05.16.21

The EPO’s War on Justice and Assault on the Law — Part 9: Squeezing Out the Lifeblood of Democracy?

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 6:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previously in this series:

EPO discourse
Not much sign of a lively Habermasian discourse at the EPO’s Boards of Appeal in Haar these days.

Summary: The lack of public discourse at the EPO (where tyrants like Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos make up the rules and then have them rubber-stamped by kangaroo courts) helps explain an atrocious policy and moral abyss, which recently led to acceptance of European software patents and mass surveillance disguised as “access to justice”

EPO sources relate that, in his capacity as the Thane of Haar, Carl Josefsson is extremely reluctant to allow any staff committee or union activities on the Boards of Appeal premises.

According to the EPO Staff Regulations, staff have the right to be represented by a local staff committee “where more than fifty staff members are in active employment in a place of employment”.

“…Carl Josefsson is extremely reluctant to allow any staff committee or union activities on the Boards of Appeal premises.”At the end of 2020 the Boards of Appeal had a total of 256 staff, comprised of 196 persons working as chairs and members of the Boards and 60 ancillary staff in various management/administrative support positions.

On this basis, EPO staff members in Haar clearly have a statutory right to be represented by a local staff committee.

But inside sources report that Josefsson has stubbornly resisted the establishment of such a local committee, despite repeated requests from the EPO’s Central Staff Committee.

In addition to this, the once highly active Association of the Members of the Boards of Appeal (AMBA) appears to have become almost completely defunct during Josefsson’s tenure.

“…inside sources report that Josefsson has stubbornly resisted the establishment of such a local committee, despite repeated requests from the EPO’s Central Staff Committee.”AMBA was formed in 1999 to protect the interests of the members of the Boards of Appeal.

According to its statute, the aims of the association include “monitoring issues of relevance for the judicial function of the members of the Boards of Appeal with a view to safeguarding their independence” and “promoting the members’ self-government as members of a judiciary”.

At the bottom of the home page on the Association’s website there is a “Timeline of Independence” which is supposed to show “the most important events in the history of the boards”.

This timeline contains a total of 45 entries starting in September 1973 with the “Travaux Préparatoires” for the European Patent Convention (scroll to the bottom of the page).

“AMBA was formed in 1999 to protect the interests of the members of the Boards of Appeal.”The timeline ends in December 2016 with “Carl Josefsson appointed President of the EPO’s Boards of Appeal” (scroll to the bottom of the page).

It seems that, as far as AMBA is concerned, the appointment of Carl Josefsson in December 2016, is the “End of History”. Francis Fukuyama, eat your heart out!

The AMBA website hasn’t been updated to register Josefsson’s reappointment in December 2020.

The most recent postings on the website are links to:

• the 2020 Annual Report of the Boards of Appeal (which was released on 12 April 2021);
• the revised Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (dated July 2019).
• a communiqué about the 159th meeting of the Administrative Council held on 27 and 28 March 2019.

All of the above relate to information that is already publicly available via the EPO’s official website, here, here and here. (Warning: epo.org links)

“The AMBA website hasn’t been updated to register Josefsson’s reappointment in December 2020.”It seems like the AMBA website has been reduced to nothing more than a selective “mirror” of the official EPO website.

As a matter of fact there haven’t been any postings originating from AMBA itself since December 2016 when it issued a statement [PDF] about a “Resolution Against the Relocation of the Boards of Appeal to Haar” which had been endorsed by the majority of its members. Here it is:

AMBA Statement on the Reform of the BoA page 1

AMBA Statement on the Reform of the BoA page 2

It’s well known inside the EPO that, during the Battistelli era, AMBA did its best to keep a low profile.

According to reliable sources, the members of its executive committee were afraid that they might end up being targeted by Battistelli’s Investigative Unit and suffer the same fate as SUEPO officials, such as Laurent Prunier.

“According to reliable sources, the members of its executive committee were afraid that they might end up being targeted by Battistelli’s Investigative Unit and suffer the same fate as SUEPO officials, such as Laurent Prunier.”But although AMBA was more or less reduced to operating underground during those days, it still continued to function and it was capable of organising petitions and resolutions to protest against Battistelli’s abuses, even if these were routinely ignored by the Administrative Council.

Nowadays, under Josefsson’s regime, AMBA seems to have been completely neutered. Indeed, if appearances are to be believed it has been effectively killed off as a functioning association representing the interests of the members of the Boards of Appeal.

“Nowadays, under Josefsson’s regime, AMBA seems to have been completely neutered.”To borrow a phrase from Josefsson’s old buddy, the radical Swedish journalist, Per Wirtén, one might well ask: What happened to the “cascades of debate, quarrel and chatter” that make up “the lifeblood of democracy”?

While we are waiting for “Calle” to answer that question, in the next part we will try to figure out what exactly he gets from the “Faustian pact” that he has concluded with the EPO.

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2021/05/16/epo-vs-democracy/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 21/6/2021: NVIDIA’s DLSS and Most Beautiful GNU/Linux Distributions

    Links for the day



  2. Neil's Misgovernment

    The GNOME Foundation has one member of staff fewer; the attack on the founder/father of Free/libre software activism and GNU (the "G" in GNOME) failed and backfired spectacularly



  3. IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, June 21, 2021



  4. Virtual Injustice -- Part 14: How Mandatory ViCo Became the “New Normal”

    How mandatory ViCo hearings gradually became the "New Normal" at the EPO



  5. Links 21/6/2021: Rocky Linux 8.4, IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 157, and SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP3

    Links for the day



  6. There Are Bigger Scandals Than Revisionism and Brand Dilution at the Linux Foundation

    There are some misconceptions that need tackling; back in February (more than 4 months ago) the so-called 'Linux' Foundation decided to associate with yet another controversial drive that has nothing to do with Linux; some people think it's a new thing and leap to conclusions



  7. Techrights Video Gallery Without JavaScript

    Some of the improvements made this morning to the gallery of recent videos



  8. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, June 20, 2021



  9. Links 21/6/2021: Linux 5.13 RC7, IRC.com by Freenode

    Links for the day



  10. Virtual Injustice -- Part 13: Let the Games Continue…

    "It would be nice to think that the events of 28 May have given the Enlarged Board pause for thought."



  11. Links 20/6/2021: Akademy 2021 Underway and Linux Foundation Blasted

    Links for the day



  12. EPO: Fake Patents, Fake (Paid-for) Patent Coverage, and Fake Awards for Public Relations Purposes

    The media has been thoroughly corrupted, patent legitimacy has been severely damaged (far too many European Patents aren't in compliance with the EPC anymore), and Team UPC is trying to undermine the EPC and turn Europe into another Texas



  13. Changes in IRC and New Features Over Gemini Protocol or the World Wide Web

    We examine more closely some of the latest changes in the site and the capsule (Web and Gemini, respectively); we show that it’s possible to keep abreast of IRC using nothing but a text editor, a Gemini client… or even the command line alone



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, June 19, 2021



  15. We Need and Deserve a Saner Patent System in Europe

    The laughing stock that the patent system, the patent law firms, and patent media became (over the past few years) must be replaced; at the moment we have a cabal connected to a bunch of criminals running the entire show and the public understandably grows impatient (at least people who are sufficiently informed; the criminals have already intimidated and bribed a lot of the media and they're still bribing more of it, as we shall demonstrate later today)



  16. [Meme] IRC Wars in a Nutshell

    In terms of large IRC networks, we’re in trouble (unless we self-host) because they seem to be dividing themselves along political lines rather than anything technical or something of an on-topic/relevant substance. Using networks for Free software projects/organisations to push one’s political agenda is not acceptable because it’s starting to seem like in IRC space, FN has become the Front Nationale (French) and LC is Liberal Coalition. Both FreeNode and Libera Chat have managed to turn from technical platforms into political parties, in effect using technical networks (intended for technical projects) to push someone's political agenda and thus misusing them for personal gain. There’s no free lunch. As it turns out, FreeNode’s new owner (Andrew Lee) has just outed himself as a huge Donald Trump supporter who speaks of “these fuckers who stole that shit” (he meant the election, which he insists Trump actually won in 2020).



  17. IBM Handles More Removals of Signatures From Its Hate Letter Against Richard Stallman

    Less than a day ago IBM processed a request for removal (from its hate letter); as someone put it in a letter to us, also less than a day ago: “When all of this started in 2019, the Red Hat GNU developers showed off their colours. The best way to attack an organisation is from the inside. Using GNU developers was a dead giveaway. Google and Microsoft are very much on the team with IBM. I believe they’ve made headway into the Free/Libre software community and have persuaded senior Debianties to go along with them.” That same message, from an anonymous GNU maintainer, said: “The strategy to target major distributions is clear and present danger. I’m not sure what arguments of persuasion are being used, but I’m pretty sure their main tool is currency. RMS needs a lot of strategic support from experts who will rally to the Free Software cause. He needs great lawyers, some corporate minds, and intelligence specialists.” Sometimes it seems or feels like by simply buying Red Hat (the staff) IBM infiltrated the GNU Project and now it is vainly making claims like 'GNU is IBM' and thus IBM et al can command/tell the FSF who should run FSF, not only GNU. Such entryism isn’t hard to see; “An open letter in support of Richard Matthew Stallman being reinstated by the Free Software Foundation” has meanwhile garnered 6,758 signatures. The opposite letter is only decreasing in support (signatures lost).



  18. Links 20/6/2021: Debian GNU/Linux 10.10 “Buster” Released and LF Revisionism Resumes

    Links for the day



  19. The EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal Has Already Lost the Case in the Court of Public Opinion

    Personal views on the sordid state of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA), which by extension bodes poorly for the perception of independence in every Board of Appeal (BoA); the patent tribunals have been captured by patent maximalists who either stack the panels or intimidate judges into ruling in a particular way



  20. Virtual Injustice -- Part 12: Carl Josefsson – Down But Not Out!

    António Campinos still controls Josefsson, who controls all the judges, so in effect all the legal cases (including some about European software patents) are manipulated by the Office the judges are supposed to judge



  21. Links 19/6/2021: Wine 6.11 and Proton 6.3-5 RC

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, June 18, 2021



  23. Virtual Injustice -- Part 11: Perceptive Comments and Caustic Criticism

    The EPO‘s management managed to silence a lot of the critical media (handouts and threats from Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos), but silencing comments is a lot harder; though we don’t know which ones were moderated out of existence…



  24. Links 18/6/2021: Mir 2.4, ActivityWatch 0.11, Microsoft Breaks Its Own Repos

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] When the 'Court' Drops

    As the EPO sneakily outsourced courts to American companies and parties in dispute depend on their ISP for “access to justice” there’s a catastrophic impact on the very concept of justice or the right to be heard (sometimes you don’t hear anything and/or cannot be heard)



  26. The EPO's Virtual Injustice and Virtual ('News') Media

    A discussion of this morning's post (part 10 in a series) about the shallow media/blog coverage that followed or accompanied last month's notorious EPO hearing



  27. Links 18/6/2021: LibreOffice 7.2 Beta, Elementary OS 6.0 Beta 2, and Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” Beta

    Links for the day



  28. The Self-Hosting Song

    Cautionary tales about outsourcing one's systems to companies that could not care less about anyone but themselves



  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 17, 2021



  30. [Meme] Swedish Justice

    The EPO‘s patent tribunals have been mostly symbolic under the Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos regimes; giving them back their autonomy (and removing those who help Battistelli and Campinos attack their autonomy) is the only way to go now


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