01.17.23

[Meme] A Kinder, Gentler EPO Leadership

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

To borrow the words of António Campinos:

I am the f***ing president

Summary: The EPO discriminates against women [1, 2], but still finds the audacity to publish the following words this week

EPC at 50 with overlay

EPC at 50

EPC and diversity

01.16.23

[Meme] Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht): Can’t See, Won’t Hear, Don’t Speak

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Law, Patents at 5:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO complaints and Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht)

Summary: The EPO is protected by the German government [1, 2] no matter what it does; even the “elite” courts won’t intervene

Management of the European Patent Office (EPO) is Gloating That the German Authorities Protect the EPO Even When Laws and Constitutions Are Broken

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Using stock photography that gives a false impression of lawfulness, the EPO gloats about Bundesverfassungsgericht (Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court) refusing to even hold the EPO accountable!

AS we noted here some weeks ago, the German Constitutional Court was intentionally not ruling on complaints regarding the EPO, quite likely for political/corporate reasons. We’ve already seen under both Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos that the German government protects EPO management no matter how many crimes it commits. 4 years ago there was also concern about Stephan Harbarth, who demonstrated commercial and political interference inside the German Constitutional Court. Here’s what the EPO rushed to publish some days ago. It was very, very short. It said:

The German Federal Constitutional Court has published a decision today confirming that the EPO’s appeal system provides independent and effective judicial relief, as required by the German constitution for courts of international organisations.

This is a lie. It did not rule. It made an excuse to dismiss the complaint. Carefully constructed lies and misleading statements from the EPO… is that patented yet?

“The German government harbours one heck of a “patent mafia” at this point.”Anyway, this shows that Germany’s constitutional court, the FCC, isn’t functioning either. It’s captured by corporate interests. Just shills in robes?

As one German explained in our IRC channel this morning: “the mine that Luetzerath is being demolished for, also expanded over another village 30 years ago and that one was demolished because the German government bows to corporate interests.”

Looking elsewhere in the “news” page of the EPO, there are other types of propaganda so far this year. Here’s the gist as an annotated screenshot:

Appeal to age, Appeal to captured government, misleading statement too, Science-washing/greenwashwashing, appeal to science but it's monopoly; pretending that prosecution in country without European Patents is progress

EPO workers can hopefully relate to the stupidity of those statements. This is the poor management of the EPO showing the best it has got. Yes, Peru. Nothing wrong with Peru per se, but to the EPO it is irrelevant.

Incidentally, the decision from the FCC was mentioned (before and after) in the comments SUEPO links to at the top of the page, SUEPO.org. To quote:

Concerned observer
JANUARY 10, 2023 AT 2:02 PM
“It is unfortunate that the EPO seems to prefer silence to transparency when it comes to what’s happening at the organization”.

Well, that is putting it mildly. On the occasion in question, silence served the purpose of the EPO avoiding answering (or even commenting upon) the question of whether the President had indeed used foul language at the GCC meeting. However, it seems that there are other occasions where the EPO is happy to comment, albeit by providing reports that everyone outside of the EPO’s management struggles to reconcile with their understanding (or recollection) of events.

So why does the EPO make such deliberate attempts to evade scrutiny and/or to paint a misleading picture? Apart from the obvious reason (namely, that it suits the management’s agenda to do so), the sad truth is because they can. Frankly, concepts such as transparency, proper regulatory oversight and even the rule of law mean very little to an international organisation that has decided to set its face against such things.

Concerned observer
JANUARY 11, 2023 AT 4:49 PM
I await with interest to lean what the German Constitutional Court (BVerfG) makes of the complaints relating to the EPO. The cases in question have been pending before the BVerfG for periods ranging from about 6 to about 12 years. However, it seems that the BVerfG is FINALLY ready to publish its decisions (on 12 January):

https://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/DE/Presse/Senatsbeschl%C3%BCsse/Senatsbeschl%C3%BCsse_node.html

Whilst I am not a gambler, I would wager that the BVerfG’s decisions will essentially conclude that there is nothing to see here … most likely on the basis of (alleged) insufficient substantiation of the legal grounds raised in the complaints.

In any event, the German government will of course already know the outcome of the complaints. Given that there have been no signs of frantic diplomatic efforts to patch up defects in the EPC, I think that it is safe to conclude that the BVerfG’s decisions will not force Germany to withdraw from that Convention. Thus, for me, the only point of interest in the decisions will be the extent to which it (plausibly) argues that the current set-up of the Boards of Appeal is acceptable. My guess is that the BVerfG’s reasoning on this point, if any, will be about as convincing as the Dutch Supreme Court’s argument that access to the ILO-AT serves as an adequate guarantee of the right of EPO staff to COLLECTIVE bargaining.

Misma
JANUARY 12, 2023 AT 11:49 AM
In any doubt about compliance of the EPO boards of appeal with ECHR 6.1 ‘independent tribunal’, i would encourage the complainants to escalate to the ECHR.

Germany has a tradition to protect the EPO.

Concerned observer
JANUARY 13, 2023 AT 7:12 PM
The ECtHR also has a tradition to protect (other) international organisations.

Concerned observer
JANUARY 12, 2023 AT 1:31 PM
Spooky! It is almost as if I have a crystal ball:

https://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/SharedDocs/Entscheidungen/DE/2022/11/rs20221108_2bvr248010.html

Whilst there is still a lot for me to digest in the decision, a particularly noteworthy point is that the complaint filed by a UK legal entity was deemed inadmissible, but only because the BVerG did not issue their decision prior to Brexit. As Brexit happened nearly 7 years after the relevant complaint was filed, this result seems more than a little harsh on the UK-based complainant!

If I understand the decision correctly, it also seems to conclude that LEGAL entities based outside of the EU are not entitled to protections provided by Germany’s Basic Law … INCLUDING the protection that is supposed to guarantee equality before the law. No doubt there is much more to this than meets the eye. However, it does seem to be a curious conclusion, especially if one considers its potential implications (eg with respect to enforcement of rights guaranteed under the ECHR).

It’s hard not to be cynical. ECHR should also look into the mischief of Team UPC, basically seeking to break laws, violate constitutions and conventions, then blackmail Techrights to stop criticism of these abuses. The German government harbours one heck of a “patent mafia” at this point.

01.14.23

Edda Franz, EPO’s Principal Director General Administration, Leaves EPO Amid Growing Chaos and Orchestrated Efforts to Divide the EPO’s Staff

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 3:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 7cb2e512f130af86f7f2395fc168904c
EPO Separating the Examiners
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Europe’s second-largest institution is resorting to tactics one might expect to find in a factory floor or sweatshop in Communist China; workers are being separated from their work friends, whom they lose contact with (might not even be sure if they left the Office), in what’s likely an effort at union-busting (Taiwan exercises several more union-busting tactics). There’s considerable doubt about the legality of this in Germany and The Netherlands. “In the middle of December,” we now learn, “Ms Edda Franz, PD General Administration who was in charge of the project, left the Office unexpectedly.”

“ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” THE EPO continues to crush its very own staff. Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos could never tolerate dissent, so they try to “divide and rule” the staff, quite likely in violation of domestic laws (they’d claim to be immune to these as international organisations) and in violation of international labour laws (they like to simply disregard rulings against them, even if ILOAT decisions are fully enforceable and binding, unless or until ILO cans EPO… maybe vice versa, but then goes out the window one common excuse for the EPO’s immunity).

The media’s unwillingness to cover these scandals is proving harmful to many workers. Consider some of the new comments in this thread; the German government is very much complicit at this point, including the ministry of ‘justice’ and the FCC.

The latest publication from the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO focuses on a subject it discussed half a year ago when we argued “EPO Management Behaves As If the Goal is to Shut Down and Outsource the Patent Office”.

As it turns out, Edda Franz abruptly left and what’s left of examiners will suffer profoundly from a torturous regime whose priority seems to be… inconveniencing and threatening staff.

“Since the last Working Group meeting of 21 November 2022,” the CSC wrote, “management has unilaterally made radical changes to the project “Bringing Teams Together”. According to information now provided to line managers, the 3-day rule will not guarantee an allocated fixed workplace anymore. Line managers are asked to proceed on the basis of quotas (70% of workplaces) which will trigger divisive discussions among team members.”

Here’s the full publication:

Munich, 12 January 2023
sc23002cp

Bringing Teams Together:

The divisive exercise

Since the last Working Group meeting of 21 November 2022, management has unilaterally made radical changes to the project “Bringing Teams Together”. According to information now provided to line managers, the 3-day rule will not guarantee an allocated fixed workplace anymore. Line managers are asked to proceed on the basis of quotas (70% of workplaces) which will trigger divisive discussions among team members. This paper gives more details of what we learnt about the revised plans of the administration.

Dear Colleagues,

From survey…
Back in September 2022, the administration asked line managers to make surveys among their teams. Colleagues were asked how often they intend to come to the Office premises, whether they have specific conditions justifying an allocated fixed workplace and whether they would accept a workplace-for-the day. The message cascaded down at the time was that the 3-day rule for getting an allocated fixed workplace1 was that everybody would get what they want. Ms Simon (VP4) had already assured in a meeting with the Local Staff Committee Munich that a whole team wishing to come to the office premises 4 or 5 days per week on a regular basis would be “perfectly” accommodated with allocated fixed offices for each team member.

In the Communiqué of 14 September 2022, the administration announced that they were “currently still gathering detailed information on the needs of all DG1 staff concerned from their line managers”. The lack of popularity of the project also triggered the administration to postpone the moves in The Hague and Pschorrhöfe buildings until the beginning of 2023.

…to broken promises…
On 17 November 2022, the Office announced the revival of the project and that “all teams will now work together with their managers in The Hague and in the Pschorrhöfe buildings to finalise a detailed accommodation plan by January 2023”. Line managers were still expecting that they could prepare a plan matching what their colleagues expressed in the surveys.
_____
1 The term workplace is the one used by the administration in the GCC/DOC 13/2022 and designates a workstation comprising
a desk, a chair and IT equipment. A workplace can be in an individual office room or in a shared office room with other
workplaces.


Management invited staff representation to a Working Group meeting on 21 November 2022. In the meeting, the administration revealed worrying changes to their approach. Line managers will be tasked to check the history of presence of staff in the premises. At the time, the administration said that the 3-day rule for being eligible to an allocated fixed workplace would cease to be a simple guideline and would become a strict criterion.

…and arbitrary action
In the middle of December, Ms Edda Franz, PD General Administration who was in charge of the project, left the Office unexpectedly. The project is now in the hands of Ms Simon (VP4) assisted by Ms Bergot and Mr Brunelle (as deputy site managers for Munich and The Hague respectively).

At the same time, line managers started to cascade down radical changes to the project to
their teams:

For each Directorate, a specific number of workplaces (70% compared to present) will be allocated in the buildings.

− The 70% workplaces will be split into assigned fixed workplaces and workplaces-for-the-day. In some directorates, a maximum of 50% of the allocated workplaces would be assigned fixed workplaces. Consequently only 35% of staff of that directorate will have an assigned fixed workplace. In other directorates, the share of assigned fixed workplaces was communicated to range between 50% and 70% of the quota allocated to the directorate.

− Team Managers with many staff coming often to the premises will have to try to get allocated fixed workplaces from other teams with more regular teleworkers.

− The allocation of a fixed workplace will be subject to regular reviews (e.g. every six months).

Such features of the project were never discussed with the staff representation. The administration has now moved from an allegedly flexible system to an arbitrary quota-based system.

The divisive exercise
The reaction of staff is very negative. The whole survey exercise made in September 2022 turns out to be useless. Line managers are now in the difficult position of allocating workplaces to their team members on the basis of a quota not taking into account the wishes of their team.

We now hear the following:
• Some line managers now say that coming five days a week to the Office premises cannot guarantee an allocated fixed workplace anymore. This contradicts the statement made by Ms Simon (VP4) in the December meeting of the Administrative Council that “anyone coming at least three days per week will have an allocated fixed workplace”.
• Some line managers confess that allocating only workplaces-for-the-day to everyone would be easier (!) and some even dare say they will do so.
• Some line managers plan to split the week among colleagues in order to optimise the


use of workplaces-for-the-day. Such a proposal would go against the principle of flexibility of teleworking and would lack support as Mondays and Fridays are currently the preferred choice for teleworking.

• Some line managers say that staff members accepting a shared office (namely several workplaces in the same room) would increase their chances of having an allocated fixed workplace. This would go against the principle of individual workplace allocation promised by Mr Campinos.

Instead of “bringing teams together”, the project will divide teams and cause conflicts.

Conclusion

Back in June 2022, the staff representation had published a paper estimating the percentage of workplaces-for-the-day necessary to empty some EPO buildings. At the time, management had tried to prevent the publication of the paper by alleging that it contained wrong information without saying which. The figures published at the time were actually very close to the ones circulated by line managers now.

Mr Campinos acknowledged his ambition to rent out EPO buildings in the GCC meeting of 5 July 2022 and the Communiqué of 13 July 2022. Mr Campinos promised that “any potential rental revenues would be paid into the RFPSS”. However, this is of no direct help for the active staff.

While the staff representation sees the necessity of a reasonable use of resources and energy, e.g. avoiding to heat unused office space, there must be a better solution than simply kicking people out of their workplaces. After all, our homes are not occupied 100% of the time and, yet, we do not leave our homes. We just turn the heating down and manage to find solutions tailored to our individual needs. We should expect that our employer also takes responsibility.

The present problems associated with emptying several buildings simultaneously was created by management itself. Once again, upper management chose an arbitrary solution without considering the repercussions at team level and ignoring the feedback given by the staff representation. The project as currently foreseen will cause significant disruption in the work of staff. Further, transforming the personalised workplaces as they are now into standardised, impersonal, unlocked offices, where each office is exactly the same, seems to us the worst idea since the installation of glass walls. It is now up to line managers and their teams to pay the price of poor management.

The Central Staff Committee

An office wanting to actually attract talented staff would not intentionally choose a policy that staff patently hates.

The EPO needs to update its site already. Edda Franz left last year, but this is what it presents today:

Edda Franz, EPO

01.10.23

[Meme] Censorship of Self-Incriminating Evidence

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We've got the chief patent judge in our pocket... We've got the chief patent judge in our pocket

Summary: EPO and UPC chiefs won't tolerate people who show evidence of António Campinos controlling the person who’s supposed to independently assess fake European Patents that he has been granting

More Than Half a Dozen Copyright Litigation Threats Sent to Techrights in Less Than Six Months Over EPO and UPC Articles (Misusing Copyrights for Censorship/Intimidation)

Posted in Deception, EFF, Europe, Patents at 2:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 4284b6c8bada7f9eec70cb35ae8bb0a4
Censorship by Threats
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Freedom of speech is under threat; the few who still cover EPO corruption are routinely subjected to threatening letters, misusing “copyright” in spite of Fair Use provisions; Europe’s patent system is now dominated by a bunch of gangsters like the ones who roam Malta

THE state of the EPO is as dire as it was under Benoît Battistelli if not a lot worse (the problem is that the media no longer talks about it!) and we’re being attacked for covering EPO scandals. We’ve been subjected to copyright trolling last year [1, 2] and the start of this year (belatedly).

“Please do not donate to the EFF; it’s money down the drain as the EFF is run by (and for) the billionaires who pay a lot more.”Regarding the latest example (only happened about 12 hours ago), I’ve since then spoken to three people. I told them about this latest example and they’ve ridiculed the censorship attempts. I also contacted 3-4 people in the EFF and so far they have of course had nothing to say, let alone do. Even since one co-founder died and another was ousted the EFF has barely done anything about patents and SLAPPed/bullied bloggers. Please do not donate to the EFF; it’s money down the drain as the EFF is run by (and for) the billionaires who pay a lot more. The EFF never helped me; the best it did was, it responded to an E-mail (about 4 years ago). The EFF was infiltrated a few years ago. It’s not coming back.

01.09.23

Team UPC is Trying to Misuse Copyright Law in Order to Censor Critics of the UPC Collusion (a Scheme to Violate Constitutions and Craft an Illegal Kangaroo Court in Defiance of International Conventions)

Posted in Deception, Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 12:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Let's get artistic then…

Klaus Grabinski Met António Trump

Received minutes ago over IRC:

Dear Sir, Dear Madam, We noticed that Mr. Schestowitz used a photo from which we are the copyright holders, without our authorization, in a post on the website with the following URL: http://techrights.org/2022/11/21/upc-partners-in-crime/ This use constitutes an infringement on the copyrights of Mr. Johan Liénard and the FPS Economy

according to article XI.165 of the Belgian Code of Economic law. At no time did Mr. Johan Liénard and the FPS Economy agree to the publication of the concerned photo in its present form in the post

We therefore ask you to immediately remove the concerned photo and cease any further use of it. If not, we will feel obliged to take the necessary further steps to obtain the cessation of this infringement.

We thank you in advance for your collaboration and remain, With kind regards, Johan Liénard and Jérôme Debrulle on behalf of the FPS Economy.

Summary: The second time in months [1, 2] that EPO friends and UPC fiends (Jérôme Debrulle named above, he’s a major part of the UPC collusion) engage in a kind of copyright trolling in an obvious attempt to intimidate prominent critics of their illegal actions? The self-incriminating photo is the only one of its kind (taken and disseminated foolishly by the perpetrators) and copyright law must not be misused by rich criminals to cover up their crimes (or prevent press coverage on it); they must be hurting because German media has caught up with this epic scandal and is covering it

This is also fair use (bypassing maximalists):

BELGIUM IS NEUTRAL; Jérôme Debrulle: Go for it!

Bunch of ‘copyright nazis’ and button-feeders for Benoît Battistelli.

By the way, I do not live in Belgium. A “dude with a camera” taking a shot of two men is no work of art. He helped promote white-collar criminality and now he doesn’t like the consequences.

EU Copyright Law

Also see The Quotation Exception under EU Copyright Law: Paving the Way for User Rights (2021)

01.07.23

[Meme] Only Pretending Proposals Were in Fact Discussed With Staff!

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 8:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Put 14 documents on the agenda; Allocate less than 10 minutes to each

Summary: EPO management is volleying changes, some of which dubious and possibly illegal, without providing sufficient time for input from staff representatives; Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos turned the EPO, Europe’s second-largest institution, into a vendor-captured den of corruption, where the interests of litigation firms and billionaires always come first

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