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The EPO Bubble — Part VI — From Humble Examiner to CO³

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Overview: [Teaser] The EPO’s Deflating Patent Bubble and Pursuit of Illegal Software Patents (With Kangaroo Courts, UPC, and Bullied Examiners)

Series parts:

  1. The EPO Bubble — Part I — An “Unprecedented Surge”
  2. The EPO Bubble — Part II — Signs of a Deflating Bubble?
  3. The EPO Bubble — Part III — Dividing Up the Spoils…
  4. The EPO Bubble — Part IV — A Cashflow Problem Looming on the Horizon?
  5. The EPO Bubble — Part V — Propping Up the Bubble?
  6. YOU ARE HERE ☞ From Humble Examiner to CO³

Razik Menidjel
Razik Menidjel joined the EPO as an examiner in 1999. He became Head of VP1 Office in 2015 and was appointed EPO Chief Operating Officer for ICT in December 2019. As of 1 April 2022 he holds the position of Chief Operating Officer Operations responsible for patent examination across all technical sectors.

Summary: Today we take a closer look at Menidjel’s career at the EPO and why he’s likely to be an enthusiastic proponent of patents on maths/algorithms — something that’s not meant to ever happen

In this part we will take a look at the meteoric career of the EPO’s new “Chief Operating Officer Operations” (CO³).

Razik Alex Menidjel, a native of Alsace (France), graduated from the Université Louis-Pasteur of Strasbourg with a master’s degree in supramolecular chemistry. He subsequently obtained a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Georg August University of Göttingen (Germany) with a doctoral dissertation entitled “Novel Syntheses for Precursors of Unusual Nitrogen-Heterocycles and Polyketides”.

“Razik Alex Menidjel, a native of Alsace (France), graduated from the Université Louis-Pasteur of Strasbourg with a master’s degree in supramolecular chemistry.”Menidjel joined the European Patent Office in The Hague as a patent examiner in 1999, and he initially worked in the fields of biomaterials (A61L) and cosmetics (A61K8, A61Q).

Besides his work in search, examination and opposition, he was also involved in the training of new examiners and in seminars for applicants. He also authored an article about searching in the area of biomaterials and polymers.

Razik Menidjel's search report
An EPO search report issued by Razik Menidjel shortly after he had joined the EPO in 1999.

Menidjel subsequently advanced to become a director in the Industrial Chemistry cluster. However, as with many of his French compatriots, his career at the EPO really only began to take off during the Benoît Battistelli era when he was appointed to a leading position as Head of Office for the Vice-President of DG1 (Patent Examination) in 2015.

In his role as Head of VP1 Office, Menidjel served his senior managerial apprenticeship under the tutelage of prominent Battistelli “enablers”, the notorious Guillaume “Willy” Minnoye and Alberto Casado Cerviño.

“In his role as Head of VP1 Office, Menidjel served his senior managerial apprenticeship under the tutelage of prominent Battistelli “enablers”…”With respect to Casado, it is recalled that he chaired the Administrative Council on an ad interim basis in 2009/2010 during the election procedure which led to Battistelli’s appointment as EPO President in March 2010. Casado was subsequently rewarded by Battistelli with a position as EPO Vice-President in June 2012 (warning: epo.org link). He took over as Vice-President of DG1 in July 2017 (warning: epo.org link) following Minnoye’s retirement.

Menidjel, Minnoye, and Casado
As with many of his French compatriots, Menidjel’s career at the EPO began to take off during the Battistelli era. He was appointed Head of VP1 Office in 2015 where he served his senior managerial apprenticeship under the tutelage of prominent Battistelli “enablers” Minnoye (l.) and Casado (r.).

As Head of VP1 Office, Menidjel was in great demand on the global “IP” circuit.

During this time he became a regular attendee at junkets promoting software patents such as the “3i event” which took place in The Hague in April 2018 to promote “Industry 4.0″. The event, organised by the Dutch publication Technisch Weekblad, was co-sponsored by the EPO and featured Menidjel as a “keynote speaker”.

Razik-Menidjel as keynote speaker
Menidjel making an appearance as a “keynote speaker” at the “3i event” in April 2018.

Under the new EPO President António Campinos, Menidjel continued to enjoy preferment when he was appointed as “Special Advisor to the President” in 2018.

“Under the new EPO President António Campinos, Menidjel continued to enjoy preferment when he was appointed as “Special Advisor to the President” in 2018.”In an upcoming part we will examine Menidjel’s subsequent career at the EPO, in particular following his appointment as “Chief Operating Officer” for Information & Communications Technology, in December 2019.

But before doing so we will make a short detour to take a look at his parallel career as a “man of letters”.

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