03.10.17

After EPO Sanctions Against IP Kat (Censorship of More Than 10,000 Articles) Even Merpel Throws in the Towel

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

War on journalism and even on blogs

EFF bloggers

Summary: For gagging purposes, the EPO has been threatening both journalists and bloggers, hoping to induce self-censorship; this appears to have worked against IP Kat

THE EPO scandals used to be regularly mentioned and talked about at IP Kat (not just when promoting the UPC, as it last did earlier this week).

Several people we speak to have long wondered about the silence on EPO scandals. The last blog post about it was a two-part series several months back and prior to that in the summer of 2016. What happened around that time? Last year in June the EPO engaged in collective punishment against anyone affiliated with the site. All blog posts (ever!) got censored. Just like that!

“Last year in June the EPO engaged in collective punishment against anyone affiliated with the site. All blog posts (ever!) got censored. Just like that!”Techrights has been censored for a number of years by EPO and the reason they gave for this bears a legally-charged term, “defamation” (as if they intend to sue us any time). But we’re far from giving up; all of these developments make us ever more eager to cover it more ferociously, as there is clearly a need for it (need for information in the age of pervasive terror and darkness in the transparency/secrecy sense).

This morning Merpel wrote a final post about the EPO. In it, Merpel agrees that quality of patents obviously nosedived*, putting in jeopardy many companies all across Europe (these patents can be weaponised against those who cannot afford a legal fight, i.e. justice). Even those that fight back against EPs are not guaranteed safety. As a case of point, consider this new promotional ‘article’ about (or from) a company that goes around demanding payments from many companies. It has just had a patent upheld by the EPO, at an era when appeals are too expensive, too rushed, and enjoying no independence from the wrath of Battistelli (by the appeal boards' own admission, which they openly state even in the EPO's site, not just AMBA's). “Innovations4Flooring (I4F) reports that it has won a European Patent Office (EPO) opposition case against the Unilin group,” says the ‘article’. Innovations4Flooring sounds like a classic name for a patent troll or a company that is centered around patents, not products, but let’s leave that aside for now…

“Things started to be quiet on this topic after IP Kat had been sanctioned by the EPO.”“Most of the damage,” Merpel writes, “has now been done with many of the harmful changes already implemented. Several of SUEPO’s committee have stepped down, and now Merpel feels the time is right for her to do the same. She has many other calls on her time, and now she wishes to spend some more time with her kittens. She will from time to time write about other matters, but she will no longer be covering the situation at the EPO. ”

This is sad. Things started to be quiet on this topic after IP Kat had been sanctioned by the EPO. Prior to that, the EPO sent quite a few threatening letters (based on the fact their letter to me had the wrong name, as shown here before), probably to reporters too, not just to hobby bloggers like us. It wasn’t the first time either; it was done even in the early days of Battistelli. One mustn’t forget how the EPO responded to BR, or Bavarian TV, after local television said the truth about at least some of the suicides (blaming the EPO). All that legal aggression strives to make it inconvenient, costly, and maybe even scary to write negatively about the EPO. We’ve heard about publishers/editors who got cold feet over it.

Is this why Merpel has been quiet? We’re not sure, but certainly there may be an element of “chilling effect” after the EPO engaged in collective censorship against not only Merpel but also her colleagues.

“In spite of approximately 40% of the comments in the blog being about EPO scandals (and that is in spite of IP Kat never writing articles about it anyway), nobody among the writers seems willing to touch the subject anymore.”The first comment on Merpel’s post says it all really: “So a European IP blog is no longer going to be covering one of, if not the, biggest ongoing issues in IP in Europe? Or is somebody else other than Merpel going to start covering the crisis at the EPO for the IPKat?”

Well, the other person who occasionally wrote about it has already retired (end of 2015). It’s hard to think of anyone else in that blog who is familiar enough with these matters to properly cover them. EPO workers are not likely to trust such people enough to send them information, either.

In spite of approximately 40% of the comments in the blog being about EPO scandals (and that is in spite of IP Kat never writing articles about it anyway), nobody among the writers seems willing to touch the subject anymore. It’s what gave the blog the biggest readership ever. Now it’s all just buried. Cui bono? Benoît Battistelli. Is The Register next on the EPO’s “SLAPP list”?
____
* Covered here in four articles so far:

  1. EPO Record Low on Quality of European Patents (EPs) in 2016
  2. The European Patent Office is Wasting Its Already Limited Budget on Misleading Press Releases/Paid-for Coverage That Overlook Sharp Decline in Patent Quality
  3. Latest EPO ‘Results’ Should be Grounds for Immediate Dismissal of Battistelli Rather Than Celebrations
  4. ‘Evil Tongues’ Inside and Outside the EPO Explain Why Battistelli’s 2016 ‘Results’ Are Bad While the Media Mindlessly Repeats EPO Management’s Talking Points
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/2017/03/10/epo-gagging-blogs/

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 4/8/2021: More IBM Downtimes and Firefox Losing Many Users

    Links for the day



  2. Links 3/8/2021: DeaDBeeF 1.8.8, CrossOver 21, AMD and Valve Hook Up for GNU/Linux Work

    Links for the day



  3. Links 3/8/2021: LibreOffice Autoupdater and Vulkan in X-Plane

    Links for the day



  4. How the News About 'Linux' Gets Manipulated to Spread FUD and Promote the Competition of GNU/Linux

    We quickly examine the sorts of news one gets from Google 'News' when searching for “Linux” and we conclude that real news is occluded or missing



  5. The EPO is Europe's Largest Scale Scam (by Far the Largest)

    In another fine instance of deja vu, the biggest scammers are warning everybody else about lesser “scammers”; one might be tempted to call this “projection tactics” or deflection (staring at the mirror) which helps churn/flood the "news" section with tons of recycled old fluff (they could certainly use a distraction right now)



  6. Links 3/8/2021: Raspberry Pi ‘WeatherClock’ and IPFire 2.27 - Core Update 159

    Links for the day



  7. IBM's Attack on the Community and on GPL/FSF is an Attack on Red Hat's Greatest Asset

    Ever since IBM bought Red Hat it has repeatedly attacked the FSF (in a malicious and personified fashion), looking for its own ‘copyright grab’ whilst outsourcing loads of code to proprietary software monopolisers who attack the GPL; by doing so, IBM is destroying the value of what it paid more than 30 billion dollars for (IBM is governed by pretentious fools, according to IBM insiders; they’ve already lost Red Hat’s longtime CEO and IBM’s new President), so it’s falling back on openwashing of IBM's proprietary software with help from the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation



  8. Four Weeks of Non-Compliance: EPO Only Accepts Courts That It Rigs and Controls

    Compliance is for suckers, believes the “Mafia” which runs the EPO; it is not even responding (for three weeks!) to letters from the victims who won the cases; this is bad for Europe's image and it sets a dangerous precedent



  9. Seven Eleven: 11 is to 10 What 7 Was to Vista

    Microsoft is, as usual, aggressively manipulating/bribing the media (hyping up a shallow version inflation along with paid-for vapourware advertising) while strong-arming the market; there’s no other way they can compete anymore



  10. IRC Proceedings: Monday, August 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, August 02, 2021



  11. Links 3/8/2021: Nitrux 1.5.1 and Gerbera Media Server 1.9.0

    Links for the day



  12. Links 2/8/2021: XEyes 1.2 and Fwupd 1.6.2 Released

    Links for the day



  13. Freenode is IRC... in Collapse

    Freenode is now down to just 13,194 online users, which makes it the 6th biggest IRC network. Months ago it was #1 with almost 6 times as many users as those below it. The graph above shows what the latest blunder has done (another massive drop in less than a week, with a poem and the all-time chart at the very bottom).



  14. Barrier and Synergy Can Work Together, Connecting Lots of Different Machines

    Barrier and Synergy can be configured to work properly in conjunction, though only provided different port numbers (non-default) are specified; in my current setup I have two computers to my right, working over Barrier, and two older ones on the left, working over Synergy; the video explains the setup and the underlying concepts



  15. Links 2/8/2021: Open Science in France and Zoom Pays to Settle Privacy Violations

    Links for the day



  16. It Almost Feels Like Battistelli Still Runs the EPO (by Extension/Proxy)

    The "Mafia" that destroyed the EPO is still being put in charge and is using the EPO for shameless self-promotion; it is never being held accountable, not even when courts demand remediatory action and staff seeks reparations



  17. [Meme] Vichyite Battistelli Committed Crimes and His Buddy António Snubs Courts That Confirm These Are Crimes

    Staff of the EPO is coming to realise (or reaching acceptance of the fact) that the spirit of Battistelli — not just people he left in charge of the EPO — dooms the Office and there’s no way out of this mess



  18. Links 2/8/2021: Linux 5.14 RC4 and 20% Growth in Steam

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, August 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, August 01, 2021



  20. Links 1/8/2021: LibreOffice 7.2 RC2 and Lakka 3.3

    Links for the day



  21. Was Microsoft Ever First in the Market?

    Confronting the false belief that Microsoft ever innovates anything of significance or is "first" in some market/s



  22. Links 1/8/2021: 4MLinux 37.0, IBM Fluff, and USMCA Update

    Links for the day



  23. Microsoft Knows That When Shareholders Realise Azure Has Failed the Whole Boat Will Sink

    The paranoia at Microsoft is well justified; they've been lying to shareholders to inflate share prices and they don't really deliver the goods, just false hopes and unfulfilled promises



  24. [Meme] Nobody and Nothing Harms Europe's Reputation Like the EPO Does

    Europe’s second-largest institution, the EPO, has caused severe harm/damage to Europe’s economy and reputation; its attacks on the courts and on justice itself (even on constitutions in the case of UPC — another attempt to override the law and introduce European software patents) won’t be easily forgotten; SUEPO has meanwhile (on Saturday, link at the bottom in German) reminded people that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have driven away the EPO’s most valuable workers or moral compass



  25. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 31, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, July 31, 2021



  26. [Meme] When it Comes to Server Share, Microsoft Azure is Minuscule (But Faking It)

    Don't believe the lies told by Microsoft's charlatans and frauds; Azure has been a total failure and that's why there are layoffs as well



  27. [Meme] Mozilla Has Turned From Technical to Marketing

    Way back, long before Mozilla and Firefox got hijacked by politics (turning Mozilla into a VPN reseller that lies about its stance on privacy), geeks were driving the company, not corporate lawyers and spying/marketing people



  28. Over 1,500 (Known/Unorphaned) Gemini Capsules and Over 160,000 Page Requests in gemini.techrights.org During July

    Techrights is expanding at gemini:// (Gemini space) and over 1,500 capsules are reported to have been found (less than 4 months ago it was about 1,000)



  29. Links 31/7/2021: Kernel Additions and Linux Mint 20.3 Release Date

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft Azure Stagnating

    Reprinted with permission from Mitchel Lewis, former Microsoft employee


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