Pressure to grant rather than properly examine dooms the core function of the Office
Summary: Whenever Battistelli brags about patent quality he may be consciously and deliberately lying through his teeth if the latest rumours are correct
EARLIER this week we saw rumours about the EPO‘s battle at the top — something we had already become aware of last month. It’s hardly surprising; there is a somewhat of a blame game.
“Some say that the final straw was the most known symptom of the dropping patent quality, the famous patent on the ‘hairdressing container’.”
–Anonymous“There are several rumours about the reasons for VP1′s resignation,” told us a source about Battistelli’s Vice-President Mini Minion (Minnoye), “but nothing is confirmed. One of the rumours says that VP1 Minnoye is the scapegoat for the low patent quality, which has even been criticised by some delegations. Some say that the final straw was the most known symptom of the dropping patent quality, the famous patent on the ‘hairdressing container’.” (mentioned here back in November)
Either way, this serves to reinforce our claims that EPO management is aware of the decline in quality and is thus repeatedly lying about it. “The departure of private Minnoye further weakens the president,” our source told us, “since the VPs are appointed by the Council. They can now choose a VP1 to obtain more control over the Office.” █
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Jo Johnson rumoured to be the next IP minister
Summary: Rumours about Britain’s head of patents (and copyrights etc.) being the brother of the Brexit campaigner and Foreign Minister; meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, rumours suggest that the corrupt judge Rader might be the next head of patents in the United States
“Hold onto your hats,” IAM wrote yesterday, “we have just heard that Jo Johnson – brother of UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson – is to become the UK’s IP minister. […] Jo Johnson was on other side to his brother in EU referendum – he supported the Remain side. Some claim Boris may have done, too – secretly.”
Is he really the one to replace Lucy, whose departure was quietly confirmed? And if so, what does that say about the state of British politics? Is it the ‘Trump effect’ or the ‘Bergot effect’? [1, 2, 3, 4]
Jo “Johnson joined the Financial Times in 1997,” according to Wikipedia. That’s the ‘news’ paper that the EPO bribed in exchange for puff pieces and apparently also for the pro-UPC propaganda.
What would Johnson do about UPC ratification at times of Brexit, which his brother is still advocating? We don’t even know for sure yet if there’s anything to the rumour.
“Is it the ‘Trump effect’ or the ‘Bergot effect’?”Dr. Luke McDonagh, an academic from London who insists that UPC and Brexit are hardly compatible, says he “will be speaking at Oxford University on IP Litigation post-Brexit on 26th Jan” and here is the outline of what’s at stake:
Each year the OIPRC hosts a number of leading academics from around the world as part of its Invited Speaker Series. These events typically run from 5:15-6:45pm on Thursday evenings at St. Peter’s College; if the venue or time is different, it will be noted on the Events calendar. The Speaker Series consists of a presentation of about 45 minutes, followed by a Q&A session with the assembled group of academic staff, students (both undergraduate and graduate), researchers, and interested members of the public. Discussion is informal and includes participants from several disciplines, with a wide range of prior knowledge.
Meanwhile, over in the United States, USPTO Director Lee is rumoured to be on her way out and some people, as we noted here before, say that the corrupt Rader (raider) might be her successor. Benjamin Henrion wrote about it, as did other opposers of software patents. Rader is a man of serious ethical breaches, not only software patenting (patent maximalism) and patent trolling. Now that Trump is expressing intent to put reckless people in charge of everything (foxes guarding the hen house) Rader would be more of the same. █
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When a dirty politician is put in charge of the EPO…
Summary: Rumours about the fate of people who are (or have been) criticising Battistelli’s reign of terror at the EPO
THE ‘king’ of EPO, Mr. Battistelli, fights a war against truth itself. He threatens those who say the truth even when he has zero authority over them (unless they’re just his mouthpieces*). This demonstrates just how much a cancer Battistelli has become not just inside Eponia but also in the whole of Europe if not the world.
We have been inquiring for quite a while about the situation at the EPO as there are some uncertainties about internal affairs. Does anyone out there have any news (or even rumours) about the Roland Grossenbacher situation? Not too long ago we heard that Battistelli was trying to ruin his career after he had ‘dared’ — how dare he! — criticise Team Battistelli and made it to the top of the appeals board (report in German), which is apparently to be headed by someone whom Battistelli does not like (in spite of UPC agenda, which Carl Josefsson’s Internet record is all about). Yesterday we found this new poem about the alleged situation (it spells out “ROLAND”):
R ogues Gallery corridor on the first floor
O ne former AC chairman doesn’t appear there anymore
L eft side former presidents do hang
A nd opposite AC chairmen,what a gang!
N ow we all know Batters takes no dis
D id he remove that eminent Swiss?
From what we can gather, Grossenbacher was not prominent in that last meeting and we’re not sure if he was even present at all. Previously, delegates became witnesses to what Battistelli does to other delegates who dare criticise him (even politely). Is Britain’s Sean Dennehey next on Battistelli's 'hit list'? █
* James Nurton, a Battistelli ally (in the puff pieces sense), is writing from London about the case that can put the final nail in the UPC coffin. Under “Cases to look out for in 2017″ he includes this: “The case does not have direct impact on IP, but it will have implications for the timing of Brexit, which in turn will affect what happens to EU trade marks and registered Community designs, the separation from EU Directives and Regulations and perhaps the implementation of the” UPC (behind paywall, but we assume so).
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And Battistelli hypocritically compares the staff union to "Mafia"
Summary: Pretending there is a violent, physical threat that is imminent, Paranoid in Chief Benoît Battistelli is alleged to have pursued weapons on EPO premises
THE endless EPO scandals mean that the EPO is full of secrets but not full of surprises as nothing — however appalling — is surprising anymore. People from special services and the military are being recruited by Battistelli, making the EPO look like a warzone rather than something scientific.
“The EPO is becoming a madhouse by the day,” said a new comment from yesterday, as it’s rumoured that actual weapons on EPO premises were sought by Battistelli for his expensive goons (hired from the outside, i.e. hired externally at the EPO’s expense). To quote the comment:
wrt bodyguards the rumour has it that first they (Battistelli et al) expected them to carry their weapons IN the EPO before lawyers and infrastructures eventually convince them that this was perhaps a little overstrecht
The EPO is becoming a madhouse by the day. If you loved 2016 watch for 2017 since this is not yet the end of the circus
The internal “Gazette”, according to another new comment, is now being censored by the chronic liars at the top-level management of the EPO:
Your comment is certainly correct, but in the present instance, the contrary is true. An article was prepared, but not accepted by the editorial board of the Gazette.
It is not known whether the board received precise instructions from above or decided on its volition not to publish it. It might well be that the board asked for permission to publish it, but the result is the same in all three occurrences.
There is thus no coincidence.
This relates to a discussion which we previously covered in a couple of posts. These North Korea-like censures (strong criticism) and omissions by Team Battistelli — including Kongstad et al — have expanded their scope of media control to the whole Organisation, not just the Office, and they occasionally step on the toes of bloggers outside the EPO and manipulate the media worldwide (to the tune of over a million Euros of EPO budget… per year).
The Mafia never had this much control over the media. █
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Photo credit: Bird & Bird, 2015
Summary: Early information (or at least rumour) begins to trickle in as day one of the meeting of the Administrative Council of the EPO reaches its end
NOT much is known to us about the meeting of the Administrative Council of the EPO (information welcome), but we have learned that Carl Josefsson was elected as President of the BoA. We haven’t mentioned Carl Josefsson here before, but a source told us that he is “a senior Judge of Appeal, Svea Court of Appeal,” based on this page from the EPO’s Web site. “I guess that he is a part of the Wolfpack,” our source added. We also understand that this appointment was against the President’s wishes. He gave a talk earlier this year and he appears to be involved in the UPC fantasy [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].
“But everything is rumour,” our source emphasised. Josefsson is, as far as we know, Swedish. A fellow Swede, Catarina Holtz From the EPO Boards of Appeal (now retired), was a vocal critic of the EPO's management. █
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Early Certainty from ILO (serving Battistelli the news)
Summary: Months after we learned that a former staff representative in Berlin had been dismissed we come across an anonymous claim that Berlin’s ‘branch’ of the EPO will be folded onto Munich’s
EARLIER THIS year, at around the beginning of September, we repeatedly wrote about claims that Battistelli’s union-busting actions (with bogus accusations and fake trials) had struck Berlin, not just Munich (and thereafter The Hague). It ought to be pretty clear by now, based on the ruling from judges as well, that ‘justice’ does not exist at the EPO; it’s about as legitimate as Turkish courts in 2016 (after a lot of perfectly-legitimate judges were toppled). We’ve carefully read again all the articles about the latest two ILO-AT decisions (it probably takes a lawyer otherwise, in order to understand the ramification for other cases) and we have just noticed that WIPR wrote an article about this almost a week later, following The Register, IP Watch, and Techrights (which was first to report on this).
To quote the article’s first few paragraphs:
The Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization, a UN agency, has set aside two decisions made by the European Patent Office (EPO) and criticised the Administrative Council in the process.
On Wednesday, November 30, the tribunal dismissed the rulings, which had rejected employee challenges to internal rules.
The first decision, judgment number 3785, stemmed from a practice and procedure notice, which concerned the documents that make up European patent applications, issued by the EPO in 2013.
Now that Battistelli shuffles people around in alleged attempts to retaliate (collective punishment), e.g. moving the boards to Vienna, then Haar (not absolutely confirmed yet, except the budget), one should recall what we wrote about Berlin on the first of September, in light of this rumour which says “heard from the Isar building last week that this is exactly what Battistelli has in mind once the “haar-cut” is done: Berlin should be (des)integrated into Munich.”
Can someone confirm? On the right by the way is a photo of EPO staff in Berlin protesting in support of the dismissed staff representatives from Munich, urging Maas to offer support (he never did).
“Officially (usual lullabies) this is to increase efficiency (in reality this is to retaliate on the Berlin sub-office which has refused to submit since the beginning),” the same comment continues.
As we noted here several times before, such relocations can discourage people from staying in their job; some of them have spouses and kids in some job and/or school/kindergarten, respectively. It would be a convenient way to get rid of highly-paid staff without announcing any layoffs. See what happened in the now-understaffed boards. █
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Being above the law, even at The Hague, helps the autocracy of Battistelli and his praetorian guard
Summary: The unaccountable, unregulated Patent Office continues its union-busting activities and is expected — some believe — to decapitate even SUEPO The Hague (representing perhaps a thousand members of staff)
THE EPO‘s management continues to behave as though it’s above the law (any country’s law and even international law). The President, for instance, is allowed to break even his own rules. That’s classic autocracy, contrary to the principles of the Rule of Law.
“The problem is, the Administrative Council has become a lapdog, not a watchdog, and we’re rather pessimistic about it. It’s now complicit.”Recently, judging by the Dutch media, EPO management found an ‘ally’ in the Advocate General, Mr. Vlas, who is similar to an Attorney General (AG) in other countries. This may depend on who’s translating and how. The management of the EPO must be happy as it means that the high court’s decisions in January will quite likely be against SUEPO, not on grounds of legitimacy of their complaint but based on technical grounds or legitimacy of enforcement, i.e. the EPO being above the law and exempt from Dutch law (even though it resides on Dutch soil).
Someone has passed us some thoughts on the matter of this legal case in the Netherlands, stating:
The Attorney General of the Netherlands has issued his opinion on the immunity of the EPO in the context of the EPO’s breaches of fundamental rights. The AG did not in the least contest the findings of the violations, and went as far as stating that “honouring the claim to immunity of jurisdiction from the national judge does not in the least mean that violations of material rights are permitted”. However, in the specific case of SUEPO’s claims, he adopted the position that as long as individual EPO employees can have recourse to the ATILO, the route to the Dutch judge is barred. SUEPO does not understand this point; SUEPO cannot see how the ATILO can enforce a union’s right to collective bargain through individual complaints about violations of individual rights. SUEPO’s lawyers are studying the matter and will consider submitting a supplementary brief. The Court will hand down its decision (which may or may not follow the opinion of the AG) on 20 January 2017.
The above suggests that this is far from over. In the mean time, a source told us that witch-hunting in The Hague continues — something which we already knew about and wrote about. “The Attorney General’s opinion comes at an unusual juncture,” we learned, “and (in spite of its conservative stance) may well push the EPO and its Administrative Council to do something about the respect of fundamental rights.”
The problem is, the Administrative Council has become a lapdog, not a watchdog, and we’re rather pessimistic about it. It’s now complicit.
“This in its own right should be cause for massive demonstrations at The Hague next week.”We learned from our source that things have escalated even further. One “should remember,” to quote, “that the council has adopted resolution CA/26/16, which the President has completely ignored. Since then, as anyone can read from the minutes of the Board 28, there are “three current investigations/ disciplinary proceedings involving SUEPO members in The Hague”. Clearly, the witch-hunt of SUEPO officials is going on, this time in The Hague. One of the targets is Laurent Prunier (Secretary of SUEPO The Hague, and member of the CSC), who has been suspended since 27.06.2016, and whose disciplinary hearing towards dismissal (and more) has just taken place on 28 and 29 September. No comment can be provided without risking compromising Laurent’s defence.”
Some people have in fact been informed that “his name has been expunged from the internal phone book even before the proceedings are closed.”
They “thus fear for the worst.”
This in its own right should be cause for massive demonstrations at The Hague next week. In Prunier's own words, these are “demonstrably fabricated accusations.”
We saw that before, did we not? █
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Summary: Successor of Benoît Battistelli at the Administrative Council, Jesper Kongstad, is rumoured to be hiding something from tax authorities, but lack of transparency in “Eponia” prevents actual verification
THE EPO is no stranger to controversy and scandals. There is virtually no oversight there, no transparency, no accountability. This breeds distrust and often abuse as well. The USPTO is an angel in comparison as it doesn’t enjoy exemptions from European or US laws. There is no “USponia”, only “Eponia”.
“We just read your article with the title "Rumours About Secret EPO Salary of Benoît Battistelli",” some readers told us. “We’re surprised that you didn’t give any mention to the “Rumours About Secret EPO Salary of Jesper Kongstad”…
“If these rumours were true, then as a Danish civil servant he could be in serious trouble if the Danish tax authorities ever happened to investigate the matter.”
–Anonymous“At the end of an interview published by MIP in March of this year Kongstad was quoted as claiming that he does not receive any remuneration for his work at the EPO: “I am now spending about half of my time on EPO-related work, but I do not receive any remuneration for that.”
“In the MIP interview Kongstad was emphatic about the “pro bono” nature of his work for the EPO but not everybody is prepared to buy that storyline.”
Recall this embarrassing recent story. The readers continue: “In fact for some time now there have been persistent rumours circulating that he is somehow “on the payroll” at the EPO although nobody seems to know the precise details about this. Evil tongues have even been heard to say that he does not disclose this additional remuneration for tax purposes in Denmark. If these rumours were true, then as a Danish civil servant he could be in serious trouble if the Danish tax authorities ever happened to investigate the matter.
“It is important to emphasise that these are just rumours.”
–Anonymous“According to this report from 2010, under Danish law intentional and systematic tax evasion can lead to 8 years imprisonment and penalties of twice the unpaid tax liability. However, given the lack of effective oversight at the EPO it’s unlikely that Kongstad has anything to fear. Even if there was an investigation he would probably be whitewashed by the Internal Audit department which operates the EPO’s Investigative Unit and only answers to Battistelli. We are unlikely to see a truly independent audit of Kongstad’s financial relationship with the EPO any time soon.
“It is important to emphasise that these are just rumours. The close symbiosis between Kongstad and Battistelli and the fact that Kongstad is one of the few people privy to the details of Battistelli’s contract lends a certain amount of plausibility to the rumours. But in the absence of an independent audit nobody can say for certain how much substance there is to them. The fact that Kongstad went on record in March to specifically deny that he receives any remuneration for his EPO activities might be an indication that he felt a need to say something in public to counteract these rumours.” █
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