Bonum Certa Men Certa

The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part II: A “Unanimous” Endorsement?

Series parts:

  1. The EPO's Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part I: Let the Sunshine In!
  2. YOU ARE HERE ☞ A “Unanimous” Endorsement?


EPO President Benoît Battistelli, Principal Director Elodie Bergot, Vice-Presidents Željko Topić and Raimund Lutz
The EPO senior management team responsible for the drafting of the "Strike Regulations".
Clockwise from top left: Office President Benoît Battistelli, Principal Director Elodie Bergot, Vice-Presidents Željko Topić and Raimund Lutz.



Summary: Battistelli's illegal "Strike Regulations" didn't materialise without help from other people; looking back, we learn how those unlawful provisions came about and who's accountable for them

The EPO "Strike Regulations" which were recently struck down by the ILOAT were drafted by Battistelli's "Human Resources" management team.



At the time in question the EPO's HR Department was controlled by the notorious duo of Principal Director Elodie Bergot and Vice-President Željko Topić.

"...this meeting of the Council was also used by Battistelli to present the delegates with the outcome of an "internal investigation" conducted for the purpose of whitewashing his Croatian bulldog, Željko Topić."But it's important to realise that the "Strike Regulations" drafted by the EPO's senior management team would never have come into effect without the complicity of the Administrative Council at its 136th meeting which took place in Munich on 26 and 27 June 2013.

By a curious coincidence - as previously reported by Techrights back in 2015 – this meeting of the Council was also used by Battistelli to present the delegates with the outcome of an "internal investigation" conducted for the purpose of whitewashing his Croatian bulldog, Željko Topić.

"These documents allow us to obtain a better picture of what went on at the meeting, in particular the details of the deliberation and vote on the proposed "Strike Regulations"."At the time in question, Topić was the subject of a series of allegations connected with his former position as head of the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office. A lot of awkward questions were being asked about his EPO appointment and Battistelli was keen to silence the critical voices.

The 2015 Techrights posting about Battistelli's whitewash of Topić includes copies of the official minutes [PDF] of the June 2013 Administrative Council meeting and the associated "Summary of Decisions". [PDF]

These documents allow us to obtain a better picture of what went on at the meeting, in particular the details of the deliberation and vote on the proposed "Strike Regulations".

The composition of the Administrative Council as of May 2013 - i.e. directly prior to the 136th meeting - was published in the EPO's Official Journal (OJ).

In some cases the delegates listed in the OJ did not attend the meeting but were replaced by their alternates. This is normal practice when delegates have conflicting engagements.

The list of actual attendees at the 136th Council meeting can be found in the official minutes [PDF] of the meeting.

It's worth mentioning in passing that António Campinos also attended the meeting as an observer in his capacity as then head of the EU's trademark agency OHIM/EUIPO in Alicante.

From the minutes of the meeting it can be seen that one senior member of Team Battistelli played a key role in persuading the Council to vote in favour of the proposed "Strike Regulations".

"It's worth mentioning in passing that António Campinos also attended the meeting..."This was the Vice-President Raimund Lutz who was head of the Directorate of International and Legal Affairs.

Lutz was regularly used by Battistelli for the purpose of duping the Council delegates into rubber-stamping all sorts of questionable measures and at the same time dissuading them from asking too many awkward questions.

So it was very much "business as usual" when Lutz was wheeled out at the 136th Council meeting in June 2013 in order to assure the delegates that the proposed "Strike Regulations" were good to go and could be waved through without the need for any further discussion.

Lutz informed the delegates that the new regulations "had been proposed considering general legal principles, European rights and ILOAT standards".

"Lutz was regularly used by Battistelli for the purpose of duping the Council delegates into rubber-stamping all sorts of questionable measures and at the same time dissuading them from asking too many awkward questions."It's worth pointing out that he never actually claimed that the proposed measures were in conformity with "general legal principles, European rights and ILOAT standards" – he only said that these principles, rights and standards had been "considered" when drafting the regulations!

It is not without reason that Lutz has been described as a "veritable virtuoso of legal sophistry".

Role of EPO's Vice-President Raimund Lutz
The EPO's "virtuoso of legal sophistry", Vice-President Raimund Lutz, helped to "persuade" the Council delegates to rubber-stamp the proposed measures.



Both the official minutes and the "Summary of Decisions" contain a record of the vote on the adoption of Battistelli's "Strike Regulations".

Record of the Administrative Council vote
Record of the Administrative Council vote on the adoption of Battistelli's "Strike Regulations".



From this it can be seen that out of a total of 38 delegations, only 35 actually voted.

This means that 3 delegations did not even bother to take part in the vote.

"...3 delegations did not even bother to take part in the vote."Of the 35 delegations that participated, 28 voted in favour and 7 abstained.

Article 35 (4) of the European Patent Convention specifies that abstentions "shall not be considered as votes".

"In the coming parts we will take a closer look at the members of the delegations..."This means that - according to the official narrative - the proposed measures were adopted "unanimously" with 28 votes in favour.

In the coming parts we will take a closer look at the members of the delegations and how they did - or did not - vote on that occasion.

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