06.14.18

Gemini version available ♊︎

Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald and Vossius & Partner Find the Courage to Express Concerns About Battistelli’s Ugly Legacy and Low Patent Quality

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A brown envelope

Summary: The astounding levels of abuse at the EPO have caused some of the EPO’s biggest stakeholders to speak out and lash out, condemning the Office for mismanagement amongst other things

THE EUROPEAN Patent Office, EPO, is in a very bad state because many talented examiners are no longer there and the Office struggles to recruit talent. Money can buy some reputation, but it cannot bury a legacy of pure evil from Battistelli. Applicants (for patents and jobs) understand, more or less at least, what’s going on.

There’s only half a month for the crook to still ‘lead’ (i.e. destroy) the Office before his ‘child’ António Campinos takes over. Insiders say that Campinos intends to change pretty much nothing. Team Battistelli will remain in tact, protected by Herrnst (Ernst) and the rest of the Administrative Council.

Thankfully, some stakeholders have — dare we say! — “unionised” against the Office and have put forth a letter. António Campinos too has received the relatively strongly-worded letter, warning about the damage Battistelli caused (without specifically mentioning Battistelli). A copy of the letter was also sent to Battistelli and Herrnst (Ernst), his ‘boss’ who did pretty much nothing over the past year, at times even openly denying the decline in patent quality. Remember that EPO staff (about a thousand of them) already admitted a massive decline in patent quality — a monumental effort to speak about it without risk of retribution.

Leading German patent law firms grew tired of the abusive and corrupt administration; we appreciate that, but why did they wait until a fortnight before Battistelli leaves? Is Campinos the main target audience of this letter? He’s indebted to Battistelli who gave him the job (or cemented the candidacy), so we very much doubt it’ll have an effect on him. “Each year our law firms file more than 9500 patent applications with the EPO,” said the authors of the letter. Will they consider reducing that as deterrence against the EPO’s bad policies? They make some solid points; for example, the fifth point: “If the users of the European system gain the impression that granted EP patents cannot be relied upon anymore due to insufficient search and examination, the users may increasingly be discouraged from filing European patents. This might unhinge the entire patent system.”

They also say “in contrast to an industrial company, we cannot see why the profit of the EPO needs to be increased beyond the level of self-funding.”

Don’t worry, Battistelli pockets the spare cash.

Here’s Kluwer Patent Blog’s introduction to the letter, which it posted this morning:

Four leading patent law firms in Germany – Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald and Vossius & Partner – have published an open letter expressing ‘great concern’ about the developments at the European Patent Office, particularly ‘the modifications to the incentive systems for the examination of patent applications’.

The ‘overreaching desire for high productivity’ has led to a series of problems, according to the letter, which is directed to outgoing EPO president Benoit Battistelli, the chairman of the Administrative Council Christoph Ernst, principal director user support & quality management Niclas Morey and future EPO president Antonio Campinos (who will start in office on 1 July 2018).

Among others, the firms write that when ‘the aim is to terminate proceedings as quickly as possible (…), the quality of the search and examination of applications must suffer’. The rather high fees, moreover, ‘can only be justified by giving the examiners sufficient time for an indepth assessment of each single application’. Patents with an erroneous scope of protection distort and hinder economic competition and might unhinge the patent system, they write.

More broadly, the law firms question the enormous financial reserves of the European Patent Office, amounting to 2.300.000.000 euros, 650 million euros to fund the pension scheme not included: ‘in contrast to an industrial company, we cannot see why the profit of the EPO needs to be increased beyond the level of self-funding. From our perspective, the high surplus is rather an indication that the fees are too high and that a further, problematic increase of productivity is not appropriate.’

The full text of the letter is published below.

SUEPO has already taken note of this letter and the first comment says: “I can only applaud the companies involved in writing this letter. I could not agree more with the concerns that it expresses. I can only hope that the incoming president realises that the concerns expressed cannot be easily dismissed… not least because the unprecedented nature of the letter indicates that the authors must be very concerned indeed.”

SUEPO then gets mentioned by “Save the EPO from destruction,” whose message says:

MANY THANKS for this brilliant initiative.

By the way the content of the letter could be taken up by SUEPO as-is!

Indeed SUEPO (which represents half of EPO staff) denounced since years (so far to no avail) the dangers of Battistelli’s policies (for both the quality of the patents delivered as well as on health of staff)…

and the Administrative Council remain passive.

It is 5 to 12.

In a few weeks, Mr Campinos will arrive in an exhausted office which cannot continue on this path much longer before collapsing.

Let’s hope that Mr Campinos will understand the poisonous legacy he inherits from his predecessor and in particular, that he has to be very cautious with the teams in place who are directly responsible for this debacle (in particular in HR, and DG1) since something must be done asap to restore both the social atmosphere, the reputation of the EPO AND the quality of the work performed.

Where were these law firms 4 years ago when SUEPO sounded the alarm? Or when the EPO banned (blocked) our site, in effect attempting to muzzle its own whistleblowers? This corrupt EPO management has killed the goose for a few remaining golden eggs; work is (pretty soon) running out, which means that the Office is imploding (with layoffs still expected). We have thus far found only one article about it. IPPro Patents wrote:

Four German law firms have penned an open letter to the European Patent Office (EPO), expressing “great concern” over recent developments at the EPO, specifically the ever-increasing work targets at the office.

The law firms Grünecker, Hoffmann Eitle, Maiwald, and Vossius & Partner wrote that “the incentive systems and internal directives appear to be increasingly directed towards rewarding or even requesting rapid ‘termination’ of proceedings and a correspondingly higher productivity”.

The letter said that this has resulted in penalisation of detailed and thorough assessment of cases.

It said that while the law firms do appreciate the increased speed, such “overreaching desire” for high productivity has led to a range of problems, including issues of quality, scope of protection and inadequately assessed patents.

Now is the time to carefully check which so-called ‘IP’ site covers the matter (letter) and which ones deliberately ignore it like IP Kat (controlled by Team UPC elements and patent maximalists nowadays).

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 21, 2021



  2. Links 21/10/2021: MX Linux 21 and Git Contributors’ Summit in a Nutshell

    Links for the day



  3. [Meme] [Teaser] Miguel de Icaza on CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Our ongoing series, which is very long, will shed much-needed light on GitHub and its goals (the dark side is a lot darker than people care to realise)



  4. Gemini Protocol and Gemini Space Are Not a Niche; for Techrights, Gemini Means Half a Million Page Requests a Month

    Techrights on gemini:// has become very big and we’ll soon regenerate all the pages (about 37,500 of them) to improve clarity, consistency, and general integrity



  5. 'Satellite States' of EPO Autocrats

    Today we look more closely at how Baltic states were rendered 'voting fodder' by large European states, looking to rubber-stamp new and oppressive measures which disempower the masses



  6. [Meme] Don't Mention 'Brexit' to Team UPC

    It seems perfectly clear that UPC cannot start, contrary to what the EPO‘s António Campinos told the Council last week (lying, as usual) and what the EPO insinuates in Twitter; in fact, a legal challenge to this should be almost trivial



  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States

    How unlawful EPO rules were unsurprisingly supported by Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in Baltic states; António Campinos maintained those same unlawful rules and Baltic connections, in effect liaising with offices known for their corruption (convicted officials, too; they did not have diplomatic immunity, unlike Battistelli and Campinos)



  8. Links 21/10/2021: GIMP 2.99.8 Released, Hardware Shortages, Mozilla Crisis

    Links for the day



  9. How Oppressive Governments and Web Monopolists Might Try to Discourage Adoption of Internet Protocols Like Gemini

    Popular movements and even some courageous publications have long been subverted by demonisation tactics, splits along unrelated grounds (such as controversial politics) and — failing that — technical sabotage and censorship; one must familiarise oneself with commonly-recurring themes of social control by altercation



  10. [Meme] Strike Triangulations, Reception Issues

    Financial strangulations for Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations”? The EPO will come to regret 2013…



  11. [Meme] Is Saying “No!” to Unlawful Proposals Considered “Impolite”?

    A ‘toxic mix’ of enablers and cowards (who won’t vote negatively on EPO proposals which they know to be unlawful) can serve to show that the EPO isn’t a “social democracy” as Benoît Battistelli liked to call it; it’s just a dictatorship, currently run by the son of a person who actually fought dictatorship



  12. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 20, 2021



  13. [Meme] EPO Legal Sophistry and Double Dipping

    An imaginary EPO intercept of Administrative Council discussions in June 2013...



  14. Links 21/10/2021: PostgreSQL JDBC 42.3.0 and Maui Report

    Links for the day



  15. [Meme] [Teaser] “Judge a Person Both by His Friends and Enemies”

    Fervent supporters of Team Battistelli or Team Campinos (a dark EPO era) are showing their allegiances; WIPO and EPO have abused staff similarly over the past decade or so



  16. 'Cluster-Voting' in the European Patent Office/Organisation (When a Country With 1.9 Million Citizens Has the Same Voting Power as a Country With 83.1 Million Citizens)

    Today we examine who has been running the Finnish patent office and has moreover voted in the EPO during the ballot on unlawful "Strike Regulations"; they voted in favour of manifestly illegal rules and for 8.5 years after that (including last Wednesday) they continued to back a shady regime which undermines the EPO's mission statement



  17. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki's Accord

    The Finnish outpost has long been strategic to the EPO because it can help control the vote of four or more nations; evidence suggests this has not changed



  18. [Meme] Living as a Human Resource, Working for Despots

    The EPO has become a truly awful place/employer to work for; salary is 2,000 euros for some (despite workplace stress, sometimes relocation to a foreign country)



  19. Links 20/10/2021: New Redcore Linux and Hospital Adoption of GNU Health

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 19, 2021



  21. Links 19/10/2021: Karanbir Singh Leaves CentOS Board, GPL Violations at Vizio

    Links for the day



  22. [Meme] Giving the Knee

    The 'knee' champion Kratochvìl and 'kneel' champion Erlingsdóttir are simply crushing the law; they’re ignoring the trouble of EPO staff and abuses of the Office, facilitated by the Council itself (i.e. facilitated by themselves)



  23. Josef Kratochvìl Rewarded Again for Covering Up EPO Corruption and the EPO Bribes the Press for Lies Whilst Also Lying About Its Colossal Privacy Violations

    Corrupt officials and officials who actively enable the crimes still control the Office and also the body which was supposed to oversee it; it's pretty evident and clear judging by this week's press statements at the EPO's official Web site



  24. [Meme] Sorry, Wrong Country (Or: Slovenia isn't Great Britain)

    Team UPC is trying to go ahead with a total hoax which a high-level European court would certainly put an end to (if or when a referral is initiated)



  25. How Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden Voted on Patently Unlawful Regulations at the EPO

    We look back and examine what happened 8 years ago when oppressed staff was subjected to unlawful new “regulations” (long enjoyed by António Campinos, the current EPO autocrat)



  26. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc

    We start our investigation of how countries in northern Europe ended up voting on the unlawful “Strike Regulations” at the EPO and why



  27. Proof That Windows “11” is a Hoax

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  28. Firefox Becomes as Morally Reprehensible as Apple, Facebook, or Uber

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  29. Links 19/10/2021: GNU dbm 1.22 and Godot 3.4 RC 1

    Links for the day



  30. [Meme] [Teaser] GitHub an Expensive and Dangerous Trap (Also: Misogyny Hub)

    The ongoing Microsoft GitHub exposé will give people compelling reasons to avoid GitHub, which is basically just a subsidised (at a loss) trap


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