Gemini version available ♊︎

Central Staff Committee of the EPO Reminds the EPO’s Management, Yet Again, That It is Breaking Laws

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 2:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum fd3e324afc255b0cdb9fc138073829f0
EPO Does Not Care What the Law Says
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Sinking quality of European Patents [1, 2], plus a Patent Granting Process that is not compliant with the law, quite likely mean the EPO drives straight into a wall; the Central Staff Committee is still trying to save the institution, but management is uncaring and unresponsive (these people typically serve a term and leave, so they couldn’t care less about the long-term viability of their employer)

EARLIER this year the higher-level management of the EPO (Team Campinos) received a letter of concern that people won’t find in suepo.org and epo.org, so we’re sharing the latest correspondence below.

“Notice that between 10 March 2022 and 4 April 2022 nothing happened. In other words, the super-busy management took 4 weeks to reply.”As it turns out, the EPO violates many rules, including EPC rules, and maybe even ILO ruling would be negatively affected. Not to mention EU regulations! This happens not less frequently than in the Benoît Battistelli era. It has probably gotten a lot worse since then. Here’s the letter from 4 weeks ago. Notice that between 10 March 2022 and 4 April 2022 nothing happened. In other words, the super-busy management took 4 weeks to reply. Here we go:

Reference: sc22045cl
Date: 14.04.2022

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr Steve Rowan
Vice-President DG 1

By email


Formal deficiencies in the electronic Patent Granting Process vs standards for electronic identification

Dear Mr Rowan,

In our open letter of 10 March 2022, we addressed the problem that the current electronic file flow is inadequate to reliably provide properly authenticated actions of the Examining Division where such authentication is a legal requirement of the EPC. In that letter, we also suggested possible remedies. In your reply of 4 April 2022, you unfortunately do not refer in any satisfactory manner to either the problem of authenticated signatures in the electronic file flow nor the suggested solution of introducing electronic signatures into the system.

We do not agree that any deficiencies of the tools provided to the patent examiners to perform their duties should be remedied by simply giving further instructions, be they internal or public, to the examiners, line managers or formality officers. Rather, it can be expected from an organisation that regards itself as one of the leading patent offices in the world to work with tools that – if not at the forefront of technology – meet at least widely recognised standards. In the specific case, such a standard is e.g. set by EU Regulation No 910/2014 on electronic identification means or in the Verordnung über die elektronische Aktenführung (EAPatV) of the German Ministry of Justice. In particular in view of the implementation of

the Unitary Patent it can be expected from the Office to be aware of and apply such standards.

More specifically, it is technically possible to implement an electronic file flow in which each time the EPC requires the signatures of the examining division, the relevant document is electronically signed by each examiner at the moment the examiner signals their approval in the tool provided to control the electronic file flow (currently the Patent Work Bench). The advantage of such an approach is that the validity of the electronic signature and the authenticity of the signed document as well as the identity of the undersigned can be verified later, enhancing legal certainty and increasing trust in the actions issued by the Office. We already referred to severe problems with the signature of an examiner on Search Reports that had been changed without his knowledge and with designating staff as Authorized Officer in public documents who in fact never see those documents (AT-ILO Judgments Nos. 1344, respectively 2417). Furthermore, the Legal Board of Appeal emphasised in decision J 16/17 in all clarity that the requirement laid down in Rule 113(1) EPC (signature and name) is not just a mere formality but an essential procedural step in the decision-taking process.

We are aware that it is the task of DG4 to provide the tools for examiners. However, we think that DG1 should define their technical requirements. Otherwise, DG1 may receive tools that are new and shiny, but inadequate for the work examiners have to perform. Should DG4 currently lack capacity and/or expertise to implement electronic signatures for the electronic file flow, the Office could also make use of expertise in the European Patent Network, e.g. in the German Patent and Trademark Office, which seems to have been working with a functioning system implementing the standards since 2020.

The Central Staff Committee is confident that after your first somewhat evasive answer to our constructive proposal, you are now addressing the real problem and working on a sustainable solution in the interest of staff, the Office and the public.

Yours sincerely,

Alain Dumont
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

How long can EU officials turn a blind ever to EPO misconduct? These scandals rapidly become a liability to the EU itself.

In the words of the staff representatives: “In this open letter to Vice-President DG1, we address again the legal requirement of signature authentication in the electronic file flow. It can be expected from an organisation that regards itself as one of the leading patent offices in the world to work with tools that – if not at the forefront of technology – meet at least widely recognised standards, also in view of the implementation of the Unitary Patent. We are confident that after a first somewhat evasive answer to our constructive proposal, he is now addressing the real problem and working on a sustainable solution in the interest of staff, the Office and the public.”

The attempt to forcibly impose “Unitary Patent” is yet another act of abuse or criminality; they knowingly do something illegal. But that’s a different subject.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Links 19/05/2022: Rust 1.61.0 and Lots of Security FUD

    Links for the day

  2. EPO Eating Its Own (and Robbing Its Own)

    António Campinos is lying to his staff and losing his temper when challenged about it; Like Benoît Battistelli, who ‘fixed’ this job for his banker buddy (despite a clear lack of qualifications and relevant experience), he’s just robbing the EPO’s staff (even pensioners!) and scrubbing the EPC for ill-gotten money, which is in turn illegally funneled into financialization schemes

  3. [Meme] EPO Budget Tanking?

    While the EPO‘s António Campinos incites people (and politicians) to break the law he’s also attacking, robbing, and lying to his own staff; thankfully, his staff isn’t gullible enough and some MEPs are sympathetic; soon to follow is a video and publication about the EPO’s systematic plunder (ETA midnight GMT)

  4. EPO.org (Official EPO Site) Continues to Promote Illegal Agenda and Exploit Ukraine for PR Stunts That Help Unaccountable Crooks

    epo.org has been turned into a non-stop propaganda machine of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos because the EPO routinely breaks the law; it’s rather tasteless that while Ukrainians are dying the EPO’s mob exploits Ukraine for PR purposes

  5. [Meme] EPO Applicants Unwittingly Fund the War on Ukraine

    As we’ve just shown, António Campinos is desperately trying to hide a massive EPO scandal

  6. EPO Virtue-Signalling on the Ukrainian Front

    António Campinos persists in attention-shifting dross and photo ops; none of that can change the verifiable facts about the EPO’s connections to Lukashenko’s 'science park' in Minsk

  7. Links 19/05/2022: PostgreSQL 15 Beta 1 and Plasma 5.25 Beta

    Links for the day

  8. A Libera.Chat Anniversary and Happy Birthday (Maybe the Last) to 'Leenode'

    What became known as the so-called ‘Leenode’ is a cautionary tale, but maybe it is also a blessing in disguise because IRC as a whole seem to have become a lot more decentralised (as everything should be)

  9. Links 19/05/2022: The Gradual Fall of Netflix/DRM

    Links for the day

  10. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 18, 2022

  11. Links 18/05/2022: Qt Company Loses Chief; OpenSUSE Leap Micro 5.2 and RHEL 9 Final

    Links for the day

  12. Jim Zemlin's Wife is Funded by Puppies (Microsoft)

    Jim Zemlin — like his wife — is bagging millions from Microsoft, but that’s clearly a conflict of interest for the Linux Foundation

  13. Links 18/05/2022: More Defections From WordPress to Gemini

    Links for the day

  14. Links 18/05/2022: PikaScript and cURL's Annual User Survey

    Links for the day

  15. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 17, 2022

  16. Phoronix: Microsoft and Phoronix Sponsor (and Close Microsoft Partner) AMD All Over the Place

    When you’re taking massive 'gifts' from AMD (and also some from Microsoft) maybe it’s not surprising that editorial decisions change somewhat…

  17. EPO Has No F-ing Oversight

    Earlier today SUEPO mentioned this new article demonstrating that EPO President António Campinos can very obviously and blatantly violate the Code of Conduct of the Office without facing any consequences; there are translations too, so the report is now available in four languages

  18. [Meme] Linux-Rejecting Foundation

    The Linux Foundation never really leads by example; by default, it uses proprietary software

  19. Linux Foundation Almost Never Uses Open Source

    The Linux Foundation uses proprietary software (look where they hire and take money from) and be sure they're probably not even aware of it

  20. Links 17/05/2022: Many More Games on GNU/Linux, YaST Development Report

    Links for the day

  21. Links 17/05/2022: Rocky Linux 8.6 and Budgie Desktop in Fedora

    Links for the day

  22. Patent Examiners Rising Up Against EPO Abuse

    Unhappy with the law-breaking autocracy (the EPO‘s management breaks the law as a matter of routine), fast-deteriorating working conditions and rapidly-decreasing quality of work (or lack of compliance with the law), workers have escalated further, topping off strikes and industrial actions with a large-scale petition

  23. [Meme] What Managers (Really) Mean by Acting Professionally

    The myth of 'professionalism' needs to die along with the façade of conformity as prerequisite for employment (Linus Torvalds can work just fine in a bathrobe in his own home)

  24. Internal Poll: 93% of European Patent Office (EPO) Workers Are Unhappy With the EPO

    On top of strike/s and industrial action/s there are now also petitions; at the EPO, almost all staff is "disgruntled" because of utterly corrupt and defunct leadership

  25. Links 17/05/2022: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Release Candidate

    Links for the day

  26. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, May 16, 2022

  27. Links 16/05/2022: FreeBSD 13.1 and Inkscape 1.2 Released

    Links for the day

  28. Archiving Latest Posts in Geminispace (Like a Dated Web Directory But for Gemini)

    Earlier today we saw several more people crossing over from the World Wide Web to Gemini; we're trying to make a decent aggregator and archive for the rapidly-expanding Geminispace, which will soon have 2,500 capsules that are known to Lupa alone

  29. Microsoft Vidal Does Not Want to Listen (USPTO is Just for Megacorporations)

    Microsoft Vidal knows her real bosses. They’re international corporations (multinationals like Microsoft), not American people.

  30. Links 16/05/2022: China Advances on GNU/Linux and Maui 2.1.2 is Out

    Links for the day

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts