It's dead, Jim, take the blinders off
Summary: Team UPC (the pro-UPC “conspiracy” pursuing self gain through legislation) continues to mislead Europeans by putting the wheeled carriage with the wooden horse on it at the gates of the city, hoping that hundreds of millions of Europeans are clueless enough to let it in
EARLIER TODAY some anonymous people (possibly from the EPO) pinged me regarding the UPC, hinting that it may not be dead just yet. I responded by reaffirming that if it gets renamed and rebranded (as was the case at least thrice in the past), then the conspirators will try to pass it again, under a different umbrella, new marketing, slightly different politicians and so forth. That’s just how so-called ‘free’ ‘trade’ ‘agreements’ (not free, not about trade, and definitely more like secret collusions than agreements) typically work their way through the system. Compare TTIP to TISA, for instance, and recall the recent controversy over CETA in Belgium (and by extension the whole of Europe).
“As for the UPC Preparatory Committee (part of the “conspiracy”), it’s already pressing the brakes after this “conspiracy” advertised bogus openings/vacancies, for jobs that essentially did not exist and will never exist, unless some miracle happens.”Bristows, which is sucking up to the EPO and promoting the UPC (with software patents) to the great detriment of their country and continent (often at IP Kat) sees an opportunity to enrich itself from UPC and continues with its pro-UPC drivel. “Meanwhile,” it says, “regarding the UPC project, the topic is expected to be discussed by the EU Competitiveness Council in its meeting on 28 and 29 November 2016, and the UPC Preparatory Committee is meeting in early December 2016. The UK has yet to announce any decision regarding whether or not it will ratify the UPC Agreement.”
It won’t. That’s why nothing is going to happen. As for the UPC Preparatory Committee (part of the “conspiracy”), it's already pressing the brakes after this “conspiracy” advertised bogus openings/vacancies, for jobs that essentially did not exist and will never exist, unless some miracle happens.
We’re frankly tired of seeing all that propaganda and the lies from Team UPC. The EPO too repeats its own lies today (we wrote about these before), saying that “60 million Europeans are employed in IPR-intensive industries – out of ~216 million…”
Did you know that ~216 million Europeans use the toilet?
Did you know that more than 60 million Europeans occasionally eat Pizza?
Yes, it’s true.
Thus, defend pizza! It’s crucial to Europe’s future.
These industries do not exist because of patents; in fact some of them — like software — exist in spite of patents. █
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Summary: IAM ‘magazine’, one of the most pro-EPO publications out there, seems to have reached somewhat of a tipping point as it too is getting fed up with the misguided President who drives away all the valuable staff and rejects patent quality in favour of quantity
IAM, Battistelli's favourite source of misinformation, seems to have been rather quiet about the EPO. It’s not as though there’s a lack of stuff to cover.
The Register, by contrast, continues to do a good job covering key events, even though unlike IAM it’s not a site about patents. There are some more new comments in The Register, which attracted a lot of attention, including from Mark Summerfield who wrote: Every time I think things can’t sink any lower at @EPOorg, Battistellius Rex finds a way!”
“Roland Grossenbacher too has begun distancing himself from Battistelli.”IAM responded with: “If the reports are accurate – and that is not certain given all the agendas – this does look like a needless own goal.”
So even allies of Battistelli (like IAM) are increasingly cautious now; they don’t wish to look gullible, or like fools who are blindly loyal to Battistelli with his chronic lies. They’re more like, “I’m not so sure about this one…”
Roland Grossenbacher too has begun distancing himself from Battistelli.
Some take the approach of silence, i.e. don’t cover, don’t mention anything. Pretending not to know doesn’t make it OK. It’s almost like complicity by passivity, especially when one’s job is to report the news.
An EPO insider responded to IAM by saying: “What a nonsense, there are no different agendas except one, respecting the rule of law & respect towards staff!” The person was later adding this remark that “TheRegister report is 100 % accurate, no distortion of facts found, check.”
“A lot of staff can understand our frustration because having followed this for a number of years, it seems perfectly clear that it’s Battistelli who should be dismissed, not those who say the truth about his incompetence and/or his terrible policies.”Yes, it’s accurate. SUEPO has in fact just linked to it in its front page, editing that page for the first time in quite a long while. People who know the facts and are close to the action seem to confirm what we wrote in our previous three articles about the dismissal (plus parody video) [1, 2, 3, 4]. There’s no misreporting in it, maybe some partisan language, but that is all. A lot of staff can understand our frustration because having followed this for a number of years, it seems perfectly clear that it’s Battistelli who should be dismissed, not those who say the truth about his incompetence and/or his terrible policies. These people love the EPO much more than he ever did.
Regarding the judge that Battistelli tries to dismiss even though it’s outside his scope of authority (so he leans on his Chinchillas at the Administrative Council), a comment has just been published to say:
Blundering forward says…
AC [Administrative Council]: “Of course, BB [Battistelli] and his VP’s always look forward to the day when they can do a big courtroom case!”
SR [Staff Representation/tive]: ” Each in the BB team seem to have two perfectly good legs but, however, they have never learned to walk forward”
PwC [context here]: ” If we can’t begin to agree on fundamentals such as the elimination of the most abusive forms of staff reps, then we are not ready to march forward into the future.”
BoA [Board of Appeal]: ” Dismissal is never the way forward on our shared path to free speech and justice”
How many more people (or families, or spouses in the judge’s case) will be emotionally exhausted if not destroyed before the crazed President is removed from his position? Does anyone still genuinely support this maniac or does everyone feel as though pretense of support is essential? The video below is for those who missed/overlooked it last night. █
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Starting in 2015, Microsoft has announced a hiring program for Autistic individuals. Mary Ellen Smith, the Vice President of Worldwide Operations at Microsoft, portrayed autism as an advantage by talking at a United Nations event where the theme was “Autism, The Employment Advantage.” The announcement later talked about how “diversity” is all-important and that people with autism all bring strengths to Microsoft, writing that “some have amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in math or code.” (Source: http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2015/04/03/microsoft-announces-pilot-program-to-hire-people-with-autism/)
It is true that some autistics do have significant talents in those areas, but contrary to the media myth of the socially inept computer programmer (Source: http://www.washington.edu/news/2015/02/11/how-to-interest-girls-in-computer-science-and-engineering-shift-the-stereotypes/), the vast majority of autistics are unemployed or need structured employment.
Autistics that do have those talents are usually very close to functioning normally already. Interestingly enough, a follow-up article by Microsoft about the program cites an unemployment rate of 80% for autistics. It is very unlikely that special hiring programs can help most of those autistics (Source: https://news.microsoft.com/stories/people/kyle-schwaneke.html).
Additionally, from what is understood, the only legitimate difference is the hiring process. The demands of the jobs that the autistics are looking for are the same as most equivalent jobs (Source: https://news.microsoft.com/stories/people/kyle-schwaneke.html). Even for some autistics that do have talents in mathematical calculations or can “engage in an endless acquisition of facts”, they need to be flexible and to be productive to work in technical fields, abilities which most autistic individuals lack, according to Fred Volkmar, an psychiatrist at Yale and an expert on Autism (Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/09/health/cases-a-disorder-far-beyond-eccentricity.html).
Out of 700 resumes submitted to this program application, only 10 applicants were accepted. This hiring process — not an employment program — can only help a very small percentage of autistic people, but Microsoft tries to portray it as a norm, talking about hidden talents and “breaking down the stereotypes” (which still apply most of the time unfortunately) and referencing the hiring company Specialisterne which claims without much evidence “many people with autism… could not only hold down a full-time job, but use their particular talents as a competitive advantage.” (Source: https://news.microsoft.com/stories/people/kyle-schwaneke.html)
While this program will help some people with autism, it is more a way for Microsoft to gain attention for glorifying autism as being an advantage than to find a genuine way to resolve the problems of most autistic individuals. █
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Your latest coverage about Europe’s most important subject is several months old, in a British blog…
Summary: IP Kat’s awkward silence about the European Patent Office (in the face of many historic/critical events) demonstrated again, in light of the news that the EPO’s Boards of Appeal might soon be sent to ‘exile’ (likely a long-term deprecation plan to mask patent quality degradation)
PEOPLE who rely on IP Kat for EPO news won’t get the information they deserve, unless they look very closely at the comments added to a very, very old thread (see above). The site has been totally quiet about it since the EPO threatened by means of blocking the site, as it first did to Techrights. Has IP Kat just surrendered to the bullies? Will there ever be any criticism of the EPO there (ever again)?
The EPO was mentioned very briefly only in “Friday Fantasies” (yesterday) where there’s a small section that reads:
New EPO Enlarged Board referral: does the gold standard apply to a bitten apple? Tufty the Cat brings us news on the latest EPO Enlarged Board referral in the appeal case of T 437/14, which considers if the “gold standard” test for assessing any amendment for compliance with A123(2) EPC must also be applied to the type of undisclosed disclaimers that would otherwise be allowable under G 1/03.
There is much bigger news regarding the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeals, but IP Kat isn’t talking about it. Only its readers do and the only place where it would not be off topic is a thread from the summer. “It seems that 63% of the voters do not agree with the move of the BoA to Haar,” this commenter wrote. To quote:
the Budget & Finance Committee of the Admin Council has approved the “resettlement” of the Boards of Appeal to Haar.
13 votes in favour, 8 against and 15 abstentions.
It seems that 63% of the voters do not agree with the move of the BoA to Haar.
Abstentions, however, are not taken into consideration when counting the votes.
The move to Haar, therefore, has been approved by 61% of the voters.
Magic at the EPO!
The response to which was:
BoA: To the great silent majority of the B28 and AC we ask your support.
BB: Hmmm…the Silent Majority is a phase used by Homer to describe the dead!
And here is the latest very curious input:
It seems to me that this is a case in which weighting of votes in accordance with Article 36 EPC would be justified.
Weighting of votes
(1) In respect of the adoption or amendment of the Rules relating to Fees and, if the financial contribution to be made by the Contracting States would thereby be increased, the adoption of the budget of the Organisation and of any amending or supplementary budget, any Contracting State may require, following a first ballot in which each Contracting State shall have one vote, and whatever the result of this ballot, that a second ballot be taken immediately, in which votes shall be given to the States in accordance with paragraph 2. The decision shall be determined by the result of this second ballot.
I wonder if the AC delegates have actually read the rule book?
Therein alone is an article idea for IP Kat to go with, but where’s Merpel and what happened to this site? Has all the media been silenced by means of payments and intimidation? █
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Summary: The EPO is weaponising its propaganda and pushing hard for media across Europe to repeat this propaganda while severely punishing anyone who ‘dares’ contradict it
THE EPO is a chronic liar. It’s no exaggeration to say this; it is lying even to journalists and to staff (we covered many examples of that).
“Apparently, for some at WIPR no fact-checking was seen as necessary, just copy-paste-edit-publish.”Watching the EPO in Twitter is like an exercise in humour. Watch this new tweet for example. The term “IPR-intensive” is a meaningless, misleading term. It’s not so-called ‘IPR’ that ‘created’ these jobs at all. That’s just the EPO trying to associate itself with the success of industries, even if the EPO itself had nothing to do with those industries and their successes. There are tweets like these every day, attempting to associate the EPO with space travel, cures, and just about anything that attracts positive attention. “IPR-intensive industries generated 28% of all jobs in the EU during the period 2011-2013,” says the EPO (half a decade later), using an old EPO link perhaps because there’s nothing positive to talk about after that. Recently, EUIPO and EPO covertly joined hands for propaganda (they only mentioned this days before the propaganda’s official release), soon to see very few puff pieces (we found only one!) and then paid press releases, probably intended to compel news sites to repeat the nonsense (as few did).
Last night we spotted a new puff piece in WIPR, titled “IP generates €5.7tn for EU economy, says report” (commissioned for propaganda purposes by the very entities it is about). They went along with the totally bogus number, right there in the headline (we already debunked this earlier this week).
“IP generates €5.7tn for EU economy”?
That’s a lie. Outright lie. It’s actual products that generate revenue, not “IP” (whatever it is, too vague a term to be worth entertaining).
Apparently, for some at WIPR no fact-checking was seen as necessary, just copy-paste-edit-publish.
X generates $578.7tn for US economy, says think tank’s report.
“These so-called ‘studies’ are so dishonest that the media should disregard them altogether.”CEO Smith deserves $578,000 per hour, says Smith.
These so-called ‘studies’ are so dishonest that the media should disregard them altogether. Never mind the fact that the EPO is a serial liar. The EPO is in pure propaganda mode these days, as we noted earlier this month. Almost every single thing says now is a lie. Sad to see EUIPO getting dragged into this as well..
Watch this EPO tweet which says “The EQE pre-examination course is supported by a selection of experienced epi tutors” (link omitted).
That’s the same epi that criticised/slammed the EPO and then took down its own criticism (because truth is not allowed and always frowned upon by the EPO). Truth is treason at the EPO, staff faces disciplinary action (even dismissal!) for communicating truths, and Tony Tangena from epi got ‘gagged’ (we suppose he was compelled to take down his polite letter) even though he doesn’t work for the EPO.
“These attempts to suppress the truth need to end.”The EPO has truly become the Ministry of Truth of Eponia and well beyond Eponia, taking into account its corruption of the media and threats to the media, including threats to critical bloggers like myself. These attempts to suppress the truth need to end. If European media barely writes about the EPO anymore (only negative things to say), this is probably why.
In the next post we shall explore and expose some gory details which the EPO would rather never see published (for reasons that will become apparent). █
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Entering a rather advanced propaganda mode
Summary: The grim vision of the EPO which is losing all its talent (over time), becomes more like a production line (quality does not matter), and produces propaganda for "media positioning" (or “placements”) — all under the guise of ‘studies’
“Who will be stupid enough to apply to be hired under these conditions?”
This was the question asked earlier today in relation to the EPO under Battistelli’s regime. The full comment says:
1: so they can fire you at will and prohibit you to work afterwards or they keep your pensions? Who will be stupid enough to apply to be hired under these conditions?
2: the EPO will decrease costs but not lower the fees? What will they do with the excess money?
Given the decline in patent quality under Battistelli, we expect fees to have to decline and the same goes for salaries. The EPO is becoming another USPTO and some people believe that eventually it will be another INPI (i.e. no patent examination at all, or only a truly superficial check before filing). Regarding the notion of “excess money”, some figures from the secretive Office actually suggest financial losses/deficit. There’s no likely rebound now or ever, until or unless pensions (long-term liabilities) get gradually cut, well-paid staff replaced by new and relatively unskilled/underpaid/overworked workers (there is lack of interest in EPO jobs either way), and patent applications flow in like water and granted in bulk while they last (to the point of exhaustion, whereupon examiners become redundant). Watch this new EPO job ad (from today). Pay attention to the skills required (just two languages and a Masters degree). The EPO is experiencing brain drain. Managers know it. They’re desperate for job applications now, but they’re failing to attract enough of them, or so we’re told by insiders. Standards have truly declined.
“Staff of the EPO isn’t even being told what’s going on; examiners are constantly being lied to by the management.”How can they possibly attract more interest from the public amid unprecedented scandals? How about puff pieces resulting from a so-called ‘study’ (stooping so low as to generate bogus, self-commissioned ‘studies’ is the latest trend), such as the one we mentioned last night?
The EPO-IPO (EPO+EUIPO) already finds some clueless (or docile, or without any critical skills) stenographers to parrot claims from this ‘study’ of theirs (which they paid for). To quote: “The study, published on 25 October, says this number equates to almost €5.7 trillion annually. It covers a broad range of IP rights, including patents, trademarks, designs, copyright, geographical indications and plant variety rights.”
Wow! “€5.7 trillion annually.” Big numbers there, but what does that allude to? Just a big number to occupy some headlines and add some prestige to institutions with a turnover/profit 5 orders of magnitude lower (i.e. about 100,000th of the above figure). Here is the laughably shallow part (among others):
António Campinos, executive director of the EUIPO, said: “The rapidly changing nature of business in the 21st century means that the EU and global economy relies strongly on intellectual property rights such as trademarks, designs, patents and other rights.”
Will you take over all the above, António? As some believe you would? There’s no telling, only speculations. Staff of the EPO isn’t even being told what’s going on; examiners are constantly being lied to by the management.
“Maybe the EPO will just fire a lot of examiners and hire some more “paper pushers” to cope with the increased throughput (or inflow) of crappy applications and crappy grants.”In other (more minor) news, the EPO is said to have changed requirements. “In the past,” says the article, “it was common for a patent holder to execute an assignment in favor of an assignee, without the assignee signing the document. Under the new Guidelines, the EPO will no longer accept an assignment document that uses the single-signature format.”
Maybe the EPO will just fire a lot of examiners and hire some more “paper pushers” to cope with the increased throughput (or inflow) of crappy applications and crappy grants. After all, it’s not as though detailed, thorough, comprehensive and even exhaustive search (potentially with several appeals to the boards) are what Battistelli wants. He just wants a Chinese production line, akin to what he sees in SIPO (for which he has profound affinity). Work conditions, correspondingly, degrade greatly. █
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Trying to decapitate the unions of the European Patent Office (EPO) before he attacks the staff these unions represent
Reference: Reality Deficiency Syndrome
Summary: Minutes of the Administrative Council’s meeting reveal some truly bizarre rants from Battistelli, who simply refuses to accept that the European Patent Office is burning (without a future direction, only burnout and brain drain) under his poor and abusive leadership
THE EPO is secretive to most people, but it’s transparent to us because thousands of disgruntled employee keep us informed/abreast of whatever happens inside the EPO, in particular when the management is trying to hide things.
People who can you send us material often do (this can be done quite securely) and in 10 years we have never compromised a single source, not even accidentally.
“It’s the crushing of the only major staff union, probably intended to leave the staff totally unprotected amid horrible impending changes.”Our source, or the source of today’s leak, needed to do “a bit of digging” as it wasn’t so easy for one to come across, especially given the age of the material (we have a lot more from that time, though not enough time to prepare and publish). “It makes an interesting comparison with how the meeting was perceived at the time,” the source told us. “Turns out that the BoA reform only just got through. Some great quotes from Battistelli as well about SUEPO.”
In order to keep this punctual and compact, we have decided to just publish a summary of the June Administrative Council (AC) Minutes. We have split it into two themes — “The Social Situation” and “Reform of the BoA”. We shall deal with the social situation first. It should be duly stressed that these are very short summaries, not the complete thing.
Here it is:
FROM THE MINUTES OF THE AC JUNE 2016 MEETING
The President made an oral activities report, in which he mentioned that “sick leave rates were well down, to an average of 9.5 days per staff member. The number of staff suffering from psychological disorders had halved since 2011. Social dialogue had intensified”.
In response to this, the UK, Swedish, German, Polish, Netherlands and Italian delegations made comments such as “it was good to know that sick leave was falling, but that was the only crumb of comfort in a social climate that remained extremely worrying”, “the EPO social climate remained awful”, “in the long term, the work atmosphere could have very bad effects on quality and productivity”, and “the continued deterioration in the social situation remained an extremely serious matter”.
Replying to the various speakers, the President said that “EPO management was being subjected to a disgraceful campaign of defamation conducted by a handful of irresponsible union officials who, despite a dwindling following within the Office, managed their political connections in some member states effectively enough to give their outrageous attacks some plausibility in the eyes of the credulous and uninformed”.
Well, this is patently untrue. A lot of the criticisms of the EPO come from outside the Office and from ordinary people inside the office who are in no way affiliated with SUEPO (they are not even members of this union or any union). It is quite telling and it is ever more apparent that Battistelli tries to blame all of his own failings on “union officials” and is in complete denial (unless he maliciously lies) about the social climate inside the Office. It’s like the Democratic [sic] party blaming everything on “Russia!” these days, even if/when there is no evidence to prove/support it. SUEPO has become a boogeyman.
The following meme (taking into account the old bicycle tale) seems apt. Is it just an EPO “reform”? No. It’s the crushing of the only major staff union, probably intended to leave the staff totally unprotected amid horrible impending changes. Isolated, misinformed (by Battistelli's cronies) and helpless staff is what Battistelli wants. █
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This has just appeared on the Intranet:
Summary: Milking his shameless propaganda (paid-for ‘studies’), Battistelli wants to rewrite the record by all means possible, then pretend that EPO staff participates in it
THE EPO‘s management has stooped down to full-blown propaganda mode. It’s not even funny, especially when truth itself becomes a casualty and victims are people this propaganda is about. By endless repetition the circle of Battistelli believes it can fool everyone, but instead it just enrages everyone. The examiners are not ignorant and their tolerance for propaganda is understandably low.
Watch how the announcement (above) from the EPO tries to cast this latest upcoming stunt as a participatory thing. It also did it last week and the week before that, by shamelessly stating how many people watched the so-called ‘conference’ (while SUEPO was locked out), even if they watched it out of disgust rather than support. They certainly don’t play along. It’s like Battistelli’s circle basically trolls them and then brags about the amount of attention it gets for the trolling. As usual, quality and quantity are not the same thing.
Injustice and abuse prevail at the EPO. In fact, it’s still getting worse. Things are escalating and exacerbating. About the suspended BoA judge one person asked this morning: “I still don’t understand. What did the guy do to justify all this nonsense? Is he active in the union like the others who were fired?”
As far as we know, he wasn’t in any way associated, but he’s accused of — gasp! — communicating with someone from SUEPO.
As a side note, the EPO’s Twitter account is truly strong poison. The other day it wrote: “Access patent documents to find out more about the technical aspects of your competitors’ work” (link to the EPO’s site).
Everyone who works in this area/domain and is honest enough would say that it’s a bad idea. Even legal councils/departments in large corporations openly say so. If one looks into a rival’s patent, then it becomes WILLFUL infringement, i.e. an infringement for which one is liable with vastly higher damages (fees/penalty).
When will the EPO quit lying? Tomorrow we expect it to jointly (with the EUIPO) start a new propaganda push. █
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