06.30.22

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[Meme] EPO Election (Auction)

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Patents at 8:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bought outcome

I am the f***ing president, Josef; The delegates really appreciated 'mobility'
Lucky for António Campinos that the EPO is above the law; don’t want any investigation into what happened on Wednesday

Summary: The corruption at the EPO did not end with Benoît Battistelli‘s departure; it’s still deepening

New comment from “Experienced Examiner”:

The situation at the EPO was bad and is worsening.

The money discussion overlooks a huge number of facts:
– the salaries paid in any international organisation have to be competitive with the highest salary of a member state. Otherwise, persons from this state will not apply. Local salaries will normally be lower.

– the salaries paid have to provide the same standard of living regardless of the location. This goes back to the League of Nations, the predecessor of the United Nations. Some countries have higher expenses than others. This is where inflation kicks in. The point is not whether EPO employees have their salaries adjusted in line with inflation. The point is why inflation is ignored for national civil servants and also for subsidies paid (e.g. Hartz IV in Germany) or when determining how much tax you have to pay.
Law Sniffer & Bitter Worker: You have your real income nibbled away by inflation, and you seem to believe this is ok and should be done everywhere.

– The EPO has a huge surplus, see the blog. And if there still were a shortage, one may reasonably ask why the EPO share of post-grant renewal fees is only at 50%. Article 39 EPC allows to go up to 75%. The EPO share was at 60% until 1984. But the national offices want to keep this free money, and their heads are sitting in the Administrative Council.

– employees of an international organisation give up their rights. There is no fast track route involving an independent decision making body. The only such body is ILO-AT in Geneva, you get a decision roughly 6 to 8 years after the dispute has started. Justice delayed for this amount of time is justice denied.
Law Sniffer & Bitter Worker: You think it is ok to get sacked while holding a position as elected staff representative, and then you have to wait for about 5 (FIVE) years for a decision from an independent court?

– It seems to have been completely forgotten that EPO employees for about 8 (EIGHT) years were allowed to strike only after approval of the EPO President. It also seems to have been forgotten that the same President interfered with a decision from the Enlarged Board of Appeal, see G2301/16, headnote “threat of disciplinary measures against the members of the Enlarged Board”.

Whatever a President of the EPO does, the signals are clear: it will not have consequences. We see this not only in the past, but also in ongoing developments: forcing applicants and parties to opposition proceedings into video conferences – the emphasis is on “forcing”: whoever wants life oral proceedings should simply get them, for all others, video is fine.

My higher layers – as far as I can judge – live in blissed ignorance on what a patent application is, what a “search” is and how a search can and should be done (that depends on the case). The recent developments focus on machine based searches providing many documents, you have to apply some filters to reduce the number, you browse them and then you stop. This is a paradigm shift from a “finder” – someone who knows the area of technology and keeps hunting until something is found – to a “searcher” – someone who follows a predefined approach and stops regardless of the result.

Typcially, a “searcher” does not have in-depth experience in the area of technology and lacks the needed gut feeling. It takes about a decade to build this gut feeling. Frequent changes of the area of technology are not supportive. I recall a management meeting where the work of a substantive examiner was compared to the work of a post office: weighing letters, selling stamps, and so on. This comparison left me flabbergasted and insulted.

My Vice President is not technically skilled (DG1 – Steve Rowan, legally skilled, a bachelor, if I remember correctly). The person in charge of search and examination lacks the qualification necessary to understand an application. We are getting more and more instructions on procedure, probably because that is what Steve feels comfortable with. I personally disagree with this approach. Procedure is important, yes, but applicants do not file to have a good procedure. They file to have a good search and then a thorough examination. Procedural violations are very rare.

Last, if want to learn where a major problem is, please move to the EPO intranet site, “about us”-> “our leadership and management” -> “the management advisory committee”. There are way too many chiefs who do not have any purpose enshrined in Articles 10, 11 or 15 EPC. Thorsten touched on this topic in an earlier blog.
I am a member of an examining division, enshrined in Article 15 and 18 EPC. I do not need any of those chiefs to carry out my tasks. I believe we could with a quarter of those chiefs without even noting that the others have gone.

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