Bonum Certa Men Certa

Not Even a Single Corporate Journalist Has Written Anything About These Very Important Bits of News (Updated)

Is the public actually being given news of importance and relevance to make informed decisions and get involved in the process?

Spock Watching TV: What are you doing? Ssssh. Watching the news.



Summary: Constant propaganda from patent maximalists has long infested the media, which is sometimes controlled and even bribed to set the tone and the agenda; important developments are being tucked away and require very deep digging for ordinary citizens to find

YESTERDAY we bemoaned the lack of journalism about corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO). There's also that utter lack of proper coverage about the UPC, which threatens the vast majority of people and businesses in Europe. The coverage and the publishers behind that coverage are controlled by Team UPC. It's like a "media of occupation". Hey, when was the last time a major European press outlet said anything at all about software patents in Europe? How many years ago was that?



"We've also just noticed that Managing IP is defending WIPO's biggest thug, Francis Gurry, by collectively calling articles that expose WIPO's abuses "fake news"..."The state of journalism, especially in the area of patents, is appalling.

We've also just noticed that Managing IP is defending WIPO's biggest thug, Francis Gurry, by collectively calling articles that expose WIPO's abuses "fake news" (check who's funding this publisher and you'll find firms standing to gain from such face-saving spin). So WIPO has its own Donald Trump, who rejects reality.

Over the past few weeks we saw both in German and in English numerous articles serving as a megaphone/loudspeakers for BMJV (despite its attack on the rule of law, as well as the German constitution). Not even once did we see coverage about the actual situation, wherein Brexit dooms the UPC/A. Patrick Breyer (a German MEP) brought this up -- he did so even in the public record of the European Parliament. But nobody even noticed until weeks later; nobody in the media mentioned this. Nobody bothered.

Bristows' Gregory Bacon has again decided to mention Patrick Breyer and say:

The reasoning behind Mr Breyer’s view that Germany can no longer ratify the UPCA (Agreement on a Unified Patent Court) is that the UK (which has ratified the UPCA) is, since Brexit, a “third country” under article 216 TFEU and, according to EU case law (C-22/70), member states cannot enter into agreements with third countries that affect EU rules or alter their scope. However, as the UK government has confirmed that the UK will not be participating in the UPC, if the UK withdraws its ratification of the UPCA before Germany ratifies that issue should not arise.

According to the European Parliament website, written non-priority questions must be answered within 6 weeks of notification to the institution concerned. However, this time limit is often not met. The European Commission’s answer is already overdue (even assuming it was not notified on 5 May but by 20 May, when the question was published). It has been reported that Mr Breyer has recently said that he plans to take legal action should he receive no answer or an unsatisfactory one.


This was mentioned before, even by Bristows, after the May 5th question that we covered not too long afterwards. Why they keep bringing up that question depends on how to interpret the motivation (they also mentioned that FFII had been working on a complaint). A lot of the old Bristows UPC boosters are gone (silent, retired or left the company to join another). The names are changing (a new one emerged lately), so maybe the communication policies changed as well, seeing what terrible prospects UPC has.

Why is the media not covering this? Weeks ago the Financial Times (FT) published a ludicrous piece entitled "UK and Germany hinder court launch". This is the very same FT which was bribed by the EPO for lots of UPC lies and puff pieces. Where's the actual journalistic value? This is lobbying. This is a piece shaming two countries into doing something illegal and unconstitutional. And it's not the first time.

Another item that not a single site has mentioned (not even sites that focus on patents, except perhaps one blog) is the situation of SUEPO's Laurent Prunier -- a subject we wrote about several times over the years. Earlier this week SUEPO wrote once again about the Laurent Prunier settlement (first mentioned two months ago); SUEPO's message was the first public message in months (the image at the top of the page is suggestive of censorship) and it updated the site one day later with a link to Laurent Prunier's letter in French [PDF] which was also included here in Union Syndicale's Web site. SUEPO just copied the first paragraph that said:

In recent years, social dialogue at the European Patent Office has been badly damaged. Since 2014, the EPO has been strongly criticised for its directives which go against the rights and interests of employees. Legal actions have multiplied as the suffering of staff members has increased. Today, a settlement agreement has been reached at the EPO concerning Laurent Prunier.


The remainder of the page says "USF recalls that Mr. Campinos has all the necessary room for manoeuvre to act ex gratia." António Campinos has thus far been hardly better than Benoît Battistelli and in some respects he was even worse.

Excessive production pressure, a climate of fear, intimidation, harassment, abusive disciplinary procedures against staff and trade union representatives, censorship and non-respect of the right to strike shook the institution in particular during the mandates of Benoit Battistelli. USOEB-SUEPO*, the trade union representing half of the staff at the EPO, has constantly opposed these authoritarian abuses and has tried to find common ground with the administration.

Despite the appointment of a new president of the EPO, António Campinos, in July 2018, a return to normalcy has been slow to materialise. USOEB-SUEPO hoped that the new president would quickly restore social peace by, among other things, putting an end to the unacceptable situation of union representatives, who were unjustly targeted and sanctioned by his predecessor, especially Laurent Prunier. Former secretary of USOEB-SUEPO The Hague and elected member of the Central Staff Committee, he was at the end of 2016 the last of the staff to be unfairly dismissed in connection with his trade union activity. This situation, unprecedented in its scale in the discreet environment of International Organisations, had attracted the full attention of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. In 2018, after having commissioned legal studies on International Organisations, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe concluded in resolutions addressed to member states that the values enshrined in its instruments were insufficiently reflected in the EPO.

Union Syndicale supported Laurent Prunier as soon as he was dismissed because he was, like all the other staff representatives sanctioned, innocent. USF wrote several times to the President and the Administrative Council of the EPO inviting the new management to find a solution to this injustice. We have been informed that the two parties have finally reached a settlement agreement.

However, this agreement at the EPO, which we welcome, only concerns Laurent Prunier. If Mr. Campinos is sincere in his claim that he wants to re-establish a constructive dialogue with USOEB-SUEPO, the large majority union at the EPO, it is high time to ensure that the last two staff representatives who were unfairly sanctioned by his predecessor are now restored to their rights.

USF recalls that Mr. Campinos has all the necessary room for manoeuvre to act ex gratia. Indeed, as a former high-ranking official of the European Union with a legal background, it would be surprising if Mr. Campinos were not able to exercise his political power and use his prerogatives by pronouncing an amnesty for these two staff members in order to restore a productive social climate by drawing a line under the errors of the past.

The role of the trade unions remains more essential than ever to bring the demands of the staff to management while protecting their rights. Solidarity remains a priority for USF as well as for all European public service staff.


At the end they mention a SUEPO contact address, suepothehague@gmail.com.

We're a bit surprised SUEPO would still entrust this to Google after what happened with "FOSSPatents" and Els Hardon, who used GMail to communicate EPO abuses, according to the EPO's accusations against Hardon. Google is also a close partner of the EPO and some time in the future we'll show how GMail hands over entire E-mail accounts to law enforcement (not over terrorism or anything remotely like that). We have a lot of material about this, owing to a police FOIA, and Ryan is working through it to study the material, which we can hopefully publish in a tidy fashion.

All we can say about the above is, the media really ought to have covered it. Years ago it still did (about half a decade). But then the EPO started to bribe and blackmail various publishers. Nowadays they all look the other way and pretend everything is rosy at the EPO; they want us to believe -- to the point of deleting critical comments -- that Campinos solved all the problems. It's a lie. It's a big, massive, shameful lie. If the media exists to perpetuate lies, then well done... mission accomplished.

Update (12/07/2020): SUEPO has just published an English translation of the letter from SUEPO's Laurent Prunier.

english-prunierl-letter

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