Bonum Certa Men Certa

EPO Hires External PR Agencies to Control Coverage of Its Annual Report, Deny Investigative Journalism

It is all about money, not about factual interpretation (with proper fact-checking)

Hand with money



Summary: The EPO's hallmark of controlling the media as seen in yesterday's news coverage; so-called 'media partners' and various blogs are being played not only by the EPO but also PR agencies that the EPO is hiring

THE European Patent Office (EPO) published so-called 'results' yesterday. We quickly wrote a short rebuttal within an hour, expecting the media to play along with the EPO regardless. Because that's just how such media works. It's their business model.



This wasn't our first time rebutting claims of this nature. For background reading/examples see:



Long story short, stock is running out pretty first, assuring EPO layoffs. This isn't how patent systems are supposed to work. What would be the purpose of examination if it's not done properly by domain experts? Based on what insiders are saying, examiners are now being assigned to assess applications that aren't even in their field/domain!

"Based on what insiders are saying, examiners are now being assigned to assess applications that aren't even in their field/domain!"But facts don't matter. The EPO has budget. So 'alternative facts' can be constructed and then amplified by corruptible (as in easy-to-manipulate) publishers and journalists employed by these publishers. Money helps. I once met one of these journalists at a coffee shop and he told me how his bosses had urged him to write EPO puff pieces. This is no joking matter. The EPO corrupts the media.

The EPO now hires public relations (PR) agencies. We've lost count of how many and we named some of them before. Below we are seeing Echolot (Barbara Geier), which is being used as "outside help" in order to spread EPO lies in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

It's blatantly obvious, based on this new press release which was custom-made for the UK:

Media contacts European Patent Office

Jana Mittermaier, Director External Communication Rainer Osterwalder, Press spokesperson EPO press desk : Tel.: +49-89-2399-1820, mobile: +49-163-8399527, press@epo.org

UK media contact

echolot public relations Barbara Geier Tel.: +44-7983-242-195 barbara@bconnects.net


They previously hired several other PR agencies; those too might still be on the payroll. We don't know for sure because the EPO isn't as transparent as it likes to claim. Remember that pub Battistelli built for himself for for his 'son' Campinos? Guess whose budget was used. If Battistelli wasn't boasting immunity, he would probably have been under a very serious investigation by now.

"If Battistelli wasn't boasting immunity, he would probably have been under a very serious investigation by now."The PR in the UK (with "UK media contact" listed above) seemed effective enough for puff pieces like "Medtech patents soar in UK". There are some other puff pieces in the UK, but we'll name them below irrespective of location.

So the EPO is again wasting stakeholders' money (budget) on external PR agencies that help amplify lies/spin for Battistelli; is this actually necessary? Is the EPO about examination/granting of patents or self-publicity?

Here is the official press release for the US. Reinforcing its commitment to patent maximalists, UPC, PTAB-bashing (similar to appeal boards) and patent trolls, Watchtroll basically copy-pasted (verbatim) the EPO's press release with all the propaganda in tact. With friends like these, eh?

"So the EPO is again wasting stakeholders' money (budget) on external PR agencies that help amplify lies/spin for Battistelli; is this actually necessary? Is the EPO about examination/granting of patents or self-publicity?"Then came the "media partner" of the EPO, which habitually posts puff pieces for the Office. "Chinese firm Huawei leads European patent applications," said the headline. There was similar stuff in the Chinese media and even in German. They're emphasising China, just like we predicted, as it makes the EPO look like it's surging. "Huawei top filer at EPO in 2017" was WIPR's headline. Mind the time of this article that had been published by China's official state media even before the EPO published it, which means that the EPO's PR department coordinated dissemination of the latest lie in advance. With China even...

Also mind the 'blog' of the EPO/Battistelli (warning: epo.org link) with the expected focus on China (as predicted). To quote:

Over the last few years the number of applications from Chinese inventors has been growing at a very fast rate. In 2016 applications from China grew by 24.8% and last year there was another increase of 16.6%.


Nice cherry-picking. All about China, eh? Watch how the EPO framed this blog post ("A responsive EPO"). "He means to say EPO that just works shoddily and quickly," I told them. Sort of like SIPO (China)...

It's actually a tad disappointing that IP Watch was quoting from the EPO's press release (rather than investigate the bigger picture).

"Patent quality has fallen and pending work has been slapped away carelessly; this will lead to layoffs."German media, which the EPO targeted with a humongous budget, was well under the EPO's thumb this time. German media that never bothers reporting on EPO scandals was happy to parrot the EPO's claims, even in English. Then there's the English press release from Siemens and the press release from Philips. The Local, which always issues a lot of puff pieces about these results, did the usual thing (it will probably do more in days to come).

A site that typically covers SUEPO affairs participated in the EPO's PR (not for the first time). This article overlooks the full story entirely (not too surprisingly). Patent quality has fallen and pending work has been slapped away carelessly; this will lead to layoffs.

"If it weren't for the EPO wasting a fortune on PR, there would probably be almost no press coverage."The Battistelli and UPC proponent known as Managing IP relayed the EPO's talking points, but this was more of less expected. "The EPO’s annual report reveals the top patent filers in Europe in 2017. Filing trends included a 5.8% increase in patent applications from the US," it said. They did not mention the 'discounts' that led to this? No. What would the numbers look without any 'discounts'? Another decline (like last year's)?

"Over 10% more granted European patents in 2017," the EPO bragged. "You're running out of stock," I told them. "You grant in error."

The EPO was soon just linking to one of several promotional videos like this one and the zombie-like Battistelli (he's an appalling speaker, irrespective of his mother's tongue). Watch the rather pathetic numbers (less than 100 views after almost a day). If it weren't for the EPO wasting a fortune on PR, there would probably be almost no press coverage. But we already know how the EPO exploits money to control media and more recently academia, too [1, 2].

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