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03.07.20

Financial and Legal Corruption Scandal in France (INPI) Implicating the Person Benoît Battistelli Put in Charge of the EPO’s Finances

Posted in Europe, Finance, Fraud, Patents at 4:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: EPO May be Financially Defrauding the Public and Its Employees

INPI corruption

Summary: The EPO is run by criminals and people who protect criminals; the legal system shows its shortcomings as it refuses to hold accountable the worst offenders, who ruin many lives and cause billions of euros in damages (at the public’s expense)

WELL, AS one can expect (and this was our expectation all along; right from the start or the nomination phase), António Campinos has done nothing whatsoever to hold his predecessor accountable. After all, he gave him this job. The corrupt president proceeded to heading a law school (yes, the irony!).

However, past actions continue to haunt the corrupt president, who was supposed to be in jail right now together with Alexandre Benalla. It’s a classic case where the superior, who does something illegal, is shielded from justice, whereas the low-level executioner takes all the blame. This exactly is what’s described in this French article from the publishers who exposed much of the Benalla scandal (critical components of it).

“Benalla is to Battistelli what the convicted person is to Frédéric Angermann, the person responsible for Battistelli’s financial abuses. They’re robbing the EPO while destroying it.”Well, somebody has just ‘leaked’ to us the translation published here along with additional (several more) articles regarding this matter.

Benalla is to Battistelli what the convicted person is to Frédéric Angermann, the person responsible for Battistelli’s financial abuses. They’re robbing the EPO while destroying it. It’s a miracle that neither has been sentenced to prison (yet) or simply another bit of evidence that the French legal system is corrupt (see how they let Lagarde off the hook following a conviction, allowing her to become head of Europe’s largest bank) and EPO immunity breeds criminality of the highest order.

Here’s an English translation of the article dated a month ago:

Serious dysfunctions within the financial justice system

By Laurent Mauduit
Article published February 4, 2020.

In a display of double standards, two contradictory judgements have been handed down for the same offences. The former Secretary General of the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), who has since become a financial magistrate, was acquitted by the Budget and Finance Disciplinary Court (CDBF), while the public accountant who validated the payments from which he benefited was convicted in the Court of Auditors.

This story is currently making a lot of noise at the Court of Auditors and the Council of State, even though it has not received any publicity beyond these two institutions. And with good reason: it shows financial justice in an atrocious light. The former Secretary General of the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), who has since become a Master of the Court of Auditors, was acquitted by the Court of Budgetary and Financial Discipline (CDBF). Meanwhile, the public accountant who allowed the disputed payments was convicted of the same type of charges by the Court of Auditors.

It is an understatement to say that the INPI file has been thoroughly examined by the Court of Auditors. For many years, financial magistrates have periodically plumbed the depths of this public institution’s accounts and each time raised numerous grievances, but to little effect. Within the Court, the Institute has long had a shambolic reputation.

In a referral dated May 27, 2019 (), addressed to Bruno Le Maire and Gérald Darmanin, the First President of the Court of Auditors at the time, Didier Migaud, underlined the recurrent problems within the INPI: “The persistence of dysfunctions within the INPI, even though these shortcomings and bad practices have long been the subject of criticism by the Court as well as other intervenors, is not acceptable. It is all the more unacceptable because the INPI must be above reproach, in terms of the exemplary nature of public management in general, and of patent management in particular, and its work must be carried out in of optimum efficiency and regularity, given its absolutely strategic nature for French economic competitiveness,” he wrote.

This is how the INPI once again hit the headlines and prompted two judgements for the same offences, one from the Court of Auditors, the other from the CDBF. The reason for the two judgements was that the two courts do not have the same jurisdiction. The Court of Auditors judges accounting officers who are responsible for verifying the regularity of expenditure (and not the authorising officers) under accounting regulations, in particular Article 60 of the Finance Act of 1963. It is this section that enshrines the noted rule: “Public accountants are personally and financially responsible for the collection of revenue, the payment of expenditure, and the custody and preservation of funds and assets belonging to or entrusted to the various legal persons governed by public law that have a public accountant.”

An equal number of members of the Court of Audit and the Council of State make up the CDBF, which judges the authorising officers on the basis of the laws and regulations governing public management.

Thus, new irregularities noted between 2008 and 2012 at the INPI gave rise to two separate proceedings. On the occasion of a public hearing on 28 September 2017, the Court of Audit judged the first of two successive public accountants. The judgement of the Court of Auditors can be read on its website or consulted below:

A reading of this judgement shows that the complaints there were numerous complaints against the two accountants. According to the complaints, the second accountant alone, for the years 2011 and 2012, was in debt to the INPI for considerable sums: 46,304 euros, then 109,257.87 euros, then 23,400 euros, then 2,860 euros, then 888 euros, all plus interest as of December 12, 2014.

The judgement does not make it possible to guess the identity of the INPI officials involved, but their irregularities are meticulously described. We learn that the Institute reimbursed “payments for ‘overnight stays’ at actual expenses and without a ceiling on the basis of INPI regulations which would institute a permanent derogation from the laws in force”; “payments of travel expenses without a travel order or with a permanent travel order, one of the payments without a travel order relating to a trip for a spouse”; “payments for transport booked at expensive rates”; “payment of taxi fares without prior authorisation, or for journeys to and from work”.

We also learn that “the accountants approved payment for visa expenses and a trip to China by the wife of the Director General on the basis of an administrative certificate signed by the Secretary General and endorsed by the State Controller”. And so it continues.

And then there is the second judgement, handed down on 23 January 2020 by the CDBF, against the same leaders of the INPI. The judgement can be downloaded on the Court of Auditors website or consulted below:

This ruling still does not make it possible discern which leaders were involved since they are anonymised. But the ruling can also be seen on the Légifrance website, and the identity of the three persons concerned can be found. They are Yves Lapierre, Director General of the INPI from 26 August 2010 to 6 October 2016; and Sophie Spilliaert, Administrative and Financial Director of the INPI from October 1, 2012, to January 30, 2016; and, finally Frédéric Angermann, Secretary General of the INPI from February 22, 2007, to October 31, 2012.

On reading the judgement, the irregularities committed by Frédéric Angermann are of particular interest. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, after his time at the INPI, he would become in 2012 a Master of the Court of Auditors, Deputy Rapporteur to the Constitutional Council and member of the Tax Infringement Commission (CIF). He is therefore one of the judges that the magistrates of the Court of Auditors, together with members of the Council of State, are judging in this ruling.

Furthermore, some of the irregularities may not involve large sums of money but are incongruous, to say the least. According to our information, the person concerned was living in Lille at the time—which he did not wish to confirm—and was therefore reimbursed for the “overnight stays” referred to above when he came to Paris to work and stayed at the hotel. He also routinely took taxis from the Gare du Nord train station to get to work, although this type of trip would not normally be reimbursed.

Above all, if he attracts attention, it is because he was acquitted by his peers. Amazing as it may seem, the accountant (this is the second one) was convicted for having validated some of these irregular payments to the Secretary General, but the Secretary General himself slipped through the judicial net. This suggests that financial justice is just not functioning properly.

This is all the more reason to believe that the grounds of the CBDF’s ruling come as a surprise to experts. We have interviewed lawyers who specialize in these cases as well as a professor of public law. All agree that the CDBF ruling is, to say the least, lenient and twists the law to arrive at an acquittal.

Sleight of Hand Around Financial Loss

Firstly, the judgement grants the former Secretary General of the INPI the benefit of a statute of limitations for many of the claims against him, using arguments that appear to be ill-founded in law. Indeed, the judgement considers that some of the irregular expenses are time-barred. However, it reaches this decision only after tortuous legal reasoning. First argument: “Under the terms of Article L. 314-2 of the Code of Financial Courts: ‘No action may be brought before the Court of Justice after the expiry of a period of five completed years from the day on which the act likely to give rise to the application of the penalties provided for in this Title has been committed’.” However, the judgement rightly points out the following: “The procureur général’s referral reiterates several times that ‘the Court has long accepted that a decision covered by the statute of limitations may lead to the liability of its author where it continued to have effect during the period not prescribed, in particular as regards remuneration’.”

In other words, if a bonus, compensation, remuneration or expenses have been improperly voted by the board of directors of an institution, the statute of limitations applies for the period beginning five years after that vote or decision. However, if the beneficiary of this irregular measure continues to receive the sums concerned during the non-prescription period, he is liable.

However, by an entangled legal reasoning, the judgement considers that in this case the provision, exceptionally, does not apply. Conclusion: “Since the breaches relating to procedural defects occurred during the prescribed period, it is no longer possible, due to the provisions of the aforementioned Article L. 314- 2, to seek the liability of the perpetrator on this count [...] It follows that, as regards the reimbursement of expenses without a travel order, the elements constituting the offences provided for in Articles L. 313-4 and L. 313-6 of the Code of Financial Courts are not met.” Many of the complaints against the three INPI directors collapsed by the same token.

This decision of the CDBF on the statute of limitations is unprecedented. If it were not subsequently overturned by the Council of State, it would lead to a major reversal of case law in this area, prohibiting the prosecution and punishment of numerous irregularities.

But this judgement is even more surprising in that it defends the idea that the public accountant having previously been convicted for some of the charges also made against the Secretary General—in particular, the hotel nights in Paris, which was his place of work at the time—meant the Secretary General could no longer be prosecuted.

Here again, the legal reasoning is tortuous, because first of all, the judgement acknowledges that there was indeed an irregularity. It is so convoluted that, here again, the grounds deserve to be read carefully: “By two decisions of 11 and 16 January 2012, the Director General of the INPI decided that the Secretary General would be reimbursed for his accommodation and meal expenses in the jurisdiction of his administrative residence, on the basis of Article 19 of the regulation of 20 June 2011, according to which ‘Staff members who, by absolute necessity of service, are prevented from returning to their homes at the end of their working day will be reimbursed for their on-site accommodation expenses as well as for their corresponding meal expenses.’ The same article states that ‘The absolute necessity of the service shall be defined by the Director General of the institution and shall be the subject of a detailed decision.’ However, there is no provision in the Decree of 3 July 2006 for the reimbursement of accommodation costs when the staff member is at his or her administrative residence. On this point, the regulation adopted by the INPI contradicts the provisions of the Decree of 3 July 2006 and the two decisions mentioned above, taken in application of the regulation, are for this reason irregular.”

The favour granted by the Director General to the Secretary General is therefore indeed an irregularity. This is what the judgement confirms as follows: “In application of the principles set out in points 2 to 5, the irregularities affecting the payment of INPI travel expenses, adopted during the prescribed period, vitiate the decisions taken pursuant to the said regulation, namely the two decisions of 11 and 16 January 2012 which were made during a period which was not prescribed. The liability of their author, in this case the Director General of the INPI, may therefore usefully be sought, and the fact of having made those irregular decisions constitutes an infringement of the rules relating to the execution of expenditure within the meaning of Article L. 313-4 of the Code of Financial Courts.”

The judgement therefore recognizes that the Director General, who granted these favours, is at fault and that his liability is established. But the beneficiary of these favours is exonerated for this staggering reason—because the public accountant was previously convicted by the Court of Auditors for having allowed this expenditure: “However, for this failure to constitute an unjustified advantage granted to another person within the meaning of Article L. 313-6 of the Code of Financial Courts, it must have caused financial damage to the INPI. However, by a ruling handed down by the Court of Auditors on 27 October 2017, the INPI’s public accountant was held liable for the same facts as those prosecuted before the Court of Budgetary and Financial Discipline, and was found to be in debt to the INPI for a sum corresponding to travel expenses paid irregularly. As the financial loss is no longer constituted, the elements constituting the offence provided for in Article L. 313-6 of the Code of Financial Courts are therefore no longer present.”

One has to admire the judicial somersault: since the public accountant has been sentenced to reimburse the INPI out of her personal funds for the irregularities authorised by the Director General for the benefit of the Secretary General, the financial loss suffered by the INPI no longer exists. And therefore, there is no longer grounds for prosecution. An excellent game of three-card monte.

The sleight of hand is easy to spot. Article L313-6 of the Code of Financial Jurisdiction stipulates the following: “Any person referred to in Article L. 312-1 who, in the exercise of his duties or powers, in disregard of his obligations, has procured for another person an unjustified advantage, pecuniary or in kind, resulting in damage to the Treasury, the community or the body concerned, or has attempted to procure such an advantage, shall be liable to a fine of not less than 300 euros and not more than to double the amount of the gross annual salary or wages he or she was receiving at the time of the offence.”

Reading this article, it is clear that it applies with three reservations. Firstly, it must not be established that the person responsible for the irregularity was not aware of his or her obligations—which is clearly not the case here. Secondly, the irregularity must have generated an unjustified advantage—which in this case is clearly established. And thirdly, it must have caused financial damage to the body or institution concerned.

It is this third provision that the judgement plays on by means of what must be called a judicial sleight of hand. For, on reading the judgement, one question stands out: what did the public accountant do the day after her conviction? Did she not ask the minister responsible, in this case budget minister Gérald Darmanin, for a remission? We asked the accountant the question, but we could not get an answer. In any case, it is allowed by law and it is common practice: the budget minister frequently grants a remission, which can be substantial, to public accountants who request it.

But if that is what happened in the present case, the CBDF would not be justified in ruling that there is no longer any financial damage. The financial loss would still exist, but if an ex gratia remission has been granted, this loss would no longer be borne by the INPI but by the Treasury. Or by the INPI, if the Minister had decided it should cover the cost. However, the CDBF states that there is no longer any financial loss, but the ruling is not reasoned on this point—which, according to our public law experts, is a major
legal error, for by the same token, the CDBF would have had no reason to grant an acquittal.

This is precisely what happened. Mediapart questioned the budget minister, Gérald Darmanin, and he told us through a staff member that he had granted a remission to the two accountants concerned: “The accountants who were debited by order of the Court of Auditors have obtained remission of their debts, these remissions were borne by the INPI, without cost to the state budget,” we were told at Bercy. So, how can the CDBF ruling claim that the financial damage to the INPI has disappeared? To grant the acquittal, the CDBF therefore relies on an argument that is in fact false: the INPI has indeed always suffered financial damage.

The two rulings of the Court of Auditors and the CDBF are therefore not only very unfair, in that they afflict the public accountant and exonerate the Secretary General, but they also demonstrate a very serious malfunctioning of this financial jurisdiction. What is most worrying is that the court that has the power of cassation in this matter is the Council of State, which provides half of the judges in the CBDF. Clearly, the Council of State is judge and party, which is always unhealthy.

In this procedure, there is therefore no possibility of appeal. The only recourse, therefore, is an appeal in cassation to the Council of State. Questioned by Mediapart, the public prosecutor at the Court of Auditors, Catherine Hirsch de Kersauson, replied: “The deadline for appeal is two months, which gives me time for reflection. You will understand in this context that I do not wish to comment on the substance.” We also questioned the accountant, but she did not respond to our e-mail.

According to the professor of public law we consulted, there could, however, be many grounds for appealing this decision, particularly due to the error of fact on which it is based and the erroneous reasoning that results from it.

We have also submitted several questions to Frédéric Angermann, the former Secretary General of the INPI who has become a Master of the Court of Auditors.

These questions can be found under the “Go Further” tab associated with this article. The interested party did not wish to answer our questions precisely, but sent us some general
remarks, which can also be found under the same tab.

Go Further

Before this article went online, we submitted several questions to Frédéric Angermann. Here is the email we sent him:

“Dear Sir,
I will soon be writing an article on Mediapart about the two judgements of the Court of Auditors and the Court of Budgetary Discipline concerning the INPI. As I want to be as precise as possible and am very respectful of the rules of debate, I would like to reach out to you for your version of the facts and your observations.

I therefore take the liberty of submitting my questions to you, on the understanding that I will naturally publish any answers that you are kind enough to pass on.

- The CBDF’s judgement of 23 January 2020 anonymised the names of all the persons mentioned in the INPI case. But I imagine that the
Director General of the INPI in question is indeed you, correct?

- Can you confirm that at the time you were living in Lille while working in Paris, and that this is the reason for the ‘overnight stays’ and taxi expenses mentioned in the judgement.

- Do you think it is fitting that the public accountant was convicted on some of these grounds by the Court of Auditors and that the CDBF used that as an argument for considering that the damage was no longer constituted and therefore to acquit you?

- To what do you attribute this paradoxical situation in which the accounting officer was convicted and you were discharged? Could your status as a financial magistrate have contributed to this leniency?

- I see that you are the auditor of the European Patent Office, long chaired by Benoît Battistelli, your predecessor at the INPI. Is he the one who sponsored you to become an auditor? Is the proximity that you maintain with him likely to guarantee your independence?

Thank you, sir, and my best regards to you.”

In response, Frédéric Angermann sent us this email:

“Dear Sir,

I received your email with great interest and I apologize for the delay in responding, which is due to my professional commitments.

I do not at this stage intend to provide answers to your questions on points that were dealt with by the courts, which, in this context, do not concern me although their nature and structure seem to me to be such that they would be likely to appear relevant to you.

The courts have ruled on the various points you raise, and I have been acquitted of the sole charge against me. I would now like to turn the page on this case, particularly in view of the consequences that it has already had and is having on my personal and professional life.

I have three clarifications:

- A non-anonymised version of this judgement is available online on Légifrance, in particular via the Court of Auditors’ website and the following link:

https://www.ccomptes.fr/fr/publications/institut-national-de-la-propriete-industrielle-inpi-1.

Click on ‘read more’ on the home page.

- I was Secretary General of INPI from February 2007 to October 2012.

- The conditions of my appointment as statutory auditor of the European Patent Office (EPO), member of the college of statutory auditors: Mr. Benoît Battistelli, President of the EPO from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2018, never intervened in the process that led to my appointment, on December 12, 2013, by unanimous vote of the Board of Directors of this institution—of which he was not a member.

I would like to inform you that I am and will remain vigilant in ensuring the preservation of my honour and reputation.

I shall ensure, if necessary, that I exercise my right of reply to any material you may publish on these matters.

Finally, with regard to any questions you may have on the general organisation of financial public policy and the various procedures involved, I can only refer you to the Court of
Auditors, which will be in a better position to answer them.

Yours sincerely

Notice the question: “I see that you are the auditor of the European Patent Office, long chaired by Benoît Battistelli, your predecessor at the INPI. Is he the one who sponsored you to become an auditor? Is the proximity that you maintain with him likely to guarantee your independence?”

He did not even respond to the actual question.

So basically, while defrauding the EPO Battistelli put in charge of oversight an old colleague of his, secured by ‘Team Battistelli’. This isn’t just an embarrassment to the EPO but to the French system as a whole.

Sometimes it seems like many criminals are in charge, whereas those who expose such criminals are being put behind bars or driven into bankruptcy/insanity.

03.02.20

Free Speech Isn’t Violence and Richard Stallman Isn’t an Offender (Nor Are His Supporters)

Posted in Deception, Finance, GNU/Linux at 3:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Abandoning the intellectually-dishonest argument that verbal offence or insult is like a physical assault

Freedom zero/Number one. Freedom number zero. Freedom to run the GNU Project, for any purpose.

Summary: Freedom is being squashed in the name of “protecting people”; this is no laughing matter because we’ve been seeing more of that in more and more Free software projects and communities

BEFORE we proceed to “Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) – Part V” we’d like to respond to the tired old nonsense or stigma that people who defend Stallman’s role in GNU (and/or the FSF) are somehow “rude” or “condone violence” or “disrespect women” or whatever.

These stupid tricks don’t work anymore or they won’t work for much longer. People call these out. People are growing tired of these tricks. They cheapen the concept of offence or violence and they harm the cause of feminism (painting people with far too broad a brush, distracting from actual victims).

I get my share of rude responses (example here) for merely saying that it’s not OK for the FSF to suddenly pretend that its very founder does not exist. Does this make sense?

FSF and Stallman: Hello, I'd like to speak to Richard Stallman. Stallman? We don't know someone called Stallman. Wrong number?

As we’re going to show in weeks if not months to come, what happens in the FSF right now isn’t unique to it. It happens in Debian as well (several recent examples and some communication is being wrongly equated with “violence” or “aggression”). It’s not funny and it destabilises project rathers than making them more inviting. There were two new examples of it over the weekend (we’d rather not name the people, but there are some related links to our IRC logs [1, 2]).

I became a Free software advocate a couple of decades ago — as a teenager — not because I was a geek or male or white or whatever. I don’t even think in those terms. What matters is the technical substance and the potentially political goal, which strives to improve transparency, cooperation, collaboration, honesty and frank participation. ‘Workplace politics’ can often be avoided in the context of Free software projects and that’s a big plus for personal freedoms, including free speech.

Phone and Stallman: Ah, yes... Stallman... The guy who compares free software to free speech

Please, let’s be grown-ups. Most of our readers aren’t kids (even those old enough to be literate) and adopting a kindergarten-like mentality where people must be guarded from the potential of their feelings being ‘hurt’/’offended’ — and maybe even sobbing — would imperil us all (e.g. who’s feeling threatened by the simple verbal observation that Palestinians have rights too?). If we go down this route, then we pursue not Free software, not “Ethical” software, not “Open Source” but some kind of “Social Control” software. Like Social Control Media, where speech is policed and particular people are de-platformed by those who don’t share their worldviews.

Let’s remember that the price of freedom may be tolerating the freedom of others. When it comes to speech, this means allowing a platform to facilitate speech not everyone agrees with. This is not violence. It’s not aggression. Inciting towards violence is another matter — a matter well outside the scope of freedom of speech as that’s trumped by very explicit laws.

Speech isn’t inherently aggressive. Speech is sharing one’s thoughts, not fists. That’s what free speech is about. Taking that away from others will, inevitably, take that away from oneself. And just to be clear, Stallman promotes peace and never condones violence, unlike another Richard.

“‘Free software’ is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of ‘free’ as in ‘free speech,’ not as in ‘free beer’.”

Richard Stallman

02.15.20

Anatomy of a Crime and Protection From Prosecution

Posted in Europe, Finance, Fraud, Law, Patents at 10:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Context: Did Battistelli ‘Steal’ ~100,000,000 Euros From the EPO?

Illegally Gambles EPO Money and Loses 97 million euros in one year... Gets to Run a Law School

Summary: It’s hard to forget what António Campinos hides for his friend

Today’s EPO is a Fraud Managed by Frauds

Posted in Europe, Finance, Fraud, Patents at 10:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

These are the people who instruct the EPO on management of billions of euros it’s not supposed to even have

Mercer tax

Summary: Beneath the scandals associated with systematic abuse against staff, union-busting (silencing whistleblowers) and en masse granting of invalid patents — the hallmark of grotesque maladministration — lie a bunch of even greater crimes

THE NEXT batch of Daily Links will contain a bunch of ‘news’ items (we use scare quotes because the authors are law firms, not actual journalists) about “DABUS”, CRISPR and Brexit/UPC. The European Patent Office (EPO) has said nothing new in quite some time and António Campinos has published no photo ops for a number of weeks. The short story is, more CRISPR patents are being pushed onto the EPO, more software patents are rejected by courts (all software patents are likely invalid in Europe), Team UPC keeps lying to itself — to the point of hilarity — in the midst of Brexit, and IP Kat (now AstraZeneca) hopes for a reversal after BoA — in defiance of the spirit of a crook — said “no” to patents on CRISPR. Across the Atlantic it’s also more or less the same; 35 U.S.C. § 101 continues to crush software patents, Koch-funded scholars want a “STRONGER” scam, and the whole Coons-led effort turns out to have been a miserable failure (again, for the third year in a row).

“It does not seem and it does not even ‘feel’ like anything is improving (certainly not quality of patents)…”It is profoundly disappointing that EPO staff is still unable to find justice. It’s not entirely shocking or surprising; we should still aim higher. How are patent examiners expected to do their job properly when they clearly lack the liberty to apply the law as they see fit? Patent maximalists have hijacked key institutions and there’s no restitution.

It’s far too easy to grow tired of responding to the EPO’s inane tweets (almost a dozen of these every day), in which they promote a lie about 50% of the time (the rest are pure fluff or repetition). It does not seem and it does not even ‘feel’ like anything is improving (certainly not quality of patents) and days ago there was a meeting which discussed austerity measures implemented by Campinos while spending billions of euros on new (and unnecessary) buildings, not to mention gambling. Need we add that Mercer with his shiny ‘reports’ now decides how to run the EPO, based on a hoax?

“And perhaps more importantly, is it lawful to bribe the media and bribe academia to not talk about these issues?”We couldn’t help but notice that SUEPO mentioned INPI scandals yesterday (it’s all in French). Don’t forget that many INPI people and their families are still in charge of today’s EPO, never mind its French-born and French-taught president Campinos, an old friend of Battistelli who owes a lot to him and would do anything to cover up his crimes. Ironically this criminal now runs a law school — the same one previously run by Campinos. Do they teach law there in order to train people to break it? And perhaps more importantly, is it lawful to bribe the media and bribe academia to not talk about these issues?

02.03.20

Microsoft “Azure” (or “Cloud”) Results Are Most Likely an Elaborate Fraud

Posted in Deception, Finance, Fraud, Microsoft, Servers at 6:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And it’s hardly shocking that Microsoft is reportedly shutting down some datacentres

Capone Commits the Crimes, Pays Slush Funds

Summary: Even Microsoft fans (who participate in Microsoft podcasts and censor Microsoft critics) aren’t buying the latest “sales figures for Azure”

THE criminals who run Microsoft apparently carry on with their long-running financial misconduct. Maybe they feel like they’re above the law. Maybe they feel shameless about it under the current president, who is himself known for con jobs and other things…

“Is he belatedly realising that Microsoft fakes Azure “success”?”The Microsoft propagandist and chief editor of the ‘defamation mill’ ZDNet (a tabloid of CBS that defames Free software people and whose editor is in bed with Microsoft, having fired Free software-centric writers) has just published “Dear Microsoft: It’s time to disclose some real sales figures for Azure” (it never does). We omit the link.

The opening paragraph says: “Microsoft delivered a blowout fiscal second quarter as its commercial cloud hit a $50 billion annual run rate, but in the end we know just as little about Azure sales as we did before. In other words, we know nothing about Azure sales so let’s put aside the breathless BS until Microsoft gives us some real data.”

We do know that most of it is GNU/Linux VMs. It’s not a business model but an entrapment strategy.

“Microsoft defrauds its shareholders by reclassifying everything “cloud” and pretending that it’s going great.”Is he belatedly realising that Microsoft fakes Azure “success”? Microsoft insiders spoke about this and a former one issued a complaint to the SEC. This is very serious stuff. Microsoft’s fictional market value may be based almost entire on a very major lie.

Microsoft defrauds its shareholders by reclassifying everything “cloud” and pretending that it’s going great. Details? No, thanks. That’s a secret. Ask again later.

It’s corporate cannibalism (competing against oneself or one’s old ‘products’). The people who promote this illusion are part of the fraud and one of them was arrested for pedophilia last year. All in all, be extremely sceptical of what Microsoft claims because even its biggest and loudest fans are now sceptical. Have they been so easily conned and co-opted into relaying lies which shareholders and sometimes pension funds are tied to?

“If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”

Bill Gates, Microsoft

Gates animation

01.28.20

Don’t Let the Collapse of News Companies Be the Collapse of Information (or Ascent of Misinformation)

Posted in Deception, Finance at 9:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As journalism and reporters jump ship (or jump the shark or get fired) the public may suffer informational homelessness and resort to/rely on any random piece of propaganda on the Web, in social (control) media, or YouTube

Old boat

Summary: We’re growingly concerned that the collapse of the mainstream media will entail reliance not on reliable and independent alternatives but corporate marketing agencies, charlatans and frauds, sometimes even deliberate falsehoods and state-manufactured bogus stories

THE ‘news’ houses were never brilliant. Their rich owners had agenda and they were always tempted to use these houses to propel them to power (or greater power). We see that a lot in presidential campaigns.

On homelessness; Someone's ShelterBut their collapse entails a certain risk — the risk that something even worse would capitalise on the new vacuum and general distrust/dissatisfaction. Plenty of people nowadays immerse themselves in YouTube videos with so-called ‘influencers’ who are actually marketers. We previously remarked on the downside of social (control) media and the opportunists who thrive in lying, partisan media (which can be akin to tabloids and more shameless about its biases). Think of the likes of Fox ‘News’ (Faux Noise).

In 2020 we’ve repeatedly noted that journalism about the European Patent Office (EPO) is more or less dead. António Campinos and Battistelli more or less ‘pacified’ their critics using bribes and threats. A decade ago we still saw many articles about the harms of software patents in Europe; we have found a single such article… in years! As for 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the US, well… guess whose narrative dominates the media, eh? Of course the law firms’.

“In 2020 we actually spend a lot of time on each article as we work to ensure that we cover things 100% accurately.”We believe — but are happy to be proven wrong — that Techrights is one of the last if not the last to speak about these issues routinely. We specialise in this topic because long ago we identified the gap (in media coverage). Sometimes someone needs to speak for software developers and speak truth to power. The ‘old’ media certainly isn’t doing that and it arguably isn’t equipped financially to deal with detailed, long-term investigations. Instead it based entire articles on a Trump ‘tweet’ or Twitter ‘trending’ or some daily outrage, which is likely based on a misrepresentation or mob mentality (see what happened to Richard Stallman last year; the media still occasionally mentions this in 2020). In 2020 we actually spend a lot of time on each article as we work to ensure that we cover things 100% accurately. The accuracy can be assurd with evidence, which sometimes we keep private in order to protect sources. We also leave additional evidence in IRC (sometimes anonymised or partly redacted), where readers can always dig for additional information, views, opinions, and analysis. It’s not so well structured, not always coherent, but it is there and it is publicly accessible. We do not hide the gory details, we only demote them a little.

01.26.20

Opinion: If You Advocate Population Control and You Are Yourself Doubling in One Single Generation, Then You Might be Hypocritical

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance at 3:30 am by Guest Editorial Team

Gates Sr. (Bill’s father), Turner, Soros, and Rockefeller (Carnegie Photo Op)

Gates, Turner, Soros, and Rockefeller Photo Op
Context: Getty photo (local copy for backup) and more information

Summary: People with 3-5 children (each) tell us that the world has an overpopulation problem; while the growth of the population certainly poses a risk, these people lack the moral authority to lecture us about that (unless they adopt a eugenicist worldview, wherein only particular people are permitted to reproduce)

A LOT of well-meaning people have been bamboozled into this ludicrous idea that Bill Gates is a nice man. This sociopath is worse than a nihilist. He’s a tyrant who bribes the media to paint him as exactly the opposite of what he is. He could barely get along with his own family (shouting at them) and he was arrested several times.

Even fewer people care to comment on Gates’ arrogance and disregard for many people’s lives. Please note that we don’t take a stance on abortion here, we just point out the hypocrisy regarding overpopulation. Some people cite/link to a Bill Gates video where he’s captured as saying people or most people have no purpose (and things to that effect). The other day the Gates-funded BBC (he pays them repeatedly for bias and puff pieces) published “What happens when we’re too old to be ‘useful’?”

“Please note that we don’t take a stance on abortion here, we just point out the hypocrisy regarding overpopulation.”Gates is a stereotypical example of people with private jets stressing the urgency of climate action and/or urging for such action by flying their planes around… to merely shake a hand and give a talk…

Does Gates live a modest life? No, his mansion directly contradicts such a view (worth about 0.15 billion dollars; compare this to the world’s most expensive mansions) and his fast-growing wealth contradicts claims that he’s “giving it away” (one of the biggest lies perpetrated by him).

This is an issue which we explored and mentioned here many times about a decade ago. Much of the above isn’t worth exploring again because it was covered here ‘to death’ back then. We try not to become too repetitive. Nothing has changed since then.

One reader recently reminded of us this 1998 article which touches on the Gates family and its “population control” (depopulation) ties, notably the father of Bill Gates. That mentioned Warren Buffett as well:

“Reproductive health and family planning” is a buzz phrase that emerged out of the 1994 United Nations Cairo conference on population issues, said Dr. Gordon Perkin, president of PATH. In the past, the research topic used to be referred to as “population control” — though, said Dr. Perkin, “the words ‘population control’ are not used any more, except by people who don’t know the field.”

Billionaires have always had a fond spot in their hearts for population control: Ted Turner is a big supporter, as is Warren Buffett, a Gates family friend.

“If you think about what people like Buffett, Turner and Gates all have in common — they are more global in their thinking, more risk-taking, more revolutionary in their business practices,” said Beth Frederick, development director at the Alan Guttmacher Institute, “and as such they look for larger answers to some of the problems that seem so close to home.”

But whatever you call it — “population control” or “family planning” — this isn’t just a billionaire fad for the Gates family.

“Bill Gates Sr. has been deeply involved in this issue for decades,” says Laurie S. Zabin, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Zabin, who served with Gates Sr. on the national board of Planned Parenthood, was instrumental in getting the Gates Foundation grant for Johns Hopkins.

But that doesn’t mean Gates Sr. is the only one who cares about overpopulation, said Zabin: Gates Jr. “has supported issues of real social concern and certainly this is one of them.”

Gates Sr. agreed: “It’s an interest he has had since he was a kid. And he has friends who are interested in supporting research into world population problems, people whom he admires — it’s just a matter of a fit between his proclivities and mine.”

A “proclivity fit” is one way to put it. Or one could surmise that Bill Gates is growing up to be the man his parents raised him to be.

When someone with four kids (i.e. doubling in a single generation) lectures you that there are too many people (who are not his own), you just know something isn’t quite right. Warren Buffett is one example, Ted Turner is another (had three wives, has 5 children), George Soros (Schwartz György) has had 3 wives and has 5 children, but remember that Gates Sr. decided to have a multitude of kids. He has three. Bill Jr. has an older sister called Kristi (Kristianne) and a younger sister called Libby. Bill Jr. also has three kids, namely Phoebe Adele Gates, Jennifer Katharine Gates, and Rory John Gates. So at the Gates family they’re growing 50% in a single generation! Imagine the world going from a population of 8 billion people (where we are today, almost…) to 12 billion in just one generation. What kind of example are these people setting themselves? An old article (more than 2 decades ago) spoke of Buffett as follows:

The Buffett Foundation has had an impact on society that rivals that of much larger organizations, mainly because it concentrates its giving in two closely related fields: population control and reproductive health. This emphasis is rooted in the deeply held beliefs of Mr. and Mrs. Buffett, neither of whom is inclined to air their views in public. “Certainly I consider population and reproductive rights to be important issues . . . but I don’t want to comment on the question or become a spokesman,” Buffett said in 1997. “It would change my life too much.”

[...]

Family Matters

With just $22 million in assets, the Buffett foundation is tiny. But thanks to carefully targeted grants like those below from last year, it has had an outsize influence in its chosen sphere of family planning and population control.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD*

$3.76 million to fund family-planning clinics

INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS ASSISTANCE SERVICES

$2.5 million to distribute abortion devices in Third World countries

POPULATION COUNCIL

$2.43 million for research on population issues

PATHFINDER INTERNATIONAL

$1.24 million to fund family-planning programs abroad, mainly in Vietnam

NATIONAL ABORTION RIGHTS ACTION LEAGUE

$1 million to finance pro-choice lobbying group

*Includes a $648,089 donation to the Planned Parenthood Federation and grants to 17 affiliates around the U.S.

Please note again that we are not taking a stance on abortion here; the key point is, these super-rich people believe it’s perfectly OK for them to have a lot of kids (“we can afford!”) in the same way some cultures permit having multiple wives depending on one’s connections and wealth. There’s a eugenicist aspect to that as well — one that the media rarely entertains because of a dark past.

01.23.20

Distractions From Microsoft’s Gigantic Tax Evasion and Contribution to Denial of Climate Science

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The greenwashing efforts (as seen earlier this month in shallow ‘media’ that’s nowadays more like a glorified PR apparatus) are a cynical ploy at best

Windows is secure. War is peace.

Summary: Microsoft (connected to oil companies) wants us to think of it as a “green” company; not only does it contribute to climate denial but it also evades tax, which is a serious crime that costs tens of billions of dollars (the public pays this money instead)

WE have been covering Microsoft here since 2006 (I had written a lot more about it since the 1990s). It’s no secret that Microsoft lies a lot about a lot of things, including its stance on the environment (we recently published "Microsoft is a Market Leader in Lying and Corruption"). Remember that both Microsoft and Bill Gates financially backed ALEC, as we noted here a long time ago. Microsoft subsidises big polluters and Bill Gates is best friends with them.

Over a decade ago we wrote about ALEC, about BP, and a lot about other environmental concerns. Microsoft very often shows up as a major facilitator. Recently there was whistleblowing at Microsoft about its close relationship with oil companies that drill the seas and cause unbelievable environmental damage.

“The people at Microsoft sometimes believe these lies! They’re not too bright, it’s like a cult to them.”Wouldn’t Microsoft want and even need a distraction from all this?

Notice how the media is nowadays painting Microsoft as “fighting patent trolls” (Microsoft passes to them lots of USPTO- and EPO-granted patents in order to attack Linux by proxy), painting Microsoft as protective of children (because Gates is closely connected to pedophilia on several levels), and saying that Microsoft is infatuated with minorities and women (the opposite is true, based on the track record and lawsuits). They keep telling us that Microsoft is “in love” with what it’s constantly attacking in a variety of ways, e.g. GNU/Linux. The people at Microsoft sometimes believe these lies! They’re not too bright, it’s like a cult to them. This cult gives them salaries. Microsoft management or the company as a whole keeps calling itself 'Open Source company' while it is actively attacking Open Source, e.g. through GitHub, which is proprietary (Microsoft is then bribing the critics at GitHub, based on admissions they publicly make in Twitter).

As one GNU/Linux developer put it this week: “I’ll believe “Microsoft loves Linux” when I see them support desktop Linux. For now it’s very self-serving and entirely when is convenient. It doesn’t count as an investment. It looks like just PR so it doesn’t show that they’re being dragged by the market, kicking and screaming.”

This is to be expected from a company of criminals such as Microsoft. The crimes are harder to perpetrate when people are aware and forewarned.

For over a decade we wrote about Microsoft’s long history of tax evasion worldwide; even whistleblowing from Microsoft itself explained all the pertinent details over the years. It’s not a secret anymore. Almost a decade ago the IRS belatedly took on this issue, tackling Microsoft (connected to oil companies) and this new report reveals Microsoft’s strategy. [via Benjamin Henrion]

“It’s the biggest audit in IRS history,” one person explained. “Of what has been the largest company in the world. It’s taken over a decade. And it’s still not done. And it’s not going well for the gutted IRS.”

They just try to make it too expensive for the IRS or to ‘run the clock’…

Bill Gates bribed a lot of publications to focus on tax evasion of all companies other than Microsoft as well as his own tax evasion using a sham, bogus ‘charity’.

Here are some of the details from this new article:

Eight years ago, the IRS, tired of seeing the country’s largest corporations fearlessly stash billions in tax havens, decided to take a stand. The agency challenged what it saw as an epic case of tax dodging by one of the largest companies in the world, Microsoft. It was the biggest audit by dollar amount in the history of the agency.

Microsoft had shifted at least $39 billion in U.S. profits to Puerto Rico, where the company’s tax consultants, KPMG, had persuaded the territory’s government to give Microsoft a tax rate of nearly 0%. Microsoft had justified this transfer with a ludicrous-sounding deal: It had sold its most valuable possession — its intellectual property — to an 85-person factory it owned in a small Puerto Rican city.

Over years of work, the IRS uncovered evidence that it believed laid the scheme bare. In one document, a Microsoft senior executive celebrated the company’s “pure tax play.” In another, KPMG plotted how to make the company Microsoft created to own the Puerto Rico factory — and a portion of Microsoft’s profits — seem “real.”

[...]

It seems likely, given the size of Microsoft’s Puerto Rico transaction, that the IRS in May 2011 had hit the company with a tax bill in the billions. But Maruca and Hoory thought the agency was thinking small.

Maruca told Microsoft the IRS needed more time, and in early 2012, the IRS withdrew its findings. By then, Hoory had taken leadership of the audit. He began sending new document requests to Microsoft, asking for more interviews and considering what other experts the IRS needed to round out its case. Over the next three years, he and his team amassed tens of thousands of pages and conducted dozens of interviews with Microsoft personnel. (Hoory, who still works at the IRS, declined to comment.)

The evidence they assembled told a story. It revealed how Microsoft had built a massive Rube Goldberg machine that channeled at least $39 billion in profits to Puerto Rico. It revealed a workshop of outside consultants, economists and attorneys who, as they had with other corporate clients, meticulously planned a structure that seemed to have a basis in the law, even if it violated common sense.

The documents showed that Microsoft had been caught red-handed, Hoory believed. Despite all their care in preparing for an eventual audit, the deal’s architects had left damning evidence that, he thought, made it possible for the IRS to expose the sham.

So those who are rich and have prestigious lawyers (or external law firms) can just exhaust the resources of the IRS and get away with it, leaving the IRS to pick on poor and defenseless people instead. This is maladministration and a hallmark of corruption becoming the ‘norm’. We recently mentioned how lots of Microsoft crimes all around the world resulted in only a tiny settlement. Nobody was arrested. This is the kind of atmosphere which encourages Microsoft to carry on with crime.

In order to keep people ‘off its back’ Microsoft kicked off a shameless greenwashing campaign. It started about a week ago and boiled down to nothing more than a blog post and some future (fictional) date with no commitments. Associates of ours thought it was intended to perpetuate the illusion of Microsoft existing for many years to come.

Media which Gates and Microsoft have bribes blindly parroted the talking points from Microsoft. This is why many people no longer trust the media.

CounterPunch wrote this rebuttal to it and published it on Tuesday. To quote some portions:

“This is a bold bet – a moonshot – for Microsoft.”  So claimed Brad Smith, Microsoft President, in a Thursday announcement painting a picture of a company that intends to be carbon negative by 2030.  “And,” Smith continued, “it will need to be a moonshot for the world.”  That vision entails the removal of more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it emits.  By 2050, the company intends removing from the environment all carbon the company has emitted since its founding in 1975.

[...]

But much of this should not detract from the obvious point: Microsoft is happy to have a bit each way when it comes to how it finances its green image. The waters it bathes in are not always ecologically sound. While the company positions itself high on the soapbox of environmental purity, it is still a corporation governed by that traditional mix of predatory instinct and innate opportunism. In this, it shares a streak with Facebook and Google, two other entities who exude self-confidence in the illusion that they are principled, morals at the ready.

This point was made last year when it was revealed that all three companies sponsored LibertyCon, the annual conference for the Students for Liberty, a libertarian group. Both Microsoft and Facebook forked out $10,000 each as gold sponsors; Google went a grade better with $25,000, making the platinum grade.

This clutch of sponsors was not, in of itself, odd. But the three companies found themselves sharing a crowded platform with outfits distinctly against the science of climate change, showing how vast open tents can get rather muddy on the inside. One of those present was the CO2 Coalition, a group celebrating the virtues of carbon, and feels that it has been unduly demonised. Carbon, it lauds, “is essential for life.” Available at the conference was a brochure from its good offices extolling the merits of greater quantities of carbon dioxide, explaining how that would improve “our lives and our planet Earth”.

One of its members, retired statistics professor Caleb Rossiter, spoke at the gathering by insisting that, “There has been no increase in storms, in intensity or frequency. The data don’t show a worrisome trend.”

In short, Microsoft is the very opposite of what it claims to be.

ZDNet has also just published “Microsoft to forcibly install Bing search extension in Chrome for Office 365 ProPlus users,” so anyone who still believes in the fictional ‘new’ Microsoft needs to wake up and follow the money. One might end up in some offshore tax evasion haven.

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