For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Is OAMI Live Dead?

In early April the IPKat welcomed a new blog, OAMI Live, which was described as "the very first independent blog where OAMI* staff and OAMI users can express and exchange views on any OAMI issues completely freely, without any constraint, control or whatsoever...". At the time, the IPKat welcomed this initiative and hoped that outsiders would make as much use of it as those who work for OAMI. Merpel added that this blog was a valuable tool for articulating grievances and suggestions not just for staff members and OAMI's users but for the Office itself. She hoped that OAMI would engage with OAMI Live's contributors in a spirit of mutual interest.

Visiting the OAMI Live blog five minutes ago, the IPKat was alarmed to read this message: "Blog has been removed. Sorry, the blog at oamilive.blogspot.com has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs".

The IPKat is most concerned at this. While he did not find the contents of OAMI Live as entirely edifying and wholesome as he would have liked, it seemed to him that they represented a real expression of frustration and concern on the part of employees of the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market as to how the Office is managed. He is not in a position to judge whether the Office or its critics are right or wrong, but what he believes is this: if the Office's critics and dissentients are wrong, they should be demonstrated to be in error -- and if they are correct in what they say, we should all know about it. If, as has been rumoured, OAMI has somehow had the blog closed down, the IPKat hopes that the counsel of good faith and commonsense on both sides will lead to its reopening -- as a valuable two-way channel for communication and as a fairly harmless way of letting off steam.

* OAMI: the Spanish acronym of OHIM (the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market, which administers the Community trade mark and design systems).

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear IPKAT: is OAMI Live dead or has it ever been alive? Are you awake or did you dream it all?
True: sometimes one dreams about reality. This is not about right or wrong. Just the _idea_ of such a blog makes these Office's critics and dissentients founded.
And by the way: who the hell are you to challenge De Boer to demonstrate them to be in error? Fancy playing with the evil?

Jeremy said...

You ask "who the hell are you to challenge De Boer to demonstrate them to be in error"? I did no such thing. OAMI is not a private toy which its owner can play with or neglect as it pleases; it is an office that discharges public functions imposed upon it by law -- and its board is publicly accountable for all facets of its performance. Everyone who uses OAMI's services and/or who depends on them being properly carried out is entitled to expect that accountability. If there is nothing wrong, we should have our minds put at ease; if there is something wrong, it should be put right.

Anonymous said...

Inside sources tell that OHIM management have thrown their dogs at the blog(ger) and succeeded... like at Thiananmin square, the tanks crushed this feeble effort of making freedom of speech a reality inside a European Institution. What a shame!

Anonymous said...

Well, the good side of it is that now people will start to believe the unbelievable things that are happening in the OHIM.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jeremy, dear IP professionals,
you know now how Mr DeBoer and his vice-president act: like despots, without any respect for anyone. They have treated you exactly as they treat OHIM personnel since the year 2000. They uses the office for their own goals, their own career. Their enemy: public service, officials, personnel and quality, IP matters . Theses guys are dangerous, and until now, nobody wanted to hear about it. They say that IT progress will reduce the personnel more and more. The IT progress in the OHIM is the creation of websites. We still have exactly the same softwares and databases for years. First, they wanted a paperless office. Now, they want a peopleless office. Of course, this is not applicable to them. They are more clever than anyone, even more than Wipo managers. They do, and if nobody reacts, they continue. It is easy, because they have nothing to do with IP matters, quality and so on... they only want to add a line to their curriculum and make the world know how good they are eliminating the personnel. As the Commission Staff commitee says: something else except registering trademarks and designs? The answer is no. Mr DeBoer has nothing to do with IP matters. No project, nothing done in IP matters and harmonization in the internal market for years... nothing at all. Firing personnel, and more calculations for firing officials. As they have closed the oamilive blog, we will contact you and if we could have an email address to send anonymously some very interesting documents, you would learn a lot about Mr DeBoer projects and manners...

Anonymous said...

Dear Jeremy, dear OHIM staff, dear OHIM management, I am an authorised practitioner before the CTM office and I feel like I am out of this world. I had the opportunity of listening Mr. De Boer as well as of reading the recently removed OAMI Live blogspot comments but unfortunately I never had the opportunity to hear a debate about confronted positions as to the OHIM management. You should understand that in this situation it is difficult to know what it is actually happening and I believe this matter is of our great concern. We would not want to be quiet while there is the suspect that something strange is happening at the office. We and our clients are feeding the Office's account. We, the practitioners, are really concerned about the decrease of quality of the OHIM's decisions. In addition, we do not understand why all this money the Office does not know what doing with, is not used to hire more personnel and reduce the backlog of the proceedings. And why the OAMI Live has been removed? Anyone reading this comment might answer?

Anonymous said...

Dear All, the practices described in the OAMI blog live are more than real. Protests were first done in an intern level at the OAMI. Since Mr. De Boer is deaf, this blog was the only way to inform the IP community of a sad reality which has negative consequences on the practitioners.
Mr. DeBoer was previously President of the Amsterdam airport and the people from the Netherlands might remember how terrible his staff management was. Well, for 8 years Mr DeBoer together with his barking lieutenants have reproduced the same scheme, taking great care to take away all the pionners from any management responsability in the Office.
Mr. DeBoer is devoided of charisma, his vision of the OHIM is to transform it as a register office without any legal prospective of what IP means. Subcontracting has been is leitmotiv. Well, it's an easy way to prevent trade unions to be strong enough in order to be a real counter power.
We, the practitioners, can hardly boicot the OHIM if our clients need a Community trademark/design protection. However, we can boicot symposiums organised at the OHIM for instance or draft a manifesto which could be submitted to the Commission.
Don't stop this brainstroming and make the President resign, Viva la OAMI !!!

Anonymous said...

Obviously, the blog is closed but the discussion is not dead. God bless IPKAT. The net is plenty of resources to continue this discussion. Anybody can create a blog and share ideas of interest for the public.
Or, is De Boer appointed European Big Brother to control the web and the European freedom of speech? Is nobody controlling privacy in OHIM? Where is this nice person I talked to some months ago about a trade mark privacy issue?
Join the next blog editorial board. Write, at your own risk, to oamilive@graffiti.net

Anonymous said...

Good initiative, but don't forget to add the address of the blog.

Anonymous said...

no, de boer is not big brother, but somehow similar. Could somebody in ohim help me with the new destitution of the director of external communication? is mr de boer going to offer the big opportunity to his friends as usually?...or maybe to his vicepresident who is already in charge of all the relevant decisional positions...?

Anonymous said...

I very much doubt that OHIM has the kind of influence with Google (owner of blogger.com) that would permit it to just get a blog shut down simply because management do not like the contents. More likely, OAMILive violated blogger.com's content policy as it was full of ad hominem attacks on Wubbo de Boer and other named individuals, some of which bordered on being libellous.
As an OHIM employee, I say "good riddance" to that blog. It gave a completely distorted picture of the reality at the Office and was simply a vehicle for certain people on the Staff Committee and their hangers-on to promote a self-serving agenda that mainly has to do with protecting some people's extremely cushy jobs.

Anonymous said...

Are you WDB or one of his puppets?

Anonymous said...

No, I am not Wubbo de Boer, nor am I anyone's puppet. But I prefer to think for myself rather than mindlessly lapping up the drivel dished out by the Staff Committee.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I would like to thank warmly the IPKat for allowing us to practice in his blog the freedom of speech we are denied in the OHIM, and to denounce here, in front of the users, all the malpractices we are witnessing in our Office. As for this “OHIM Employee” who systematically insults us (he’s obviously the same who in OAMI-LIVE pretended to be the speaker of an alleged “silent majority” in the Office who has never voted for him and, silent as it is, cannot refute him either), you can safely bet your last sheckel he sits with Mr De Boer at the Management Committee. Only one of his lackeys could try to make people believe that Blogger (“We respect our users' ownership of and responsibility for the content they choose to share. It is our belief that censoring this content is contrary to a service that bases itself on freedom of expression.”) shares the censoring policy of our management, not to talk about the imaginary violations of blogger content policy (www.blogger.com/content.g), and much less about their carrying out ex-officio searches of these alleged violations. Mr De Boer and his henchmen are so used to treating their employees like they are in kindergarten, they can’t even imagine that people who really (I mean, really) think for themselves can go to check the Blogger Content Policy webpage, and see that not a single one of the content boundaries has been violated. After checking them one by one, the only possibility is the Copyright, and this is the way we all know has been used. It is not a matter of influence: Blogger have received an official letter full of stamps from the legal representatives of a European institution, they have shit their pants down and have closed the blog without the consideration the owner would have been given had it be a payment blog. But the worst and more significant of all is that, in spite of having received right in the ass a judgment of the European Court of Justice (T-223/99) about the meaning of the phrase “freedom of expression”, they keep confusing criticism with attacks, and facts with libel. Not a single one of the facts that have been denounced on OAMI-LIVE has been denied: the sheer falseness of the statistics on which they base their staff policy; the mass dismissals disguised as recruitment procedures; the fact that secretaries are being asked to draft opposition decisions; the rewarding of “loyal” members of the Budgetary Committee and the Administrative Board with appointments as Directors in the OHIM; the existence of backlogs in Opposition while specialists in that field have been, and are being, fired; the fact that users are renewing their trade marks without having had them registered after ten years; the fact that Mr De Boer had the AB/BC to raise his grade (and salary) while he fires experienced staff to replace them with less experienced people he recruits at lower grades (and salaries); etc. I would like to ask Mr De Boer’s special envoy to this blog to deny, in his next appearance, each one of this concrete facts, instead of whining about pretended “libels” and “ad hominem attacks”. Moreover, I would like to remind those individuals whose incompetence is being brought to light that our denunciation of their mismanagement is protected by our right to freedom of speech, and the right way for them to answer should be denying these facts here, in front of the users, instead of trying to silence us. Please, deny them, and we will be glad to send the IPKat all the proving documentation.

Anonymous said...

Hi, why do you think that people who fight for his rights and for justice, for a system (the community trade mark system), people who fight for things they consider right things, why do you believe they do not think by themselves? Is it so strange for you that people who works in an European institution with official contracts want to keep their job if there is no objective reason to loose it, and more than that, if the result is the complete desorganisation of the office, with the huge loss of efficiency, of quality, total absence of social peace, poor statisfaction from clients, etc... and all this with more than 300 millions and more, and more, in the banks... is it so strange for you? and why are you so happy with the problems that your colleagues are experiencing? because even if they are paid less than you, they are your colleagues... really, we do not understand...

Anonymous said...

Reply to "good riddance" to the blog: I'm amazed by your stupidity. You are personifying the OHIM management stupidity. Look at you, poor guy. And OHIM really recruited you? Look at you! Thinking for yourself? You are just so inconsistent. "good riddance" to the blog and you dare post two comments here.... just feeding the blog!!
Didn't you notice? The only agenda staff representatives and staff have is celebrate WDB's departure with cheap cava in October 2010 (or earlier). Go on feeding this blog. You are only demonstrating that you have the same agenda! I agree on one of your points: the blog gave a completely distorted picture of the reality at the Office. Indeed, the reality is worst.

Anonymous said...

yes, it is worst: a whole institution for the benefit of one or two persons. Great example for Europe! money money money... my only pleasure will be to see the fall of angel De Boer... now, or later :-) De facto, he has already failed: he has a whole institution (except his lieutenants) against him. Is this a sign of good management? Well, the Commission is also working against the workers, so maybe it is a trend... the unions should take note of this...

Anonymous said...

dear ip professionals, please be my guest : (in spanish, but easy to understand)
http://www.diarioinformacion.com/secciones/noticia.jsp?pRef=2008053100_12_760836__Alicante-Trabajadores-OAMI-denuncian-perdida-calidad-euroagencia

newoami said...

ooopss. i just started working for an external company inside OAMI for a job that is very boring, so i was hopeful that the oami blog would help me network with other people inside oami to find other job positions....but then, the blog was deleted!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear IP professionals, as you know, the OHIM has organised a competition to recruite the best IP professionals of the continent... Take a seat first... If you did not pass the competition, go to the Court of Luxembourg!!! They are going to take on rookies without the 3 years of experience!! A simple complaint to the Court of Luxembourg will offer you a new opportunity! what a shame...

Anonymous said...

Everybody knows that, but who cares? Mafia is going on... The best: the results are published on a private blog!! This is European Transparency! Wubbo De Boer must have very good friends in Brussels. Time of crisis, time of retaliations!

Anonymous said...

OAMI = PROVEEDOR DE PARADOS A LA INEM DE ALICANTE. DE BOER, DELINCUENTE, VETE YA! EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 2009: DO NOT VOTE! THANKS TO OHIM POLICY APPLIED IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY, SPAIN AND ALICANTE WILL REACH 25% BEFORE THE END OF THE MONTH! CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE POLITICIANS IN BRUSSELS! KEEP GOING ON! YOUR ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE, BUT YOU DO NOTHING TO AVOID IT. IS THAT YOU PROJECT FOR THE CONTINENT? WHAT A SHAME... DEAR BLOGGERS, HAVE YOUR HEARD ABOUT THE TECHNICAL PROBLEMS IN THE OHIM? IS IT TRUE? I HAVE HEARD ABOUT A NEW SYSTEM THAT DOES NOT WORK AT ALL... LOT OF DELAYS, ERRORS AND SO ON...

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