Is the EPO weaponising the media?
Summary: Rumour that the EPO spends almost as much as a million US dollars “with some selected press agencies to refurbish the image of the EPO”
LIKE a lot of large organisations out there, the EPO wishes to guard its image and even hires accordingly. Since the EPO is a public body that receives subsidies from taxpayers, it is imperative that the public gets told how this money gets spent.
Months ago we pointed out that the EPO was preparing a propaganda campaign trying to cast/frame staff as "happy" even though everyone we hear from is unhappy and the ‘loyal’ committee is clearly not happy either [1, 2]. For all we know, even EPO management is unhappy right now, but that’s mostly because of the negative press it receives. Recently we have seen some character assassination articles prepared in coordination with EPO management, shamelessly (and with little concrete evidence) framing its opponents as armed Nazis. Later on people like Battistelli send this tripe to various people in high places, as private letters serve to demonstrate. The EPO’s management views this as an information war (as if it has done nothing wrong) and it now distorts the media, turning journalists into PR marionettes and weaponising newspapers with high circulation in Germany, Holland, and sometimes even France (where French EPO managers probably dread negative publicity).
“Recently we have seen some character assassination articles prepared in coordination with EPO management, shamelessly (and with little concrete evidence) framing its opponents as armed Nazis.”Last night we received comments with mere claims (not yet verified) from a regular commenter whose track record has been reasonably good (accurate). The comment says: “Inquire about a contract of over 800.000€ with some selected press agencies to refurbish the image of the EPO after the alllegedly [sic] “damaging campaign by few employees and mad bloggers”. Someone has seen the signed contract passing from desk to desk at the EPO (readers please provide confirmation or evidence). A further misuse of public money.”
A later comment said: “I do not know who was the beneficiary of the contract, only that its purpose was to restore the “damaged” reputation of the EPO by way of favourable press articles and media contributions (Les Echoes is just an example). For a favourable coverage, the simple resignation of BB [Battistelli] would suffice. This would be very cheap for the EPO. I was also told that the EPO might buy an armoured limousine for the safety of President who has already a number of body guards. If true, it would be another useless expenditure of public money.”
“Staff of the EPO has long been concerned about the EPO’s manipulation of the media in its favour.”We welcome any confirmatory evidence people can provide. Staff of the EPO has long been concerned about the EPO’s manipulation of the media in its favour. And at whose expense? The European public whose brightest engineers, biologists, programmers etc. are abused by the EPO?
As a side note, regarding our previous post about why Battistelli equates his opposition to Unitary Patent (UP) opposition, a reader wrote to tell us that the article “was mentioning TR, NO and CH, which did not participate in the UP, and thus helped justified the continued existence of the EPO in its present form.
“To be exhaustive, one should add to that non-EU, non UP, list: IS, AL, FY, SM and RS [Iceland, Albania, FYROM, San Marino and Serbia].
“Extremely few applications are filed from theses countries, and European patents are also seldom validated there.
“And each of these states possess one full vote on the EPO AC, even though these states count for nothing in the European IP system.”
We hope that someone can provide us with some documents to show abuse and waste of public funds, possibly to the tune of €800,000 (to be funneled to the media or given to people who meddle with the media), a la French ‘news’ paper Les Échos [1, 2, 3], which has become Battistelli's mouthpiece, not just a so-called ‘media partner’ (euphemism). █
“A desire to resist oppression is implanted in the nature of man.”