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Peek Into European Patent Examining Cancelled 214

Posted by Roblimo
from the you-can't-always-get-what-you-want dept.
We were going to run European Patent Examiner John Savage's answers to 10 Slashdot questions today, but he emailed us this morning and asked us to pull them back because he was was in trouble over the interview. What he had to say was informative, non-controversial, and would not have hurt his employer's reputation at all, but we don't want John to lose his job or face disciplinary action on our account. Anyway, get ready for a slightly unusual Slashdot interview guest next week: Celeb chef and self-described "culinary cartographer" Alton Brown.
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Peek Into European Patent Examining Cancelled

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  • Well... (Score:2, Funny)

    by CarrionBird (589738)
    I guess we can infer their stance on the issues: our decisions are definitive, reality is often in error.
  • Super (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Quintin Stone (87952) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:43AM (#4039666) Homepage
    Nice to know that informing and educating people about a legal process can put you in danger of losing your job.
    • Re:Super (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tackhead (54550) on Friday August 09, 2002 @12:04PM (#4039814)
      > Nice to know that informing and educating people about a legal process can put you in danger of losing your job.

      Well, we got one answer -- the one someone asked about US patent examiners, along the lines of: "How does it feel to work for people who have their heads jammed that far up their asses?"

      Looks like the EU patent office prefers a close-up view of its own colon to reality, too.

      The examiner's manager has done more damage to the EU patent office's reputation than any answer the examiner could have given.

      • The examiner's manager has done more damage to the EU patent office's reputation than any answer the examiner could have given.


        Nonsense. Some folks who read /. now realise there is at least one manager in the EU patent office that believes in following standard policy in just about any large organisation.

        If you really think you couldn't do any worse, then you have obviously never been on the receiving end of really bad PR. Employee told not to talk to the press without approval is just not news. No story here, move along.

        • Re:Super (Score:4, Funny)

          by dillon_rinker (17944) on Friday August 09, 2002 @01:19PM (#4040383) Homepage
          No story here, move along.
          Your jedi mind tricks will only work on the weak...ooh, a shiny new distro!
        • Yeah, cause we know news only happens when its released in the form of a 'press release' after having been through the squeaky-clean rollers of 3 proof readers, 2 spokespeople, a lawyer and a manager that makes sure the contents dont illustrate why the brochure is 40% BS.
    • Nice to know that informing and educating people about a legal process can put you in danger of losing your job.

      Well, I personally never found truth and employment to be compatible either.
    • Re:Super (Score:3, Informative)

      by JCCyC (179760)
      Nice to know that informing and educating people about a legal process can put you in danger of losing your job.

      Danger? More like: this poor guy is doomed. His boss surely has him now branded as the guy who is friends to those hippie anarchists. Either they'll fire him in a few weeks on a made-up excuse or he'll be given such sucky assignments he'll want to quit (aka "The Freezer").

      On the other hand, if they fire him, he'll be able to speak out. Don't throw away that interview just yet.
  • It's too bad he can't answer our questions for fear of penalty, but I don't know what there is to say about it other than darn.
  • politics (Score:1, Insightful)

    by dattaway (3088)
    Looks like his employer was owned by big businesses and was not in the interest of the public.
    • Re:politics (Score:3, Redundant)

      by Telastyn (206146)
      Not necissarily. Most companies actually require that employees not say anything publically that could be construed as being "from the company", even though they're just from an employee. Basically only marketting shmoes "trained in the process" can speak to the public.

      Most all statements "from the company" are passed through PR people and lawyers to make sure the company doesn't get in trouble for liabelous comments made by an employee.

      That's what more likely happened, just more sue-fearing rather than business manipulation.
      • Most companies actually require that employees not say anything publically that could be construed as being "from the company"

        But this guy works for the government, not a company. Typically they're harder to sue.
      • Simple reply to that one... does he have an NDA... prolly not. Could he have just as easily said: "This in no way reflects the views of my employer or their employers."

        I'd say this guy's employer just did his company a disservice.

        • I am absolutely certain that this man has signed some sort of NDA. Probably one that is much more severe than what we sign on a regular basis. Remember, this man is being trusted with public office without election and audit. He is being trusted by inventors not to reveal their patents to corporations that might line his pocket on the side to read pending patents. I'm not wording this very well, I know, but basically, I am certain that he has signed some elevated form of an NDA and should he have spoken out of line about internal processes, he most likely would have violated it. That may have also carried with it the terms of violated public trust as well, which is a felony, I think.
      • I'd say that his manager needs to read items 1 through 95 of the Clue Train Manifesto [cluetrain.com]. He seems to be under the mistaken assumption that preventing conversations maintains the secrecy of the Guy Behind the Curtain, when in fact all it does is point out that he has no clothes on.

        (Woohoo, a new low in mixed metaphors! *grin*)
      • People do it all the time, it just takes a simple disclaimer, the opinions expressed are that of the author and not that of his employer. Unless I miss my guess I've seen THAT wording used HERE before. It is too bad but speaking of bad publicity, this in my mind makes them as guilty as any defendent claiming the 5th amendment. If you can't speak for fear of incriminating yourself does that NOT imply you are guilty ???
        Granted the liable laws in Europe are much stiffer so there may be circumstances I am not aware of....
  • That sucks. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skyshadow (508) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:44AM (#4039677) Homepage
    You have to wonder what PR brainiac came up with the idea of censoring an interview like this. Anything this guy had to say couldn't possibly look as bad as this does, unless it's on the lines of "we kill puppies and cute little kittens to make mittens".

    Now, everyone will just be wondering what they're hiding...

    • by Tackhead (54550) on Friday August 09, 2002 @12:40PM (#4040076)
      > You have to wonder what PR brainiac came up with the idea of censoring an interview like this. Anything this guy had to say couldn't possibly look as bad as this does, unless it's on the lines of "we kill puppies and cute little kittens to make mittens".

      Maybe they just approved a "Method for decreasing thermal losses in human extremities through repurposing of epidermal infant canine and feline tissues"? ;-)

    • Right on the bat.

      Whatever information they don't give us, we'll have to make up ourselves.

      Let's vote on an answer for question one.

      I nominate "But only imported beer" as an answer for question one.

      Anybody knows the questions?

  • I was very interested A) to see what questions would be allowed to be asked, and B)to hear what he had to say. I guess their methods for patent approval are patented and, therefore, cannot be discussed in an open forum. Probably afraid the US Gov't would sue or bomb over pointed answers about the US system.

    I'd like a better explanation of the cancellation.
    • Re:disappointed (Score:3, Informative)

      by sphealey (2855)
      I was very interested A) to see what questions would be allowed to be asked, and B)to hear what he had to say. I guess their methods for patent approval are patented and, therefore, cannot be discussed in an open forum.
      If you have ever dealt with the ISO, the ITU, or the EU regulatory bodies, you know that description isn't too far from the truth. North American regulatory bodies may well be captured by the regulated parties, but at least you as a citizen have some right-to-know and to participate. Europe perfers that these processes occur in a controlled environment.

      sPh

  • Translation (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by rhadamanthus (200665)
    "What he had to say was informative, non-controversial, and would not have hurt his employer's reputation at all"

    That damn lameness filter! I don't think its caught a truely "lame" post yet!

    -------rhad

  • Any chance the interview will be an MP3 clip?
  • Possible action? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Corporate Troll (537873) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:48AM (#4039705) Homepage Journal
    Would there be a way to put some pressure to the European Patent Office? After all we are thousands of voices...
    And, no, I don't mean pressure in DoS style. More something like a petition.
    • I'd rather see some e-mail addresses of people we could write there. The Slashdot Effect on someone's inbox is likely a great way of making someone see that allowing a little interview isn't nearly as problematic as dealing with thousands of angry nerds.

      Brian
      • "...allowing a little interview isn't nearly as problematic as dealing with thousands of angry nerds."
        For some reason, that cracked me up :) We are nerds. We are legion. And the Geek shall inherit the earth.
  • I guess now we'll realize that their patent system is just as screwed up as America's, but the hard way. :P
  • by xjimhb (234034) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:52AM (#4039732) Homepage
    It might be interesting to publish a list of the questions chosen for this. It would give us more insight into what they're trying to hide, even if we don't get to see the answers.
  • do you think you could at least post the questions that you sent his way? mayne then we could all get an idea of what trouble might have been caused.
  • This will really make his employer look great!
  • What the hell? Is /. slowly becoming the online equivalent of 'Good Morning America'?
  • Not surprising (Score:5, Informative)

    by Pig Hogger (10379) <pig.hogger@gmai l . c om> on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:56AM (#4039758) Journal
    I sent the /. URL to an EU patent examiner I know, and he answered back that the guy has lots of balls to do this, because he could get in lots of trouble for speaking publicly...

    He also said that the questions weren't very good either...

  • by gmcraff (61718) <gmcraff@yIIIahoo.com minus threevowels> on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:58AM (#4039770)
    A lot of big organizations, such as corporations, government agencies, etc, and those smaller agencies descended from them, tend to want tight control over the information going out.

    Not knowing anything about this situation in particular, but from my experience I'd say the trouble came about because the answers weren't gone over by their Public Affairs and Legal weenies before he sent them out.

    If they HAD been white-washed by Legal and PA, then something in the answers must have worried someone. Don't forget that anything that comes from someone associated with an organization is assumed "expert opinion" and "official policy" even if the first two statements in the matter directly refute those assumptions.

    Alternatively, someone's boss may have an excessively high cover-my-arse quotient and decided to play it by the safest method: Don't tell 'em nothin', and they won't have anythin' on yeh. We don't have a grand conspiracy here, just ordinary every day middle-management pucker factor.
  • by billbaggins (156118) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:59AM (#4039775)
    ...most gov't agencies don't like it when someone who's not a Trained Professional Media Handler talks to the media while mentioning their standing as a gov't employee, Just In Case they say something that three years down the road is proved false or, worse yet, embarrassing. A better way to do it would be to have employees watch their tongues, but blanket policies are the way gov't orgs work, alas...

    (Speaking as a former gov't employee...)

    • A better way to do it would be for employers to simply disclaim false statements from a low level employee as just that, false statements from a low level employee. But because we impose no cost on them for being extremist censors and gag-artists, they push the boundaries as far as possible.

      Don't be coddling these management practices. While you are right that some of them wouldn't have been invented if employees used a bit of common sense occasionally in terms of speculating about what they didn't know, spreading rumours, etc, that doesn't mean these practices are detrimental to society and weaken the organization itself in the long run.

      If the management of the European Patent Office is trully acting in good faith, then we should shortly see the interview released after having been looked over by a few people; and we should expect the bureaucrat who made this decision to be willing to answer his own set of questions.
  • by oliverthered (187439) <olivertheredNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Friday August 09, 2002 @12:00PM (#4039783) Journal
    Well could an anonymous coward take the interview instead? since an anonymous coward is not a representitive of a company.

    I'm sure a few answers scattered arround the place wouldn't get noiticed.
    • Yes I can see it now, same questions originally to be answered by patent guy is now answered 5 minutes later by "anonymous cowarf"... 5 minutes after that patent guy is fired.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Well could an anonymous coward take the interview instead? since an anonymous coward is not a representitive of a company.

      Hi all,

      It's Anon Y. Mouscoward here. (My name is from the province of Niyusistad, BTW).

      Here are my answers:

      1. Yes
      2. No
      3. Yes
      4. Yes
      5. Every Tuesday
      6. No
      7. Yes
      8. Dental Floss
      9. No
      10. Larger coils

      Thank You.
  • Well lets have a look at the questions.
  • I can't wait for the QA session. I want to ask him why he hasn't been on Iron Chef yet, and if he thinks he has a good chance against those guys?

    PS: I am glad that Alton does not teach us how to cook hot-dogs with an electrical plug and two forks.
    • I want to ask him why he hasn't been on Iron Chef yet

      Simple, they (the Japanese) canceled Iron Chef quite a while ago. Can't be on it if they aren't making any more.

      Also, they never did have very many non-Japanese chefs (which makes sense since it was a Japanese show).

    • by autechre (121980) on Friday August 09, 2002 @12:18PM (#4039930) Homepage

      He probably hasn't been on Iron Chef because the show hasn't been filmed for years; it's just that it's slowly making its way over here. Most anime takes 2 years to get here, and the dubbing on Iron Chef is (generally) higher quality (not that I think need it at all, but...)

      He has said in an interview that he doesn't consider himself a chef, and holds master chefs in high regard as artists, but is annoyed that they publish cookbooks, because "ordinary" people will never be able to duplicate their efforts. He likens it to Picasso publishing a "Paint like Picasso" book. Check out www.goodeatsfanpage.com for that interview, as well as transcripts to every show, and all sorts of good stuff.

      What I'd really like to ask Alton is how much control he has over the recipes that appear on foodtv.com. His herb spread recipe from "Good Milk Gone Bad" seems to have been altered quite a bit, and in fact, the spices he used are listed as an alternative! Also, two of the recipes from "Deep Purple" (eggplant) seem to have suffered similar fates. In the episode, he made a big deal about combining all the other ingredients for baba ghannouj first, and then adding the parsley last, because, "You don't want to pulverise that parsely" (or it will turn bitter). But the foodtv recipe listing just tosses it all in at once. It also shortenes the draining time (for removing bitter alkaloids) from 30 minutes to 10 minutes. And though it's nice that they doubled the Eggplant Pasta recipe to serve more people, they seem to have quadrupled the olive oil, tomatoes, and basil; and again, the prep time is reduced (purging time given in the show was 15 minutes + 1-3 hours; here, it's 30 minutes). As picky as AB is about methods, I find this very strange.

      • > What I'd really like to ask Alton is how much > control he has over the recipes that appear on > foodtv.com. Actually, I think the recipes come from him. I think he submits them long before he actually starts taping the episode. Then as they are taping and other people read the script, crew who try the recipes, his own chefs start work on it, they change things. So, the episode recipe can (and has been) different than what's on foodtv.com. That's why I began (but haven't always) created a recipe from the show. You can find links to those pages in the Episode Index section for each season. Mikemenn http://www.GoodEatsFanPage.com
        • Interesting. I have always wondered why the fondue recipe on the web site always turns out runny unless I add a couple extra ounces of cheese. Perhaps this is the reason?
    • The one with the homemade bacon - Scrap Iron Chef [foodtv.com]...took on both Iron Chef and Junkyard Wars at once. Clever show!
  • by El_Smack (267329) on Friday August 09, 2002 @12:04PM (#4039818)

    Instead of a "Peek Into European Patent Examining " story, how about a "Peek Into European Panty Examining" story? I would love to find out who "Inspector 12" is.

  • by ltning (143862) <ltning AT anduin DOT net> on Friday August 09, 2002 @12:06PM (#4039833) Homepage
    I'm also working at the EPO, as an external contractor. It is interesting to see that he has been forced to pull his interview, but there may be some good reasons for this. And probably none of them has anything to do with the questions per se.
    Imagine you working for a huuuuge company, say IBM, Microsoft, WorldCom ;) or any other company getting lots of media coverage. Imagine you, as 'just another worker' would start answering questions from the press and so on. No matter how much you would state that you do not represent them or their opinion etc. etc., try thinking how easy it is for a newspaper, website, radio station, etc. to simply edit those statements away.. Not only would you risk ending up having your statements treated as if they were 'authoritative', you would, with good reason, piss your boss off.
    One thing is to talk to your friends about the good and bad things happening at your job. An entirely different thing is to publically make statements about it when you really have NO authority to do so. If you are working for someone, you need to be able to trust your employer, AND your employer needs to be able to trust you.
    I could have said a lot of interesting things about how the EPO works, both positive and negative, but I won't do so in a public forum simply because it is not my job!
    If you want answers from the EPO, or any other company or organization, there are usually public relations departments or the like. They are not always too helpful, but that should always be the place to start. And I wouldn't be all too surprised if they would indeed agree to do an interview with the slashdot crowd. After all the EPO takes pride in saying it's an organization of scientists, fundamentally differently organized than the american patent office, and atleast some people in high places do identify with our kind.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It is everybody "job" to inform the public. and usually the mentioned "public relations departments" dont _answer_ your questions but try to talk around the subject.
    • oh well that just explains EVERYTHING. anyone else honestly disturbed by the lack or rights we seem to have once we're employed?
    • The next logical question then is why doesn't slashdot submit the questions using the proper channels?

      This has the two-fold benefit of having "our" questions answered and making them look good. That way I can glide past all the "look at how secretive and curropt the EPO is!" posts...

      Its a litigious(sp?) world we live in, and it would be horrible for a blatantly bad patent application (you know, the kind that get approved in the US everyday?) to take the EPO to court based upon some answer that a guy (who just so happens to be employed by the EPO, therefor acts as their agent) gave, forcing the patent to be granted, and set the precedent for bad patents!

      just becuase we are geeks doesn't mean we can't follow some rules.
      • This was someone who came forward voluntarily and offered to do the interview. Over 3/4 of our interviews come about this way or as a result of reader suggestions (as long as those suggestions are accompanied by contact info).

        - Robin
      • An employee should know what s/he can say in an interview. That decision making should be left up to the employee. If s/he says something inappropriate, fire them. I cannot believe how employees are treated these days - like retarded wrenches, capable of only turning clockwise or counterclockwise, incapable of being trusted with execising proper judgement.
      • I don't want read an interview processed through a PR machine - I want to hear what a genuine human being has to say.

        Somebody needs to hit the EPO over the head with a cluetrain [cluetrain.com].

        --

    • See, I don't agree though.

      I understand exactly what you're saying, but I feel it's the responsibility and job of the press to interview the appropriate people for the piece they're trying to put together.

      If a member of the news media approached me and started asking me for some information about my job, I'd assume they had some sort of valid reason to choose me for the interview, as opposed to upper-level management.

      I'd also expect (and even demand) that in the interest of good journalism, they'd properly state my position within the company I worked for. (EG. If they quote me, they don't have to necessarily use my name - but they should at least explain that "One of the employees was quoted as saying....", instead of making it look like I was a mouthpiece for the C.E.O.)

      Nobody being interviewed really has the ability to know, in advance, how their interview will be used. All you get is a really rough outline of the type of piece being published or aired. Therefore, you always place a certain level of trust in the reporter or interviewer to use your comments properly/accurately.

      If this trust breaks down, people quit volunteering to be interviewed.
      • You're making far too many assumptions based on views that the media is ethical and moral, versus trying to report in such a way that it increases their revenues.

        What the parent post said was right ... most companies and organizations that are large enough to have a legal dept. would require that anything and everything said by any employee to anyone else, with the possibility of it being publicly displayed, be reviewed by the lawyers.

        Chances are, if Slashdot sent the media relations office an interview request, indicating they would like to interview this particular examiner, and then within the EPO, that examiner's responses were routed through legal, everything would be legit. Doing anything less than this is suicide for large organizations and corporations.

        Cheers.
    • I understand the risks that some sources make pickup statements as an authority. My concern is: Why should the patent office, a PUBLIC institution that grants lucritive temporary monopolies on IDEAS, not be subjected to public scrutany???

      What are the REAL risks? What's the worse that could happen if our friend was allowed to talk freely? Maybe people would lose confidence with current policy!!! Oh no!!!

      The people who silenced this guy should be held liable. He has every right to talk about his experience and role in public policy, without fearing losing his job. This isn't a corporation, and it isn't the military. It's a PUBLIC institution.

    • >simply because it is not my job!

      Yes, because I know the only people who can provide me with accurate insightful and potentially critical information on a public organization is the person who's job it is to do damage control.

      Are you people serious? Have we come this far only to create employment in the form of deflecting or managing scrutiny? Doesn't that somewhat defeat the purpose of scrutiny if its your job to be graceful under it?
    • I'm also working at the EPO, as an external contractor (...) After all the EPO takes pride in saying it's an organization of scientists, fundamentally differently organized than the american patent office, and atleast some people in high places do identify with our kind.

      Whoah there buddy... hope you didn't just get in hot water for saying that on a public forum..

  • Alton Brown (Score:1, Offtopic)

    Is this where we submit questions? Or is an editor going to setup a separate article?

    It looks like most of this thread is rants on the cancled responce.

  • I'm volunteering to do the interview this week in lieu of the European patent examiner who unfortunately could not do the interview.

    Go ahead, ask me anything.
  • by pieterh (196118) on Friday August 09, 2002 @12:13PM (#4039896) Homepage
    While the USPO will happily grant patents for software algorithms, the EPO does not do this, and clearly states so in its material, and when questioned. (I've asked the EPO myself.) No, the EPO does not allow such blatant exploitation by twisted business. No... you have to be much more sneaky, describing your algorithm as a 'machine' that just happens to be implemented as software.
    As so often in Europe, we have the same dirt as everywhere else, but it's cloaked in bureaucratic verbage.
    It would have been fun to rip into an EPO spokesman, but it would have to be someone with the authority so actually answer questions such as "How many US firms have already registered software patents while the EPO is refusing these from little European software firms?"
    You can tell I've not much hope for the EPO. They may be scientists, but that does not stop them being fools.
    • No, the EPO does not allow such blatant exploitation by twisted business. No... you have to be much more sneaky, describing your algorithm as a 'machine' that just happens to be implemented as software.

      I worked for a US patent law office (way back in the 80s) and this used to be the policy in the United States. I'd be interesting in knowing what precipitated the change. Unless memory fails me, it would have been inconceivable for the USPTO to grant a patent for pure software, let alone a business model.

      Ironically, I'm actually listed as an inventor on a pure software patent (sh*t, I know -- company legal manuever). Does make a nice resume decoration, tho.

  • I was hoping for an interview with a Nutritional Anthropologist, but I guess we'll have to settle for Alton.

  • The EPO invoked the DCMA to prevent employee J. Savage from exposing the inner workings of the EPO's patent approval process, saying "we consider the EPO's approval process to be a trade secret protected through our jargonising encryption machine (pat.pend), and any public discussion of this process would violate upcoming EuroDCMA legislation."
    Independent sources from said that Sony was working on a new jargon-compliant DRM package - OpenPatentOffice/MG - that would control and monitor all use of patented inventions automatically.
  • I'd be suprised if he had been allowed to answer questions. It's just plain old SOP that release of information from government agencies must go through the agencies' procedures. This means that the garbage man isn't able to tell me how he drives the truck and works the trash compactor without a policy statement from the mayor's office saying what to tell me. Is there still a bank secrets law that keeps bankers from saying how much cash reserve they have to maintain, etc? Maybe there's secrecy laws for patent offices? And their probably secret too.
  • "Don't talk to the press without permission" or "divert all media inquiries to the communications office" are boilerplate phrases from most every employee manual.

    It's a control issue, for fear that every statement released will appear to be official company policy (cf. those "my opinions alone" email sigs, or /. headlines "Microsoft says..." that should be "A single Microsoft peon says...", or the recent Saudi pentagon leak, etc. etc.).

    If you think this level of control isn't necessary for communications reps to do their job, why don't you give everyone root access and see what happens. :)
  • Quick! Somebody file a patent through them that gives you credit for thinking up cancelling slashdot interviews! Then you can tell them that they have to pay you $10,000 to cancel the interview... that'll learn 'em. They'll probably approve the patent anyhow knowing what other patents have been filed in the past...

    No more circular swinging, no more phone dialing music, no more wheel... durn...
  • by Tablizer (95088) on Friday August 09, 2002 @12:27PM (#4039989) Homepage Journal
    Somebody who is recently retired would still have a fresh view, yet not be at risk of being fired (unless they can yank your pension if you make them look bad).
  • Mr. Alton Brown,

    I'll be doing an annual turkey fry with a couple buddies before summer's end and the question of brining has come up. What exactly does the brining process do to the bird? What part does the sugar vs. the salt vs. H2O play? I've observed that brined chicken breasts develop a nice brown color and are juicy but would like a more scientific perspective, especially with respect to brining + frying. One concern is that the sugar on the skin may carbonize under the high cooking temperature.

    I plan on brining the turkey for a day, followed by a day of sitting outside the brine, but injected with a buttery mix of herbs and spices. I'm also a little concerned that the effects of brining may be lost if the bird is left outside the brine so long before cooking. A scientific perspective would help me in better approximating the ideal way to go about this. Thanks! I really enjoy and look forward to your shows, the bee puppets in the honey episode were hillarious!
    • Why mod this down? It's not clear if the interview will be posted next week or if questions will be accepted next week. I really wanted this one answered!
  • Kind of reminds me of the time a guy tried to apply for a patent pertaining to a "unique patent verification process". If approved, the patent organizations would be in violation of said patent, requiring them to pay royalties to the patent owner.

    Personally, I think it was just this guy's unique way of pissing off the patent office when his original patent application was rejected.

  • Will you come over to my place and fix dinner for me and my family?
  • by geekoid (135745)
    Don't you just want to kick emerill's ass?
  • by Andy_R (114137) on Friday August 09, 2002 @01:32PM (#4040495) Homepage Journal
    1. I'm sorry, but I don't know anything about European Patents.

    2. I said I didn't know anytihng about that.

    4. Er, you do realise I'm a Chef, don't you?

    5. Y'know, like food & stuff?

    6. What is it with you and Patents?

    7. ???

    8. Profit

    9. Can you imagine a beowulf cluster of meatballs, in a red wine sauce garnished with parsley?

    10 .CowboyNeal
  • I was looking forward to hearing the answer to my question. (it was modded up to 5).

    While it wouldn't be as personable, why don't you ask the same questions to their official question forms [european-p...office.org] and publish the answers back?

  • I kinda wonder why they are afraid of letting someone tell us how things work when it comes to patent registrations in EU? What were the questions?
    Did he give you any specific reasons?
  • The EU likes to pretend that it's an oh so noble institution, whereas the US is run by mobsters. Well, most Europeans are fully aware that the EU and the European Parliament are staffed by some of the laziest, overly bureaucratic morons and crooks that this planet has ever seen.

    Infact, the politicians behind the EU are somewhat like Nazis. They were NOT ELECTED BY THE PUBLIC, and have just taken power by blinding the governments of member states with nonsense about 'improved trade' and 'less economic barriers'.

    Countries that are in the EU are forced to take on the laws as the EU dictates. Britain has a say in what laws it wants to take, but if the other states vote against it.. then 60,000,000 British citizens will be subject to a law that even their government opposes!

    The EU parliament are nothing but Nazis in liberal clothing.
  • The first question is who told him not to answer these questions?
    The second question is why?
    The third question is whom should we direct these valid questions to?
    The fourth question is what excuse do the proper authorities have for not answering public questions?
    The fifth question is which question was it that trigered all this mess?
    The sixth question is what *are* they hiding?
    The seventh question is whose interests really matter

    The final question is how many newspapers, websites, etc. we can get to comment on this way of refusing the public to learn what is going on.

  • It would not seem so.

    In todays litigious society, where you are sued or at least criticized for the smallest of slips, where journalists are scavenging for every single bit of news to check where somebody is contradicting himself, why so many people wonder why is that organizations of any kind require to organize the way they talk to the public at large?

    Common people, those of you that are actually employed know quite well why this is necessary (I did not say desirable). Any one here complaining that has actually held a job knows that you can't go and talk about what your employer do without clearance. Deal with it properly and grow up.

    Scrutiny does not have anything to do here: ask the same questions to the relevant person in the same organization and lets see what happens. If they refuse to answer then you may have a point about the organization attempting to elude scrutiny.

    To those of you complaining without ever having had a job or the responsibility of working for a complex organization: get some life experience before pontificating. Or are you trolling?

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.

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