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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/

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The Writings on the Wall at the European Patent Office: Number of Directors May Soon Decline From 150 to Just 65-70


Related: The EPO Does Not Want Skilled (and ‘Expensive’) Staff, Layoffs a Growing Concern

President Trump fires FBI Director James Comey

Summary: Battistelli is seizing more direct and indirect control over the European Patent Office (EPO), which is supposed to eject him with a proposal for replacement already formally prepared for publication (on July 3rd)

THAT crazy EPO with its insane granting bonanza is undeniably faltering (it grants patents on genome and stem cells too, based on this new article, mostly because it’s greedy with a lust for grants, a.k.a. “production”).

“Battistelli will have left the Office by then, probably with some generous (but of course secret) pension plan.”We recently wrote several articles about anticipated administrative changes which further empower Battistelli and may give leeway for rule changes that can keep him in power indefinitely (even if by proxy). The number of applications is declining, however, and workload is expected to dry up next year, causing an avalanche of layoffs (redundancies). Battistelli will have left the Office by then, probably with some generous (but of course secret) pension plan. He and his cronies already fatten their bank balance at everyone’s expense.

Looking through the news and ignoring all the expensive (often paid-for) puff pieces about ‘European Inventor Award’ we mostly find patent law firms trying to attract business around the EPO by speaking of pharmaceutical and biotech patents, as well as this one comparing the EPO to the US patent system, the USPTO. One firm even published at least two copies of this article titled “The Essentiality Test – Falling Out of Favour at the EPO?” [1, 2]

“It reaffirms the assertions that Battistelli is giving more power to himself…”What truly stood out, however, was this new article from Kieren McCarthy in which he shed light on pertinent details in upcoming proposals. Today, for the first time in nearly a month, he wrote:

Another raft of reforms at the troubled European Patent Office has come to light and, yet again, the main purpose appears to be to enhance the power of EPO president Benoit Battistelli.

The structural changes are just the latest in a long series of changes pushed by Battistelli over the past two years, and will be considered at the next meeting of the EPO’s Administrative Council at the end of this month.

This time around, rather than awarding himself greater powers over his staff, the EPO’s appeals process or its independent appeals board, Battistelli is proposing that the EPO’s departments be restructured, with several of them combined and their new chief operating officers reporting directly to him.

[…]

Directors stem from the patent examination world and so have “little understanding for this part of the formalities work and tended to prioritize the relatively small part of the formalities work that concerned the examiners,” it warns.

The change looks appealing to EPO management, however, since it would more than halve the number of directors from the current 150 to between 65 and 70.

The EPO-FLIER group notes that while EPO management wants to start the reforms immediately and finish them by January 1, 2018, the BCG report highlighted “reform fatigue at the EPO” as a significant risk factor in their likely success. The report warned that the “more profound the desired reorganization efforts, the more negative the expected impact on employee engagement.”

Not only that, but the BCG – which had been specifically asked to consider structural reform – noted that it didn’t see much value in the proposal, saying that “the new structure will not fundamentally change the work of patent examiners and formality officers.” In other words: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Perhaps we will publish the full text from EPO-FLIER folks some time soon. A lot of the above is already known to us (already reported by us), but some of the numbers are new. It reaffirms the assertions that Battistelli is giving more power to himself and someone in the comments already says something similar to what we said in recent months. To quote: Battistelli’s “last reform will be to make the term a life appointment, or he’ll be allowed to designate a successor – and it’ll be like how Putin switches the levers of power from Prime Minister to President, depending on which post he’s currently occupying.”

“…reform will be to make the term a life appointment, or [Battistelli] be allowed to designate a successor – and it’ll be like how Putin switches the levers of power from Prime Minister to President, depending on which post he’s currently occupying.”
–Anonymous
Some people in the comments are meanwhile mistaking the EPO for the EU (or part of the EU) and taking the discussion somewhat off topic.

On the failure of the media to report this, one comment said that the “problem we have is that most of the press is restricted by its owners’ own personal agenda,” which isn’t a controversial thing to insinuate. At all.

Here are 3 of the better comments (so far):

This rather assumes that one of the planned reform measures does not include using International standards for transfer of power. Just like the ones used in Zimbabwe, North Korea etc etc. aka Dead Men’s Shoes

[…]

Those do strange things with people. But one thing which bothers me though: where is the failsafe in all this? You know, the classic issue of who’s monitoring the monitors.

More and more stories seem to surface these days about politicians and other people within a position of (certain) power who simply can’t control themselves and usurp the whole thing. Yet it only surfaces when someone leaks, the system itself seems totally incapable of detecting and dealing with excessive situations like those.

Yet it’s always the person who gets dealt with and replaced, no one seems to care about the system which basically made it possible in the first place.

[…]

The fail safe should be journalists as they expose the actions of these people and rightly so el reg has done just that in the same way it’s doing it with Chairman Mao/Pai. It’s one of the many reasons I read el reg, I just hope one day they add a “donate” option for those that use ad blocking.

The problem we have is that most of the press is restricted by its owners’ own personal agenda so even if these things are reported there is always a way for them to get out of it, e.g. lets have an enquiry, make recommendations, never follow them because they are just that, recommendations. The normal press will make out that the enquiry was successful in it’s objectives but nothing actually changes. Rinse and repeat ad infinitum.

We particularly like that last comment (also modified it slightly to amend typos) and this is why Techrights, as a matter of priority, now covers the EPO. We have a large number of drafts about software patents and news from the US, but we leave all that aside because there is already some decent coverage out there on the subject.



Source link: http://techrights.org/2017/06/17/battistelli-and-directors-reform/

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European Patent Office (EPO) Whistleblowing Guidelines


Because the consequences can be dire if it’s not done right

Reality Winner

Summary: The first part of a series which offers tips for sending us material/evidence, specifically from the European Patent Office (EPO)

THE EPO has become both secretive and abusive. Toxic mix. “Dangerous cocktail,” one might call it. Even the salary of the boss is no longer known (predecessors’ used to be publicly disclosed). The combination of secrecy and immunity is outright unacceptable and the only way to assure accountability (e.g. public scrutiny) is to leak documents pertaining to the operations of the Office and the Council/Board. We welcome submissions of information about the EPO and as always we are deeply committed to protecting our sources. We have a perfect record after 11 years (of never compromising a source). Security and privacy is something we are intimately familiar with (professionally too).

In the words of an insider, “some people at the EPO decided that they can no longer look away and tacitly/passively accept that some EPO managers, above all managers at the very top of the organization and their cronies, can enjoy the doubtful benefits of an intransparent system which fosters bribing and corruption and is self-stabilizing, if not self-intensifying – mainly due to a total lack of accountability of the persons in charge. I am one of these people.”

Here is the first part of a series, in which tips shall be given to insiders for (1) the safe acquisition of material and (2) secure passage of this material (with additional/contextual information) to us, preferably without leaving a personally-identifying trail at any level.

We can make up or compensate for imperfect transmission (e.g. metadata, lack of obfuscation), but if it’s done the wrong way by the source (e.g. printing pages without awareness of something we have warned about for years), then it limits our capacity to protect the source.

Unofficial EPO Circular no. 001

Whistleblowing Guidelines

for the staff of the European Patent Office

– part 1 –

Misconduct by EPO Management and Administrative Council

Are you an employee of the European Patent Office (EPO), its Boards of Appeals Unit or the secretariat of the Administrative Council? Then you won’t need to think long before you can come up with several severe cases of abuse of power1,2, misconduct and negligence2, ruthlessness1,2, a ‘reign of terror’3 – even leading to staff suicides4,5, slander6, nepotism7,8, corruption9, greed10, recent or ongoing, by EPO senior management and the representatives of the Administrative Council2(AC).

Several documents and numerous allegations have been leaked to the public during the Battistelli presidency. A more focused approach may be useful in the interests of staff and the Organisation. This document is intended to complement the legal and pseudolegal framework of the EPO, by providing, for the first time in the history of the EPO, guidelines advising EPO staff when and how to blow the whistle.

Conflict Resolution within a Model Organisation

In a model organisation, most problems would be resolved within the usual hierarchic procedures. A reliable internal system for whistleblowing or conflict mediation would also be available for bypassing the hierarchy. Furthermore, for certain cases, National law enforcement mechanisms would be available.

The EPO, on the contrary, has opted for a reign of terror. Hierarchy is used to protect superiors from subordinates. The oversight body of the EPO, the Administrative Council, regularly fails to take interest in the pleas of staff and users of the European patent system. Internal conflict resolution systems have been twisted to deny access to justice by stretching procedures to endless length and by denying basic rights to members of staff. Denunciation and self-censorship are encouraged. Social dialogue and collective bargaining through official staff representation or trade unions have been brutally crushed. Internal regulations are perverted to be used as weapons against employees11 instead of respecting their rights. The Office even overstretches the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities to hide from National authorities, which results in a legal vacuum and islands of lawlessness within the borders of the Organisation’s democratic host states.

As a consequence, external whistleblowing is not an option, it’s a must.
____
1 https://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2016/11/firings-will-continue-until-morale.html
2 https://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2016/11/remember-house-ban-how-two-years-flies.html
3 http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/03/european-patent-office-under-fire-over-reign-of-terror/
4 https://www.suepo.org/public/ex15152cp.pdf, https://www.suepo.org/public/ex15350cp.pdf
5 http://www.politico.eu/article/labor-relations-turn-toxic-in-the-european-patent-office/
6 http://www.iam-media.com/blog/detail.aspx?g=2141acfb-0254-48ab-a380-31fee0da7f97
7 https://www.suepo.org/documents/42912/54300.pdf
8 http://techrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/epo-people.pdf
9 http://www.fosspatents.com/2014/12/european-patent-office-pays-for-health.html
10 http://techrights.org/2017/03/11/suepo-on-the-functional-allowance/
11 https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/23/euro_patent_office_internal_rule_changes/

Part 2 will follow soon.



Source link: http://techrights.org/2017/06/17/epo-whistleblowing-guidelines/

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Software Patents in Europe Are Still Promoted by the EPO, Even in Defiance of the Ban


CII at EPO
This EPO presentation from just months ago spoke of software patents (“CII”). Photo credit: EPO Patent Information Conference 2016 (Grant Philpott)

Summary: The European Patent Office continues to ignore the directive on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions, which had software patents disallowed with an overwhelming majority of 648 to 14 votes at the European Parliament

THE patentability of software in the US patent system, or at least the enforceability of such patents in courts, is in a sharp decline. We have a lot of articles about that coming (several dozens of drafts), but EPO is a priority for now.

“Has it been privately decided in Battistelli’s secret penthouse that patent quality no longer matters, only the perception/illusion thereof?”Software patents are not permitted in Europe, yet in public events the EPO’s spokespeople have the audacity to repeatedly defend and promote these. It pushes in a similar direction in India, which has similar laws for similar exclusions (athough India’s patent office actually obeys these exclusions, unlike the EPO).

The EPO further expanded to patents on life and genome (not a joke!) and days ago we saw some press release and coverage about Transgenomic. How far will the EPO go? Has it been privately decided in Battistelli’s secret penthouse that patent quality no longer matters, only the perception/illusion thereof? Stakeholders were not consulted about this and many holders of EPs will inevitably see the value of their patent/s perish.

“Software patents are not allowed in Europe.”The EPO is pushing software patents again, in defiance of the law (see paragraph 3 in this epo.org Web page) that EPO promoted here and also (about a day later) here. To quote the relevant part: “The consequences for the patent system are potentially tremendous, and they challenge some of the fundamental concepts of the system, such as the definition of “industry” and “inventor”. There will be a greater overlap and interplay between the types of rights, and as software pervades through all technologies a greater debate on the patentability of software.”

There was already a debate and it was concluded. Software patents are not allowed in Europe. We wrote about the above, “Industry 4.0″, several months ago, and particularly about how it was used by the EPO to promote software patents, not just in the past but also at present.

“…Siemens had a lot to do with the push for software patents in Europe, not just in Germany…”This report which the EPO is promoting this week was quoted as saying that “They [presumably those who actually produce software] feel that software patents must be abolished or greatly restricted.”

Attributed to Siemens, a top patentor at the EPO, is this quote: “novel hardware in order to be patentable is “an alarming development”…”

As we wrote here a very long time ago, Siemens had a lot to do with the push for software patents in Europe, not just in Germany [1, 2].



Source link: http://techrights.org/2017/06/15/epo-swpats-push/

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Bristows/IP Kat Still Promoting UPC and Patent Trolls, Also Accused of Deleting Comments and “Brown-nosing” Judges to Help Patent Trolls


Sucking up to a judge who helps patent trolls’ entrance into Britain

Colin Birss

Summary: Bristows LLP spends far too much time infiltrating blogs and media in pursuit of patent trolls’ and UPC agenda, at the expense of integrity of the system and accuracy of information online (some of which it is deleting once it enters the editorial process)

FORGET anything you knew and saw about EPO scandals at IP Kat. As an EPO insider put it the other day: “Bear in mind that IPKat = Bristows mouthpiece as of recently. Both pro UPC !”

We actually wrote quite a few articles (such as this one) on this demise or ‘whoring’ (to the EPO) of IP Kat. It started when the blog’s founder left and accelerated further when “Merpel” (a pseudonym used by several people) simply vanished without a trace.

“It started when the blog’s founder left and accelerated further when “Merpel” (a pseudonym used by several people) simply vanished without a trace.”Bristows, sadly, has infected quite a few blogs other than IP Kat. One other example is Kluwer Patent Blog. Mind tweets such as this one, ignoring some of the latest UPC setbacks and going along with fake news from Bristows (regarding Bristows itself!)…

The following post does not state the name of the poster (maybe Cordery or a colleague from Bristows, in which case they reference themselves as a source with an even more misleading headline that constitutes pure lobbying). To quote a passage:

According to a Bristows report, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden meet these requirements. Also, ‘Germany and the UK have each consented to the Protocol. (…) it appears that other countries (such as Greece, Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia) may be in a position to enable the Provisional Application Phase to start before the summer break.’

Estonia is mentioned above because Bristows is latching onto Estonia again, in a desperate effort to show signs of life (the UPC is otherwise in a limbo).

IP Kat is killing a decade’s reputation by letting Bristows exploit it like that.”It often seems like Bristows is everywhere when it comes to the UPC and it not only spreads lies but also deletes comments that are not convenient to Bristows, the private firm that betrays its own country. Here are Bristows’ Pat Treacy and Matthew Hunt promoting a case for patent trolls in the UK, found via IAM and via the Microsoft AstroTurfing group called ACT (pretending to represent small companies for about a decade now). Have they no shame?

IP Kat, having been ‘hijacked’ by Bristows (liars and censors), is also doing this. It’s now openly promoting patent trolls using this case. Remember that Bristows has high stakes in the UPC and it promotes patent trolls in the UK for self indulgence. Here it is being accused — in the comments — of “brown-nosing” the judge, Colin Birss. To quote: “You quote Mr Birss eleven times in your post, and he even made it into the title. Looks like brown-nosing to me. No wonder UK judges become big-headed. Really, it is the judgement that counts, not the one who wrote it.”

“Look who’s on the panels: Alan Johnson (Bristows) and Michael Froehlich (EPO).”IP Kat is killing a decade’s reputation by letting Bristows exploit it like that. Some IP Kat writers have apparently already left because of it. UPC proponents certainly love this brainwash from Bristows and Christopher Weber links to it. IP Kat, or whoever is in charge of it these days, has decided to become megaphone to EPO management and Team UPC. “Disgusting” is an understatement. Here, in this two-part series [1, 2] from Eibhlin Vardy (of Stephenson Harwood) we see stacked panels which proclaim to be a discussion of UPC. They are nothing but staged lobbying events and IP Kat should have ignore these. Look who’s on the panels: Alan Johnson (Bristows) and Michael Froehlich (EPO).

Could it get any more insidious?

“As expected, censorship by Bristows et al kicks in again…”Read the fourth comment in the first part (it miraculously manahed survive the culling/censorship). “It would be nice to obtain the views of other people than from Bristows and consorts,” it said. There are many more comments to that effect, e.g. the first one here (in part 2).

As expected, censorship by Bristows et al kicks in again (we have already given several examples of that, as recently as two weeks ago). IP Kat appears to be censoring comments that are hostile towards the UPC, based on the following comment:

Tim – I agree that the missing comments have likely been “lost” for technical reasons. I very much doubt that there is any “selective editing” going on.

The part of the G&P opinion that I am thinking of is at the end of para 59:
“Whilst Article 1 of the UPCA and Article 71a of the Brussels Regulation designate the UPC as a “court common to a number of Member States”, we do not consider that such secondary legislation is capable of converting the UPC’s fundamental status as an international court into that of a court which is part of the national legal order”.

That seems to pretty clearly set out the position that G&P view the UPC as not being a “court common to the (EU) Member States”. Or am I missing something?

This is a key point, as my understanding is that the UPC will only retain the ability to refer questions to the CJEU if it remains part of the (national) legal order of EU Member States… which it can only do by being a court common to EU Member States. The participation of a non-EU State would seem to rather throw a spanner in the works on that point.

This was said in response to the following comment (reproduced in case of retroactive deletion):

Gordon and Pascoe conclude that the UPC is not “a court common to the Contracting Member States”.

I’ve not gone back to check, but I don’t think that’s quite what they said. They did acknowledge that there would need to be some changes to the definitions and wording around “Member State” and “Contracting Member State”.

At the moment, the definitions in Article 2 UPCA say that a
“Contracting Member State” is a Member State party to the UPCA itself. The suggestion is that the UK could remain as a contracting state party to the UPCA, with those changes to the wording and given the necessary political will.

However, Article 2 also defines a “Member State” as an EU Member State. I think that’s why changes to the wording would be needed.

Proof, in the past I’ve also had posts that just disappeared. I’ve come to the conclusion that it happens when I make a long post that includes HTML tags. If I get the HTML syntax wrong, the error message is very small and tucked away at the top of the post. In a long post, you can’t see it unless you scroll up looking for it, and it is easy to assume that the post was successful.

And prior to this someone said: “Two days on and no one has rushed to counter the proposition that either the UK cannot stay in the UPC post-Brexit or the UPC Agreement is incompatible with EU law. Does this mean that either everyone agrees with that proposition or that no one who disagrees has noticed it?”

People are difficulties leaving comments. Here is another:

Hmmmn. Can’t think what was wrong with my comments that (twice) failed to reach this thread. Let me try again, with a bit of rephrasing.

The article states that “Now, the general consensus seems to be that the UK can participate even after it leaves the EU”. But what is meant here by “the general consensus”? Is it the consensus of all informed practitioners or instead the majority view amongst regular commentators on the UPC? I suspect the latter, not least because I have never heard of any survey seeking views on this point. If my suspicion is correct, then I would caution against using phrases such as “the general consensus”, particularly in view of the fact that regular commentators on the UPC are a pretty self-selecting (and likely unrepresentative) group.

There is another aspect of all this that puzzles me even more, though.

Before the Brexit vote and the Gordon and Pascoe opinion, the “general consensus” was quite the opposite of what it is now alleged to be. But how is it that the consensus amongst regular commentators on the UPC has performed such an astonishing volte face when there has (to my knowledge) been so little attention paid to the key arguments that underpin the rather surprising conclusion in the Gordon and Pascoe opinion?

It appears to me that there are two main possibilities here. The first is that Gordon and Pascoe’s opinion is so clear, persuasive and obviously correct that it has removed the scales from all of our eyes so that we can now see how wrong we were beforehand. On the other hand, the second possibility is that the desire of proponents of the UPC to believe in the conclusion has hindered detailed, critical analysis of the opinion.

Sadly, I suspect that the latter possibility is the best explanation of what has happened. This is primarily because Gordon and Pascoe’s opinion is heavily reliant upon what appears at face value to be a very counter-intuitive conclusion. That is, despite several statements to the contrary in the UPC Agreement itself (the recitals, Article 1 and Article 21), Gordon and Pascoe conclude that the UPC is not “a court common to the Contracting Member States”. Whilst I would not expect commentators to dismiss that argument out of hand, I am more than a little surprised that so little attention has been paid to the question of whether it can possibly be correct.

More worryingly, no one seems to have questioned whether, apart from the possibility of the UK remaining in the UPC post-Brexit, any further consequences might flow from Gordon and Pascoe’s conclusion. I find this particularly alarming as it seems to me that one inevitable conclusion is that the UPC Agreement would be incompatible with EU law.

The reason for my conclusion on this point is that it is only by being “a court common to the Contracting Member States” that the UPC becomes part of the EU legal order, which (amongst other things) affords it the ability to refer questions to the CJEU.

I cannot overstate the importance of this point. If Gordon and Pascoe are correct and the UPC is truly an “international” court (as opposed to part of the national legal system of various EU Member States), then it would have the same status as the Boards of Appeal of the EPO… which are of course unable to refer questions to the CJEU.

Does the “general consensus” take this consideration into account?

Another commenter said: “Is there a problem with the comments facility on this thread? My comments from 2 June and from this morning seem to have both gone astray…”

IP Kat isn’t what it used to be.”I too have had several comments of mine deleted by IP Kat, whereupon I stopped commenting altogether. This isn’t an open forum anymore and it’s clear that they omit (delete) comments based on somebody’s agenda; it doesn’t look like it’s random and it’s not due to technical issues (not all the time anyway).

IP Kat isn’t what it used to be. The sooner we recognise and accept it, the better.



Source link: http://techrights.org/2017/06/11/bristows-for-upc-and-patent-trolls/

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Benoît Battistelli is Scheming to Further Erode the Rule of Law and Promote More of His Cronies at the EPO


Also see: Information From SUEPO on the Functional Allowance Reveals How Top-Level Management Intends to ‘Rob’ the Cash Cow (EPO Budget)

Battistelli Orb

Summary: Racing to the very bottom of human rights, dignity, morality and so on, for the sake of ultimate power and unbridled greed, Team Battistelli makes its next move

THE EPO is in a flaky state. Its reputation is long gone, the application numbers continue to decline, key staff is leaving, and Battistelli along with his cronies move further up the ranks. Suddenly, as some professionals openly state, the USPTO looks like it may have higher standards than the EPO. Technically too, not just ethically…

As someone put it the other day, in relation to the EPO right now:

What is most striking is the strong sense of resignation, its impotence of self-regulation, the lack of options, the political apathy. What an extraordinary situation for an institution that has absolute power over intellect and information – there is no greater power really.

Yes, the political system in Europe has been far too apathetic and thus arguably complicit. A report of ours will soon deal with the element of complicity and what can be done about it. What we wish to focus on herein, however, are some of the latest internal moves — those that demonstrate just how much of a lost cause the EPO became. We have some news about Yann Chabod (he’s not ‘retiring’, not yet anyway) and other French allies of Battistelli. The situation was recently explained to us by various sources and we have pieced it together as follows.

Titled “News from the Madhouse” or “News of the Madhouse”, one report told us that “[a]t EPO, che casino! (as Italians say)” and to quote:

From DG4 office-wide

Dir. Yann Chabod is working on new HR policies where:

  • The Office plans to depart from the normal concept of duty of care of the employer (towards its employees) to (hold tight) a duty of employability of staff towards the EPO! (e.g. if you are sick, you are not employable; game over)
  • Euro-contract of 3 years for ALL staff categories/profiles from January 2017
  • Firing staff without disciplinary procedures (which due their gross incompetence DG4 officials are too dumb to understand, much less respect). Instead a very subjective concept of “professional incompetence” will be created with a new structure where it will be decided in speedy procedures to fire staff as they see/please (EPO staff, don’t burn all your cash too quickly. You may be out quicker than you think).

DG4′s cunning plan is a GCC consultation in November and submission to Administrative Council in December 2017 for an entry into force in January 2018.

Needless to say that all this is utterly unhealthy (hence illegal and not practicable, e.g. recruitment needed will increase to levels impossible to manage), but hey, who cares!

Although the EPO has made over 400 Mio eur. surplus, DG4 is currently reviewing all staff in receipt of HANDICAPPED child allowance (yes you read right) to cut all what can be cut. Very tasteful is it not?

  • Staff rep elections are due next June 20th. The one candidate in TH who presents himself as “independent” has recently applied to a position within DG4! (which explains that he shoots on unions)
  • Another “independent” candidate is in the starting blocks in TH [The Hague]. some say that the union refused his presence on their list of candidates for very severe reasons (he collaborated zealously to Bergot’s witch-hunt leading to investigation of several union leaders/dismissal). Be aware of this when you read his pamphlet which will no doubt not be mentioning nothing about his many dirty little secrets.

From DG1

In DG1 two directors of Le Croisé, friends for years, were explained by their principal director that VP1 considers they are seen too often together (e.g. for lunch, or coffee). VP1 even considers that one is doing too much sport over lunch! Directors be aware: you are being watched!

From the building

The planned contingency budget for the entire building in TH is close to empty, although the building works are by far not completed (actually additional delay for completion are already planned). no doubt that the end budget will explode.

From Munich

A new position will soon arise: principal director in the Presidential Office. Lose no time to apply, it is for Gilles Requena the (ex?)husband of E. Bergot.

For the 3 DG1 principal directors positions foreseen in the new structure post-VP1-departure: these positions would be earmarked for a Bulgarian PD, a French one, and Grant Philpott.

Some of the above has already been circulating among staff, either verbally or in written form. Not too long ago “New Merpel” wrote the following long comment:

There was a new document published about the new structure for the EPO. It is typical Battistelli: when being told that the new structure is not compatible with the EPC, keep the structure and pay lip service to the EPC. Try to get a copy of the document, which was distributed over the EPO intranet.

For the following to be understood, the present management structure is: vice president (VP), principal director, director, examiner.

In the new structure, the complete present management of DG1 (the part of the EPO doing search and examination) becomes redundant. Really:
-there is no Vice President. Under the EPC, the VP is the only one that is independent from the President (nominated by the council). This is where Battistelli paid lip service: he nominates present VP2 as VP1. That man has done everything he wants.
-there are 3 COOs, which are apparently the only ones in charge and report directly to the President (although they are under the VP, they report to the President… lip service).
-the present principal directors are made redundant (really!)
-more than half of the directors are made redundant (which should keep the other half quiet, if they don’t want to be put in the “redundant” half)
-directors are replaced by examiners who do the job in addition to their examining duties on a one-year assignment.

So, basically, the new structure is: President, COO (chosen by the President on a short term contract, come from outside the EPO), examiner. What for?

There is another hidden gem in that document (there always is one…). Oppositions will be done by specially chosen examiners, who cannot do more than 30% opposition work. Why 30% one may ask? Simple: tasks done for 30% of your time do not count for your notation. That system is a particularly astute way of giving something to the redundant directors while:
-insuring that they will be without power (they don’t report the people below them, since they only do 30%)
-insuring that oppositions get the attention Battistelli thinks they deserve (the examiners still have to keep the director for which they do 70% work happy, he does not want to be redundant and is judged on output).

As a subsequent comment put it:

Good news for Mr Requena (right hand of Battistelli and ex-husband of PD43) : a position of A6 is ear-marked for him and will soon arive :o)))

who said that talents aren’t recognised at EPO ?

Mind the tone of the next comment:

The new opposition departments are predicated on the view that examiners who do more oppositions can be so efficient that they can almost halve the time spent by the EPO on them. Of course it will mean that these opposition examiners will cover a wider technical area (of the order of 10% of all examiners).

This wasn’t taken too well, inviting comments like this:

Another comment obviously motivate by social envy and ignorance. You do not seem to understand that people are depending on this job, living abroad with their children visiting international school and mortgages that need to be paid. A general strike sounds so simple if you ignore the consequences this would have. We do not get any support by the Dutch and German government which is the actual scandal. Instead jellyfish Rutte shook hands for the press when the construction of the new building started… disgusting. You better think before you judge.

Another person wrote: “Swallow your social envy and shut up, will you. You have obviously no idea what you are talking about.”

“Time for [EPO] examiners to look for a new job I would say.” That’s what this next comment said: “The only time I have seen a similar management structure change in the industry, massive dismissals happened in the next months. That would make sense here if the EPO has 40% productivity gains, they will only need half the staff. Time for examiners to look for a new job I would say.”

Not only this one thread contains inside information. The comments here (now 17 or more) are worth reading in full. Even pro-UPC blogs are very much concerned about the future of the EPO, which is collapsing. It’s the fault of Battistelli’s regime.

The above-mentioned clawback is the latest subject to come up in the very last thread about EPO scandals. To quote:

Currently DG4 is busy reviewing HANDICAPPED CHILD allowances’ recipients, as if the 3 dozens (or the like) of recipients were bandits abusing the EPO. Even if they were (which is of course not the case) the amounts at stake would never cover the spendings of EPO money needed for PD 43 bodyguard.

Fortunately during this time, millions of eur are spent on IT projects with ZERO results, the building in TH has already almost exausted its contigency money and is far from finish yet, Battistelli still employs two bodyguards, flies around the globe visiting the most expensive palaces, drinking the most nobles french wines.

who said tasteless?

Another one said:

New rules for firing people without safeguards will be presented to the next council.

Let me first remind that Battistelli fired 3 people already, two of them a year and a half ago. The reasons were bogus, but they are still out with no solution in sight. They were fired because they were staff representatives. So we know that Battistelli can already fire people at will, it just is a bit of effort to mount a bogus case.

Under the new règles, you will just be out for… “professional incompetence”. Try to find another job in patents after you have been officially declared incompetent. Battistelli already had a big stick, now he wants a machine gun.

And serving to further confirm what we have learned:

indeed according to insiders info DG4 plans a new rule which would allow to fire staff for “processionnal incompetence”, a vague and utterly subjective concept, without the need of disciplinary committee the rules of which are by far too cumbersome and require fairness.

In December DG4 will propose a document that foresees ALL new staff at EPO under 3 years’ contract (no more permanent employment)

the destruction of the EPO continues

This last new comment explains the monumental cost of working for the EPO:

“Handicapped child” comment above.

When one comes to work for the Office, one leaves the social insurance system of his or her country. If one is then fired, one is left without medical insurance, so any recurrent costs for an handicapped child will not be paid. Getting back under the insurance of one’s country is not generally an option.

Basically, if your child needs regular treatment and the other parent is not independently insured, you have a huge problem.

So, in summary, as bad as things already are at the EPO, they’re about to get even worse.



Source link: http://techrights.org/2017/06/10/epo-erosion-of-the-rule-of-law/

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EPO Workers May be About to Go on Strike Again


Infographic from the last EPO strike

7 reasons to strike at the European Patent Office left

7 reasons to strike at the European Patent Office right

Summary: A call for another strike at the European Patent Office is circulating among staff, which sees the writings on the wall and hopes to save the European Patent Office if it’s not too late

THE strike last year was massive. EPO was half empty and Battistelli escaped overseas with his bodyguards.

“If any examiners out there are reading this, please seriously consider signing the petition.”We recently learned that another strike is in the making. “The CSC [Central Staff Committee] has been made aware that a petition to the Administrative Council is circulating among EPO examiners,” one person quotes to us from internal sources. Here is the text of the petition: “We, examiners of the European Patent Office, are submitted to constraints that are no longer compatible with fulfilling appropriately our duties within the Search and Examination divisions. We are far too often put in front of the dilemma of either working according to the European Patent Convention (EPC) and respecting the Examiner’s Guidelines, or issuing “products” as our hierarchy demands. We feel that timeliness and number of “products” should not be the only criteria to assess the Office and examiners performance, but that attention should be paid to providing a high level of presumption of validity to the patents we grant.”

If any examiners out there are reading this, please seriously consider signing the petition. In the coming days we shall show many new reasons to do so. Not too long ago the Central Staff Committee sent the following letter to Battistelli:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr Benoît Battistelli
President of the EPO

ISAR – R.1081

Call for strike – “RESPECT STAFF”

Date: 22 May 2017

Dear Mr President,

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) and the Local Staff Committees (LSC) of all sites call for a strike – “RESPECT STAFF” around the next Administrative Council.

Reasons for strike

Three years after the inception of “social democracy” and two and half years after the introduction of the “new career system” the situation in the Office is more toxic than ever. There are many reasons for discontent, but these are the most prominent and urgent:

• Lack of respect for the Rule of law and fundamental rights of staff;

• Disastrous consequences of the reforms and new practices for:
◦ the health of staff,
◦ the quality of the service rendered by the EPO to Europe,
◦ the reputation of the Office.

• Staff representation resources and prerogatives are reduced even further as of 1.7.2017, to a level that makes the effective representation of staff interests impossible.

• The President’s persistence in wanting to increase his arbitrary powers, which is an affront not only to Staff but also to the Council and its legislative intent as expressed in CA/26/16 and CA/32/17.

These issues must be solved urgently to avoid irreparable damage. This requires a change not only in certain regulations, but also in the attitude of the Administration towards staff. We reiterate our proposal to involve an external professional mediator to facilitate productive discussions with the Office administration.

Yours sincerely,

The Staff Representation

For the Central Staff Committee

We confirm that this letter was legitimately decided and produced by the Central Staff Committee 1 .

____
1 Pursuant to Article 35(3) ServRegs, the Central Staff Committee shall consist of ten full and ten alternate members.

The CSC presently consists of 8 full and 7 alternate members, because two have resigned in December 2014, one has been dismissed in January 2016 (against the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee), one resigned as of October 2016, one has been further dismissed in November 2016 and one refused replacement of a full member since November 2016 and a further one since December 2014 against Article 7(3) of Circular 355.

Furthermore, one member of a LSC has been dismissed and a further full member of the CSC has been downgraded in January 2016 (against the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee). In fact, the Office has launched investigations and disciplinary procedures against several other Staff representatives as well, affecting negatively their health.

That footnote is very important because it reveals the degree of courage now required for one to become (or remain) in the Central Staff Committee. The EPO is nothing like a “social democracy” but rather a totalitarian den of corruption and nepotism. It’s a total embarrassment to the whole of Europe and it won’t survive unless something radically changes very soon.



Source link: http://techrights.org/2017/06/05/another-epo-strike-planned/

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Media and Staff Association Elections at EPO and WIPO Are Compromised


Knocking down two essential pillars of a modern democracy

Separation of powers
“Freedom of the Press,
if it means anything at all,
means the freedom
to criticize and oppose”

–George Orwell

Summary: A campaign of abuse (legal bullying) and gifting to the media, combined with a wide-ranging assault on critics who represent the interests of staff, have led WIPO and EPO down the route to totality

WIPO is a tool of mega-corporations which is neither international nor fair. Its attacks on media recently got the attention of some media that had hitherto more or less ignored WIPO scandals — in the same way that a lot of media still ignores many EPO scandals. It often seems that the media starts caring — at least a little — only when it too comes under attack (basically for doing its job).

The failure of ILO and the EPO (further to our previous post) is part of a broader problem which I first became familiar with half a decade ago. There is no access to justice. People at the UN told me so and shared documents to support these assertions. It has gotten so bad that they now bully the press with impunity (ILO could, in theory, attempt to bully bloggers) and citing all sorts of articles such as this, SUEPO took note of WIPO’s abuses (also UN), citing a several pages long PDF about the latest at WIPO. See the article “WIPO Boss Seeks to Silence Press Critics and Whistleblowers” — a report which starts with some background:

On January 25, 2017 the Staff Association of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) headquartered in Geneva, demonstrated to protest the recent actions of Francis Gurry, the agency’s Director General. Unhappy with the duly-elected Staff Association Council, Gurry organized his own elections and simply replaced the legitimate Staff Council with his preferred slate of officers.

Besides the obvious problem of management selecting candidates for Staff Association elections, there were apparently numerous irregularities manifest in this process, and the duly-elected Council of the Staff Association is pursuing legal remedies. These take time, however, and in the meantime, Gurry’s preferred slate has taken over the offices and functions of the legitimate officials.

The “problem of management selecting candidates for Staff Association elections,” as the above puts it, is already a reality at the EPO. There is veto power for management when it comes to staff representation and even the disciplinary committees are controlled and composed indirectly by Team Battistelli, assuring that justice will be just a mirage. At the EPO, the Central Staff Committee is going to change pretty soon and “most people are too frightened” to stand for election, an insider recently told us.

When the media loses its voice and staff too loses its voice we are left to deal with autocratic entities. When these are disconnected from national laws, i.e. enjoying immunity, what we have is a “toxic mix” or “dangerous cocktail”. That’s what Gurry and Battistelli both pursued separately and actually got at the end. Who will end this? Can ECHR put an end to that?



Source link: http://techrights.org/2017/05/21/epo-and-wipo-vs-separation-of-powers/