11.29.20

Managing IP: Puff Pieces Galore for the EPO’s Dictatorship (Complete With Buzzwords and PR Stunts)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 11:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When dependent on or while working for publications sponsored by law/litigation firms can one engage in real journalism?

Real Madrid, Real athlete, fake 'report'Summary: By giving a platform to notorious patent trolls and ‘engaging’ with the EPO‘s dictator (whom only 3% of EPO staff trusts) Managing IP is sort of giving away its real agenda, which isn’t journalism but conducting or assisting misinformation campaigns

SO Managing IP just (re)prints whatever chronic liars and patent trolls say (no fact-checking needed); is this what counts as journalism in 2020?

The frustrating state of Managing IP isn’t a new issue; we’ve been covering the site’s role in producing classic “fake news” about the UPC/A, in effect participating in a vicious and dishonest lobbying campaign.

“…we’ve been covering the site’s role in producing classic “fake news” about the UPC/A, in effect participating in a vicious and dishonest lobbying campaign.”Now, just as staff starts mass-mailing EPO management, the site goes ‘full IAM‘…

Here’s Managing IP as megaphone for ‘thug’ António Campinos, whom Max Walters deems to be some sort of ‘expert’ in science and “AI” (or “Hey Hi”). “EPO president discusses AI [sic] inventorship [sic] rules and video hearings [sic],” it says, “and explains why staff will eventually return to the office…”

Well, “eventually”…

Maybe do some grilling about the fake financial ‘study’. Would Campinos walk away in protest? Would funding be at risk?

For better insight into this whole thing see this weekly roundup (no paypall) and notice how they reprint press releases (this is what the site stands for, never the hard questions; same with Benoît Battistelli). To quote relevant bits:

EPO president António Campinos has said it will take “years” before IP authorities agree on whether artificial intelligence tools can be patent inventors.

In an interview with Managing IP, we asked Campinos about an AI tool – Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience – which has been named as the inventor on parallel patent applications. Several major IP jurisdictions, including the EPO, have rejected the filings.

The EPO president said there has not been much relevant legislative progress recently, before admitting: “You can imagine the years of discussion that this will take before we come to an agreement in this area.”

[...]

A study published by the EPO shows that European universities and public research organisations are using European patents as the main instrument to commercially exploit their inventions.

According to the study, called Valorisation of scientific results – Patent commercialisation scoreboard: European universities and public research organisations, these institutions already protect more than a third (36%) of their inventions with patents. Of inventions in the pipeline, the institutions say they plan to protect 42% through patenting.

The study, published on Tuesday, November 24, adds that licensing is the preferred method of commercialisation (accounting for 70% of commercialisation of inventions), followed by R&D co-operation (14%). Selling patents accounted for 9%.

EPO president António Campinos said: “Europe’s universities and public research organisations are powerhouses of scientific research and are behind many breakthrough inventions. This report shows that they are using European patents to bring their new technologies out of the lab and into the market.”

The study was based on 686 interviews covering patent applications filed with the EPO between 2007 and 2018 by 241 European universities and public research organisations.

Did the site actually study this so-called ‘study’? Which is basically self-serving propaganda…

It’s sad to see what level of fluff so-called ‘news’ sites have stooped down to. Another new ‘article’ (more like platform rental) by Max Walters is just giving a platform to a vicious patent troll [1, 2], Kasim Alfalahi. Surely they can do some investigative journalism instead of just copy-pasting the words of some troll talking about himself and his so-called ‘business’. But yes, investigative journalism takes more work and is more risky. So they do PR, instead.

Release: 4 More Documents and Letters About the Financial Siege at Europe’s Second-Largest Institution

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Yesterday: Nine Documents About the Financial Siege Against EPO Staff (Past, Present, and Future) (the trickle-up effect, crushing the middle class to further enrich the super-rich)

EPO in Breitbart

Breitbart Mercer

Parler Mercer

Summary: Documents disputing the accuracy of the “hoax” from António Campinos and the Mercers

THE financial ‘reforms’ or ‘adjustments’ at the EPO are neither; they’re a brutal attack on staff, based on a lie. Who made up the lie? Donald Trump associates. Why did the EPO even hire them?

“Isn’t it revealing that this so-called ‘study’ came from people connected to the far right?”It started with Benoît Battistelli and it continues unrelented with António Campinos; even the Dutch delegation and German delegation at the Administrative Council of the EPO aren't too happy about it anymore. Below we add 4 more papers and letters about the so-called financial ‘study’ (a “hoax”) that the management paid for in order to justify crushing staff:

Isn’t it revealing that this so-called ‘study’ came from people connected to the far right?

One Year Ago: The Last EPO Demonstration Before COVID-19

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Demonstrations used to be possible

EPO demonstration

Summary: About a year ago staff of the EPO apparently had its last protest (in front of the Isar building) before staff got ‘herded’ into homes, where workers became more isolated and even illegally spied on

IT did not take long for the Benoît Battistelli era to resume under António Campinos. Within less than a year staff already wanted to go on strike and within less than 2 years at the Office Campinos had lower levels of confidence among staff than Battistelli had at a corresponding period (about 3 years in).

“Within less than a year staff already wanted to go on strike and within less than 2 years at the Office Campinos had lower levels of confidence among staff than Battistelli had at a corresponding period (about 3 years in).”What does that tell us?

First of all, recall the controversial last moves of Campinos at the EUIPO; he’s crushing staff to ‘save money’ (and compromise quality of service, also in violation of the law).

A demonstration or student protests in BerlinSo what do these autocrats even stand for? How do they expect to restore peace at the Office? Bribing and blackmailing publishers (to prevent negative media coverage)? Is that the plan? Censoring (preventing access to) sites like Techrights? What does that say about the nature of the Office?

Either way, for the record, this is the ‘leaflet’ circulated 13 months ago in preparation for what seems like the last demonstration:

Demonstration

Wednesday 23 October

at 12.30h in front of the Isar building

On 23 and 24 October the EPO Budget and Finance Committee will meet in Munich. On the agenda are CA/83/19 and CA/84/19.

Despite the excellent performance of staff during the last years, these documents foresee an unprecedented set of punitive measures, among which:

  • A further increase of productivity of 31% for formalities staff and 23% for examining staff, the latter on top of the + 36% already achieved,

  • A reduction of the salary progression and a further reduction of the career perspectives for all but the happy few, additionally

  • The introduction of a “solidarity tax” (solidarity with whom?) of up to 9% on salaries and pensions, and

  • An up to 25% reduction of the pension accrual despite an up to 10% increase in the pension contribution by staff,

  • With the further hundreds of millions in cash surpluses thus generated annually to be stashed away in an obscure “EPO Treasury Investment Fund” (EPOTIF).

Is this a just reward for staff’s performance?

Is this in the interest of the EPO and its stakeholders?

Please join us for a demonstration in front of the Isar building if you don’t think so !

SUEPO Munich

It’s kind of sad that a public health crisis became also a human rights crisis. Right now the EPO’s staff is incapable of legally assembling like that.

[Meme] Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) is an Attack on Europe and the European Businesses That Don’t Do Litigation

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Some people make a living from feuds

Unified Patent Court Agreement

Summary: Litigation lawyers and patent zealots want to set Europe ablaze with legislation that they themselves crafted; thankfully, however, they face constitutional obstacles, no matter how many politicians they bamboozle and buy

Reasons EPO Staff Decided to Go on Strike This Year (Before or Until Coronavirus Prevented It)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

May 2019: António Campinos Has Run Out of Time and EPO Staff is Going on Strike (Skipping Mere Protests)

EPO vs Staff unequal fight

Summary: An year-old letter from the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) to the President of the EPO; 7 reasons for going on strike are enumerated

DAYS ago we mentioned how COVID-19 helped the EPO‘s management (Team Battistelli/Campinos) prevent a strike. “There are many reasons for discontent in the Office,” the staff union (SUEPO) explained, “including, but not limited to, Mr Campinos’ 17 measures. On Friday 8 November, SUEPO therefore filed a call for strike according to the circular on strikes (C347).”

“At the end, staff voted for a strike, but then came COVID-19.”There are already many severe restrictions against strikes (made even stricter by Battistelli). “As you may recall,” SUEPO continued, “the current (unlawful) regulations on strike are so stringent that organising a strike may take more than a month. The call for strike of 8 November ensures that a ballot can be organised before the next Administrative Council. SUEPO will of course turn in due time to its members, who will eventually decide on the actions. It is now up to the administration to enter into negotiations with SUEPO and organise the ballot before 9 December.”

At the end, staff voted for a strike, but then came COVID-19. Here’s the letter from SUEPO as HTML:

8 November 2019
su19043cl

To Mr Campinos, President of the EPO

Call for strike

Dear Mr Campinos,

SUEPO Central calls for a strike in all EPO sites in accordance with Circular 347.

Reasons for strike

Sixteen months after your arrival as President of the EPO, we note with regret that none of the root causes of the many issues that trouble our organisation have been addressed satisfactorily. Genuine social dialogue is simply non-existing. The Battistelli administration and its anti-staff policies are still in place. The situation in the Office is more toxic than ever, as also shown by the recent disastrous staff survey results and the worsening of staff health. There are many reasons for discontent. Therefore we claim:

1. Fair settlement for all SUEPO Officials/Staff representatives abusively sanctioned by the Battistelli administration;
2. Review by independent experts of the financial situation of the Office; no unnecessary measures based on the heavily biased Financial Study (also criticised by the EPO Pensioners Association), its ensuing phase II (CA/83/19) and management’s comments (CA/84/19);
3. Using the “seventeen measures for staff and the EPO” published by SUEPO on 2 October 2019 (su19040cp) as guidance to solve the issues listed above and below;
4. Fair career progression for everyone, no managerial arbitrariness;
5. Respect for staff; decrease of work pressure and production demands;
6. Fair reporting, no artificial underrating of colleagues and threats of incompetence procedures;
7. People-oriented management, instead of management by fear.

These issues must be solved to avoid irreparable damage to our organisation and its staff, and to restore respect and trust. This requires a change not only of certain regulations, but also in the attitude of the administration towards staff.

Yours sincerely,

SUEPO Central

As they rightly note, even the EPO Pensioners Association is upset, but pensioners cannot go on strike (they no longer work). Even past (retired) EPO staff suffers from the current policies. This assures brain drain and harms Europe.

EPO Can Save Money by “Dropping Events Like the Inventor of the Year, Reducing the Number of Managers, Throwing Less Money at Consultants or Bringing the Boards of Appeal Back into Office Buildings.”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Last year’s ‘naughty list’

A letter to Santa

Summary: Constructive suggestions from EPO staff, made just over a year ago and assembled into a letter to their EPO colleagues

ALMOST exactly a year ago the Central Staff Committee of the EPO circulated the following letter, citing the abuses of Benoît Battistelli (ironically occupying a law school now) and the dubious claims from António Campinos (regarding the financial situation of the Office). Today we reproduce the letter in full:

Munich, 19.11.2019
sc19165cp – 0.2.1/1.3.1/1.3.2

The President’s “Phase II Team Feedback” exercise

Thank you for speaking and standing up, for your staunch support, for your solidarity and for your scarce time

Dear colleagues,

The President had requested team managers to ask staff to voice preference amongst “measures 1 to 10” proposed in Phase II of the Financial Study. The Central Staff Committee, the local Staff Committees and individual Committee members received a flood of e-mails in which you copied the replies you sent to your Team Managers or Directors – or the managers and directors sent to senior management.

The overwhelming feedback you gave followed our earlier publications, the general assemblies across the sites and the demos in Munich and The Hague. The e-mails differed in form and size, some with a brief and direct message, others quite elaborate with sound analysis and alternative proposals, and made for interesting reading. You, too, concluded that the measures were political.

Most of the e-mails claimed for discussing the issue with elected staff representatives as the legitimate port of call, a very large proportion clearly doubted that there was a funding-gap and many of you complained that you were bothered with a fake consultation exercise in the situation of having to meet the highest production demands ever. The vast majority of those of you who copied us in did not choose between evil and worse, whilst some still voiced preferences for particular measures. Others were explicitly outspoken against some measures. Many claimed a fairer distribution of any potential burden also over e.g. member states and applicants. Some stressed that savings could be made also from sources other than those covered in the 17 measures, namely not engaging in a comprehensive building investment programme, dropping events like the Inventor of the Year, reducing the number of managers, throwing less money at consultants or bringing the Boards of Appeal back into Office buildings.

Before the Battistelli reforms, which are still a millstone around staff’s neck today, staff representation always discussed and managed to convince management to drop not so good ideas and limit detrimental impact for staff. It is time to return to the consultation our Codex foresees, so that we can add value again to the Office’s decision making process.

If you are still undecided whether the 17 measures are necessary, useful or good, please take some of the very limited time at your disposal to read up on what can make or break your future. Check out our recent publications Gathering the views of staff, Transcripts of the TH general assemblies – includes many links to other documents, Reply to the interviews with 4 TM’s, Feedback from the Pensioners Association, SUEPO Munich – A divisive Exercise and Staff Committees’ 1st views on the 17 measures.

The deadline for the President’s Phase II Team Feedback has passed. We appreciate your involvement and input, so please keep the e-mails coming to centralstcom@epo.org if you want to share your thoughts with the Staff Committees. We are preparing for the discussions with the management team on Wednesday, studying the dossier and having people who know about finances, know about career, know about pensions, and have a long experience in discussing with management. Watch this space for more news after the first meeting on Wednesday!

Thank you

Your staff representatives

The patent office needs to go back to basics; no silly festivals, gambling and union-busting activities. No censorship either. Why would a patent office block a site like ours? Are they employing kids or grown-ups?

“They [EPO examiners] claim that the organisation is decentralising and focusing on granting as many patents as possible to gain financially from fees generated.” —Expatica

The Real Fate of the UPC ‘Stunt’ in Germany Will be Known Next Month (or Next Year) and There Are Substantial Constitutional Barriers in the Way

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The four panel: BMJV, FCC, Trolls' lawyers, German law, Team UPC and constitution

Christine LambrechtSummary: Contrary to what Team UPC wants people to think, UPC(A) isn’t a “done deal” in Germany; they never actually addressed the substance of complaints and with help from Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in the Commission they’re just attempting a blatant coup

EARLIER this month many scholars across Europe publicised their position on the UPC, which they oppose. The minds, not the litigation lawyers, consider UPC/A to be a bad thing. They’re still adding more signatures and are actively working to squash the UPC, seeing that it is bad for Europe and insulting to the Rule of Law. As someone put is on Friday, citing/quoting FFII: “Politicians willfully ignored the problem that the UPC violates the “Rule of Law” principle, as the EPO still cannot be sued for maladministration, where there are 4 pending complaints in Karlsruhe, which should be issued in early 2021.”

“It’s not impossible that there will be multiple constitutional complaints next month. Time will tell; but this was expected all along (as was the outcome of the Bundestag vote).”We said we’d refrain from wasting much time on this, foreseeing another major failure for Team UPC. It is meanwhile more apparent that the complainant the first time around has several weeks to submit another, maybe to be dealt with in substance this time around (the FCC did not get around to addressing all the points the first time around, dealing instead with a formality). As he has just put that in his site:

Update (25 and 26/11/2020):

On 07/08/2020, the German government started its second attempt to ratify the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court and sent its corresponding draft legislation to the Federal Council (“Bundesrat”; Federal Council printed matter 448/20, German language). In its 993rd session on 26/09/2020 the Federal Council raised no objections to the draft (Federal Council printed matter 448/20 (decision) and protocol, p. 297, both German language).

On 25/09/2020 the German government presented its draft to the German Parliament (“Bundestag”, Parliament printed matter 18/22847, German language). In the first deliberation on 08/10/2020 the draft was referred to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection (in charge), the Committee on European Union Affairs and the Committee on Budgets (protocol, p. 23001 (D), German language).

In its 113th meeting on 25/11/2020, the Committee for Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection dealt with the draft legislation (item 3 on the agenda of 20/11/2020, German language) and recommended its adoption, against the votes of the AfD. A motion by the AfD Parliamentary group to hold a public hearing on the dossier was rejected (see the report “Bills pass the Legal Affairs Committee” of 25/11/2020 and the Resolution recommendation in Parliament printed matter 19/24742, both German language).

The Parliamentary group CDU/CSU is of the opinion (Resolution recommendation, p. 4, last para.)

“…that the primacy of Union law provided for in Article 20 of the Agreement affects neither the fundamental domestic constitutional guarantees, in particular the principles laid down in Article 1 and Article 20(1) and (2) in conjunction with Article 79(3) of the Grundgesetz, nor the Federal Constitutional Court’s jurisdiction to review compliance with minimum constitutional standards in the transfer of sovereign rights to European or intergovernmental institutions.”

The SPD parliamentary group thinks (Resolution recommendation, p. 5, first para.)

“…that the final distribution of the competences of the Unified Patent Court with regard to the partial location in London provided for in the Agreement, that is necessary due to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, is still to be resolved appropriately in the future in consent with the other Member States participating in the Agreement.”

Also on 25/11/2020, the Budget Committee consulted on the draft legislation and recommended its adoption, against the votes of the FDP and the AfD (Resolution recommendation in Parliament printed matter 19/24743, German language).

Already on 26/11/2020 the German Parliament will hold its second and third deliberations on the draft legislation (item 15 on the agenda of 25/11/2020, German language).

The consultation of the Legal Committee of the Federal Council is currently scheduled for 02/12/2020 (survey 56/20 of the agenda, German language), the Federal Council can therefore be expected to make its final deliberation on the draft legislation in its 998th session on 18/12/2020.

It’s not impossible that there will be multiple constitutional complaints next month. Time will tell; but this was expected all along (as was the outcome of the Bundestag vote). Even Team UPC spoke about this in advance. It was foreseen.

This has become a matter of politics instead of law. As Benjamin Henrion told me the other day: “Now von der Leyen cabinet does not seem to reply to my emails deposi[ti]ng the letter. Sent it via recommandé 2 days ago, still no proof of good reception. They are playing with us.”

11.28.20

Nine Documents About the Financial Siege Against EPO Staff (Past, Present, and Future)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Wissen a. d. Sieg

Summary: Today we release dozens of pages of letters and documents (internal to Europe’s second-largest institution); they all focus on the betrayal and skulduggery, crushing staff in spite of what was originally promised (and what workers actually signed up for)

THIS site does not just “dump” documents. Careful attention is paid to what’s being published and the sensitivity of the material, e.g. who can get in trouble for it. Earlier this year we published debian-private archives from almost 2.5 decades ago, noting that there was a vote to release those in the name of transparency regardless (this never happened). Those are nowadays accessed a lot (25,000 times in the past 6 days).

“All international organisations/institutions need to meet very high standards.”Over the past few months there was intense argumentation inside the EPO about labour rights, partly and not exclusively because of Coronavirus/COVID-19. We mostly stayed out of it until this month (days ago there were finally campaigns underway, mostly financially motivated). EPO salaries are high, no doubt, but they’re proportional to what should be expected from 1) international organisations (sometimes requiring travel to another country with one’s whole family, which doesn’t speak the local language) and 2) the skills/education level (many have doctoral degrees and are former scholars).

Remember: an international organisation/institution without suitable staff (and skills/experience) cannot justify its very existence. All international organisations/institutions need to meet very high standards. In the absence of such standards, or if those standards aren’t met, diplomatic immunity too can be forfeited.

Ketrzyn CastleOver the course of this month we’ve published here some of the more recent and even the most up-to-date documents about the EPO‘s cuts, including the Salary Adjustment [sic] Procedure (SAP). The word “Adjustment” means reduction. “The new SAP will affect everyone: younger colleagues, older colleagues and pensioners. As with the career reform, the young colleagues will be hit hardest,” the Central Staff Committee noted.

We recognise the fact that the general public or European citizens aren’t as attached or ‘in tune’ to EPO accounting/finances, so more recent documents should suffice when it comes to explaining the current situation, which is untenable (resulting in digital protests like mass-mailing; there were strike plans prior to the pandemic).

Shared today, as scheduled, is a bunch of documents (raw and original form) about financial grievances of EPO staff and pensioners. In no particular order:

There’s another relatively new document about fixed-term contracts [PDF], which were introduced by Benoît Battistelli just as he was leaving (of course António Campinos didn’t overturn that). From the recent message sent by staff representatives:

On Fixed-term contracts (Part A): A short history on fixed-term contracts at the EPO

This series of publications is intended to provide a comprehensive background on the topic of fixed-term contracts at the EPO, and to serve as a reference for links to relevant publications and documentation. The current publication, part A, deals with the history and outlines the various forms of fixed-term contracts that have been used at the EPO.

The first publication is available here.

Sincerely yours,

The Central Staff Committee

Well, parts “B” onwards (there will be four in total, A-D) are on the way, but this one starts with the basics and explains how it all started when the EPO was still able to attract the talent it needs.

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