Bonum Certa Men Certa

Koch Explains the Dirty Games the European Patent Office Plays at ILO


Summary: Gaming the legal process means one is interested neither in the process nor in the law (or in justice); this is becoming the hallmark of today's EPO, even in Geneva

THE Campinos-run European Patent Office (EPO) had asked appellents to drop their ILO appeals. This was rightly seen as a rather insulting, tactless suggestion. As staff representatives put it, these appeals are not a 'hobby', they're about justice. EPO management isn't interested in justice but in cover-up; how is such an authority expected to look after patent law? It's absurd!

One former staff representative (unjustly dismissed by Team Battistelli/Bergot) explained: "Though my life is tough, I don't lose morale easily, and I have a passion for both justice and rule of law -- which, to me, are closely linked.

"EPO management isn't interested in justice but in cover-up; how is such an authority expected to look after patent law?""Thanks a lot (already), also for your commitment to stop software patents unlawful under the EPC , and to inform about the developments in the EPO -- all the best to you."

Half A day ago we wrote about Koch v EPO [1, 2, 3], an appeal which -- as we put it then -- "serves to show ILO dysfunction as well as EPO misconduct."

"This case helps highlight a lot of problems not only at the EPO but ILO (more specifically its Tribunal) as well."The appellant, Koch, decided to get in touch and clarify a bit. She's courageous enough to speak to us just to ensure we get the story of this case right. She said "it would be a major catastrophe for staff of all IOs [international organisations] if IOs could prevent their employees' access to the Tribunal by introducing "errors" in their internal appeals process, and if the Tribunal agreed with this, as Judgment 4131, under 5., seems to imply. Imagine a defendant "re-running" an appeal in the complainant's name, but without his/her participation -- utterly absurd, isn't it? That's what the EPO does, at least in 3 of my cases."

We're going to follow up some time soon with further details. This case helps highlight a lot of problems not only at the EPO but ILO (more specifically its Tribunal) as well. They're supposed to be mutually-independent entities, but evidence suggests otherwise. It's like the so-called 'independent' (but in exile) Boards of Appeal at the EPO.

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Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer