02.18.22

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BREAKING NEWS/EXCLUSIVE: António Campinos Confirms That He is Seeking Reappointment

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A hardcore António Campinos

Summary: António Campinos confirms that he is seeking a renewal of his mandate and emphasises that he is seeking the endorsement of the Portuguese and not the French government

Today it was unofficially revealed that EPO President António Campinos is seeking reappointment as EPO President for a second term.

EPO insiders report that during an in-house video-conference Campinos responded to questions from staff by confirming that he is actively seeking reappointment.

However, his attempt to secure a second mandate is subject to him obtaining the endorsement of “his” government. He was at pains to emphasise that this referred to the Portuguese and not the French government!

Battistelli and KongstadThe inauguration of the new Portuguese government has been delayed until mid-March due to the need for a partial rerun of voting after a court decision which declared that more than 157,000 expatriate votes from 139 voting stations across Europe were invalid.

So it could take some time before Campinos finally gets the green light from “his” government to pursue his plans for an extension of his EPO appointment.

Campinos took over at the helm of the EPO in July 2018 after having been appointed for a five-year term. Thus, his current term is due to expire next year on 30 June 2023.

It is expected that the EPO’s Administrative Council will discuss the renewal of his mandate at its 170th meeting scheduled to be held on 22 March 2022. (warning: epo.org link)

If Campinos were to fail to secure the approval of the Portuguese government together with the backing of three-quarters of the delegations on the Council, then this would require the opening of a selection procedure to choose a successor.

In the event of such a situation materialising, the Council could be expected to open the selection procedure at its June 2022 meeting.

“The reason for this is that back in 2009/2010, the Council encountered great difficulties in arriving at a consensus and the election process was widely criticised for its lack of transparency.”However, the history of the EPO over the last decade or so has made the Council cautious about conducting such a procedure and it does its best to avoid it whenever it can.

The reason for this is that back in 2009/2010 [PDF], the Council encountered great difficulties in arriving at a consensus and the election process was widely criticised for its lack of transparency.

Leading the chorus of criticism about the lack of transparency was the outgoing President herself, Alison Brimelow who began her rebuke to the Council with the following words:

“As President and the guardian of the EPC, I have to bring a problem to your attention.”

Brimelow deplored the fact that those outside the closed circle of delegates participating in the confidential “C-point” discussions on the election of a new President had no clear idea of what had been decided and that these decisions were not made available to the wider public.

Even IAM which normally restricts its coverage of EPO affairs to churning out uncritical puff-pieces had the following to say [PDF] after Benoît Battistelli had finally managed to secure election in March 2010:

“One of the striking aspects of the election process was its complete lack of transparency. Although all four candidates did go on the record about why they were standing and what their priorities would be as EPO president, at no stage was there any news about which countries were voting for which person and why. Even when Battistelli was elected there was no statement from the Administrative Council that explained the reasons for giving him the job.”

In June 2014 (local copy [PDF]), a year before Battistelli’s term of office was due to expire, the Council – led by Battistelli’s “protector” the notoriously corrupt Jesper Kongstad – decided to extend the Corsican despot’s mandate by another three years in order to save themselves the bother of having to conduct a selection procedure to find a successor.

Cuno TarfusserWhen the time finally came to elect a successor to Battistelli in 2017, the Council adopted a much more cautious approach than it had done in 2009. This time there was, for all intents and purposes, only one candidate, António Campinos.

The disgruntled Italian delegation which felt that it had been cheated of a Vice-President position in 2012 due Battistelli’s sponsorship of Željko Topić tried to field an opposing candidate in the person of Cuno Tarfusser.

But Tarfusser’s “lack of an IP background” – compared to the self-styled “trademark expert” Campinos – was used to undermine his candidacy and ensure that Battistelli’s designated successor got the job.

IAM propaganda
EPO propaganda organ IAM joined in efforts to discredit Tarfusser by pointing to his lack of an “IP background”.

Now that Campinos is gradually approaching the end of his first term of office, the Council is probably keen to reappoint him in order to avoid the “disruption” of having to organise a new selection procedure.

“Now that Campinos is gradually approaching the end of his first term of office, the Council is probably keen to reappoint him in order to avoid the “disruption” of having to organise a new selection procedure.”However, it remains to be seen whether the growing unrest among EPO staff and the impending threat of industrial action by the staff union SUEPO will derail the Portuguese Pretender's plans to secure a second term of office.

Watch this space…

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