Bonum Certa Men Certa

EUIPO and the Shady Relation to the EPO

Too much secrecy for a supposedly democratic society

Men's shade



Summary: A lot of back room activity (limited access conferences, secret contracts, shady deals) muddies the water when it comes to EUIPO (formerly OHIM), EPO, and WIPO

FOR quite some time now we have been hearing about the EPO's relation to EUIPO, which is more or less a new name for an existing entity. It is always important to ensure that such European entities adhere to and comply with European interests, or more generally the interests of ordinary people all around the world rather than massive corporations (usually foreign). Recall the time patents were used to monopolise cancer treatments in Europe, harming cancer patients. As it turns out, based on new reports (e.g. [1, 2]), GSK considers not keeping a monopoly (using patents) on certain cancer treatments, at least in poorer nations. This is the kind of news people want to hear.



"It is always important to ensure that such European entities adhere to and comply with European interests, or more generally the interests of ordinary people all around the world rather than massive corporations (usually foreign)."IP Kat, which recently celebrated its 10,000th blog post, takes a look at this new book about law design and patents in Europe -- an interesting and dangerous cocktail or mix (to reuse Battistelli's words). It's not always clear whether design ripoffs can be prevented using trademarks, copyrights, patents, or some weird combination thereof. That's where EUIPO comes into play. Responding to this new article about Fordham 2016 (an event we mentioned critically in English last night and in Spanish this morning), one person wrote: “The most important outcome of such a get-together is what is the consensus on how we should be pronouncing EUIPO” (as if the name is what matters and as if it's to be determined in some closed echo chamber in New York, not even in Europe).

To quote IP Kat:

Dimitris Botis (Deputy Director of Legal Affairs at the newly named EUIPO) was next to discus the future of the EU trade mark system in particular the recent trade marks reform package consisting of Directive 2015/2436 and Regulation 2015/2424. The biggest change in substantive trade mark law is the deletion of the graphic representation requirement which means that it will be easier to register non-traditional marks. The exact impact of this change on filing practice and types of marks that can be accepted will not be seen until the implementing rules are issued on 1 October 2017. The second biggest change is to the functionality prohibition to "other characteristics". There is now also an express requirement for clarity and precision in specifying the goods and services that are specified for the mark. It will be based on the "natural and usual meaning" of terms (i.e .interpreted literally). The new fee structure and levels with a new "one-fee-per-class" system is also a big change. There has been a moderate reduction of the application fee and substantial reduction of renewal fees. Dimitris also pointed out that there is also new EU Certification mark which can be registered to ensure the certification of the quality, material, mode of manufacture etc, but cannot be used in relation to geographical origin. Institutionally, there will be changes in terminology - hello EUIPO! But its not just changes in terminology, there is a change in management structure. The changes will be taking on a more political taste (the EU Commission has two seats now). The new Regulation also requires more cooperation between the Member States. Trevor Cook from Wilmer Hale said the change are really only technical in nature and do not generate a huge impact on substantive trade mark law. Dimitris agreed but the technical changes will ensure more efficient operation.


Here is what Michael Loney wrote for MIP in New York:

Two firsts for Fordham: Dimitris Botis's debut and the first talk by someone from EUIPO (as OHIM was renamed on March 23). He summarises the changes in the EU trade mark package, on which there is a detailed session tomorrow afternoon.

He says the changes were "targeted amendments" to improve predictability and accessibility, and the most important is the abolition of the graphic representation requirement (effective October 1 2017).

Next up is Antony Taubman of WTO, who describes his logjam as "well-entrenched" with no work on the GI project for five years (for example). He's here in New York to "harvest ideas" he adds.


Interesting to know, as noted above, that OHIM was officially renamed on March 23rd as it was barely advertised. Judging by the name alone, the IPO might one day become an umbrella organisation for the Patent Office/Organisation, assuming that "IP" is really what it is (just an umbrella term for copyrights, trademarks, patents, and maybe also trade secrets).

"Interesting to know, as noted above, that OHIM was officially renamed on March 23rd as it was barely advertised."Some people inside the EPO are comparing Battistelli to Gurry (now best known for the WIPO scandals) and Campinos, who is rumoured to be a replacement for Battistelli and currently heads OHIM, aka EUIPO.

As one person chose to put it, "WIPO, OHIM, EPO: three of a kind?"

OHIM is probably an old name now, but here's how the analogy goes:

On 24 February, a US congressional hearing took place on the accountability of WIPO. The Head of WIPO, Francis Gurry, stands accused of serious misconduct and of retaliation against whistle-blowers, among whom is the chairman of the WIPO’s Staff Union, who was summarily dismissed a year and a half ago 1. The head of the third international property office, Mr Campinos, has thus far managed to stay out of the public eye. This may, however, be only a matter of time. We hear from staff at OHIM that he has a management style and disrespect for the rule of law that are very similar to those of Mr Battistelli. The three international IP offices have very different structures: the EPO is fully independent, WIPO is a UN agency and OHIM is an EU agency. They nevertheless seem to suffer from the same problems. How come? Maybe because the underlying causes are the same: a governing body that is almost entirely dependent on the head of the office for its information, lots of money and a lack of transparency that enables the head of the organisation to use that money to increase his personal influence, the whole topped up with immunity. Since the same causes tend to lead to the same effect, removing the responsible managers would not solve the problems. What is needed is a reform of the governance of these organisations, starting with more transparency and accountability – to the governing body and to the public.


Proper "transparency and accountability" -- as the above put it -- would at least inform the public about what the heck is going on at OHIM. There's just way too much secrecy. In the EPO, for example, contracts of top management are a closely-guarded secret, as are contracts with private companies such as Microsoft and Gemalto. These aren't public bodies. They act like private bodies [1, 2] which enjoy immunity from the law.

Expanding on the European Union IP Office (EUIPO), which makes it sound like part of the EU (unlike the EPO, which the EPC brought into existence):

Soon after Mr Battistelli took over, staff and the public were informed that bilateral agreements had been signed between the EPO and WIPO, and between the EPO and OHIM. It seems that the content of these agreements has never been made public. Glimpses can be found in other documents, e.g. CA/24/14 (points 51-57), for example, explains that the EPO will continue to participate as an observer in OHIM bodies and working group meetings. As far as we know, OHIM also has an observer in the meetings of the Administrative Council of the EPO.

On a more permanent basis, Mr Telmo Vilela, a former co-worker of Mr Campinos in the Portuguese patent office, was hired by the EPO in DG5 but was transferred to the President’s office as soon as the opportunity arose. Furthermore according to CA/24/14 (point 57) IT co-operation between the EPO and OHIM is foreseen with the aim of “paving the way for the implementation of projects and activities based on harmonization and interoperability”. Mr Campinos is also Mr Battistelli’s favorite candidate for his succession as President of the EPO. A final bit of information: OHIM will change its name to European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) later this month.


It is worth noting that Battistelli had attempted to be head of WIPO before he became ruler of EPO. There is certainly a great degree of overlap here, some potentially implicating Željko Topić, VP4 at EPO. One thing that Topić's SIPO has in common with the EPO and WIPO is staff suicides (usually dissenting voices).

There remains so much secrecy around these institutions (and extreme abuse against critics or people who 'dare' to explore the truth) that one must dig deeper and deeper. There's certainly a lot of material these people are eager to hide (because they're already hiding it, even when there's a deepening crisis).

Recent Techrights' Posts

In Malawi, Windows Down to 10%, GNU/Linux Growing
it's not a small country
[Meme] Featuritis
Newer is not always better
Ireland Last to Report Election Results
Daniel Pocock's involvement in Australian politics goes back to his university days
Never Sleeps, Never Slumbers
We're going to try to improve not just in quantity but also in quality
EPO Has Gotten So Bad That Workers Need to Ask to be Allocated a Desk (at Work)
Wow!!!! An “allocated workplace”!!
 
New Highs for Android in Haiti (Nearly 80%), Microsoft Windows at Only 4%
that's Android at another new high and very close to 80% (it now seems inevitable)
[Meme] How Stefano Maffulli (and Microsoft's Own OSI Insiders) Make Money
Milking what's left of the OSI by attacking its very mission - something that more people now recognise
Mobs Don't Get the Job Done (Mob Leaders Have Lost Credibility/Visibility, Job, or Both)
their demands weren't met
Montenegro: GNU/Linux "Proper" at Over 6%
Windows is down to record lows
Links 13/06/2024: Overpopulation Woes, Best Buy Lays Off More Employees
Links for the day
Nationwide Eventually Did Listen
Miles better than their original nonresponse
The Corruption of Open Source Initiative (OSI), a Front Group of Microsoft and GAFAM, Openwashing Proprietary Things and Even Plagiarism, GPL Violations
Stefano Maffulli (and Microsoft's staff that works with him) basically profits from anti-FOSS
"AI" Tech Bubble
How much "hype quotient" does this whole "hey hi" (AI) thing have left in it?
Links 13/06/2024: Science, Politics, and Gemini
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 12, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Gemini Links 12/06/2024: The Rodent Revolution and Adding Twisty Puzzles
Links for the day
Links 12/06/2024: Ukraine War Updates and Many Patents Being Subjected to Squashing Bounties
Links for the day
[Meme] The Purpose of Life is to Find a Desk
dogs have desks
Tux Machines Parties Going Well Do Far
Cross-posted from Tux Machines
In Many Countries, Both Large and Small, Vista 11 is Losing Market Share (Despite New PCs Coming Preloaded With It)
One need not even consider large nations in isolation
By "Going Public" the Raspberry Pi Ensures It'll No Longer Serve the Public
It'll be owned and controlled by whatever people wish to control it
Dave Wreski Also Plays the Bot Game (Chatbot) at LinuxSecurity to Fake 'Articles' About "Linux"
How much longer can they fool search engines (SEO) and readers?
[Meme] Indisputable Success
MICROSOFT buys shares of MICROSOFT
Links 12/06/2024: 'Hey Hi' (AI) Bubble Imploding Already, Danish Media Threatens to Sue OpenAI
Links for the day
Links 11/06/2024: Floods in Germany and Brazil, Political Violence
Links for the day
Gemini Links 12/06/2024: Sketching Plants, OpenBSD Pubnix
Links for the day
"2025 the year of Linux on the Desktop"
Charlie Stross quote
In Bahrain, Historically Low on GNU/Linux Adoption, Things Change for the Better
They have some people who understand Free software
Daniel Pocock Received Twice as Many Votes as Andreas Tille (Debian Project Leader After 2024 Election)
From the media yesterday...
Debian is Built by Hundreds of Volunteers and 524 Irish People Voted for Daniel Pocock
524 in that area went to the polling station to vote Daniel Pocock (Ind)
[Meme] RMS is 'Too Old', Says Company Run by a Person 5 Years His Junior (Ginni Rometty) and 10 Years His Junior (Arvind Krishna)
Never again?
[Meme] Women in Computer Science
Grace Hopper, Ada Lovelace etc.
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 11, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, June 11, 2024
Togo: GNU/Linux Growing Fast This Year, Now Measured at 6%
Sending Bill Gates with a suitcase to bribe African officials isn't enough anymore
Free Software Projects Need to Chase Away Men Who Attack Women Rather Than The Women Who Complain
A just society holds people accountable rather than covers up such blunders
Improving the Image of Women in Free Software by Hiring and Promoting the Proficient Ones
Million's shaman background isn't the problem, or even the superstitious ghost-chasing. The problem is that she has absolutely no background in Free software.
They Say Cash is King
People who value their freedom will pay with cash any time they can
'Team Microsoft' Wants to Leverage Our Popularity as a Weapon Against Us
In the past 2 days we published 64 articles and served over a million HTTP/S requests
[Meme] Microsoft Has Enough of Its Own Problems (Layoffs Abundant), It Won't Rescue IBM or Canonical
"It's OK, we're partners"
Know Your Allies, Know Your Enemies
The answer to censorship attempts is more speech, not less speech
Debian is Back to Taking Money From Microsoft, the Company That's Attacking Linux From the Inside
If Debian fails to understand what's wrong with it, that's a problem
Ghana: Windows Down From 97% to Just 15%
The doors are closing on Windows
Links 11/06/2024: Practice of Retaliatory Layoffs at Microsoft
Links for the day
Gemini Links 11/06/2024: GMID 2.0.5 and More
Links for the day
The United States Will Cut Off or Cull Firefox
It is only a matter of time
[Meme] Firefox Is Not an Alternative to Google, Only to Chrome (and It Has Become Proprietary or OSPS Like Chromium)
The illusion of remaining "choice" on the Web
No, the World Wide Web Isn't Open (and Hasn't Been for Years)
It's proprietary all the way now
The War on Free Software Reporters - Part VII - Groupthink, Censorship Demands, and Ultimatums
There's a lot of groupthink in the Free software community
Microsoft Told Us That LLMs Were a Boon for Azure and 'Clown Computing', But the Thousands of Layoffs This Month Prove That It Was a Lie All Along
Azure is collapsing
Why We Post Statistics About the Usage of Operating Systems Worldwide
We're hoping to see GNU/Linux at over 10% (on desktops/laptops) some time in the coming years
Winning Defamation Cases is Incredibly Difficult (for Plaintiffs), Even in the United States and the United Kingdom
SLAPP should always backfire
In Kuwait, Microsoft's Windows Fell From 97% to Just 15%
According to statCounter
GNU/Linux in Philippines Climbs to New Levels
This is an all-time high
Links 11/06/2024: Windows Outcry and Climate News
Links for the day
Tux Machines Was Always a Women-Run Site (the Real Voices of GNU/Linux, Not Political Props in Corporate Events)
Corporate "diversity" is more of a marketing/PR gimmick than real, genuine diversity
Macao: GNU/Linux Desktop/Laptop Operating System Market Share Rising Close to 7%
GNU/Linux Rises to Record High in Macao
FSF is Now 50% Female, Unlike Red Hat (Which Moaned About Lack of "Diversity" at FSF)
Isn't the hypocrisy just astounding?
Since COVID-19 Lockdowns Windows Fell From Almost 50% to Just 10% in Loas
According to statCounter
[Meme] Quantity Says Nothing About Worth, Value, or Quality
People will generally gravitate towards things of quality and reputation
Microsoft's Windows in Gabon: From 20% 'Market Share' Down to Around 10% in a Few Months
Gabon is not a small country
Meanwhile at canonical.com
Canonical knows exactly what Ubuntu users want
[Meme] Microsoft (and the NSA) Will Never Forget
The user trying to permanently disable 'recall'
Windows Falls Below 20% in United Arab Emirates This Month
According to statCounter
"Windows 11's Recall AI, known to take snapshots and recordings of user computers regularly, including key presses, was discovered to store all its information in an unencrypted local folder."
"You can copy the data from another user's "recall" folder as another user."
Fedora Week of Diversity (FWD) 2024 Outsourced to Proprietary Spyware of GAFAM
Need to use proprietary software to participate
IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 10, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, June 10, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
[Meme] Clown Computing is Better For...
Clown: they said clown computing enhances security
One in a Thousand Voters Chose to Vote Daniel Pocock (as First Preference)
He got about 4 times more votes than what had him win FSFE elections
Daniel Pocock on Good Performance in His EU Election Campaign: Thanking the voters of Midlands-North-West, Ireland
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
The 'IT Industry' is Already in Ruins
The "powers that be" do not want the "hoi polloi" to possess skills and systems
Microsoft's Windows is Sliding Away Into Minority Platform Territories, Even in Rich Countries With Affluent Computer Users
We seem to be striking a nerve at Microsoft every time we say this
Self-Hosting Should be Taught and Embraced, Outsourcing Creates More Problems (or Risks) Than It Solves
One can control one's destiny...