Q: It may seem like a trick question, but based on this information, whose search report will issue first?
A: Anyone but the Frenchman's.
Your first reaction to this, dear reader, may be to express disbelief. If Merpel's information is wrong, there are hundreds of examiners reading this blog who will no doubt put her right in the comments below.
Your second reaction is probably: Why France? Well, here Merpel is forced to guess. All she knows is that this discrimination started in June 2015, and she knows that to be the month that La Republique publicly rebuked Mr Battistelli at what was supposed to be his special day.
As Merpel reported at the time, the EPO travelled to Paris in June, followed by an enthralled media, for the celebration of the 2015 Inventor of the Year Awards. This event, a showcase of the Office and its publicly radiant President, was hijacked somewhat. The French Government reminded the audience from the podium that it had concerns about how the Office was being run. State Secretary for the Digital Economy, Axelle Lemaire said: