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The EPO's Paid Propaganda Campaign in the Media

Who needs facts, editorial discretion, and scientific peer review anyway?

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Summary: EPO buys (using public money) coverage that is favourable to its rogue management's agenda, demonstrating utter disregard for scientific processes

THE EPO faces difficult times because the management is corrupt. Everyone suffers from this. There have been puff pieces and placements from Kongstad and his friend the 'President' (Benoît Battistelli), notably from patent lawyers' sites, and there has generally been very shallow coverage from press that is associated with patents. It's all about the money; services to European citizens are, in hindsight, not even an afterthought.



Watch Benoît Battistelli bragging about lowering patents' standards (compromising quality) to increase output. They are operating like a production line rather than an examination centre and based on this recent post from IP Kat, people are now encouraged to "take on extra work". To quote the relevant part: "DG1 is facing challenging production plans."

Yes, production. It's a factory's mentality. "Examiner capacity for search, examination and opposition," says the post, "is being maximised to achieve these goals."

Production. Of what? Paper and pen marks? Printouts?

"Besides other initiatives to increase core time," says the post, "all investments where examiners are involved in so-called "section Ill" activities, for support of projects or other DG plans, were revisited and rationalised. The "section lll" envelope covers the time budgets for projects and activities outside our normal operational business in DG1."

This very well illustrates what the EPO has become. Battistelli runs it like a factory and then brags about production volume, not quality of the product. It's a sham and it is a sham that benefits from ever-broadening patent scope (i.e. harm to many fields due to excessive protectionism). It is all about money now, not scientists. Will Europeans tolerate these? Patents on pigs, on algorithms, on human genetics?

The New Scientist recently sold out by publishing paid placements, even for the widely-maligned EPO that is desperate for some positive press. As Merpel put it: "Fresh from publishing the thoughts of a former member of the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office, Merpel just noticed this article: A day in the life of a patent examiner appearing in the New Scientist.

"Merpel was immediately struck by the byline "The interview was produced by New Scientist in conjunction with the European Patent Office, which paid for it to be produced." Need the EPO be paying for publication about the career path of an Examiner in order to attract suitable candidates?

"Merpel wonders what readers think about the article itself, and whether the EPO should be paying for placement of such pieces."

The blog later wrote that the post "recorded, without criticism or comment, the fact that the European Patent Office had paid a highly respected journal to carry an interview with someone who, it now seems, may not actually be an examiner on life as an EPO examiner. This blogpost encouraged many of our contributors to fire off their salvos against or in defence of the beleaguered body."

The EPO is a complete sham. The management resorts to what seems like the notorious fake testimonies strategy, having produced some softball 'interviews' in an effort to cleanse its reputation. Don't let this spin go on unchallenged.

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