back to article EPO president caught threatening independent appeal board

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. In an extraordinary turn of events in Munich this week, a planned public hearing of the organization's "Enlarged Board of Appeal" was abandoned …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Benoit ... balls, heh. nailed it.

  2. frank ly Silver badge

    This is strange

    If he was appointed then surely there is a way to get rid of him? An extreme method would be to tell him he's fired and send security guards in to escort him off the premises. Why can't this be done?

  3. WaveyDavey

    What isn't clear

    in the most recent articles about this nut-case, is who he is answerable to - surely *someone* is able to fire him, he's not a head of state.

  4. David Roberts Silver badge

    Head of state?

    Apparently he is - effectively.

  5. Rol Silver badge

    Choo, choo

    I don't think anyone would disagree, that in the interests of fairness, each country should have at least one carriage on the gravy train. However the argument keeps rolling on about who gets ownership of the buffet car and which country gets to sit next to the driver.

    The sooner the whole shambles is replaced with an AI bot the better. Come on Google, the fabric of reality is starting to show through the thin veneer of respectability and we still haven't got an impartial replacement for the greedy fuckwits that are running the show.

  6. James 51 Silver badge

    "an international organization is not beholden to any individual country's laws."

    Google, MS and even a few UN bodies have tried this one. Never seen it work though.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A bit late for Battistelli IMHO

    It is not known why Battistelli is so insistent on the appeals board hearings being held in private, or whether the appeals board is pushing for them to be held in public, but many suspect that what comes out in the course of the proceedings could be damaging to the president's standing.

    As far as I can see, that ship has long sailed..

  8. Chris Evans

    Why can't they just fire him?

    Surely someone has the power to fire him. A good article would explain what is necessary to dismiss him or if it isn't possible report why not. I've read umpteen ElReg article about Battistelli but can't recall any mention. It reminds of Katrina Percy, chief executive of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust who refuses to resign despite a number of damming reports. The fact that both of them are refusing to go confirms they need to go.

    1. agatum

      Re: Why can't they just fire him?

      Surely someone has the power to fire him.

      I'd say surely someone has that power. He's just very very good at sucking those particular balls/ballettes so that he won't get fired. With that kind of behaviour he should be fired, that's what is certain. And those of you familiar with Futurama know with what he should be fired and to where.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Firing the President

    "surely *someone* is able to fire him, he's not a head of state."

    In theory he can be fired by the Administrative Council which appointed him.

    But since he comes from their ranks, they will protect him as one of their own just as they have done so far. Especially the Chair of the AC Kongstad who negotiated Battistelli's secret contract.

    Yes that's right a contract so secret that not even the ordinary members of the appointing body know what is in it. Only the Chairman has seen it.

    http://ipkitten.blogspot.de/2014/07/7000-epo-employees-in-de-nl-at-be-plus.html

    And don't imagine that voting for BREXIT will help you.

    The EPO Is not an EU institution.

    Even after a BREXIT, the UK will remain a member of the EPO

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Covert surveillance ?

    "It is not known why Battistelli is so insistent on the appeals board hearings being held in private, or whether the appeals board is pushing for them to be held in public, but many suspect that what comes out in the course of the proceedings could be damaging to the president's standing."

    A comment over on IPKat may shed some light on this point:

    === When the computers in the public - public - area of the Office were put under control, there was no request to the Data Protection Officer. The request was made only after the guy was caught doing whatever he was doing.

    === From the article Welcome to EPOnia, the strange land of European patents that is outside the law:

    A strange letter from the head of the EPO's Investigative Unit to the organisation's internal data protection officer asked whether the spying described above "would have been authorised"—implying the request was being made after the fact. Also curious is the handwritten authorisation on the document, which is dated December 3, 2014—exactly when the Board of Appeals member was suspended for "alleged dissemination of material which was, as was also alleged, defamatory."

    === Which means that the data collected from the public computers were obtained illegally.

    They cannot be used. Had the witnesses of the IU confirmed this, in a public proceedings, the case would have crumbled. So, the President barred them because their deposition could have helped the defendant.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mr. Battistelli sounds like a candidate for an award we used to have in the US, whereby worthy individuals were recognized for their unique contributions, arrayed in ceremonial finery and dispatched on a Victory Tour.

    The colloquialism was "Tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail".

    One recipient was heard to remark, "If it wasn't for the honor of the thing, I think I'd rather walk."

    But surely your tumbrels aren't all gone?

  12. david 12 Bronze badge

    "all disciplinary proceedings are confidential"

    That seems like a very straight forward and simple explanation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "all disciplinary proceedings are confidential"

      It seems that when the accused person turned the tables by requesting a public hearing the President started getting very nervous. One can only wonder why.

      Surely he can't have anything to hide ... ?

      BTW, if anybody has problems with the concept of a public hearing before a judicial tribunal look here

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_6_of_the_European_Convention_on_Human_Rights

      and here - especially section 4

      http://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/html/epc/2013/e/ar116.html

      But it may not be worthwhile studying too much legal fine print if you have ambitions to become King of Eponia where you can apparently rule according to your own personal whim whilst enjoying total "immunity".

      The "rule of law" and "separation of powers", such quaint antiquated eighteenth-century concepts ...

      Montesquieu eat your heart out ...

      http://kluwerpatentblog.com/2014/12/09/que-le-pouvoir-arrete-le-pouvoir-from-montesquieu-to-battistelli/

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