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Nicolas Yeager 2016-06-07
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The European Patent Office EPO has reacted to criticism of its latest proposals – by blocking access to a blog that raised concerns.

As of this morning, EPO staff who try to access the site from work have been met with the message: "Your request was denied because of its content categorization: 'Malicious Sources/Malnets'."

The EPO leadership urgently needs professional help... blocking the @Ipkat blog is just insane.

https://t.co/xcsZlRVbzX

— Florian Mueller @FOSSpatents June 7, 2016

The EPO has history with censoring critical websites: last year it both blocked and sent threatening legal letters to blog Techrights after it posted embarrassing internet documents that showed the organization was giving preferential treatment to Microsoft in its patent reviews.

As more than one person has pointed out, it might be The Reg that is next in line for censorship.

We have written a number of critical articles about the EPO based on... documents from other arms of the EPO including its Boards of Appeal, Administrative Council and staff.

collect
0
Edmond Garcia 2016-05-26
img

Pic: Shutterstock

Exclusive Every CEO knows it's impossible to be universally liked.

But when staff start cutting your brakes, maybe it's time to consider moving on.

The president of the European Patent Office EPO , Benoit Battistelli, has already been on the receiving end of an official censure from his board, a series of strikes, several highly critical news reports, and a zero per cent confidence rating.

That's right, such is the animosity toward Battistelli – who set up a special investigative unit to spy on his staff, suspended union officials, docked people's pensions, restricted sick leave and disregarded staff suicides as having nothing to do with restrictive new policies he introduced that are actually illegal – that the staff has seemingly taken to smashing up his bike and cutting his brakes.

Incredibly, however, despite an ever-increasing outcry against Battistelli and his executive team and several meetings of the EPO's Administrative Council focused solely on how to overcome the breakdown in staff-management communication, Battistelli is still refusing to budge an inch.

Despite being told to fix the situation and scale back the problems in March, Battistelli has instead proposed reforms that have angered staff even more.

collect
0
James Baichan 2017-05-23
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p The central staff committee of the European Patent Office has sent a letter to the organization's board warning it of proposed changes that would further undermine their rights.

The letter to the board of the EPO's Administrative Council comes one day before its preparatory meeting for the larger council meeting next month.

That meeting is expected to center – yet again – on the breakdown of relations between staff and management.

On the agenda is reform of the EPO's disciplinary and investigative rules as well as its appeal process – something that has been pushed by critics of the EPO's current president Benoit Battistelli.

The staff letter warns, however, that among the improvements proposed are changes that would continue to undermine their rights.

Allow management to cut a staff member's retirement pension as a disciplinary measure.

collect
0
David Shiner 2016-07-01
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Administrative Council leaves staff frustrated

A determined effort to oust European Patent Office EPO president Benoit Battistelli amounted to nothing this week, as representatives from European countries instead spent two days rehashing a reform proposal.

The meeting of the EPO's Administrative Council in Munich had threatened to become a showdown over Battistelli's increasingly autocratic behavior – a situation the EPO's staff encouraged by attempting to serve legal papers on the president and sending messages to council members asking them to fire him.

The council decided to effectively ignore ongoing disputes between staff and management however, punting the relevant agenda items to their next meeting in October.

Instead, the meeting focused on reform of the organization's Boards of Appeal BOA , which had themselves proved controversial due to Battistelli's efforts to afford himself additional powers over what is supposed to be an independent body and process.

The council threw out the powergrab, approving a reform system that saw a new Boards of Appeal Committee set up as a subsidiary of the Administrative Council, and a newly created President of the BOA that will absorb some of the powers currently held by the EPO President.

collect
0
Bill Brown 2016-12-19
img

States seek to limit Napoleon-like tendencies of Benoit Battistelli

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Office EPO has rapped its rampaging president on the knuckles at a two-day meeting in Munich but failed to take any public action against him despite pleas from staff.

Benoit Battistelli has been under increasing fire in recent weeks after he ignored a previous order from the council and fired the secretary of the EPO's staff union on grounds that many claim are spurious.

Battistelli and his executive team also recently lost two appeals at the International Labour Organization, which determined they had undermined the legitimacy of its Appeals Committee by selecting staff "volunteers" to stand on it rather than let the Central Staff Committee select them.

It, again, failed to do so.

Not only but that it also approved the latest proposal put forward by Battistelli to move the EPO's Boards of Appeal BoA away from the EPO headquarters in Munich to a new building in the outskirts of the city, and it handed Battistelli effective control of the appeals committee until June next year.

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0
James Farr 2016-06-15
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King Battistelli out of control

President of the European Patent Office EPO , Benoit Battistelli, has been caught threatening an independent appeals board looking into the case of a judge he summarily dismissed.

According to those familiar with events, the appeal board responded to the letter by pointedly asking the chair of the EPO's Administrative Council whether he agreed with the letter's contents.

Persistent efforts to force the organization to get rid of the patent judge and two EPO staffers and implement further reforms have led to a huge power struggle in which the president has awarded himself increasingly greater powers, leading up to dubbing him King Battistelli.

Those efforts have led to widespread rebukes from European politicians, the EPO's own Administrative Council, and EPO staff – which have given him a zero per cent approval rating and carried out repeated protests and strikes against the actions.

Despite being ordered to resolve the situation however, Battistelli has only grown more provocative, pushing for even greater movement of power within the organization to his office and dismissing claims that his current policies break German law by arguing that the EPO as an international organization is not beholden to any individual country's laws.

In response to this latest move, the EPO officially told us: "Please be informed that in the present case, the Administrative Council of the EPO is the competent appointing and disciplinary authority.

collect
0
Charles Gilbert 2016-06-22
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King Battistelli faces ousting from his subjects

Tension between staff and management at the European Patent Office EPO has descended into open warfare with the publication of an open letter by some staff, calling on the organization's Administrative Council to get rid of its president.

The letter, signed by a group calling itself the EPO-FLIER Team, goes through an extensive catalogue of problems at the organization, but focuses on its claim that president Benoit Battistelli is undermining the organization through his actions.

Quality

It also makes the serious claim that the EPO's quality checking system has been designed to always return positive results, regardless of actual quality.

The way it has been designed, it will always indicate excellent quality, no matter what the actual quality is," the letter states.

It points to a number of "high-profile events that seem to be mainly instigated for the greater glory of the President," and his hiring of several personal bodyguards – seemingly in response to staff cutting the brakes on Battistelli's bicycle – as symbols of his imperious reign.

The letter ends by noting that the Administrative Council will be "in the spotlight" later this month, and pleads: "Please do what needs doing: restore a constructive climate at the EPO."

collect
0
Letha Byrd 2016-11-23
img

While sacked union leader asks for documents to be released

The central staff committee at the European Patent Office EPO has asked again for the organization's Administrative Council to take action against its president Benoit Battistelli, citing the dismissal of the secretary of its staff union as the final straw.

"We are skeptical about the real motives behind the dismissal of yet another elected staff representative and union official," the open letter PDF to the 36 members of the EPO's top body reads.

"We are also very concerned that four more staff representatives and/or union officials are allegedly going to be targeted soon with investigations that may lead to further disciplinary procedures."

As a result of Battistelli's actions, the EPO "remains in a state of social turmoil and perceived lawlessness that risks compromising irremediably the reputation and continued existence of our Organisation," the letter argues, adding that the council "has to take action: this can no longer be delayed."

Staff protests at EPO offices have been joined by national politicians and the Dutch government is due to hold a special debate on the matter.

collect
0
Tracy Rinehart 2016-06-24
img

Boards of Appeal excoriates EPO president over threats

The attempt to dismiss a patent judge from his position – including unsubstantiated claims that he possessed Nazi memorabilia – has led to fierce formal criticism of the president of the European Patent Office EPO .

Leak

The judge in question was dismissed by the president for allegedly leaking documents that embarrassed Battistelli and EPO management and for making anonymous criticisms of them.

The judge asked that the board hold its meeting in public so he could clear his name, and the board agreed.

"In view, in particular, of the gravity of the reputational, security, welfare and public order risks identified, there is a strong case for saying that any decision to conduct this hearing in public would be unlawful because it could not be defended as either proportionate or reasonable," it read in part.

It then stated: "The intervention of the Office President, and this intervention alone, prevented the Enlarged Board from continuing the proceedings as had been planned, from examining the case on its substantive merits as put forward by the Petitioner, and from establishing whether serious grounds for the removal from office of the Respondent existed in accordance with Article 23 1 EPC."

So far, Battistelli has been able to persuade the Administrative Council to continue backing him and his proposed reforms, but with even the organization's highest judicial body accusing him of overstepping his role and undermining the organization's very functioning, it is hard to imagine how he will continue to retain support.

collect
0
Logistics Update Africa 2021-01-08
img

India-based material solutions company PLUSS Advanced Technology (PLUSS) has been granted patent by European Patent Office, Germany for its ‘Celsure’ box designed and manufactured using the proprietary Phase Change Material (PCM) technology, to transport vaccines and perishable commodities at a specific temperature range.

collect
0
Wesley Reese 2018-03-15
img

Extraordinary letter to EPO Admin Council blows up management claims

An extraordinary letter from nearly 1,000 patent examiners has confirmed what critics of the European Patent Office (EPO) have been saying for some time: patent quality has fallen thanks to a determined push by management to approve more of them.

The letter [PDF] has been sent to the EPO's Administrative Council (AC) – the only body capable of exerting control over the organization's runaway management – prior to its meeting later this month.

The letter – put together as a petition – continues: "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."

collect
0
Thomas Brazier 2017-03-08
img

Battistelli fighting to avoid lame duck status

European governments have finally had enough of the head of the European Patent Office, Benoit Battistelli, and are pushing for a vote that could turn him into a lame duck president.

In particular, the council is due to discuss publication of a vacancy notice for the job – something that would start the ball rolling on finding a successor to Battistelli in July 2018, and would immediately limit his ability to force through changes.

Although the agenda point is labeled "opn" rather than "dec," meaning that only discussion will take place rather than a vote and a decision, chair of the council Jesper Kongstad has already leapt into action, insiders tells us, in an effort to undermine the effort to oust Battistelli.

The council's board meets one month before the full Administrative Council meeting to shape the agenda, and the minutes of that meeting, on 16 February, show that the topic of hiring a new president was raised.

That appears to go against the EPO's rules of procedure [PDF], which make it plain that votes only require a simple majority.

collect
0
Calvin Bourque 2017-06-17
img

Yep, King Battistelli wants to award himself more power

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.

The proposals, already opposed by the EPO's staff union, have picked up strong opposition from a group of anonymous EPO staffers (anonymous because of Battistelli's continued harassment and firing of critics), who have written a detailed criticism of the proposed reforms.

Most notably, the criticism attacks the president's claim that the reforms were recommended by a report into the EPO from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), by highlighting that the BCG report in fact warned against such changes.

collect
0
Marion Kimberlin 2016-06-01
img

Independent voices speak out against continued powergrab

Undeterred by staff cutting his brakes, president of the European Patent Office EPO , Benoit Battistelli, has now enraged his organization's Boards of Appeal.

Noting that the aim of the reform was to increase the autonomy of the boards, the association that represents all 28 global boards complains in a letter sent earlier this month that it would in fact "decrease the level of autonomy and independence."

The Association of the Members of the Boards of Appeal AMBA also points out that the proposed reforms do not follow "the main internationally recognized principles of judicial independence."

As to how such changes ended up in the proposal without being challenged, well that's because Battistelli and his team didn't consult with the boards that it was seeking to reform.

"The vast majority of our proposals, comments and concerns have not been taken into account in the proposed rules and are not reflected in any other way, for example in the explanatory notes or in the 'Alternatives' section, which is conspicuous by its absence."

In short, it's not just the EPO staff that the wildly unpopular president is trying to become king of, he's also trying to take over the very independent processes that are supposed to hold his organization's decisions to account.

collect
0
Gary Tokarski 2016-10-14
img

King Battistelli faces another revolt from underlings

Staff at the European Patent Office EPO have asked its administrative council to adopt new guidelines to protect them from the organization's rampaging president.

The open letter PDF urges the council – which meets this week in Munich – to adopt the same rules for disciplinary proceedings and internal investigations that are being developed at another scandal-hit international organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO .

The letter comes as EPO president Benoit Battistelli continues an extraordinary campaign of intimidation of union leaders at the organization that has led to repeated strikes at the EPO and a determined effort to push the president out at the administrative council's previous meeting in July.

A number of union officials have been suspended on questionable charges and have been under constant pressure to quit the organization, including the threat of withdrawals of their pensions.

The suspensions follow an extraordinary campaign of intimidation through a special investigation unit set up by Battistelli, which included tapping people's phones and sending investigators to their homes, as well as planting highly damaging allegations about specific individuals in the press.

collect
0
Howard Marcinkowski 2017-10-17
img

New European Patent Office chairman gets it in the ohr

The issue of falling patent quality at the European Patent Office (EPO) has again reared its head, this time thanks to German intellectual property lawyers.

Following a testy exchange last week at an official meeting of the EPO's Administrative Council where staff aired their grievances and were attacked by EPO president Benoit Battistelli in response, companies are now raising their concerns.

According to German newspaper Heise, a meeting at the Max Planck Institute in Munich grew heated when a group of patent lawyers used a presentation by new EPO chairman Christoph Ernst to make their views known about the "System Battistelli".

For several years Battistelli has been aggressively pushing changes at the EPO aimed at increasing the number of patents that are reviewed and approved.

The result of that drive has been a complete breakdown in communications between EPO staff and management – but that is something many consider a price worth paying in order to "modernise" the EPO and keep it in line with other competing patent authorities in the US and Japan.

collect
0
Nicolas Yeager 2016-06-07
img

The European Patent Office EPO has reacted to criticism of its latest proposals – by blocking access to a blog that raised concerns.

As of this morning, EPO staff who try to access the site from work have been met with the message: "Your request was denied because of its content categorization: 'Malicious Sources/Malnets'."

The EPO leadership urgently needs professional help... blocking the @Ipkat blog is just insane.

https://t.co/xcsZlRVbzX

— Florian Mueller @FOSSpatents June 7, 2016

The EPO has history with censoring critical websites: last year it both blocked and sent threatening legal letters to blog Techrights after it posted embarrassing internet documents that showed the organization was giving preferential treatment to Microsoft in its patent reviews.

As more than one person has pointed out, it might be The Reg that is next in line for censorship.

We have written a number of critical articles about the EPO based on... documents from other arms of the EPO including its Boards of Appeal, Administrative Council and staff.

James Baichan 2017-05-23
img

p The central staff committee of the European Patent Office has sent a letter to the organization's board warning it of proposed changes that would further undermine their rights.

The letter to the board of the EPO's Administrative Council comes one day before its preparatory meeting for the larger council meeting next month.

That meeting is expected to center – yet again – on the breakdown of relations between staff and management.

On the agenda is reform of the EPO's disciplinary and investigative rules as well as its appeal process – something that has been pushed by critics of the EPO's current president Benoit Battistelli.

The staff letter warns, however, that among the improvements proposed are changes that would continue to undermine their rights.

Allow management to cut a staff member's retirement pension as a disciplinary measure.

Bill Brown 2016-12-19
img

States seek to limit Napoleon-like tendencies of Benoit Battistelli

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Office EPO has rapped its rampaging president on the knuckles at a two-day meeting in Munich but failed to take any public action against him despite pleas from staff.

Benoit Battistelli has been under increasing fire in recent weeks after he ignored a previous order from the council and fired the secretary of the EPO's staff union on grounds that many claim are spurious.

Battistelli and his executive team also recently lost two appeals at the International Labour Organization, which determined they had undermined the legitimacy of its Appeals Committee by selecting staff "volunteers" to stand on it rather than let the Central Staff Committee select them.

It, again, failed to do so.

Not only but that it also approved the latest proposal put forward by Battistelli to move the EPO's Boards of Appeal BoA away from the EPO headquarters in Munich to a new building in the outskirts of the city, and it handed Battistelli effective control of the appeals committee until June next year.

Charles Gilbert 2016-06-22
img

King Battistelli faces ousting from his subjects

Tension between staff and management at the European Patent Office EPO has descended into open warfare with the publication of an open letter by some staff, calling on the organization's Administrative Council to get rid of its president.

The letter, signed by a group calling itself the EPO-FLIER Team, goes through an extensive catalogue of problems at the organization, but focuses on its claim that president Benoit Battistelli is undermining the organization through his actions.

Quality

It also makes the serious claim that the EPO's quality checking system has been designed to always return positive results, regardless of actual quality.

The way it has been designed, it will always indicate excellent quality, no matter what the actual quality is," the letter states.

It points to a number of "high-profile events that seem to be mainly instigated for the greater glory of the President," and his hiring of several personal bodyguards – seemingly in response to staff cutting the brakes on Battistelli's bicycle – as symbols of his imperious reign.

The letter ends by noting that the Administrative Council will be "in the spotlight" later this month, and pleads: "Please do what needs doing: restore a constructive climate at the EPO."

Tracy Rinehart 2016-06-24
img

Boards of Appeal excoriates EPO president over threats

The attempt to dismiss a patent judge from his position – including unsubstantiated claims that he possessed Nazi memorabilia – has led to fierce formal criticism of the president of the European Patent Office EPO .

Leak

The judge in question was dismissed by the president for allegedly leaking documents that embarrassed Battistelli and EPO management and for making anonymous criticisms of them.

The judge asked that the board hold its meeting in public so he could clear his name, and the board agreed.

"In view, in particular, of the gravity of the reputational, security, welfare and public order risks identified, there is a strong case for saying that any decision to conduct this hearing in public would be unlawful because it could not be defended as either proportionate or reasonable," it read in part.

It then stated: "The intervention of the Office President, and this intervention alone, prevented the Enlarged Board from continuing the proceedings as had been planned, from examining the case on its substantive merits as put forward by the Petitioner, and from establishing whether serious grounds for the removal from office of the Respondent existed in accordance with Article 23 1 EPC."

So far, Battistelli has been able to persuade the Administrative Council to continue backing him and his proposed reforms, but with even the organization's highest judicial body accusing him of overstepping his role and undermining the organization's very functioning, it is hard to imagine how he will continue to retain support.

Wesley Reese 2018-03-15
img

Extraordinary letter to EPO Admin Council blows up management claims

An extraordinary letter from nearly 1,000 patent examiners has confirmed what critics of the European Patent Office (EPO) have been saying for some time: patent quality has fallen thanks to a determined push by management to approve more of them.

The letter [PDF] has been sent to the EPO's Administrative Council (AC) – the only body capable of exerting control over the organization's runaway management – prior to its meeting later this month.

The letter – put together as a petition – continues: "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."

Calvin Bourque 2017-06-17
img

Yep, King Battistelli wants to award himself more power

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.

The proposals, already opposed by the EPO's staff union, have picked up strong opposition from a group of anonymous EPO staffers (anonymous because of Battistelli's continued harassment and firing of critics), who have written a detailed criticism of the proposed reforms.

Most notably, the criticism attacks the president's claim that the reforms were recommended by a report into the EPO from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), by highlighting that the BCG report in fact warned against such changes.

Gary Tokarski 2016-10-14
img

King Battistelli faces another revolt from underlings

Staff at the European Patent Office EPO have asked its administrative council to adopt new guidelines to protect them from the organization's rampaging president.

The open letter PDF urges the council – which meets this week in Munich – to adopt the same rules for disciplinary proceedings and internal investigations that are being developed at another scandal-hit international organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO .

The letter comes as EPO president Benoit Battistelli continues an extraordinary campaign of intimidation of union leaders at the organization that has led to repeated strikes at the EPO and a determined effort to push the president out at the administrative council's previous meeting in July.

A number of union officials have been suspended on questionable charges and have been under constant pressure to quit the organization, including the threat of withdrawals of their pensions.

The suspensions follow an extraordinary campaign of intimidation through a special investigation unit set up by Battistelli, which included tapping people's phones and sending investigators to their homes, as well as planting highly damaging allegations about specific individuals in the press.

Edmond Garcia 2016-05-26
img

Pic: Shutterstock

Exclusive Every CEO knows it's impossible to be universally liked.

But when staff start cutting your brakes, maybe it's time to consider moving on.

The president of the European Patent Office EPO , Benoit Battistelli, has already been on the receiving end of an official censure from his board, a series of strikes, several highly critical news reports, and a zero per cent confidence rating.

That's right, such is the animosity toward Battistelli – who set up a special investigative unit to spy on his staff, suspended union officials, docked people's pensions, restricted sick leave and disregarded staff suicides as having nothing to do with restrictive new policies he introduced that are actually illegal – that the staff has seemingly taken to smashing up his bike and cutting his brakes.

Incredibly, however, despite an ever-increasing outcry against Battistelli and his executive team and several meetings of the EPO's Administrative Council focused solely on how to overcome the breakdown in staff-management communication, Battistelli is still refusing to budge an inch.

Despite being told to fix the situation and scale back the problems in March, Battistelli has instead proposed reforms that have angered staff even more.

David Shiner 2016-07-01
img

Administrative Council leaves staff frustrated

A determined effort to oust European Patent Office EPO president Benoit Battistelli amounted to nothing this week, as representatives from European countries instead spent two days rehashing a reform proposal.

The meeting of the EPO's Administrative Council in Munich had threatened to become a showdown over Battistelli's increasingly autocratic behavior – a situation the EPO's staff encouraged by attempting to serve legal papers on the president and sending messages to council members asking them to fire him.

The council decided to effectively ignore ongoing disputes between staff and management however, punting the relevant agenda items to their next meeting in October.

Instead, the meeting focused on reform of the organization's Boards of Appeal BOA , which had themselves proved controversial due to Battistelli's efforts to afford himself additional powers over what is supposed to be an independent body and process.

The council threw out the powergrab, approving a reform system that saw a new Boards of Appeal Committee set up as a subsidiary of the Administrative Council, and a newly created President of the BOA that will absorb some of the powers currently held by the EPO President.

James Farr 2016-06-15
img

King Battistelli out of control

President of the European Patent Office EPO , Benoit Battistelli, has been caught threatening an independent appeals board looking into the case of a judge he summarily dismissed.

According to those familiar with events, the appeal board responded to the letter by pointedly asking the chair of the EPO's Administrative Council whether he agreed with the letter's contents.

Persistent efforts to force the organization to get rid of the patent judge and two EPO staffers and implement further reforms have led to a huge power struggle in which the president has awarded himself increasingly greater powers, leading up to dubbing him King Battistelli.

Those efforts have led to widespread rebukes from European politicians, the EPO's own Administrative Council, and EPO staff – which have given him a zero per cent approval rating and carried out repeated protests and strikes against the actions.

Despite being ordered to resolve the situation however, Battistelli has only grown more provocative, pushing for even greater movement of power within the organization to his office and dismissing claims that his current policies break German law by arguing that the EPO as an international organization is not beholden to any individual country's laws.

In response to this latest move, the EPO officially told us: "Please be informed that in the present case, the Administrative Council of the EPO is the competent appointing and disciplinary authority.

Letha Byrd 2016-11-23
img

While sacked union leader asks for documents to be released

The central staff committee at the European Patent Office EPO has asked again for the organization's Administrative Council to take action against its president Benoit Battistelli, citing the dismissal of the secretary of its staff union as the final straw.

"We are skeptical about the real motives behind the dismissal of yet another elected staff representative and union official," the open letter PDF to the 36 members of the EPO's top body reads.

"We are also very concerned that four more staff representatives and/or union officials are allegedly going to be targeted soon with investigations that may lead to further disciplinary procedures."

As a result of Battistelli's actions, the EPO "remains in a state of social turmoil and perceived lawlessness that risks compromising irremediably the reputation and continued existence of our Organisation," the letter argues, adding that the council "has to take action: this can no longer be delayed."

Staff protests at EPO offices have been joined by national politicians and the Dutch government is due to hold a special debate on the matter.

Logistics Update Africa 2021-01-08
img

India-based material solutions company PLUSS Advanced Technology (PLUSS) has been granted patent by European Patent Office, Germany for its ‘Celsure’ box designed and manufactured using the proprietary Phase Change Material (PCM) technology, to transport vaccines and perishable commodities at a specific temperature range.

Thomas Brazier 2017-03-08
img

Battistelli fighting to avoid lame duck status

European governments have finally had enough of the head of the European Patent Office, Benoit Battistelli, and are pushing for a vote that could turn him into a lame duck president.

In particular, the council is due to discuss publication of a vacancy notice for the job – something that would start the ball rolling on finding a successor to Battistelli in July 2018, and would immediately limit his ability to force through changes.

Although the agenda point is labeled "opn" rather than "dec," meaning that only discussion will take place rather than a vote and a decision, chair of the council Jesper Kongstad has already leapt into action, insiders tells us, in an effort to undermine the effort to oust Battistelli.

The council's board meets one month before the full Administrative Council meeting to shape the agenda, and the minutes of that meeting, on 16 February, show that the topic of hiring a new president was raised.

That appears to go against the EPO's rules of procedure [PDF], which make it plain that votes only require a simple majority.

Marion Kimberlin 2016-06-01
img

Independent voices speak out against continued powergrab

Undeterred by staff cutting his brakes, president of the European Patent Office EPO , Benoit Battistelli, has now enraged his organization's Boards of Appeal.

Noting that the aim of the reform was to increase the autonomy of the boards, the association that represents all 28 global boards complains in a letter sent earlier this month that it would in fact "decrease the level of autonomy and independence."

The Association of the Members of the Boards of Appeal AMBA also points out that the proposed reforms do not follow "the main internationally recognized principles of judicial independence."

As to how such changes ended up in the proposal without being challenged, well that's because Battistelli and his team didn't consult with the boards that it was seeking to reform.

"The vast majority of our proposals, comments and concerns have not been taken into account in the proposed rules and are not reflected in any other way, for example in the explanatory notes or in the 'Alternatives' section, which is conspicuous by its absence."

In short, it's not just the EPO staff that the wildly unpopular president is trying to become king of, he's also trying to take over the very independent processes that are supposed to hold his organization's decisions to account.

Howard Marcinkowski 2017-10-17
img

New European Patent Office chairman gets it in the ohr

The issue of falling patent quality at the European Patent Office (EPO) has again reared its head, this time thanks to German intellectual property lawyers.

Following a testy exchange last week at an official meeting of the EPO's Administrative Council where staff aired their grievances and were attacked by EPO president Benoit Battistelli in response, companies are now raising their concerns.

According to German newspaper Heise, a meeting at the Max Planck Institute in Munich grew heated when a group of patent lawyers used a presentation by new EPO chairman Christoph Ernst to make their views known about the "System Battistelli".

For several years Battistelli has been aggressively pushing changes at the EPO aimed at increasing the number of patents that are reviewed and approved.

The result of that drive has been a complete breakdown in communications between EPO staff and management – but that is something many consider a price worth paying in order to "modernise" the EPO and keep it in line with other competing patent authorities in the US and Japan.