12.12.14

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Dreaming of a Just Christmas: When a Third of EPO Walks Out to Revolt and European Judges Attack the EPO Over Abuses

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO scandals making it into the press now…

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Summary: Information about the abuses of Battistelli et al. at the EPO are finally receiving wider coverage and increasing the strain on Battistelli’s authoritarian reign

TECHRIGHTS forecasts that heads will roll at the EPO within weeks or months. Our community also expects the corporate media to increase its level of coverage of these issues. It’s already happening, so citizens are being informed in many languages.

“The responses from the management of the EPO are telling because they in no way refute what we have covered here for months.”Yesterday we found a good summary of recent events, aptly titled “Is the EPO in Crisis” (detailed article from Managing IP).

The article gives the accused an opportunity to respond, but Konstad refuses to respond to Managing IP, which is pro-patents (it’s not hostile). Staying silent was his implicit policy all along, perhaps realising that he needs to harbour and shelter a bunch of bullies. The report has some new points and it’s rather revealing. The responses from the management of the EPO are telling because they in no way refute what we have covered here for months. Managing IP says that on November 20th more than a third of the staff walked out and protested. SUEPO (the staff union representing and defending EPO staff) is mentioned as well.

There is another interest new report from IP Kat and it shows increased involvement from prominent figures:

Leading European IP Judges join the chorus of condemnation

[...]

A week ago today, a member of one of the EPO’s Boards of Appeal was escorted out of the building, and banned from the premises pending an investigation of alleged misconduct.

It is believed that the reason for the “house ban” or suspension was the alleged dissemination of defamatory material.

Widespread criticism ensued immediately both inside and outside the office, both on the grounds that this directly breached guarantees of judicial independence (Art. 23 EPC), and that this was a further instance (among many) of heavy-handed suppression of criticism, dissension and debate within the EPO.

The ultimate governing body of the EPO, the Adminstrative Council (AC), meets this week. It is this body alone that would be empowered to impose sanctions such as suspension or dismissal on a Board member.

On Monday, members of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA), which is the highest judicial authority in the European Patent system took the unprecedented step of complaining about the conduct of the President, and of his interference in their judicial independence, directly to the AC delegates arriving for their meeting.

Simultaneously, another letter emerged from a Partner in Bardehle Pagenberg, exhorting the head of the German delegation to the AC to take the lead in rectifying the President’s actions.

Anonymous comments, many of which from EPO staff, can be seen at the bottom. It sure is becoming quite a huge thing and in France the politicians have taken an interest (our French-speaking audience may be interested in [1, 2, 3]). To sum up some recent developments in the words of a source, “the socialist Deputy Leborgn (for the French citizens living abroad) already was in touch with various Ministers (including foreign affairs : Fabius, Industry : Pellerin, economy : Moscovici) in April this year. However, he was told in substance “before Mr. Battistelli there was no legal system framing the right to strike so that it should be regarded as a progress. Presented with the fact that the new strike law was below French standard, the deputy was answered that the EPO is made of 38 countries so that compromises should be made. For the record, Fabius, Moscovici, Pellerin and now Marcon all come from the same school as Mr Battistelli: that is the ENA (Ecole Nationale d’Administration). ENA’s alumni is one of the most powerful French networks [and] may be even more powerful than freemasonry” (words of the source, not ours).

Now that this scandal’s coverage makes it into newspapers in German, French, English etc. we can rest assured that something big will happen. In the coming weeks we are going to cover corruption charges to add fuel to the fire.

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