back to article Yet more reform efforts at the Euro Patent Office, and you'll never guess what...

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 …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "President Battistelli's term ends in June, 2018"

    Can't wait.

    1. Kevin Johnston

      Re: "President Battistelli's term ends in June, 2018"

      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

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: "President Battistelli's term ends in June, 2018"

        Get enough power, and his 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.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Money and power...

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Money and power...

      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 it's owners own personal agenda so even if these things are reported their 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.

      1. JimC Silver badge

        Re: The fail safe should be journalists

        Absolutely not. The system should contain its own checks, balances and monitoring so that it can heal itself long before the situation gets rancid enough for journos to become aware. The trouble is that a system of checks and balances can look like unnecessary overheads which could be cut, most especially, as we see here, when the person most needing checking and balancing is at the top making the cuts.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As someone who voted Remain

      The EPO has little to nothing to do with the EU.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: As someone who voted Remain

        As a Europe wide organization it may not be under control of the EU, but shows the problem with having governance by committee of countries.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: As someone who voted Remain

          The core problem with the EPO is that the countries involved don't do *any* governance. It's an organisation that exists by right of treaty rather than by right of membership, so it has its own governing body, the Administrative Council. They're bound by the strict terms of the treaty and have little impetus to act as the members are all also heads of the national patent bodies who are in turn dependent on the EPO's funding structure to keep running.

          The EPO considers itself above national law and not subject to any supra-national law, due to its treaty status. The member nations won't get involved because they've got bigger problems and because, frankly, this stuff is incredibly detailed and technical.

          As an example how how poorly governed the organisation is, Battistelli was elected in 2010 and it took 24 votes over 4 meetings to appoint him due to utterly insane majority rules.

          Frankly the EPO would be a lot better off under EU management.

          1. Bakker

            Re: As someone who voted Remain

            In fact there is a required 5-yearly inter-governmental conference, the requirement having been introduced in the 2000 EPC reform which came into effect in 2007. The administrative council, led by Battistelli's Danish friend, has however deemed such a conference unnecessary and the members have failed to enforce their own law.

      2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: As someone who voted Remain

        "The EPO has little to nothing to do with the EU."

        I stand corrected. I seem to have made a very stupid post and I apologise.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As someone who voted Remain

      (a) They are bullies who use their power to force austerity on countries, i.e. Greece. Yes Greece filled their face in the trough but to punish the people is just nasty.

      (b) Farage is an odious prick born of a conservative posh toff agenda and had no wish to engage in diplomatic process.

      You're asking the wrong questions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: As someone who voted Remain

        Rubbish, Farage is one our most eloquent and skilled politicians - and is an incredibly smooth and take no prisoners diplomats as anyone who has listened to some of his EU speeches can attest to. He should be taking part in the Brexit negotiations for us.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: As someone who voted Remain

          "He should be taking part in the Brexit negotiations for us."

          as part of the foundations beneath the building.

  4. ecofeco Silver badge

    American CEO sleeper?

    Are we sure Battistelli isn't a former American CEO?

    1. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: American CEO sleeper?

      He actually sounds more like a merchant prince, a head of a Venetian trading house or similar.

      Those guys could teach modern day CEO's a thing or two about iron-fisted control.

      Of course, they usually also had to worry about assassins as a normal business risk, from their own families as well as the expected opponents.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: American CEO sleeper?

        Good points.

      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: American CEO sleeper?

        "from their own families as well as the un-expected opponents."


        For modern examples, look at North Korea or (less bloodily) the political party of your choice. (The UK Tories look like the best example right now, despite Momentum's best efforts within Labour.) The plain fact is that once you've eliminated the possibility of change from without, you can be certain that you now face a threat from within.

        Smart people might reckon that this is a good argument for remaining open, because it is much easier to see an external threat building up, so you have more time to make yourself safe.

      3. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: American CEO sleeper?

        "He actually sounds more like a merchant prince, a head of a Venetian trading house or similar."

        Where's Mister Vimes when he's so obviously needed?

        "Arrest the bastard, Carrot, we'll think of a few charges later."

  5. MrBanana

    I'm running out of popcorn

    When will someone step in who can punt this bloke into the long grass? [ With a big spiky boot. ]

  6. Andy Tunnah

    They should turn this into a film

    And give the role of King Batti to Mads Mikkelson.

    I'd watch it

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Leave remain

    This organisation exists as the result of a treaty.

    This is my issue with the EU, treaties are defined and decided without any input from you and me... we're just citizens.

    No one wants to rock the boat so it goes on. Too many self interests to represent anyone.

    1. PapaD

      Re: Leave remain

      And you feel that somehow, once the UK has left the EU - you'll be involved in any treaty negotiations.

      It will be exactly the same, except it will just be a different bunch of politicians doing the defining and decision making

    2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: Leave remain

      "This is my issue with the EU, treaties are defined and decided without any input from you and me... we're just citizens."

      Welcome to representative democracy.

      In the UK the government (executive) doesn't even need to get parliament's (legislative) approval to make or break treaties. So not only do you not get a vote on a treaty, your elected representative doesn't either.

      In general EU citizens elect most of their representatives, be it directly or through normal methods (head of government being on various councils etc) but most people aren't aware or don't care. In the same way you elect your local council, DHB, mayor, sheriff, coroner (delete as applicable) often people simply don't know or care.

      It's why Farage can be a MEP for 20+ years, yet can't win a seat as a MP. Because most people don't give a fig about who their MEP is, but will have a good whine when they are crap at it.

      Only in a direct democracy do all citizens get a vote on each issue, and they have their own raft of problems, not least of which is a ballot paper longer than an international tax return.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Leave remain

        I can imagine a compromise though - a system in which some elected representative is left to vote for you EXCEPT in any issues you feel sufficiently invested in to cast a personal vote, at your discretion. Whatever you don't vote about personally, your rep's vote counts by default for you. Whenever you want, you can step in and vote instead explicitly. Surely would have its own host of problems, but wouldn't this still be better...?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Leave remain

        you'd think, with all of the MPs currently going on about the "will of the people", they'd reflect on the fact that most of the people didn't actually vote for what's happening - mostly because we're not being told what's happening.

        There's a thread on Twitter, someone has asked where's the best place to go for up-to-date info during the course of the negotiations. It didn't take long for someone to point out that the EU itself is required to publish things to the national governments, and the UK government tried to keep things secret; as it is, there is a very comprehensive list of information sources - and the UK government is pretty near the bottom of the list.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A BCG usually leaves a small scar...

    Hit him in the BCG. It really hurts, as any fule know.

  9. low_resolution_foxxes

    Lol. Farage is a joke. His grandad was a stockbroker and also his father. He worked as an oil trader for a while, a position you can make millions doing, and was so successful... He was shifted sideways into the PR dept.

    In practical politics, the EU is successfully clamping down on banks, corruption and offshore tax avoidance. Nearly everyone connected with Farage at the top level is either a banker upset at various EU reforms or running a business in offshore treasure Islands. He appeals to the inner demons of thick people who don't understand his true intentions, like working class fishermen, despite attending virtually no EU meetings on fishing (he never misses the banking meetings).

    The reprobate still has a day job, he is a pr manager for a finance trading company, he has never known an honest working class lifestyle.

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