12.29.17

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Battistelli Becomes Judge Corcoran’s (Almost) Direct Boss and People Doubt He Will Last Long

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

French EPO

Summary: The French-dominated (Team Battistelli) DG1 will soon ‘boss’ Patrick Corcoran, which means Battistelli can retaliate against him as early as next week if not later

THINGS get even worse at the EPO. On December 12th we presented the claim that seemed inevitable – the claim that Judge Corcoran would be transfered to DG1, bossed by Team Battistelli (we already covered the controversial changes made in this DG against common sense and in spite of many warnings). Two days later we wrote about it again. It seems to be almost a confirmed fact, but it took another 8 days for that to happen (when most people are already away on holiday and not able to pay much attention, certainly not journalists).

According to this new comment (hours old), “as feared, Mr Corcoran received notification of his transfer to DG1 on 22 December 2017, the last working day of the year.”

“Corcoran and his wife are in a limbo in Munich. Their lives must have been in disarray with all this uncertainty, defamation, and sheer injustice (ironically directed at an actual judge).”“The Boards are thus trully [sic] independent,” the commenter added sarcastically. It’s very much believable even though the comment is anonymous. We heard similar things from other sources. Remember that, effective a few days from now, long-term contracts are over; this means that Corcoran can be fired by Battistelli (indirectly, by his French loyalists and old friends whom he put in control). It’s beyond farcical. Even the next President is French and close to Battistelli.

But what is the broader significance of it? The appeal boards have absolutely no independence; worse — they can be legally bullied, potentially into personal bankruptcy (with their salary halved and having to pay hefty legal bills in two countries where they don't speak the local dialect). Corcoran and his wife are in a limbo in Munich. Their lives must have been in disarray with all this uncertainty, defamation, and sheer injustice (ironically directed at an actual judge).

Such is the shambolic state of the EPO. UPC would seem like an utter joke under such circumstances. Would someone like Battistelli and a bunch of dependent judges (with a dubious nomination and contract renewal procedure) looking into low-quality patents be a trusted system EU-wide? Of course not. And see the next new comment, which alludes also to the EPC (routinely violated by Battistelli while the AC nods in approval):

If you are engaged in a collusive conspiracy with the President of the Office to circumvent the provisions of the EPC you are hardly likely to leave any “publicly available documentation” lying around.

The members of the EBA are fully aware of the situation but they will keep mum because they know that their appointing authority can suspend them ad infinitum with the mere flick of a wrist.

Another question: what authority does the AC have to overrule (or to permit the President to ignore) a decision of the Enlarged Board? I cannot see anything in the EPC that grants the AC such sweeping powers.

An excellent question.
But more to the point: I cannot see anything in the EPC that could be used to call the AC to account if it decides to do what it likes … apart from the legal route to Geneva and the EBA is unlikely to try this for the reasons indicated above.

The case of Corcoran represents a larger picture and symbolises the erosion of EPO order, much like the dismissal of staff representatives. The closest thing to it can be found nowhere in Germany; try Ankara instead.

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