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Translation and Response to Battistelli’s Face-Saving ‘Interview’ With Juve

Posted in Deception, Europe, Interview, Patents at 4:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“There is an old joke which asks – how to tell if a politician is lying? The answer – if they are moving their lips.” (source)

Battistelli liar
Source (original): Rospatent

Summary: An interview prepared by Battistelli’s department, inclusive of all the ‘official’ narratives, is now translated into English and responded to succinctly (for accuracy and a more complete record of events)

THE EPO‘s President is basically a politician, and like most politicians he habitually lies with apparent sincerity. We recently asked for a translation of an article from Juve, which is essentially a written interview in which Battistelli and his PR people stick their ‘official’ story. We now have a complete translation to which we respond in-line (below the quotes):

Here is the introductory part:


In July, the European Patent Office reformed its Boards of Appeals. This reform must be implemented by the beginning of 2017. To achieve this, a President of the Boards of Appeal has to be found. Critics complain that the reform will not give the EPO Boards enough independence. In this JUVE interview, EPO President Battistelli gives his view and explains why patent renewal fees will not necessarily reduce if the UK leaves the EU and, with it, the new European patent system.

We gave a sort of translation of the mirage of independence for the boards. AMBA later refuted that as well.

Regarding the UK, it does not have to leave the EPO if it leaves the EU as the EPO is not an EU organisation and it includes several member states outside the EU.

JUVE: The Administrative Council and the Office describe the reform of the Boards of Appeal as a milestone for the strengthening of status, efficiency and sustainability of the EPO appeal system. Why?

BENOIT BATTISTELLI: The reform is pioneering because attempts at a structural reform have already failed twice, in 1995 and 2004. The Administrative Council gave the Office the mandate to develop a reform proposal which was within the boundaries of the European Patent Convention (EPC). This allowed, in spite of the scope of the reform, a fast implementation. Because otherwise a protracted process would have been needed, including a diplomatic conference and ratification by the parliaments of all 38 member states.

What he is trying to say is, suddenly he cares about the EPC, even though we showed many times in the past that Battistelli arrogantly defies the EPC.

What “fast implementation” means in this context is a forced implementation that does not allow much time for discussion and potentially resistance (same as in patent appeals). It’s just autocracy. To him, diplomacy is just a nuisance that needs to be overcome. We have seen a lot of this in the UPC.

JUVE: What have you achieved?

BENOIT BATTISTELLI: The Boards of Appeal play a very important role in the European Patent System. The reform shall emphasise that and ensure the sustainability of the EPO appeal system: it strengthens the organisational and managerial autonomy of the boards, the perception of their independence, and their efficiency. In addition, a series of measures will be introduced, that will allow the Administrative Council and the future President of the Boards of Appeal to improve legal proceedings for the parties – for instance, by shortening process times and making the appeal procedures more consistent.

In reality, all that’s being achieved is shrinking of the appeals body, less opportunities to appeal (not to mention less time), higher financial barriers (for access) to appeals and no substantial separation at all, given that Battistelli is, according to Board 28, continuing to attack a judge.

JUVE: Nevertheless, not only EPO Boards of Appeal members have criticised that the emphasis has been too much on efficiency and less on the independence of the EPO Boards. How do you respond?

BENOIT BATTISTELLI: The independence of the Boards of Appeal is clearly incorporated in the EPC, and their role as an independent judicial institution has always been recognised by the highest European and national courts. Therefore, the reform shall primarily improve the perception of independence. To achieve this the current DG3 will be restructured into a Boards of Appeal Unit with its own President. The President of the Boards of Appeal will be given tasks and powers which have been delegated to him by the President of the EPO. As far as management duties are concerned, he is only answerable to the Administrative Council. This is a substantial change. This is because as well as improvements to independence the President of the Boards of Appeal shall also increase the efficiency of the Boards of Appeal.

When Battistelli alludes to the EPC he basically admits that he violates it. Why? Because it’s abundantly clear that he has not respected their independence and continues doing so. He keeps speaking about “perception of independence” perhaps because he knows that he wants to give them no real independence; he’s faking it.

JUVE: Why is this at all necessary?

BENOIT BATTISTELLI: The current backlog and the protracted length of the procedure need sorting out. The continuous increase in litigation in the last couple of decades is, however, in no way only limited to the EPO Boards of Appeal. However, it is necessary to confront this situation with appropriate measures.

In other words, quality control is a nuisance to Battistelli because it means that the whole process is slower and there is a queue. God forbid! He acknowledges an increase in litigation, as though this is desirable or somewhat of a given. So in short, speed and raw quantity (quantified using a dumb politician’s yardstick) trump quality now. It’s quite evident from what he is saying.

JUVE: By having, with the new Boards of Appeal Committee, a joint right of proposal for the new President you will have further influence on the Boards of Appeal. Why is the participation of the EPO President at all necessary in this matter?

BENOIT BATTISTELLI: It is stipulated in the EPC that the Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal shall be appointed by the Administrative Council upon a proposal by the President of the Office. According to the reform, the Office President and Boards of Appeal Committee shall jointly propose the President of the Boards of Appeal, who will be delegated managerial responsibilities. In this way the President of the EPO will share the right of proposal with the Committee – currently he alone has this right. This will allow the President of the Boards of Appeal to lead his unit without influence by the management of the EPO.

Given that the Administrative Council is almost in bed with Battistelli (hardly overseeing him at all), and given the track record of bad faith from both, it seems apparent that the above answer is lots of hogwash and hot air.

JUVE: Once more: why, as Office President, will you continue to participate in these matters?

BENOIT BATTISTELLI: At the end of the day the President is legally responsible for ensuring that the whole Office functions in a proper way, including the budget. Hence, he must be able to trust that the person that takes over his powers exercises them properly. The decision to appoint the President of the Boards of Appeal lies, anyway, with the Administrative Council.

…which in itself is somewhat in the pocket — some believe almost literally — of Battistelli.

JUVE: When will you delegate your powers?

BENOIT BATTISTELLI. As soon as the President of the Boards of Appeal has been appointed I will be able to sign a document to transfer powers.

One can safely assume that Battistelli will have veto power and can therefore ensure that the person is subservient or obedient to begin with.

JUVE: Has it already been decided who the first President of the Boards of Appeal will be?

BENOIT BATTISTELLI: He shall be appointed by the Administrative Council before the end of the year. It is planned that he will take up his duties when the reform comes into effect in January 2017.

Notice the word “he” (maybe an artifact of translation from German). Given the lack of diversity at the Office, it would not at all be surprising if the person turned out to be white male, possibly French and right wing.

JUVE: In the future the Office and the Boards of Appeal shall be separately housed in Munich. Has there already been a decision over the future location of the Boards of Appeal?

BENOIT BATTISTELLI. Negotiations with property owners in Munich are already very advanced and hence the decision can be made in October.

They already decided, but they are playing a game here.

JUVE: The disciplinary procedure against the judge that you suspended has still not been concluded. In June the Enlarged Board of Appeal deviated from the recommendation, by the Administrative Council, of dismissal. By October Jesper Kongstad, Chairman of the Administrative Council, has to draw up a proposal as to how to further proceed. According to the statutes he has to propose that the judge be reinstated. You wouldn’t favour that?

BENOIT BATTISTELLI: According to our Convention the Administrative Council has disciplinary authority over Boards of Appeal members, while the President has the power to suggest disciplinary measures and furthermore carries total responsibility for the proper functioning of the Office. In the case in question the Council decided in December 2014, because of the knowledge of serious misconduct, to suspend the Boards of Appeal member from service. After the submission of an extensive investigation report the Council, in March 2015, initiated a disciplinary procedure. Under the chairmanship of a former ECJ judge, a disciplinary committee, which also had members of the EPO Boards of Appeal and experienced external lawyers, came unanimously to the conclusion that the serious misconduct of the Boards of Appeal member demanded his dismissal. In decisions in June and October 2015 the Council followed this review and requested that the Enlarged Board of Appeal submit a proposal for dismissal. However, almost a year after this request the Enlarged Board of Appeal decided to not follow the request, because I pointed out that at the EPO disciplinary proceedings are confidential and cannot be carried out in public. These are the facts. Let us be clear: this isn’t about personal sensitivities, but the integrity of the appeal system at the EPO.

Complete nonsense. Battistelli’s lips just move a lot.

Regarding confidentiality, it’s quite likely Battistelli and his goons who leaked smears to the media in order to defame the accused, making the Office look worse than bad, one might even say “corrupt”. A short time afterwards they began attacking me too — all this shortly after they had signed the FTI Consulting contract that was later expanded to dominate Dutch and German media (separate from the EPO’s payments to media giants which soon turned into EPO mouthpieces).

JUVE: The Brexit decision endangers the start of the new European patent system. The EPO is involved in this system. What chance do you see that the Unitary Patent and hence the whole system will start in April 2017 as planned?

BENOIT BATTISTELLI: The EPO hopes to find a solution that lets the Unitary Patent come into force as soon as possible. It is here crucial that partaking member states ratify the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court. After the referendum the Dutch parliament agreed to ratification and so sent out an important political signal. Independently from the political decisions it can be assumed that the system will come, albeit very probably with a delay. The work is, however, far too advanced, and has generated too much positive momentum, for it to be shelved.

No, the UPC is almost certainly dead (in its current form), if not just in the UK then in the whole of Europe. They’ll probably try to repackage it and maybe even rename it again. This can take years and there’s no guarantee anything will come out of it. In the mean time, the EPO is rotting and there's expectation of layoffs within a couple of years if Battistelli's vision gets implemented.

JUVE: If the UK can’t take part in the system will the renewal fees for the EU patent have to be recalculated?

BENOIT BATTISTELLI: It is too early to estimate the impact on the renewal fees for the Unitary Patent. They have been so determined to correspond to the sum of the renewal fees for the four countries in which classical European patents are most frequently validated. This so-called “Top 4” solution was preceded by very long and difficult discussions of the member states. By the way, the level of the fees was already decided before the accession of Italy and wasn’t increased afterwards, because the member states didn’t want to reopen the debate. This could also be the case if the UK leaves. Finally, the model would even then still offer excellent value, because it would give patent protection in a multitude of EU member states at a very attractive cost.

The patent trolls would certainly love it, but again, why assume this can ever happen? Why suppose an inevitability? The UPC is about as dead as the EU Patent or Community Patent, which several years ago we were told were inevitable and only a matter of time. Remember Charlie McCreevy‘s and Michel Barnier‘s lobbying for this? The latter, incidentally, became the key person in Brexit negotiations.

At the end of last week IAM remarked on this Brexit update, asking, “lawyers, would this have UPC implications?”

“Depends which lawyers one asks,” I replied. Patent lawyers (especially those who invested in UPC) are not David Allen Green, who writes a lot about Brexit these days (one of the most prominent commentators on the subject in the UK). Incidentally, David Allen Green is the person who defended me from several vicious attacks from the EPO.

“Theresa May,” told us a reader last night, “said at the Conservative Party Conference that after Brexit the UK will be “a fully-independent, sovereign country” that will no longer be in the “jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice”, Bang goes the UPC then!”

“Anybody claiming from now on that UK should ratify the UPC soon should loose their illusions,” wrote another person last night [1, 2]. To quote the full comment:

It has just become known that procedure according to Art 50 will be started fore the end of March 2017.

The European communities act of 1972 will be repelled and a Great Repeal Bill will be decided.

It becomes thus clear that the Brexit is on its way. Any ratification before this date has been transferred to dream world…..

Anybody claiming from now on that UK should ratify the UPC soon should have lost its illusions; it would better think how UPC could progress without UK.

Battistelli is a chronic liar (with a track record to prove it). He said the UPC would be in effect this year (he said this as recently as last year) and he keeps changing his story every time he’s caught in a lie. Don’t believe anything that Battistelli and Team UPC say about the unitary patent system, or whatever they will choose to call next year.


Interview With FOSSForce/All Things Free Tech

Posted in Interview at 7:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: New interview with Robin “Roblimo” Miller on behalf of FOSSForce


Managing IP Interview With Battistelli Shows That He’s Either Deluded or Dishonest About EPO Realities

Posted in Europe, Interview, Patents at 8:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Interpretation of the messages between the lines, regarding the Managing IP interview with the EPO’s President, Mr. Battistelli

Earlier today we explained why the Council's statement serves to disprove the narrative floated by Battistelli’s EPO. We are still unable to actually see/read what Battistelli told Managing IP (we’ve even tried Google cache, to no avail) because the original is behind a rather stubborn paywall. All paywalls, whether by intention or not, are a tool of soft censorship or limitation of access by particular audiences. They can help ensure that one only preaches to the choir and can hear back from the choir (patent lawyers in this case) because it’s hard if not impossible to examine what was said, especially as an outsider (to the microcosm) cannot become aware of what was actually said internally. It’s like a closed event/conference/meeting. Maybe like EPO-organised events which are either expensive or invite-only. It becomes an echo chamber.

Managing IP has just published some blog post with afterthoughts about this interview. These are publicly accessible, so we can examine and rebut what is essentially a sort of roundup.

“Battistelli told us he believes he has the support of the majority of staff for his reform programme,” according to the blog. At best, what Battistelli can say about “majority of staff” is that by a rather small (and ever-shrinking) margin, most staff is still afraid to publicly protest. That’s not an expression of consent, just a testament to the fear. Here is a direct quote: “I am convinced I have the support of the majority of staff, and the results we are obtaining would not be achieved by staff which are not fully behind this policy.”

“Battistelli is either deluded or he simply hopes that repeating this lie will help it stick (in the minds of those who are desperate enough to believe it).”This is nonsense. It’s a delusion. Battistelli is either deluded or he simply hopes that repeating this lie will help it stick (in the minds of those who are desperate enough to believe it).

The blog says: “As to where the Boards should be based, the president emphasised that to preserve the appearance of independence, they should be moved outside of the EPO premises, whether in Munich or another city. He also said it was necessary to have rules on conflicts of interest, to prevent members of the Boards going directly into private practice firms.”

Funny that EPO management worries about “private practice firms” in the boards when the management itself seems to be guilty (more on that in an upcoming series).

“Notice how Battistelli basically paints himself and the management as the “victims”.”“Battistelli acknowledged that the reputation of the EPO has been damaged by recent criticisms,” according to this blog. Well, that’s his fault. He blames the criticism rather than what the criticism is about/against.

Battistelli said: “It is true that politically this campaign has had some impact, we have to be realistic about that, and because of our protective roles we couldn’t indicate what was at stake. We will be able in the near future to inform the public on the kinds of attacks and behaviour we have been victims of.”

Notice how Battistelli basically paints himself and the management as the “victims”. Imagine the NSA painting itself, not the people whom it illegally spied on, as the victim. What a terrible PR strategy.

To quote further from the blog: “Disciplinary proceedings are now underway against some senior members of SUEPO, and Battistelli said he would follow the recommendations of the disciplinary committee.”

The “recommendations of the disciplinary committee” are basically a shadow of whatever Battistelli wants. It’s a mock trial, which Team Battistelli keeps trying to make secret not because it jeopardises the so-called ‘investigation’ because it embarrasses the accuser and shows what a laughable ‘trial’ is really happening (we have access to the texts and we have already refuted some ludicrous parts).

“If people want the hogwash, Managing IP will quite likely provide it.”To continue, again from the blog (quoting Battistelli: “There are some individual behaviours which are not acceptable and which need to be sanctioned, such as harassment cases. It is not legitimate to harass somebody because you are a staff representative.”

Complete nonsense! The so-called ‘harassment’ case is suggestive of the Hardon case, where something which happened almost two years ago suddenly (magically!) becomes relevant because Battistelli is determined to crush the unions by any means possible.

If people want the hogwash, Managing IP will quite likely provide it. Provided people are willing to pay Managing IP for access to pro-patents (or patent maximalism) articles.

Last but not least, the blog says: “We put as many of these [question] as we could to Battistelli, and there were no topics he declined to discuss” (except the questions we sent Managing IP). Did Managing IP even ask Battistelli any truly hard questions?


Our Richard Stallman Interviews in 2012-2014

Posted in Interview at 8:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Index of our interviews series with Richard Stallman, founder of GNU and the Free Software Foundation

Dr. Richard Stallman from the Free Software Foundation has been a special guest on our weekly shows over the years. The new year is a suitable (reasonably quiet) time to tidy up a bit, so below is a summary of episodes in which he appeared.

2014, Oxford

2014, Lincoln

2013 (audio only)


We Are Gradually Winning the Battle Against Software Patents

Posted in Interview, OSI, Patents at 4:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The once-elusive war on software patents is finally leading to some breakthrough and even the Federal Circuit reinforces the trend of software patents’ demise

Software patents are gradually losing their grip on the industry, not just in the world at large but also in the US (genesis of software patents). A few days ago an interview was published in which Simon Phipps (OSI) spoke about the goal of eradicating software patents and explained the latest turn of events as follows: “The Supreme Court in their judgment created a very clear test to work out whether a software patent was going to be valid or not. What they said was that, they said that there could still be software patents, but that simply taking something that is not patent‑eligible like an algorithm and then claiming that it’s patentable because it runs on a computer is not sufficient to actually establish patentability.

“They said that to get a software patent, the software that you have has got to improve the computer significantly. Because of that, the standard for getting software patents has been dramatically increased by the Alice decision.

“The federal circuit court then referred to the Alice decision, and decided not even to proceed to find out if there had been infringement on the Digitech case because they declared that the image processing software was not a significant improvement to the computer. Rather, it was a computer implementing a non‑patent‑eligible technique.”

Based on the article “Appeals court knocks out computer bingo patents” and some that are citing it, yet another software patent has just dropped dead. “Silly software patents are finally on notice at the Federal Circuit,” says the summary and lawyers do some legal analysis (not challenging the ruling but interpreting it). Progressive sites like TechDirt use a clever headline and say: “Another day, another story of stupid software patents getting stomped out of existence thanks to the Supreme Court’s Alice v. CLS Bank ruling. As we’ve been noting, this ruling is looking like it’s going to invalidate a ton of software patents (and that’s a good thing). The latest one dumped was an attempt to patent bingo online. Yes, bingo. The lower court had already rejected the patent using previous Supreme Court rulings against patenting “abstract ideas.” Now, with the Alice ruling in hand, the Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) completed the stomping out of the bingo patent.”

Based on this same site, citing the post “Patent Troll Landmark Technology Sues eBay For Challenging Its Patents; EBay Responds With Anti-SLAPP Motion”, there is bullying over the suggestion that some patents need re-examining. To quote: “Over at Popehat, there’s a fascinating story about the depths to which patent trolls will go to “protect” their business models. The story involves Landmark Technologies, a troll we wrote about earlier this year for its rather aggressive take on patent trolling. Landmark holds patent 6,289,319: ‘Automatic Business and Financial Transaction Processing System.’ Or, as the EFF puts it more succinctly: paying with a credit card online. eBay recognized that Landmark’s trolling was bad news, and filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a re-exam of three patents. The USPTO initially recognized eBay’s request, noting that there were “substantial” questions about the patentability in those patents. While it eventually left two of the patents alone, it dumped many of the claims in a third patent.”

Remember how back in early August an invalidated patent caused much trouble for that aggressor called Apple.

There is a real opportunity here for change. Patents on software can now be eliminated. Rather than actively fight software patents Google is just promising not to sue. What a wasted opportunity and misguided strategy.

Back in 2013, Google announced its plans to not sue anybody who had implemented open-source versions of its MapReduce algorithm. Since then, the company has expanded what it calls its “Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge” to a number of other patents. Today it is announcing its largest expansion of this program to date, with the addition of 152 additional patents. This brings the total number of patents included in this program to 245.

Google ought to do more to end software patents, not just acquire some and then promise not to sue.

Meanwhile down in New Zealand, a lawyers’ site claims that changes are coming:

On 13 September the new Patents Act will come into force – whether you’re ready for it or not. So, too, will the Patents Regulations 2014 which were ratified by an Order in Council on 11 August.

Everything, then, is set. This article thus serves as something of a recap on the extent of the changes under the new regime.

Many of the provisions of the new Act are the same as the current Patents Act 1953. There will then be some continuity for patentees and businesses. However, two very significant changes are being implemented which concern how IPONZ examiners consider patent applications and the limits placed on the patentability of software.

IPONZ examiners will shortly have to examine patent applications to determine whether the claims made in respect of, for example, a product involve “an inventive step”. The inclusion of the law of “inventive step” in the new Act represents a higher threshold for hopeful patentees to meet.

There was lobbying by proprietary software giants to bring software patents to this island, but they have not been exceptionally successful. This is of course good news that reminds us that the end of software patents as elusive as we once assumed it to be.


The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

Posted in Interview at 1:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A film that has just been released and is a free (CC-licensed) download on Internet Archive


Techrights Interview With Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat’s President and CEO

Posted in Interview, Red Hat at 6:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jim Whitehurst

Summary: A short interview with Jim Whitehurst, who spoke to us about Red Hat’s performance


COUPLE of days ago a company working on behalf of Red Hat contacted us, whereupon we asked for some answers from Red Hat. We are pleased to have received them from the company’s CEO, Jim Whitehurst. Here is the quick Q&A.

How has the economic climate affected Red Hat’s performance? Has it been beneficial?

Year to date through November 30, 2011 (three quarters) we have experienced rapid growth; revenue 26%, income from operations 42% and net income 50%. Historically, we have performed well in both up and down economic cycles.

There have been numerous reports recently about Red Hat’s expansion and relocations. How does Red Hat view the prospect of expanding in Europe, where software patents are less of a problem?

Red Hat is expanding globally, including in Europe, with more than 70 offices now in over 30 countries. Software patents are not a criteria in our expansion plans.

How can a community of Free/open source software enthusiasts ensure that Red Hat — a key developer of pertinent components of the GNU/Linux operating system — maintains growth?

Red Hat is responsible for Red Hat’s growth based on our own strategies and business plans. The open source community is important to us and we actively work to encourage, cultivate and grow the community, but only Red Hat can drive its growth.

Have CentOS, Scientific Linux, and Oracle had any noticeable impact on Red Hat’s ability to sell support contracts?



New Video: Linus Torvalds Interview

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interview, Kernel at 11:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


If anyone can host an Ogg equivalent (YouTube only has a beta phase WebM option), please post the URL below.

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