Summary: Too busy paying journalists, PR firms, so-called ‘research’ firms (funded by EPO budget to the tune of millions per year) and other actors that help distort the reality (a rapid EPO decline), Mr. Battistelli has now become a huge liability to the entire Organisation and EPO staff should fight to save the EPO
SOME big stories about the EPO are coming next week and they’re nothing to do with the charade that’s now known (at least internally) for promoting frauds, not just those which the EPO falls for (yesterday it laughably enough warned others about fraud). The EPO keeps promoting the charade which wastes millions of euros of EPO budget and does not want the public to know that it pays the media for puff pieces relating to this charade, amongst others. The latest ‘survey’ of the EPO’s BFF, which the EPO now inevitably brags about, is one such example of paid media.
The EPO would like to make examiners at the EPO redundant (replaced by algorithms) and pretend there’s still potent examination, not just patent filing/registration. That’s the ‘ENA way’. Yesterday the EPO promoted a prelude to this. We are already seeing a reduction in patent examination quality and Battistelli is demolishing the Boards of Appeal little by little (understaffing and now fee hikes). The EPO is collapsing and while this collapse is happening Battistelli spends millions of euros on PR agencies and media companies, as well as commissioned 'studies' which attempt to distort this reality (that’s their job).
Looking at recent IP Kat comments, we come to realise that more and more people inside and outside the EPO (those who interact with examiners) come to grips with the above reality. It’s pretty grim. As one person put it:
What is kind of shocking about the proposal to have a self-financed DG3 because of self-financed UPC-courts is that it shows an utter lack of understanding of the function of DG3 and the UPC-courts by BB [Battistelli] and his freaks.
DG3 is a judicial instance, there to correct/review 1st instance decisions … such a correction mustn’t cost a lot of money for the appelant(in particular SMEs).
DG3 should be regarded as a futher liability of the EPO(rg) … similar to the AC – I do not think that they are self-financing.
… but well, what could one expect from BB …
Battistelli’s latest puff piece and masterpiece (warning:
epo.org link) does not show him with violent tyrants, for a change. Why not show him with the people whom he habitually hangs out with rather than pseudo-royalty from Britain?
“An appeal fee of 7.350 Euro is insulting,” one person noted. “I am surprised that nobody so far mentioned that such a fee is a clear disincentive to file with the EPO in the first place.” Here is the full comment:
An appeal fee of 7.350 Euro is insulting. I am surprised that nobody so far mentioned that such a fee is a clear disincentive to file with the EPO in the first place.
For that amount of money, you can get your application translated into French/Dutch, file it as national application, and you get the search report together with an opinion from the EPO. After that, you pick just the two or three countries you are interested in and go there directly. Go for Germany – biggest market, no translation needed for filing and search, France/Netherlands – you already have the application, and Great Britain. That will secure two additional search reports (DE, GB). With some luck you will have a good overview of the relevant prior art. Infringement in Düsseldorf (DE), period. No hassle with EPO appeal fee, UPC, etc. All things considered, you are likely cheaper even without an appeal.
Sure, that strategy is not fit for everybody. As alternative, go EPO for the search, either with an EP or a PCT, and then proceed on national level, again completely sidestepping EPO examination and appeal. Going PCT will also avoid the nasty exchange of search results, making sure that the EPO does a proper search instead of considering mainly the national search report. The EPO did not lower the search fee when that exchange was introduced, although it is supposed to save time.
Poor guys who want 4 or more countries:)
reply to the above
The goal is to destroy/eliminate if not just marginalise the appeals process. Goodbye to EPO quality!
As another person put it:
Be careful with France. A direct French regional phase from a PCT filing isn’t possible; the application will have to go through the EPO. So you will need a FR either a FR first or second filing. As a bonus, a first filing will give you an EPO Search and opinion. Mais pour ça, il faut rédiger la demande en français.
Let’s not talk about the utter idiocy of the “PCTdirect” thing currently peddled by the EPO, where applicants are encouraged to amend their second filing in order to overcome objections of the authority who handled the first filing. If you like endangering your Paris priority and finding new reasons to go all the way to the EBoA, this one’s for you…
My suspicion is that through impossibly high work quotas, the EPO examiner will have no other practical option but to rubber stamp whatever is filed, without looking at it too closely, unless he feels suicidal and/or wants to end up a homeless wino sleeping under the bridge. But everything is fine, since the EPO is ISO 9001 certified.
Here is a reference to neoliberalism in relation to this:
As Lord Darlington observed, more than a century ago, a cynic is a person who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.
Do we have more cynics in the world today? I think so. Everywhere one looks (as a patent attorney) one sees Administrative Council members, business people, economists and politicians monetarizing everything, as fast as they can, putting a price on everything, with nary a thought about the value that they are destroying.
But there are a few straws in the wind (politicians take note). In particular, the economists heading up research at the IMF have started to put out Papers that argue that neoliberalism is routinely destroying more value than it creates. It is easy to price everything, very hard to quantify “value”. Measuring what you can measure and dismissing any thought about anything else might be excusable in a professor of economics but not for a politician or business person.
So perhaps it’s not too late for the AC, first to see the error of BB’s Master of Business Administration ways, and second to do their F-ing job, namely exercise some control over their attack dog, and curb the beast. In 40 years since the creation of the European Patent Convention, it has come to be the world’s premier (go to) corpus of rational patent law, thanks to DG3 at the EPO. Europe has precious little “soft power” in the world today, but here is a jewel in its soft power crown.
Meanwhile BB, in what seems to be a bizarre and ever-more emotional fit of pique, is bent on wiping it out, regardless of the cost. In my opinion, a disgrace, a tragedy, and deeply lamentable.
The following last comment on this subject is referring to the attack dog of Battistelli, who faces criminal charges in Croatia:
Just two quick points.
As far as I was aware, it’s not BB who claims to be an MBA but the one who signed off on this.
Apropos exercising control over the attack dog, haven’t you ever heard the old adage “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”. The guys to exercise control are the ones in the ministeries. Refer to Article 4a EPC. Long overdue by now.
Our goal is not to destroy the EPO but to save it. The one destroying the EPO right now is Battistelli, along with his team which has blind loyalty to him. Battistelli ought to be sacked this month in order to save the EPO. █
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Summary: What makes Portugal rather unique when it comes to Mr. Battistelli, who is allegedly desperate for support from smaller countries whose vote is easier to ‘win’
EARLIER today we wrote about rumours that Battistelli would pursue an extension of Topić's appointment and we also wrote about rumours regarding ‘buying’ of votes or how Battistelli was getting small nations on his side.
“It is said that one of the delegations which is strongly pro-Battistelli is Portugal,” a source told us. “By a curious coincidence, the “Inventor of the Year” extravaganza will take place in Lisbon on the 9th of June.” (warning:
“Campinos from the recently rebranded EUIPO in Alicante (formerly the European Trademark Office) is Portuguese and he is reputed to be a close ally of Battistelli.”
–AnonymousSince the EPO is not connected to the EU and the Lisbon Treaty was repeatedly snubbed by the EPO's interests, the choice of Lisbon is interesting to say the least. Not many patent applications come to the EPO from Portugal, so is the location politically-motivated?
“It is rumoured,” we were told, “that the Portuguese President is scheduled to attend the event so this seems to confirm the rumour that Portugal is solidly behind Battistelli.
“It’s not clear what role, if any, António Campinos might have in this. Campinos from the recently rebranded EUIPO in Alicante (formerly the European Trademark Office) is Portuguese and he is reputed to be a close ally of Battistelli.”
“There will be EPO protests on the same day in all EPO sites, so coverage might turn out to be embarrassing again (if “media partners” are allowed to act as journalists rather than EPO stenographers).”We wrote about the connection between Battistelli and Campinos a few months ago.
“By another curious coincidence,” our source added, “Campinos is also on the jury for the “Inventor of the Year” award.” (warning:
It is worth noting that this year, unlike last year, the EPO has got FTI Consulting helping it (US PR firm with massive but undeclared budget), so “media partners” like CNN are listed in the page along with the Financial Times (which often repeats the PR of the EPO), Les Echos (which censored itself for the EPO last year), Handelsblatt, ViEUws (source of puff pieces for corporate agenda in Europe and softball interviews with Battistelli, UPC promotion), and finally euronews. There will be EPO protests on the same day in all EPO sites, so coverage might turn out to be embarrassing again (if “media partners” are allowed to act as journalists rather than EPO stenographers). █
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Confer demand generation or artificial demand
Summary: In an effort to create demand for software patents again, patent lawyers produce a huge heap of so-called ‘analyses’ which piggyback just one single decision (the exception, not the norm)
OUR previous article, which criticised IAM for meddling in Asian ‘IP’ policy (despite having no writers at all who are oriental), deals with a broader kind of issue. The media is occupied/dominated by people whose interest (or business model) is not to inform but to promote sponsors' agenda. Here we have IAM’s Ellis on Alice, bemoaning what he calls “[a]n increasingly anti-patentee environment in the United States,” arguing that it “means that patent monetisation-focused businesses [i.e. patent trolls] are finding life tougher today than in years gone by.” Remember that IAM is being paid by patent trolls.
“Consider the fact that the main source of funding to IAM is indeed patent lawyers, or their firms at least (they are also quite likely the subscribers, i.e. those who pay IAM for periodic placements, for overpriced ‘magazines’, and for bias).”Ellis speaks as though he is a patent lawyer infatuated with software patents, or patent maximalism in general (a growing problem at the USPTO). Consider the fact that the main source of funding to IAM is indeed patent lawyers, or their firms at least (they are also quite likely the subscribers, i.e. those who pay IAM for periodic placements, for overpriced ‘magazines’, and for bias).
Alice is universally accepted as a good thing, both by software developers and ordinary customers who buy products. It’s only patent lawyers and few monopolists like IBM who bemoan Alice. Earlier this month we cited dozens of so-called ‘analyses’ from all sorts of patent lawyers. They suddenly woke up and made a lot of noise because of one single case. What patent lawyers call “analysis” is usually marketing, in the same way that ‘studies’ are lobbying (it’s selling something, it’s not a public service).
Watch how patent lawyers still latch onto one single CAFC case in a desperate effort to revive software patents in the US while the USPTO takes advantage of the situation as well (see Michael Best & Friedrich LLP’s ‘article’ also). The most vocal propaganda site of software patents wants to push Congress towards abolishing Alice altogether, as one might expect. It’s clear that SCOTUS won’t be changing its ruling (on Alice or any case like it) any time soon (based on lists of upcoming cases), so the patent lawyers are in panic mode and they bombard the media with articles about TLI Communications (latest examples are in [1, 2]) and Enfish (this new one is from Mark Patrick of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP).
“They’re distorting the record in order to help them sell their ‘services’.”Where are software developers in all this? Patent lawyers are cherry-picking cases for software patents lobbying again (see “Good News for Software Patents?”) and Fox Rothschild LLP is trying to salvage software patent in the US (because they’re still dying) using this fine art of cherry-picking. So did Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP. We are seeing such lobbying/marketing several times per day now, even weeks after the CAFC rulings. It drowns out any meaningless/objective analyses. Consider this ‘analysis’ titled “Federal Circuit Finds Claims Valid Under § 101 For Only The Second Time in Almost Two Years” (2 among so many more, but they only measure the fraction of the glass that’s full).
To use another example of cherry-picking, see this new coverage regarding 35 U.S.C. § 101. It says: “The magistrate judge recommended denying defendant’s motion to dismiss the asserted claims of plaintiff’s patents for categorizing summarized information for lack of patentable subject matter because defendant failed to establish that the claims were directed toward an abstract idea.”
“It’s often called bias by omission.”In summary, we are still finding lots of software patents propaganda from patent law firms that occupy the media. They’re distorting the record in order to help them sell their ‘services’. One may easily be lured into the illusion or fantasy that software patents are alive and well, probably because there’s about 100 times more coverage of cases where courts accept a software patent. It’s often called bias by omission. █
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Article as ODF
Publicado en Decepcción, Europa, Marketing, Patentes at 1:28 pm por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz
Sumario: La exágerada extravagancia (desperdicio de dinero) en la Ceremonia de Premiación al Inventor Europeo de la EPO tendrá que competir por atención de los medios con miles de empleados de la EPO (en todaslas sedes de la EPO) marchándo en las calles para protestar por los abusos de la EPO
LA EPO se convirtió en un gran foco de escándalos y es la culpa de Battistelli conjuntamente con su ‘circulo’, quienes subvierten la democracia y trabajan burlando (si no atropellándo) a la EPC. En esta etapa, para las personas que trabajan en la EPO, la pregunta clave para contestar no es“¿por que protestar?” pero “¿porqué NO protestar?”
En unos pocos años, habiéndo existido y prosperádo por muchas décadas (casi la mitad de un siglo), la Oficina (EPO) se ha convertido en fuente de burla y una fuente de escándalos sin precedencia en Europa. Esto causa daño a la institución (o Organización) en su totalidad, trayéndola a un estado de crisis (por admisión propia) si no al borde del colapso. ¿Qué futuro habra para los examinadores de la EPO si completamente incompetentes idiótas y sinverguenzas como Battistelli permanencen a cargo por unos años más? La EPO ahora dañá la legitimidad de la Unión Europea en su totalidad. Esto no es bueno.
“En unos pocos años, habiéndo existido y prosperádo por muchas décadas (casi la mitad de un siglo), la Oficina (EPO) se ha convertido en fuente de burla y una fuente de escándalos sin precedencia en Europa.”
Temprano este mes oficiáles Franceses observaron una protesta en la EPO en Munich. Otros oficiales Franceses se han dado cuenta de la situación. Como alguién cercano a estas acciónes lo puso (no a nosotros directa o indirectamente): “El gobierno Frances ha sido informado completamente del problema causado por su compatriota el Sr.Battistelli, entre otros por el Sr. Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, el Sr Philip Cordery, Srta. Claudine Lepage y otros. Pero no hemos visto mucho esfuérzo (diplomático o de otra manera) del gobierno Frances para enfrentar la situación. Por lo tanto me parece [sic] que debemos recordárselo al gobierno Frances. La demostración ha sido autorizada por las autoridades locales competentes en Alemania.”
Separádamente en relación a estas acciónes, una persona escribió: “Los empleados no deberían esperar que el calvario llegue de su propio impulso y resolver los problemas de la EPO, o que rescate a sus empleados. Para mi el observador de afuera notará el estado de decadencia (cantidad, calidad, motivación, servicio, etc…), será demasiado tarde. He aquí es ahora el tiempo que los empleados demuestre al mundo que la EPO no es como su ¨Presidente¨ lo describe, o dejar que la Gazette intente hacerlo pareces. De acuerdo a la Technologia Survey, la realidad hoy es que la situcación en la EPO es peor que nunca: para aquellos“férus de Benchmarking”, es reportadamente peor que la crisis en la France Télécom lo fué…”
“La EPO ahora dañá la legitimidad de la Unión Europea en su totalidad. Esto no es bueno.”
Hay varios falsos ‘estudios’ preparándose en este momento. Sabemos acerca de estos y sabemos que fuéron designados (por la gerencia de la EPO) para hacerse propaganda. Son como grupos de interes o cabilderos, no encuéstas genuínas o investigación, por razones notadas aqui este mes. En adición a estos llamados ‘estudios’ (producidos para ayudar a influenciar a políticos) también hay ese estúpido evento de propaganda el cual se esfuérza en crear falso cubrimiénto de prensa de “socios en los medios” de la EPO. SUEPO ha organizado una demostración que coincidirá con este evento de propaganda, pero no esperamos que los “socios en los medios” de la EPO incluso menciónen tal demostración, habiéndo sido testigos de como ellos borraron parrafos enteros cuando cometiéron el horrible ‘error’ de cubrir el crticismo durante el evento mismo. He aquí las palabras de la SUEPO, notándo la falta de progreso de Battistelli (debería ser despedido brevemente después de este evento al menos que se las arregle para ‘comprar’/asegurar su puesto de maneras nefástas por las que ya es conocido. Para citar: “No hay progreso en los reclamos de los empleados (ver e.g. la última llamada a la huegla: “Ilegalidad en la EPO”). También no hay señal que el sr. Battistelli intente respetar la resolución de Marzo del Consejo Administrativo. Al contrario: nuevas controversiáles reformas estan planeados (plan de salud de la EPO, procedimiénto de despido, obligaciónes posterióres al empleo), algunas ya para ser decididas en la próxima reunión del Consejo Administrativo el 29-30 de Junio. Para resáltar la falta de progreso al Consejo Administrativo una demostración es planeada en cuatro sitios para el Jueves 9 de Junio. La demostración coincidirá con la ceremonia de premiación al Inventor Europeo de la EPO en Lisboa.”
Esto es un oportunismo astuto. La huelga debería coincidir con la reunión del Consejo Administrativo, pero el equipo Battistelli usó lo que pareció (en ese momento) tácticas dilatorias. “La demostración coincidirá con la ceremonia de premiación al Inventor Europeo de la EPO en Lisboa,” dice lo de arriba. Va a dañar al equipo Battistelli donde duele más por que la gente de relaciónes públicas de la EPO está trabajando el fin de semana de nuevo (ambos Sábado y Domingo), ayudándo a distraer de los escándalos [1, 2] usando la mencionada ceremonia. Simplemente es ‘control de daños’ y esto es todo lo que han estado haciéndo por un mes ahora. ¿Puede la SUEPO aplastar este evento de propagánda? Si no, ¿Cómo tomar como objetivo al ‘baby’ de Battistelli, la UPC?
“La huelga debería coincidir con la reunión del Consejo Administrativo, pero el equipo Battistelli usó lo que pareció (en ese momento) tácticas dilatorias.”
De acuérdo a este nuevo tweet, El equipo Battistelli todavíá esta en modo de profecía autocumplible (tratándo de pretender de que ya es un hecho, cuándo incluso no lo es) acerca de la UPC. Para citar: “Es interesánte que los tipos de la cabina de información de la EPO en la AIPLA estaban confíados que Brexit fallaríá–Whistling pasando el cementerio?”
Recuérden que la UPC está en riésgo en lo que viene a Brexit y es cualquier cosa pero algo definitivo por varias otras razónez. Incluso el vocero de la EPO, escribiéndo acerca de casi novia de la EPO, finalmente reconoce que Brexit importa (algunos abogados británicos trataron de negar esto anteriórmente). Para citar las columnas de hoy del editor de IAM: “En un mes y un día el electorado del Reino Unido decidirá el inmediato y talvez permanente futuro de la propuesta patente unitaria de la EU y el régimen de la Corte de Patentes Unitaria. Eso es porque el 23 de Junio, los Británicos votarán si el Reino Unido permanecerá siendo un miembro de la Unión Europea. Como discutimos anteriórmente aquí, si ellos votan por permanecer, dentro de un año podemos esperar ver ambas la UPC y la patente Unitaria en su lugar.”
Pero también hay otras barreras, la menor de todas es la salida Británica, así como Finlandia (un referéndum allí seríá lelos de una llamada cercana basado en encuéstas) y la larga oposición del fiero pueblo Español.
“Nada enojaría más a Battistelli y sus chácales ver su difunto ‘proyecto’ UPC irse en una trayectoria para abajo.”
Invitamos a los trabajadores de la EPO a unirse a una buena causa y ayudar a la economía de Europa. Pedimos recordar a su gerencia no patentar todo lo que exista bajo el Sol (trampa común cuando se máxmimiza el parámetro malo, como un negociánte en vez de un científico) y si esto signfica rechazar a la UPC, entonces sea así.
Nada enojaría más a Battistelli y sus chácales ver su difunto ‘proyecto’ UPC irse en una trayectoria para abajo. Esto no sólo lo vengaría (por sus muchos abusos) pero también serviría para restaurar a la ‘antigua’ EPO, antes de toda esas mamadas como “Patente de EU” o “Comunidad de Patentes” o “UPC” se asomen por la ventana, con la ayuda y colaboración de grandes aplicantes (incluso no Europeos, simplemente un grupo de billonarios y sus cabilderos buscando a someter al resto del mundo). La UPC tiene muchas similaridades/parecidos con la TPP y la TTIP, como hemos explicado antes.
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Summary: The overly extravagant (waste of money) EPO European Inventor Award will have to compete for media attention with thousands of EPO staff (in all EPO sites) marching in the streets to protest against the EPO’s abuses
THE EPO became a big bundle of scandals and it’s the fault of Battistelli along with his notorious ‘circle’, who allegedly subvert democracy and work around (if not run over) the EPC. At this stage, for people who work at the EPO, the imperative question to address is not “why protest?” but “why NOT protest?”
In just a few years, having already existed and thrived for many decades (almost half a century), the Office (EPO) turned into a laughing stock and a stock of unprecedented European scandals. This takes its toll on the institution (or Organisation) as a whole, bringing it to a state of crisis (by its own admission) if not the verge of collapse. What future will there be for EPO patent examiners if totally incompetent fools and rascals like Battistelli remain in charge for another couple of years? The EPO now damages the legitimacy of the European Union as a whole. This is not good.
“In just a few years, having already existed and thrived for many decades (almost half a century), the Office (EPO) turned into a laughing stock and a stock of unprecedented European scandals.”Earlier this month the French officials at Munich observed an EPO protest. Other French officials are well aware of the problem. As someone close to these actions put it (not to us directly, not even indirectly): “The French government has been fully informed of the problems caused by their compatriot Mr Battistelli, amongst others by Mr Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, Mr Philip Cordery, Ms Claudine Lepage and others. But we have not seen much effort (diplomatic or otherwise) of the French government to address the situation. It therefore seems me to [sic] remind the French government of the situation at the EPO. The demonstration has been authorised by the German local authorities.”
Separately, in relation to these recent actions, one person wrote: “Staff should not wait for the cavalry to come in on their own impulse and solve all the EPO Problems, let alone rescue its employees. By the me the outside observer will note the state of decay (quantity, motivation, quality, service, etc…), it will be way too late. Hence it is today all the more urgent for staff to show that the world in the EPO is not as the President describes it, let alone as the Gazette attempts to make it look like. According to the Technologia Survey, reality today is that the situation in the EPO is worse than ever: for those “férus de Benchmarking”, it is reported to be worse than the crisis at France Télécom ever was…”
“The EPO now damages the legitimacy of the European Union as a whole. This is not good.”There are several bogus ‘studies’ in the making right now. We know about these and we know what they were designed (by EPO management) to show. It’s more like think tanks or lobbying, not genuine surveys or research, for reasons we noted here earlier this month. In addition to these so-called ‘studies’ (produced to help influence politicians) there is also that stupid propaganda event which strives to create bogus press coverage from “media partners” of the EPO. SUEPO has scheduled a demonstration to coincide with this propaganda event, but we don’t expect the EPO’s “media partners” to even mention such a demonstration, having witnessed how they deleted entire paragraphs which made the horrible ‘error’ of covering criticism expressed at the event itself. Here are SUEPO’s words, noting the lack of progress from Battistelli (he should get sacked shortly after this event unless he manages to 'buy'/secure his seat in nefarious ways that he's now renowned for). To quote: “No progress has been made on staff’s claims (see e.g. last call for strike “Lawfulness at the EPO”). There is also no sign that Mr Battistelli intends to respect the March resolution of the Administrative Council. On the contrary: new controversial reforms are planned (EPO health insurance, dismissal procedure, post-employment obligations), some already for decision in the next meeting of the Administrative Council on 29-30 June. In order to flag the lack of progress to the Administrative Council, a demonstration at all four places of employment is planned for Thursday 9 June. The demonstration will coincide with the EPO European Inventor Award ceremony in Lisbon.”
This is clever timing. The strike probably ought to have coincided with the Administrative Council’s meeting, but Team Battistelli used what looked (at the time) like delaying tactics. “The demonstration will coincide with the EPO European Inventor Award ceremony in Lisbon,” says the above. It’s going to hurt Team Battistelli where it hurts because the EPO’s PR people are working in the weekend again (both Saturday and Sunday), helping to distract from the scandals [1, 2] using the European Inventor Award. It’s all just ‘damage control’ and this is all they have been doing for about a month now. Can SUEPO crash the propaganda event? If not, how about taking aim at Team Battistelli’s ‘baby’, the UPC?
“The strike probably ought to have coincided with the Administrative Council’s meeting, but Team Battistelli used what looked (at the time) like delaying tactics.”According to this new tweet, Team Battistelli is still in self-fulfilling prophecy mode (trying to pretend that it’s all over and done, even when it’s not) regarding the UPC. To quote: “Its interesting that the guys at the EPO information booth at AIPLA were confident that Brexit would fail–Whistling past the graveyard?”
Remember that the UPC is at stake when it comes to Brexit and it’s anything but a done deal for various other reasons. Even the EPO’s mouthpiece, writing about the bride-like EPO, finally acknowledges that Brexit matters (some British patent lawyers previously tried to deny this). To quote today’s columns from IAM’s editor: “In one month and one day, the UK electorate will be deciding the immediate, and perhaps the permanent, future of the proposed EU unitary patent and Unified Patent Court regime. That’s because on 23rd June, the British will vote on whether they want the UK to remain a member of the European Union. As discussed previously on here, if they do vote to Remain, within a year we can expect to see both the patent and the UPC up and running.”
But there are other barriers, the least of which are Britain’s potential exit, Finland’s potential exit (an EU membership referendum there would be far from a close call, based on polls), and Spain’s longtime opposition.
“Nothing would anger Battistelli and his goons more than seeing the defunct UPC ‘project’ go down in a fiery downward trajectory.”We invite EPO workers to join a good cause and help secure the economy of Europe. We ask them to remind their management not to patent everything under the Sun (common trap when maximising the wrong parameter, like a businessman rather than a scientist) and if this means rejecting the UPC, then so be it.
Nothing would anger Battistelli and his goons more than seeing the defunct UPC ‘project’ go down in a fiery downward trajectory. This would not only avenge (for his many abuses) but it might also help restore the ‘old’ EPO, before all that “EU Patent” or “Community Patent” or “UPC” overhaul got drawn up, with help and collaboration from large applicants (not even European, just a bunch of billionaires with lobbyists all over the world). The UPC has many similarities/parallels with TPP and TTIP, as we explained before. █
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This is all from the past hour, in succession (EPO’s Twitter feed in a period of just 15 minutes, 3pm-3:15pm GMT)
Summary: EPO budget at ‘work’, days after doing copy-paste jobs and also working overtime in the weekend for an extravagant and needless/purposeless event (except for Battistelli's own pride)
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No investigation, just churnalism
Summary: Why the latest “Future of Open Source Survey” — much like its predecessors — isn’t really a survey but just another churnalism opportunity for the Microsoft-connected Black Duck, which is a proprietary parasite inside the FOSS community
THE “Future of Open Source Survey” is not a survey. It’s just Black Duck’s self-promotional (marketing) tripe packaged as a “survey”. This is a common PR tactic, it’s not unique. We wrote about this so-called ‘survey’ in several articles in the past, e.g.:
We now have more of the same churnalism and it comes from the usual ‘news’ networks, in addition to paid press releases. When we first mentioned Shipley 8 years ago he was busy doing one nefarious thing and two years ago we saw him joining the Microsoft-connected Black Duck. He is quoted as saying (CBS) that “the rapid adoption of open source has outpaced the implementation of effective open-source management and security practices. We see opportunities to make significant improvements in those areas. With nearly half of respondents saying they have no formal processes to track their open source, and half reporting that no one has responsibility for identifying known vulnerabilities and tracking remediation, we expect to see more focus on those areas.” Thanks for the FUD, Mr. Shipley. So where do I buy your proprietary software (and software patents-protected) ‘solution’? That is, after all, what it’s all about, isn’t it? The ‘survey’ is an excuse or a carrier (if not Trojan horse) for proprietary software marketing.
Here is similar coverage from IDG and the Linux Foundation, whose writers did little more than repeat the talking points of Black Duck after the press release got spread around. █
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Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) seems to have adopted a “pretend nothing is happening” strategy when it comes to a general strike that’s just a couple of days away
THE staff of the EPO is extremely upset at the management, based on an extensive recent survey. It’s hardly surprising that the staff wishes to go on strike.
Does the EPO inform the world about the imminent strike or does it simply pretend that it’s “business as usual”? Well, considering the fact the the EPO lies to journalists and to staff, don’t expect any honesty or transparency. It’s quite an irresponsible choice actually, as it will erode confidence among those who pay the EPO.
“It’s quite an irresponsible choice actually, as it will erode confidence among those who pay the EPO.”There’s virtually nothing from the EPO in Twitter (on Monday/this week) except some brag about the number of followers (which many people are just buying these days, in order to give a false impression of popularity). This kind of inactivity is rather unusual (only one non-substantial tweet today). There is no word at all about this week’s strike, not even in the EPO’s news section, blog/s, etc. This is what the homepage of the EPO looks like right now:
We can’t help but wonder if this year too there will be fake journalism at the event, with EPO-imposed self-censorship that lasts for a long time.
“How many people are scheduled (maybe with flight tickets) to come to the Office that day?”It’s surely embarrassing to tell one’s clients that thousands of one’s staff (majority of them) voted in favour of a strike because of human rights violations by the management. It’s even worse when they’re told that over 90% of that staff voted for a strike. This would deepen the crisis, but then again, a surprise strike or unannounced interference to normal operation/service would harm the clients too. Quite a dilemma. How many people are scheduled (maybe with flight tickets) to come to the Office that day? What about hearing and appeals? How many people are to make phonecalls and send queries? Shouldn’t they be told about what’s coming just 2 days from now? How long can EPO management suppress the inevitable?
To quote WIPR‘s good new outline: “The strike is scheduled for April 7 and will take place at the EPO’s offices in Munich, The Hague, Berlin and Vienna. In a vote, 91% (3,701) of those who voted on the proposed strike backed industrial action. In order to strike, at least 40% of staff are required to vote on whether to take action. In total, 4,062 out of the EPO’s 6,738 total staff members voted, representing 60%. Once this has been achieved, at least 50% of those must vote in favour of action. Of the 4,062 voters, just 219 voted against strike action, while 142 members of staff said they had no opinion on the issue.”
“It happened before… that they promised a response to scandals but never actually yielded any.”The writer then added: “The EPO is preparing a statement and we will update the story shortly.” By the end of the day there was no update from the PR team of the EPO (it’s well after 1 AM here).
It happened before… that they promised a response to scandals but never actually yielded any. They chose silence because it was probably seen as a better option (“no comment” basically). They did this after WIPR had written about their lawsuit threats.
At 8 o’clock on Monday (night) Kieren McCarthy wrote about this as well and there’s nothing there from EPO PR. Did they seriously think the media/press wouldn’t notice and report this? McCarthy correctly notes: “If SUEPO signs the agreement [MuO] as currently written, it would effectively sign up to the very rules that it is protesting and which led to EPO’s management aggressively targeting the union leaders when they opposed the changes.”
Where’s FTI Consulting at this time of crisis?
When we last wrote about the strike (more background therein about the strike) it was further reinforced that this strike would affect all sites on Thursday. SUEPO has just published this document
[PDF] which we quoted here a while ago. It’s about lawlessness at the EPO. That’s what the strike is primarily about.
A week ago we mentioned Hans-Joachim Frieling’s letter to Süddeutsche Zeitung (now increasingly famous for the Panama leaks), which has just been translated as follows
[PDF]. It’s about lawlessness and here is the English translation with our highlights added:
28 March 2016, 18:59
European Patent Office: Woeful lack of law
“A public authority on the brink of the abyss”, of 3 March:
“European Patent Office” (EPO) is a “super authority” – at least according to the head office – which is established on the soil of Munich. But the power games being played out at the EPO go way beyond local considerations, beyond the intrigue aroused by an obviously power-obsessed boss, and well beyond the interests vested in Munich, Bavaria, and even Germany; they are of major (European-level) importance politically, and of major significance with regard to constitutional law. The cause and core of the scandalous spectacle being enacted on the bank of the River Isar appear to lie in the “immunity” which the EPO was granted in its foundation charter by the states which support it, as an authority which is most specifically not EU. Or the way in which EPO President Benoît Battistelli interprets and applies this “immunity” unimpeded by his Administrative Council, on which the Federal Minister of Justice actually sits; the clear establishment of total autonomy, exempt not only from all straightforward rules of law of the host and location country (such as the law relating to protection against dismissal, law relating to labour tribunals, and many more besides), but even exemption from all protection of basic rights, such as are enshrined in the Bavarian Constitution, the Basic Law (GG) of the Federal Republic of Germany, and in the European treaties and statutes.
It is bad enough that, in the heart of Bavaria, so proud of its constitution, as described by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, a situation could come about in which the presidential will alone prevails, a wilful domination which commits aggressive abuses against, among others, Article 9 Para. 3 GG (Freedom of Formation and Action of Staff Unions); but it is utterly intolerable that the decisions by the President, taken against individuals against this spirit of freedom, which in individual cases threaten their very existence, are not subject to any appeal by way of any effective outside or independent means of legal recourse.
Every German politician, when journeying in totalitarian or otherwise suspect countries, is beset on all sides when on their travels by demands to push hard in favour of the Western “export asset of the state governed by law”. But at the same time, amazingly, they turn a blind eye to the fact that on their own soil an institution exists which denies thousands of employees the essential constituents of that notion of the state governed by law, such as the guarantee of legal recourse and the protection of basic rights. What this means is that, leaving aside all the complexities of international law, the status of the EPO becomes a matter of honour for all those whose task it is to promote the notion of the state governed by law to pursue this not only abroad, but right here, on their own territory, and, if necessary, as in this case, to bring it about. This includes, as a priority, the Minister of Justice, by virtue of his office. But every other constitutional patriot should be urged to this as well – and not least in the media. Even if the present issue could be “cleared up” by a potentially expensively purchased (the SZ reports rumours of a golden handshake of 18 million Euro) or forced departure of President Battistelli, the situation cannot be allowed to remain that the Member States allow their EPO to continue to operate outside the constitutional principles of Europe and of the individual states. Dr. Hans-Joachim Frieling, Munich
The above is also available as French
[PDF] and as Dutch
[PDF] text. The letter does mention rights, but what about privacy rights, which Germany is a lot more conscious of (because of its past) compared to most other nations? We recently found the following commentary which alludes to Süddeutsche Zeitung and goes as follows:
The deficiencies in the EPO’s data protection framework have been of concern to the national data protection authorities in Germany. Already in April 2014, the Bavarian Data Protection Commissioner, Dr Thomas Petri, informed the Federal Data Protection Commissioner, Andrea Voßhoff, of the outcome of his preliminary investigation which concluded that true oversight of data protection issues was missing at the EPO. Ms Voßhoff brought these concerns to the attention of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and requested assistance in conducting an examination of measures to remedy the deficiencies, including a possible amendment of the EPC. The Ministry of Justice replied to the FDPC stating that Germany was “only one state of 38” on the Administrative Council and that an amendment of the EPC would require a diplomatic conference.
A year later (in June 2015) the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on the use of covert surveillance measures at the EPO. Ms Voßhoff sent another letter to the Chairperson of the Committee for Justice and Consumer Protection of the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) to inform the Bundestag. A copy of the letter was sent to the Federal Justice Minister, Heiko Maas, for information. The situation at the EPO was discussed during the 71st Session of the Bundestag Committee for Justice and Consumer Protection which took place on 14 October 2015. The report presented to the Committee by the Ministry of Justice uncritically relied on submissions made by Mr Lutz (VP5), who painted a rather one-sided and overly rosy picture of the state of data protection at the EPO.
There are also other forms of privacy abuses inside the EPO, as we noted in our series about Europatis:
- Jacques Michel (Former EPO VP1), Benoît Battistelli’s EPO, and the Leak of Internal Staff Data to Michel’s Private Venture
- Europatis: “Turnover of €211,800 and Zero Employees”
- Loose Data ‘Protection’ and Likely Privacy Infringements at the EPO: Here’s Who Gets Employees’ Internal Data
- Summary of the EPO-Europatis Series
- Revolving Doors of High-Level EPO Management: Jacques Michel and the Questel Deal With the EPO
Over the next few days we shall accelerate our coverage in order to remind EPO staff why going on strike is justified. There will also be more about privacy violations. █
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