03.03.17

Dutch Foreign Minister Reads the Riot Act to EPO Vice-President Willy/Guillaume Minnoye

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Letter from the Dutch Foreign Minister

Dutch Foreign Minister letter's screenshot

Summary: The Dutch Foreign Minister is not tolerating the abuses of the EPO and seems eager to remove the immunity unless things miraculously improve (which is very unlikely)

MR. Minnoye loves secrecy (he has repeatedly failed at that) and he will flee the EPO in a few months as first rumoured about half a year ago (last summer, before a confirmation that came just before Christmas). Minnoye also became rather infamous for asserting that he would ignore/disregard (or put another way: disobey) the highest court’s ruling. He was referring to the Dutch High Court and said this on Dutch television! How foolish. How arrogant. As we noted earlier today, there is a growing possibility right now that the EPO will soon lose its immunity. Minnoye will probably have retired by then.

Before Minnoye is out the door, however, there is a score to settle and the above letter reached us today. People who comprehend Dutch explained it to us as follows:

The document recently appeared on the website of the Dutch Parliament.

The letter is dated February 23 and is from the Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders, to the Chairman of the Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer).

In the letter Mr. Koenders is reporting to the Parliament on his discussion with the EPO Vice-President Minnoye which took place on January 30, 2017.

According to Mr. Koenders, part of the discussion related to the verdict of the Supreme Court of January 20, 2017, in which the EPO’s immunity was confirmed.

Mr. Koenders goes on to note that:
“This immunity does not prevent the host country from entering into discussion with the management of the EPO about the continuing conflict between management and staff of the EPO. Especially now that this conflict has become part of the public and political debate.”

The letter continues:
“In this context, I have communicated to Mr Minnoye that the internal conflict has been going on for too long and that the situation now demands rapid improvement.”

Apparently Minnoye came out with the usual official EPO management line about how progress was been made. He referred to the recent social conference – which was described by the French Senator Richard Yung as “Potemkinite” – and he expressed the hope that the EPO was moving into calmer waters.

The letter from Mr. Koenders concludes with the following statement:
“I indicated that I share this hope, but have noted an important caveat: if no visible improvements take place in the short term in the relations within the EPO, I see no other option but to discuss the situation at a high political level with the Member States of the European Patent Organisation.
I continue to monitor this matter closely having regard to responsibility of the host state and will press Vice President Minnoye for normalization of the situation within the EPO.”

Bearing in mind that this letter is from the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands and is couched in diplomatic language it can safely be said that it is “strong stuff”.

In plain language: it looks like the Foreign Minister has just “read the riot act” to Minnoye and the EPO’s senior management.

We also have this letter as text, for those who can read the Dutch:

Aan de Voorzitter van de
Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal
Binnenhof 4
Den Haag

Datum 23 februari 2017
Betreft Gesprek Vice President Europees Octrooi Bureau

Geachte voorzitter,

Hierbij informeer ik uw Kamer, conform mijn toezegging in het algemeen overleg van de vaste commissie voor Buitenlandse Zaken over diplomatieke immuniteit van 14 december 2016, over mijn gesprek met de heer Minnoye, Vice President van het Europees Octrooi Bureau (EOB), dat op 30 januari 2017 plaatsvond.

Onderdeel van dit gesprek was de uitspraak van de Hoge Raad van 20 januari 2017, waarin de immuniteit van de organisatie werd bevestigd. Nederland respecteert de immuniteit van het EOB, net als die van de andere intergouvernementele organisaties die zich hier hebben gevestigd. Deze immuniteit laat onverlet dat het gastland met het management van het EOB in gesprek kan gaan over de voortdurende onrust tussen het management en het personeel van het EOB. Zeker nu deze onrust onderdeel is geworden van publiek en politiek debat.

In dit kader heb ik de heer Minnoye meegegeven dat de interne onrust te lang voortduurt en dat de situatie nu snel verbetering behoeft. Om met spoed een begin te maken aan herstel van vertrouwen tussen het management en het personeel, is voorgesteld de sociale dialoog constructief te hervatten en daarbij op zeer korte termijn een aantal vertrouwenwekkende maatregelen, onder andere gebaseerd op de Social Study, door te voeren:

- Externen betrekken in de interne bezwaarprocedure, zodat deze procedure door het personeel als onpartijdig en onafhankelijk wordt ervaren;

- Heroverweging van disciplinaire maatregelen die ten aanzien van enkele vakbondsleden zijn ingezet.

Tot slot heb ik vanuit mijn gastlandverantwoordelijkheid aangegeven dat het EOB een beroep op het gastland kan doen als het gaat om steun voor initiatieven die bijdragen aan normalisering van de huidige situatie van onrust.


De heer Minnoye heeft aangegeven dat op dit moment op verschillende manieren wordt geprobeerd een positieve dialoog met het personeel op te starten. Als voorbeeld noemde hij de townhall meetings die recentelijk plaatsvonden. Vice President Minnoye sprak de hoop en verwachting uit dat de organisatie binnenkort in rustiger vaarwater komt.

Ik heb aangegeven dat ik deze hoop deel, maar heb daarbij een belangrijke kanttekening geplaatst: indien op korte termijn geen zichtbare verbeteringen plaatsvinden in de arbeidsverhoudingen binnen het EOB, zie ik geen andere mogelijkheid dan het bespreken van de situatie op hoog politiek niveau met de andere lidstaten van de Europese Octrooi Organisatie.

Ik blijf dit dossier vanuit de gastlandverantwoordelijkheid nauwlettend volgen en bij Vice President Minnoye aandringen op normalisering van de situatie binnen het EOB.

De Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken,

Bert Koenders

This is likely to be the basis for future and perhaps imminent political debates in the Netherlands. We previously wrote about the subject in articles published earlier this year; among them (there are more):

  1. Battistelli is an Autocrat Above the Law and It’s OK, Holland’s High Council Says
  2. EPO Abuses Now Make the Netherlands Look Like a Facilitator of Human/Labour Rights Abuses
  3. Media Blasts EPO Over Immunity Amid Suicides, Battistelli’s Behaviour Compared to Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s
  4. Leaked: Team Battistelli, Exploiting a Controversial Decision From the Netherlands, is Trying to Squash SUEPO
  5. The EPO’s Freedom to Disregard the Law and Abuse Employees is “Being Taken up by the Council of Europe”
  6. The Netherlands With Its Bizarre Decision to Let the EPO Violate Dutch Law, Now in English
  7. “Team Battistelli Continues With Intimidation Tactics”
  8. The European Patent Office Officially Dishonours Justice, So It’s Time for SUEPO to Become Clandestine
  9. Culture of Terror at The European Patent Office Escalates Thanks to Dutch Government’s Complicity
  10. Lack of Justice in and Around the EPO Drawing Scrutiny

When will this madness end? We have a lot more material to publish about the EPO, probably this weekend and next week. Things are about to get worse — definitely not better — for the EPO. Bert Koenders deserves to know that and we hope he will pay attention to some abuses we’ll show happening on Dutch territory.

If Dutch politicians wish to maintain the perception of their country being a leader in international law, then they must act now on the EPO.

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2017/03/03/letter-from-the-dutch-foreign-minister-to-epo/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 21/6/2021: NVIDIA’s DLSS and Most Beautiful GNU/Linux Distributions

    Links for the day



  2. Neil's Misgovernment

    The GNOME Foundation has one member of staff fewer; the attack on the founder/father of Free/libre software activism and GNU (the "G" in GNOME) failed and backfired spectacularly



  3. IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, June 21, 2021



  4. Virtual Injustice -- Part 14: How Mandatory ViCo Became the “New Normal”

    How mandatory ViCo hearings gradually became the "New Normal" at the EPO



  5. Links 21/6/2021: Rocky Linux 8.4, IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 157, and SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP3

    Links for the day



  6. There Are Bigger Scandals Than Revisionism and Brand Dilution at the Linux Foundation

    There are some misconceptions that need tackling; back in February (more than 4 months ago) the so-called 'Linux' Foundation decided to associate with yet another controversial drive that has nothing to do with Linux; some people think it's a new thing and leap to conclusions



  7. Techrights Video Gallery Without JavaScript

    Some of the improvements made this morning to the gallery of recent videos



  8. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, June 20, 2021



  9. Links 21/6/2021: Linux 5.13 RC7, IRC.com by Freenode

    Links for the day



  10. Virtual Injustice -- Part 13: Let the Games Continue…

    "It would be nice to think that the events of 28 May have given the Enlarged Board pause for thought."



  11. Links 20/6/2021: Akademy 2021 Underway and Linux Foundation Blasted

    Links for the day



  12. EPO: Fake Patents, Fake (Paid-for) Patent Coverage, and Fake Awards for Public Relations Purposes

    The media has been thoroughly corrupted, patent legitimacy has been severely damaged (far too many European Patents aren't in compliance with the EPC anymore), and Team UPC is trying to undermine the EPC and turn Europe into another Texas



  13. Changes in IRC and New Features Over Gemini Protocol or the World Wide Web

    We examine more closely some of the latest changes in the site and the capsule (Web and Gemini, respectively); we show that it’s possible to keep abreast of IRC using nothing but a text editor, a Gemini client… or even the command line alone



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, June 19, 2021



  15. We Need and Deserve a Saner Patent System in Europe

    The laughing stock that the patent system, the patent law firms, and patent media became (over the past few years) must be replaced; at the moment we have a cabal connected to a bunch of criminals running the entire show and the public understandably grows impatient (at least people who are sufficiently informed; the criminals have already intimidated and bribed a lot of the media and they're still bribing more of it, as we shall demonstrate later today)



  16. [Meme] IRC Wars in a Nutshell

    In terms of large IRC networks, we’re in trouble (unless we self-host) because they seem to be dividing themselves along political lines rather than anything technical or something of an on-topic/relevant substance. Using networks for Free software projects/organisations to push one’s political agenda is not acceptable because it’s starting to seem like in IRC space, FN has become the Front Nationale (French) and LC is Liberal Coalition. Both FreeNode and Libera Chat have managed to turn from technical platforms into political parties, in effect using technical networks (intended for technical projects) to push someone's political agenda and thus misusing them for personal gain. There’s no free lunch. As it turns out, FreeNode’s new owner (Andrew Lee) has just outed himself as a huge Donald Trump supporter who speaks of “these fuckers who stole that shit” (he meant the election, which he insists Trump actually won in 2020).



  17. IBM Handles More Removals of Signatures From Its Hate Letter Against Richard Stallman

    Less than a day ago IBM processed a request for removal (from its hate letter); as someone put it in a letter to us, also less than a day ago: “When all of this started in 2019, the Red Hat GNU developers showed off their colours. The best way to attack an organisation is from the inside. Using GNU developers was a dead giveaway. Google and Microsoft are very much on the team with IBM. I believe they’ve made headway into the Free/Libre software community and have persuaded senior Debianties to go along with them.” That same message, from an anonymous GNU maintainer, said: “The strategy to target major distributions is clear and present danger. I’m not sure what arguments of persuasion are being used, but I’m pretty sure their main tool is currency. RMS needs a lot of strategic support from experts who will rally to the Free Software cause. He needs great lawyers, some corporate minds, and intelligence specialists.” Sometimes it seems or feels like by simply buying Red Hat (the staff) IBM infiltrated the GNU Project and now it is vainly making claims like 'GNU is IBM' and thus IBM et al can command/tell the FSF who should run FSF, not only GNU. Such entryism isn’t hard to see; “An open letter in support of Richard Matthew Stallman being reinstated by the Free Software Foundation” has meanwhile garnered 6,758 signatures. The opposite letter is only decreasing in support (signatures lost).



  18. Links 20/6/2021: Debian GNU/Linux 10.10 “Buster” Released and LF Revisionism Resumes

    Links for the day



  19. The EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal Has Already Lost the Case in the Court of Public Opinion

    Personal views on the sordid state of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA), which by extension bodes poorly for the perception of independence in every Board of Appeal (BoA); the patent tribunals have been captured by patent maximalists who either stack the panels or intimidate judges into ruling in a particular way



  20. Virtual Injustice -- Part 12: Carl Josefsson – Down But Not Out!

    António Campinos still controls Josefsson, who controls all the judges, so in effect all the legal cases (including some about European software patents) are manipulated by the Office the judges are supposed to judge



  21. Links 19/6/2021: Wine 6.11 and Proton 6.3-5 RC

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, June 18, 2021



  23. Virtual Injustice -- Part 11: Perceptive Comments and Caustic Criticism

    The EPO‘s management managed to silence a lot of the critical media (handouts and threats from Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos), but silencing comments is a lot harder; though we don’t know which ones were moderated out of existence…



  24. Links 18/6/2021: Mir 2.4, ActivityWatch 0.11, Microsoft Breaks Its Own Repos

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] When the 'Court' Drops

    As the EPO sneakily outsourced courts to American companies and parties in dispute depend on their ISP for “access to justice” there’s a catastrophic impact on the very concept of justice or the right to be heard (sometimes you don’t hear anything and/or cannot be heard)



  26. The EPO's Virtual Injustice and Virtual ('News') Media

    A discussion of this morning's post (part 10 in a series) about the shallow media/blog coverage that followed or accompanied last month's notorious EPO hearing



  27. Links 18/6/2021: LibreOffice 7.2 Beta, Elementary OS 6.0 Beta 2, and Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” Beta

    Links for the day



  28. The Self-Hosting Song

    Cautionary tales about outsourcing one's systems to companies that could not care less about anyone but themselves



  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 17, 2021



  30. [Meme] Swedish Justice

    The EPO‘s patent tribunals have been mostly symbolic under the Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos regimes; giving them back their autonomy (and removing those who help Battistelli and Campinos attack their autonomy) is the only way to go now


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