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EPO G 1/21 Update: Fresh Allegations of Cronyism Against Campinos

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 8:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Campinos piggybacking
Fresh allegations of Club Med cronyism against António Campinos.

Summary: The Club Med cronyism of Benoît Battistelli continues under António Campinos; people can see this, mention this, and the EPO then censors these observations

There has been another interesting development in the high-profile Enlarged Board of Appeal (of the EPO) referral case G 1/21.

This new development concerns the submission of further “third party observations” following the oral proceedings held on 28 May 2021.

“This new development concerns the submission of further “third party observations” following the oral proceedings held on 28 May 2021.”For readers who are unfamiliar with the minutiae of the European Patent Convention it is pointed out that, according to Article 115 EPC (warning: epo.org link; potential privacy risk to readers), “… any third party may, in accordance with the Implementing Regulations, present observations concerning the patentability of the invention to which the application or patent relates.”

The EPO provides an online form (warning: epo.org link) for the submission of such observations.

Article 115 EPC is intended to allow interested third parties, including members of the public, to present observations about patentability in examination, opposition and appeal proceedings. For example, it can be used to submit new prior art documents that have not been considered in the proceedings so far and to explain their relevance or to give details of public prior use that are not readily available on the public record. Such observations and submissions can be made anonymously.

“Article 115 EPC is intended to allow interested third parties, including members of the public, to present observations about patentability in examination, opposition and appeal proceedings.”According to Rule 114(2) EPC (warning: epo.org link), “[a]ny such observations shall be communicated to the applicant for or proprietor of the patent, who may comment on them.”

In the case of G 1/21, the online form for third party observations (TPO) has been used to file a significant number of anonymous submissions containing various objections to the composition of the panel dealing with the case.

As far as can be determined from the publicly accessible file register in case no. G 1/21 – which can be consulted here (warning: epo.org link) – between 21 March and 10 May 2021, a total of twelve such TPOs were filed [PDF].

Previous TPOs - between 21 March and 10 May 2021
TPOs between 21 March and 10 May 2021

Many of these submissions focused on the role of the former chairman, Carl Josefsson, and his insistence on participating in the procedure despite his obvious conflict of interest and confirmed by the Enlarged Board of Appeal in its intermediate decision of 17 May.

Following the oral proceedings held on 28 May, a further TPO was filed on 1 June under the Latin pseudonym “Non Nominatus” (meaning “not named”).

TPO observations
Are the Third Party Observations submitted on 1 June 2021 being subjected to censorship by the EPO?

At the time of writing this submission has not appeared in the public file register so it is not currently accessible to the public. It has been many days now…

“But what possible motive could Campinos have for preventing public access to the TPO of 1 June 2021? Why should he care about comments made by anonymous third parties in referral proceedings before the Enlarged Board of Appeal?”There are suspicions that Campinos or his minions may be acting to suppress public disclosure of this document. It should be recalled that under Rule 144(d) EPC (warning: epo.org link), the President of the Office has wide discretionary powers to exclude documents in the file register from public inspection “on the ground that such inspection would not serve the purpose of informing the public about the European patent application or the European patent”.

But what possible motive could Campinos have for preventing public access to the TPO of 1 June 2021? Why should he care about comments made by anonymous third parties in referral proceedings before the Enlarged Board of Appeal?

The answer to these questions can perhaps be found in the substantive content of the document which is reproduced below.

A snippet of submission
The substantive content of the TPO of 1 June 2021

Under the heading of “6.4 Further observations”, the pseudonymous “Non Nominatus” begins by referring to the submissions of the President of the Office (warning: epo.org link) dated 27 April 2021 which argue in favour of mandatory ViCos for oral proceedings. Here’s the file from the EPO President [PDF] and PDF preview as animated GIF:

Comments of the EPO President - 27 April 2021
‘Marching orders’ from Team Campinos

He then raises allegations of rampant “cronyism” at the EPO, claiming that Campinos has recruited a large number of his “buddies” from Alicante who have no interest in moving to Munich to work at the EPO.

According to “Non Nominatus”, the attempt to impose mandatory ViCos for oral proceedings forms part of the EPO’s master-plan for the “New Normal” which is primarily motivated by the personal interests of Campinos and his buddies.

“However, the submission and the allegations which it contains might be of interest to members of the public who are concerned about the governance of the EPO.”In essence, it is alleged that Campinos is using the Covid pandemic as a pretext for restructuring the EPO in a manner which will allow him and his buddies to “hang out and ‘chill’ in Spain” while remotely managing their serfs in Munich, Berlin and The Hague.

The original text of the submission is in German which indicates that the author is a German – or perhaps Austrian or Swiss – who is not impressed by the "Club Med" antics of Campinos and his “buddies”.

An English translation of the text is presented below to allow readers to form their own opinion about its content.

I refer to the submission of the President of the European Patent Office dated 27 April 2021.

In this submission the President comes to the conclusion that oral proceedings conducted via videoconference are in accordance with the EPC, regardless of whether or not the parties agree that they be conducted by videoconference.

Most/all of the authors of the other submissions see this differently.

As someone who has DEEP insights into the EPO’s machinations and cronyism, I further wish to express the following points.

The President has hired a lot of buddies from Alicante, who perform just as little useful work as those of the previous President from Paris. These people have left their families in Spain and therefore have ZERO desire to be in Munich. That was also the reason why Home Office was introduced at the EPO and is now enforced and operated in a blanket manner. Simply so that none of the buddies has to sit here [in Munich], but can hang out and “chill” in Spain. Corona just happened to come along at an opportune time.

Therefore I request that the submission of the President is rejected, because he only represents his own and personal interests.

In the alternative, I request that the President be examined as a witness to question him as to whether he is biased and to provide information about which buddies he has employed and at what rates of pay, and where their families live.

It goes without saying the Enlarged Board of Appeal is unlikely to pay any attention to the contents of this submission. They can easily find some formal legalistic reason for dismissing it as “unsubstantiated” or otherwise “irrelevant”.

However, the submission and the allegations which it contains might be of interest to members of the public who are concerned about the governance of the EPO.

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