Bonum Certa Men Certa

More French Politicians Are Complaining That Benoît Battistelli is a Disgrace to France and Urge for Action

Battistelli



Summary: The backlash against Battistelli spills well outside the EPO and is now apparent even at the French National Assembly

THE EPO may not be the only casualty of the rather psychopathic (with God complex) Benoît Battistelli, the man who was somehow put in charge of the EPO only to destroy the institution Europe once took pride in.



Battistelli is certainly one for the history books; he does enormous damage not just to the EPO technically (bad patents, brain drain etc.) but also to its reputation. Moreover, he spoils the reputation of France and creates/reinforces an antipathy stigma that's hard(er) to shake off, even though some of Battistelli's victims are French.

Repeating what was said before by a female French politician (arguing Battistelli is “extremely damaging to the image of France”), Philip Cordery now tells the French National Assembly that Battistelli is a "disgrace to France", according to this new article from The Register (published on a Saturday, their third article about the EPO this past week). To quote:

President of the European Patent Office (EPO) Benoit Battistelli is a disgrace to his country, the French National Assembly heard Wednesday.

"La présence du Français Benoît Battistelli à la tête de l’Office nuit aujourd’hui gravement à l’image de notre pays," stated MP Philip Cordery in an address to the secretary of state for industry, Christophe Sirugue.

The extraordinary personal attack comes as a number of politicians, media organizations and staff unions across Europe have joined a growing chorus of criticism against the civil servant for continued attacks on his own workers.

For over a year, Battistelli has held several key members of the EPO staff union in disciplinary hearings and on restricted pay, claiming that they had been intimidating other employees. Last month, he took the momentous decision to fire the union's former secretary, Laurent Prunier, despite an explicit resolution of the EPO's governing Administrative Council telling him not to do so.


Comments in IP Kat (right now/this past week) aren't much more flattering and some some of them blame more than just Battistelli; blame is put also on the Council for refusing or failing to fire Battistelli and his ilk.

To quote one comment:



You may well be right. Perhaps this is why Monsieur le President feels so secure, despite conducting himself in a manner that would land him in civil court (and perhaps also in criminal court) in any EU country.

This does beg the question: if EU leaders wanted to achieve certain goals that would currently be illegal due to some irksome EU law or other, could they set up an international organisation in order to effectively bypass those laws?

For example, in order to deal with troublesome political enemies, could one or more EU Member States set up an international organisation (with the usual privileges and immunities granted to its staff) with a name such as "Totalitarian Organisation for the Re-education of Those Undeserving of Rights in Europe" - or "TORTURE" for short? I would like to think not, but what would stop it?

If there are mechanisms that would stop the creation of a hypothetical organisation such as TORTURE, what are they? Would any of them be applicable to the EPO? If they would, is it too late to trigger them now? If not, how can they be triggered?

It is clear that the President and his cronies have taken actions that are not "strictly necessary for its [the EPO's] administrative and technical operation". I mean, at what point could it ever be argued that it is "strictly necessary" to fire a staff representative when your governing body has explicitly told you not to? Thus, due to the limitations of immunity under Article 3 PPI, the Organisation, if not any of its individual staff, ought to be liable for suit in a national court. Such suit might raise interesting questions of the duty of the President under Article 19(2) PPI.

I do hope that there is a way out of this mess for the EPO. However, I fear that only legal action at a national court will be the answer: as what is to stop another clique of self-serving, money-grabbing, sociopathic "politicians" taking over the management of the EPO once the current President finally leaves?


In reference to the Dutch Supreme Court:

I suspect the Dutch Supreme Court Appeal might answer your question. It seems the court will find in favour of the EPO but, of course, the decision may well say a lot more about whether the EPO is morally wrong but technically safe. In doing so it should define the boundaries since that is the crux of the matter - where does immunity start. Don't be surprised if the court is very direct and critical.


The discussion about the Dutch Supreme Court continues as follows:



Despite the AG's opinion, I can't see any reason to believe that it is likely that the Dutch Supreme Court will find in the EPO's favour. This is because the AG's opinion is so demonstrably full of holes that it is embarrassing. ILO-AT's remit simply does not cover complaints relating to the rights at issue, and so to point to the possibility of complaining to ILO-AT is no answer to the plaintiff's arguments.

But perhaps you know something about the Supreme Court's decision-making process that I do not.

I would rather have expected that the government of the Netherlands (as well as all other national governments and/or heads of international organisations) would be at pains to avoid any suggestion of "political" interference in the Dutch judiciary. The independence of the judiciary is, after all, one of the cornerstones of democracy in Europe.


Eponia does not need to obey anyone though, as it even openly brags about ignoring the Dutch Supreme Court if found guilty. As one person put it:



The independence of the judiciary is, after all, one of the cornerstones of democracy in Europe.

What century are you living in ? Certainly not the 21st century in Eponia !

What a load of quaint antiquated Montesquieuesque nonsense !


ILO's ruling too can probably be ignored by Battistelli's EPO and here is one comment about ILOAT, citing a PDF that we uploaded about a week ago.



One of the two decisions which had been announced for exceptional public delivery by the ILOAT is now available here: http://techrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ilo-3785.pdf It doesn€´t seem extraordinary, but it is, and it might have serious implications for other appellants as well: the ILOAT refused to examine the case before it on its merits, but sent it back right away to the EPO for reconsideration by an Appeals Committe "composed in accordance with the applicable rules" (!!!) By analogy it must be expected that the numerous cases pending before the ILOAT concerning e.g. the disciplinary measures taken against staff mambers, or the contested guidelines relating to investigations, data protection, right to strike, etc ... will be remitted to the EPO in the same way. It is a pity, and clear evidence that the EPO administration does not even abide to the most elementary statutory rules.


"Facts are opinions," one person wrote. "This is what EPO communication is about now. Facts are opinions..."

EPO announcements/interviews/messages to media are also filled with lies these days. Lies have become the norm; it's a post-truth era for the EPO.

Battistelli, a Republican, does not seem to care what's true, much like Donald Trump with his utterly bizarre opinions on climate. Only says ago Trump's spokesperson Scottie Nell Hughes said "there's no such thing as facts" and she earned many headlines for that outlandish remark.

Here is the full comment about the EPO:

Facts are opinions. This is what EPO communication is about now. Facts are opinions, firing staff representatives is not what it looks like, it is based on individual circumstances, it so happens that 100% of dismissals target senior union members. And opinions are facts: really, yes, the unnamed board member hid nazi memorabilia and weapons in his office, after all who are you to disagree, I am the one controlling communication here. All of this is a matter of degrees in a scale with no beginning and no end.

So of course no definitive action need be taken by the administrative council. We are all still talking and arguing, you see. Let us put things in perspective.

From my perspective, the time for talking is long gone; communication has become corrupted and dangerous. The rule of law has become an esoteric detail standing in the way of "modernisation" and "reforms".

Do not ever take BB and his cronies for anything other than what they are.


The authoritarian style of management championed by the likes of Putin and Battistelli does no favrour to France ahead of increasingly worrisome elections. Battistelli's political party seems to be having issues and a reader told us that "Sarkozy got sodded at the first round! Bastardelli's caring daddy won't get upped!! Yuk yuk!!!"

Well, maybe he'll stay around at the EPO even longer than his current term, or work at some capacity to fulfill his horrible UPC fantasies (he has done this for more than half a decade).

Here is one more comment:



It is a pity, and clear evidence that the EPO administration does not even abide to the most elementary statutory rules.

That is only the tip of the iceberg.

The real problem is that the AC will not demand any consequences or call those responsible for the mess to account, in particular DG5 legal services dilettantes who have created the problem with their anticipatory obedience to the forces of tyranny.

You really have to wonder whether the AC will even realise the significance of this judgement.


We won't be quoting any more comments because many of them merely give a platform to trolls. The economics of Internet trolling are spectacular. One provocative comment is enough to cause a storm and take everything off topic. Readers of ours who also read IP Kat comments (especially over the past fortnight) will know what we mean.

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