10.12.17

Patent Quality at the EPO (European Patents) is Slipping While Battistelli’s Office Boasts “Expansion of Early Certainty” (Even Worse)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Down graph

Summary: The EPO is staring down the abyss as high-level EPO management, quite frankly as usual, looks for new ways to further exacerbate patent quality (for superficial gains in the number of granted patents) rather than improve it

THE EPO will likely have been broken — even beyond repair — when Campinos takes over. In fact, estimates suggest large-scale layoffs are to start next year. This is coming from insiders.

“In fact, a fairly recent survey showed that 0% among surveyed stakeholders wanted Battistelli to stay.”“European Patent Office staff rep blames prez for ‘slipping quality’” is the latest headline of an article from Kieren McCarthy, who is in San Francisco and writes for British media. EPO stakeholders are already aware of the slipping quality and some speak out about it. So to attribute this claim only to “European Patent Office staff rep” may, in some sense, miss the broader picture. Battistelli can lie about patent quality all he wants — as he habitually does — but people don’t trust Battistelli. In fact, a fairly recent survey showed that 0% among surveyed stakeholders wanted Battistelli to stay. The EPO soon lied about this survey from Juve, spinning it to look like it showed support the the EPO’s current leadership. Lying has become a way of life for the EPO. It’s not even funny.

To quote McCarthy:

And then, raising the takes further, the rep raised a taboo topic that has most upset staff in recent years: the deaths of their colleagues from work-related stress.

“Psycho-social risks are rising,” the rep noted. “Only ten days ago, the Dutch police had to come into the [EPO's Netherlands offices] to prevent a seventh suicide. The staff representative wishes the social dialogue. We would like to see a new President who is committed to social dialogue.”

The intervention comes at an extraordinary time for the organization: its former chairman, who was a fervent supporter of Battistelli, unexpectedly quit in July and was replaced at the meeting with critic Christoph Ernst.

More significantly, a new president for the organization – António Campinos – was chosen. Campinos will take over from Battistelli on July 1, 2018 after Battistelli’s term comes to an end.

Clearly, the staff felt now was the time to try to force a cultural change on the organization, and the plea from the staff rep was backed up by yet another demonstration by EPO staff outside the headquarters in .

A flyer advertising the demo listed no less than 14 reasons why people should join the protest, including the dismissal of three staff representatives by Battistelli, the blatant distortion of the organization’s appeals systems (which have been repeatedly criticized by national parliaments and the International Labor Organization), “ever-increasing production targets”, and unfair “continuous reforms.”

[...]

Meanwhile, the EPO is being investigated by the European Court of Human Rights for how it has treated staff. The EPO claims it is not beholden to the laws of the countries in which it is based – Germany, Austria, Belgium, and the Netherlands – because of its status as an international organization.

And the long-planned Unitary Patent Court (UPC) is on hold in part because reforms imposed by Battistelli that have undermined the EPO’s independence.

Things get a little interesting in the comments. Battistelli has not much experience in this domain and people do notice this. As we pointed out before, only in his mid-fifties was he introduced to this domain, which probably makes him less experienced than even yours truly. I have been writing about this topic for longer than Battistelli was in this domain.

“Sadly, the comments thread has been derailed by anonymous provocateurs or what looks like it could be EPO PR agents/trolls.”Battistelli, apparently, just knows how to break things in his authoritarian fashion — an ENA specialty as some would rightly allege.

Sadly, the comments thread has been derailed by anonymous provocateurs or what looks like it could be EPO PR agents/trolls. They try to paint ‘spoiled’ staff as the problem, totally deflecting from the original subject, which is deterioration in patent quality.

Battistelli has wasted millions of Euros (stakeholders’ money) glorifying himself and laundering his image. What we have among the first few comments is a reference to his exceptionally air-brushed Wikipedia page:

According to his Wikipedia article, he was a civil servant of some significance for about 22 years and then spent the years from 2004 onwards in high ranking positions in intellectual property organisations, in the french national organisation and then the EPO. So, on paper he seems to be an ideal person for the job.

I wonder why he seems to have ‘gone freaky’ at the EPO.

People who base their judgment of Battistelli based on some short Wikipedia page are part of the problem. The man is already spending a fortune (not his own money) on PR firms that also work for fracking companies.

The next comments say stuff about the staff. Total deflection.

“People who base their judgment of Battistelli based on some short Wikipedia page are part of the problem.”The EPO would say anything to distract from the scandal and barely even attempt to refute reports (for fear it might draw attention to these reports). For example, the SMEs nonsense was repeated again yesterday. The EPO tries hard to distract from the fact that it actively discriminates against SMEs, just like it actively tries to pretend that patent quality is high.

Yesterday it also wrote: “Patent appeal oral proceedings will be held from now on at this address” (in Haar; Battistelli 'punished' judges for daring to do their job, but the EPO won’t publicly admit this).

Battistelli sending judges to exile for daring to show patent quality at the EPO has decreased? Yes, sounds like a real hallmark of ‘leadership’. Maybe in a Sultanate.

Latest example of the judges doing their job is this case of Nike and Adidas, which somehow now deal with patents rather than branding. To quote this new report (“EPO board confirms Nike patent revocation in Adidas dispute”): “Adidas had opposed the patent, EP 1 746 909, which protects a garment with “zones of different air permeability which are to be determined using a certain measurement device”, according to Adidas’s representative Bardehle Pagenberg.”

“Battistelli sending judges to exile for daring to show patent quality at the EPO has decreased? Yes, sounds like a real hallmark of ‘leadership’. Maybe in a Sultanate.”And EP 1 746 909 is, indeed, invalid. But there’s not much more coverage of it. It’s like the media barely cares. Just like it barely cares about WIPO's abuses and even deaths.

Speaking of patent quality, yesterday the EPO tweeted about “this year’s 2nd Online Services User Day in Prague,” linking to its Web site. (epo.org link)

“A new approach to filing at the EPO with DOCX format,” one of the headings says. “How to file in DOCX format,” it says further down. For those who don’t know, DOCX is the file suffix of OOXML, which involved plenty of Microsoft corruption; we wrote many hundreds of articles about that a decade ago.

“As insiders repeatedly explain, telling whether an application will be successful before even studying prior art (and the likes of it) is truly bizarre.”Further down it speaks of “Industry 4.0 and its impact on the patent system”; it has long been a codeword for things like software patents and general expansion of patent scope using buzzwords (like “Industry 4.0″, which is itself a meaningless marketing term).

Scroll down a bit more and find further evidence of lowering patent quality. “The expansion of Early Certainty” is a session’s title. As insiders repeatedly explain, telling whether an application will be successful before even studying prior art (and the likes of it) is truly bizarre. It’s like tentatively giving a job applicant a job, before even a job interview.

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/2017/10/12/epo-expansion-of-early-certainty/

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