03.22.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

EPO and Microsoft Collude to Break the Law — Summing Up: EPO Administrative Council Still Asleep at the Wheel

Posted in Deception, Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 4:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previous parts:

EPO's council heads

Summary: AC chair Josef Kratochvíl (CZ) and deputy chair Borghildur Erlingsdóttir (IS) seem to be unperturbed by the sell-out of the EPO’s “digital sovereignty” taking place on their watch

For quite some time now it has been an open secret that the data protection framework at the EPO is not fit for purpose.

Back in the spring of 2014 the Bavarian Data Protection Commissioner, Dr Thomas Petri, carried out his own independent investigation into the matter following a complaint and he came to the conclusion that “nobody was really in charge”.

Together with his colleague the Federal German Data Protection Commissioner, Andrea Vosshoff, Dr Petri raised serious concerns about the state of data protection at the EPO. However, their urgent pleas for reform fell on deaf ears.

“So it’s difficult to see how such a manifestly deficient framework which hadn’t changed in the meantime could be considered meet the even more stringent standards imposed by GDPR in 2018.”When the EU GDPR came into effect in May 2018, Battistelli attempted to pull the wool over the eyes of the EPO’s stakeholders and the general public by issuing a self-serving communiqué (warning: epo.org link) proclaiming the EPO’s commitment to “ensuring the highest level of data protection” and announcing that “a recent audit report has confirmed a close alignment with the GDPR legal framework”.

The only problem here is that Dr Petri, a serious and well-regarded independent expert on data protection law found that the EPO’s data protection framework failed to measure up to pre-GDPR standards in 2014.

So it’s difficult to see how such a manifestly deficient framework which hadn’t changed in the meantime could be considered meet the even more stringent standards imposed by GDPR in 2018.

As a matter of fact, a report commissioned by the EPO staff union SUEPO from external legal experts in 2016 came to the conclusion that the EPO’s data protection framework was not compliant with EU data protection standards and was in urgent need of a radical overhaul.

It’s worth citing a few passages from that report for the record:

The European Union does, quite rightly, take data protection seriously. Yet the framework at the EPO gives rise to significant cause for concern, which has also been expressed by the national data protection authorities of the main host state – the Federal Republic of Germany.

The Guidelines for the Protection of Personal Data in the European Patent Office (‘EPO DataProtection Guidelines’ or ‘EPO DPG’), which were unilaterally adopted by the President and which entered into force on 1st April 2014. The current EPO DPG appear to fail to meet the standards of both EU data protection law and the national data protection laws of the Contracting States, in particular, the host countries of the EPO. As such, they do not provide a satisfactory framework for safeguarding the data protection rights of data subjects within the Office.

A key component of the EU data protection framework and which is reflected in the national data protection laws of all EU member states is the existence of an independent oversight body; yet this is conspicuously absent at the EPO. Indeed, the deficiencies in the existing system of data protection established by the EPO’s Data Protection Guidelines have come to the attention of the national data protection authorities in the host state of the EPO’s headquarters (Germany) and have even been the subject of a discussion in the Legal Affairs Committee of the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag).

In the meantime, very little has changed at the EPO apart from the arrival of a new Data Protection Officer via “the talent pipeline from the EUIPO in Alicante” in April 2020 as previously reported by Techrights.

“Unfortunately for all concerned, the Administrative Council appears to have completely abdicated its responsibilities in this regard.”When all is said and done, the task of ensuring that the EPO’s data protection framework is fit for purpose is a matter of fundamental legal and political significance which lies within the responsibility of the governing body of the organisation, namely the Administrative Council.

This is not something which can be simply delegated to the EPO management to deal with on its own initiative.

Unfortunately for all concerned, the Administrative Council appears to have completely abdicated its responsibilities in this regard.

The Council gives the distinct impression that it is “asleep at the wheel” as the senior management of the EPO proceeds to sell out the organisation’s “digital sovereignty” to a US multinational corporation behind its back.

EPO cruise
Once again, the EPO’s Administrative Council seems to be asleep at the wheel

Of course the Council has only got itself to blame for the precarious and potentially disastrous situation which has now developed.

After all they were the ones who permitted their sense of judgement to be corrupted by the former Council Chairman Battistelli and agreed to follow his proposal to disband the independent Audit Committee in 2011.

With the benefit of hindsight it is now apparent that, by acting as an accessory to Battistelli’s Machiavellian intrigues and acquiescing in the disbandment of the Audit Committee, the Council followed a misguided course of action which has had far-reaching and detrimental effects on the integrity of EPO governance.

It comes as no real surprise to see that – having deprived itself of any genuinely independent source of advice by means of an ignominious act of self-mutilation at the urging of Battistelli – the Council is now unable to react in an robust manner to defend the EPO’s “digital sovereignty” and to ensure that the organisation’s data protection framework is fit for purpose and truly GDPR-compliant.

These are matters of fundamental importance and legitimate concern not only to EPO staff but also to all other stakeholders, including the general public.

Unfortunately the current Council under the stewardship of its chair, Josef Kratochvíl (Czech Republic), and deputy chair, Borghildur Erlingsdóttir (Iceland), does not appear to appreciate the seriousness of the issues and stake and seems unlikely to take appropriate remedial action unless and until something dramatic happens to jolt it out of its complacent slumber.

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. From Competitive (Top-Level, High-Calibre, Well-Paid) Jobs to 2,000 Euros a Month -- How the EPO is Becoming a Sweatshop by Patent Examiners' Standards

    A longish video about the dreadful situation at the EPO, where staff is being ‘robbed’ and EPO funds get funnelled into some dodgy stock market investments (a clear violation of the institution’s charter)



  2. [Meme] Protecting European Patent Courts From EPO 'Mafia'

    With flagrant disregard for court rulings (or workarounds to dodge actual compliance) it seems clear that today's EPO management is allergic to justice and to judges; European Patents perish at unprecedented levels in national European courts and it should be kept that way



  3. Links 15/10/2021: Pine64's New PinePhone Pro and Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Codename

    Links for the day



  4. [Meme] GitHub Isn't Free Hosting, It's All About Control by Microsoft

    Deleting GitHub isn’t a political statement but a pragmatic decision, seeing how Microsoft routinely misuses its control over GitHub to manipulate the market



  5. With EPO 'Strike Regulations' Belatedly Ruled Unlawful, EPO Management May be Lowering the Salary Even Further by Introducing Outside 'Temps' or Casual Workers

    Institutional capture by an 'IP' (litigation) Mafia is nearly complete; with illegal so-called (anti) 'Strike Regulations' out the door, they're quickly moving on to another plan, or so it seems on the surface



  6. Links 15/10/2021: 95% of Ransomware Targets Windows

    Links for the day



  7. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 14, 2021



  8. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XII: The French Connection

    The EPO‘s presidency (led by Frenchmen for nearly 15 years out of the past 18 years; Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are both French despite their somewhat misleading surnames) is extremely unlikely to even be mildly scrutinised by the French delegates because of a web of nepotism and protectionism



  9. [Meme] Another Maladministration Meeting Comes to an End

    Did the EPO‘s overseeing body properly tackle Benoît Battistelli‘s illegal acts, authorised by that very same overseeing body? Don’t hold your breath as António Campinos continues to crack down on staff (maybe ILOAT will rule on it in 2030)



  10. Links 14/10/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.2, Happy Birthday to Jolla, Ubuntu 21.10, Devuan GNU+Linux 4.0, OpenBSD 7.0

    Links for the day



  11. [Teaser] What Miguel de Icaza Really Thinks of the CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Following the opening of a new series about Microsoft GitHub we drop a little teaser today; we expect dozens of parts to be released in the coming weeks/months as facts are being validated and organised



  12. Splitting the Time to Cover More Leaks and Exposés

    We take stock of Part 11 of the ongoing EPO series (“EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion”) and explain what caused various delays yesterday; we may have to up our pace a little in order to keep up with an influx of leaks and whistleblowers



  13. [Meme] Destroying the Workplace

    The working conditions at the EPO continue to worsen under the António Campinos regime, perpetuating the decade-long 'demolition project' of Benoît Battistelli and his cohorts in the complicit Administrative CouncilThe working conditions at the EPO continue to worsen under the António Campinos regime, perpetuating the decade-long 'demolition project' of Benoît Battistelli and his cohorts in the complicit Administrative Council



  14. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part I — Inside a Den of Corruption and Misogynists

    Today we commence a new series that implicates Microsoft, GitHub, Copilot, and Team Mono



  15. EPO Management Tricks EPO Staff Into Taking More Paycuts

    “Education and childcare reform” [sic] is an António Campinos "reform" in the same sense regressive salary reductions are just “adjustments” (euphemism); Electronic opt-in gaffes, according to staff representatives, show that the tradition of Benoît Battistelli carries on at the Office, taking away from staff for a few corrupt officials to milk the institution to death



  16. Links 14/10/2021: Whisker Menu 2.6.1 and KDE's Birthday

    Links for the day



  17. Links 14/10/2021: DragonFly 6.0.1 Released and Red Hat Loses Another Top Executive

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 13, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 13, 2021



  19. Süddeutsche Zeitung Became a Propaganda Arm of EPO Management (and by Extension Software Patents/Patent Lobbyists)

    EPO ‘genius’ António Campinos enjoys shallow press coverage, which echoes or resembles Benoît Battistelli‘s corruption of the media (paid-for fluff)



  20. GNOME (and Debian) Infringe Human Rights by Shipping Parental Control Software (Internally Called “Malcontent”)

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  21. No, JWZ, Discord is Not “IRC With Pictures”

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  22. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XI: “General Bock” - Battistelli's Swiss Apprentice?

    The António Campinos-led EPO won’t be subjected to real oversight by the Administrative Council, which ‘met’ (online) earlier today; so we look at who in the Administrative Council did what; today we wrap up the parts about Switzerland (third part of three)



  23. Links 13/10/2021: Sparky 2021.10 and New Archcraft

    Links for the day



  24. Links 13/10/2021: Firefox Keylogger on (By Default), GNOME Platform Design Discussed

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] [Teaser] Swiss Alexandre Benallas

    The EPO‘s French dictator, Benoît ‘Vichy’ Battistelli, might be relieved to hear that his enabler in the adjacent Switzerland also enlisted armed bullies to keep the population down (the father of António Campinos might know a thing or two about those; it’s why he fled to France)



  26. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 12, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 12, 2021



  27. A Tale of Two KDE Distributions: Kubuntu 21.10 and Debian 11 GNU/Linux

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  28. Citation/Atlas 'Security' Exam is a Total Farce, But It's Still Good for Entertainment Purposes

    What are people being taught about so-called 'security'? Might that explain so many security breaches? (Poor training, wrong assumptions)



  29. [Meme] [Teaser] Swiss Rumbustious Alpha-Rambos

    Aggressive men tarnish the image of Switzerland as a soft nation of peace; details tomorrow...



  30. Unqualified Managers and Demoralising Leadership in Switzerland (Like in EPO)

    Switzerland’s media (what’s left of it) is currently looking into new scandals associated with Christian Bock, who back in 2013 helped back the EPO's illegal anti-strike regulations


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