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Peek Into European Patent Examining Cancelled 214

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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  • 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.
  • politics (Score:1, Insightful)

    by dattaway ( 3088 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @11:44AM (#4039673) Homepage Journal
    Looks like his employer was owned by big businesses and was not in the interest of the public.
  • 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...

  • 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.

  • Re:protest emails (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ltning ( 143862 ) <(ten.niudna) (ta) (gnintl)> on Friday August 09, 2002 @12:09PM (#4039865) Homepage
    In fact, the EPO has nothing to do with the EU. It's a standalone organization. AFAIK it gets its funding from the member states and from the patent owners, not from the EU as such.
  • by cHiphead ( 17854 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @12:11PM (#4039879)
    oh well that just explains EVERYTHING. anyone else honestly disturbed by the lack or rights we seem to have once we're employed?
  • by SkipChaser ( 548969 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @12:23PM (#4039962)
    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.
  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @12:27PM (#4039989) 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).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 09, 2002 @03:07PM (#4041262)
    It's exactly this kind of pass-the-buck mentality (i.e. "It's not my job") that often leads to tragedy. It's sad ready. Think about the experiments where research assistents were asked to give people electric shocks *even* when they thought the person might be dead...
  • by SirSlud ( 67381 ) on Friday August 09, 2002 @03:15PM (#4041326) Homepage
    >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?
  • by jotaeleemeese ( 303437 ) on Monday August 12, 2002 @07:00AM (#4053318) Homepage Journal
    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?

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.