Bonum Certa Men Certa

Thanksgiving EPO Roundup: UPC Lies, Software Patents Considered Harmful and SUEPO Condemns Union-Busting Activities (Which Carry on Under António Campinos)

Minnoye MAGA



Summary: The latest EPO news, including the habitual lies about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) courtesy of those looking to increase litigation rates

TODAY is a relatively calm day (Thanksgiving in the United States), but that does not mean that EPO scandals can be ignored. There are some bits -- not necessarily news -- that need highlighting today.

First of all, Bristows LLP has just woken up. It wrote a UPC blog post for the first time in several months (they used to write several times per week). It was published at least 4 times throughout the day (different revisions due to their lousy CMS). As usual, Bristows (Gregory Bacon in this case) is maintaining the illusion, lie and fiction that the UPC is about to happen. But no 'unitary' patents exist and UPC is basically dead; even Team UPC nearly quit mentioning that (it's hard to find mentions of it any longer and EPO management almost never utters those words). The final words from Bristows: "The Italian Ministry of Justice announced in 2016 that a local division of the UPC will be in Milan (in an existing court building at via San Barnaba 50)."

Will? Would? In 2016 or thereabouts Bristows also advertised UPC jobs in the UK -- jobs that never existed and will never exist. Is that not against the law?

But it wasn't just Bristows; "Not to be confused with the much delayed Unitary Patent," Novagraaf wrote some hours ago as if the UPC is "delayed" rather than dead. This help perpetuate those infamous old lies about inevitability. They belittle the court and show disdain for justice.

Speaking of disdain for justice, how about the EPO granting software patents in Europe in defiance of courts, Parliament and the EPC?

The EPO resumed advocacy of this abomination earlier today (as it does every day). By "emerging technologies" the EPO nowadays means abstract software patents (described using much-hyped words and acronyms). The referenced page is all about "AI" and other such buzzwords.

"One easy solution is to outright forbid patents on software," Benjamin Henrion noted today, citing and quoting Jonathan Rosenberg's new article titled "Software Patents Considered Harmful" (in Medium).

It's quite long and here are the opening words:

Friends and relatives who are not in the technology industry always ask me if I’ve ever gotten a patent. For them, a patent has this sheen of accomplishment. They believe it means you invented something, that you are an innovator, that you’ve done something no one has done before. I give a little chuckle, tell them that yes, I have a few patents (I actually have 90 issued U.S. patents), but that it’s not really a big deal, and thank you for asking. In reality, I’m being polite. I don’t want to burst their bubble, nor do I want to launch into a long tirade. Because, the reality is, that patents — and in particular — software patents — are a plague upon the industry. They hamper innovation. They cost companies millions and millions of dollars in frivolous law suits. They waste time and energy from people who just want to build products. They are anathema to the Internet. Software patents are harmful.

Software patents have three key characteristics which have resulted in their harmfulness. They are vague in terms of what is actually invented. They can be passed along as property. You can sue for infringement without making the product to which the patent applies. Lets cover each in turn.


Software patents may be the subject we'll focus on this weekend in relation to the American system.

Last but not least, Märpel wrote at around 8PM on Thanksgiving, just to share the following item from Tuesday:



RESOLUTION

SUEPO members in Munich, gathered in a General Assembly, note that: - The President, Mr Campinos has decided to face Elizabeth Hardon, former Chairman of SUEPO Munich and Chair of the Local Staff Committee Munich, with a new disciplinary committee instigated by the same old Administration which is still in place, and apparently with the same old charges. - The Tribunal has already castigated the Administration's behaviour in the cases of Ion Brumme (Judgment 4043) and Malika Weaver (Judgment 4042). - The President did not take into account the instructions contained in the Resolution CA/26/16 dated 16 March 2016 to inform the Administrative Council of any new disciplinary proceedings concerning a staff representative and to consider the possibility of involvement of an external reviewer for arbitration or mediation.

Further noting that: - Laurent Prunier, as Secretary of SUEPO The Hague and member of the Central Staff Committee, was dismissed for extraneous motives, similarly to Elizabeth, Malika and Ion. - Staff representatives face difficulties accommodating their workload in the Appeals Committee with the workload in their other duties, mostly patent examination. Judgments 3971 and 4050 made public these difficulties, resulting in disciplinary measures against Aurélien Pétiaud and Michael Lund, which the Tribunal considered "within the range of acceptability" or "not to be disproportionate". It is now absolutely clear that those disciplinary measures were politically motivated as part of an intimidation campaign against staff representatives.

Expresses its disappointment about the continuation of the attacks initiated by former President, Mr Battistelli. Expresses its deep concern that the President's decision will prevent the restoration of social dialogue and further damage the reputation of the Office.

Urges the President: - to drop the charges raised against Elizabeth Hardon, - to reinstate Laurent Prunier in full, - to provide reparation of the torts inflicted on Aurélien Pétiaud and Michael Lund

Munich, Tuesday 20 November


Union-busting activities have arguably exacerbated under António Campinos, who seemingly uses Bergot as his main attack dog. Less than a week ago SUEPO removed a sort of blog post that it had published a day earlier even though Bergot's name was removed from the cited page. Nobody could ever explain to us whether this removal was due to another threat like the one in summer or in March (we wrote about that several times back then, even in February).

Update: SUEPO resolution voted by the SUEPO General Assembly held in Munich on Tuesday 20.11.2018 (with slight grammar-related edits)



Pressure is increasing on Campinos. The situation at EPO remains utterly negative: Campinos, who was said to be nominated by the Administrative Council because of his alleged proven record of good performance in the field of social partnership at Alicante, has done absolutely nothing concrete since his arrival last July, to redress the situation of the abusively sanctioned staff representatives all union officials (e.g. whilst solving the pending cases and redressing the past ones).

In reality he is protecting Elodie Bergot who as principal director HR at EPO is personally responsible for the social mess of the past five years. Bergot was behind the abusive sanctioning of all staff representatives and SUEPO officials and will do her best to torpedo "amicable settlements" she hates more than anything else.

Campinos is thus not acting bona fide when he on the one hand, claims to EPO staff he wishes to foster "amicable settlements" over litigations, but on the other hand since months, does nothing concretely to find solutions to the few pending cases of abusive sanctions which destroyed the life of those impacted.

The next step should thus be to involve the Administrative Council and the EU Institutions in Brussels to inform them that nothing has changed at the EPO and how within a few months, Mr Campinos seems to develop into a "mini Battistelli", apparently happy to finish the work of his mentor.

Campinos' lack of action is not going to improve the deteriorated reputation of the EPO as an employer as long as Rule of Law and the respect for the Duty of Care owed to all EPO staff are not re-established and seen to be re-established.

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