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EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part X – A Pan-European “Good Brother” Network Celebration?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series index:

  1. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part I – More Captured Delegates?
  2. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part II – Old Wine in New Bottles…
  3. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part III – Introducing the Finnish “Facilitator”
  4. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part IV – Martti Enäjärvi and His “Good Brother” Networks
  5. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part V – A Man With a Conviction…
  6. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VI – “A Good Friend of Estonia and a Steady Cooperation Partner”
  7. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VII – A Self-Appointed “Select Committee”
  8. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VIII – Pulling for the Portuguese Pretender?
  9. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part IX – António’s Faithful Acolyte in Alicante
  10. You are here ☞ A Pan-European “Good Brother” Network Celebration?

EPO' usual suspects
All the usual suspects turned up at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Estonian patent office (March 2012).

Summary: The EPO‘s “big club” sort of folded its cards a decade ago; we take a look back in time and work ‘in reverse’ to explain current EPO affairs

By all accounts, 2012 was a tough year for the Estonian Patent Office.

According to the annual report “jobs were cut and salaries were reduced”.

“But despite these “crisis circumstances”, the Estonian Patent Office somehow managed to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its re-establishment in what was described as “a dignified manner”.”Things were so bad that the Director-General Matti Päts lamented: “Various bonuses that we once could enjoy have now been forgotten.”

But despite these “crisis circumstances”, the Estonian Patent Office somehow managed to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its re-establishment in what was described as “a dignified manner”.

The celebratory event took place in Tallinn on 8 March 2012 and was attended by the great and good of the “global IP community”.

The foremost guest of honour was Francis Gurry, the scandal-ridden head honcho of WIPO in Geneva.

“The celebratory event took place in Tallinn on 8 March 2012 and was attended by the great and good of the “global IP community”.”Also present were most of those who had participated in the mysterious meeting that had taken place two years earlier in January 2010 to discuss “the development trends of both EPO and OHIM”.

Once again, Matti Päts played the host to Benoît Battistelli – now the President of the EPO – and to António Campinos – now the Executive Director of the EU trademark agency OHIM.

But in March 2012 Battistelli and Campinos didn’t have to hide themselves behind a veil of conspiratorial secrecy. They now appeared in public as guests of honour seated beside Päts and Gurry.

Battistelli’s valet Gilles Requena who had advanced to become his master’s chef-de-cabinet at the EPO was also to be seen hanging around on the sidelines.

EPO's Gilles Requena
Battistelli’s valet Gilles Requena hanging around on the sidelines.

And last but not least, Battistelli’s Finnish “facilitator”, Martti Enäjärvi, turned up to pay his respects to his “good brothers” from the “European IP network”.

As Matti Päts put it:

“The anniversary would not have been perfect without our long-time supporter and friend Mr Martti Enäjärvi, the former Director General of the National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland.”

Martti of Finland in Estonia
“The anniversary would not have been perfect without our long-time supporter and friend Mr Martti Enäjärvi”

The only person who seems to have been missing was João Negrão but he had probably been left behind in Alicante to hold the fort.

The official photos of the event also record the presence of other key supporters of Battistelli, in particular the head of the Danish Patent and Trademark Office, Jesper Kongstad, who appears as a guest of honour, seated between Battistelli and Campinos. Kongstad was now the Chairman of the EPO’s Administrative Council thanks to the “partnership” deal which he had cut with Battistelli back in 2010.

Kongstad and Campinos
Head of the Danish PTO Jesper Kongstad having a giggle with his fellow guest of honour, António Campinos.

In addition to Kongstad there was the Director-General of the Croatian State IPO, Željko Topić, who would be appointed as an EPO Vice-President later the same month (warning: epo.org link) and the Director-General of the Spanish Patent and Trademarks Office, Alberto Casado Cerviño, who would likewise be appointed as an EPO Vice-President some months later in June 2012. (warning: epo.org link)

Alberto Casado Cervino networking
Enäjärvi seated beside Aberto Casado Cerviño, head of the Spanish PT and soon to become EPO Vice-President. Rimvydas Naujokas from the Lithuanian Patent Office is in the background.

Topić can be seen seated beside the head of the Hungarian IPO, Miklós Bendzsel, who was at that time the deputy Chairman of the EPO’s Administrative Council and another staunch Battistelli loyalist.

Topic lobbying
Željko Topić and Miklós Bendzsel enjoying a laugh together.Friedrich Rödler can be seen seated beside Topić.

Yet another notable guest was the Austrian “double-dipper” Friedrich Rödler who can be seen exchanging pleasantries with Campinos.

Campinos with Friedrich Rodler
Hail fellow well met: António Campinos and Friedrich Rödler exchanging pleasantries.

Given the cold winds of austerity blowing through the Estonian Patent Office at the time, it’s not clear how Matti Päts and his team managed to foot the bill for this extravaganza.

“Given the cold winds of austerity blowing through the Estonian Patent Office at the time, it’s not clear how Matti Päts and his team managed to foot the bill for this extravaganza.”There has been speculation that the costs might have been subsidised by Battistelli using EPO funds as a kind of “thank you” present to his cash-strapped friends on the Baltic Rim but there is no hard proof of this.

Matti Pats of Estonia drinking
Break out the champagne: Master of ceremonies Matti Päts receives a present from Latvian representatives Reinis Bērziņš and Guntis Ramāns.

Elle Mardo of Estonia
Elle Mardo, head of the Patent Department at the Estonian Patent Office tucking into the sushi at the self-service buffet. Due to an economic crisis, jobs were being cut, salaries reduced and bonuses slashed at the Estonian Patent Office, so who was covering the expense of this lavish spread?

“In any case, Battistelli was suitably impressed by the 2012 event that Matti Päts had organised for his buddies in the “European IP network”.”The ostensible purpose of this event was to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Estonian Patent Office. However, the overall impression given is that it was a kind of undercover victory celebration of the pro-Battistelli clique that had organised the secret meeting to discuss “the development trends of both EPO and OHIM” with Matti Päts on 10 January 2010.

In any case, Battistelli was suitably impressed by the 2012 event that Matti Päts had organised for his buddies in the “European IP network”.

Following his return to Munich, he sent a personal letter of thanks to Päts [PDF] with a promise of continued collaboration:

Be assure [sic] that the EPO will continue to support your actions and, thanks to the Cooperation roadmap which has been adopted with your approval, it is intended to foster our bilateral activities in the coming years.

In the next part we will return to the person who is suspected as having acted as the facilitator at the January 2010 meeting, namely Martti Enäjärvi and we will see how his “good brother” connections in Alicante came to his assistance after he had been forced to retire from the Finnish PRH.

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