09.02.21

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EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XI – With a Little Help From My Friends…

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series index:

  1. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part I – More Captured Delegates?
  2. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part II – Old Wine in New Bottles…
  3. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part III – Introducing the Finnish “Facilitator”
  4. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part IV – Martti Enäjärvi and His “Good Brother” Networks
  5. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part V – A Man With a Conviction…
  6. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VI – “A Good Friend of Estonia and a Steady Cooperation Partner”
  7. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VII – A Self-Appointed “Select Committee”
  8. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VIII – Pulling for the Portuguese Pretender?
  9. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part IX – António’s Faithful Acolyte in Alicante
  10. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part X – A Pan-European “Good Brother” Network Celebration?
  11. You are here ☞ With a Little Help From My Friends…

Martti Enäjärvi in Latvia
EUIPO “Special Advisor” Martti Enäjärvi giving “a comprehensive insight into the effective protection of intellectual property rights in Europe” at the Latvian Patent Office in February 2018.

Summary: Having a convicted fraudster as a guest of honour at events and “Special Advisor to the Executive Director” is seen as a good idea by EUIPO; this shows that in this "Big Club" one can commit fraud and still be involved in public duties, so it harms the image of the European Union

In the last part we covered the ceremony held in Tallinn in March 2012 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Estonian Patent Office.

One of the most noteworthy side-shows at this ceremony was the appearance of Martti Enäjärvi as a guest speaker.

“But apparently nobody was concerned about the potential reputational damage that might result from publicly associating with a convicted credit card fraudster.”Only a couple of months previously in December 2011, Enäjärvi had been found guilty of fraudulent credit card use by the District Court of Helsinki.

Under the given circumstances, you would think that he might have preferred to lie low rather than to parade himself in public or that other members of his peer group might have been inclined to keep their distance from him.

But apparently nobody was concerned about the potential reputational damage that might result from publicly associating with a convicted credit card fraudster.

“At first glance, Enäjärvi’s advanced age – he was 70 in 2012 – and his criminal record would seem to be insurmountable obstacles to further employment following his forced “retirement” from the Finnish PRH in August 2010.”Indeed, even after Enäjärvi’s conviction had been confirmed by the appeal court in December 2012 his former buddies remained loyal and didn’t treat him as a pariah or an outcast.

At first glance, Enäjärvi’s advanced age – he was 70 in 2012 – and his criminal record would seem to be insurmountable obstacles to further employment following his forced “retirement” from the Finnish PRH in August 2010.

But if that’s what you thought, then you would have been seriously mistaken.

On the contrary, far from being abandoned and dumped on the scrapheap, Enäjärvi ended up with a cushy little sinecure at the OHIM/EUIPO where he was awarded a position alternatively billed as “Special Advisor to the President” or “Special Advisor to the Executive Director” (of EUIPO).

His first public appearance in this new role seems to have been in September 2012 at the VIII International Symposium on Intellectual Property in Innovative Economy.

Martti Enäjärvi in Poland
Following “retirement” from the Finnish PRH, Enäjärvi was a guest speaker at a number of International Symposia organised by the Polish Patent Office in collaboration with WIPO.

“Margot Fröhlinger was also present which suggests that the 2011 event was intended to promote the UPC.”The International Symposium on Intellectual Property in Innovative Economy is or was an event organised by the Polish Patent Office in collaboration with WIPO. The first Symposium was held in September 2004 and after that it became an annual event. The venue was the Collegium Novum, the neo-gothic main building of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

In 2011, the VII International Symposium held on 7 to 9 September was a major affair attended by “global IP” heavyweights, including WIPO’s Francis Gurry, the EPO‘s Benoît Battistelli and OHIM’s António Campinos. Margot Fröhlinger was also present which suggests that the 2011 event was intended to promote the UPC.

Krakow UPC lobbying
The 2011 International Symposium hosted by the Polish Patent Office in Krakow in collaboration with WIPO was attended by Francis Gurry (WIPO), Benoit Battistelli (EPO), and António Campinos (OHIM/EUIPO).

Enäjärvi was in the audience at the 2011 Symposium as a guest in his capacity as “former Director-General of the Finnish PRH”.

Krakow: Fabrice Claireau
Enäjärvi speaking to Fabrice Claireau (French INPI) at the 2011 International Symposium hosted by the Polish Patent Office in Krakow.

The following year, Enäjärvi appeared at the VIII International Symposium held on 6-7 September 2012 [PDF].

“…he was a speaker rather than just an attendee.”But this time he was in a new role – namely, “Special Advisor to the Executive Director of OHIM” – and he was a speaker rather than just an attendee.

Enäjärvi’s contribution to the 2012 Symposium was recorded in the official gazette of the Polish Patent Office as follows (emphasis added):

Two day sessions were summarized by the former president of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office and now adviser to the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) Martti Enäjärvi. He highlighted that education should lie at the basis of all initiatives and efforts connected with financing of innovation and commercialization of exclusive rights. Only with suitable knowledge one can effectively use the IP protection system. “If you think that education is expensive you should first check how much ignorance costs” – he concluded.

Two years later, Enäjärvi was back in Krakow at the X International Symposium which took place on 4-5 September 2014 [PDF]. On this occasion his contribution was to deliver a talk entitled “Does Poland Need IP Strategy?”

“More recently, Enäjärvi has participated as a guest speaker at various roadshows devoted to the case law of EUIPO’s Boards of Appeal, which deals with disputes concerning trade marks and designs.”In his capacity as “Special Advisor”, Enäjärvi was also involved in the activities of the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights.

The Observatory – which is managed by the EU trademark agency OHIM/EUIPO – is “a network of experts and specialist stakeholders that brings together representatives from EU bodies, authorities in EU countries, businesses, and civil society … to improve the fight against counterfeiting and piracy”. [sic]

Enäjärvi’s name appears on the list of participants for the plenary meetings of the Observatory held at the EUIPO in Alicante on 21-22 October 2015 [PDF] and 28-29 September 2016. [PDF]

“In May 2018 Enäjärvi was listed as a dinner speaker at an official dinner hosted by EUIPO on the margins of its annual IP Case Law Conference held in Alicante.”More recently, Enäjärvi has participated as a guest speaker at various roadshows devoted to the case law of EUIPO’s Boards of Appeal, which deals with disputes concerning trade marks and designs.

For example, in May 2017 he appeared in his old stomping ground in Estonia at a seminar held in the Nordic Hotel Forum in Tallinn. [PDF]

“It’s not clear whether Enäjärvi is still active as a “Special Advisor” to the new EUIPO Executive Director, Christian Archambeau.”This seminar was organised by the Estonian Patent Office and the Ministry of Justice, in co-operation with EUIPO and Enäjärvi gave a talk entitled “EUIPO and the Protection of IPR in Europe”.

He seems to have recycled the same talk at a similar event hosted by the Latvian Patent Office in February 2018 [PDF] where he was reported to have given “a comprehensive insight into the effective protection of intellectual property rights in Europe”.

In May 2018 Enäjärvi was listed [PDF] as a dinner speaker at an official dinner hosted by EUIPO on the margins of its annual IP Case Law Conference held in Alicante.

It’s not clear whether Enäjärvi is still active as a “Special Advisor” to the new EUIPO Executive Director, Christian Archambeau. Given that he will turn 80 next year, it’s quite likely that he has decided to hang up his EUIPO hat in the meantime.

Meanwhile, back home in Finland, Enäjärvi continues to pursue his domestic “good brother” networking activities, such as those connected with the Paasikivi Society and the Helsinki Finns Club, where he was appointed honorary Chairman in November 2020.

Paaskivi Society event
Left: Enäjärvi at a Paaskivi Society event in 2018 with former Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen.
Right: Enäjärvi was appointed honorary Chairman of the Helsinki Finns Club in November 2020.

Even if he is now retired from his professional activities at the EUIPO, Enäjärvi certainly had a good innings between 2012 and 2018 as a “Special Advisor” to the former Executive Director, António Campinos.

“Isn’t it reassuring to see how the Finnish “good brother” model of cronyism has managed to establish itself as the accepted standard in the upper echelons of the “European IP network”?”There can be no doubt that António did his best to look after an old friend who had fallen on hard times.

Isn’t it reassuring to see how the Finnish “good brother” model of cronyism has managed to establish itself as the accepted standard in the upper echelons of the “European IP network”?

There is only one small problem here: The EU trademark agency OHIM/EUIPO isn’t a private company. It’s a public intergovernmental authority which falls within the remit of the EU.

So you would be entitled to expect that the appointment of a “Special Advisor” to the Executive Director of such an agency would be made in a transparent and accountable manner.

Unfortunately, it seems impossible to find any official record or public announcement of Enäjärvi’s EUIPO appointment and the associated terms and conditions.

In particular it’s not clear whether the appointment came about as a result of a competitive selection procedure or whether it was some kind of ad personam appointment at the sole discretion of the Executive Director.

In addition to that, it isn’t clear how EU citizens might feel about having a convicted credit card fraudster employed as a “Special Advisor” to the Executive Director of the EU’s trademark agency.

“There is only one small problem here: The EU trademark agency OHIM/EUIPO isn’t a private company. It’s a public intergovernmental authority which falls within the remit of the EU.”But then again, they don’t appear to have been consulted about it.

All things considered, the post-retirement career of Martti Enäjärvi at EUIPO raises a lot of unanswered questions and it would certainly be interesting to have some clarification about the role of António Campinos in this affair.

In the next part we will shift our focus back to the EPO and look at how Benoît Battistelli ensured the continuing loyalty of his Baltic fiefdoms after he had successfully completed his power grab in Munich in 2010.

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