They just refuse to let go, much to Battistelli’s satisfaction and everybody else’s chagrin (to use a French term)
Summary: The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who’s behind it other than the usual suspects
THE PATENT microcosm, and Team UPC in particular, wishes us to believe that the UPC is not dead. They spent years investing money and time in it, so they’re still in denial about its death. They’re still in one of these famous stages preceding “acceptance”.
“They’re still in one of these famous stages preceding “acceptance”.”Still trying to salvage what’s left of the dead UPC scheme, MIP sets up a so-called ‘webinar’ (basically live streaming some agenda) and says: “Please send us your questions on Brexit/Unitary Patent/UPC!”
Isn’t it a done deal already? The Brexit vote — however it winds up — eliminated UPC, and probably not just in the UK. “Why does MIP keep pushing the UPC agenda,” I asked online. “Is this reciprocated for by EPO people? Seems so (not directly)…”
“Today’s webinar on Brexit & #UnitaryPatent has just finished,” MIP later wrote. “Listen to & view the recording & vote results here! http://www.managingip.com/Web-Seminars.html … pic.twitter.com/yvoq7shTBM”
“We are still hoping that someone will explain to us why the EPO Boards of Appeal celebrated this week.”Responding to what I wrote, MIP said: “Roy, we’re not pushing the #UPC (or any other) agenda. We’re just providing a discussion forum. Did you listen to the webinar?”
I asked: “Any critics of the UPC in there?”
“Range of views expressed,” they said. “We’ll have a blog up soon with more details…”
That’s not actually answering my question but instead dodges it, so we’ll assume the so-called ‘webinar’ was a one-sided echo chamber, like the UPC-themed conference they set up last month to assist lobbying [1, 2, 3, 4] by the likes (or lies) of Margot Fröhlinger [1, 2, 3].
Earlier in the same day I asked publicly: “Does anybody know why the EPO Boards of Appeal are celebrating? Is the UPC dead? Well, it is. So what’s the news? AC meeting?”
We are still hoping that someone will explain to us why the EPO Boards of Appeal celebrated this week. No doubt the very prospect of the UPC was taking away their jobs (they’re grossly understaffed and perpetually besieged); among their jobs, or imperatives at times, was keeping software patents out of Europe, i.e. upholding the law. I actually wrote to the Enlarged Board of Appeal about this subject in the distant past.
Regarding UPC and Brexit, there is no lack of new pieces from various lawyers that want the UPC and would even lie for it. Here is a new piece by Boult Wade Tennant (“Is there a place for a post-Brexit UK in the Unitary Patent system?”) and another one in German (“Europäisches Einheitspatent und Brexit”). Another article, published yesterday by Li Zhu of Robins Kaplan LLP says this:
Some quick history — the Unitary Patent system is the European Union’s attempt in 2013 to propose a new European patent with unitary effect and a unified European patent court (“Unified Patent Court” or “UPC”). Both are designed to promote homogenous patent protection across participating EU states, so companies can enforce their patent rights with greater predictability and efficiency. Under the Unitary Patent system, when a patent is granted, the patentee can request (1) a unitary patent—which is enforced across all participating states in a single action; (2) a traditional European patent; or (3) a unitary patent alongside European patent protection for any country not covered by the UPC agreement. For parties enforcing or defending their patent rights, the UPC could eliminate the unnecessary duplication of multiple actions in different member states and avoid divergent results from parallel court proceedings.
That’s hardly a balanced interpretation but more like marketing of the UPC, parroting the tired old talking points.
The title of the article is “Brexit—The End of the Unitary Patent System as we Know it?” but it’s not just the end of UPC as we know it (the answer is “yes”) but quite likely the end of the UPC as a whole. Don’t believe those liars who advertised bogus job openings in the UK for the UPC; they have no credibility, no decency, and total disregards for UK and EU democracy. █
Send this to a friend
Summary: Results of the Staff Survey carried out by PwC (at the behest of Team Battistelli and the expense of EPO budget), in order to provide some propaganda for Battistelli’s expensive Social Conference
“In the Social Study,” say EPO insiders, “PricewaterhouseCoopers [PwC] carried out a staff survey in which 4,065 employees of the EPO participated. As their study presents the results of this survey filtered by the interpretation of PricewaterhouseCoopers, we compiled the actual statistics in the [above] diagram. This helps to give a neutral overview of the feelings of staff as presented in the survey.”
The EPO’s management reportedly excluded a lot of unhappy staff (although it’s based mostly on hearsay/rumours). We wrote about this before. Compare these results to a study commissioned by SUEPO rather than by this liar in chief, Battistelli, who just needed ammunition to justify cracking down on staff and the staff union. This so-called ‘Social Conference’ was just another one of his ludicrous lobbying events. He acts like a politician, which is basically what he is. █
Send this to a friend
Summary: Photos taken as part of an IP event which took place in Riga (Latvia) in March 2015
IN the just-published part one of this series we mentioned the connections between Alberto Casado Cerviño of the EPO and various other bodies, including the now-notorious Francis Gurry, who once competed with Battistelli for the same position (both ended up absolutely loathed by their staff).
Some interesting photos are included below which include many of the “usual suspects” such as Casado, Archambeau (formerly EPO, now EUIPO) and Francis Gurry of the WIPO.
A link to a report on the conference (in Latvian) can be found on the homepage of the Latvian IPO. █
Send this to a friend
Summary: Exploring the potential conflicts of interests implicating the EPO’s Boards of Appeal Committee
TODAY we start a new series about the management of the EPO, or the extended ‘family’ of Battistelli, sometimes known as Team Battistelli or Battistelli’s circle.
Alberto Casado Cerviño is the Vice President of Directorate-General 2 (Operational Support) which is in charge of delivering support for patent administration activities to internal and external users of EPO services, and includes Quality Management, Patent Administration and Information Management.
“The only negative publicity which he has attracted so far within the EPO seems to have been the fact that a number of suicide cases were related to staff in his Directorate-General 2 where Ciaran McGinley (reported to be due to retire shortly) is a Principal Director.”On a day-to-day basis Casado’s role within the EPO is a mostly unobtrusive one and he doesn’t really attract much attention. In fact some people have said that he is almost invisible although he does occasionally appear for management-staff meetings. The only negative publicity which he has attracted so far within the EPO seems to have been the fact that a number of suicide cases were related to staff in his Directorate-General 2 where Ciaran McGinley (reported to be due to retire shortly) is a Principal Director.
But despite his apparently unobtrusive role Casado seems to be a key member of Battistelli’s inner “circle of trust” and is probably relied on to provide important connections to influential circles in Spain.
“Casado’s previous position at the EUIPO in Alicante is worth noting because it underlines the close cross-connections between the upper management of the EPO and the EUIPO (formerly OHIM).”Before joining the EPO, Casado was the Director General of the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM). Previously he held the posts of “Expert Consultant” of the World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO) and was a Vice-President of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), the EU Trademark Office based in Alicante, which has recently been renamed the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
Casado’s previous position at the EUIPO in Alicante is worth noting because it underlines the close cross-connections between the upper management of the EPO and the EUIPO (formerly OHIM). The current Executive Director of the EUIPO is Antonio Campinos who is rumoured to be interested in the position of EPO President and has been touted as a potential successor to Battistelli. Campinos’ deputy is Christian Archambeau who previously worked at the EPO as Director of Personnel (2002-2010) which is the position currently occupied by Madame Bergot. We wrote about this before.
“Campinos’ deputy is Christian Archambeau who previously worked at the EPO as Director of Personnel (2002-2010) which is the position currently occupied by Madame Bergot.”As previously reported on Techrights [1, 2, 3], the appointment of Casado’s successor as Director General of the OEPM was shrouded in controversy and rumours of procedural irregularities.
The current Director General of the OEPM, Patricia García-Escudero Márquez, is the sister of Pío García-Escudero Márquez (English Wikipedia | Spanish Wikipedia), Count of Badarán, a scion of the Spanish aristocracy and a leading figure in the main conservative party Partido Popular who has been the Chairman of the Spanish Senate since 2011.
With Fair Use arguments (under “criticism”), here are publicly-available photos of Patricia García-Escudero Márquez.
In a follow-up article we shall take a closer look at some of the recent Spanish political affairs surrounding the Partido Popular and the role played by Pío García-Escudero Márquez in these matters.
But for the moment let’s get back to Casado whose close connections to the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP) deserve a mention.
The UIMP is a public university with administrative headquarters in Madrid and campuses in Santander, Valencia, Barcelona, Cartagena, Cuenca, Granada, Seville and Tenerife. Interestingly not only Casado but also Patricia García-Escudero Márquez, Campinos and Battistelli seem to have close connections to the UIMP and all of them are regular participants in events organised by the University, in particular the Summer IP Seminars which have been jointly organised by the OEPM and the UIMP since around 2006.
Casado is not too private a person. Here he is at a UIMP event.
And some more casual photos in the public record.
In July 2011 an IP Seminar under the title “Innovations, Patents and Internationalising Businesses” was chaired by Casado in his role as Director General of the OEPM supported by Patricia García-Escudero in her then role as the Head of the OEPM’s Dissemination, Communication and Support Unit.
Two of the key speakers were Benoît Battistelli (EPO President) and Antonio Campinos (OHIM President). There was also a roundtable discussion moderated by Casado and featuring Campinos and Battistelli.
In July 2014 at the conclusion of one such event Battistelli was awarded with an honorary doctorate by the UIMP. Here is a photograph:
The latest event entitled “Protecting innovations in Spain: the new Patent Law” was held in July 2016. A video of Battistelli’s contribution can be seen here. Somebody should make a copy of the video before it disappears. For the sake of curation and long-term preservation we are making local copies of the event’s details
[PDF] and also a programme from 2011
[PDF] (as referred to above).
“In July 2014 at the conclusion of one such event Battistelli was awarded with an honorary doctorate by the UIMP.”Battistelli is introduced by the current OEPM Director-General Patricia García-Escudero and the third person at the speaker’s table is none other than EPO Vice-President Casado.
Some readers may ask why these connections are of interest.
The answer lies in the recent appointments to the new supervisory body of the EPO Boards of Appeal, the Boards of Appeal Committee or “BOAC” as it is known internally. One of the members of this body is the OEPM Director-General Patricia García-Escudero.
“Based on the connections outlined above we are inclined to think that his favorite “pet chinchilla” on the BOAC is most likely to be Ms. García-Escudero.”Techrights recently reported that Roland Grossenbacher has also been appointed to this body and referred to him in this context as a longtime ally of Battistelli. We are not sure that Battistelli can still rely on Grossenbacher as a loyal ally, based on information received just days ago. Based on the connections outlined above we are inclined to think that his favorite "pet chinchilla" on the BOAC is most likely to be Ms. García-Escudero.
This first part will be followed by an article about recent Spanish political affairs surrounding the Partido Popular and the role played by Pío García-Escudero Márquez (brother of the current OEPM Director General and Casado’s successor). After that we will have a short update about VP4 (Željko Topić), who is effectively Battistelli’s ‘bulldog’ at the EPO (with a notorious and long track record). █
Send this to a friend
The management’s convenient illusion that there are no disgruntled employees, just “SUEPO”
Becoming as k00ky as Alex Jones now… (photo source)
Summary: Attempts to blame SUEPO, the staff union of the EPO, even though SUEPO has nothing to do with articles that are critical of the EPO while many thousands of EPO employees are disgruntled
THE MANAGEMENT of the EPO has made many enemies. It even encouraged me to write a lot more about the EPO (as I have) when it sent me threatening letters.
Team Battistelli deals with critics in the same way the US government deals with Wikileaks; it just finds a boogeyman (like Russia) and then attacks the messenger relentlessly.
This short post is a brief clarification which is probably necessary as the EPO seems to be misleading the media. The EPO’s Boards of Appeal, according to this, were “celebrating all last night. Don’t know why.”
We can imagine that they too view EPO management as an enemy and who can blame them? Watch the dismissive attitude towards AMBA and the endless attempts to dismiss a judge despite it being against the rules. Regarding SUEPO, another famous victim of Team Battistelli, we have noticed something odd. Last night its Web site had a link to Techrights, but it was totally gone on Wednesday morning with an edit. Someone at SUEPO has basically removed the link to Techrights. We don’t know who did this and why.
Techrights NEVER, as far as it is aware, spoke to anyone from SUEPO, but some people who are members of SUEPO (there are thousands of them) probably speak to us sometimes. Why was the link removed? Fear? Almost for sure. Moreover, it is not unthinkable, given what happened last year (Heise and FOSS Patents censorship), that EPO management had demanded SUEPO that should take down link, whereupon it did without much resistance. That’s just a guess.
Censorship by intimidation at the EPO is a very common routine. They did this to me too, demonstrating that not even outsiders are immune from Eponia’s army.
Earlier today we asked someone (openly in Twitter) who has contacts at SUEPO to ask them if the links to Techrights were in fact removed after pressure from EPO management. We wish to know in order to highlight the modus operandi of Team Battistelli.
“I will ask my contact why Techrights articles have been removed from the SUEPO website,” one anonymous person told us, and “will inform you as soon as I get an answer.”
It didn’t take much time to get an answer, so it’s probably not much of a mystery either. “I’ve heard that the removal of publication is linked to the papers on Kongstad,” the person told is, “since during the Administrative Council’s Jesper whined telling that he was targeted by a smear campaign to which Battistelli immediately answered and took position in favor of him of course to protect him no doubt here. However, since SUEPO has nothing to do with those publications it decided to state it loud and clear. It is a tricky situation but keep in mind that SUEPO always tries to protect their staff and itself as best as possible. There is a serious risk for SUEPO that they immediately try to drag it in the mud. Hope this makes sense for you.”
So the EPO’s management now tries to blame all its ills and abuses on “SUEPO”, even when SUEPO has nothing to do with them and has nothing to do with material that we publish. The EPO’s management has gotten so desperate in its attempt to gag or suppress Techrights. I spoke about it with an insider who agrees. “Exactly,” we were told, “that’s the card they play!”
Well, the EPO must drop its fantasy that SUEPO is behind EVERYTHING! This is totally fictitious. Many thousands of EPO workers are disgruntled and it’s not because of SUEPO but because of their management.
Previously, SUEPO did publicly state that links had been removed due to fear of reprisal, but it did not do this today. When a gag order is part of the censorship (the EPO did this to me, as part of the threatening letters it sent) we know that we’re living in a world like the one envisioned in the book ’1984′.
One reader of ours, who has nothing whatsoever to do with the EPO and is not fluent in reading Danish, attempted to provide us somewhat of a translation of the Danish article. Based on that, Kongstad attempted to shamelessly blame SUEPO. The article started with something along the following lines: “A contact from the central EPO labor union, SUEPO (Staff Union of the European Patent Office) rebuffs in a mail to Berlinske that SUEPO is collaborating with the critical Internet blog Techrights.com on harassment against the EPO chairman of the board Jesper Kongstad, who is director for the [Danish] Patent- and Trademark Board. The one in question has according to his own statements been exposed to reprisals from management and therefor wishes not to put their name forth.”
What a nerve those people have, erroneously blaming SUEPO without even a shred of evidence. That’s just how bad things have become at the EPO. No wonder so many people are being wrongly accused. It’s a farce of a system. █
Side note: for those who wonder why our site has been inaccessible or barely accessible this past week, it’s definitely not self-induced error and we are investigating who is behind it and responsible for that. We’ve fought hard for a week just to keep the site online.
Send this to a friend
Summary: The latest EPO cartoon, this time about European qualifying examination (EQE)
Send this to a friend
WIPO and FIFA are small potatoes compared to the EPO…
Source (original): Rospatent
Summary: The latest hogwash from Team Battistelli (Pinocchio), the latest instance of software patents promotion by EPO Principal Director, and an old (decade-old) nugget of information from the Forum for Principal Directors
THE EPO has turned into an empire of lies, where the President has become virtually synonymous with Pinocchio, as we noted earlier today. The EPO not only lies a lot but also routinely breaks rules and laws (see this older tweet from October 7th, neglecting to say that the EPO does not obey the EPC, e.g. [1, 2]). Eponia has effectively detached itself from the Rule of Law.
Pinocchio wants the world to believe that nothing is amiss at the EPO. For the third time in less than a week the EPO is promoting this lie (for the self-deluding) that EPO staff is happy. “Our Social Conference enabled internal stakeholders to play an active role in the EPO’s future,” it said, but it wasn’t about stakeholders at all. In fact, the key stakeholders, like representatives of staff, were locked out. We’ll publish more details about that (best left for another day), having published some details earlier this month and last month. Here we have the latest puff piece in the “news” section of the EPO (warning:
epo.org link). “A joint statement was signed by EPO Vice President Raimund Lutz and Brazilian Industry Minister Marcos Pereira,” it says, alluding to a deal with INPI (not the French one that ‘took over’ the EPO and perhaps stained it for good). “Under the PPH pilot,” says the news [sic], “patent applicants from Europe and from Brazil will be able to request accelerated patent prosecution at the EPO or at Brazil’s National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), which is expected to speed up the process and reduce costs for companies on both sides of the Atlantic.”
“Pinocchio wants the world to believe that nothing is amiss at the EPO.”As is often the case with these deals, the countries in question hardly have all that much at stake in the EPO. Take Cambodia for example (with zero patents at the EPO). Brazil has a massive population and not so few patents, but how many at the EPO? Not that many (relative to EU member states)…
Hogwash and marketing is what Raimund Lutz travels for.
The EPO has an affinity for Italy right now (not much of a prolific patenter either, or so we’re told) and it lobbies its politicians for the UPC amid Brexit, as noted here twice last week. Now it organises events in Italy (yet another one) and a separate new announcement says that “Maria Rosa Carreras from @OEPM_es will speak about the Quality at Source project at EPOPIC,” citing this new page with abstracts of talks (warning:
Curiously enough, based on this page at least, Grant Philpott’s talk will cover software patents. He just cannot help himself, can he? We wrote about it more than a year ago. Philpott, who absolutely does not want people to know what he did for Microsoft (enough to send me threatening letters about it), is propping up software patents again. Is it him who wrote the abstract which reads “software pervades through all technologies [thus] a greater debate on the patentability of software” or maybe an assistant of his? Whatever it is, such statements are tasteless, especially taking the EPC into account.
“The EPO has an affinity for Italy right now (not much of a prolific patenter either, or so we’re told) and it lobbies its politicians for the UPC amid Brexit, as noted here twice last week.”Here is the full abstract, complete with the “Industry 4.0″ buzzword: “The 4th Industrial Revolution – or “Industry 4.0″ – is the revolution of connectivity and distributed intelligence. It is characterised by driving technologies such as The Cloud, Big Data and the Internet of Things, and by the presence of computer technologies in every aspect of our lives. The consequences for IP are potentially tremendous, and they challenge some of the fundamental concepts of the system, such as the definition of “industry” and “inventor”. There will be a greater overlap and interplay between the types of rights, and as software pervades through all technologies a greater debate on the patentability of software. Patent offices will have to react to these changes, adapting their approaches. There will also be an impact on patent information and new challenges for patent searchers as a result of Industry 4.0.”
As a reminder, software patents are not allowed in Europe. Why do these people keep stomping on the EPC and the rules? Do they believe they’re somehow above the law and nobody will notice when they sidestep it?
Speaking of Principal Directors, someone sent us information related to them. “Today’s add-on,” we were told, is a “disgusting slide from something coined “Forum for Principal Directors”, back in 2006. Old, but very appalling, I hate the words “fear, isolation and punishment” even when being part of question, or discussion.”
Here is the inappropriate slide:
Philpott certainly used “fear, isolation and punishment” against me when he had EPO lawyers send me threatening legal letters late on a Friday night. Perhaps that’s just in the EPO’s culture, deeply embedded in the minds of the recruited and promoted (elevated to “Principal Director”, a fancy job title, along the lines of ranks at the British Army that Philpott came from*). These long ‘hooks’ of Eponia’s aggressive behaviour mean that while it enjoys immunity or impunity it feels absolutely eager to intimidate even bloggers who are far away from Eponia and have nothing to do with Eponia (except they write about it pro bono). █
* Certainly not thick-skinned for one who served any military as people have, in the past, asked for their names to be removed but did not send me threatening letters in an effort to take down entire articles.
Send this to a friend
Summary: A local copy of a bunch of questions asked less than a month ago by Ulrike Müller at the European Parliament, regarding the unacceptable state of affairs at the European Patent Office (EPO)
IT has certainly been a while since we last saw (or heard) the EPO mentioned in the European Parliament, which has no direct authority over the EPO but should definitely be concerned about what happens in Eponia as it grossly violates the rights of European workers.
To ensure long-term preservation of the material we have copied it verbatim (it’s probably public domain if not Fair Use):
26 September 2016
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Ulrike Müller (ALDE)
Subject: Situation of staff working for the European Patent Office
Further to the replies to questions E-009256/2015 and E-000938/2016 can the Commission answer the following additional questions:
1. Bearing in mind that it acts as ‘guardian of the Treaties’, does the Commission see no legal possibility of enabling EPO employees to enjoy protection of their fundamental rights under Union law or of opening investigations into violations of fundamental rights, notwithstanding the fact that overseeing the application of Union law and applying the Treaties are, as specified in Article 17(1) TEU, one of its core tasks?
2. What proposals can it put forward, for instance in connection with future reforms of European primary and secondary legislation, in order to greatly strengthen its hand for the purpose of guaranteeing proper protection of fundamental rights within the EU and hence the EPO?
3. What practical steps has it taken in the current parliamentary term to encourage the dialogue between social partners referred to in the answer to Question E-009256/2015?
Here is the original in German:
26. September 2016
Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung
an die Kommission
Artikel 130 der Geschäftsordnung
Ulrike Müller (ALDE)
Betrifft: Situation der Beschäftigten in der Europäischen Patentorganisation
Kann die Kommission im Zusammenhang mit den Antworten auf die Anfragen E‐009256/2015 und E‐000938/16 die nachstehenden zusätzlichen Fragen beantworten:
1. Sieht die Kommission in ihrer Rolle als „Hüterin der Verträge“ selbst keine rechtlichen Möglichkeiten, den Grundrechtsschutz als Teil des Unionsrechts für die Bediensteten der EPO sicherzustellen bzw. wegen Grundrechtsverstößen Untersuchungen anzustellen, obwohl die Überwachung des Unionsrechts und die Anwendung der Verträge gemäß Artikel 17 Absatz 1 EUV eine ihrer zentralen Aufgaben ist?
2. Welche Vorschläge hat die Kommission, um beispielsweise im Rahmen künftiger Reformen im europäischen Primär‐ und Sekundärrecht ihre Möglichkeiten zur Gewährleistung eines angemessenen Grundrechtsschutzes auf dem Gebiet der Union und damit auch innerhalb der EPO maßgeblich zu verbessern?
3. Welche konkreten Maßnahmen hat die Kommission in der laufenden Wahlperiode ergriffen, um den in der Antwort auf die Anfrage E‐009256/2015 angesprochenen Dialog zwischen den Sozialpartnern anzuregen?
Hopefully Ulrike Müller and her colleagues at ALDE will reach out and attempt to help workers of the European Patent Office. They certainly need help and Eponia gives them none; all Eponia can give people are rude dismissal letters and disciplinary procedures that often end up in dismissal if not personal bankruptcy and/or physical/mental breakdown as well. █
Send this to a friend
« Previous Page — « Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries » — Next Page »