10.16.21

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The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIV: Battistelli’s Iberian Facilitators – Portugal

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series parts:

  1. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part I: Let the Sunshine In!
  2. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part II: A “Unanimous” Endorsement?
  3. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part III: Three Missing Votes
  4. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IV: The Founding States
  5. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part V: Germany Says “Ja”
  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VI: A Distinct Lack of Dutch Courage
  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VII: Luxembourgish Laxity
  8. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VIII: Perfidious Albion and Pusillanimous Hibernia
  9. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IX: More Holes Than Swiss Cheese
  10. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part X: Introducing the Controversial Christian Bock
  11. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XI: “General Bock” – Battistelli’s Swiss Apprentice?
  12. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XII: The French Connection
  13. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli’s Iberian Facilitators – Spain
  14. YOU ARE HERE ☞ Battistelli’s Iberian Facilitators – Portugal

Campinos with Maria Leonor Mendes da Trindade

Campinos with Maria Leonor Mendes da Trindade, his deputy and successor at the Portuguese INPI.

Summary: How illegal “Strike Regulations” and regressive ‘reforms’ at the EPO, empowering Benoît Battistelli to the detriment of the Rule of Law, were ushered in by António Campinos and by Portugal 5 years before Campinos took Battistelli’s seat (and power he had given himself)

In this part we will take a look at the Portuguese delegation on the EPO’s Administrative Council which helped to rubber-stamp Battistelli’s “Strike Regulations” in 2013.

At the time in question, the delegation was headed by Maria Leonor Mendes da Trindade, Director of the Portuguese INPI. Trindade was assisted by her deputy Marco Dinis, who was head of the INPI’s “Department of Information and Promotion of Innovation”.

Trindade had been Campinos’ deputy when he was in charge of the Portuguese INPI between 2005 and 2010. She “inherited” his position when he moved to Alicante in October 2010 to take up his new job at the head of the EU trademark agency OHIM/EUIPO.

Maria Leonor Mendes da Trindade and her deputy Marco Dinis
The Portuguese delegation in 2013: Maria Leonor Mendes da Trindade and her deputy Marco Dinis.

In the context of the EPO’s Administrative Council, Trindade was very much a “captured delegate” like her Spanish counterpart García-Escudero. She gave unquestioning support to Battistelli and was regarded as one of his loyal “pet chinchillas” on the organisation’s governing body.

“In the context of the EPO’s Administrative Council, Trindade was very much a “captured delegate” like her Spanish counterpart García-Escudero. She gave unquestioning support to Battistelli and was regarded as one of his loyal “pet chinchillas” on the organisation’s governing body.”Trindade’s career as head of the Portuguese INPI proceeded in a relatively uneventful manner until August 2018 when she suddenly came to grief due to a catastrophic breakdown of the INPI’s IT systems.

The IT system collapse was caused by a heatwave in Lisbon. Not only was this a PR disaster for the national “IP” office. It also created a great deal of legal uncertainty because between 13 August and 4 September 2018 the publication of the “Industrial Property Bulletin” was disrupted. [PDF]

The “Industrial Property Bulletin” is the official gazette listing newly registered patents and trademarks and other such information relating to “IP rights” and it is an essential source of information for patent and trademark applicants and their legal representatives.

“Even after the IT systems were restored to operation, there were ongoing problems and another serious breakdown is reported to have occurred a few months later in December 2018.”The malfunctioning of the INPI’s IT systems [PDF] also prevented B2B communications, payments through current accounts, online file inspection, as well as the transmission [PDF] of email messages confirming receipt of electronic filings.

Even after the IT systems were restored to operation, there were ongoing problems and another serious breakdown is reported to have occurred a few months later in December 2018.

Shortly afterwards it was reported in the Portuguese media that Trindade and her deputy Dinis had accepted responsibility for the INPI’s “IT meltdown” and had already submitted their resignations to the Ministry of Justice in November 2018. The resignations were accepted by the Ministry in January 2019.

“Following her resignation from the INPI, Trindade managed to obtain a position as a “technical specialist” at the Portuguese Ministry of Economy and Digital Transition.”The IT problems at the INPI didn’t disappear with the departure of Trindade and Dinis. As a matter of fact, in March 2019, the Portuguese “IP” office was still reporting serious disruptions to its IT services. [PDF]

Following her resignation from the INPI, Trindade managed to obtain a position as a “technical specialist” at the Portuguese Ministry of Economy and Digital Transition. [PDF]

She later moved to a similar position at the Ministry of Planning and Infrastructure and in 2020 she was appointed as an “assistant” or “deputy” in the Office of the Minister of Planning and Infrastructure.

“…after her fall from grace due to the IT disaster at the national “IP” office, Trindade is probably grateful to have any kind of job in the Portuguese public sector.”According to official Portuguese records, Trindade’s latest post comes with a monthly after-tax salary of €2,201.89. [PDF]

It’s a far cry from the mouth-watering five-digit monthly remuneration that her erstwhile boss Campinos gets as head of the EPO. And it’s probably less than what she would have earned as head of the INPI. But after her fall from grace due to the IT disaster at the national “IP” office, Trindade is probably grateful to have any kind of job in the Portuguese public sector.

“With connections like that, it can’t have been too difficult for Dinis to bounce back from the little setback that derailed his career at the INPI in 2018.”Trindade’s deputy Marco Dinis seems to have done better for himself. From June 2019 to October 2020 he held a position as a “Seconded National Expert” at the EUIPO in Alicante. After that he was appointed as a “Principal Technical Attaché” with the Portuguese Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels.

That’s quite impressive for someone who had to resign from his previous position for failing to ensure that the national “IP” office had a fault-tolerant IT system with adequate temperature regulation.

However, it’s not entirely surprising because Dinis is known to be well-connected to António Campinos and his "faithful acolyte", João Negrão. Those connections go back to the days when Campinos was the boss at the Portuguese INPI between 2005 and 2010 and Negrão was in charge of the INPI’s Department of International Relations.

“In a later part of the series we will return to the Mediterranean region to consider the Italian delegation.”For example, it is known that Dinis participated with Campinos and Negrão in a meeting which took place between the INPI, the WIPO Academy and the Lisbon Institute of Economics and Management (ISEG) in June 2008. The purpose of this meeting was to establish a cooperation agreement between the three institutions for the creation of a postgraduate course in “Innovation Management and Industrial Property”.

With connections like that, it can’t have been too difficult for Dinis to bounce back from the little setback that derailed his career at the INPI in 2018.

Marco Dinis together with António Campinos and João Negrão
Marco Dinis together with António Campinos and João Negrão a meeting which took place between the INPI, the WIPO Academy and the Lisbon ISEG in June 2008.

That concludes our look at Battistelli’s Iberian facilitators who helped to rubber-stamp his “Strike Regulations” in June 2013.

“[Italy] was the only one of France’s traditional allies from that part of Europe to withhold its support from Battistelli’s efforts to crush the fundamental rights of EPO staff.”In a later part of the series we will return to the Mediterranean region to consider the Italian delegation. This was the only one of France’s traditional allies from that part of Europe to withhold its support from Battistelli’s efforts to crush the fundamental rights of EPO staff.

“…we plan to take an in-depth look at the controversial head of the Austrian delegation, the notorious “double-dipper” Friedrich Rödler.”In the next part, our attention will shift to Central Europe and we will examine the role played by the EPO’s third host state, the Federal Republic of Austria.

More specifically, we plan to take an in-depth look at the controversial head of the Austrian delegation, the notorious “double-dipper” Friedrich Rödler.

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