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03.29.20

Pretending EPO Corruption Stopped Under António Campinos When It is in Fact a Lot Worse in Several Respects/Aspects (Than It Was Under Benoît Battistelli)

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 6:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Focus on presidential composure/temper misses the point when about 85% of workers want to go on strike

Berlin Alexanderplatz

Summary: Germany’s eagerness to keep Europe’s central patent office in Munich (and to a lesser degree in Berlin) means that politicians in the capital and in Bavaria turn a blind eye to abuses, corruption and even serious crimes; this won’t help Germany’s image in the long run

THE European Patent Office’s (EPO) corruption under António Campinos has been documented here since 2018 and as recently as this month. There’s no concrete reason to believe — only shallow PR ploys to swallow — that he’s better than Battistelli. He’s a continuation of Battistelli and further regression along the very same lines. The agenda or the goal is the same; it has nothing whatsoever to do with innovation or competitiveness.

“The agenda or the goal is the same; it has nothing whatsoever to do with innovation or competitiveness.”In our next post we’ll highlight the latest nonsense from Campinos. It’s about the UPC. SUEPO cited only The Register rather than some law firms on this matter. Rightly so! SUEPO has also, as it promised it would, produced these two English translations [PDF] of German Bundestag discussions [PDF]. We’d like to reprint these in HTML form below (the English version; there’s also French and the originals are both in German). From the document with the questions:

German Bundestag
19th Legislative Period

Printing Material 19/17383
02/25/2020

Brief Inquiry

of members of parliament Roman Müller-Böhm, Stephan Thomae, Grigorios Aggelidis, Renata Alt, Nicole Bauer, Jens Beeck, Dr. Jens Brandenburg (Rhein-Neckar), Sandra Bubendorfer-Licht, Dr. Marco Buschmann, Britta Katharina Dassler, Hartmut Ebbing, Dr. Marcus Faber, Daniel Föst, Otto Fricke, Thomas Hacker, Peter Heidt, Katrin Helling-Plahr, Markus Herbrand, Torsten Herbst, Katja Hessel, Manuel Höferlin, Reinhard Houben, Ulla Ihnen, Olaf in der Beek, Dr. Marcel Klinge, Daniela Kluckert, Pascal Kober, Carina Konrad, Konstantin Kuhle, Ulrich Lechte, Dr. Martin Neumann, Dr. Wieland Schinnenburg, Matthias Seestern-Pauly, Frank Sitta, Dr. Hermann Otto Solms, Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Katja Suding, Michael Theurer, Dr. Florian Toncar, Gerald Ullrich, Sandra Weeser, Nicole Westig, Katharina Willkomm, and the parliamentary party FDP

Position and Procedure of the European Parliament

[Material omitted which the reply reproduced]

We ask the federal government…

[Questions omitted which the reply below quoted]

Berlin, 30th January 2020

Christian Lindner and parliamentary party

Berlin, 30 th January 2020

Christian Lindner and parliamentary party

____
General Production: H. Heenemann GmbH & Co. KG, Printing and Offset Office, Bessemerstraße 83–91, 12103 Berlin,
www.heenemann-druck.de

Distribution: Bundesanzeiger Verlag GmbH, PO Box 10 05 34, 50445 Cologne, Telephone (02 21) 97 66 83 40, Fax (02 21) 97 66 83 44, www.betrifft-gesetze.de
ISSN 0722-8333

To avoid repetition we’ve cut out the introduction and questions above, leaving them in tact below, instead.

The responses (to the questions listed below) are really quite the extraordinary ‘coverup’ with ridiculous excuses and dismissive revisionism. Here it goes:

German Bundestag
19th Legislative Period

Printing Material 19/17809
03/11/2020

Reply
of the federal government

regarding the brief inquiry of member of parliament Roman Müller-Böhm, Stephan Thomae, Grigorios Aggelidis, other members of parliament, and parliamentary party FDP

– Printing Material 19/17383 –

Position and Procedure of the European Parliament

Preliminary Note of the Inquirer

The European Patent Office (EPO) is the executive body of the European Patent Organization (EPOrg) with headquarters in Munich and has the function to check patent applications and to grant European patents. The EPO was created by international agreement and is a multinational institution with the status of a legal entity (https://www.epo.org/ about-us/foundation_de.html). It was agreed that the EPO will have legal immunity and that only the special rights created by the member countries is legally binding for the EPO (cf. Article 8 of the European Patent Agreement). The competence for legally binding decisions rests with the member countries of the organization in the course of a corresponding conference (https://www.epo.org/about-us/governance_de.html).

In the recent past, the EPO was confronted with widespread criticism. This varied from the announced use of financial means, to the quality standards of patents, to the treatment of employees, and to insufficient independence of the complaint’s offices (https://suepo.org/public/ex18052cdp.pdf, p. 4 and 5). A group of 924 employees criticized that the accelerated procedure during the evaluation of patents would be performed at the expense of quality. In their opinion, this is due to the requirements regarding productivity of the employees of the old management. Correspondingly, the international union within the EPO, the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO), especially criticized that the introduced scoring system would incentivize the examiners to produce masses of patents with low quality (https://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Europaeisches-Patentamt-Patentpruefer-rebellieren-gegen-Qualitaetsverluste-3997082.html).

Besides that, the Federal Audit Office last year criticized the decision by the EPO that the assets of the office are supposed to be used in a financially speculative way (https://www.wiwo.de/politik/europa/rechnungshof-scharfe-kritik-an-finanzgebaren-des-europaeischen-patentamts/22722052.html). In the view of the Federal Audit Office, this is not necessary and may entail higher risks. Additionally, it is objected that through the investment transactions of the EPO, a “shadow budget” is managed in an international agency with public funds that is not covered by the international constitutive act of the member countries and violates democratic principles
______

The reply was transmitted on behalf of the federal government by writing through the federal ministry of justice and consumer protection dated 10th of March 2020.
Additionally, the printing material contains – in small font – the question text.


(Petra Sorge, Die unheimliche Wette, WirtschaftsWoche vom 22. Juni 2018, S. 35). This continues in a general criticism regarding the state of labor and the legal controls of the EPO (http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/europaeisches-patentamt-deutsches-arbeitsrecht-gilt-hier.724.de.html/?dram:article_id=347579).

Moreover, employee policy was criticized for some time. Employees of the EPO mostly appeared anonymously towards the press, according to their own statements due to fear of sanctions (Petra Sorge, Die unheimliche Wette, WirtschaftsWoche vom 22. Juni 2018, S. 36). Besides that, the right to strike for employees were limited by internal regulations and sick employees were ordered to stay home. Furthermore, measures against critical employees were introduced, such as key logger. There is also talk about an EPO internal investigation unit for employee matters (Petra Sorge, Wo kein Richter …, Cicero vom 3. Mai 2018). The former judge at the Federal Constitutional Court, Dr. Siegfried Broß, says that there are substantial deficits concerning the employment status of the employees. There are employee representatives, but they do not have any constitutive participation rights. Instead, they could only issue recommendations to which the president is not bound (https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/europaeisches-patentamt-deutsches-arbeitsrecht-gilt-hier.724.de.html?dram:article_id=347579).

The Federal Republic of Germany, as member country of the EPO, has a joint responsibility for the EPOrg. With the changed conditions caused by the change within management as of 1st July 2018 (https://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Europaeisches-Patentamt-Chef-Battistelli-tritt-ab-Campinos-tritt-an-3857253.html) and in light of the previous events regarding the EPOrg, according to the inquirer, the question arises, whether and to what extent from the perspective of the federal government, the situation at the EPOrg has changed with the new management.

1. Did the federal government have knowledge about the published accusation in the press of a loss in quality during the patent application examination and the granting of patents as compared to the previous management of the EPO, and how does the federal government assess it?

For the federal government, the quality of the patent assessment by the European Patent Office (EPO) is an important issue. Quality management and quality control must be secured sustainably within the workflow of the EPO. The federal government therefore welcomes the goals, the new president of the EPO has set himself in his strategy plan for 2019 to 2023. The achievement of these goals will be evaluated by the federal government on the basis of annual quality reports performed by the president of the EPO.

2. Did the federal government have knowledge about the published accusations in the press of the “shadow budget” and the financial risk management as compared to the former management of the EPO, and how does the federal government evaluate it?

The cited press reports are known to the federal government. The EPO issues a budget annually, in which also financial investments are considered and explained transparently. A so-called shadow budget does not exist. An appropriate risk management is in place.

Germany had voted against the new investment guideline for the management of cash funds during the 156th meeting of the supervisory board dated 27th/28th of July 2018 on the basis of the statement issued by the Federal Audit Office.


3. According to the federal government, are there deficits in terms of financial management and the treatment of employees at the EPO?

a) If so, what measures would the federal government assume then?
b) If no and from the point of view of the federal government, are the existing rules at the EPO regarding financial management and treatment of employees sufficient?

According to the federal government, there are no deficits as regards financial management at the EPO. The federal government welcomes that the new president of the EPO wants to improve the social climate and treatment of employees, and has introduced initial measures in the course of the strategy plan 2019 to 2023.

4. Did the federal government have knowledge about the published accusation in the press of a violation of rights of employees caused by surveillance and curtailing of labor laws as compared to the former management of the EPO, and how does the federal government assess this?

5. According to the federal government, were there any complaints filed with police with respect to the EPO?

6. Did the federal government have knowledge about the published accusation in the press of employee surveillance by internal investigation groups of the former EPO management, and how does the federal government assess this?

7. Did the federal government have knowledge about the published accusation in the press of a curtailing outsourcing of the complaint’s office under the former EPO management (Petra Sorge, Wo kein Richter …, Cicero vom 3. Mai 2018), and how does the federal government assess this?

Questions 4 to 7 are answered together.

The questions involve confidential disciplinary procedures to which the federal government does not take position. This also applies to the procedures before the internal complaint’s offices.

8. In the view of the federal government, is there a “legal” control that was itself instituted by the EPO, (Petra Sorge, Wo kein Richter …, Cicero vom 3. Mai 2018) which itself ensures an effective legal protection?

9. In the view of the federal government, is the current of the complaint’s offices task as an authority, without being bound to restrictions, sufficiently met?


10. In the view of the federal government, is there a necessity to change the “legal” control system at the EPO?

a) If so, how should it be restructured in the view of the federal government?
b) If no, is it the opinion of the federal government that a legal control at the EPA is sufficient?

Questions 8 to 10 will be answered together.

It is the view of the federal government that an effective legal protection exists against decisions by the EPO. The federal government does not see any need for reform at the moment.

The European Patent Organization (EPOrg) was granted immunity by the national jurisdictions of the member countries as an international organization in the course of its official activity. This corresponds to a normal approach in all international organizations. Consequently, international organizations are not bound to national jurisdictions.

The EPO is a body of the EPOrg (cf. Article 4, Section 2a) of the European Patent Agreement (EPA). The employees of the EPO have the right for an appropriate legal protection before international courts (Administrative court of the International Labor Organization (ILOAT)) (cf. Article 13, Section 1 EPA).

For disputes that affect patent decisions of the EPO, the independent complaint’s offices are responsible. The employees of the complaint’s offices are not bound to instructions during their decision making and are only subjected to the European Patent Agreement (cf. Article 23, Section 3 EPA).

At the 148th meeting of the supervisory body of the European Patent Organization dated 29th/30th of June 2016, the supervisory body approved a comprehensive reform of the complaint’s offices, which further strengthened the autonomy of the complaint’s offices. The reform is effective as of 1st of July 2016.

11. How does the federal government assess the impact of the legal independence of the EPO from national and European law as regards the collaboration of the EPO with the EU member states to solve the criticism towards the EPO?

The immunity granted to the EPA complies with the normal approach at international organizations. It influences the objective collaboration between the EPA and their member states just as little as with other international organizations.

12. Is the federal government in dialogue with the EPO regarding the accusation or several accusations, and if so, how?

a) If so, what results have been achieved so far?
b) If so, what goals does the federal government pursue with a dialogue?

The federal government is in a continuing dialogue with the EPO as regards different issues. Important issues for the federal government are especially patent quality, social climate, and long-term financial stability.


13. In view of the federal government, has the situation as regards the accusation or several accusations improved with the new management?

The federal government especially welcomes the measure that the new EPO president took to improve social climate. This also includes discussions with individual employees as well as regular dialogues with stakeholders. The federal government also supports the intended measures for a further improvement in all other areas as outlined in the strategy plan for 2019 to 2023 by the EPO president.

14. Does the federal government plan to take political as well as legal actions, should the accusations against the EPO continue under the new management, and if so, what?

The federal government has no reason to believe that the accusations against the EPO will continue under the new management.

______

General Production: H. Heenemann GmbH & Co. KG, Printing and Offset Office, Bessemerstraße 83–91, 12103 Berlin, www.heenemann-druck.de

Distribution: Bundesanzeiger Verlag GmbH, PO Box 10 05 34, 50445 Cologne, Telephone (02 21) 97 66 83 40, Fax (02 21) 97 66 83 44, www.betrifft-gesetze.de
ISSN 0722-8333

We don’t plan to — as we lack time for it at this moment — examine each and every fallacy in the reply. There’s a load of whitewashing lies and embellishments. But let’s consider just the past few days’ EPO abuses, highlighting the fact that nothing is really changing and nothing has changed. They want us to believe that a little presidential shuffle — with the previous president’s mate put in power — solved everything.

Let’s focus on technical abuses and deviation from (i.e. violation of) the underlying laws. This is a topic we had covered for a number of years before we started focusing on big EPO scandals (in the middle of 2014). I’ve observed these issues for nearly 20 years, primarily as a coder.

“I’ve observed these issues for nearly 20 years, primarily as a coder.”As recently as days ago the EPO started advertising this thing called “DigitalisationIndex”. Earlier this past they started misusing terms like “digital technologies” quite a lot; we took note of that several times. They’re looking to justify granting illegal software patents (European Patents on algorithms) under the guise of “Digitalisation”.

Their apparently first tweet on this said: “#Digitalisation is triggering patenting growth. What regions do patent applications in this field come from? Check out this analysis of our latest patent statistics to find out: https://bit.ly/DigitalisationIndex … ”

“Hey hi” (AI) and “4IR” are among the latest buzzwords EPO uses to grant illegal patents on abstract ideas (“ICT” and “CII” are considered too old and not sufficiently exciting). The EPO is run by a bunch of people who choose buzzwords over substance, partly because — as their professional background reveals — they’re simply not technical. It corrodes the image of the EU as some of these people come from EU jobs, notably EUIPO, and the EU actively participates in this promotion of patents on algorithms. In other words, EU officials too are increasingly playing a role in the violation of the EPC. German government officials don’t seem to mind as long as that generates activities on German soil. But that’s a problem. Is lawfulness being compromised for raw profits that are temporary and ruinous to one’s credibility? Also, at whose expense does this activity take place? Europe has far more to it than a bunch of patent litigation lawyers. Earlier today I chatted with somebody about the devastating effect of this patent regime on the European automobile industry. That somebody writes many blog posts on this subject and he’s German.

“Is lawfulness being compromised for raw profits that are temporary and ruinous to one’s credibility? Also, at whose expense does this activity take place?”The corresponding new page (warning: epo.org link) is tied to the so-called 'results' and it provides excuses for lowering the bar, notably buzzwords: “As the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) materialises, it’s not just our factories that are getting smarter – it’s our hospitals, homes, appliances, cars, and wearable devices too. In 2019, digital communication became the new leading field of patent applications at the EPO while computer technology was the second fastest growing. These two technical fields are enabling 4IR by providing the tools for turning technical applications in other fields into smart devices. They are also powering further developments in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G.”

Who wrote this? A technical person or a marketing professional? Likely the latter.

Speaking of marketing, check out this truly shallow EPO ‘news’ from Friday (warning: epo.org link), accompanied by a tweet with the hashtag #EarthHour (greenwashing).

“You only do this because COVID-19 shut you down,” I responded. “Quit the greenwashing…”

“A lot of actual EPO news gets lost in a sea of puff pieces.”Maybe this “news” was designed to distract from the other “news” published on the same day. It was a Campinos lie, which we’ll deal with in our next post.

A lot of actual EPO news gets lost in a sea of puff pieces. Even 3 weeks later some sites are still reprinting EPO press releases as though they’re “news” or “reporting”. The EPO posted this new page (warning: epo.org link) on the same day (“Notice concerning the electronic authentication of decisions and other documents relevant to the decision-making process”) and promoted it in Twitter, in effect overwhelming the site with enough distraction and obfuscation — a subject we shall deal with in our next post.

The EPO’s “decision-making process” is notoriously bad and it is the subject of several ongoing complaints in the German constitutional court. Not only is oversight lacking; judges and examiners are moreover being bullied, so they cannot uphold the EPC (which was supposed to strictly govern the Office).

“…the EPO is making it harder to appeal. It’s going to get vastly more expensive.”And speaking of decision-making process deficit, Emma Foster (Marks & Clerk) reminds us that, effective next week, the EPO is making it harder to appeal. It’s going to get vastly more expensive. This is what she published just before the weekend: “The European Patent Office (EPO) usually reviews its fee structure every two years. In line with this, the EPO has announced that fees will increase from 1 April 2020. We have summarised the fee increases for many frequently paid fees in the table below, most of which are in the region of 4%.

“However, the appeal fee has increased substantially from €2255 to €2705, which equates to an increase of around 20%. The EPO will continue to offer a reduced appeal fee to a) small and medium-sized enterprises; (b) natural persons; and (c) non-profit organisations, universities or public research organisations (i.e. appellants as defined in Rule 6(4) and (5) EPC). The appeal fee for these appellants will soon be €1955, which represents around a 4% increase to the current fee.”

“Even if the EPO committed mass murder in broad daylight, the government would likely help the Office come up with excuses for it.”Before Campinos raised the costs Battistelli had done the same, especially when it comes to ‘transactions’ (Battistelli might call them “products”) that challenge the Office and can serve to expose the collapse of patent quality.

Sadly, judging by the replies at the top, this doesn’t concern or bother the ruling politicians in Germany. Even if the EPO committed mass murder in broad daylight, the government would likely help the Office come up with excuses for it. Heck, in this age of Coronavirus they might even send complainants to 'quarantine' in Haar. Messengers of truth are “poison kitchen” to the EPO’s management.

03.23.20

The Fall of the UPC – Part III: Pure Comedy From Watchtroll and Its UPC Lobbyists From Managing IP

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 5:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

How much longer can one defend corruption?

UPC Preparatory Committee has things under control!!!
UPC Preparatory Committee has things totally under control!!!

Summary: Two megaphones of European Patent Office (EPO) management and boosters of Team Battistelli, namely Managing IP and Watchtroll, want us to think that UPC is merely “delayed” and that acts of overt corruption can be described as “passed unanimously by the Second Chamber of the Bundestag”

THE site Managing IP isn’t doing particularly well right now. All its lobbying campaigns for the UPC fell on deaf ears and failed. They know it. We know it. They also lost lots of writers in recent years (we won’t name all of them, but it’s a lot) and they hardly publish anything. Not much of substance.

They recently broke their RSS feed (with a redesign) and their main writer nowadays (Max Walters) was taken from another site. Their (and his) latest article cannot quite deny the facts. Their paywall became a lot more stubborn than before (desperation for income perhaps).

“It has actually been rather amusing to see Team UPC lying about the decision of the FCC, as we noted in Parts I and II.”One of their main writers was once upon a time doing puff pieces with and for Battistelli. But he left. Almost all the decent writers left, including those whom we used to cite a lot.

It has actually been rather amusing to see Team UPC lying about the decision of the FCC, as we noted in Parts I and II. These liars are disjoint from and disconnected from reality. Uncaring for facts…

Team UPC is also losing its mind at the moment. Patent zealots have long relied on hijacking (or already-hijacked) patent offices. But they cannot seem to undermine the courts too. Corrupt Rader is out, UPC is dead…

Now what?

Well, James Nurton (Watchtroll and formerly Managing IP) has published an article with the headline “German Decision Puts Unified Patent Court Agreement in Jeopardy”

It’s “in Jeopardy”?

“Maybe lying and corruption pay off in the short term.”It’s dead. Talk about spin. They were paid to promote UPC (he personally did this in Managing IP). Mr. Nurton is just trying to save face and salvage what’s left of his reputation. His track record speaks for itself and he cannot deny what he wrote (which we repeatedly challenged). How about all those UPC “progress reports”, which suddenly and abruptly stopped when they ran out of material as opposed to fabrication and sheer lunacy?

This is what we alluded to in Part II. These people will suffer for a long, long time to come for what they wrote. They were like lobbyists or PR agents disguised as “reporters” and “journalists”.

They know it, we know it.

Maybe lying and corruption pay off in the short term.

Watch what’s happening to the economy right now.

Nurton says the latest outcome is “what may be a fatal blow to the project” (UPC), but why did he keep cheering for it? Why did he fail to predict such an obvious outcome, which we’ve correctly predicted for about half a decade, based on underlying facts?

“The Act of Approval,” he wrote, “was passed unanimously by the Second Chamber of the Bundestag but only about 35 members were present.”

“Nurton says the latest outcome is “what may be a fatal blow to the project” (UPC), but why did he keep cheering for it? Why did he fail to predict such an obvious outcome, which we’ve correctly predicted for about half a decade, based on underlying facts?”At what time at night, Mr. Nurton?

Around 1:30AM. This was an act of corruption — the kind of thing that helps associate Germany with crimes.

Not good. Embarrassing even. The Justices saw that. They made the right decision. On that basis alone the UPCA ought to be thrown out immediately. This act of corruption was very much characteristic of other things we saw in the process, EU-wide.

Don’t expect to get any real facts from Watchtroll and its ‘European’ writers, part of the exodus (away from Managing IP). Check out this Nurton tweet: “”Despite the fact that the judgement will result in further delay the preparatory work will continue, while the judgement and the way forward is further analysed” – #UPC Preparatory Committee responding to German FCC decision today https://www.unified-patent-court.org/news/federal-constitutional-court-decision …”

“If this is where Nurton gets his ‘facts’, then he would be a perfect fit for covering Donald Trump news for Fox “News”.” Oh, we see…

There’s a “further delay”…

The Ministry of Truth protects… the “Truth” (Preparatory Committee, whose every statement turns out to be a lie, including this latest one). If this is where Nurton gets his ‘facts’, then he would be a perfect fit for covering Donald Trump news for Fox “News”.

03.15.20

Lost in Corona: Dutch Court Rules That Seat Agreement Signed Between the EPO and the Dutch Government Violates Article 45 TFEU

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Law, Patents at 5:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) and EPO staff will soon learn about another fundamental breach of law where the highest court refuses to enforce the law against the EPO’s management

THE DUTCH government, already battling with an epidemic-turned-pandemic, saw issued an important decision on Friday — a decision in which a Dutch court “cancelled the deal between the Dutch gov and the EPO, something that divided greatly SUEPO and FFPE,” we’ve learned.

“There’s no word/message from SUEPO just yet (at least nothing public).”Benjamin Henrion (FFII) said that “this was a topic that was dividing SUEPO and FFPE,” taking note of the yellow old union (a branch of FFPE, friendly towards Battistelli), adding that “Article 45 TFEU is freedom of movement for workers” and “[t]he Dutch Hoge Raad has now officially confirmed: the Seat Agreement signed in 2006 by EPO with the NL Government violates Article 45 TFEU.”

I cannot remark about it myself (nothing informed to say just yet), but our Dutch-speaking IRC regulars have looked into it because the page is in Dutch. We are led to “guess FFPE will put out a press release on this,” according to Henrion. There’s no word/message from SUEPO just yet (at least nothing public). SUEPO The Hague’s subsite has not been updated so far this year.

Infringing the Fundamental Laws in the Name of Combating Infringements

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 1:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The EPO will tackle corruption by promoting facilitators of corruption

Summary: When heads of the legal department of the EPO flout a law or two (having massively flouted conventions) what does that say about its moral authority?

EPO Corruption Under António Campinos: Part 4 – The Role of the EPO Vice-President of DG5 (Christoph Ernst)

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Law, Patents at 1:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO entry request
The EPO‘s form no. 52300 for requesting entry onto the list of professional representatives

Summary: Team Campinos/Battistelli at the European Patent Office continues to facilitate law-breaking, which can be traced back to the head of “(Il)Legal Affairs”

In order to have one’s name entered on the list of professional representatives before the European Patent Office, it’s necessary to submit a request to the EPO. (warning: epo.org link, clicking can aid spying/IP harvesting by the Office)

“As can be seen from the form, the request is processed by Directorate 5.2.3 which falls under the responsibility of the Vice President of International and Legal Affairs (VP5).”This is normally done using the official form no. 52300. As can be seen from the form, the request is processed by Directorate 5.2.3 which falls under the responsibility of the Vice President of International and Legal Affairs (VP5).

From 1 January 2011 until the end of 2018, this position was held by Raimund Lutz, former head of the German delegation to the Administrative Council.

Lutz and Christoph Ernst of EPO
Lutz (l.) with his protégé Ernst at a junket organised by the German Federal Patent court (2011)

According to EPO insiders, Lutz who was in charge of the EPO’s legal department between 2011 and 2018 was one of the most ruthless internal facilitators of the Battistelli regime.

“According to EPO insiders, Lutz who was in charge of the EPO’s legal department between 2011 and 2018 was one of the most ruthless internal facilitators of the Battistelli regime.”Externally, Battistelli also received vital support from the German delegation on the Administrative Council headed by Lutz’s successor in that role, Dr Christoph Ernst, at that time a senior official and ministerial advisor at the German Federal Ministry of Justice.

With hindsight it seems clear that Ernst was already being carefully groomed by “Team Battistelli” as the most promising successor to Lutz in the role of EPO Vice-President in charge of Legal and International Affairs.

In the meantime, in October 2017, Ernst enjoyed an unexpected “promotion” to the position of Administrative Council Chairman. He was parachuted into this position as a “safe pair of hands” to fill the void left by Kongstad’s sudden and untimely departure which is rumoured to have been connected with financial irregularities including alleged misappropriation of EPO funds.

“He was parachuted into this position as a “safe pair of hands” to fill the void left by Kongstad’s sudden and untimely departure which is rumoured to have been connected with financial irregularities including alleged misappropriation of EPO funds.”A little over a year later, in a typical game of EPO musical chairs which had long been predicted by EPO insiders, Ernst once again succeeded Lutz, this time as EPO Vice-President in charge of Legal and International Affairs (VP5).

Ernst seems to have been “awarded” this position in recognition of his “services” to the Battistelli regime during his time on the Administrative Council.

Ernst took up his position as EPO Vice-President in January 2019 but during most of the year he was rarely seen at the EPO and he seems to have spent most of his time abroad travelling to attend various IP junkets in the Far East in places such as Singapore, South Korea and Japan.

Christoph Ernst photo-ops
Images from the Christoph Ernst Pacific Rim Tour 2019

Of course it wasn’t all travel to exotic faraway locations on the Pacific Rim. Christoph also found time for more mundane duty travel to EPO contracting states including Greece and together with his new boss António he went on a whistle-stop tour of the Nordic region (warning: epo.org link) taking in Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

Christoph Ernst in Greece
A rather bored looking Christoph Ernst attending an IP junket in Greece (September 2019)

Christoph Ernst in Denmark
Ernst (3rd from left) with Campinos at the Danish Patent & Trademark Office (September 2019)

Sadly, a likely side-effect of the novel Coronavirus Covid-19 will be a reduction in Mr Ernst’s appetite for foreign travel in 2020.

But the upside is that he might be able to spend a bit more time behind his desk in the EPO’s Isar Building.

And if he does, he might even manage to look into the unsolved riddle as to how Željko Topić “MBA” ended up on the EPO’s list of professional representatives despite there being no record that he ever passed the EQE.

“Sadly, a likely side-effect of the novel Coronavirus Covid-19 will be a reduction in Mr Ernst’s appetite for foreign travel in 2020.”After all let’s not forget that Topić’s application must have passed through the hands of EPO Directorate 5.2.3 which falls under his responsibility as the Vice President of International and Legal Affairs.

Come on Mr Ernst, how about a little bit of transparency and accountability on this one?

03.09.20

JURI Committee (the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs) Buries the Unitary Patent (UPC) for Good

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 5:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Programme (old): Local [PDF] | Original [PDF]

Briefing: Local [PDF] | Original [PDF]

Report: Local [PDF] | Original [PDF]

EP and EPO

Summary: Based on the words of the European Parliament’s own relevant committee, the UPC/A (agreement) is virtually voided and cannot go on; they need to scrap it and maybe restart the whole process (if they want something similar to it, excluding the UK)

THE European Patent Office (EPO) has not formally spoken about the death of the UPC. Instead, Battistelli‘s “little helper” — another liar — did so in interviews with the media and UPC lobbying outlets. He decided to travel to London to tell a bunch of lies following the UK’s formal refusal to participate (which in turn means that the UPC/A and the British ratification become moot). Battistelli’s UPC hopes are now dead.

We’ve previously covered that, in chronological order, here:

Posted at around 1AM on 9 March 2020 (almost Sunday night) in Mondaq was a sobering article by Herbert Smith Freehills. It’s sobering because it mentions JURI aside from the delusional nonsense from EPOnia (channelled through IAM and Managing IP, London-based platforms of lies from António Campinos leveraged last week; guess who’s funding these!) and the UPC Preparatory Committee, which became de facto obsolete/redundant, as we’ve noted several times before.

“Battistelli’s UPC hopes are now dead.”JURI (or the JURI Committee) says it quite clearly. It’s not too hard to grasp. It’s not the first time JURI speaks about the subject, but highlighted below are key arguments:

Despite positivity from the EPO and UPC preparatory committee on the speed with which the Unitary Patent package (the Unified Patent Court and unitary patent system) can be implemented once a favourable decision is given by the German courts on the constitutional complaint, there remains much to do to get the UPC started, not least a decision on whether the UK can remain part of the system post-transition.

The “EU Patent and Brexit” report commissioned by the European Parliament reviews the positions of the UK Government, the European Parliament, the CJEU and the European Council on options for the UPC at the end of the Brexit transition period and whether the UK can remain a member – in the process revealing that there is still much to resolve.

[...]

The optimism of a speedy implementation of the UPC does not appear to be reflected in the “EU Patent and Brexit” report requested by the JURI Committee (the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs) published in November 2019. This report reviews the various options for the UPC when the UK functionally leaves the EU at the end of the Brexit transition period, and whether the UK can stay a member of the UPC by digesting the positions of the UK Government, the European Council, the European Parliament and the CJEU.

In its analysis the report finds that: “The recent ratification of the UPCA has proved that the UK intends to stay within the framework of a European Patent system that goes beyond the EPC, even after Brexit. In certain ways this sends a somewhat mixed message, as the UK wishes to leave the Single Market of the EU and the jurisdiction of the CJEU. On the other hand, it seems not per se legally impossible that the UK can stay within the UPCA, even when not an EU Member State”. However, it goes on to say that this intention of the UK is countered by the UK Government’s statement that “the end of the jurisdiction of the CJEU in the UK was one of the main intentions of the whole Brexit process”.

When considering the consequences of its analysis, it reaches the following conclusions:

First, that “[m]aintaining the UK within the UPCA would need innovative legal solutions, as the UPC is an international court applying EU law -and the reason for Brexit was all about not applying EU law any more. All EU actors are of the opinion that the CJEU would have the final say about interpretation of existing EU Law, that the primacy of EU law has to be respected and that the CJEU is the ultimate guardian of EU intellectual property law. On the other hand, the jurisprudence of the CJEU is not expressly excluding the possibility to allow a non-EU Member State forming part of the UPCA”.

Secondly that “As any UPCA contracting state has the right to nominate judges, any British judge would decide about the interpretation and application of EU (patent) law. It would be only logical that the UK authorities accept the primacy of EU law when it comes to judgements which have been issued by UPC sections with the participation of UK judges, especially from the London specialised section”.

It seems that the issues raised in the report need to be dealt with before implementation can occur.

Interestingly, the report also suggests that to move the London Section of the UPC’s Central Division somewhere else would, in the European Council’s opinion, not be a purely administrative decision (as was the case with moving the European Medicines Agency), but would require the unanimous amendment of the UPC Agreement and thus the agreement of all signatories including the UK.

The European Parliament is quite clear. Put another way, or more concisely, UPC is dead. No UK? Then they have to start all over again. It doesn’t even matter what happens in Germany.

03.03.20

EPO Outsourcing Policy and Patent Scope to Litigation Giants

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 8:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scientists and lawmakers don’t seem to matter anymore; the EPO bypasses the law to generate income for (and through) parasitic elements

Federico Butler's photo

Summary: The EPO wishes to carry on violating the EPC when the sole goal is granting as many patents as possible, causing as many lawsuits and out-of-court shakedowns as possible (even when baseless patents are leveraged)

THE advocacy of software patents in Europe comes directly from the European Patent Office (EPO).

As we last noted a few days ago, the EPO is shamelessly promoting illegal patents that are algorithm monopolies and yesterday it wrote: “Calling all patent attorneys and IP lawyers dealing with #videogaming! Join us for this free-of-charge #webinar on the challenges of IP protection in this field…”

They’re promoting software patents there.

“In line with our strategic plan,” wrote the assistant of António Campinos yesterday, “we want to increase your involvement in the development of our Guidelines – today we opened a public consultation and we look forward to receiving your feedback…”

“You could at least try to comply with the EPC,” I responded. “Calling software patents “HEY HI” (AI) contributes to the notion that EPO seeks nothing but patent maximalism rather than compliance and legal certainty…”

The cited post (warning: epo.org link) is this new statement which reads:

The EPO today launched a public consultation on its Guidelines and invites interested parties to provide input. You can submit your comments in any one of the EPO’s three official languages via an online form. The deadline for submissions is 15 April 2020.

The Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office (“EPC Guidelines”) and the Guidelines for Search and Examination at the European Patent Office as PCT Authority (“PCT-EPO Guidelines”) give instructions on the practices and procedures to be followed in the examination of European and international applications and patents in accordance with the European Patent Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty and their Implementing Regulations.

The Guidelines are a vital resource for illustrating the law and practice in proceedings before the EPO and are widely consulted by external parties. They are revised annually to keep them aligned with the latest legal and procedural developments.

Guess who’s going to send the lion’s share of feedback. Yes, the litigation ‘industry’. Why don’t they base the guidelines on the actual laws? Prolific litigation firms just want more and more patents.

02.19.20

China Bashing is Grounded in Fear (That They Can Simply Do Better Than the West)

Posted in Deception, Law at 3:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hard-working people who battle with a health crisis deserve sympathy/empathy, not scolding

Some pandas

Summary: The atmosphere of hate towards China — fuelled partly by a white supremacist in the White House — is unhelpful and insulting; dignity and understanding is the way to go

THE corporate media seems eager to humiliate those who suffer most from a pandemic while stigmatising them as “dirty” and “dangerous”. I myself am disgusted by it. The red-baiting tactics have long been leveraged by patent maximalists as well (we wrote about this about half a dozen times before) and the Chinese ‘threat’ is overplayed by those looking to change policies. The European Patent Office (EPO) has made allies with China, plus the obligatory photo-ops of António Campinos and his handler.

“The way I’ve long viewed the above conundrum, having read about this subject for years, is that China wants to get rid of this old image of “counterfeit” or “knockoff” country.” Our main concern about China is that it grants far too many low-quality patents — including perhaps millions of software patents — and it has become a lot more lenient than the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) even if judged by pre-35 U.S.C. § 101 days.

The way I’ve long viewed the above conundrum, having read about this subject for years, is that China wants to get rid of this old image of “counterfeit” or “knockoff” country. To China’s credit, its government contacted me about 4 times last year regarding a domain called Techrights that someone wanted to register in China. They eventually blocked that, foreseeing bad faith motivations. I communicated with a number of parties about this and the Chinese government resolved this possibly better than anything I’ve seen in the West.

“In my personal experience, Chinese law firms are sometimes more honest than people are led to believe.”Why is China embracing patent and copyright maximalism (the latter includes computer-generated works now)? Maybe they try to game the system by cheapening the concepts, granting far too many patents on every single bit of nonsense.

In my personal experience, Chinese law firms are sometimes more honest than people are led to believe. Last night we received a call from a Chinese-owned law firm, informing us that they had successfully settled my wife’s status (permanent residency). The law firm we took back in 2014 was terrible and rather displeasing. And no, it wasn’t Chinese-owned, so here’s an example where the Chinese do better, even for a vastly lower fee. Maybe that (fear that they are difficult to compete with) is the real motivation of all that China bashing, which nowadays extends far beyond Huawei (typically accusations that are immensely hypocritical). Dare we use the word “jealousy”?

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