EPO Has No F-ing Oversight

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO to staff: No deal for you!!

Summary: Earlier today SUEPO mentioned this new article demonstrating that EPO President António Campinos can very obviously and blatantly violate the Code of Conduct of the Office without facing any consequences; there are translations too, so the report is now available in four languages

Mr. Breton, do you still insist that the EPO is under control?

Josef Kratochvíl confused

Patent Examiners Rising Up Against EPO Abuse

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 329104a83fac5594c9a25b0af3628a7a
Another EPO Escalation
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Unhappy with the law-breaking autocracy (the EPO‘s management breaks the law as a matter of routine), fast-deteriorating working conditions and rapidly-decreasing quality of work (or lack of compliance with the law), workers have escalated further, topping off strikes and industrial actions with a large-scale petition

THE EPO has slipped out of control, but corrupt officials like Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos distract from that by just granting loads and loads of Invalid Patents (IPs) instead of European Patents (EPs). They basically milk the institution to death — an ongoing process of financialization wherein the main sufferer will be Europe (lots of bogus patents used for mass litigation — frivolous lawsuits and meritless shakedowns/extortion).

“Years ago the EPO engaged in a massive campaign of bribery and blackmail against publishers. The publishers never recovered from it.”This isn’t just about patents. It’s also about the law, about human dignity, and economics. Europeans suffer enough already (war and inflation are part of it) and the last thing they need is a lawsuit against them, potentially from some American patent troll that acquired European software patents. This is already happening by the way and the people who destroyed the EPO want to make it vastly worse by replacing patent courts with kangaroo courts (UPC).

The above video is my interpretation of the latest twist or the latest development at the European Patent Office (EPO). There’s a petition going on and it’s expected that over a thousand will sign it, or the lion’s share of staff. Don’t expect the media to mention it; the media has been silenced already. Years ago the EPO engaged in a massive campaign of bribery and blackmail against publishers. The publishers never recovered from it.

Internal Poll: 93% of European Patent Office (EPO) Workers Are Unhappy With the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Petition launched

Examiner; Science; Autocrat; Litigation

Summary: On top of strike/s and industrial action/s there are now also petitions; at the EPO, almost all staff is “disgruntled” because of utterly corrupt and defunct leadership

THE tyranny at the EPO is discouraging and demoralising staff. First there was an elimination of permanent contracts (by Benoît Battistelli) and now an attack on salaries, too (António Campinos plunders the surplus).

Staff is understandably unhappy. Many are ‘stuck’ in the job (for reasons we’ve enumerated here many times before) and there’s pressure to illegally grant European Patents, even in clear violation of the EPC (some significant chunk of these patents are bogus software patents).

“As a sort of culmination of unrest, putting aside the strike and industrial action, there’s now a bunch of results from a poll predating the strike. There is also a petition.”Earlier this year, weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, the Local Staff Committee in The Hague had gathered and shared its views in presentations and slides [PDF]. Even before the war there was truly terrible inflation, which now motivates staff representatives to take swift action. As this chart [PDF] shows, Dutch cities were among those worst affected (Baltic states are worst off and fear imminent war at home).

EU inflation

EPO dictators are making false claims about reducing energy use (workers at home would spend even more) and here’s the component of energy costs:

EU energy

As a sort of culmination of unrest, putting aside the strike and industrial action, there’s now a bunch of results from a poll predating the strike. There is also a petition.

The poll shows that 93% were “rather dissatisfied” about the current situation at the EPO. To quote: “On February 3rd, around 900 colleagues in The Hague followed the live transmission of the 1st General Assembly of 2022 by the Local staff Committee The Hague (LSCTH). [...] During the meeting a poll took place: 93% are rather dissatisfied about the current situation at the EPO and 82% consider participating in industrial actions.”

The current industrial action is very successful and now there’s a petition in the making. To quote:

Dear colleagues,

Inflation is at an all-time high since the euro was launched in 1997. The inflation index published on 29 April 2022 by Eurostat for March 2022 is 7.4% for the Eurozone and 11.7% for The Netherlands when compared with prices a year before on March 2021.

The trend stays worrying upwards, with no visible signs of a stabilisation, let alone a clear downward trend. In Europe, the macro-economic prognosis points to a long-term inflation and economic stagnation. Double digit inflation figures will become common.

All of us are now faced with increased costs: energy (44%), medical expenses, school expenses, transportation, housing, all basic needs.

The school costs in particular, aggravated by the recent Education and Childcare reform, are impacting EPO staff parents more harshly. Additionally, to the impact of increased childcare costs since January 2022, as from August/September 2022 when further transitional measures are finished, the full weight of the indirect costs (like afterschool care and transportation) will be felt by our colleagues with children.

Without an extraordinary adjustment to our salaries, EPO staff, in particular at the lower grades and/or with large families, are going to have difficulties complying with their liabilities in the coming months.
Staff expects in these extraordinary economic circumstances that extraordinary measures are taken by the EPO administration.

SUEPO requests that the administration proceeds with an extraordinary adjustment of the salaries in July 2022 to smoothen the huge impact of the inflation on EPO staff and families.

Yours sincerely,
SUEPO Committee TH – LBDH

“Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary measures,” SUEPO notes. “SUEPO is deeply concerned about the impact of inflation on EPO staff and families. In view of an annual inflation amounting to 11.7% in The Netherlands we hereby request an extraordinary salary adjustment in July 2022.”

This petition isn’t just for workers inside the union but for everyone at the Office. “Of course,” SUEPO notes, “non-SUEPO members are also invited to participate in the petition.”

The results of the staff survey will also follow.


Microsoft Vidal Does Not Want to Listen (USPTO is Just for Megacorporations)

Posted in America, Microsoft, Patents at 4:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Only in America – part 2.”

Summary: Microsoft Vidal [1, 2, 3] knows her real bosses. They’re international corporations (multinationals like Microsoft), not American people.

“On Friday,” a reader has told us, “the USPTO sent out an e-mail about Kathy Vidal having “listening sessions.” (full e-mail shown below)”

Microsoft Vidal of USPTO

“Of course,” the reader has claims, “as you can imagine, since the USPTO has never listened to me, I thought I should give them one last opportunity, so, last night I sent them an e-mail to the designated e-mail address, and soon got this response: “The email address you entered couldn’t be found”

“Looks like they really want to listen, doesn’t it?”

Sun, May 15, 10:11 PM (10 hours ago)
[to me]

Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups:

The email address you entered couldn't be found. Please check the
recipient's email address and try to resend the message. If the problem
continues, please contact your email admin.

They listen. Yeah, right… they listen to incoming mail and turn it away. It’s about optics; the EPO did the same thing 2 days ago.


[Meme] Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) Cannot Be Reconciled With the Law

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Don't tell anyone Brexit doomed UPC

Summary: Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC)? Impossible. But Team UPC counts on an endless torrent of fake news managing to convince you (and more importantly politicians) otherwise.

Even Team Battistelli is Sometimes Admitting — Out in Public! — That Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Neither Legal Nor Desirable

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 2:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 6b334ef318c0bd9f414896b358c65e3e
Even Former EPO Chiefs Reject the UPC Lies
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Daniel X. Thomas and other people who are “too old to punish” (consequences to their career profoundly minimised owing to seniority) are among those who push back against the Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC); any sane person — not a career-climbing litigation zealot — can identify the pertinent facts and realise that what’s going on here is an injustice of unprecedented proportions in the patent discipline

THE video above deals with 13 annotated screenshots from today (gathered over the past week) and 17 new comments against the UPC. If one puts aside fake news and shameless self-promotion, it seems abundantly clear that UPC is neither legal nor desirable. Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos as EPO presidents have acted like agents of Team UPC, striving to lower patent quality in anticipation of kangaroo courts with docile judges across the EU.

“There’s that old cliché about UPC always coming “next year” (and next year they’ll say “next year” again).”The perils of Team UPC have lasted over a decade. They’ve groomed Campinos (he attended and spoke in a UPC lobbying event in his very first week as EPO President). But he’s letting out the expletives. His approval rates among staff are near 0% (3% two years ago; the only way has been down since then).

As shown above, even former executives of the EPO, who worked and still work with Battistelli, agree that the UPC is a terrible conspiracy (of law firms and their largest clients; they conspire against the European public). The pushback is very apparent and rumours we’ve seen suggest a legal action is inevitable if not imminent. There’s that old cliché about UPC always coming “next year” (and next year they'll say "next year" again).

[Meme] Common Sense at EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Corporations wanting endless patent monopolies; Team Campinos; EPO staff
Corporations that send patent applications to the EPO are large multinationals (only 20% of applicants are not)

Summary: The European examiners who deal with patents prefer a system that works for science, for Europe, not for foreign megacorporations that amass millions of low-quality patents and weaponise these to discourage competition

As an associate of ours put it, “quantity over quality has been a problem, pushed by management, so it is important to distinguish this downturn from an actually desirable re-calibration.”

Patent Granting at the EPO Has Collapsed by 24% Owing to Much-Needed Industrial Action

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 954eaf1895d37a3d1cd81c91ad93af26
More Research, Less Rubber-stamping
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Seeing that the EPO’s management routinely violates the law and even the very legal basis of the EPO’s existence (it is a monopoly in Europe; no body has the authority to compete against it), the EPO’s examiners have embarked on a ‘Work-to-Rule’ campaign — working in compliance with the rules as defined 49 years ago and revised over the decades — and the European Patent Convention (EPC) takes priority over unlawful demands from middle and upper management; this is proving highly effective so far and it will carry on until demands are met, i.e. until the law is obeyed and staff is treated with respect/dignity

THE EPO‘s staff union in Munich (known as SUEPO Munich) is pleased with the outcome of the industrial action, which started earlier this year. António Campinos is already losing his temper. It seems to be working.

“The ‘Work-to-Rule Actions’ are proving successful,” SUEPO Munich says (see video above or text below), “and the Focus on search actions is effective. The actions are drawing the attention of the Administrative Council and external stakeholders thereby persuading management to take staff’s concerns seriously. Actions continue.”

“In a nutshell, the industrial action is working because there’s a lot less focus on granting European Patents (especially bogus and harmful ones like software patents).”Excellent! These ‘Work-to-Rule Actions’ aren’t some kind of “activism” but an attempt to compel the management to obey the law! This is essential. The European public interest is with the examiners.

The EPO has not said anything of substance lately. Campinos tries to leverage Peru for PR (like Benoît Battistelli visiting former colonies of France), as we noted some days ago in a prior video, and now there’s this fluff (warning: epo.org link) about a notorious exam you must take unless you’re Željko Topić, the "doyen of Intellectual Property in the (Balkan) region".

In a nutshell, the industrial action is working because there’s a lot less focus on granting European Patents (especially bogus and harmful ones like software patents). The staff wants to fix the patent quality problem and there’s an upcoming meeting (Wednesday the 18th of May) on the matter. It will take place about a fortnight after the staff survey’s deadline was reached. The EPO’s staff is organised, unionised, and eager to stop the financialization of the EPO.

Here’s the letter to staff:

Ortssektion München . Local Section Munich . Section locale de Munich

su22002mp – 0.2.1/0.3.2

SUEPO Work-to-Rule Actions are successful and continue

Where do we stand?

Early this year, SUEPO called for actions supported by the Central Staff Committee (CSC). The main reason for discontent with the EPO present administration led by Mr. Campinos during the last four years follows his flawed Financial Study of 2019 made by Oliver Wyman & Mercer and the consequent reforms.

The new salary adjustment procedure causes a disastrous immediate and long-term loss of purchasing power and denies the massive efforts made by EPO staff during the last two pandemic years.

In view of the above issues, SUEPO proposed on the 22 February 2022 an ‘Action Plan’ which was largely approved by staff.

Action Plan

The ‘Work-to-Rule Actions’ are proving successful and the Focus on search actions is effective. The actions are drawing the attention of the Administrative Council and external stakeholders thereby persuading management to take staff’s concerns seriously.

The following is the aggregated data:

January – February
Examiner Products (S,E,O) is +1% above 2021
Search Actions are +11% above 2021 and +8% above plan
Grants are -21% below 2021 and -8% below plan

January – March.
Examiner Products (S,E,O) is -2% below 2021
Search Actions are +9% above 2021 and +5% above plan
Grants are -24% below 2021 and -12% below plan

January – April.
Examiner Products (S,E,O) is -4% below 2021
Search Actions are +7% above 2021 and +6% above plan
Grants are -24% below 2021 and -10% below plan

DG1 Holistic Dashboard
Source: DG1 Holistic Dashboard

Industrial Actions

The focus on the Search Actions has caused a steep decrease in Grants followed by an even steeper decline since the successful strike day on the 22 March 2022. A significant decrease in Grants can be clearly seen in the DG1 Management Dashboard. Staff has understood that even a reward of a double step this year won’t make up for the loss of purchasing power due to the lack of a salary adjustment.

The inflation in the Netherlands of 11.2% and in Germany of 7.8% over the last 12 months accounts for far more than a double step reward (on average 1 step equals 2%). Less than 60% of eligible staff (actually less than 50% of all staff) may receive a single step let alone a double step this year. This is the worst year in the career of EPO staff which comes at the time when staff worked diligently through the worst pandemic of the century and the worst inflation since the EPO inception.

Ignoring the facts

Mr. Campinos ignores every invitation from the social partner to discuss staff’s problems. SUEPO invited Mr. Campinos on the 1st, on 5th and on 6th of April. All these dates were ignored and only on the 12th of April did Mr. Campinos react, by sending a letter just before the Administrative Council meeting for his communication exercise. Management representatives have anyway no mandate to meaningfully talk to SUEPO about the issues in the call for strike and merely repeat the Office’s statements.

Former presidents talked to SUEPO and unsurprisingly found common ground on difficult issues such as on the salary adjustment procedure. The salary adjustment procedure was a co-supported measure by management and staff for more than 30 years. This all changed when Mr. Battistelli entered our office and even worsened now with Mr. Campinos. Under their management not once could a solution be found.

Nevertheless, we continue to invite Mr. Campinos in person to the negotiation table since only through dialogue can we achieve a positive outcome for staff.

SUEPO Munich

Notice how quiet not only the Office but also the media has been. The media isn’t doing its job.

“Actions continue.”

Make the "f" president fully aware of what EPO staff thinks of him (that’s what the staff survey is for). His father would be able to relate if he was still alive.

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