Bonum Certa Men Certa

EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 12: A Worthy Successor to His Mentor?



Series index:

  1. The EPO Bundestagate -- Part 1: How the Bundestag Was (and Continues to be) Misled About EPO Affairs
  2. The EPO Bundestagate -- Part 2: Lack of Parliamentary Oversight, Many Questions and Few Answers…
  3. The EPO Bundestagate -- Part 3: A “Minor Interpellation” in the German Bundestag
  4. The EPO Bundestagate -- Part 4: Parroting the GDPR-Compliance Myth
  5. The EPO Bundestagate -- Part 5: The Federal Eagle's Disconcerting Metamorphosis
  6. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 6: Dr Petri Starts the Ball Rolling…
  7. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 7: Ms Voßhoff Alerts the Bundestag…
  8. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 8: The EPO's Tweedledum, Raimund Lutz
  9. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 9: A Veritable Virtuoso of Legal Sophistry
  10. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 10: A Faithful Lapdog Despised and Reviled by EPO Staff
  11. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Appendix (Benoît Battistelli's Vichy Syndrome): Georges Henri Léon Battistelli and Charles Robert Battistelli
  12. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 11: The BMJV's Tweedledee: Dr Christoph Ernst
  13. You are here ☞ A Worthy Successor to His Mentor?


Christoph Ernst money series Ernst's professional background is in taxation law and corporate accounting standards.



Summary: We examine the role of Christoph Ernst in EPO management, both in the Benoît Battistelli era and the António Campinos era (plenty to hide)

Christoph Ernst's sudden rise to prominence in the governance circles of the European Patent Organisation is somewhat enigmatic in view of the fact that his professional background and expertise lies in the area of taxation law, corporate accounting and financial reporting standards.



"...there is no indication that he had any prior involvement with IP and patent law matters before 2011, when his name first crops up in the records of the Administrative Council as the new head of the German delegation following the appointment of Raimund Lutz as EPO Vice-President."Puff pieces which have appeared the IP media have regularly claimed that Ernst has "extensive knowledge of intellectual property". However, there is no indication that he had any prior involvement with IP and patent law matters before 2011, when his name first crops up in the records of the Administrative Council as the new head of the German delegation following the appointment of Raimund Lutz as EPO Vice-President.

We remind readers that during the first decade and a half of his career at the German Justice Ministry, Ernst had languished in relative obscurity as a humble Undersecretary ("Ministerialrat") working in the area of financial reporting and accounting standards.

Back in those days his public profile was limited to occasional appearances as an guest speaker at the annual symposia of little-known academic discussion groups for economic policy wonks such as the Ulm Forum for Economic Studies ("Ulmer Forum für Wirtschaftswissenschaften").

Christoph Ernst in 2006 Ernst as a guest speaker at an obscure policy wonks' symposium in 2006.



Ernst's career at the Justice Ministry started to take off following his appointment as head of the BilMoG project. From 2007 onwards he was suddenly in great demand as a guest speaker at various corporate accounting events [PDF] sponsored by the likes of Handelsblatt and Price Waterhouse Coopers. His newly acquired popularity in these circles was due to his insider knowledge of the impending reform of corporate accounting law.

Christoph Ernst banking Due to his insider knowledge of the BilMog, Ernst was in great demand as a guest speaker at corporate accounting events sponsored by the likes of Handelsblatt and Price Waterhouse Coopers.



In May 2010 Ernst was promoted to the position of Deputy Director General ("Ministerialdirigent") in the Justice Ministry€´s Commercial and Intellectual Property Law Department.

In April 2011, shortly after Lutz had taken up his new post as EPO Vice-President, Ernst was appointed as his successor to head the German delegation on the EPO's Administrative Council.

After that whenever Lutz turned up for a photo-op at some IP junket or EPO extravaganza, Ernst was almost certain to be seen in close proximity, grinning like the proverbial Cheshire Cat.

The pictures below show Lutz with Ernst at a junket organised by the German Federal Patent Court in 2011 and with Boards of Appeal President (Carl Josefsson) and the Mayor of Haar (Gabriele Müller) at the formal inauguration of the new Boards of Appeal premises in Haar in December 2017. (warning: epo.org link)

Christoph Ernst and Lutz Ernst was frequently seen in the company of EPO Vice-President Lutz (these photos are from 2011 and 2017, left and right respectively).



For EPO staff, Ernst's tenure as Chair of the Administrative Council was hugely disappointing because he turned out to be every bit as subservient to Battistelli as his predecessor, Kongstad.

Although Ernst was described as a "moderate critic" of Battistelli by JUVE in June 2017 (copy here [PDF]), it soon became clear that he was - as Techrights put it - "just a megaphone of Battistelli’s EPO" and - just like Kongstad - another one of "Battistelli's protectors".

Indeed it hardly seems to be an exaggeration to say that following Ernst's appointment as Chairman of the Council, Battistelli ended up with not just one but two subservient German "Duckmäuser" at his disposal: one in-house, in charge of his Legal and International Affairs Department, and the other conveniently in charge of the Organisation's governing body.

In June 2018 - as Battistelli's departure from the EPO was imminent - Kluwer Patent Blog published a farewell article about the "tarnished reputation of an EPO President".

At around the same time Techrights reported on calls for Ernst "to be forced by national politicians to step down with immediate effect".

However, it would appear that the main concern of Ernst's boss, Justice Minister Heiko Mass, was to preserve the German share of the "loot" from the EPO's "Dukatenesel". Maas would never have dared to upset the apple cart by calling his "Ministerialdirigent" to account.

And Ernst, for his part, had no intention of falling on his own sword voluntarily.

Au contraire, as he approached the statutory retirement age in 2018, he allowed himself to be rewarded by his buddies on the Administrative Council with a cushy little sinecure [PDF] as the next EPO Vice-President for International and Legal Affairs.

Christoph Ernst revolving doors In 2018, Ernst was rewarded by his buddies on the Council with a well-paid sinecure as EPO Vice-President.



Thus, in addition to his entitlement to a generous public sector pension for previous service in the Justice Ministry, Ernst is now in receipt of a juicy five-digit monthly tax-free salary as an EPO Vice-President.

Unfortunately, his track record as Vice-President so far has been every bit as disappointing as his earlier track record as Administrative Council Chairman - although cynics might be inclined to say that he is indeed a worthy successor to his mentor Raimund Lutz.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Ernst was rarely seen on EPO premises. During 2019, he seems to have spent most of his time on "duty missions" travelling to attend various IP junkets and boondoggles around the globe, particularly in the Far East.

He has also been implicated in the "Doyen for a Yen" scandal where the former Vice-President Željko Topić managed to become a European Patent Attorney without passing the European Qualifying Examination.

As reported by Techrights, Topić’s bogus application to be registered as a European Patent Attorney must have been rubber-stamped by EPO Directorate 5.2.3 which falls under the responsibility of Christoph Ernst as Vice President of DG5.

Furthermore, Ernst has conspicuously failed to press for the adoption of appropriate measures to ensure that the EPO's data protection framework is truly fit for purpose for the twenty-first century.

Instead of doing what badly needs to be done in this regard, Ernst seems to be content to sit on his hands and continue peddling the untenable EPOnian myth of GDPR-compliance which he inherited from his mentor Lutz.

In the next part we will continue our review of Ernst's role in EPO affairs by looking into the failed promise of a self-styled "good governance" guru.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Backlash and Negative Press After Microsoft Tells Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) People to DIE
Follow-up stories
Microsoft's Bing Falls to Fourth in the Europe/Asia-Based Turkey, Share Halved Since LLM Hype, Now Only 1% (Sometimes Less)
Turkey (Eurasia) is another example of Microsoft failing with LLM hype and just burning a lot of energy in vain (investment without returns)
Censorship as Signal of Opportunity for Reform
It remains sad and ironic that Wikileaks outsourced so much of its official communications to Twitter (now X)
The World Wide Web Has Been Rotting for Years (Quality, Accuracy, and Depth Consistently Decreasing)
In the past people said that the Web had both "good" and "bad" and that the good outweighed the bad
Comoros: Windows Plunges to Record Low of About 6% in Country of a Million People (in 2010 Windows Was 100%)
Many of these people earn a few dollars a day; they don't care for Microsoft's "Hey Hi PC" hype
 
Links 18/07/2024: ORG Complaint to ICO About Facebook, Korean Double Agent Unmasked
Links for the day
Joel Espy Klecker & Debian on Joe Biden's health and Donald Trump's assassination
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 17, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Links 18/07/2024: Hostname Pedantry and Retro Coding
Links for the day
Fedora Week of Diversity (FWD) 2024 Attracting 0.01% of the IBM Staff "Was a Success"
They expect volunteers (unpaid slaves) to do the PR for them...
African's Largest Population (Nigeria) Approaching 80% Android "Market Share" Amid Steady Monthly Increases While Microsoft Has Mass Layoffs in Nigeria
Microsoft- and Apple-sponsored Western (or English-speaking) media chooses to ignore that or treat it as irrelevant (a racist disposition in its own right)
[Meme] The Warlord's Catspaw
Thugs that troll us
Microsoft Misogyny Will be the Fall of Microsoft (Covering Up for Misogynists is a Huge Mistake and Highly Misguided Short-term Strategy)
Microsoft's undoing may in fact be its attitude towards women
Red Hat Keeps Behaving Like a Microsoft Reseller (for Proprietary Stuff!), Microsoft Employees as Authors in redhat.com
In some ways this reminds us of Novell
UEFI 'Secure Boot' Once Again Bricking PCs and Fake Security Models Are Perishing in Geminispace
Let's Encrypt has just fallen again
Links 17/07/2024: New Attacks on the Press, European Patents Squashed Even at Kangaroo Court (UPC)
Links for the day
Gemini Links 17/07/2024: Proponents of Censorship and New Arrivals at Gemini
Links for the day
Links 17/07/2024: School Budget Meltdown and Modern Cars as Tracking Nightmares
Links for the day
This Should Certainly be Illegal, But the Person Who Helped Microsoft Do This is Still Attacking the Critics of It
perhaps time for an "I told you so post"
[Meme] A Computer With an Extra Key on the Keyboard Isn't Everyone's Priority
(so your telling me meme)
Africa as an Important Reminder That Eradicating Microsoft Doesn't Go Far Enough
Ideally, if our top goal is bigger than "get rid of Microsoft", we need to teach people to choose and use devices that obey them, not GAFAM
Billions of Computers Run Linux and Many Use Debian (or a Derivative of It)
many devices never get updated or even communicate with the Net, so exhaustive tallies are infeasible
The Mail (MX) Server Survey for July 2024 Shows Microsoft Collapsing to Only 689 Servers or 0.17% of the Whole (It Used to be About 25%)
Microsoft became so insignificant and the most astounding thing is how the media deliberate ignores it or refuses to cover it
[Meme] Microsoft is Firing
Don't worry, Microsoft will have some new vapourware coming soon
More DEI (or Similar) Layoffs on the Way, According to Microsoft Team Leader
What happened shortly before Independence Day wasn't the end of it, apparently
Windows Down From 98.5% to 22.9% in Hungary
Android is up because more people buy smaller mobile devices than laptops
Microsoft Windows in Algeria: From 100% to Less Than 15%
Notice that not too long ago Windows was measured at 100%. Now? Not even 15%.
[Meme] Many Volunteers Now Realise the "Open" in "OpenSUSE" or "openSUSE" Was Labour-Mining
Back to coding, packaging and testing, slaves
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 16, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, July 16, 2024
Microsoft Windows "Market Share" in New Zealand Plunges to 25%
Android rising
[Meme] Ein Factory
A choice between "masters" (or "master race") is a false choice that results in mass exploitation and ultimately eradication (when there's little left to exploit)
Links 17/07/2024: Open Source Initiative Lies and Dark Net Thoughts
Links for the day
SUSE Goes Aryan: You May Not Use the Germanic Brand Anymore (It's Monopolised by the Corporation)
Worse than grammar Nazis
Media Distorting Truth to Promote Ignorance
online media is rapidly collapsing
Gratis But Not Free as in Freedom: How Let's Encrypt is Dying in Geminispace
Let's Encrypt is somewhat of a dying breed where the misguided CA model is shunned
Android Rises to New Highs of Almost 80% in Cameroon
How many dozens of nations will see Windows at under 10% this coming winter?
Links 16/07/2024: TikTok Ban in Europe and Yandex Split
Links for the day
Gemini Links 16/07/2024: On Packrafting and on Trump Shot
Links for the day
[Meme] Firefox Users Who Think They Know Better Than Mozilla
Enjoy Firebook
Firefox Used to Have About Half the Market in Switzerland, But It Doesn't Stand a Chance Anymore (Chrome Surging This Summer)
Mozilla has managed to alienate some of the biggest fans of Firefox
Microsoft's Biggest Losses Are in Europe This Summer
Microsoft's ability to milk a relatively rich Europe is fast diminishing
How to Make Software Suck and Discriminate Against People at the Same Time
ageism glorified
Bing Was at 2.6% in Russia When LLM Hype Started. Now It's Down to 0.8% (for 3 Months in a Row Already)
The sharp fall of Bing may mean that exiting the Russian market won't matter to anybody
[Meme] Microsoft Seems to be Failing to Comply With WARN Act (by Refusing to Announce Mass Layoffs as They Happen)
since when does Microsoft obey the law anyway?
Microsoft Layoffs Are Still Too Frequent to Keep Abreast of and Properly (or Exhaustively) Classify
The "HR" department knows what's happening, but whistleblowers from there are rare
Bahamas Joined the "5% Windows" Club
statCounter only traces back about 1 in 20 Web requests to Windows
Links 16/07/2024: Salesforce Layoffs and Microsoft's DMARC Fail
Links for the day
Antenna Abuse and Gemini Abuse (Self-hosting Perils)
Perhaps all this junk is a sign of Gemini growing up
Possibly Worse Than Bribes: US Politicians and Lawmakers Who Are Microsoft Shareholders
They will keep bailing out Microsoft to bail themselves out
The Software Freedom Conservancy Folks Don't Even Believe in Free Speech and They Act As Imposters (Also in the Trademark Arena/Sense)
Software Freedom Conservancy was already establishing a reputation for itself as a G(I)AFAM censor/gatekeeper
Djibouti Enters the Windows "10% Club" (Windows Was 99% in 2010)
In Africa in general Microsoft lost control
GNU/Linux Share Doubled in the United States of America (USA) in the Past 12 Months
Or so says statCounter
Even in North Korea (Democratic People's Republic Of Korea) Google Said to Dominate, Microsoft Around 1%
Google at 93.26%
[Meme] The Red Bait (Embrace... Extinguish)
They set centos on fire, then offer a (de facto) proprietary substitute for a fee
Shooting the Messenger to Spite the Message
segment of a Noam Chomsky talk
[Video] Boston Area Assange Defense (Yesterday)
It was published only hours ago
Guinea: Windows Down From 99.3% to 2.7% 'Market Share'
Guinea is not a small country
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 15, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, July 15, 2024
What's Meant by "Antenna Abuse" (Gemini)
syndication is not a monopoly in Gemini and if one doesn't condone political censorship, then one can create one's own syndication service/capsule
Microsoft Layoffs and Entire Unit Termination: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
What an announcement to make just before Independence Day
Links 16/07/2024: Old Computer Challenge and One Page Dungeon Contest
Links for the day