04.02.16

Gemini version available ♊︎

EUIPO and the Shady Relation to the EPO

Posted in Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 7:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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).

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 22/10/2021: Global Encryption Day

    Links for the day



  2. [Meme] Speaking the Same Language

    Language inside the EPO is misleading. Francophones Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos casually misuse the word “social”.



  3. António Campinos Thinks Salary Reductions Months Before He Leaves is “Exceptional Social Gesture”

    Just as Benoît Battistelli had a profound misunderstanding of the concept of “social democracy” his mate seems to completely misunderstand what a “social gesture” is (should have asked his father)



  4. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 21, 2021



  5. Links 21/10/2021: MX Linux 21 and Git Contributors’ Summit in a Nutshell

    Links for the day



  6. [Meme] [Teaser] Miguel de Icaza on CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Our ongoing series, which is very long, will shed much-needed light on GitHub and its goals (the dark side is a lot darker than people care to realise)



  7. Gemini Protocol and Gemini Space Are Not a Niche; for Techrights, Gemini Means Half a Million Page Requests a Month

    Techrights on gemini:// has become very big and we’ll soon regenerate all the pages (about 37,500 of them) to improve clarity, consistency, and general integrity



  8. 'Satellite States' of EPO Autocrats

    Today we look more closely at how Baltic states were rendered 'voting fodder' by large European states, looking to rubber-stamp new and oppressive measures which disempower the masses



  9. [Meme] Don't Mention 'Brexit' to Team UPC

    It seems perfectly clear that UPC cannot start, contrary to what the EPO‘s António Campinos told the Council last week (lying, as usual) and what the EPO insinuates in Twitter; in fact, a legal challenge to this should be almost trivial



  10. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States

    How unlawful EPO rules were unsurprisingly supported by Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in Baltic states; António Campinos maintained those same unlawful rules and Baltic connections, in effect liaising with offices known for their corruption (convicted officials, too; they did not have diplomatic immunity, unlike Battistelli and Campinos)



  11. Links 21/10/2021: GIMP 2.99.8 Released, Hardware Shortages, Mozilla Crisis

    Links for the day



  12. How Oppressive Governments and Web Monopolists Might Try to Discourage Adoption of Internet Protocols Like Gemini

    Popular movements and even some courageous publications have long been subverted by demonisation tactics, splits along unrelated grounds (such as controversial politics) and — failing that — technical sabotage and censorship; one must familiarise oneself with commonly-recurring themes of social control by altercation



  13. [Meme] Strike Triangulations, Reception Issues

    Financial strangulations for Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations”? The EPO will come to regret 2013…



  14. [Meme] Is Saying “No!” to Unlawful Proposals Considered “Impolite”?

    A ‘toxic mix’ of enablers and cowards (who won’t vote negatively on EPO proposals which they know to be unlawful) can serve to show that the EPO isn’t a “social democracy” as Benoît Battistelli liked to call it; it’s just a dictatorship, currently run by the son of a person who actually fought dictatorship



  15. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 20, 2021



  16. [Meme] EPO Legal Sophistry and Double Dipping

    An imaginary EPO intercept of Administrative Council discussions in June 2013...



  17. Links 21/10/2021: PostgreSQL JDBC 42.3.0 and Maui Report

    Links for the day



  18. [Meme] [Teaser] “Judge a Person Both by His Friends and Enemies”

    Fervent supporters of Team Battistelli or Team Campinos (a dark EPO era) are showing their allegiances; WIPO and EPO have abused staff similarly over the past decade or so



  19. 'Cluster-Voting' in the European Patent Office/Organisation (When a Country With 1.9 Million Citizens Has the Same Voting Power as a Country With 83.1 Million Citizens)

    Today we examine who has been running the Finnish patent office and has moreover voted in the EPO during the ballot on unlawful "Strike Regulations"; they voted in favour of manifestly illegal rules and for 8.5 years after that (including last Wednesday) they continued to back a shady regime which undermines the EPO's mission statement



  20. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki's Accord

    The Finnish outpost has long been strategic to the EPO because it can help control the vote of four or more nations; evidence suggests this has not changed



  21. [Meme] Living as a Human Resource, Working for Despots

    The EPO has become a truly awful place/employer to work for; salary is 2,000 euros for some (despite workplace stress, sometimes relocation to a foreign country)



  22. Links 20/10/2021: New Redcore Linux and Hospital Adoption of GNU Health

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 19, 2021



  24. Links 19/10/2021: Karanbir Singh Leaves CentOS Board, GPL Violations at Vizio

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] Giving the Knee

    The 'knee' champion Kratochvìl and 'kneel' champion Erlingsdóttir are simply crushing the law; they’re ignoring the trouble of EPO staff and abuses of the Office, facilitated by the Council itself (i.e. facilitated by themselves)



  26. Josef Kratochvìl Rewarded Again for Covering Up EPO Corruption and the EPO Bribes the Press for Lies Whilst Also Lying About Its Colossal Privacy Violations

    Corrupt officials and officials who actively enable the crimes still control the Office and also the body which was supposed to oversee it; it's pretty evident and clear judging by this week's press statements at the EPO's official Web site



  27. [Meme] Sorry, Wrong Country (Or: Slovenia isn't Great Britain)

    Team UPC is trying to go ahead with a total hoax which a high-level European court would certainly put an end to (if or when a referral is initiated)



  28. How Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden Voted on Patently Unlawful Regulations at the EPO

    We look back and examine what happened 8 years ago when oppressed staff was subjected to unlawful new “regulations” (long enjoyed by António Campinos, the current EPO autocrat)



  29. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc

    We start our investigation of how countries in northern Europe ended up voting on the unlawful “Strike Regulations” at the EPO and why



  30. Proof That Windows “11” is a Hoax

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts