09.03.21

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EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XII – Battistelli and His Baltic Fiefdoms

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:57 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. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XI – With a Little Help From My Friends…
  12. You are here ☞ Battistelli and His Baltic Fiefdoms

Battistelli with his Baltic buddies, Matti Päts (2012) and Rimvydas Naujokas (2014).
Benoît Battistelli with his Baltic buddies, Matti Päts (2012) and Rimvydas Naujokas (2014).

Summary: “…Battistelli did his best to maintain good relations with the new generation of Baltic delegates as the old guard gradually departed.”

Following his successful campaign to be elected as President of the European Patent Office (EPO) Battistelli made sure to repay the Baltic delegates for their support once he was installed in his new position.

As each of the offices celebrated the 20th anniversary of its re-establishment, Battistelli made sure to pay them a visit in person.

In April 2011 (warning: epo.org link) he was off to Vilnius to congratulate the Lithuanians. We maintain a local copy [PDF] as some of these pages appear to have been edited lately.

In March 2012 (warning: epo.org link) – as we have seen earlier – it was the turn of the Estonians in Tallinn. Here is a local copy [PDF] which cannot be edited.

And finally in May 2012 (warning: epo.org link), Battistelli travelled to Riga to congratulate the Latvian Patent Office on its 20th anniversary and “to discuss how Latvia and the EPO could co-operate to further strengthen the country’s intellectual property system”. Another local copy. [PDF]

The excitement which such outside attention generated in these small national patent offices can be gauged by an announcement which appeared on the website of the Estonian Patent Office on 9 March 2012 informing its readers that:

“The President of the EPO Mr Benoît Battistelli writes on his blog about the Estonian Patent Office due to its 20th anniversary of the re-establishment of the Estonian Patent Office.”

To ensure the continuing loyalty of his Baltic fiefdoms Battistelli did not limit his actions to merely symbolic gestures. He took great care to reward his vassals with plenty of carrots in the form of bilateral “cooperation projects”.

During his eight year tenure at the EPO, Battistelli was a frequent visitor to the Baltic region and was generally accompanied by his faithful INPI crony, the EPO “bagman” François-Régis Hannart. As readers of Techrights will be aware, Hannart was the Principal Director responsible for coordinating the distribution of Battistell’s “largesse” to his vassal states in return for their votes on the Administrative Council.

For example, in the photo below Hannart can be seen buttonholing Matti Päts’ deputy, Margus Viher, at the ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the Estonian Patent Office in March 2012.

Matti Päts' deputy, Margus Viher, and François-Régis Hannart
Matti Päts’ deputy, Margus Viher, being buttonholed by François-Régis Hannart at the ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the Estonian Patent Office in March 2012.

In June 2015, Battistelli and Hannart were spotted “on the job” in Riga where, amongst other things, they met with the Latvian politician Jānis Vucāns who was at that time the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Education, Culture and Science.

Jānis Vucāns and François-Régis Hannart
The Chairman of the Latvian Parliament’s Education, Culture and Science Committee, Jānis Vucāns, in a meeting with Battistelli and his cooperation fund “bagman” François-Régis Hannart (June 2015).

In the next part we will see how Battistelli did his best to maintain good relations with the new generation of Baltic delegates as the old guard gradually departed.

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