04.04.21

EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 6: Dr Petri Starts the Ball Rolling…

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 11:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series index:

  1. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 1: How the Bundestag Was (and Continues to be) Misled About EPO Affairs
  2. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 2: Lack of Parliamentary Oversight, Many Questions and Few Answers…
  3. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 3: A “Minor Interpellation” in the German Bundestag
  4. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 4: Parroting the GDPR-Compliance Myth
  5. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 5: The Federal Eagle’s Disconcerting Metamorphosis
  6. You are here ☞ Dr Petri Starts the Ball Rolling…

Dr Thomas Petri

Summary: Our story begins with a letter from the Bavarian Data Protection Commissioner in May 2014

The events which form the focus of the present series began to unfold back in April 2014 when a member of the public requested the Bavarian State Data Protection Commissioner, Dr Thomas Petri, to investigate the EPO‘s data protection framework.

Dr Petri took up the matter and came to the conclusion that the EPO’s data protection framework was not fit for purpose.

“Dr Petri took up the matter and came to the conclusion that the EPO’s data protection framework was not fit for purpose.”In particular he found [PDF] that there was no independent supervisory authority which could supervise compliance with data protection regulations at the EPO. This basically meant that “data subjects” had no effective means of enforcing their rights under data protection law.

However, Petri’s examination of the legal situation noted that the authorised contracting party to the European Patent Convention was the Federal Republic of Germany, not the regional states (“Länder”).

This meant that the deficient character of the EPO’S data protection framework was an issue that he could not pursue on his own.

It would need to be taken up at a national level by the competent national data protection authority, namely the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (German abbreviation “BfDI”).

“In August 2014, Voßhoff proceeded to contact the Justice BMJV to draw the Minister’s attention to the matter and to propose the establishment of an independent data supervisory authority for the EPO.”Following the conclusion of his investigation, Dr Petri, contacted his counterpart at federal level, the BfDI’s Ms Andrea Voßhoff, in a letter dated 5 May 2014 [PDF] in which he summarised his findings and expressed his concerns.

In particular, Petri proposed that the BfDI should “work towards the establishment of a data protection supervision at the European Patent Office by a fully independent oversight body.” He noted that the competent government ministry was the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV).

Ms Voßhoff concurred with Dr Petri’s legal assessment of the situation his concerns on the issue of independent data protection supervision at the EPO.

In August 2014, Voßhoff proceeded to contact the Justice BMJV to draw the Minister’s attention to the matter and to propose the establishment of an independent data supervisory authority for the EPO. The Minister for Justice at the time in question was Heiko Maas of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD).

The BMJV responded to Ms Voßhoff’s communication in November 2014 [PDF].

“Hubig explained that Germany could not unilaterally pursue reform of the EPO’s data protection framework because of the EPO’s “autonomous” status in international law and the fact that institutional questions were regulated in a multilateral treaty, the European Patent Convention (EPC).”The response was issued by Dr Stefanie Hubig, an SPD party member and State Secretary (“Staatssekretär”) at the BMJV reporting directly to the Minister Heiko Maas.

Hubig’s response is full of the usual pious platitudes about data protection being “an extremely important issue for the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection” and the typical waffle and hand-waving about how “the BMJV is committed to high data protection standards and their constant further development on many levels.”

Hubig explained that Germany could not unilaterally pursue reform of the EPO’s data protection framework because of the EPO’s “autonomous” status in international law and the fact that institutional questions were regulated in a multilateral treaty, the European Patent Convention (EPC).

According to the BMJV, any revision of the EPC would require a diplomatic conference of all contracting states, “a time-consuming procedure by means of which changes cannot be implemented in the short term.”

The letter ended with the standard run-of-the-mill assurance that “the BMJV will continue to work within the framework of the EPOrg to ensure that high data protection standards and an independent data protection structure are maintained and further developed.”

“At that point it seemed as if the EPO file had been consigned to the BfDI’s archives – at least as far as the German authorities were concerned – and that nothing further was likely to happen at a national level in the foreseeable future.”In December 2014 Ms Voßhof wrote back [PDF] to Dr Petri to inform him of the BMJV’s response.

She noted with regret that the BMJV did not take up her proposal to establish an independent external data protection supervisory authority over the EPO by amending the European Patent Convention (EPC) because of the necessity to convince a diplomatic conference of all 38 contracting states.

Ms Voßhoff described the BMJV’s reluctance to push for a review of the matter within the EPO as “regrettable but understandable” in view of the large number of countries that would have to be engaged and convinced.

Because of the lack of uptake on the part of the BMJV, Ms Voßhoff thought that an approach that addressed many member states of the EPC simultaneously was likely to be more effective.

For this reason she proposed to raise the issue of independent data protection oversight of the EPO at EU level “within the framework of the [EU] Article 29 Working Group in Brussels”, an advisory body of the EU made up of a representative from the data protection authority of each EU Member State, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the European Commission.

Voßhoff took the view that “a letter from the chair of the Working Group to the EDPS could provide the necessary European impetus for an amendment of the EPC.”

At that point it seemed as if the EPO file had been consigned to the BfDI’s archives – at least as far as the German authorities were concerned – and that nothing further was likely to happen at a national level in the foreseeable future.

However, as we shall see in the next part, not long afterwards in June 2015 the BfDI was prompted dust off the file following revelations in the press about unauthorised covert surveillance activities by Battistelli‘s Pinkertons, the notorious EPO "Investigative Unit".

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/2021/04/04/bundestagate-part-6/

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

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

What Else is New


  1. Richard Stallman Vilified by Those Who Don't Know Him, Says Sylvia Paull

    Republished "In Support of Richard Stallman"



  2. [Meme] Linux Foundation Can't Use Linux

    Two examples from yesterday, highlighting what a bunch of hypocrites run the marketing operation now disguised as ‘research’; Jason Perlow from Microsoft signed/published this newsletter highlight from the failing “Linux” Foundation — a foundation that calls itself “Linux” while its newsletter is still hosted by Microsoft Windows+proprietary IIS and this latest report is made with proprietary software on a Mac



  3. [Meme] Haters Gonna Hate, Don't Apologise to a Libelling Mob

    As was already pointed out before, you cannot appease a mob by talking back to it, certainly not by issuing an apology (putting oneself in a position of weakness)



  4. What the EPO Has 'Normalised' in Europe...

    Under the cover of 'new normal', Europe's second-largest institution crushes the law and crushes its own staff



  5. Lots of Information in Sight, But Minimal Distraction

    How I keep focused on reading and writing whilst at the same time keeping an eye on important incidents, such as DDOS attacks and urgent messages coming in



  6. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, April 16, 2021



  7. Hate Letter Against FSF (Concern Trolls): 1415 Committers, Letter in Support of FSF (With Its Founder Back): 5116

    Taking into account people who asked for their names to be removed from the defamatory hate letter (inciting people, based on falsehoods), it's not impossible that the support letter really triples or quadruples it in terms of number of signatures



  8. Richard Stallman: Sharing is Good... We Need to Legalise It

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains his take on copyright and the artificial restriction being used against sharing



  9. Nadine Strossen and Hannah Wolfman-Jones Rebut Accusations Against Stallman and Choose Him as Coauthor

    "Here are her thoughts and the response she received from Nadine, extracted verbatim with their permission from the original article"



  10. Links 17/4/2021: GNOME 40 in Tumbleweed, Devuan 4.0 Alpha, Kate Editor Makes a Leap

    Links for the day



  11. EPO Staff Union Takes the EPO 'to Court' (the ILO's Tribunal, as the EPO Cannot be Taken to a Proper Court)

    The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) Committees are preparing a legal battle over unlawful and unjust measures taken collectively against hard-working (overworked during pandemic) members of staff; the European public should support them



  12. The Latest Anti-RMS Coup Attempt Targets the GNU Project (Because the FSF Coup Has Clearly Failed) by Infringing and Disregarding Trademark Conventions

    A fake "GNU" (not the original GNU, just riding the coattails of the name "GNU") is trying to find/gain traction and we must oppose it because it's an extension of the very same coup attempt (same plotters) that manufactured a whole bunch of libel to incite people and blackmail the Free Software Foundation (FSF)



  13. Links 16/4/2021: Mozilla Dumping FTP, Corporations Still Concern-Trolling FSF

    Links for the day



  14. The EFF Attacks Software Freedom and Promotes Fake Privacy Linked to Microsoft

    Only weeks after attacking Software Freedom (the ad hominem way, which is easier) the EFF endorses a Microsoft-linked privacy abuse, misframing it as some sort of privacy champion



  15. Richard Stallman on How Corporate Media Limits What People Are Allowed to Think and Say (Updated)

    What the founder of the FSF told yours truly a number of years ago about the behaviour of corporate (funded and controlled by corporations) media



  16. Exposing Hard Truths is the First Step or the Path Towards Justice

    A reflection and a moment taken to set aside tribalism (shallow differences based on allegiances of personal comfort), for we need look back at actual facts — however inconvenient at times — and consider the reality of the situation



  17. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 15, 2021



  18. [Meme] Laundering Bribes as 'Cooperation Money'

    Germany has financial interest in ensuring that EPO abuses carry on and nobody holds the EPO accountable



  19. Articles in Support of Richard Stallman

    Reproduced with permission



  20. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 20: Taking Stock

    Benoît Battistelli's legacy at the EPO is a legacy of corruption and cover-up; we take stock of how illegality was defended and persists to this day



  21. Links 15/4/2021: Zorin OS 16 Beta and Pushing Linux to GitHub- and Microsoft-Connected Rust

    Links for the day



  22. [Meme] Enemies With Common Interests

    The Software Freedom Movement (or Free Software Movement) has many enemies; some of them just hide in the shadows or speak out through shadowy front groups/NGOs that they semi-officially sponsor



  23. [Meme] Germany's Red Cash Cow

    EPO brings a lot of money to the German state. But at what cost to citizens and Germany’s public image?



  24. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 19: The Deafening Silence of the Media

    "There has been speculation that Maas might have had his own political interest in protecting Battistelli and the Balkan Express because of certain allegations about financial irregularities involving the German Patents and Trademark Office (DPMA) which were doing the rounds at the time."



  25. The Indirection Game

    How to attack institutions and concepts by personifying them, then proceeding to character assassination based on lies and deliberate distortions



  26. Links 15/4/2021: LXQt 0.17, Proxmox Backup Server 1.1

    Links for the day



  27. The Patent Battles in Europe Are Connected to the War on GNU/Linux (as a Community-Led Effort)

    Monoplisers of GNU and Linux want us to think that OIN is the solution while they actively lobby for software patents in Europe and the people in charge of Europe’s second-largest institution and Europe’s largest patent office help them; this long video contains thoughts about news from the past couple of days



  28. Richard Stallman: Freedom is the Goal (Updated)

    What Richard Stallman (RMS) told me in person on his trip here



  29. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 14, 2021



  30. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 18: Zero Tolerance for “Lawless Zones”?

    "It comes as no surprise that Maas appeared as a guest of honour at the European Inventor of the Year Boondoggle in Berlin in 2014 where he was seen on stage clapping along with the EPO President."


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