07.17.18

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Time for the European Commission to Investigate EPO Corruption Because It May be Partly or Indirectly Connected to EU-IPO, an EU Agency

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Background: Fresh Allegations That the Belgian EPO Delegation is Compromised or in Cahoots With Benoît Battistelli

Wins the bid

Summary: The passage of the top role at the EU-IPO from António Campinos to Christian Archambeau would damage confidence in the moral integrity of the European Council; back room deals are alleged to have occurred, implicating corrupt Battistelli

IN THE UNITED STATES one office deals both with patents and trademarks. The USPTO also falls/rests under the wing of the government and isn’t enjoying diplomatic immunity. The EPO is an inherently different and rather bizarre creature. It’s the creation of an old treaty, which isn’t even being respected anymore (the EPC).

Then there’s the EU-IPO (or EUIPO), which deals with trademarks. It renamed itself a few years ago and it is now more apparent that it’s an EU body.

Based on yesterday’s sole tweet from the EPO (it’s very unusual for the EPO to post just one tweet in a whole day; the average is about 10), it looks like the EPO has begun doing ‘ads’ for the EU-IPO (where the new EPO President, António Campinos, came from just 2.5 weeks ago). To make matters even more awkward, patents and trademarks are advertised in tandem, for the first time in a very long time. We never saw this before. “Trade marks can add value to patents and extend protection beyond the life of the patent,” they wrote.

What a bizarre thing to say. Trademarks are very different from patents. Very different. The comparison is therefore rather bizarre, unless perhaps they allude to design patents alone.

“The EPO is an inherently different and rather bizarre creature. It’s the creation of an old treaty, which isn’t even being respected anymore (the EPC).”We are meanwhile trying to make sense of what Christian Archambeau at the EU-IPO would mean, knowing he used to work at the EPO and there seems to have been a rumour about him, which is only further substantiated by recent developments. Are people hired and appointed based on experience and merit or based on nepotism, connections and favours? It seems like a back room deal, not a proper appointment, and it therefore must be probed by EU officials. Do we want the culture of crooked appointments at the EPO to spread to the EU as well?

Archambeau’s appointment is not entirely confirmed yet (we relied on an automated translation from German initially), but it looks like it’s going that way. Yesterday one publication said that “EUIPO close to naming new executive director” (in the headline). “The Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER) has voted to recommend that Christian Archambeau,” it said, “currently the acting general director of the EUIPO, be appointed on a permanent basis. While the recommendation needs to be formalised, this last step is expected to be a formality.”

“Do we want the culture of crooked appointments at the EPO to spread to the EU as well?”Does Battistelli play a role in it? How about Campinos? Rumours we heard last year suggested that they were making exchanges — a sort of “musical chairs”. That might be a form of corruption. As in, “you give you this position, I give this other position to your friend, your spouse, your colleague, then you give me this vote and I’ll give you one in return etc.”

Something isn’t right here. The news about Archambeau originally showed up in German media over the weekend. Yesterday the English media caught up (e.g. [1, 2] and said:

A European Council committee has proposed that the former deputy director of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), Christian Archambeau, should succeed António Campinos as head of the office.

On Friday, July 13, the Permanent Representatives Committee, which is responsible for preparing the work of the Council, voted to recommend Archambeau as executive director.

The appointment is expected to be formalised in an upcoming Council meeting.

One needs to ask what the Permanent Representatives Committee knows, what it was told by Campinos, and what Campinos was told by Battistelli while Battistelli was lobbying for Campinos to receive his seat. Things aren’t as simple as they seem.

“Investigative journalists ought to take a good look at the events leading up to that. The EU/EC could potentially be stained by this.”“Appointment [of Archambeau is] expected to be a formality after European Council permanent representatives committee votes for acting EUIPO executive director to take role permanently,” Michael Loney wrote last night.

So the European Council plays a role in this. Investigative journalists ought to take a good look at the events leading up to that. The EU/EC could potentially be stained by this. It would be a bad thing for Europe.

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