Bonum Certa Men Certa

The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXII: “Plucky Little Belgium”?

Series parts:

  1. The EPO's Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part I: Let the Sunshine In!
  2. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part II: A “Unanimous” Endorsement?
  3. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part III: Three Missing Votes
  4. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IV: The Founding States
  5. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part V: Germany Says “Ja”
  6. Netherlands
  7. Luxembourg
  8. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VIII: Perfidious Albion and Pusillanimous Hibernia
  9. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IX: More Holes Than Swiss Cheese
  10. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part X: Introducing the Controversial Christian Bock
  11. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XI: “General Bock” - Battistelli's Swiss Apprentice?
  12. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XII: The French Connection
  13. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Spain
  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIV: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Portugal
  15. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XV: Et Tu Felix Austria…
  16. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVI: The Demise of the Austrian Double-Dipper
  17. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc
  18. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki's Accord
  19. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States
  20. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group
  21. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXI: The Balkan League – The Doyen and His “Protégée”
  22. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXII: The Balkan League - North Macedonia and Albania
  23. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIII: The Balkan League - Bulgaria
  24. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIV: The Balkan League - Romania
  25. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXV: The Balkan League - Fresh Blood or Same Old, Same Old?
  26. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVI: A Trojan Horse on the Budget and Finance Committee
  27. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVII: Cypriot Complicity
  28. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVIII: Benoît and António's Loyal “Habibi”
  29. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXXX: The EPOnian Micro-States - Monaco and Malta
  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXX: San Marino and the Perfidious Betrayal of Liberty
  31. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXI: The Abstentionists
  32. YOU ARE HERE ☞ “Plucky Little Belgium”?


Jérôme Debrulle
Head of the Belgian delegation, Jérôme Debrulle



Summary: The UPC booster at the EPO's "Select Committee" did not endorse the illegal proposal on "Strike Regulations"; he did, however, happily approve almost all the other oppressive proposals

In this part we will look at the delegation representing "plucky little Belgium" which, as we have already mentioned, was the only one of the Benelux states that refrained from endorsing Benoît Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" in June 2013.



"The "Select Committee" was established for the specific purpose of supervising the EPO's activities connected with the EU "unitary patent" project and it held its inaugural meeting in Munich on 20 March 2013."At the time in question, the Belgian delegation was headed by Jérôme Debrulle, who remains in that position to this day.

Debrulle was - and still is - the Chairman of the "Select Committee" (warning: epo.org link) of the EPO's Administrative Council. This is a sub-committee of the Council established under the terms of Article 9(2) of EU Regulation No 1257/2012 and Article 145 of the European Patent Convention.

"The competences of this body include the setting of fees for "unitary patent" procedures."The "Select Committee" was established for the specific purpose of supervising the EPO's activities connected with the EU "unitary patent" project and it held its inaugural meeting in Munich on 20 March 2013. The Committee consists of the representatives of the participating EU member states. It also includes a representative of the EU Commission as an observer and it "may be assisted by advisers or experts". The competences of this body include the setting of fees for "unitary patent" procedures.

"...his abstention in June 2013 during the vote on Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" is something of an anomaly."The official record between 2010 and 2018 indicates that Debrulle was for the most part an uncritical supporter of Battistelli and his "reforms".

This is not very surprising given Debrulle's leading role in the planned implementation of the "unitary patent" project. Thus, his abstention in June 2013 during the vote on Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" is something of an anomaly.

Maybe the Belgians were jealous at the level of the attention which Battistelli had been lavishing on their Benelux neighbours, Netherlands and Luxembourg.

"This isn't very enlightening and it leaves the reader to wonder what exactly motivated the Belgian abstention on that occasion."Or maybe they genuinely had reservations about the legality of Battistelli's proposal.

The official statement of the Belgian position recorded in the minutes of the 136th meeting [PDF] of the Administrative Council reads as follows (under point no. 121):

"The Belgian delegation said that it would have liked to have more time, given the sensitivity of the topic and the need to study the international situation. It acknowledged that rules were needed, but would need to abstain for the reasons given."


This isn't very enlightening and it leaves the reader to wonder what exactly motivated the Belgian abstention on that occasion.

"In the next part we will look at the delegation representing Sweden, one of the two Scandinavian states which abstained."We'll probably never find out the answer to that question. Such is the lack of transparency when it comes to the governance of international organisations like the EPO.

In the next part we will look at the delegation representing Sweden, one of the two Scandinavian states which abstained.

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