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

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series parts:

  1. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part I: Let the Sunshine In!
  2. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part II: A “Unanimous” Endorsement?
  3. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part III: Three Missing Votes
  4. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IV: The Founding States
  5. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part V: Germany Says “Ja”
  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VI: A Distinct Lack of Dutch Courage
  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VII: Luxembourgish Laxity
  8. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VIII: Perfidious Albion and Pusillanimous Hibernia
  9. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IX: More Holes Than Swiss Cheese
  10. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part X: Introducing the Controversial Christian Bock
  11. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XI: “General Bock” – Battistelli’s Swiss Apprentice?
  12. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XII: The French Connection
  13. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli’s Iberian Facilitators – Spain
  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIV: Battistelli’s Iberian Facilitators – Portugal
  15. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XV: Et Tu Felix Austria…
  16. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVI: The Demise of the Austrian Double-Dipper
  17. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc
  18. YOU ARE HERE ☞ Helsinki’s Accord

Rauni Hagman and Antti Riivari
The Finnish delegation: Rauni Hagman and her deputy Antti Riivari.

Summary: 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

In this part we turn our attention to the Finnish delegation, one of the three Nordic delegations which voted in favour of Benoît Battistelli‘s “Strike Regulations” in June 2013.

“The new head of the Finnish delegation, Rauni Hagman, was assisted by her deputy, Antti Riivari, a senior civil servant at the Ministry for Employment and the Economy.”At the time in question the Finnish delegation was headed by Rauni Hagman who had been appointed as Director General of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) in 2010.

Hagman had taken over at the helm of the PRH following the departure of Martti Enäjärvi who retired in June 2010 after he had come under suspicion of repeated and persistent misuse of his official credit card following an official audit of the PRH.

Enäjärvi’s influence on EPO and OHIM/EUIPO affairs over the last decade or so – including his close connections with both Battistelli and António Campinos – has been dealt with in detail in an earlier series about Battistelli’s 2010 “Baltic Crusade”.

“Riivari later succeeded Hagman as head of the PRH when she retired in 2016.”By June 2013 Enäjärvi was no longer active on the EPO’s Administrative Council. Having been put out to grass in Finland, he was enjoying his retirement as a "Special Advisor" to the Chief Executive of the EU trademark agency OHIM/EUIPO, António Campinos.

The new head of the Finnish delegation, Rauni Hagman, was assisted by her deputy, Antti Riivari, a senior civil servant at the Ministry for Employment and the Economy. Riivari later succeeded Hagman as head of the PRH when she retired in 2016.

It’s not known what exactly induced the Finnish delegation to vote in favour of Battistelli’s “Strike Regulations” in June 2013 but there are rumours that he had obtained their favour by promising a senior management post at the EPO for someone from Finland.

There is only one Finnish person of prominence inside the EPO – Heli Pihlajamaa – who has been languishing at Director level for the past 25 years. So, it’s conceivable that Battistelli held out the prospect of promoting her to a Principal Director position in the EPO’s Directorate of Legal and International Affairs. But if that’s the case, then it turned out to be an empty promise – as with much else in “le système Battistelli”!

“It’s not known what exactly induced the Finnish delegation to vote in favour of Battistelli’s “Strike Regulations” in June 2013 but there are rumours that he had obtained their favour by promising a senior management post at the EPO for someone from Finland.”Nevertheless, some time later in March 2018, Antti Riivari – by now head of the Finnish delegation – was elected to the Board of the Administrative Council, the exclusive “inner circle” which prepares the agenda for the Council’s quarterly meetings. Perhaps this little sinecure for Riivari was intended as a reward for his earlier complicity in Battistelli’s “reign of terror”?

Finland is a somewhat peripheral country which, at first glance, doesn’t seem to be of much significance in the grand scheme of European “IP”.

However, mainly due to its influence over the neighbouring Baltic states, Finland has managed to carve out a strategic role in the world of EPO realpolitik which enables it to punch above its weight.

“Finland’s influence over its Baltic neighbours in “IP” matters persists following Enäjärvi’s departure.”These matters have been elaborated in detail in the earlier series referred to above. In particular, it was explained how Battistelli’s Finnish "facilitator" Martti Enäjärvi assisted him in implementing his strategic plan to “co-opt” the EPO’s Baltic states – Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia – in support of his bid to become EPO President in 2010.

Finland’s influence over its Baltic neighbours in “IP” matters persists following Enäjärvi’s departure. The Finnish delegation continues to play a prominent role in the annual meetings of the heads of the Nordic and Baltic “IP” offices.

Nordic-Baltic 'IP' office love-in held in Reykjavík, May 2018
Photo-op from the Nordic-Baltic “IP” office love-in held in Reykjavík, May 2018.
Back row (l. to r.): Margus Viher (EE), Per Foss (NO), Sune Stampe Sørensen (DK), Peter Strömbäck (SE).
Front row (l. to r.): Arūnas Želvys (LT), Sandris Laganovskis (LV), Antti Riivari (FI), Borghildur Erlingsdóttir (IS).

Like his mentor Battistelli, Campinos also appreciates the “EPO-political” significance of the Finnish connection and he makes every effort to secure Helsinki’s accord for his endeavours.

For example, during his whistle-stop tour of the Nordic region in September 2019 (warning: epo.org link), Campinos made sure that he did not neglect to pay a visit to Helsinki to meet with the current boss of the PRH, Antii Riivari.

Team Campinos in Finland
Team Campinos pays a visit to Finland in 2019

That concludes our look at the role of the Finnish delegation in the adoption of Battistelli’s “Strike Regulations” in June 2013.

In the next part we will look at how the representatives of the “captured” Baltic States played their expected part in the rubber-stamping of these manifestly unlawful regulations.

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