Tired of exploiting refugees and cancer for public relations (PR) purposes?
Summary: The European Patent Office is now pulling the greenwashing card in an effort to improve its image
WIKIPEDIA defines greenwashing as “a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization’s products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly.”
“Media “presence” objectives spring to mind; the EPO is now interjecting itself into media after this sort of publicity stunt (usually coordinated with some partners such as IAM or UNEP in this latest case).”Well, the EPO is now doing exactly that (warning: this is an
epo.org link) and we can’t help but wonder if this is part of the media presence campaign, or seeding of positive publicity. Around the same time that the EPO was negotiating with and working towards ~$1,000,000 in budget to fracking AstroTurfers from FTI Consulting the EPO also came up with the headline “EPO to donate EUR 100 000 to help refugees in Munich” (small money compared to what was spent manipulating the media).
The EPO’s latest charm offensive (of the greenwashing kind) is already in rather obscure British media and Chinese state media. Media “presence” objectives spring to mind; the EPO is now interjecting itself into media after this sort of publicity stunt (usually coordinated with some partners such as IAM or UNEP in this latest case).
“As many can probably agree, the cute and cuddly narrative which the EPO’s management is trying to prop up is enough to make some people vomit.”Speaking of opportunistic charm offensives, see this new article titled “EPO intends to grant patent to its cancer immune primer INTUVAX”. This will become very relavant when we cover future scandals. We are going show how the EPO uses cancer to advance its political agenda while also pretending to fight cancer. In reality, the EPO uses cancer to crush ‘unwanted’ staff.
As many can probably agree, the cute and cuddly narrative which the EPO’s management is trying to prop up is enough to make some people vomit. █
“When good men die their goodness does not perish, but lives though they are gone. As for the bad, all that was theirs dies and is buried with them.”
Send this to a friend
Recall the Snowden/Manning mass shooter comparison from a month ago (widely debunked)
Summary: The miserable efforts of Team Battistelli to discredit whistleblowers have truly reached an all-time low, with character assassinations which seek to portray whistleblowers as assassins
THE EPO‘s management now pulls dirty tricks highly reminiscent of the CBS smears from last month (see snapshot above). These thugs just keep throwing lots of something at the wall and hope that lawyers will spend a lot of time cleaning up (legal fees to soar, costing the accused a fortune) and maybe — just maybe — something will remain stuck to the wall due to an oversight somewhere. It also fatigues the media, which will likely be as lazy as always and just latch onto hit-baiting buzzwords like “Nazi” or “sniper”.
“Yes, it’s guilt by connotation and endless repetition.”In accusations against staff representative Elizabeth Hardon we found some of the most laughable accusation we have ever come across. They are totally obsessing over the word “sniper”, which is mentioned no less than 16 times!
Yes, it’s guilt by connotation and endless repetition. Meet the “sniper”! What a convenient stigma for brushing aside one’s human rights.
Who wrote this nonsense? What an incredible ‘coincidence’ that the same people who allegedly expose the abuses of those in positions of power just happen to be closeted armed Nazis or something along those lines (fictional, as board members strongly rejected these accusations and firmly threw aside the so-called ‘evidence’). It’s an imaginary narrative, perpetuated using people whose background includes wars in the middle east (where torture and dirty tricks are used to extract fake ‘evidence’ that suits an agenda).
Elizabeth Hardon has already responded briefly to the ludicrous allegations (we have seen them all). Her letter says:
We all know the famous quote “Not only must justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.” In order to allow staff to see for itself whether justice is being done in my case, I will share the essential parts of my disciplinary procedure with you [...] Please be aware that this is the administration’s version of the “facts” – not mine. I emphatically deny all the accusations against me, which I consider to be malicious and absurd, in particular the harassment complaint that was filed by [...], not by the alleged victims and the accusation of complicity with the suspended DG3 member, the accusa ons against whom were considered unsubstantiated by the Enlarged Board of Appeal. This makes me complicit in a “crime” that doesn’t exist.
So the EPO is now throwing accusations by proxy to slander one’s name, not by direct evidence or even direct accusation. How low can these people stoop? That’s like someone bringing an accusation or a legal case against Battistelli based on something someone once heard from Battistelli’s high school mate (without that mate being present or a participant at all).
“Behind it there may just be union-busters, not actual investigators.”There are many political parallels to be made here. It’s a vicious attack on character. That’s the strategy. Remember the Julian Assange cat ‘story’? It was posted by stenographers in the media 4.5 years ago (after Cablegate from Manning). Just see one of the many articles about it, for example “Julian Assange, Cat Hater” in the New York Times (which previously smeared or belittled Assange by talking about his body odor).
To us, in our humble assessment, it seems like another modus operandi. Behind it there may just be union-busters, not actual investigators. In the text we find bits like these: “10. The Control Risk Group prepared a separate report relating to the position of the defendant on this matter (Annex 4)) It concerned allegations of harassment relating to her conduct at a meeting of the Munich which took place on 10.12.2014.”
“Shame on Control Risk Group. Will they attempt the same against bloggers and journalists too?”So ‘British Blackwater’ is now in the justice business? How hilarious is that?
Control Risk Group is a union buster with a long track record in Europe — a provably notorious track record. They probably start with the story/narrative/accusation and then try to fit some pieces into in, with the intention of driving a wedge between staff ‘leaders’ and those who follow them, right before destroying their lives altogether.
Shame on Control Risk Group. Will they attempt the same against bloggers and journalists too?
What’s the “sniper” thing all about? Apparently a joke. I habitually make jokes to my wife about the likelihood that someone at the EPO’s management will hire a sniper to target journalists. Is that so unreasonable a joke? It’s quite a common kind of joke.
If these are the standards for accusing a member of staff and labelling that person a violent physical danger, then we can only assume that similarly crafty and artistic methods are being used to defame the judge and overwhelm him with a huge number of ludicrous claims, thereby increasing legal fees (watch what the prosecutor had done to Aaron Swartz shortly before he committed suicide).
“It’s a nasty strategy which warps the case from one where justice prevails to one where the depth of one’s pocket becomes the sole contributor towards the outcome.”The 22-page text accusing Hardon (with a lot of repetition) was written not by Web-savvy people* but by expensive, rather unskilled staff** (maybe lawyers from the outside) for the purpose of defending Team Battistelli at any cost, especially by passing a huge burden of legal costs to the defendant. We saw this done extensively in the Swartz case. It’s a nasty strategy which warps the case from one where justice prevails to one where the depth of one’s pocket becomes the sole contributor towards the outcome. In other words, it’s tilted, by design, into a fight over who’s more wealthy. When it’s the EPO indemnifying/reimbursing the President (or Team Battistelli) with approval of budget coming from Team Battistelli, this is a no-winner to anyone but Team Battistelli.
For more similarities check out the case against Thomas Drake (whose example Edward Snowden learned from and thus avoided). His government drove him deep into the ground — and out of money — by throwing amazing (and invalid) charges, after he had merely blown the whistle (first internally) regarding improper NSA practices, as he should have done, as per the oath he took.
“Denying the EPO of funds by boycotting it might be the most effective option at this stage.”The EPO’s management once again shows its complete stupidity (it not senility) because this is a Streisand Effect 101. Whenever they attempt to strike at the staff internally there will be a much bigger reaction externally. They don’t seem to have learned from experience and they are digging themselves deeper and deeper inside a hole, having just spent nearly a millions dollars on reputation laundering.
The EPO is now a lunatic organisation. People can’t easily fight this lunatic because despite it being a lunatic it is a well-funded lunatic. Toxic combination. Denying the EPO of funds by boycotting it might be the most effective option at this stage. It would be a form of protest, calling for if not demanding serious reforms. █
* They don’t even get the domain name right. It’s techrights.org (usually), not techrights.com (which is set up as a universal redirect).
** Skilled staff with some dignity and self respect would not be willing (even if capable) to produce such abhorrent attacks on good people.
Send this to a friend
The increasingly-privatised EPO…
Summary: A closer look at FTI Consulting, the company which the EPO has just granted €880,000 for the purpose of reputation laundering
HE EPO decided to waste nearly a million dollars in an effort to “address the media presence of the EPO” (nice euphemism for reputation laundering). FTI, which is based on Washington, received a lot of money from the EPO. Not long beforehand the EPO also contracted Control Risks Group (CRG) for the crushing of EPO unions, having seen CRG doing this successfully in Europe and doing even worse things in battle zones (where people are literally killed for their resistance). We still hope that someone will send us the CRG contract (in the name of transparency inside a public body), but we already wrote a lot of what we know about CRG in posts such as:
Today we turn our attention to the EPO’s latest private liaison, which is a very expensive one. What exactly is FTI? Let’s find out some of its recent activities (recent years).
We are going to emphasise FTI (bold font/face) in order to make faster reading possible, based on textual patterns.
PR Watch‘s Lisa Graves (wonderful researcher by the way, and a follower of mine online) wrote about “Energy In Depth” 3 years ago. It’s a rather shady group, which Graves was able to connect to FTI Consulting. To quote the key part: “They have even had overlapping public relations staff, as with IPAA/EID’s Chris Tucker, a former GOP congressional staffer who has been described as a Senior Vice President at Financial Dynamics, as the “managing director of FTI Consulting and as team lead for Energy In Depth.” For a time, Tucker was publicly listed as handling communications for both IPAA/EID and IER, “using the same phone number for both,” according to DeSmogBlog’s research.”
These groups always cleverly disguise themselves. Recall for example what we discovered about Consumer Watchdog.
An article we found in Climate Investigations Center says more about FTI Consulting: “Energy in Depth (EID) is a “PR operation for the [energy] industry’s multi-billion dollar financial interests in ‘unconventional’ drilling for what is popularly known as ‘natural gas,’” according to an article by PR Watch. Although FTI is almost never associated with EID (instead presenting itself as a “research program of the Independent Petroleum Association of America”), they nonetheless share high-level employees.
“One such person is Steve Everley, FTI‘s senior director. He has published several articles on EID’s website and is called a “team leader for Energy in Depth,” but he does not disclose this position on his LinkedIn profile. However, there was an occasion when Everley used an FTI email in conducting EID business…”
There is even a screenshot there to show it. It seems like a livery fluke. He didn’t hide behind the right proxy.
Here is the FTI page of Chris Tucker and Steve Everley’s LinkedIn page, disclosing that he works for FTI and is “[p]ublic affairs specialist with advanced understanding of the energy industry, including oil and gas (“fracking”)…”
“Pay attention to intersecting dots,” says this older blog post, “FTI Consulting, IPAA, Institute for Energy Research, the revolving door of Congress and more.” There are many details in there. Other blogs point out similar connections.
“These groups always cleverly disguise themselves.”“The Energy-In-Depth Dots led me to delve deeper into FTI Consulting,” one blogger wrote. “The airwaves are already saturated with gas ads, and the endless EID budget is pulsing through various FTI departments as the Gas Industry tries to wrest control of the public conversation.” It’s no secret that FTI works in this area (as well as patents and litigation), but why is it hiding behind liveries and front groups?
A more recent article, published just 8 months ago, said: “Inside Climate News has revealed that a key leader of oil and gas industry front groups that oppose new fracking regulations may have been playing both sides of the issue. In an investigation into the funding of the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) work on oil and gas regulation, Inside Climate News discovered that a key EDF funder had hired FTI Consulting’s David Blackmon to promote fracking regulations. Unbeknownst to his employer, Blackmon is a longtime oil industry consultant who is paid to oppose regulation of the fracking industry. [...] With its public relations efforts conducted by FTI Consulting, EID now serves as a key pro-industry front group promoting unfettered hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) to the U.S. public.”
“The post proceeds to showing that FTI reaches into territories that one might expect Control Risks to dip its toes in.”Leaving the area of energy and climate (there is a lot about it implicating FTI), consider this post which says: “FTI Consulting deserves special mention. It is a public listed company, that deals in a number of things, among which PR management. This “PR management” company instructed one of its employees, Maria Jose Tobar, to call me, to find out where I worked, so, presumably, I could be served. When I exposed FTI‘s idiotic attempt, Maria Jose Tobar deleted her LinkedIn profile. But FTI Consulting has been offering similar “PR management” and consultancy services to some of the worse thugs to come out Chavez’s Venezuela: Rafael Sarria, Ricardo Fernandez Barrueco, Moris Beracha, Alejandro Andrade, David Osio and the two imbeciles running Derwick Associates, Alejandro Betancourt Lopez and Pedro Trebbau Lopez. The commonality between mentioned names appears to be FTI‘s Frank Holder.”
The post proceeds to showing that FTI reaches into territories that one might expect Control Risks to dip its toes in. To quote a strongly-worded part, “Holder, and FTI Consulting as a result, have been involved, at the very least, in money laundering, racketeering, and aiding and abetting wanted criminals.”
Is this really the type of company/firm EPO wishes to be associated with? █
Send this to a friend
“It still remains true that no justification of virtue will enable a man to be virtuous.”
Summary: The pattern of sick leave and sickness-related distortion of statistics serves to show that the EPO’s management is only concerned with making itself look good (and well paid), but not with the wellbeing of staff
Politicians love to game employment statistics in favour of their party or against the opposition. There are craftful tricks for achieving the spin they are all along after and then put out a misleading narrative that can seduce a loyal follower (or media aligned with their agenda, e.g. News Corp. for GOP), not a sceptical outsider. All they need to do is fling a lot of something at the wall and hope something will stick.
The EPO likes to make up all sorts of figures, some of which we debunked here before (e.g. regarding 'production'). These are the classic talking points which EPO managers like to vomit on ‘media partners’ such as Les Échos [1, 2, 3] (for immediate and obedient publication, later to be referenced as ‘proof’ in private letters from Benoît Battistelli to politicians like Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]).
EPO sick leave figures are being made up and manipulated, says an analysis sent to us. Humorously titled “a miraculous recovery”, here is what it says about Battistelli’s poor treatment of the ill:
The DG1 dashboard is worth following. We recommend that you save or print whatever interesting material you find because data sometimes change or disappear at the EPO. In April the DG1 dashboard reported 14.553 days of sick leave for Jan–March 2015, which was 8% over the figure for the same period of last year and 3% above plan. Three months later the figure for Jan-June was 22.812 days, i.e. 5% below the same period in 2014, and 8% below plan. Improvement continues: at the end of September sickness was 13% below the same period in 2014 and 14% below plan. As always we are left wondering whether this is a result of a miraculous improvement in staff health or merely an example of creative statistics.
“Under the new regulations every absence for medical reasons, even of a single hour, counts as a full day sick leave…”There are hints that this apparent miracle may not be in the field of health but rather of accounting. After a few months of worsening figures, the improvement started when the new health regulations were put in place. We know that as from the 1st of April the rules no longer allow for the so-called “reduced productivity”, previously counted as ca. 4500 days of “sickness” in DG1. This alone would explain an “improvement” of 15%. Apart from this, the EPO has also unlocked a number of invalidity procedures. Putting a 100% ill colleague on invalidity (or “inactivity”, or now “incapacity”) removes 250 days of sick leave per year. Therefore the improved statistics do not necessarily mean that there has been an improvement in staff health and well-being.
One thing is certain: for individual staff members the sick-leave calculation applied by the Office has become incomprehensible. Under the new regulations every absence for medical reasons, even of a single hour, counts as a full day sick leave for the purpose of Art. 62(a) ServRegs (see point 7) and brings the person concerned closer to a salary reduction and obligatory medical examinations. This is typical of the double standards applied by the current EPO management. Please contact us when – or preferably before – you become “adversely affected” by the new rules and get a cut in salary for having reached the maximum of 125 “days”.
Given enough bang for the buck from US company FTI Consulting (the EPO pays it almost a million dollars to spread around this kind of nonsense), a lot of the public might actually believe the sordid claims from the EPO. Will they get away with it? █
Send this to a friend
Mind the AstroTurfing parallels… and remember that it’s Guillaume Minnoye who is notably concerned about EPO leaks (whistleblowers)
Summary: An analysis of recent trends in EPO coverage and conversations, which seem to be artificially steered (or manipulated) so as to better project authority and disseminate the EPO’s misleading talking points
THE EPO‘s threats against critics (lawyers, national delegates, bloggers, staff representatives, judges etc.) have meant that many participants in the system have opted for self-censorship. But we believe that it goes further than this. There is censorship that we never even hear about, let alone can hear about (gag orders and demands of confidentiality contribute to this).
“There is censorship that we never even hear about, let alone can hear about (gag orders and demands of confidentiality contribute to this).”Now that the EPO pays a lot of money for fake media coverage and media distortion I have begun tracking — a lot more closely than before — anything which relates to the EPO. We ask others to report such things to us as well. EPO AstroTurfing already seems likely given what we saw earlier today. This is familiar to us because we already know Microsoft AstroTurfing and techniques of Microsoft PR agencies, having researched these for over a decade. One way to warp a debate is to inject positive (for the client) comments into typically hostile forums, thereby derailing the discussion.
Particular patent lawyers are weighing in, latching onto anonymous comments which seem likely to be AstroTurfing. They are of course supporting the almighty President Battistelli as if all the abuses can be magically swept aside and the examiners are merely spoiled and paranoid. The following new comment demonstrates what’s wrong (reversal of the forum’s momentum, putting staff on the defensive): “I was tired to read since more than two years only comments about suicides, human rights violated, non-respect of the law, abuses, nepotism, etc.”
“Particular patent lawyers are weighing in, latching onto anonymous comments which seem likely to be AstroTurfing.”Bear in mind that such comments aren’t from regular commenters; these are patent lawyers whose personal blogs attack the staff of the EPO and actively help the management’s relatively dubious narrative, even in recent posts such as this one from “Meldrew” (“Patent Attorney” from London) or this one from “TreatyNotifier” (Dutch male).
Seeing how quickly (especially today) the discussion in IP Kat got derailed, we must at least suspect a subversive hand, perhaps part of the €880,000 media campaign. As one regular pointed out, “lying to the AC and asking them to take an illegal decision would be dismissed by his supervising authority in the outside world.” (and if not above the law)
“The EPO is a truly sick organisation and more people need to get the real facts, not the fictional ‘facts’ which EPO managers paid €880,000 for FTI Consulting to spread around.”Another person, in a separate thread, wrote about PACE (which is being defended by some anonymous commenters) that “the directors can change the priorities of individual files and some are using it as a means to insure the directorate reach its global objectives. Some directors want their bonus as well (or fear to be sent to pension).
“Also: there are instructions not to allow examiners who have a large prio 1 stock to take Christmas leave. As one can only transfer so many days, they will lose their leave. That motivates some to work only on files with “top” priority, which may or may not be PACE files.”
We wrote about this last month. How is this even complying in any way with European laws?
In our next post we are going to focus on how the EPO abuses not just holiday leave but also sick leave. The EPO is a truly sick organisation and more people need to get the real facts, not the fictional ‘facts’ which EPO managers paid €880,000 for FTI Consulting to spread around. It’s like a lobbying campaign by very affluent people, trying to protect their astronomical (secret but very high) salaries. █
“Money is like a sixth sense without which you cannot make a complete use of the other five.”
–W. Somerset Maugham
Send this to a friend
Think along the lines of, EPO wrote attack pieces after suspending an independent (board) judge who had blown the whistle
Summary: A just-released New York Times report about JPMorgan (shown above) reminds us a great deal of the EPO’s media strategy against critics inside and outside the notorious European organisation
THE EPO is so out of control that the management is threatening bloggers who show embarrassing things (about the management). Recently, with help from the strangely cooperative media, right after a massive PR contract in Washington got signed (for external communication, i.e. press) the EPO’s management also produced defamatory [1, 2] attack pieces against a suspended judge. It happened around the same time that I received threatening legal letters. Shortly afterwards the EPO pushed/leaned on the Administrative Council (AC) and pressured a board to oust the suspended judge. Is this all just a coincidence? Seems like the latest media strategy. The timing suggests that it’s not improbable.
“Seems like the latest media strategy. The timing suggests that it’s not improbable.”There was an article on Thursday in the New York Times. It’s titled “JPMorgan Wrote Complaints After Firing a Whistle-Blower” and it speaks about how JPMorgan dealt with an ethical person who exposed institutional corruption. JPMorgan manufactured smears against him in order to demonise and get rid of him. One might expect this from the CIA or the NSA, but private companies too use these ugly tactics.
What are we trying to suggest here?
Well, it seems likely that the EPO is doing to the judge whom it suspended (for allegedly speaking about the management) the same thing JPMorgan did to its whistleblower.
“Well, it seems likely that the EPO is doing to the judge whom it suspended (for allegedly speaking about the management) the same thing JPMorgan did to its whistleblower.”Regarding the EPO’s attack on yours truly, the trigger was something I wrote about PACE, which is a nasty sham that destroyed the EPO’s reputation and threatened to drive a wedge between applicants and the EPO (loss of trust). We have already written many pieces which debunk the EPO’s talking points regarding PACE, but to recapitulate, consider how they keep PACE a ‘pilot’ (and low key) so that only large corporations are in it. What if everyone applied? A sham for sure. It doesn’t add up. To use the queuing analogy again, the EPO set up a fast lane for business/first class, then alleged that it would speed things up for everyone, not just for the rich (that’s the first lie). It then said that anyone could apply to use the business/first class lane. What then is the advantage really? The business/first class becomes just another de facto economy lane. The truth is, only if few (rich) people know the tricks for using the fast lane would it really remain a lane for business/first class.
Watch patent lawyers’ media trying to explain PACE. It’s nonsensical and it’s marketed as some kind of magic potion that can provide “accelerated prosecution of patent applications at the EPO” (only for few selected ‘partners’).
“You are only taking the risk of being sued for “defamation” by the “EPO”.”
–AnonymousThe point we are trying to make here, the EPO’s management is bonkers and it is already using crude personal attacks against perceived ‘enemies’ (we will give more examples later this month, in relation to staff representatives). Battistelli has gone ad hominem while claiming a personal campaign against him. The hypocrisy!
Watch this comment left earlier today in Merpel’s blog: “You are only taking the risk of being sued for “defamation” by the “EPO”.”
“EPO” is in inverted commas probably because the EPO lawyers don’t even know what “EPO” actually is.
Here is an even more serious comment from the same comments thread:
The Dutch Court established that the European Patent Organisation of which the AC is a part and the highest supervisory body breaches the Human Rights. It is a fact regardles of whether the order of the Dutch Court can be executed or not due to the immunity issue.
Til today the AC failed to change this sorry state of afairs and if any change has taken place it is to the wors.
The EBA which is, for all intents and purposes, an independent court decided that the AC has failed to substantiate properly the allegations of misconduct raised against a member of the Boards and therefore refused the request of the AC.
The AC decided to put the board member again before the court (EBA), by requesting a decision of the EBA, again, as far as it is known in the absence of any new and compeling evidenec. This means that the AC is prepared to “knock on the doors” of the EBA until the AC gets what it wants, regardless of the principles of the law.
The above shows that this AC is determined to proceed with its plans no matter what and is prepaired to take any kind of collateral damage.
Thus, I do doubt very much whether an opinion of who-ever it may be, which is not fully supportive of the plans of the AC can be seriously considered by this AC.
The EPO’s management is doing terrible things and it was found guilty (losing party) in The Hague. How convenient it must seem for those brutes inside the management to simply project and attempt to portray those who expose them as ‘guilty’, in the same way that the NSA tries to paint a whistleblower, Edward Snowden, as a guilty traitor who ‘defected’ to the enemy (much like JPMorgan treats its whistleblower right now).
Don’t believe a single word that comes out of the EPO’s mouth. After their attacks on my free speech they actually told the media that they respect freedom of the press and protect employees. Actual EPO employees can only hysterically laugh at both claims. █
“The best way to keep one`s word is not to give it.”
Send this to a friend
The EPO is now buying ‘megaphones’ in the corporate media
Summary: A look at EPO-leaning media coverage and a response to it, clarifying the EPO’s real worry, which is a public that’s properly informed by the media about the EPO’s rogue management
AT THE end of last month we leaked evidence of media manipulation by the EPO. This hasn’t been getting media attention, whereas the EPO’s SLAPP actions against critics quickly became mainstream news [1, 2] (it reached the British press the day before the Dutch protest, whereupon we got contacted by journalists, the latest being from the BBC). The EPO now spends, on average, €2444 per day on reputation laundering alone. Think what they can do with such an obscene budget! And for a supposedly ‘public’ body. What a total waste of money, which goes to a shady company in the US. One would expect the media to at least say something about it (some try to inform journalists); a French politician did (Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’).
“Think what they can do with such an obscene budget! And for a supposedly ‘public’ body.”On Tuesday there was a massive EPO staff protest in the Netherlands and on Friday there was an even bigger protest in Munich, the EPO’s main site. There is a lot to be angry about and now that the biggest ever protests take place (there is at least one more next week) we can expect more media coverage.
Based on this update from European authorities, secrecy will prevail. As IP Kat put it yesterday: “This is frustratingly vague and adds very little to what the Unitary Patent Regulation prescribes in Article 13. What the IPKat was hoping to find out is what percentage each country is planned to receive. Is this going to be revealed, or will it remain a secret?”
“Well, they already confirmed that the E-mail itself (the one which made them go ballistic) was authentic.”What kind of democracy is this? It often seems like large corporations are the main beneficiaries here, at the expense of people. The media isn’t helping in getting this point across. A week ago we saw an article titled “Microsoft Corporation Does Not Receive Special Treatment: EPO” (the previous headline said “EPO Rejects Accusations of Special Treatment for Microsoft”, so we assume the editor changed it). Well, that’s what they say, but leaked evidence contradicts them. Here is what the article said: “The European Patent Office (EPO) is now giving out legal threats, in response to recent allegations made against it, regarding maintaining a special cooperative relationship with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). The agency denies such accusations and says that it will not accept its staff being subject to such accusations. EPO is shifting to a more offensive strategy from the defensive one that it previously practiced.
“In October, Roy Schestowitz, along with his site Techrights, was the first to claim Microsoft was getting preference in its patent applications by the EPO. He published a leaked EPO internal email from February 16 that lists Microsoft’s submitted patent documents, and asks examiners to give the applications top priority as soon as possible. The email’s author and a senior member at the agency, Grant Philpott, mentioned of a “close cooperation project” with the software giant in the message.”
Well, they already confirmed that the E-mail itself (the one which made them go ballistic) was authentic.
“They try to blame the messengers who speak out instead.”The article continues: “Now that the agency has defended its position in the matter, it is aiming to go after the people who started allegations of this nature. Since the issue was sparked by Mr. Schestowitz, other blog posts made numerous accusations about the EPO tossing out patent applications submitted by small European businesses. The patent authority said that these allegations were not only false but detrimental to its reputation as a public servant.”
Rightly so. If they have a reputation issue, it’s because of the management. They try to blame the messengers who speak out instead. How pathetic is that?
“There’s a good reason why we now call the EPO the European Private [sic] Office.”Well, based on the EPO’s actions as of late, it’s now better aligned for corporate objectives, not public objectives. The public interest is hardly even something at the corner of the room, it’s hardly a consideration, much like in Europe’s copyright ‘debates’ (dominated by conglomerates, foreign monopolies/oligopolies, and their lobbyists).
The article correctly states: “The patent authority did not hesitate to issue legal threats to Mr. Schestowitz and his long-time running website. Some bloggers, who closely follow the patent and intellectual property industry, did not hold back to express their opinion of how they felt about the EPO’s action and its legal threats to Mr. Schestowitz.”
One person who seems to be EPO staff wrote sarcastically that “they just want to protect staff and their families…Ooohh, I see… ” (that’s their convenient excuse).
“This whole institution of just a setup of some few magnates and plutocrats, designed to perpetuate their power and wealth in Europe and beyond.”Regarding the leaning to private interests, commenters who are likely not working for the EPO (just commenting on the above article) wrote: “The patent regulations are more business these days than an authentic public service [...] I think that they will get away with it. The authorities and the big companies always get away with it” (the EPO is turning private).
There’s a good reason why we now call the EPO the European Private [sic] Office. It’s run for private interests. In the coming weeks we are going to show that the EPO’s roots are also poisoned or tarnished by private interests. This whole institution of just a setup of some few magnates and plutocrats, designed to perpetuate their power and wealth in Europe and beyond. They only need to pretend, in order to appease the masses, that they protect the ‘little guys’ or the lone inventors. █
“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”
Send this to a friend
The Christopher Moncktons of the (patent) world…
Summary: Introducing the notion of Alice denialists in relation to many patent lawyers, who (at risk of over-generalising) make money from patenting software and conveniently deny the consequence of Alice v. CLS Bank, even in the face of strong evidence
IT IS impossible to deny that SCOTUS has had major impact after Alice, more so than after Bilski. Only a chronic denier would say that SCOTUS did not change anything, with factual evidence of even pro-software patents courts like CAFC (where software patents got started) having to invalidate software patents and the USPTO altering guidelines for patent examiners accordingly.
“The denialists profess, as they have for about a year and a half, that nothing has changed and they bamboozle their clients accordingly, in order to protect the flow of money.”Allegedly invoking the Holocaust to strongly denounce people who belittle or deny human impact on the weather, despite strong scientific evidence and often because of a massive PR campaign (like the EPO’s €880,000 reputation laundering campaign) from fossil fuel/coal industry moguls/magnates like the Kochs, some of those who deny the undeniable are now called global warming denialists. Likewise, in the patent lawyers’ circles, we now have Alice denial. The denialists profess, as they have for about a year and a half, that nothing has changed and they bamboozle their clients accordingly, in order to protect the flow of money.
Along the lines of global warming denial, this is a new form of Alice denial (denying the impact on software patents), as just published in IAM.
“They think of what’s more profitable for them (i.e. expensive for the client), not what’s most economic and sensible for the client.”It’s not an isolated example. In another lawyers’ site, the Microsoft-connected patent aggressor Finjan is mentioned by Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. These US-based patent lawyers only ever speak out about Alice when they can defend software patents. It’s cherry-picking of data or selective coverage, much like the data which global warming denialists prefer to rely on. This new article says that “[t]his goes to show that despite the significant shift that has occurred since the Alice decision, all hope is not lost for plaintiffs asserting patents in the software space.”
Tone of positivity in favour of software patents wouldn’t be helpful to their clients. Then again, that’s how a lot of lawyers operate (especially the ones I’ve had displease working with). They think of what’s more profitable for them (i.e. expensive for the client), not what’s most economic and sensible for the client.
“Maybe it’s time for us not just to coin the term but also use the term Alice denialist, meaning one (usually a patent lawyer) who continues to deny the post-Alice reality, often lobbying to change it while misleading clients in the interim.”Samsung has just been forced to pay obscene amounts of money to a super-wealthy company [1, 2] because of patents. What kind of justice is that?
Maybe it’s time for us not just to coin the term but also use the term Alice denialist, meaning one (usually a patent lawyer) who continues to deny the post-Alice reality, often lobbying to change it while misleading clients in the interim. Alice denialists show a lot of the same characteristics of global warning denialists.
In other noteworthy news, the Wall Street media (Bloomberg) now writes about patent monopoly on ‘green’ energy. Here is how Bloomberg put it:
The U.S. is currently experiencing a boom in clean energy patents, but in interviews with Big Law Business, several experts expressed skepticism that this will lead to an increase in frivolous patent litigation.
On the contrary, they said clean energy patents are unlikely to wind up in the hands of patent trolls, also known by their more technical name, non-practicing entities — essentially, companies that amass patents for the purpose of filing infringement lawsuits.
Several such fake companies, trolls and parasites are backed (for profit) by Bill Gates, who at the same time invests a lot of money in fossil fuel companies which sponsor global warming denial (we covered this many times before). These patent trolls actively discourage the use of ‘green’ or sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel. There are some areas where patents are evidently a threat to the planet, not just to human health.
Patent maximalism can, in the long term, undermine the whole system. Patent maximalism is what happens when patent lawyers — not scientists — steer the system and sacrifice quality. Limiting patent scope to what’s rational based on evidence is a way to protect (through reformation) this system. We object to software patents (abstract), not every kind of patents. █
“Your faith is what you believe, not what you know.”
Send this to a friend
« Previous Page — « Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries » — Next Page »