10.08.21

The Unlawful Legacy of Guus Broesterhuizen, Paul van Beukering, and Derk-Jan de Groot

Posted in Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 5:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 04305f517fe354cac4953f7f6b7ebd9d

Summary: Though it’s customary to assume a strong sense of justice in Holland, the EPO’s affairs serve to dispute, disprove, and dispel such widespread perceptions

TODAY we publish Part 6 in the series about Benoît Battistelli‘s patently illegal “Strike Regulations”, which António Campinos capitalised on for over 3 years as EPO President. Remember how hard it was to convince EPO colleagues it would be safe (and simple) to go on strike last December. Almost half the workers in Vienna participated in the strike, but elsewhere the participation rates were lower as there were punishments (e.g. salary deduction). This epic injustice went on for nearly a decade and there is no sign of reparations. Yet worse — many who were the perpetrators of these illegal policies are already retired, dead, or absent from the court of public opinion. They’ve ruined the lives of so many people and they set the scene for union-busting activities by a French/Corsican despot with neo-colonial ‘curfews’.

“The concept of diplomatic immunity and proactive sheltering of abusers (shielding them from courts, begetting impunity) does no favour to the image of the country.”Where else in the world must one ask for permission to go on strike from the very people the strike is against? It’s beyond absurd, it’s intellectually dishonest.

The video above focuses on the fact that despite being the home of the International Criminal Court (ICC), as per this meme, Dutch territories have long been a hub of various types of illegal activities (even merciless massacres in Dutch colonies after the Second World War; such extractive occupation merits its own ICC case). The perception of the country as a champion of human rights is simply not justified. One such example is the EPO and the voting record, e.g. on “Strike Regulations”.

Een sectie militairen tijdens een rustpauze, BestanddeelnrThe concept of diplomatic immunity and proactive sheltering of abusers (shielding them from courts, begetting impunity) does no favour to the image of the country. It’s time for a rethink.

Wikipedia has a whole category for Dutch war crimes; take for example Raymond Westerling, who “participated in a coup attempt against the Indonesian government in January 1950, a month after the official transfer of sovereignty. Both actions were denounced as war crimes by the Indonesian authorities.” How about Alphons Wijnen? Well, as Wikipedia puts it, “in 1947 Dutch Attorney General. H. A. Felderhof decided not to prosecute the responsible major for war crimes.” Dutch not holding the Dutch accountable while insisting they can hold the rest of the world accountable. In the United States they have a word for it: exceptionalism.

10.07.21

The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part V: Germany Says “Ja”

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 5:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series parts:

  1. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part I: Let the Sunshine In!
  2. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part II: A “Unanimous” Endorsement?
  3. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part III: Three Missing Votes
  4. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IV: The Founding States
  5. YOU ARE HERE ☞ Germany Says “Ja”

Christoph Ernst and Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer
The German delegation: Christoph Ernst from the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and his deputy Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer, head of the German Trademark and Patent Office in Munich.

Summary: Benoît Battistelli‘s EPO, with all its severe abuses and corruption, was backed by the German government; after 3+ years of António Campinos even the German media has given up mentioning anything negative about the EPO (there’s a so-called 'conspiracy of silence'), but it’s never too late to study the mechanics and motivations of this complicity

As is generally known, the EPO is headquartered in Germany with its main office in Munich and a sub-office in Berlin. It also has a main branch office at Rijswijk near The Hague in the Netherlands.

There is a further small sub-office with 87 staff in Vienna, Austria, which is mainly concerned with patent information and publication services.

One might have expected that the delegations representing the host states of the EPO would have been inclined to properly scrutinise the proposed restrictions of staff rights.

“One might have expected that the delegations representing the host states of the EPO would have been inclined to properly scrutinise the proposed restrictions of staff rights.”However, all of these three host states voted in favour of Battistelli’s “Strike Regulations”.

In the case of the German delegation, this is not really surprising. At the time in question the delegation was headed by Christoph Ernst who was heavily under the sway of his mentor and reputed “handler”, the EPO Vice-President Raimund Lutz. Ernst’s deputy on the German delegation was Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer, head of the German Trademark and Patent Office in Munich.

“Back in the pre-Brexit days of 2013, preparations for the EU’s Unitary Patent project were in full swing.”Rudloff-Schäffer is reputed to have had a more critical attitude towards Battistelli but due to her subordinate position she was unable to counteract Ernst who had the final say as head of delegation.

In addition to this, it should not be forgotten that both Ernst and Rudloff-Schäffer were ultimately under the authority of the German Justice Minister who, at the time in question, was Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger from the German liberal party, FDP.

Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger with Rudloff-Schäffer
Justice Minister Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger with Rudloff-Schäffer unveiling new DPMA logo in July 2010.

Back in the pre-Brexit days of 2013, preparations for the EU’s Unitary Patent project were in full swing.

“According to well-informed inside sources at the EPO, Battistelli took advantage of the occasion to impress upon Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger that his planned “reforms” were of vital importance for ensuring that the EPO would be “fit” for the soon-to-be-implemented Unitary Patent.”At that time the German political establishment was very gung-ho about the Unitary Patent project and the associated Unified Patent Court (UPC). This enthusiasm was due in no small part to the “capture” of the Federal Justice Ministry by zealous UPC lobbyists, led by Hogan Lovells consultant, Winfried Tilmann.

Battistelli and Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger
Battistelli cosying up to Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger in June 2013

By a curious coincidence, on 24 June 2013 – just a few days before the 136th meeting of the Administrative Council – Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger visited the EPO where she met with Battistelli “to discuss developments in the European patent system, and in particular the future unitary patent”.

“The Corsican despot’s “charm offensive” towards the German Justice Minister seems to have worked because from that point on there was rarely a murmur of dissent from the German delegation to any proposals tabled by Team Battistelli.”According to well-informed inside sources at the EPO, Battistelli took advantage of the occasion to impress upon Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger that his planned “reforms” were of vital importance for ensuring that the EPO would be “fit” for the soon-to-be-implemented Unitary Patent.

The Corsican despot’s “charm offensive” towards the German Justice Minister seems to have worked because from that point on there was rarely a murmur of dissent from the German delegation to any proposals tabled by Team Battistelli.

With hindsight, it seems that the subservience of the German delegation was intensified by Ernst’s own personal ambitions to succeed Lutz as the Vice-President of the EPO’s International and Legal Affairs Directorate via the EPO’s notorious revolving door.

EPO insiders have reported that Ernst always took great care not to cross swords with Battistelli during his time as head of the German delegation.

Ernst's revolving door gambit
Ernst’s loyalty and subservience to Battistelli were ultimately rewarded with a well-paid post-retirement sinecure as EPO Vice-President.

In fact, shortly after Ernst was parachuted in as Chairman of the Council following Jesper Kongstad’s premature departure in October 2018, he gave an interview to the German legal periodical JUVE. We’ve decided to maintain a local copy of Ernst’s interview [PDF] in case it gets edited or removed.

Ernst used the occasion to praise Battistelli’s “Strike Regulations” as a “necessary social reform” and a noteworthy example of “a step forward” at the EPO.

What social reforms were necessary?

For example, the controversial reform of the right to strike. Customary law had developed in the EPO, and it had to be put on a proper statutory footing. Overall, the regulation is a step forward. One can always discuss the details, and that is what is being done.

It’s hard to believe that this clown, who is approaching 70, is now in charge of the EPO’s International and Legal Affairs Directorate but such grotesque absurdity seems to be par for the course in the Kafkaesque “wonderland” of EPOnia.

In the next part we will take a look at the delegation representing the EPO’s second host state, the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

10.06.21

Top EPO Applicants (Six Nations/States of Seven Founding States) Approved Unlawful Strike Regulations, Illegally Crushing EPO Examiners

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 6:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 4f7ef3599b10e85f0812d696944127f6

Summary: It seems clear that very large nations that account for the lion’s share of European Patents (among European nations) are, on average, even more guilty than small nations which they love to blame; it’s not an old crisis because it persists to this day

WE have just published part four of the ongoing EPO series about the illegal “Strike Regulations” of Benoît Battistelli — an illegal legacy enjoyed for over 3 years by Battistelli’s buddy, António Campinos.

“Large nations too are heavily culpable and sometimes they’re the ones commandeering the smaller nations.”Most EPO staff does not forget or forgive. The above video is a collection of personal thoughts. For more background see parts 1, 2, and 3. Part 4 has been mostly a short interlude, reminding me of personal experiences of mine (there’s nobody to talk to!) and rogue moves by the Belgian delegation (UPC and EUIPO jobs as horsetrading bribes).

The series will show that, contrary to what the Dutch might claim, it’s not just small nations enabling the corruption of the Office. Large nations too are heavily culpable and sometimes they’re the ones commandeering the smaller nations.

The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IV: The Founding States

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 5:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series parts:

  1. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part I: Let the Sunshine In!
  2. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part II: A “Unanimous” Endorsement?
  3. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part III: Three Missing Votes
  4. YOU ARE HERE ☞ The Founding States

Johannes van Benthem and Kurt Haertel
What would EPO founding fathers, Johannes “Bob” van Benthem and Kurt Haertel, have made of Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal project?

Summary: With French presidents occupying more than 80% of the time in such a position for 2 decades, partly owing to nepotism (António Campinos is French and a friend of Battistelli), it seems like the EPO became a failed project; the media isn’t ready to admit that correction is urgently needed (partly because the media receives bribes and threats from the EPO)

The seven founding states of the European Patent Organisation were: Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the three countries of the Benelux Union (the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg), and the Alpine confederacy of Switzerland.

The delegations from the organisation’s main host states of Germany and the Netherlands voted in favour of the controversial “Strike Regulations” in June 2013 as did the UK.

“As we shall see later, the only Benelux delegation which declined to endorse Battistelli’s manifestly flawed and unlawful proposal was the Belgian delegation, headed by Jêrome Debrulle.”In the Benelux camp, Luxembourg followed its larger neighbour the Netherlands and likewise voted in favour of the “Strike Regulations”.

As we shall see later, the only Benelux delegation which declined to endorse Battistelli’s manifestly flawed and unlawful proposal was the Belgian delegation, headed by Jêrome Debrulle.

The two remaining founding states, France and Switzerland, also voted in favour of Battistelli’s “Strike Regulations”.

A casual observer could be forgiven for naïvely expecting that – in view of their special responsibility as founding members – the delegations representing those states would have seen fit to scrutinise the proposed curtailment of staff rights in a more diligent and critical manner.

“In the upcoming parts we will take a closer look at the delegations from the EPO’s founding states, starting with the two main host states, Germany and the Netherlands.”But unfortunately the facts on the ground tell a different story and show that such idealistic notions are far removed from the realpolitik of EPO governance.

The official record shows that the delegates from six out of seven of the EPO’s founding states had no qualms about endorsing Battistelli’s liberticidal project.

In the upcoming parts we will take a closer look at the delegations from the EPO’s founding states, starting with the two main host states, Germany and the Netherlands.

Cannot Cast a Ballot for Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Liechtenstein (Even Whilst Attending for the Vote)?

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 4:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 49997614fa526a8d5660dc487eece155

Summary: The mystery of national delegates failing to have an opinion on the unlawful "Strike Regulations" and instead of abstaining on the record simply not voting at all

JUST after midnight we published part 3 of the series that we had started two days earlier (see part 1 and part 2).

“These events may seem like old and insignificant news, but they’re recently-opened wounds.”As it turns out, based on public records from Munich and from Budapest, there are contradictions. They’re highlighted in the video above. There’s also a mention of the other two nations which failed to cast the vote on the occasion, in effect failing to fulfil their duties to their nations, which have staff inside the EPO. These events may seem like old and insignificant news, but they’re recently-opened wounds.

10.05.21

[Reposted] Right of Strike Breached at the EPO — Statement by Union Syndicale Fédérale (USF)

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 3:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Union Syndicale Fédérale crowd

Summary: In the interest of EPO staff and workers all across Europe (by extension; precedents do matter) we reproduce below a fairly new public statement which SUEPO took note of earlier today; the statement is available in English and in French. “The German translation of the editorial will be published here shortly,” SUEPO writes.

Historical Judgments of the Administrative Tribunal  of the International Labour Organisation (ILOAT) on the fundamental right to strike breached by the European Patent Office (EPO).

On 7 July 2021, the ILOAT ruled that the EPO strike regulations put in place since 1 July 2013 created a regime placing several limitations on the exercise of the right to strike which was unlawful because it violated the fundamental right to strike. After 8 years of breach of a fundamental right at the EPO (including 3 years under the mandate of a new President), it is now time to take the consequences and to repair the damage done to the Organization and its Staff.

In its 132nd session the Tribunal delivered a total of 43 judgments, of which 25 concern the EPO.

The encouraging news from this session are that the following cases, concerning the right to strike at the EPO, were all ruled in favour of the complainants:

  • Judgments 4430, 4432 and 4434 on the EPO Circular 347 (“Circular on Strikes”)
  • Judgments 4433 and 4435 on deductions of 1/20th per day of strike.

Among these judgments, Judgment 4430 is fundamental, because it has a general scope, defining and restating some universal principles relating to the right to strike in International Organisations. Furthermore Judgement 4430 considers that the EPO Circular 347 on strikes is unlawful and should be set aside.

This is a clear legal victory for the complainants, the Staff of the EPO and SUEPO (Staff Union of the European Patent Office) which supported some complainants all along.

Background

In June 2013, following a proposal of former EPO President Benoît Battistelli the Administrative Council adopted document CA/D 5/13, which created a new Article 30a of the Service Regulations relating to the right to strike.

This new Article 30a sets out some basic rules concerning strikes. Its paragraph (2) defines a strike as “…a collective and concerted work stoppage for a limited duration related to the condition of employment.” Paragraph (3) states that a strike may be called by “ A Staff Committee, an association of employees or a group of employees….”. Paragraph (4) says that “The decision to start a strike shall be the result of a vote by the employees”, and finally paragraph (10) authorises the President of the EPO to “…lay down further terms and conditions for the application of this Article to all employees; these shall cover inter alia the maximum strike duration and the voting process”.

On the basis of this last provision of Article 30a, Circular 347 (”Circular on Strikes”) containing “Guidelines applicable in the event of strike” was issued and came into effect on 1 July 2013.

Here are the most challenged paragraphs of Circular 347:

  1. Strike: “… industrial actions … such as go-slow or work to rule shall not be considered as a strike…” and consequently they shall not be granted the same protection.
  2. Call for a strike: “…or a group of employees representing at least 10% of all EPO employees may decide to call for a strike”
  3. Decision to start a strike: “…The voting process shall be organised and completed by the Office…”; “…to be valid, at least 40% of the employees entitled to vote shall participate to the ballot. The decision to start a strike has to be approved by a majority of more than 50% of the voters”
  4. Duration of the strike: “… The duration of the strike shall not exceed one month…..”
  5. Deduction of remuneration: ”… For participation in a strike for more than four hours …a deduction of 1/20th of the monthly remuneration”

SUEPO and EPO Staff and their representation strongly opposed and criticized these new strike regulations, which remain unprecedented in International Organisations and which constitute an undeniable attack on the fundamental rights of employees. Their criticism was followed and shared by external stakeholders and the public.

Among them, Sylvie Jacobs, Chairperson of the USF at the time, condemned the new regulations and wrote an article on USF newsletter AGORA in January 2014. She said inter alia: “ EPO President Battistelli’s HR policy reveals a serious lack of understanding of fundamental rights of workers, in particular their right of association in the form of a trade-union”.

In September 2013 requests for review were filed by the complainants, followed later on by a 6 year long internal procedure in front of the EPO Appeals Committee and finally by complaints filed at ILOAT at the end of 2019. The long delays to obtain a decision in favour of restoring a fundamental right show that the EPO internal justice system is not adapted to complaints of this political nature.

Judgment 4430

As already said, Judgment 4430 is fundamental, and the considerations can be extended to all International Organisations. The present paper will deal only with details of this case.

Below are some of its more relevant considerations; the following does not want to be a legal analysis of the judgement, but only an explanatory overview of it:

Consideration 13: “… a strike … is a tool employees have to redress imbalance of power…”; “… absent a right to strike, it is open to an employer to ignore entreaties by employees advanced collectively to consider….their grievances….”

Nota: this could put in jeopardy the validity of the regulations introduced from July 2013 till today at the EPO. More in general it could put in jeopardy the validity of regulations passed while fundamental rights of staff are not respected.

Considerations 14 and 15: “… a general decision cannot be challenged … until an individual decision is taken…”, however since Circular 347 had an immediate and adverse effect on individual rights (the right to strike) from its promulgation, the general decision can be challenged in this case.

Nota: this is interesting because it confirms that a complainant can directly challenge a general decision when the general decision has an immediate and adverse effect on the complainant.

Consideration 16 (Lawfulness of Circular 347):

  • Regarding paragraph 1:

The circular travels beyond the definition of strike in the Service Regulations; “…it cannot do so as a subordinate normative legal document…”

“ …“go slow” and “work to rule” are legitimate forms of industrial action protected by the ordinary conception of the right to strike ….”

  • Regarding paragraph 2:

The imposition of a minimum of 10% of employees who can call for a strike is illegal, because it amounts to deprive a group of less than 10% willing to strike of the right to strike.

  • Regarding paragraph 3:

The condition that “at least 40% of the employees entitled to vote shall participate to the ballot” is unlawful, because it allows a majority of staff to deprive a minority of the right to strike.

“…the requirement that the vote be conducted by the Office violated the right to strike. Employees themselves should be able to make arrangements for the vote…”

  • Regarding paragraph 4:

the time limit placed on the duration of strike violated the right to strike. Striking staff should be able, themselves, to determine the length of the strike.”

Consideration 17:

“Having regard to the aforementioned violations of the right to strike, which infect Circular 347 in its entirety, the Circular is unlawful and should be set aside”.

The Tribunal in Judgment 4430 only deliberates on the lawfulness of Circular 347 and does not discuss the legality of the Service Regulations, because it feels unsure, in its present composition, “whether it has jurisdiction to set aside a provision of the Service Regulations” (cf. consideration 11 of Judgment 4430).  It is however abundantly clear that the provisions of the Service Regulations, like for example paragraph (10) of Article 30a, are unlawful and inapplicable.

Conclusions

It took 8 years among which 6 years in a lengthy and exhausting internal procedures, to have one of the most fundamental right of employees – the right to strike – finally be restored in its entirety by the ILOAT. The unfair EPO regulations imposed by the previous administration and let in place by the present are now declared unlawful and set aside.

Despite many attempts by SUEPO, in these 8 years, to have the new regulations on strike discussed, amended and brought in line with international standards, the former and present Administration of the EPO decided instead to strictly follow the litigation path till the end. For the new Administration, now in charge since 3 years, it has been a missed opportunity to restore the Rule of Law and a genuine social dialogue at the EPO.

During all this time the Administrative Council turned a blind eye on these flawed regulations and failed in his duties and responsibilities as supervising authority. It should be stressed that the EPO – like any other international organisation -, while having a jurisdictional immunity, is “…subject to the obligations inherent in human rights…” as stated in Resolution 1979 (2014) of the Council of Europe.

These last ILOAT judgments will surely have an important and long lasting impact on the Staff regulations at the EPO and probably in most International Organisations. Let’s hope EPO management will finally revise its HR policies and its way of dealing with Unions and Staff representation in the future with a true genuine Social Dialogue.

Some interesting further readings:

SUEPO publication on the ILOAT judgements, 29/07/2021.

http://patentblog.kluweriplaw.com/2021/07/13/ilo-epo-president-battistelli-abused-his-power-in-restraining-workers-right-to-strike/

https://www.managingip.com/article/b1sq3fhj22c496/opinion-epo-complaints-procedure-in-need-of-shake-up

http://patentblog.kluweriplaw.com/2021/07/21/trade-union-to-epo-president-campinos-quash-unlawful-strike-restrictions/

Jurisdictional immunity of international organisations and rights of their staff”, Report of the Council of Europe, 11/10/2017, paragraphs 18 and 19.

Treating the Law Like It’s Merely a Recommendation That Rich and Powerful People Can Ignore Whenever It Suits Them

Posted in Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 8:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sumf483105e6a63e56e8defdcd7c03ba6c1

Summary: The constitutions of European member states — and the Rule of Law in general — are under unprecedented attacks; the so-called “Strike Regulations” (a misnomer; it’s a lot like “salary adjustment”, which in practice means taking from workers and pensioners to defraud the Office) are officially unlawful and justice will never be done about that, so crime pays off when there's diplomatic immunity

THIS is the first time we split a video into two; or rather, we record twice, piece-wise. The above is a bit of an introduction that speaks about the latest lies from Team UPC and the general assault on the Rule of Law, European constitutions, and the European economy. The focus of Team UPC has shifted to Ireland and some Irish media is totally complicit, as noted already in Daily Links.

“The focus of Team UPC has shifted to Ireland and some Irish media is totally complicit, as noted already in Daily Links.”Here’s the main part (below), the part about “Strike Regulations”. In parts one and two about the EPO‘s attack on its own workers (this was done by Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos alike) we showed how it came about, but next up we’ll focus on Hungary’s Bendzsel and Ficsor ("Best Buddies With António").

Video download link | md5sum 37748f2ab14d203ca05d14892ebe9036

Part 3 about Bendzsel and Ficsor will be published around midnight and some time around midday we’ll do a video about that too.

10.04.21

The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part II: A “Unanimous” Endorsement?

Posted in Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 4:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series parts:

  1. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part I: Let the Sunshine In!
  2. YOU ARE HERE ☞ A “Unanimous” Endorsement?

EPO President Benoît Battistelli, Principal Director Elodie Bergot, Vice-Presidents Željko Topić and Raimund Lutz
The EPO senior management team responsible for the drafting of the “Strike Regulations”.
Clockwise from top left: Office President Benoît Battistelli, Principal Director Elodie Bergot, Vice-Presidents Željko Topić and Raimund Lutz.

Summary: Battistelli’s illegal “Strike Regulations” didn’t materialise without help from other people; looking back, we learn how those unlawful provisions came about and who’s accountable for them

The EPO “Strike Regulations” which were recently struck down by the ILOAT were drafted by Battistelli’s “Human Resources” management team.

At the time in question the EPO’s HR Department was controlled by the notorious duo of Principal Director Elodie Bergot and Vice-President Željko Topić.

“…this meeting of the Council was also used by Battistelli to present the delegates with the outcome of an “internal investigation” conducted for the purpose of whitewashing his Croatian bulldog, Željko Topić.”But it’s important to realise that the “Strike Regulations” drafted by the EPO’s senior management team would never have come into effect without the complicity of the Administrative Council at its 136th meeting which took place in Munich on 26 and 27 June 2013.

By a curious coincidence – as previously reported by Techrights back in 2015 – this meeting of the Council was also used by Battistelli to present the delegates with the outcome of an “internal investigation” conducted for the purpose of whitewashing his Croatian bulldog, Željko Topić.

“These documents allow us to obtain a better picture of what went on at the meeting, in particular the details of the deliberation and vote on the proposed “Strike Regulations”.”At the time in question, Topić was the subject of a series of allegations connected with his former position as head of the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office. A lot of awkward questions were being asked about his EPO appointment and Battistelli was keen to silence the critical voices.

The 2015 Techrights posting about Battistelli’s whitewash of Topić includes copies of the official minutes [PDF] of the June 2013 Administrative Council meeting and the associated “Summary of Decisions”. [PDF]

These documents allow us to obtain a better picture of what went on at the meeting, in particular the details of the deliberation and vote on the proposed “Strike Regulations”.

The composition of the Administrative Council as of May 2013 – i.e. directly prior to the 136th meeting – was published in the EPO’s Official Journal (OJ).

In some cases the delegates listed in the OJ did not attend the meeting but were replaced by their alternates. This is normal practice when delegates have conflicting engagements.

The list of actual attendees at the 136th Council meeting can be found in the official minutes [PDF] of the meeting.

It’s worth mentioning in passing that António Campinos also attended the meeting as an observer in his capacity as then head of the EU’s trademark agency OHIM/EUIPO in Alicante.

From the minutes of the meeting it can be seen that one senior member of Team Battistelli played a key role in persuading the Council to vote in favour of the proposed “Strike Regulations”.

“It’s worth mentioning in passing that António Campinos also attended the meeting…”This was the Vice-President Raimund Lutz who was head of the Directorate of International and Legal Affairs.

Lutz was regularly used by Battistelli for the purpose of duping the Council delegates into rubber-stamping all sorts of questionable measures and at the same time dissuading them from asking too many awkward questions.

So it was very much “business as usual” when Lutz was wheeled out at the 136th Council meeting in June 2013 in order to assure the delegates that the proposed “Strike Regulations” were good to go and could be waved through without the need for any further discussion.

Lutz informed the delegates that the new regulations “had been proposed considering general legal principles, European rights and ILOAT standards”.

“Lutz was regularly used by Battistelli for the purpose of duping the Council delegates into rubber-stamping all sorts of questionable measures and at the same time dissuading them from asking too many awkward questions.”It’s worth pointing out that he never actually claimed that the proposed measures were in conformity with “general legal principles, European rights and ILOAT standards” – he only said that these principles, rights and standards had been “considered” when drafting the regulations!

It is not without reason that Lutz has been described as a "veritable virtuoso of legal sophistry".

Role of EPO's Vice-President Raimund Lutz
The EPO’s “virtuoso of legal sophistry”, Vice-President Raimund Lutz, helped to “persuade” the Council delegates to rubber-stamp the proposed measures.

Both the official minutes and the “Summary of Decisions” contain a record of the vote on the adoption of Battistelli’s “Strike Regulations”.

Record of the Administrative Council vote
Record of the Administrative Council vote on the adoption of Battistelli’s “Strike Regulations”.

From this it can be seen that out of a total of 38 delegations, only 35 actually voted.

This means that 3 delegations did not even bother to take part in the vote.

“…3 delegations did not even bother to take part in the vote.”Of the 35 delegations that participated, 28 voted in favour and 7 abstained.

Article 35 (4) of the European Patent Convention specifies that abstentions “shall not be considered as votes”.

“In the coming parts we will take a closer look at the members of the delegations…”This means that – according to the official narrative – the proposed measures were adopted “unanimously” with 28 votes in favour.

In the coming parts we will take a closer look at the members of the delegations and how they did – or did not – vote on that occasion.

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