words people” who lack any kind of background in science so they compensate for it by parroting buzzwords.

Those three (above-mentioned) EPO puff pieces were partly inspired by a PR campaign. We can see the EPO pushing paid-for press releases for the UK spin, e.g. in ResponseSource (as usual). The contact is an old friend/colleague of Campinos:

Media contacts European Patent Office

Luis Berenguer Giménez
Principal Director Communication / Spokesperson
Tel.: +49 89 2399 1203
press@epo.org

Oh, wow. It’s like the EPO is a “family business”….

“A study [sic] published today by the European Patent Office (EPO),” it says. Published… just a day or two after notification of strike. Coincidence?

The situation at the EPO is not good; to say the least… as it’s an understatement. SUEPO has promised a whole year of conflict ahead, emphasising that the strike is only the start of it. And read this new comment which says:

When the new president took office in July 2018 his mandate from the AC was to restore social peace. Now half way through his mandate, the only possible conclusion is that this aim is far of being achieved. One could even say that he has failed.

Whilst his predecessor was very distant and arrogant, he appeared friendlier. But this was only a façade and reality hit the staff quicker than it wished.

One wonders what his hidden agenda could be. One obvious possibility is to continue the destruction of the EPO started by its predecessor. This is prima facie the only logical conclusion. But who would profit from it? National offices? The UPC? Those are possibilities, but this means that the EPC and the EPO have had their best time.

He continues to do everything to render the EPO less attractive as an employer. Who wants to leave its country of origin, leaving behind its social security system and pension scheme, to come to Munich or The Hague with the risk of being fired after 5 years, be it in the first instance or in the boards of appeal? This is the more so if a potential candidate has a family. The EPO is not any longer a worthwhile employer.

The recruitment might become very local as at least the family of those recruits will not have any change in their way of living. Other recruits could be young people, fresh from university, and merely coming from countries which have not reached the standard of living from Germany or The Netherlands. I do not doubt their capacities, it is just that recruitment becomes lopsided and this is never good. It would be interesting to have a distribution of staff by nationality, be it in DG1 or in the BA.

On top of this the head of the EPO takes pretext of a revenue gap to further diminish the salaries and pensions. The whole financial study leading to this conclusion is a mere fake and any reasonable person will see that the starting assumptions can only have come to mind in a twisted brain.

Not only have a study by a renowned accountancy firm hired by the staff representation but also a deep analysis by the Pensioner’s Association shown how unrealistic the “financial” study is. The instruction to the firm chosen by the EPO was clearly to come to the conclusion that there will be a deep financial gap.

One of the assumptions is that the EPO, after a 4% fee increase for 2020, there will be no further fee increases from then on till 2038! In parallel the salaries will grow and hence an enormous deficit is foreseeable. Simply ludicrous!

The whole scenario reminds me of a French expression saying that if you want to kill your dog, you claim it has caught rabies.

The problem of the EPO is that the AC does not play its role. The tail is wagging the dog and the immunity given for good reasons to the EPO is being misused and has ended up with a feeling of impunity. The EPO has become a playground for would be managers and their minions, and the worse is that they manage the EPO as it was their property and with methods which go back to the 19th century.

No wonder staff wants to react. One can only support their action. Forcing most of the staff in home office does not mean that it cannot react to what is to be considered as a disgrace.

One thing appearing already is that the trail of destruction started by the former head of the EPO is aggravated by its successor. Is this what the users of the European Patent system want? I would expect a reaction from the profession as a whole and not merely by some individuals. Folks, it is your future which is at stake as well. It is high time to realise it!

John Wooden once said:

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

At the moment the EPO is wasting money on reputation-laundering fluff; it’s a waste of EPO funds and it will backfire. The sooner the media (what’s left of independent media) realises what’s really going on at the EPO, the better, and the longer it takes the more scandals will exist. 4 or 5 years of Battistelli tyranny entailed a torrent of negative publicity for the EPO around 2014-2017, causing the Office to become incapable of recruiting the people it needs.

Later in the day we may revisit the failure of the media, seeing that it’s too occupied and far too busy doing marketing instead of journalism, much as can be expected from a “Sold Asset” rather than independent investigator. It can be interesting to have the EPO audited one day, theoretically at least (if auditors are allowed indoors), to see just how much money was wasted on bribery and blackmail, in effect “fixing” the media coverage regarding the EPO. Then there are bribes for scholars, payments to PR firms, not to mention millions of euros for hours-long annual festivals. Is this what a patent office was entrusted to pursue back in the 1970s? Surely not.

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