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STRASBOURG: Representative of Lufthansa Accused of Corruption


[DE] STRASBOURG: Vertreter der Lufthansa wegen Korruption angeklagt

A. Matijevic and Topic by Lufthansa
Topić and Matijević

Summary: According to some international sources, it was on account of the corrupt and criminal tendencies with which he has been endowed by nature and which he used to assist international corporations in protecting dubious patents in the Republic of Croatia that Željko Topić was rewarded with a position at the EPO in Munich, although his skills and mindset indicate that he does not belong there. This is also indicated by the fact that this complex-ridden individual recently changed his place of residence in Zagreb.

On 20 July 2017 an action was submitted to the European Court in Strasbourg against the representative of the international airline, or more precisely against its legal representative in the Republic of Croatia, the lawyer Andrej Matijević. The complaint was dispatched by post, from a small town on the island of Korcula from where Ruža Tomašić, a Croatian MEP in Brussels, comes.

The complaint relates to a series of corrupt actions allegedly committed by the lawyer Andrej Matijević, together with the responsible official of the State Intellectual Property Office (DZIV), the former Director Željko Topić who is now a Vice-President of the EPO in Munich. Because of the lack of legal certainty and due to the ineffectiveness and corruption of the Croatian legal system, especially on the part of the Public Prosecutor (DORH) and the Office for the Suppression of Organized Crime and Corruption (USKOK), after more than 9 years of obstruction of the investigation the plaintiff in the proceedings has now decided to seek legal protection on an international level at the European Court in Strasbourg.

The most bizarre fact in the whole investigation procedure which has been going on for many years in Croatia is that apparently neither the representative of Lufthansa nor the former Director of the DZIV, Željko Topić, were ever summoned to an interview with the police or with the Croatian Public Prosecutor. Perhaps not without reason Croatia has been reported as one of the most corrupt states, according to the latest research from Transparency International.

Sources from the European Court of Human Rights Strasbourg indicate that at least four proceedings relating to corruption and discrimination are pending against the EPO Vice-President Željko Topić. The extent of the high level corruption alleged against the Vice-President of EPO is indicated by the claim that he was able to bribe a well-known Croatian investigative journalist. When this journalist was exposed, he terminated his membership in HND (the Croatian Journalists’ Association) of his own motion because he was afraid of Croatian and international journalists’ associations. For the moment, one small detail remains unknown, that is whether or not the accused journalist received the “black” money personally from Željko Topić or whether he received it from the “caisse noire” of the EPO. The sum is estimated to be of the order of several thousand Euros.

After the legal representative of Lufthansa in Croatia did not succeed in lawfully purchasing the internationally protected Air Plus brand, which had been used in an illegal manner for many years by the Lufthansa subsidiary AirPlus Servicekarten GmbH, a ruthless operation of unlawful expropriation of the trademark proprietor from Zagreb (in plain language: theft) was started by the allegedly corrupt Željko Topić who, as Director of the DZIV, responded to the accused lawyer Matijević and by administrative means attempted to illegally delete the protected trademark from the official database the of Croatian DZIV.

Although this pair of criminal “Siamese twins” were exposed, they were never subjected to any sanctions. In fact, according to some international sources, it was on account of the corrupt and criminal tendencies with which he is endowed by nature and which he used to assist international corporations to protect dubious patents in the Republic of Croatia that Željko Topić was rewarded with a position at the EPO in Munich, although his skills and mindset indicate that he does not belong there.

This is also supported by the fact that this complex-ridden individual recently changed his place of residence in Zagreb. He has moved from the slums of the Croatian metropolis to No. 23 Zamenhofova Street and has now become a member of the recently formed and phony “nouveau riche” class.

The true identity of Mr. Željko Topić is perhaps revealed in the two texts below, which were published in the Croatian media [1, 2]. The reports are titled “Sjedi li u EPO krivi čovjek?” [Translation: Is the “wrong man” sitting at the EPO] and “Hrvatski patent za autorska prava” [Translation: The Croatian patent on copyright].

In any case the company AirPlus Servicekarten GmbH (www.airplus.com), headquartered in Neu-Isenburg, Germany, had an impressive turnover of EUR 14 billion in 2016, while at the same time serving a customer base of 49000 exclusively business class passengers, that is to say, passengers with very high purchasing power.

Therefore, it would hardly be surprising if Lufthansa had decided to take such corrupt step assisted by a dubious lawyer and corrupt banana republic officials such as Željko Topić, and attempted to illegally acquire the protected trade mark instead of purchasing it via civilised business practices according to which it should pay at least 2% of the annual turnover of its subsidiary which had been making unlawful use of a foreign trade mark for almost 20 years. In the end it is a question of large sums of money. According to unofficial information of the German lawyer representing the plaintiff in the proceedings, Mr. Constantin Mascher, it involves a claim for damages of at least 30 million Euros. Furthermore, in order to make things even more interesting, reports have appeared in the Croatia media according to which Lufthansa is rumoured to be a hidden owner of Croatia Airlines.


Constantin Mascher photo
Constantin Mascher


Luft Ponuda I 2008


Matijevic dopis 2007



Source link: http://techrights.org/2017/07/23/lufthansa-corruption-sipo-epo/

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Patent Troll MPEG-LA Expands From Software Patents to Patents on Life While USPTO is Virtually Headless


Joseph Matal, who played a role in AIA, is in charge for the time being, but it’s probably just temporary

Joseph Matal

Summary: The travesty of software patents, such as patents on multimedia compression and playback, may soon be made worse as patents on genome are being aggregated by a notorious patent aggressor

DOZENS of articles have been written here about MPEG-LA, its owner, and its tactics. The entity is, simply put, more like a troll than a pool.

Now that the EPO chooses to become the world’s laughing stock for granting patents on CRISPR (even the USPTO would not do that) MPEG-LA prepares to impose predatory patent taxes on life itself. To quote IAM:

The end of June was the deadline to submit patents for inclusion in a potential new pool, organised by MPEG LA, that will focus on the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology. MPEG LA is the administrator behind the wildly successful MPEG-2 video compression pool that launched 20 years ago.

Among those to submit their IP for possible inclusion in the pool was the Broad Institute, the research organisation that has been one of the CRISPR/Cas9 pioneers. Broad co-owns 22 relevant US and European assets along with MIT, Harvard and The Rockefeller University, and its decision to get involved is something of a coup for MPEG LA.

Why is MPEG-LA still around? As we noted here before, there were serious questions raised about its legitimacy. It’s one heck of a racket! Having preyed on companies in jurisdictions where software patents aren’t even valid, now they are hoping to do the same with genome. Incredible!

We have recently seen reports which suggest CRISPR patents make their way into the US, only after Battistelli’s EPO fell for that controversial trap/slippery slope (and the appeal boards are probably too severely weakened to stop this). This is a turning point and a critical crossroad. It serves to remind everyone of the dangers of the EPO under Battistelli.

Where will such patents go next? China? Japan? The JPO seems to be focused on gender rather than actual patent policies (like scope) and now that the USPTO is without a Director (only an interim one, Joseph Matal) it’s important to keep an eye on what’s happening there. The rest of the weekend will be dedicated purely to the USPTO. We have a lot to publish.

Yesterday, Managing IP looked into the mind of Matal, the person who now heads (in the interim at least) the USPTO. From the portion that’s not behind paywall:

In an open and wide-ranging speech at the Patents for Financial Services Summit in New York, interim USPTO director Joseph Matal predicted “we are going to win” the Oil States case, TC Heartland “is not going to put the venue issue to bed” and “there will be further patent reform legislation in the coming Congress”

What kind of reform does he refer to? The regressive steps proposed by the patent microcosm? We shall write about that in the coming days.



Source link: http://techrights.org/2017/07/22/mpeg-la-aims-at-genome/

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UPC Puff Piece in the Scottish Media is Just an Advertisement by Marks & Clerk


When moneyed interests dominate the media

Marks & Clerk

Summary: Advertising in the form of an ‘article’ (complete with self-serving bias and falsehoods) in The Scotsman today, courtesy of Team UPC

Marks & Clerk is a large firm, apparently large enough to also occupy the media. Over the years we have shown how the EPO corrupted the media (paying it money) and noted that patent law firms totally dominated coverage about patents, either directly (as authors) or indirectly (quoted extensively by authors, usually to the exclusion of those actually impacted). It’s the same problem in the US media, where the patent office gradually improves.

“It’s hard not to get bitter when stuff like this is done so routinely, basically routing around the public.”Not much can be done about this except openly complain about it. This morning (or last night), filed under “opinion”, the Scottish media published pure spam, not journalism, attempting to sell services rather than inform the public. It’s marketing packaged up as “news” and the promotional final words of this ‘article’ say: “If the UK was to end up outside of the Unitary Patent regime, Marks & Clerk LLP would still be able to apply for Unitary Patents for its clients via its offices in Europe.”

Is this what major news [sic] papers have sunk to? Even national press, not just local media? Suffice to say, being an ‘article’ (informecial) from Marks & Clerk, it paints UPC as desirable in spite of opposition from British software firms. It’s hard not to get bitter when stuff like this is done so routinely, basically routing around the public.

‘David Moreland is a Chartered (UK) and European Patent Attorney for Marks & Clerk,” it says. They are proponents of software patents, which isn’t at all surprising (all of Team UPC is promoting these too and the UPC is a Trojan horse for this agenda).

Here are some excepts:

Will our relationship with the EPO change when we’re no longer part of the EU? Contrary to misconceptions, the EPO is not an EU institution. It has EU members amongst its signatory countries, but there are non-members too – Switzerland, for example.

Companies which have patents granted by the EPO then need to have those patents validated in each country in which they want protection.

[…]

But now there is a new spanner in the works. An anonymous party has recently filed a case with the German Constitutional Court which essentially suggests ratifying the agreement would be against the German constitution. The German Constitutional Court has determined that on the face of it, the challenge is not entirely without merit, and asked the German President to delay signing the implementing legislation for the Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent court. This ensures that ratification does not take place before a full determination of the constitutionality of the legislation has been made. Whether the complaint is upheld remains to be seen; however any attempt to block the legislation will, at the very least, delay it.

They keep using the word “delay” as if, without even knowing the nature of the complaint and where it came from, they are already certain about the outcome. That’s what Team UPC just keeps doing to bias the outcome.

When will we finally see some real journalism about the UPC? We last wrote about utter lack of it in British media only about 24 hours ago.



Source link: http://techrights.org/2017/07/17/team-upc-in-scottish-media/

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Subtle Shaming of EPO Staff by EPO Management Earlier Today


EPO strike shaming

Summary: How a popular strike against the management of the EPO got spun as improvement in the social climate

THE EPO was on strike a week ago, after nearly 90% of staff had voted for a strike (among the ~40% of staff which was brave enough and informed enough to go vote on it).

After human rights violations by Battistelli, including persistent attacks on staff representatives, abolishment of the rights of staff/strikers etc. we see them do this obligatory but unprecedented strike-shaming (warning: epo.org link). “A low rate of participation by staff was registered,” it says.

Someone told us in the comments that about 20% were on strike, but the EPO, as usual, found its “alternative facts”.

It’s worth noting that the EPO’s managers and communications people hadn’t even mentioned anything about the strikes anywhere (barely even internally) until they found a strike-shaming angle/spin. Disgusting and insulting, not just to those who participated.

As can be seen above, the subliminal message is, workers are now happy and it’s business as usual. The subtext is gross as it’s another spit in the face of EPO staff.

Looking at some new anonymous comments, people are certainly not happy. “Given that the administrative council appears to be solidly backing Battistelli, it does seem that he [Battistelli] is not the only problem,” one person wrote.

Another person said: “Given that the national representatives are clearly listed on EPO site, and I’m sure there are commentards from each European nation represented in EPO – it’s not really that difficult to send an email to your national EPO rep and ask what the hell is going on!”

The next comment said: “If they can’t even fire a dictator in a European-run company, how the heck are we supposed to deal with dictators of countries??”

That’s a typical argument that’s often heard from/used by Eurosceptics.

“I know he’s claiming that as it’s an international organisation,” said the next comment, “they’re immune from local laws, but that’s bollocks right? Surely any organisation has to adhere to the labour laws of the country they’re employing people in? I suppose they can just refuse to pay up even if an employment tribunal finds them guilty of (eg) withholding pay.”

Well, they already withhold pay in some cases and even threaten to take away people’s pensions. They use these threats to blackmail people.

“I doubt things will improve with a new president,” the next comment said. Here it is in full:

The EPO is a bit of a weird one in that all countries participating agreed that it would remain outside the jurisdiction of one specific country, lest it give the country the EPO settled in some form of legislative control over the organisation, possibly forcing it to rule in it’s favour. This means the EPO staff does not fall under Dutch labour laws. This has already been tested in court.

Given the support Batistelli seems to have in the higher levels of management (these latest approved “reforms” are again a blatant power grab and method to silence critics) I doubt things will improve with a new president. The only way they are ever going to fix this is for the new president to immediately throw out all this bullshit Batistelli put in place and put some proper independent oversight comittees in place. Otherwise they’ll just be swapping “Great Leader” for “Dear Leader”.

More on the immunity:

It would be nice to think so, but the European Institutions have effective and legal immunity from such mundane things as local laws.

In Luxembourg, there are many EU Institutions and many, many eurocrats working in them. I will not go into listing the various advantages these people have (special tax-free supermarkets, no income tax, . . .), but a few years ago there was a review of hiring policy and now EU Institutions in Luxembourg are offering new entry-level positions at less than than the Luxembourg Minimum Wage index.

Nothing can be done against that by the Luxembourg government.

Anon for obvious reasons.

Oddly enough, IPO was then brought up:

I’m not going to defend the European Institutions laws / staff rules – I will remark though that all of these Institutions mandates are created and approved by each of the Member States Governments – its therefore also a national responsibility to correct things if they are not fit for purpose! In the case of ridding the IPO, which is not an EU Institution, of its leader it seems the same is true. With the exception of a few honorable exceptions the responsible administrations are not living up what I would expect their electorates to demand from them.

Also its incorrect to say that EU bureaucrats don’t pay tax – they don’t pay tax in the Member State they work in but they do pay an EU income tax – http://ec.europa.eu/civil_service/job/official/index_en.htm. However, in the case of the IPO which is not an EU entity, it may be that no income tax is paid.

“It’s like FIFA,” said the next comment, where people got “bribed and threatened into compliance with the President’s agenda.”

Remember what Battistelli did. Here is the comment in full:

It’s like FIFA. There are a large number of member states which can be (and were) bribed and threatened into compliance with the President’s agenda. Yes, a few member states may have objected but they are vastly outnumbered by the others. FIFA wrongdoing was eventually exposed because football is interesting to the press. International civil servants are not, and are often caricatured as “privileged”. Yes, they are well paid, but many politicians, academics, consultant physicians, business people, lawyers, etc etc are paid even better (even after tax), can live in their home countries and enjoy the protection of their laws and of human rights treaties to which their country is a signatory. No-one would suggest that at a certain level of pay they have been bought out of the protection of the law, would they? But this is implicit in many comments about the plight of employees of the EPO and other IOs.

In our assessment, the EPO has become not only crooked but also corrupt. Those who dare protest against it have their action spun as some kind of “social democracy” (the right to strike) and are used as ‘proof’ that dissent comes from a “vocal minority” (see the EPO’s misleading statement at the top).



Source link: http://techrights.org/2017/07/10/epo-strike-shaming/

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Elżbieta Bieńkowska Cares More About the Unitary Patent Coup D’état (Which She Encourages) Than She Cares About the Rule of Law and People’s Lives


Systematic apathy has cemented the monarchy of Team Battistelli

Elżbieta Bieńkowska
Elżbieta Bieńkowska – Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz, CC BY-SA 3.0

Summary: Bieńkowska, a career climber, continues to basically stonewall and prevent an intervention by the Commission, even though the EPO violates laws and violates the very treaty on which it is based

A EUROPEAN politician, Marc Tarabella, has long shown and expressed his concerns about the situation at the EPO. As covered here earlier this year, he brought up the subject again and SUEPO has this update linking to the official response from Elżbieta Bieńkowska, who is not new to this. We previously took note of her correspondence and were also appalled by her UPC jingoism. Bieńkowska is one of those many reminders that for politicians to climb up to the top (political ladder/pay grade) they need to play along with nefarious schemes rather than guard against these. By failing to take action — repeatedly in fact — she has reaffirmed the view that she is a protector/facilitator of the Battistelli regime. Here is her latest response (from last week):

Parliamentary questions

30 June 2017
E-002338/2017

Answer given by Ms Bieńkowska on behalf of the Commission

The European Patent Office (EPO) is an independent international organisation without any organic link with the EU per se. The Administrative Council, composed of representatives of its 38 contracting states, supervises the activities of the EPO and its President.

As noted by the Honourable Member, the Commission has observer status at the Administrative Council; however, it is not involved when personnel, disciplinary, appointments and other human resources matters are being discussed, and thus does not have competence to directly intervene in Administrative Council considerations on these matters.

Nevertheless, given the EPO’s upcoming role in the administration of the unitary patent, the Commission has a direct interest in the social situation in the EPO, and notably its respect for fundamental social rights and serene social dialogue. In that context, it was positive that, at the last meeting of the Administrative Council on 15-16 March 2017, the President’s presentation of the annual activity report of the Office drew specific attention to efforts underway since 2016 to improve the social situation in the EPO(1).

In addition, the EPO’s social agenda in 2017 is focusing on continuing to enhance social dialogue, notably by more directly including staff at various stages of projects by means of focus groups.

The Commission hopes that these initiatives will contribute to fostering a culture of social dialogue and a more positive social climate generally at the EPO. To this end, it will continue to urge the Organisation, and in particular, the EU Member States in its membership, to ensure true and balanced social dialogue in the EPO.
_________
(1) Details of the annual report are available at: http://www.epo.org/about-us/annual-reports-statistics/annual-report/2016.html

The UPC is not desirable, it is not constitutional, and it’s unlikely to happen. For Bieńkowska, a longtime pusher of the UPC, to use the UPC as some sort of excuse for attempting to calm things down (lip service) rather than resolve things says a lot about her ambitions as a politician. Bieńkowska does not seem to care about people as much as she cares about the business interests of massive multinationals and their law firms. This, in turn, does not bode well for the Commission and the Union. No oversight even when it’s desperately needed? Nobody left to turn to, not even ILO?



Source link: http://techrights.org/2017/07/06/unitary-patent-before-human-rights/

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It’s Official: Battistelli Will Leave the EPO in Less Than a Year


Battistelli out

Summary: Battistelli’s position is up for grabs (see above), but it remains to be seen who takes this position and what Battistelli does afterwards

EARLIER today we wrote about the final day of strike and the lack of independence that ensues (not just judges’ independence). Well, one thing the staff is almost guaranteed to have before the next Independence Day is independence from Battistelli (albeit not Team Battistelli, which might occupy the same position by succession).

Battistelli’s ‘notice of removal’ — so to speak — was published on the planned date (as per the leaked document we received and published weeks ago) and Battistelli’s protectors at IAM said: “Is this first time EPO President’s job has been advertised? Usually candidates nominated by national governments.”

Well, here is the ad from epo.org

The post of President of the European Patent Office falls vacant on 1 July 2018.

The President manages the Office, under powers laid down in the European Patent Convention (Article 10 EPC). The official languages of the European Patent Office are English, French and German.

Candidates must have a diploma of completed studies at university level and proven high-level management experience.

Some people suspect that Battistelli will try to sneak into some UPC-related position while assuring that some crony of his continues to run the EPO.

Regarding the UPC, we very much doubt anything at all will run by July 2018. There are constitutional issues in Germany and determination on the matter may come no sooner than January 2018, whereupon there are still barriers in Poland, Spain, the UK and so on.

The following new comment appeared today regarding the constitutionality of the UPC/unitary patent:

That discussion is to test the “imbalance” argument of Bross. (“A further point was the unjust imbalance…”)

It seems to me Bross is arguing that even if the EPO boards were a court, the imbalance caused by the opponent getting two shots would be sufficient to render the EP/DE system as a whole unconstitutional.

Now replace EPO boards with BPatG and the argument applies in just the same way to the DE/DE system.

His other arguments also seem flawed. Whatever problem there may be with the EPO (or not), from a German national point of view it logically cannot affect the constitutionality of the UPC/unitary patent more than it affects the constitutionality of the EP/DE system. The role of the EPO is exactly the same in both systems.

“I had not understood the Professor’s compliant to be based upon the mere existence of a “2 shots vs 1 shot” imbalance,” said one response to that. “Instead, my understanding was that the complaint relates to the imbalance in the number of unappealable (and unconnected) decisions. It is that imbalance which has the appearance of unfairness.”

They are still struggling to figure out what the barrier is all about. The less they know (opponents of a sane patent system and proponents of UPC chaos), the better…

In another thread, this one about the UK and brexit, the following was said today:

Anon – all of the previous legislative steps that you mention occurred prior to both the EU referendum and the triggering of Article 50. Thus, given that the UPCA requires its PMSs to be EU Member States, one would have thought that it would be eminently sensible for the JCSI (and/or the committee of the commons or Lords) to conduct a quick check of whether the UPCA stands any chance of surviving.

Whichever way you cut it, the current UPCA is unworkable post-Brexit. Given that there is no amended UPCA (nor any prospect of such an amended Agreement being drafted, agreed and ratified in the near future), why on earth would Parliament contemplate giving the government the green light to ratify something that looks like it will be pronounced (by the CJEU) dead on arrival?

If your argument is merely that procedural rules prevent the various committees applying common sense, then what does that say about the current rules? Personally, I would have thought that the unexpected arrival of an existential threat to the UPC (ie Brexit) justifies “bending” the rules a little to allow for an assessment of the UPCA’s chances of survival.

Our UPC predictions have always been correct (so far) and we expect nothing to really get off the ground before Battistelli’s tenure is over (or ever). That penthouse he build for himself at the expense of contractors may still be enjoyed by Team Battistelli, but not Battistelli himself.



Source link: http://techrights.org/2017/07/03/epo-without-battistelli/

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Christoph Ernst, Long Speculated to be Battistelli’s Successor, Becomes Battistelli’s ‘Boss’


Dr. Ernst of EPO

Summary: The next Chairman of the Administrative Council of the EPO is Christoph Ernst from Germany

Feedback from the Administrative Council was sent to us by insiders, confirming our suspicions; we speculated about this vocally/publicly a few days ago and it actually became true.

Confirmed now are the following factoids:

1. Christoph Ernst (DE) is the new Chair of the Administrative Council

2. Alberto Casado (SP, VP2) becomes new VP1 (whilst keeping its DG2 responsibilities)

We wrote many articles about both people in the past, but the more important appointment is that of Ernst, whom we covered in the following items:

Germany usually abstains in votes on Battistelli’s proposals.

Ernst ought to remember that his role is to oversee — not protect/defend/shield — Battistelli, unlike Kongstad (who seems to have forgotten what his job was all about). Kongstad is leaving pretty soon, having spread Battistelli’s lawlessness to the Council [1, 2, 3].

We don’t believe that Ernst will be much of a protector, based on his track record (which we covered), and we certainly hope he will start on the right footing. Watch closely how the German delegates vote this week.



Source link: http://techrights.org/2017/06/28/ernst-can-now-fire-battistelli/

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Benoît Battistelli Has Lost the Election at the EPO


Battistelli vote

Summary: FFPE candidates (or moles from the yellow union [1-16]) failed to enter the Central Staff Committee in spite of Battistelli’s attempt to help them get in

WHILE we are waiting for the results of a strike ballot we can say that another ballot had Battistelli astoundingly defeated. It’s a humiliating defeat given that Battistelli tried hard to rig the rules.

As a source put it, “EPO staff successfully elected a new staff representation on Tuesday. Battistelli had tried to foster the election of at least one FFPE candidate into the Central Staff Committee by re-designing the election rules. But none of the two FFPE candidates reached the necessary number of votes. This is a defeat for the president and a victory for the staff. To my knowledge, all 10 elected candidates are SUEPO members, but only about half of them are SUEPO Committee members.”

“It’s a humiliating defeat given that Battistelli tried hard to rig the rules.”We knew about these elections and alluded to them earlier this week.

For those who wonder about the meaning of the above cartoon, the original theme stems from May 1968 and showed Charles de Gaulle as a police officer, playing with France, as if it was a ball, but ready to reign it through brutality after elections of the French Parliament. The text means “Feel free to vote. I’ll do the rest.”

References:

  1. In the EPO’s Official Photo Op, “Only One of the Faces is Actually FFPE-EPO”
  2. Further Evidence Suggests and Shows Stronger Evidence That Team Battistelli Uses FFPE-EPO as ‘Yellow Union’ Against SUEPO
  3. “FFPE-EPO Was Set up About 9 Years Ago With Management Encouragement”
  4. Fallout of the FFPE EPO MoU With Battistelli’s Circle
  5. The EPO’s Media Strategy at Work: Union Feuds and Group Fracturing
  6. Caricature of the Day: Recognising FFPE EPO
  7. Union Syndicale Federale Slams FFPE-EPO for Helping Abusive EPO Management by Signing a Malicious, Divisive Document
  8. FFPE-EPO Says MoU With Battistelli Will “Defend Employment Conditions” (Updated)
  9. Their Masters’ Voice (Who Block Techrights): FFPE-EPO Openly Discourages Members From Reading Techrights
  10. Letter Says EPO MoU “Raises Questions About FFPE’s Credibility as a Federation of Genuine Staff Unions”
  11. On Day of Strike FFPE-EPO Reaffirms Status as Yellow (Fake/Management-Leaning) Union, Receives ‘Gifts’
  12. Needed Urgently: Information About the Secret Meeting of Board 28 and Battistelli’s Yellow Union, FFPE-EPO
  13. In Battistelli’s Mini Union (Minion) It Takes Less Than 10 Votes to ‘Win’ an Election
  14. FFPE-EPO Going Ad Hominem Against FICSA, Brings Nationality Into It
  15. High on EPO: Battistelli’s ‘Social Conference’ Nonsense is Intended to Help Suppress Debate About His Abuses Against Staff and Union-Busting Activities
  16. Leaked Letter Reveals How Battistelli Still Exploits FFPE-EPO (Yellow Union) to Attack the Real EPO Union, SUEPO



Source link: http://techrights.org/2017/06/22/no-ffpe-in-epo-csc/

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EPO’s Elodie Bergot Calls Staff Suicide Just ‘Passing Away’, Pretends to Care


All that these Battistelli cronies care about is their bank accounts

EPO on suicide

Summary: How the EPO continues to mislead if not lie to staff, even when staff commits suicide — a growing problem for Team Battistelli, whom some insiders hold accountable for these deaths

THERE have been many suicides associated with the EPO (more than the management cares to admit) and a televised programme already linked at least some of them to the reign of terror.

The EPO’s official “news” section, Battistelli’s “blog” and so on are mum on the latest incident, resorting instead to mass distraction. The EPO has been saying almost nothing substantial in Twitter for almost two days now! At all! This is atypical. It’s often active even during weekends (at a lower capacity). So what is going on?

Blackout.

“The EPO has been saying almost nothing substantial in Twitter for almost two days now!”Not only have they said nothing about the UPC barriers in Germany, but they are saying absolutely nothing about an important incident. Remember when someone jumped out the window during working hours? Well, the EPO’s management denied the national/local authorities even access to the site for investigation. One might expect this in Russia or in China, not rich cities in Germany or the Netherlands. Well, the puff pieces continue to flow in, distracting from the real news. See Wednesday’s “news” about the EPO [1, 2]. Despicable distraction, sometimes paid for by the EPO. What about legal press? Well, published in the German media was this new piece about the Constitutional complaint against the UPC. Siegfried Broß, a retired judge who famously compared — on German television and elsewhere — the EPO under Battistelli to Guantánamo Bay (a torture camp) and occasionally combats the UPC on Constitutional grounds, once again emerges.

“At the EPO, the above message was circulated by Elodie Bergot, the wife of Battistelli’s friend.”But nowhere can one find information about an untimely death. At the EPO, the above message was circulated by Elodie Bergot, the wife of Battistelli’s friend. She leaves out one very important detail: it was a suicide, the latest one of many. Lie by omission? That wouldn’t be the first from Team Battistelli.

Either way, we did not want to publish any personal details or something substantial about the incident, but the details are already trickling out through social media, comments, etc. That’s just the nature of the Internet nowadays. IP Kat had a comment posted yesterday, after people had sent messages to us and gave us more details (we chose not to publish these because of the grieving family). “New suicide at EPO: male examiner in his 50s, one kid,” said the first comment, soon to be followed by: “It seems that it was a UK national this time. Maybe the UK delegation will finally start to wake up…”

We assume many people already speak about this, so our wishes to suppress personal information would not be successful anyway. Elodie Bergot tactlessly named the person, telling all staff about what they already knew (or will soon know) was suicide.

To be fair, Sean Dennehey (head of the UK delegation until recently), unlike his predecessor, did antagonise Battistelli’s proposals and we certainly hope that his successor, Tim Moss, will do the same next week and onwards. Battistelli has a lot of “blood on his hands” (so to speak) and he needs to go immediately. The man is acting like a gangster, not a charismatic boss, and his surname too is associated with the Mafia where he came from. Inside the Office he is treated like a leper to stay away from.

“Battistelli has a lot of “blood on his hands” (so to speak) and he needs to go immediately.”Take note of this latest that says, “as indicated earlier today, another of our colleagues committed suicide yesterday. This is the fifth colleague in a few years. How many of us will die or be ill for months or the rest of their life before this regime ends? When will the outside world firmly condemn what is happening? Merpel, that also means reporting on the situation to inform the public. Remaining silent when people die is not the best way to show support.”

Another one added: “IPKat fluff filter malfunction or is someone trying to suppress the fact that the most recent EPO suicide was a British national?”

As we pointed out several times so far this year (e.g. [1, 2]), post-Merpel IP Kat is actively helping Battistelli, not just with the UPC push.

“As experts have repeatedly pointed out, it can’t be excused as just routine or statistically normal; the number of suicides at the EPO is disproportionately high and it grew by about one order of magnitude under Battistelli.”For people who wish to know more details, we have blurred the above public message to protect identities. It shows how the EPO reported this to staff. What the EPO did not bother telling staff is that this examiner committed suicide (it happened in Munich, by jumping under a train).

Apparently that’s just the kind of effect the Battistelli regime may have on people. As experts have repeatedly pointed out, it can’t be excused as just routine or statistically normal; the number of suicides at the EPO is disproportionately high and it grew by about one order of magnitude under Battistelli. A tenfold increase is not ignorable. Given the mental torture which is prevalent under Battistelli and has been thoroughly documented over the years, culpability too may be provable (if there was no immunity).



Source link: http://techrights.org/2017/06/21/staff-suicides-and-distractions/

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Appalling Press Coverage Regarding the Unitary Patent (UPC)


Dave Croston in Financial Director
One example of plenty more fake news about the UPC (e.g. [1, 2, 3]), courtesy of those who stand to profit from legal Armageddon

Summary: How the media has lied (and keeps lying) about the UPC, which the European public neither needs nor wants, putting aside serious constitutional issues that are associated with the UPC

PUTTING ASIDE the issue of UPC censorship/deletionism in the mediaa subject we explored here before — we continue to see a lot of EPO-leaning spin in the wake of Germany’s barrier to the UPC [1, 2, 3]. It’s more obnoxious than anything that the same people who conspired in secret to create this mess are now dominating the media, hijacking blogs, deleting comments, and telling off people who contradict or debunk their propaganda.

Watch this new piece titled “Germany delay probably not the end of the UPC — a piece which extensively quotes people with financial stake in the UPC. It quotes Team UPC’s Wouter Pors a lot, for example: “Wouter Pors, head of Bird & Bird’s IP practice in the Netherlands, explained that the Bundesverfassungsgericht has the authority to issue an order blocking the president from signing in a law.”

Where are the opponents of the UPC? They were not even approached for a comment. There is zero balance there. People who want to profit using the UPC (at the expense of everybody else) refuse to believe it’s dead; that’s hardly surprising. Where are the voice of reasons though? Totally omitted from this article, as usual…

Looking around for more coverage of this, we are finding little less than sites controlled if not owned by patent law firms. In fact, patent firms that actively wage a coup (to replace the current system with the UPC) are dominating all the blogs and some responded to the breakdown with potentially paid-for placements like these [1, 2] from William Fry and CMS Hasche Sigle.

One former Kat said that “it could be” the end of the UPC, but that’s just because he tends to be more honest than most and he occasionally links to us regarding the UPC (albeit he does not agree with the relatively abrasive tone).

Almost all UPC opponents prefer to remain anonymous and it’s easy to see why. They don’t want to receive abuse. A German complaint was filed anonymously, but we think we know who filed it. Character assassination would ensue of the identity of the complainant was known.

Now that Germany must decide whether the UPC is constitutional at all (it’s not, for reasons we covered here before), one person said he expects a “decision in perhaps 6 or 12 months.”

That’s a very long time. To quote in full: “A few people have asked about timing. From what I gather the Court proceedings have already been expedited, which means a decision in perhaps 6 or 12 months. Still before the date of Brexit but getting uncomfortably close.”

“Remember that Spain raised this very complaint (incompatibility of the UPCA with EU law),” said another comment. It’s part of an ongoing discussion (in uncensored comments) about the legality of the UPC (or absence thereof). Reproduced below are the relevant comments in case IP Kat (i.e. someone like Bristows) decides to ‘vanish’ them: [G&P refers to Gordon and Pascoe]

Firstly, the current UPC Agreement is the only one currently on the table. There is no amended Agreement, and there may never be.

Secondly, if the current Agreement does not comply with EU law (because, as argued by G&P, it is incapable of creating a court that forms “part of the national legal order” of EU Member States), then it would be irresponsible to bring it into force… as it would be unworkable from the off.

Also, just because the UPCA Member States are all currently EU Member States, it does not necessarily follow that the UPC (under the current UPCA) will form “part of the national legal order” of the EU Member States. Indeed, it would be absurd if the status of the Member States was the only relevant factor.

For example, why should the UK’s departure from the EU suddenly remove the UPC from the national legal order of other EU Member States? Conversely, why should the mere fact that all signatories are EU Member States mean that an international agreement is capable of creating a court forming part of the national legal order of those states? Does there not need to be something more than just a common status of the participants to properly “embed” the UPC in the national legal order?

Remember that Spain raised this very complaint (incompatibility of the UPCA with EU law) in one of their cases – and that complaint was only dismissed because it was inadmissible, not because it was wrong.

“Secondly, if the current Agreement does not comply with EU law (because, as argued by G&P, it is incapable of creating a court that forms “part of the national legal order” of EU Member States), then it would be irresponsible to bring it into force… as it would be unworkable from the off.”

Indeed it would, if that were correct. Except that this is not quite what G&P are saying. There is more than one way to provide the safeguards required in order to comply with EU law.

One is if the UPC itself were part of the national legal order of the contracting EU member states. Article 267 TFEU and the rest of EU law would then apply directly, with no need to say more. But it isn’t, as you point out. As stated by G&P it’s an international agreement, and the fact that it is common to the contracting EU member states doesn’t change that.

So the way in which the current UPCA provides the necessary safeguards is by stating explicitly that the UPC is common to a number of EU Member States (Article 1). And by imposing obligations on the UPC as a court common to those EU Member States (Articles 20-23). Including an obligation to make references to the CJEU in accordance with Article 267. (See G&P paragraph 15).

This is not a direct application of EU law (including Article 267 TFEU), but instead it hard-codes the same obligations into the UPC itself.

The other side of the coin (currently) is that the CJEU automatically has jurisdiction to receive references and decide questions of EU law, because the UPC is common to a number of EU Member States, and the CJEU has jurisdiction over all those Member States. No need to hard-code anything.

However, this current form of the UPCA needs amendment after Brexit. G&P’s proposed amendments keep the hard-coded obligations, but adapt them to the new situation that one of the contracting states is no longer an EU Member State. As previously, this is not a direct application of Article 267 etc.

Unfortunately the CJEU would no longer have jurisdiction automatically, as its jurisdiction is limited to EU Member States (G&P paragraphs 80, 84, 85). This is why G&P say that a separate agreement is needed, with the EU as a party. The CJEU’s jurisdiction also now needs hard-coding.

One minor point: is it not a little odd that there are references in Articles 21 and 22 UPCA that only seem to make sense if the UPC does form part of the national legal order of the EU MSs?

For example:
“as part of their judicial system” (Art. 21);
“as any national court”; and
“in accordance with Union law concerning non-contractual liability of Member States for damage caused by their national courts breaching Union law”.

It appears to me that the drafters of the UPCA tried hard to create a “Benelux-type” court that the CJEU’s Opinion 1/09 indicated was OK. But now it seems necessary to argue that the drafters were unsuccessful in their efforts, and that the UPC complies with EU law by way of a novel mechanism.

I can at least concede that the UPC is very obviously different from the Benelux Court. This is not least because the UPC is an alternative to the national courts, rather than a court that is “plugged in” to the national legal systems by way of appeal / remittance links.

However, I have my doubts over whether the proposed novel mechanism for complying with Article 267 TFEU would work. That is, given that the CJEU can only accept references from “any court or tribunal of a Member State”, is there not a risk that the CJEU – despite the safeguards that you mention – would find that the UPC is not a court “of a Member State”, and thereby refuse to accept preliminary references from that court?

Of course, I do not rule out the possibility that the CJEU will find a reason why the current UPC set-up is compliant with EU law. However, as the CJEU has not yet given the system the “thumbs up”, we cannot be certain that they will do. In this respect, do you not worry that the arguments in G&P’s opinion could perhaps undermine a crucial point for EU law compliance (namely the ability for the UPC, as a court “of a Member State” to make references to the CJEU)?

More importantly, do you not worry about the risks of “going live” with a system that is not guaranteed to be compliant with EU law and where there are no guarantees that the UK can remain in that system post-Brexit? I understand the temptation to press on given that we are now so close to realising a long-held wish amongst certain sections of the IP community in Europe. Nevertheless, given the lack of guarantees on important points (especially when there are lingering, and well-reasoned doubts on those points that cannot yet be dismissed), I cannot help thinking that pressing on regardless generates huge – and frankly unacceptable – uncertainty for rights holders (and interested 3rd parties).

What we advise readers is, ignore pieces written by firms with stake in the UPC, so-called ‘reports’ (puff pieces/PR) that extensively quote those firms, and stacked panels that include liars from the EPO. Sadly, nowadays comments about the UPC are being deleted from numerous prominent blogs, but those comments which miraculously remain almost unequivocally voice pessimism about the UPC. Professionals in the field evidently don’t believe what Team UPC is saying and there are surveys that show that.



Source link: http://techrights.org/2017/06/17/fake-news-regarding-the-unitary-patent/