10.21.17

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Anonymous Professionals Speak of Benoît Battistelli’s Destruction of the EPO, But Why Does the Media Turn a Blind Eye?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s almost as though media owners have an agenda or get paid not to care

UIMP event and FTI Consulting

Summary: Everyone in the circles of EPO staff and EPO stakeholders knows that dysfunction has become the norm; European media, however, remains suspiciously silent about what otherwise would be a major European scandal (bigger than FIFA or Dieselgate)

THERE seems to be some happiness among EPO staff knowing that the UPC is going nowhere. Nobody really wants the UPC except the people who plotted the UPC (we refer to them collectively as “Team UPC”).

Last night we wrote about an additional 2 months delay and IAM, which is close to the EPO’s management and was paid to promote the UPC, said that the “German constitutional court delays the UPC until the second half of 2018 at the earliest, but quite possibly much later.”

“Put another way,” I told them, “one must not assume that UPC is an inevitability and maintain this dangerous illusion…”

The situation at the EPO is pretty bad. We often refer back to this article from Dr. Glyn Moody, who wrote: “When asked by Ars, the EPO’s spokesperson mentioned the imminent arrival of the unitary patent system as an important reason for revising the EPO’s internal rules…”

“No appeals, no thorough examination, just lots and lots of lawsuits. This should be mortifying to anyone who understands the original (and true) purpose of patents.”Yes, a lot of what Benoît Battistelli has been doing is geared toward a litigation scenario; it’s not about patent quality anymore. No appeals, no thorough examination, just lots and lots of lawsuits. This should be mortifying to anyone who understands the original (and true) purpose of patents.

Earlier today we saw a couple of copies of a new press release [1, 2] regarding Professor Daryl Lim, who is described as an “IP Center Director”. Certainly he should know that Battistelli is a crook and the EPO is a rogue organisation, yet that doesn’t stop him from going to Munich. It says “EPO representatives will include President Benoît Battistelli and senior members of the EPO staff. Lim will also meet with members of the EPO Board of Appeals, and attend a dinner hosted by President Battistelli along with the U.S. delegation. As in past years, the agenda is expected to cover EPO initiatives and other issues of contemporary relevance to U.S. businesses and patent practice and end with a presentation of U.S. developments by the visiting delegates.”

Will these “members of the EPO Board of Appeals” have the courage to tell him what’s going on? Also, why does the US tell the EPO what to do? Who does the EPO work for or is attempting to serve?

“…why does the US tell the EPO what to do? Who does the EPO work for or is attempting to serve?”Sadly, as many people have already come to realise, Battistelli’s French successor is unlikely to turn things around. Sure, some people keep their hopes up (too optimistic in our view) and choose to believe that because the job description spoke of diplomacy António Campinos will somehow be very different and even friendly towards SUEPO. Never mind if management around Campinos will still be Team Battistelli (and historically close to Campinos), including people with criminal charges against them…

Yesterday, WIPR published this article titled “SUEPO offers olive branch to EPO management” (not that Campinos has extended anything in return; he’s totally silent on the matter and the same goes for his upcoming ‘boss’, Dr. Ernst). To quote WIPR:

A staff union at the European Patent Office (EPO) has written to António Campinos, the next president of the organisation, saying his appointment shows a desire to re-establish harmonious conditions with management.

The letter, from the Staff Union of the European Patent Office’s (SUEPO) Hague branch, was sent to all members of what is SUEPO’s second biggest unit. The Hague committee said it is “ready to embark on a road to fruitful cooperation”.

Such a cooperation is unlikely to bring back staff which was illegally dismissed or bring back to life people who were driven to suicide. Justice cannot be restored, there are no reparations anywhere over the horizon, and a lot of European media is still indebted to the EPO (which threw money its way), so it may never cover these issues properly.

“This should have been a massive scandal, but Dutch media is not covering it. The EPO dedicated a lot of money to influencing/controlling the Dutch media.”The “first steps undertaken by the current President was to remove any kind of independent oversight of the EPO’s financial dealings,” said the following comment from yesterday. We remind readers that Battistelli essentially (mis)used EPO budget to ‘bribe’ the media; some allege that he also used that money to ‘buy’ votes for himself. We may never know the true/full scale of it because there’s no financial transparency. It was also alleged that he used money destined for EPO contractors in the Netherlands in order to build himself a ‘penthouse’ in Munich [1, 2]. This should have been a massive scandal, but Dutch media is not covering it. The EPO dedicated a lot of money to influencing/controlling the Dutch media.

“Of course,” the following comment notes, “the disinterest of the media is not only unhelpful but also (especially in Germany) slightly suspicious.”

That’s an important point which is made once again later on in this thread. IP Kat is part of this problem now. Just look at the post this entire thread is attached to. It’s a puff piece for António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli. For all we know, the pseudonym “Merpel” might just be Stephen from CIPA right now. The old “Merpel” is a dead cat.

Anyway, here is the full comment:

Whilst things may look very dark indeed, I am of the opinion that perseverance will see us through. This is not based upon blind optimism but rather a recognition that, in the end, we are dealing with politicians. This means that generation and application of appropriate “political” pressure ought to be more than capable of leading to a satisfactory outcome.

The complete silence and disengagement of the UK and German delegations to the AC are obviously a barrier to generating the necessary political pressure. However, the UK and German associations of professional representatives ought to be able to do something about that. CIPA, PAK, epi: this means you! Where is your voice? Are you not obliged to defend the interests of your members here (in view of the threat to the integrity and reputation of the patent system, as well as to the business that your members do with SMEs)?

Of course, the disinterest of the media is not only unhelpful but also (especially in Germany) slightly suspicious. What is needed here is a “hook” for a story that the media can run. This is where it may help to recall that one of the first steps undertaken by the current President was to remove any kind of independent oversight of the EPO’s financial dealings. It therefore stands to reason that, if there is any “dirt” to be found, it will be uncovered by looking into in those dealings. We all know how certain sections of the media love stories about financial wrongdoing, especially within the privileged and elite world of Eurocrats.

None of this will be easy, especially for those inside of the EPO who are suffering right now (and who can be forgiven for giving up hope in the face of seemingly relentless and overwhelming force). But what we do at this critical time will determine the kind of European patent ecosphere that we will get for many decades. Do we want Europe-wide patent monopolies being handed out by an office whose governance has been completely corrupted, and where the concept of meaningful quality has been abandoned? What will happen to the economies of Europe if this continues? The stakes are simply too high to give up now.

The next comment says that the “EPO can be technically described as matching the description of a true authoritarian regime” and here’s the explanation of why (naming “Battistelli, VP4, VP5, Bergot and her management”):

your diagnostic is correct, factually what you present is right. All that happens at EPO can be technically described as matching the description of a true authoritarian regime under which violating the rights of individuals and acting rogue has become the norm. If this would happen in western EU countries the decision takers (Battistelli, VP4, VP5, Bergot and her management) would have been brought to courts and sentenced, no doubts.

This being said what will happen in the future at EPO is unknown. Nothing is carved in stone one way or another. It can be the same, better even worse.

Currently it seems that the public (IP media at least) seems to start realising that Germany (via the excellent Dr Ernst) is selling the EPO in exchange for a soon-to-become-available-VP5-position-at-epo (in which he will probably double his income).

Public interests some said in the room ? very drole.

What will Campinos do? perhaps follow the path of Battistelli perhaps also not. We should not charge him as guilty before he has even arrived at EPO. We know who he is and what he did but not what he will do.

Future will tell, soon. Do not forget that Campinos will also have to live with Battistelli’s toxic legacy and it is likely that more social casualties happen when he arrives since the camel’s back is close to broken and the number of strained staff far too high for too long (do not forget that suicide nr 7th was avoided 3 weeks ago in The Hague).

At some point (suicide nr 8, 9, 15 perhaps) they will have to do something. The terrible thing is both the apathy of EPO staff most of whom live in denial (maybe as a form of protection but still) and that of middle management (always prone to follow orders no matter how noxious HR policies may be).

As as to the quality of patent: well no one cares so why should you !

“Also,” says the next comment, “the disappearing presumption of validity of EPO grants is something that suits Big Corp.”

This is about patent quality (or lack thereof) and what it means for SMEs:

The itinerant (citizen of nowhere) and sociopathic volume users of the EPO, the multi-national corporations, the Global Titans, they pay virtually no taxes anywhere. So, of course, the EPC Member States tax them through EPO fees.

Big Corp is happy to pay. Those outrageous EPO fees deter the pesky SME’s from filing.

Also the disappearing presumption of validity of EPO grants is something that suits Big Corp. It renders it all but impossible for an SME to use a patent against a volume user.

Also labour rights at the EPO. Sociopaths don’t give a fig about any abuses.

So what to expect from the AC, the new Chair and the new EPO President? More of the same, as you surmise. Proud to be European? Not so much, these days. Will nobody in a position of responsibility defend any longer human rights and the Rule of Law? Or do we have to lose these precious things before we realise what we have squandered?

“I am proud to be member of SUEPO,” the next comment says in relation to SUEPO’s approach to Campinos:

Article about the official position of SUEPO on the election of Mr Campinos

http://patentblog.kluweriplaw.com/2017/10/19/heavy-task-lies-ahead-of-antonio-campinos-as-future-epo-president/

As one will see the Battistelli’s legacy Mr Campinos will have to deal with is heavy and toxic. This being as a professional social partner SUEPO shows here what can be qualified as a pragmatic and reasonable approach: first pose a diagnosis, then indicate possible ways to mitigate and most of all give Campinos the benefit of the doubt as to his intentions and future actions.

Thanks for having had the guts to take such position under the current circumstances. I am proud to be member of SUEPO.

Again the media gets brought up: “disinterest of the media is more than slightly suspicious. Journalists who wrote about the EPO were changed posts.”

This is partly true and we know of examples. We know of people who used to cover EPO scandals and got in trouble with the publisher/editor (they told us about it).

Here is the full comment:

The disinterest of the media is more than slightly suspicious. Journalists who wrote about the EPO were changed posts.

As to what will happen to the economies of Europe, we know from what happened to the economy of the USA 10-15 years ago. Small and medium enterprises disappeared, the economy concentrated into an ever dwindling number of hands and production of goods moved to China. Then they elected Trump. Patents are only a little part of that story of course and yes, it is worth fighting for, but how? And what are we exactly fighting against?

Battistelli is a freemason, just look at the ring he wears. Did you know that Campinos is a freemason as well?

We don’t want to entertain that sort of aspect. Some anonymous commenters say that the next President of the EPO is “a freemason as well” as Battistelli, but all we know about Battistelli is that he’s ENA — by insiders’ estimation a vastly more powerful network than “freemasonry” or whatever (the French President, for example, is also from ENA). We were told about this several years ago. This sort of angle was further entertained in the next comment:

It is perhaps possible that the involvement of freemasonry can provide an explanation for some of the curious things that have happened in (or in connection with) the EPO. However, that is no reason to get disheartened. There is a difficulty faced by any organisation that tries (covertly) to manipulate events against the public interest. That is, there are more of “us” than there are of “them”… meaning that, ultimately, “they” cannot keep a determined “us” down.

Then came a sobering pinch of salt:

I realise, Pink, one must be cautious about “conspiracy theories” but on the subject of the USA you have to wonder about some of the provisions implemented in the AIA, and whether they benefit Big Corp or the SME’s.

Consider for example what constitutes the prior art.

Everything unpublished at the date of the claim, but filed earlier, anywhere in the world, in whatever language, is available for both novelty and obviousness attacks on that claim. Everything, that is, except your own earlier filings. They are exempt.

Thus, bulk filers, the Goliaths of the patent world, can build up impenetrable thickets of overlapping patent rights.

And Little David? Everything he files gets whacked as obvious by all the stuff the volume filers filed already, right up to one day before.

How long before the EPC Member States change the EPC in the same way, at the behest of the lobbyists?

Has it not started already. Consider: Prof Dr Willem Hoyng, that very prominent patent litigator, is saying that Art 54(3) has to be strengthened, its scope widened, to embrace more than strict novelty.

The above speaks of AIA — a subject we intend to cover later this weekend.

All in all, we urge readers to spot the sharp difference/contrast between this IP Kat post and the comments. It’s like the media simply does not care about what’s true anymore; it was almost always the case as far as UPC goes. Now it’s the same when it comes to the EPO.

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