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08.04.15

‘Sanader’s Protégé’ Željko Topić Slammed by Press in His Home Country

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ivo Sanader
Ivo Sanader, “convicted felon who served as Prime Minister of Croatia,” based on Wikipedia
Photo licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Summary: The mischiefs of Benoît Battistelli and Željko Topić still not forgotten while temporary calm prevails at the EPO

Sanader is in prison, but Topić is not. Actually, Topić now receives an astronomically-high salary from European taxpayers. He escaped his country where he faces many criminal charges to reach a high office in a cosmopolitan area, just like other minions whom he is professionally close to or tightly connected to [1, 2, 3, 4].

The EPO remains somewhat of a laughing stock not just because of Topić but also his boss, Battistelli, who flagrantly and shamelessly ignores the law, insisting that he is exempt from the rules accompanying basic European laws. It’s utter disregard for every member state, not just the Dutch. Since a lot of EPO staff are currently on holiday, we may not be hearing so much about the EPO these days, but nothing has changed for the better.

Today we present two English translations of articles that were published in the Croatian press on the 30th of June. “The content of both articles is much the same,” told us a source who offered translations, “and they both refer to the Council of Europe declaration launched by Pierre Yves Le Borgn’.” We covered this a month ago.

Here is the first translation. The original article is at tjedno.hr.

EUROPEAN COUNCIL LAUNCHES DECLARATION CONCERNING THE EPO

June 30, 2015

On the initiative of Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, a French representative to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, two SDP Members of the Croatian Parliament, Melita Mulić and Gvozden Flego, took part in the launch of a declaration dealing with the recent scandalous events at the European Patent Office (EPO). Apart from them, the text of the declaration was signed by 82 other parliamentarians, including four out of five of the leaders of the main political groupings in the Assembly. One of the signatories of the declaration is Mr. Josip Juratovic, a Member of the German Parliament [born in Croatia].

We remind our readers that on 17th February 2015, the Court of Appeal in The Hague ruled against the European Patent Office (EPO), claiming that its internal dispute resolution system led to the violation of fundamental rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Social Charter. The Court also stated that the EPO cannot invoke its immunity in such a manner that an international organization becomes a place with fewer rights, protected by its so-called immunity from jurisdiction.

The persons who are at the centre of this political and economic scandal which has been one of the main subjects of attention of the European media in recent months, are the President of the EPO, the Frenchman Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand man, Mr. Željko Topić, the former director of the State Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia.

The aforementioned declaration invites all 38 member states of the EPO which are also members of the Council of Europe to act to resolve this legal deadlock, and it also invites the EPO management to comply with the decision of the Hague Court of Appeal.

Another article can be found at dnevno.hr. The headline is “Sanaderov kadar u središtu europskog skandala!” which translates to “Sanader’s protégé at the centre of a European scandal!”

COUNCIL OF EUROPE REQUESTS THE ADOPTION OF A DECLARATION ON THE EPO

Sanader’s protégé at the centre of a European scandal!

Author: D. Boroš
Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The actors at the centre of the political, economic, and media scandal which is among the main topics of newspapers throughout Europe in recent months, are the President of the EPO, the Frenchman Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand man, Mr. Željko Topić, the former director of the State Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia.

Members of the Croatian Parliament form the SDP, Melita Mulić and Gvozden Flego, on the initiative of Pierre-Yves Le Borgne, the French representative to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, participated in the launch of a declaration concerning the recent scandalous events at the European Patent Office (EPO).

In addition to them, the text of the declaration was signed by 82 other parliamentarians, including four out of five leaders of the main political groups of the Assembly. One of the signatories of the declaration is Mr. Josip Juratovic, a [Croatian-born] member of the German Parliament.

We remind our readers that on 17th February 2015 the Court of Appeal in The Hague pronounced judgment against the EPO, claiming that its internal dispute resolution system led to the violation of fundamental rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Social Charter.

The Court also stated that the EPO cannot invoke its immunity in such a manner that an international organization becomes a place with fewer rights, protected by its so- called immunity from execution.

Connected to this, the actors who found themselves in the middle of this political and economic, and also media scandal which is one of the main stories in newspapers throughout Europe in recent months, are the President of the EPO, Frenchman Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand man, Mr. Željko Topić, the former director of the Croatian SIPO.

The aforementioned declaration invites all 38 member states of the EPO which are also members of the Council of Europe, to bring this legal impasse to an end, and it invites the EPO management to comply with the judgment of the Hague Court of Appeal.

A lot of action is likely to resume at the end of this summer. No issue, no scandal, and no instance of corruption has been addressed yet. Nobody at the very top has resigned (or got fired) for quite some time although it’s well overdue. A lot of European politicians are now involved. Even Croatian politicians are upset at the EPO.

08.03.15

The World is Changing and Patent Law Can Change Either for Better or for Worse

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 7:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Recent secret dealings (which are being exposed to the public owing to whistle-blowers) show the degree of coordination and collusion against public interests; it’s up to us, the majority, to fight back and tackle this injustice

THE world’s disparate legal systems are under attack from so-called ‘trade’ deals and their dirty dealers. We hardly ever cover this subject (except in daily links), but almost everyone knows the impact of these, owing in part to leaks and public demonstrations which raise awareness. One goal is globalisation (in the negative sense) and a method that is trending these days is ‘harminisation’ of laws across nations and continents, almost always in a way that makes them more corporations-leaning and plutocrats-friendly. It’s not surprising considering who works on these deals in secret. These conspirators are bypassing democracy because they want more for themselves and less for the rest of us. It has a lot to do with patents, which are codified into law to legalise monopolisation, i.e. marginalisation of challenge or competition (even from government, as ISDS comes to demonstrate).

Last week we wrote about what was happening in New Zealand. The so-called ‘trade’ deals can potentially bring software patents to New Zealand. Here is how one news site from New Zealand put it some days ago: “The Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry won’t say whether New Zealand’s laws on software patents will need to be overhauled if agreement is reached on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“Parliament passed a law that outlawed software patents “as such” in 2013. The wording of the law change was a compromise that resulted from years of tortuous debate.

“Trade magazine CIO reported that Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) leaks suggested Mexico was now the only country against allowing software to be patented.

“The important point here is that some companies are starting to distance themselves from the EPO and USPTO.”Here in Europe we already have some loopholes similar to those which exist in New Zealand. These enable some companies to patent software (as long as it’s bound to some unspecified “device”). Europe has the Boards of Appeal (BoA) mechanism for independent/external assessment — not oversight — of the EPO and it too is being crushed right now (recall the BoA’s role in defending against software patents half a decade ago). The BoA is clearly under attack right now, as stories we covered served to show. It wants public input to help save it from the ruthless EPO, which hates to share any of its governance. The European Patent Office is now a totalitarian entity right at the heart of Europe. It must be stopped.

A biased site which targets patent lawyers spoke of an interesting trend the other day, published under the headline “The companies that abandon most US and EPO patents – and shoulder much responsibility for raising quality” (the latter part is spin).

The important point here is that some companies are starting to distance themselves from the EPO and USPTO. Corporate culture may be evolving for the better. “In the latest issue of IAM magazine,” says the author, “Matthew Beers and Maria Lazarova of Ocean Tomo take a deep-dive look at patent abandonments data from both the USPTO and EPO. The full article contains a wealth of interesting data but, for the purposes of this blog we’ll take a sneak peek at the findings relating to IP owners and which of them abandon the most patents at both agencies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, about half of the top 50 companies by abandonment volume are also in the top 50 by number of applications filed. What’s more, of the top 50 companies by abandonment volume over the period examined by Beers’ and Lazarova’s analysis, well over two-thirds appear among the top abandoners at both the USPTO and the EPO.”

This is bad news for patent lawyers. Over in the US, which expands the USPTO to Silicon Valley (as planned), it is said that there is now “New Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility”. “On July 30,” writes a site of patent lawyers, “the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released a set of documents providing examiners and practitioners with additional guidance on patent subject matter eligibility. The July 2015 Update responds to comments received from the public following the USPTO’s issuance of the 2014 Interim Guidance (2014 IEG) on December 26, 2014.”

It sure looks like they are limiting patent scope. The assignment of patents on software really must stop, at the very least because judges deem these patents patent-ineligible, based on the law (they are not patent examiners, but they know the limits of the law and can enforce the law by exercising their duty).

Just the other day we learned that a famed BitTorrent entrepreneur managed to get a patent on P2P live streaming. TorrentFreak said this “may be the start of a new breakthrough,” but we hardly feel excited by the passage of yet another patent on software. This really ought to stop and a good start would be scrutiny of the ‘trade’ deals, those who facilitate them, the USPTO, the EPO, and politicians who push for the UPC (essentially another so-called ‘harmonisation’ of law and courts framework). There are many powerful and selfish forces looking to gain power and money at the expense of everybody else, especially scientists. As we are by far the majority, we can repeatedly beat those relentless forces. From awareness comes anger and when the majority is angry the evil forces become fearful and often retreat (see ACTA).

07.31.15

Vista 10 Inherently Criminal: Vandalising the Competition (Dual Boot, Rival Web Browsers, Online Services)

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 7:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Vista 10, the latest incarnation of Windows, takes its anticompetitive aspects to a whole new level, betraying even so-called ‘partners’ in the process

THERE are many negative things to be said about Vista 10, but what about criminal things? What happens when Microsoft breaks competition laws?

Earlier this year we wrote about how Microsoft’s UEFI ‘secure boot’ attack on GNU/Linux had escalated (see 2014-2015 articles on how Microsoft’s terms got even worse, i.e. more discriminatory) and based on this site which regularly studies Windows’ effects on BSD and Linux installations, Vista 10 can mess GRUB up, i.e. sabotage dual-boot setups. To quote:

Where you might run into some problem is if the dual-boot setup is on a computer still using Legacy BIOS, with GRUB installed in the Master Boot Record, or MBR. On such a system, be sure to back up your file before attempting the upgrade.

In response to this, one anonymous user in Diaspora wrote:

I’ve got W7 dual-booting alongside Slackware (+ test distros) on my not-often-used netbook. It’s never finished its updates because it fails to update the MBR – which, for some reason it wants to. I multiboot with LILO which seems to cause W7 problems – I’m glad to say, because nothing should be updaing the MBR except LILO – when I run it. So…
That’s decided it. I won’t be updating to W10.

Which means W7 goes the way of W95 all those years ago when MS forced me to be 100pc Linux ‘cos XP would only run on new machines.
MS – I love you – you always force me to do the right thing – like deleting your software :D

– don’t mess around with any part of the disk except the partition I give you.
don’t tell me I need a new machine

– Good riddance to bad rubbish – I never used w7.

But it’s not just GNU/Linux partitioning that Microsoft loves to overcomplicate and often wipe/mess up with, the nuisance of UEFI ‘secure boot’ aside. Microsoft apparently learned nothing about fair competition, even when it comes to Web browsers on top of Windows itself (not GNU/Linux). Two decades of disputes and court battles have changed nothing at Microsoft and “Firefox’s CEO is furious”, according to this news headline:

Upgrading to Windows 10 switches your web browser to Edge – and Firefox’s CEO is furious

Mozilla chief exec Chris Beard has penned a tetchy open letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, criticizing the Redmond giant for changing customers’ default browser choice when they upgrade to Windows 10.

Internet Explorer users were warned that Edge, Microsoft’s Chrome-chasing new browser, would be the default in Windows 10. But as it turns out, users of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and other browsers, have found their default web clients switched to Edge following the Windows 10 upgrade, too.

In his letter, Beard accused Microsoft of using this part of the upgrade process to “throw away the choice your customers have made about the Internet experience they want, and replace it with the Internet experience Microsoft wants them to have.”

Chris Beard has already written about this not once but twice [1, 2], so he is very passionate about it. Most Firefox users are still stuck in Windows.

Should Mozilla be surprised at all? Microsoft sent Mozilla birthday cakes (publicity stunts), but then again it’s also said that “Microsoft loves Linux” (according to Nadella the liar). Like his boss, Bill Gates, it often seems as though Nadella feels like he’s above the law and any government intervention against gross violations will be too little, too late. Microsoft loves Firefox and Mozilla like it loves Linux and like American Psycho loves women.

Mozilla already helps Microsoft by sending it lots of user activity (even keystrokes) via Yahoo in the Firefox address bar. What has Microsoft done for Mozilla in return? Nothing. That’s just how Microsoft behaves. Some people refuse to learn from a long history of crimes, lies, deceit, and betrayals.

Mozilla should make a stronger alliance with GNU/Linux and other Free software (maybe join the FSF) as opposed to alliances with Google, Microsoft, and others to whom Firefox, the Web browser, is competition.

The European Commission proved to be so toothless and slow (while US authorities unwilling to tackle Microsoft’s recent browser crimes altogether), so no wonder Vista 10 goes further with anticompetitive behaviour. Microsoft knows it can get away with it and make gains by the time technical changes — if any — are made. The European Commission probably won’t take action against Vista 10 any time soon. Entryism is partly to blame (lobbying followed by a coup).

We cannot understand why Mozilla’s CEO is still acting surprised to have found out that Microsoft is a criminal enterprise that won’t obey the law and won’t respect competition, not even on Windows. In a way, Mozilla’s CEO is being punished for being naive, perhaps believing that Microsoft was a partner. As this Firefox advocate points out, all this happens after the Beard-led Mozilla had Firefox divert user keystrokes (like a keylogger) to Microsoft (via Yahoo) without even asking users for their input, opinion, consent, preference, etc. He now gets stabbed in back.

At some later stage we are going to show how Microsoft also suppresses the use of non-Microsoft online services. It’s all “me me me!”

“I think he [Bill Gates] has a Napoleonic concept of himself and his company, an arrogance that derives from power and unalloyed success, with no leavening hard experience, no reverses [...] They don’t act like grown-ups!”

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson

07.26.15

The ‘Unitary’ Patent Trojan Horse Rammed Down the Throat of Europe

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Throat

Summary: Under the guise of ‘unification’ or ‘unity’, existing patent systems are being abandoned and more power gets passed to corrupt EPO officials

THE UPC, promoted by the EPO, still threatens to put Europe under an unprecedented patents regime that invites patent trolls and other nasties, including software patents. The UPC is not going away, it is spreading across Europe these days. Some patent lawyers’ assessment says it might start as early as next year, even before a British referendum (or any other public consultation in member states) takes place, showing that the will of corporations supersedes the public’s interests.

“For the United Kingdom there is the uncertainty of the ‘in-out’ referendum scheduled for 2017,” explains this one site, as it “will decide on the UK’s membership to the EU. Interestingly, if the UK leaves the EU after ratifying the Agreement on a unified patent court, there seems to be little danger to the unitary patent. (Well, no other danger than suffering the loss of a major EU economy, that is.) Fortunately, the ratification process in the UK should be finalized in 2016.”

An article by Pieter Callens (mentioned the other day) recently said that the “UK has formally indicated that its ratification process would be completed in spring 2016″ (less than a year from now).

“Rules are being relaxed to maximise protectionism for monopolies, just like in the domain of copyrights, even if the public is collectively harmed by these.”As recently as last month a paper was published that’s titled “A Unitary Patent for a (Dis)United Europe: The Long Shadow of History”. To quote the abstract: “The international patent system is undergoing a profound transformation towards ever greater global integration of institutions and harmonization of standards. The movement for unification of the European patent system is part of this wider global trend, but the unification goal has proved difficult to realize in Europe notwithstanding persistent efforts dating back to the end of WWII. This paper draws on confidential archived documents to retrace the early origins and evolution of the European unification movement to examine what can be learnt from history. In line with recent historiographies of the synergies and rivalries between international organizations and the European community, the paper reveals three phases in the evolution of norms and institutions in the unification movement in Europe. In the first phase, the European unification project is driven by the Council of Europe as part of an abstract ideal of European integration and is characterized by a ‘co-existence’ model based on common denominators in national laws. In the second phase, the harmonization agenda is taken over by the European Community and its rationale morphed into the community’s goal of (dis)integration of national patent laws and their replacement by a uniform and autonomous patent community system as a strategic tool for the realization of the common market. But the EC’s initiative is frustrated and results instead in partial harmonization with the adoption of the European Patent Convention in 1973 and the creation of the European Patent Organization. This opens a third phase and problematic for the European community which is having to integrate a pivotal external institution into a unified legal architecture to serve the community’s goals. The last part of the paper illustrates with a case study how the shadow of the past has left its imprint in the disjointed and overly complex legal architecture of the latest patent unification initiative in the form of the EU ‘patent package’ which was given the green light by the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union on 5th May 2015 and whose effect, it is argued, is to enlarge the role of the EPO whilst leaving the EPO outside the legal reach of the European Union.”

Another paper, titled “The Unitary Patent: New Rules for Internal Market Lawmaking?”, was also published a month ago. It states the following: “The EU’s patent plans look back on a long history of ups and downs. The ECJ has now dealt with different aspects of those plans, including the latest model that is now poised to enter into force, at three different occasions. That jurisprudence shifts from strict to relaxed, which invites speculation as to the reasons for that shift. More importantly however, the recently relaxed approach may have unforeseen and unwanted repercussions on integration dynamics in general: The novel legislative method of the UP Regulation might be a politically attractive, but legally dangerous tool for pushing flexibility in internal market integration far beyond the scope, possibilities and intention of territorial differentiation hitherto known under the classic mechanism of enhanced cooperation. In fact, the novel method complements territorial flexibility by allowing for flexibility in substantive law. This offers new possibilities, but also comes at higher costs for the unity, stability and coherence of EU integration and EU law.”

We have written about this subject for over half a decade and we have repeatedly explained why the notion of unification, harmonisation etc. (all are cheap euphemisms) is just a Trojan horse for perturbing existing patent systems in favour of large enterprises with many lobbyists. They hope to overthrow pertinent patent offices in member states in order to form a new system under the notorious and corrupt management which we know resides at the EPO. Rules are being relaxed to maximise protectionism for monopolies, just like in the domain of copyrights, even if the public is collectively harmed by these.

07.21.15

Patents Regime in Europe: Mixture of Greed, Competition Abuses, and Propaganda

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

From authority need not always come justice

Congress building

Summary: A roundup of the latest patent news from Europe, focusing on Italy, the UK, Germany, and Hungary

UPC and EPO

DAYS ago we recalled Italy's defeat on UPC. Italian politicians basically surrendered to patent maximalists and patent lawyers in Europe are expectedly jubilant. One wrote: “The renewal fees will be less than 5.000 EUR during the first 10 years of the patent. The cumulative total to be paid over the full 20-year term will be just over 35.555 EUR. Currently, the total amount of renewal fees for a European patent validated in 25 member states is 29.500 EUR during the first ten years and 158 621 EUR in total. In other words, the True Top 4 decision corresponds to a reduction of 78% compared to the current situation.”

It’s all about money, isn’t it? Even as the EPO continues to attack its own staff all that the management can wave as an excuse for this is money. Rather than a public service the EPO is now a greedy corporation. Who’s funding the EPO anyway? European taxpayers. It’s a form of subsidy or ‘welfare’ for a system that is headed by corrupt officials with astronomical salaries and relatives/friends/former colleagues in positions of power. We can become a laughing stock even in the eyes of Zimbabwe now.

Qualcomm’s Patent Abuse Under EU Fire

“Even as the EPO continues to attack its own staff all that the management can wave as an excuse for this is money.”In other news from Europe, Qualcomm faces new EU antitrust probes over patents [1, 2, 3]. Why did it take so long? We have written about Qualcomm’s abuses for quite a few years. As one publication put it, “European Union antitrust regulators are investigating whether one of the world’s biggest chipmakers, Qualcomm, uses illegal tactics to shut out rivals, six years after slapping a record 1 billion euro ($1.09 billion) fine on Intel for a similar offence.

“Qualcomm has been feeling the heat from regulators in Europe, the United States, China, Japan and South Korea in recent years in relation to its licensing model and the power of its patents in mobile networks and communications devices.”

Qualcomm is perhaps the only hardware giant that can rival Intel when it comes to scale of crimes (although Intel does criminal things in many more areas and aspects).

The whole Qualcomm situation ought to teach Europe — and this includes the antitrust officials — that patents maximisation is not what Europe needs.

Shaming the United Kingdom for Not Being Crazy Enough About Patents

Here in the UK we regret to see this patent propaganda titled “UK patent applications dropping as Sweden files 3.5 times more patents than the UK”. On the face of it, this sounds like exciting news, but the article is actually berating Brits for not amassing patents as though only when you acquire (buy) or get granted a patent your work becomes “innovative”. Here is the opening sentence of the article: “Bad news: the UK’s attitude to intellectual property remains dismissive, as new figures show that the number of patents filed were not just below the EU average, but actually falling.”

How is that “bad news”? That’s like saying that the UK having less nuclear weapons than Russia is “bad news”. England reportedly puts all of its nuclear arsenal (not to be confused with Trident) in Scotland and the Scots surely hate it, judging by the growing popularity of SNP. Perhaps they realise that nuclear waste and nuclear warheads on their soil not only fail to improve their security (Russia would view Scotland as a high-value target) but actually cause potential health hazards (see Japan and Ukraine). A lot of that is true for patents too, as they are basically weapons that either discourage innovation (deterrence) or assault Brits who come up with good ideas and implement them.

The article continues with this statement: “In absolute numbers, by far most patent applications come from Germany. With 22,800 filed, the country had over 40 per cent of all European applications.”

Well, the EPO is now based in Germany, too. Does it mean much? No, it doesn’t mean that Germany is most innovative, it just shows that many Germans (or German companies) like to pass money for Munich and other German cities to devour.

There is this constant obsession of patent lawyers. They want to delude technical people into believing that correlation between patents and innovation (or market leadership) is so strong that without them hiring lawyers their businesses will fail. Hiring patent lawyers is a waste of time and legal costs are often the cause for companies going bankrupt. In many cases, patent lawyers are just a burden that tries hard to market itself.

Patent Lawyers Promote Patents in Hungary

Today in the lawyers’ news/media we find “Shelston IP” trying to set the record on patents in Australia and in New Zealand, where technical people have been fighting for many years against patent lawyers and corporate lobbyists.

On the same day “Danubia Patent & Law Office LLC” tried to set the record on patents in Hungary (part of the EU), where resources for patent applications are far more limited than in Germany.

Does anyone in Europe (especially the less fortunate member states) think that this UPC hype will do them any better than German bankers did for Greece?

07.20.15

Patents Expansion in Europe May be Looming

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The Unitary Patent (UPC), or “Unitary Software Patents” as the FFII’s President calls it, gets the go-ahead from one of its longtime resistors, Italy

“AS announced by Sandro Gozi,” says this post, “Italy communicated to the European Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska its intention to request participation in the enhanced cooperation for the creation of unitary patent protection.”

“The EPO can radically expand patent scope (both scope of jurisdiction and scope of patents) if “Unitary Software Patents” — as the above calls it — is successfully passed in its current form.”This is troubling, albeit not too shocking (we heard similar things before) and as the FFII’s President put it: “Italy to join Unitary Software Patents #unipat maybe a good country for a legal challenge.” Italy’s stance was different four years ago, but just like Spain it is being lobbied, pressured, and sometimes even financially blackmailed into it. Remember what the IMF did to Greece just weeks ago.

The EPO can radically expand patent scope (both scope of jurisdiction and scope of patents) if “Unitary Software Patents” — as the above calls it — is successfully passed in its current form. Implementation may be years away, so there’s still time for reactionary opposition.

Our protests against this undemocratic (no referendum yet) expansion go almost 8 years back, or the Alison Brimelow days (2007), predating the current ‘branding’ of the change (back when Charlie McCreevy and Michel Barnier promoted it). This opposition might fall on deaf ears at the EPO’s management. As we pointed out last week, the EPO's management censored our site Office-wide and it seems to have led to self-censorship at SUEPO, which has just published this letter in German [PDF]. It is a letter from a SUEPO lawyer, who candidly speaks about keyloggers, cameras, etc. as he informs Heiko Maas.

A letter of complaint has been sent regarding the censorship of Techrights (no indication of a response has been publicised by now) and what we attach is below (all four pages, click for full size) serves to show just how arrogant the EPO’s management has become. It refuses to listen to European citizens, much like true tyrants who quit pretending to be benevolent.

A letter

A letter

A letter

A letter

07.16.15

SUEPO Post Vanishes: Belated Self-Censorship or Threats From EPO Management?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Benoit Battistelli

Summary: SUEPO (staff union of EPO) has just removed a post about Battistelli and his inner circle; we try to find out if union members or staff got threatened

LAST week SUEPO published some text and uploaded this PDF, which led us to writing this post.

Days later the PDF and the text both disappeared (it’s still not being reinstated and the PDF needed to be manually removed), so we have spent some time trying to find out what had happened. It’s almost certainly not accidental given the circumstances. One person told us that “the decision what is flagged public and what not is taken mostly by admins, and these are not members of the (political) SUEPO core team.”

Remember that SUEPO represents a great proportion of the EPO staff and also that the EPO engaged in censorship against SUEPO. There’s substantiate ground for fear. Battistelli’s inner circle is not speculative; this is just a list of names, their positions, and their family or professional ties. No defamation there, that’s for sure. No privacy violations, either.

We were not alone in wondering what had happened; there are already discussions about this online and offline (we may elaborate on this another day because some of the discussion is encrypted). Nobody seems to know for sure what is going on.

“No defamation there, that’s for sure. No privacy violations, either.”Does the EPO now induce self-censorship? First the EPO censored (deleted) E-mails, now it's censoring (blocking) entire Web sites such as Techrights. The People’s Republic of EPO might be a suitable new title for EPOnia, which views itself as independent from any country’s laws. Here is a new article about the EPO’s practice of censorship, composed and published yesterday morning. “EPO staff can still read TechRights at home or on mobile devices,” of course, “a fact that makes this attempt at censorship absolutely ridiculous. But it should also have access from its desktop computers at work just in case anyone finds links to prior art there.

“The EPO leadership has just scored an own goal: by blocking access to TechRights, it has now raised the profile of that blog.”

Dr. Glyn Moody, a journalist who covers issues including patents, calls it EPO “meltdown” (he wrote that 3 times over the past 24 hours). SUEPO, in the mean time, publishes another PDF, this time regarding the “120th Session of the ILO-AT” (it is a long 12-page paper).

As a side note, and it would be irresponsible to suggest that it is connected to the EPO’s actions (we have no such evidence except circumstantial), almost exactly on the same day (or the day after) the censorship was reported we got strongarmed by ICANN/ENOM to update records for the domain, as if someone complained that it was out of date. I received an authentic E-mail titled “IMPORTANT: Immediate Response Required – whois problem report: : techrights.org” on the same morning I wrote about the EPO’s censorship of techrights.org. ICANN/ENOM complaints are one way (among others) to induce domain-wide/universal blocking or expose one’s home address. I have been wrestling with this for 3 days now. It’s not as stressful as dealing with DDOS attacks, but it sure is a nuisance.

07.11.15

European Censorship: Tyrants of the EPO Blacklist Techrights, Web Site Not Accessible Office-Wide

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Free speech? That would be too scientific for ringleader Battistelli.

Benoit Battistelli

Summary: The management of the EPO — not to be confused with scientists such as patent examiners — shows utter disregard for Free speech and chooses to forcibly silence its opposition rather than counter its message (refutation may not be possible)

THE INFAMOUS RING of Battistelli is digging itself deeper into the grave. We have already reported confirmed censorship by the EPO [1, 2]. This kind of fruitless censorship may not be news anymore; however, we have just found out that the EPO blacklisted our Web site a couple of days ago. They have begun domain-based censorship, as if they are the US Navy trying to keep troops misinformed and brainwashed. If they are willing to go as far as blocking the whole site and we also know that they put the site under very extensive surveillance, then who knows, maybe they are indirectly behind all those DDOS attacks too. The Hacking Team leaks show that a lot of very powerful institutions shamelessly engage in cracking and DDOS attacks by proxy, ‘as a service’ so to speak. We have hardly had such problems until we started covering the EPO scandals (we hadn’t had DDOS attacks against us since around 2009, so that’s about half a decade DDOS-free until around the very moment we wrote exclusively about the scandals last summer). Our EPO wiki has the timeline.

A source told us that “since yesterday” (the day before yesterday) Techrights is not all all accessible from the EPO. There is more about it in the latest comments on this article from one month ago. “By the way,” writes one person, “the website techrights.org has been blacklisted today, for access from inside the EPO” (this was said 2 days ago).

“Well, making the site inaccessible from work isn’t too wise a plan because of the Streisand effect (people just get even more curious about what’s being hidden).”One person responds: “Only now? Can’t imagine that anyone has dared to try recently. Self-censorship is a powerful tool. I don’t even look at ipkat from the EPO! You don’t want to be caught in possession of any anti-BB thoughts.”

Another person writes: “I can confirm that Techrights is not accessible anymore from within the Office.

“Disgusting.”

Well, making the site inaccessible from work isn’t too wise a plan because of the Streisand effect (people just get even more curious about what’s being hidden). Some parts of the US government (e.g. US Navy) tried this against Wikileaks, but people can still access the ‘naughty’ site from home (after work). The only way to prevent access to the site universally is DDOS attacks and/or cracking.

This is basically an admission of defeat; the EPO’s management is unable to counter the facts or sue for defamation (because the statements are correct and are even supported by European courts), so they are just trying to gag the messengers. China does it with the infamous DDOS ‘cannons’ (see press reports the recent DDOS attacks against GitHub, which was used to host mirrors of stories that the Great Firewall of China cannot ever effectively suppress). The EPO is trying a desperate and counter-productive censorship strategy as well. It’s going to backfire; people cannot respect an employer who actively censors and spies on employees, especially if it’s done in order to prevent the employees from finding out the truth about the employer. To make matters worse, Battistelli et al. attack journalists, not just staff. It’s a form of shameless sabotage.

I have repeatedly asked Amazon where to serve legal papers to and Amazon refuses to even answer. They guard DDOS and have officially taken a “do not reply” approach after their machines had been attacking my site and caused a lot of damage (recent attacks on my sites caused even database corruption several times recently, with repairs taking hours, let aside disruption to service).

The EPO has been targeting Techrights in a variety of confirmed ways (censorship, surveillance, and maybe more); the only attack vector that’s hard to concretely prove is DDOS, but we are going to pursue this pretty soon. SUEPO already initiated an investigation after it had come under cyber attacks. If anyone knows anything about it and has some documents that can prove it, please make an effort to anonymously send it to us. Transmission using Tor and an empty E-mail account can do the trick. We have never let down or betrayed a source (in our decade-old history with many whistleblowers). Potential sources and also the principal target audience are sadly unable to access this site from work anymore.

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