Bonum Certa Men Certa

EUIPO and the Shady Relation to the EPO

Too much secrecy for a supposedly democratic society

Men's shade



Summary: A lot of back room activity (limited access conferences, secret contracts, shady deals) muddies the water when it comes to EUIPO (formerly OHIM), EPO, and WIPO

FOR quite some time now we have been hearing about the EPO's relation to EUIPO, which is more or less a new name for an existing entity. It is always important to ensure that such European entities adhere to and comply with European interests, or more generally the interests of ordinary people all around the world rather than massive corporations (usually foreign). Recall the time patents were used to monopolise cancer treatments in Europe, harming cancer patients. As it turns out, based on new reports (e.g. [1, 2]), GSK considers not keeping a monopoly (using patents) on certain cancer treatments, at least in poorer nations. This is the kind of news people want to hear.



"It is always important to ensure that such European entities adhere to and comply with European interests, or more generally the interests of ordinary people all around the world rather than massive corporations (usually foreign)."IP Kat, which recently celebrated its 10,000th blog post, takes a look at this new book about law design and patents in Europe -- an interesting and dangerous cocktail or mix (to reuse Battistelli's words). It's not always clear whether design ripoffs can be prevented using trademarks, copyrights, patents, or some weird combination thereof. That's where EUIPO comes into play. Responding to this new article about Fordham 2016 (an event we mentioned critically in English last night and in Spanish this morning), one person wrote: “The most important outcome of such a get-together is what is the consensus on how we should be pronouncing EUIPO” (as if the name is what matters and as if it's to be determined in some closed echo chamber in New York, not even in Europe).

To quote IP Kat:

Dimitris Botis (Deputy Director of Legal Affairs at the newly named EUIPO) was next to discus the future of the EU trade mark system in particular the recent trade marks reform package consisting of Directive 2015/2436 and Regulation 2015/2424. The biggest change in substantive trade mark law is the deletion of the graphic representation requirement which means that it will be easier to register non-traditional marks. The exact impact of this change on filing practice and types of marks that can be accepted will not be seen until the implementing rules are issued on 1 October 2017. The second biggest change is to the functionality prohibition to "other characteristics". There is now also an express requirement for clarity and precision in specifying the goods and services that are specified for the mark. It will be based on the "natural and usual meaning" of terms (i.e .interpreted literally). The new fee structure and levels with a new "one-fee-per-class" system is also a big change. There has been a moderate reduction of the application fee and substantial reduction of renewal fees. Dimitris also pointed out that there is also new EU Certification mark which can be registered to ensure the certification of the quality, material, mode of manufacture etc, but cannot be used in relation to geographical origin. Institutionally, there will be changes in terminology - hello EUIPO! But its not just changes in terminology, there is a change in management structure. The changes will be taking on a more political taste (the EU Commission has two seats now). The new Regulation also requires more cooperation between the Member States. Trevor Cook from Wilmer Hale said the change are really only technical in nature and do not generate a huge impact on substantive trade mark law. Dimitris agreed but the technical changes will ensure more efficient operation.


Here is what Michael Loney wrote for MIP in New York:

Two firsts for Fordham: Dimitris Botis's debut and the first talk by someone from EUIPO (as OHIM was renamed on March 23). He summarises the changes in the EU trade mark package, on which there is a detailed session tomorrow afternoon.

He says the changes were "targeted amendments" to improve predictability and accessibility, and the most important is the abolition of the graphic representation requirement (effective October 1 2017).

Next up is Antony Taubman of WTO, who describes his logjam as "well-entrenched" with no work on the GI project for five years (for example). He's here in New York to "harvest ideas" he adds.


Interesting to know, as noted above, that OHIM was officially renamed on March 23rd as it was barely advertised. Judging by the name alone, the IPO might one day become an umbrella organisation for the Patent Office/Organisation, assuming that "IP" is really what it is (just an umbrella term for copyrights, trademarks, patents, and maybe also trade secrets).

"Interesting to know, as noted above, that OHIM was officially renamed on March 23rd as it was barely advertised."Some people inside the EPO are comparing Battistelli to Gurry (now best known for the WIPO scandals) and Campinos, who is rumoured to be a replacement for Battistelli and currently heads OHIM, aka EUIPO.

As one person chose to put it, "WIPO, OHIM, EPO: three of a kind?"

OHIM is probably an old name now, but here's how the analogy goes:

On 24 February, a US congressional hearing took place on the accountability of WIPO. The Head of WIPO, Francis Gurry, stands accused of serious misconduct and of retaliation against whistle-blowers, among whom is the chairman of the WIPO’s Staff Union, who was summarily dismissed a year and a half ago 1. The head of the third international property office, Mr Campinos, has thus far managed to stay out of the public eye. This may, however, be only a matter of time. We hear from staff at OHIM that he has a management style and disrespect for the rule of law that are very similar to those of Mr Battistelli. The three international IP offices have very different structures: the EPO is fully independent, WIPO is a UN agency and OHIM is an EU agency. They nevertheless seem to suffer from the same problems. How come? Maybe because the underlying causes are the same: a governing body that is almost entirely dependent on the head of the office for its information, lots of money and a lack of transparency that enables the head of the organisation to use that money to increase his personal influence, the whole topped up with immunity. Since the same causes tend to lead to the same effect, removing the responsible managers would not solve the problems. What is needed is a reform of the governance of these organisations, starting with more transparency and accountability – to the governing body and to the public.


Proper "transparency and accountability" -- as the above put it -- would at least inform the public about what the heck is going on at OHIM. There's just way too much secrecy. In the EPO, for example, contracts of top management are a closely-guarded secret, as are contracts with private companies such as Microsoft and Gemalto. These aren't public bodies. They act like private bodies [1, 2] which enjoy immunity from the law.

Expanding on the European Union IP Office (EUIPO), which makes it sound like part of the EU (unlike the EPO, which the EPC brought into existence):

Soon after Mr Battistelli took over, staff and the public were informed that bilateral agreements had been signed between the EPO and WIPO, and between the EPO and OHIM. It seems that the content of these agreements has never been made public. Glimpses can be found in other documents, e.g. CA/24/14 (points 51-57), for example, explains that the EPO will continue to participate as an observer in OHIM bodies and working group meetings. As far as we know, OHIM also has an observer in the meetings of the Administrative Council of the EPO.

On a more permanent basis, Mr Telmo Vilela, a former co-worker of Mr Campinos in the Portuguese patent office, was hired by the EPO in DG5 but was transferred to the President’s office as soon as the opportunity arose. Furthermore according to CA/24/14 (point 57) IT co-operation between the EPO and OHIM is foreseen with the aim of “paving the way for the implementation of projects and activities based on harmonization and interoperability”. Mr Campinos is also Mr Battistelli’s favorite candidate for his succession as President of the EPO. A final bit of information: OHIM will change its name to European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) later this month.


It is worth noting that Battistelli had attempted to be head of WIPO before he became ruler of EPO. There is certainly a great degree of overlap here, some potentially implicating Željko Topić, VP4 at EPO. One thing that Topić's SIPO has in common with the EPO and WIPO is staff suicides (usually dissenting voices).

There remains so much secrecy around these institutions (and extreme abuse against critics or people who 'dare' to explore the truth) that one must dig deeper and deeper. There's certainly a lot of material these people are eager to hide (because they're already hiding it, even when there's a deepening crisis).

Recent Techrights' Posts

An "Efficient Windows 11 Experience" is Removing a Text Editor (Less than 5 Megabytes in Size) and Adding Chatbots That Require a New PC/Datacentre
Vista 11 24H2 update removes WordPad
 
The Campaign to 'End' Richard Stallman - Part II - Scaring People Who Produce Videos in Support of Stallman
There are allegations of threats, defamation, and censorship
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting My Wife
In my view, it is a form of overt sexism
[Chart] Chromebooks in Micronesia Grew at the Expense of Microsoft Windows
As of today...
Linus Torvalds Mocked "Cloud Native" in His Latest Talk (Arguing It's Just Hype), 'Linux' Foundation 'Research' (Marketing) Chooses Proprietary Software to Query Its Adopters
The name "Linux" is overused, abused, even grossly misused
Links 29/05/2024: More Arrests of Regime Critics and Hate Crimes
Links for the day
Brittany Day (linuxsecurity.com) Now Leverages Microsoft Chatbots to Promote Microsoft Propaganda Disguised as "Linux"
What Brittany Day does is an attack both on the Web and on Linux
[Meme] Don't Trust Users to Boot Their Own PCs?
UEFI 'secure' boot
Links 29/05/2024: Hack The Box, Why I Left Healthcare, and Chatbots as Health Risk
Links for the day
Gemini Links 29/05/2024: BESM Retro Second Edition and Itanium Day
Links for the day
Azerbaijan: Microsoft Falls From 99.5% to Almost Nothing or Less Than 20% (Windows Down Sharply, GNU/Linux Surges)
Based on statSounter
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 28, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, May 28, 2024
The Campaign to 'End' Richard Stallman - Part I - Two Canceled Talks in a Row?
RMS has left Europe, so the concept of "delayed" talk is facetious or deeply cynical
On Desktops/Laptops in Andorra Windows Fell to Less Than Half, 20% If One Counts Mobile as Well
And this is a European country
[Meme] 3 Years Later
If you're going to start a fight, make sure you can handle it
When You Leave a Bad Employer and Move on to Better Things
Perhaps my main mistake was not resigning from my job sooner
No, Your Site Likely Does Not Need WordPress
I was one of the first users of WordPress
GNU/Linux in Cameroon: Rising Steadily While Windows Falls From 99% to Just 6%
If one also counts mobile (mostly Android)
Monkey See, Monkey Share
on deprivation of users
From 0.17% to 10% or More (GNU/Linux in Dominica)
Dominica isn't well known, but it does seem to have embraced Chromebooks in recent years
Links 28/05/2024: Tensions in East Asia, UK Mandatory National Service
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/05/2024: NetCrawl and Living in Lagrange
Links for the day
Guardian Digital, Inc (linuxsecurity.com) Handed Over Its Web Site to Chatbots That Generate SEO Garbage
They need to be called out on it
statCounter Sees Microsoft Windows at Below 1% in American Samoa
Not even 1%!
Windows Down to 60% of Guam's Desktops/Laptops and Down to a Quarter Overall
No wonder Microsoft is panicking
Today in UEFI 'Secure' Boot Debates (the Frog is Already Boiling and Melting)
Over at LQ today
[Meme] A "Modern" Web's Message in a Bottle
So-called 'security'
Brittany Day: Still Chatbot Slinging, Producing Fake 'Articles' About "Linux"
random garbage produced (and censored) by Microsoft
Almost 4k Gemini Capsules, 5th Anniversary Only Weeks Away
The Web will continue to deteriorate
Microsoft: $1 Million a Day for Contempt of Court Orders (Justice Department)
Microsoft behaves as if it's 100% exempt from laws
Catbodia? In Cambodia, Microsoft's Windows Fell to All-Time Low of Less Than a Quarter.
Cambodia is leaving Microsoft behind
[Meme] Deadnaming
Guess who uses a name that was deprecated well over a decade ago?
[Meme] 'Secure' Boot in a Nutshell
Ask Microsoft if it is "safe" to boot Linux
New Press Report Explains Microsoft Severance and Quiet (Undisclosed) Layoffs
Some people will call this "loophole", whereas others will opine that it is outright illegal (but kept secret to circumvent scrutiny)
Global South is Android/Linux (Windows Era Has Come to an End Already)
I've decided to take a quick glance at South American trends for all operating systems
[Meme] Unified Patent Troll
Unified Patent Court remains illegal and unconstitutional
The European Patent Office is Sinking
Officials (or national delegates) at the European Patent Organisation have long been warned about this (by staff representatives from the European Patent Office), but they ignored the warnings
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting Guest Writers (Intimidation)
Some high-profile people have told me that the serial defamer is a "monster" (their word), so why would Neil Brown wish to help him?
Summer in the Air
We have a good pace going on owing to health, positivity, inertia and good software tools
GNU/Linux Activity in Belize
From an economic point of view, Microsoft needn't worry about Belize, but when it comes to preserving the Windows monopoly/monoculture Belize matters
Links 28/05/2024: Back to MP3, NVIDIA Sued by Authors
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/05/2024: Bad Beach and TLS
Links for the day
Microsoft Windows Fell From 100% to Just 7.5% in Sierra Leone
Based on statCounter
In Benin, Microsoft's Windows Fell Below 10%, GNU/Linux Surged to 6% or Higher on Desktops/Laptops
That's nearly 7% - a lot higher than the average in Africa
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 27, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, May 27, 2024
Delayed Series About Dr. Richard Stallman
A lot of the attacks on him boil down to petty things
[Meme] Elephant in the Asian Room
With ChromeOS included GNU/Linux is at 6% across Asia
GNU/Linux in Bangladesh Up From 0.5% to Over 4% (Windows Slid From 95% to 18%)
Bangladesh is one of the world's most densely-populated countries
A 3-Year Campaign to Coerce/Intimidate Us Into Censorship: Targeting Several Webhosts (in Collaboration and Conjunction With Mentally-Ill Flunkies)
Every attempt to nuke the current hosting failed, but it's still worth noting
Links 27/05/2024: One Month Left for ICQ, More Openwashing Highlighted
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Back to GNU/Linux, Librem 5 Assessed
Links for the day
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Mostly Recovered From a Day's Downtime (Malfunction)
Some of the material we've published based on the statCounter datasets truly annoys Microsofters
Google: We Don't Have Source Diversity, But We Have Chatbot Spew in Place of Sources (and It's Not Even Accurate)
Search engines and news search never looked this bad...
[Meme] Security is Not a Failure to Boot (or Illusion of Security Due to 'Unknown' System)
Red Hat is largely responsible for this mess
What is Secure Boot?
Security means the user feels safe and secure - i.e. confident that the machine would continue to work following a reboot or a system upgrade (or kernel upgrade)
StatCounter (or statCounter) Has Been Broken for Nearly 24 Hours. Who Benefits? Microsoft.
StatCounter is broken right now and has been broken for nearly 24 hours already
Links 27/05/2024: Chatbots Generate Hateful Output, TPM Performance Scrutinised
Links for the day
David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) Realises What He Should Have Decades Ago
seeing that DHH is moving away from Apple is kind of a big deal
Reinvigorating the Voice of GNU/Linux Users (Not Companies Whose Chiefs Don't Even Use GNU/Linux!)
Scott Ruecker has just announced his return
"Tech" in the Context of Even Bigger Issues
"Tech" (or technology) activism is important; but there's a bigger picture
A Decade of In-Depth Coverage of Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO)
The world needs transparency and sunlight
Hopefully Not Sunset for StatCounter
We hope that StatCounter will be back soon.
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 26, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 26, 2024
Links 27/05/2024: Self-Publishing, Patent Monopolies, and Armed Conflicts
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/05/2024: Tethering Connection and PFAs
Links for the day
Imagine Canada Enabling Rapists to Harass Their (Rape) Victims
This analogy is applicable because abusers are empowered against the abused