back to article Europe's Unified Patent Court fate in the balance amid German probing (yes, Brexit is in the mix)

The German Constitutional Court has agreed to hear a case about the legitimacy of the European Unified Patent Court (UPC), raising doubts over the future of a single patent court for Europe. Among the 36 cases that the Bundesverfassungsgericht has said it will decide on this year is a constitutional complaint - BvR 739/17 - …

  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    it is not clear whether the German Constitutional Court is in a position to rule against either the EPO or the UPC.

    Sure it is. The primary argument revolves around the article of the German Constitution which states that only a German court's decisions have validity over German subjects. This has been interpreted as "court with German representation". ECJ, ECHR, etc are OK as they all have German representation.

    UPC fails that tests - its panels can be convened in a way where a country has no representation. That is pretty much end of story - the convention in its current form is a classic case of some IPR lobbies thinking that they are above all law and can invalidate criminal, civil legal code and even constitutions with impunity.

    The "Professional Jobsworth" product of Ecole d'Administration is just an icing on the cake.

    By the way, I suspect Germany is not the only country in Europe with a constitution clause like this. I am pretty sure that some digging will turn up at least one or more countries to raise a similar court case.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Given that Battistelli ignores all court judgements against him, seemingly with impunity, what will it matter how the court rules? He's taking advantage of the requirement for unanimous agreement by the EO's controlling bodies to ignore them, until he can change the rules to make himself an untouchable dictator for life.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Given that Battistelli ignores all court judgements against him, seemingly with impunity, what will it matter how the court rules?

        This one he cannot ignore. If it goes against him it de-ratifies the convention which is the basis of him being in office.

        Additionally, if memory serves me right, one of the other cases is his (so far) successful claim that he is above German law including labour law. This once again goes against German constitution which states that the ultimate law of the land is the German law and no other law can claim supremacy.

        Even if the first case somehow (I do not see how) fails, the second will pretty much get him fired outright under German labour code. There and then.

        1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

          ... at which point Mr B states that he is not subject to German law and queues up the roundabout music ...

          1. Peter2 Silver badge

            I think at a certain stage, courts say "we disagree, and you've now got a prison sentance for contempt of court".

            And if he doesn't turn up for that, then a warrant for his arrest is issued, and he ends up with famously humourless german police arresting him and unceremouniously tossing him in the clink.

        2. Quokka

          International organisation immunity

          The European Patent Organisation is recognised in German law as an international organisation with immunity (like diplomatic immunity).

          So German labour law doesn't apply to their workers. Diplomatic immunities do not conflict with the German constitution.

          1. Aqua Marina

            Re: International organisation immunity

            Surely diplomatic immunity only works if the hosting country accept it. At any time Germany could expel him, deport him to his home country and end the diplomatic immunity formally.

            As an EU citizen he is probably free to re-enter the country, but with his immunity formally ended if he walked into the office and started acting as king again, there shouldn’t be anything stopping the humourless police doing their thing.

  2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Fall in patent quality?

    That would require that there was some minimal quality requirements in the past. As the EPO receives over 400 patent applications per day, the considerable backlog can be dealt with by replacing all the patent examiners with a monkey with two rubber stamps. This should have no impact on patent quality while at the same time releasing a large number of highly qualified professionals to do something constructive instead.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Fall in patent quality?

      the considerable backlog can be dealt with by replacing all the patent examiners with a monkey with two rubber stamps.

      Outsourcing it to USPTO will do the trick. It is pretty much equivalent to that idea.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fall in patent quality?

      Could you, and also the 17 who upvoted you, clarify your issues with patent quality and EPO? In my line of work I have not found prosecuting applications before the EPO to be a mere formality. Statistics, which is available from epo.org, indicates that only about 50 % of all applications are granted. Also, about 5 % of granted patents are opposed.

      To be hired as an Examiner at the EPO you need to speak English and German and French. You also need minimum of a Master degree and many also have a PhD. This means applications are examined by people who know the field and have the technical and linguistic skills to find documents that are relevant. In my experience EPO Examiners are better in this than USPTO Examiners.

      And I am not sure how rubber stamping will improve things. So I am intrigued to see your reasoning.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Fall in patent quality?

        Statistics, which is available from epo.org, indicates that only about 50 % of all applications are granted.

        Similarly, USPTO grants around 51% of applications. (I posted a link to the stats a few days ago in another thread.)

        Of course it's still possible to complain about how many are granted, or which ones are granted.

  3. iron Silver badge

    Benoit

    Hahahaha. Sorry I was laughing at your name.

  4. EricM
    FAIL

    *retain* confidence Europe's patent system? Get real ...

    ...that would imply there was such a feeling in the past ...

    The European patent system is broken. There are absolutely no guards left against patenting the most obvious bullshit. Patents on as-per-the-rules unpatentable things (like DNA or code) are granted without hesitation.

    Number of patents granted has replaced quality of examination as the number 1 requirement for examiners at the EPA.

    That way the EPA is effectively laying out a mine-field in the way of future innovation.

    Patent examiners critical of that development are pushed out of their jobs.

    Regaining control over the EPA is the necessary first step.

    Re-examining the patents granted in the last years and invalidating 90% of these would be a good second step.

  5. Cederic Bronze badge

    this has made me wonder

    If the EPO is not subject to national laws, does that mean that employees are similarly not constrained by the law in their work?

    This surely means that it's legal for an EPO employee to provide lethal feedback to the management team?

    Maybe someone should ask Battistelli if he's sure he wants his organisation to have immunity from national laws.

    1. druck Silver badge

      Re: this has made me wonder

      This surely means that it's legal for an EPO employee to provide lethal feedback to the management team?

      Well someone did try fiddling with the brakes on his bike...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: this has made me wonder

        Well someone did try fiddling with the brakes on his bike...

        I hear he now has bodyguards, probably because of this episode. Also the lift to his penthouse is locked when he is in. He already fears for his life. And there are a few thousand suspects.

        His term as president of EPO is coming to an end and I hope things quiet down then.

  6. lglethal Silver badge
    Go

    Not implementing the ILO decision?

    I was just wondering if anyone knows whats the come back against Battesteli and the EPO for not implementing the IPO's decision?

    As far as I was aware when it came to labour disputes, the ILO is the be all and end all. So its not like the EPO are waiting to appeal the decision. So what is the punishment from the ILO? There has to be some stick involved otherwise firms/organisations finding themselves on the losing side of a case would just ignore the result.

  7. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Battistelli

    The person who achieved something I would have thought impossible - giving megalomaniacs a bad name.

    The repercussions of his power obsession seem to be endless.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019