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09.12.15

EPO Staff Suicides Estimated to Have Grown Tenfold Under Current Regime — Claim

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

But Battistelli continues to deny there is a problem and won’t fall on his sword (no joke/entertainment but an idiom)

Ruined church

Summary: Instead of EPO staff driving away the corrupt management, it’s the management crushing staff unions and driving away the staff (causing brain drain), or driving some to suicide

THE SELF-DEFENCE we often hear from the EPO, including from Battistelli in person, is that the number of suicides at the EPO is not statistically unusual. Some EPO apologists say the same thing, often without checking and actually comparing statistics.

Dutch newspapers have written about the suicides in recent days (they deem it worthy of a mention, not opportunism or a distortion of facts) and over at IP Kat, having read the automated translations of these articles, “Merpel urges the Administrative Council (AC) to act, and to act quickly. Discussions about whether the Office has immunity from employment law or is exempt from the prevailing standards of employee care throughout the EU are not only immaterial, they are repugnant in the present circumstances. Each AC delegate should take individual responsibility to ensure that the next time such a personal tragedy occurs, nobody thinks it newsworthy and nobody links it to the EPO as a place of employment.”

A lot of new information (however unverified) can be found in the comments. One commenter wrote: “I am not sure that SUEPO did the right thing, making the matter public, but the reply of the President is shameful as well. Even if the death cannot be linked directly linked with the working conditions, claiming that everything is honky dory is a blatant lie. That he respects the dignity of staff is just laughable. ”

SUEPO did not make the matter public, it was first reported in Techrights last month and all along we tried hard to protect the identity of the person in question (the first person to mention the name in correspondence was the EPO’s Ciaran McGinley, PD Patent Administration, and later Battistelli). Even in private correspondence with Battistelli SUEPO consistently abstained from name-dropping, even after Battistelli had done that.

“The suicides don’t surprise us at all given the management’s bullying, euphemistically called “interrogation” (maybe we should dub it Battistelligence).”IP Kat has many comments that are interesting because some of them add new information and the posters often come from within the EPO (both the management and those below the management). One person shares this story: “I know the widow of one of the EPO suicided colleague. She really wanted an independent investigation. Then the EPO informed her that such request of investigation is inappropriate. Such behavior will postpone the payment of all the allowances. (+/- 4 years of procedure for the internal appeal, then +/- 4 additional years for the appeal at the ILOAT).

“The direct consequence: the widow and her children would be left without money and without social security for 8 years.

“This wife was desperate by the dead of her husband. She couldn´t face additional money problems and she had to cooperate with the EPO.”

Here is some unverified bunch of historical statistics about suicides at the EPO: “I believe that what is striking here is the INCREASE of the suicide rate at the EPO, which were 3 (three in total !) in the more than 30 years between 1977 and 2009.

“This means that the suicide rate changed in 2010 from 1 every 10 years to 1 every year.”

The suicides don’t surprise us at all given the management’s bullying, euphemistically called “interrogation” (maybe we should dub it Battistelligence). It’s militarised. Maybe one day we will expand on what exactly happens behind closed doors and who is doing that.

“Nothing is done to lower the work pressure,” one person writes, “on the contrary + nothing is done to stop the brutal management methods on the contrary = further suicides among the weakest staff are likely to soon occur at the European Patent Office.”

It would not shock us at this stage. The EPO is now bullying even staff representatives. How dumb a move.

One person correctly pointed out: “The point is surely that such tragedies demand a proper investigation. Precisely because of its claim to blanket immunity, the EPO is in loco the state for many aspects of its employees’ lives. In the outside world a suicide IS investigated by a coroner’s court in the UK (I am not sure about what happens in continental law), and such investigations sometimes lead to recommendations for prevention. On a large scale the epidemiology of suicide is studied by governments as a basis for preventive policies. The exclusion of suicides by EPO employees from any such investigation is completely unacceptable.”

SUEPO has meanwhile shared this Dutch interview from NPO Radio 1, titled “Verziekte arbeidsomstandigheden bij Octrooibureau in Rijswijk” (it’s all in Dutch).

To quote SUEPO, “Ms Liesbeth Zegveld, SUEPO lawyer and Mr John Kerstens, Member of the Dutch House of Parliament (Tweede Kamer PvdA) were interviewed on 10 September 2015 on the Dutch channel Radio 1 over the “unhealthy working environment” in the European Patent Office.”

We would really appreciate translations from Dutch to English. These would broaden the reach of this scandal and allow MEPs whose Dutch is zilch to become better informed.

Vista 10 and Windows 10 Mobile (Crippled Vista 10 for Devices) Are a Total Disaster, Admit Even Microsoft Advocates

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 11:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

But don’t expect chair-throwing at Microsoft’s offices

Offices

Summary: Even the loudest advocates of Microsoft are coming to grips with Microsoft’s slipping grip on computing, especially in the areas where the market rapidly expands

ANYONE who still believes the brainwash (or marketing) may be under the impression that Vista 10 is succeeding. But despite a zero-cost ‘upgrade’ (unprecedented in Microsoft’s entire history), people are apathetic if not hostile. They are not interested. In the past week (since Sunday), the back end of Techrights has seen only 15248 hits from Vista 10 and Tux Machines a mere 2858. Each site handles about 2 million hits at the back end (per week), so judging by what we see here, Vista 10 is still at sub-1% levels. We estimate that on the Web as a whole the number would be around 3%, based on other numbers we have come across. That’s truly pathetic and the number is hardly improving over time. Corporations and governments won’t ever find any appeal, let alone advantages, in spyware. They assess their technology in practical terms and they have data protection regulations they must adhere to. Microsoft knows this and it shows. The company is now trying to aggressively push people to ‘upgrade’, downloading the 3-gigabyte spyware into computers even without the user’s consent. It’s forcefeeding. The Vista 10 secret downloading botnet has expanded well beyond Vista 10 and made it into predecessors of Vista 10. This continued abuse of people’s PCs without their authorisation demonstrates that Microsoft is not only arrogant but also (still) criminally-minded.

“This continued abuse of people’s PCs without their authorisation demonstrates that Microsoft is not only arrogant but also (still) criminally-minded.”As a higher proportion of the public (personal users, businesses, and of course public sector) moves on to mobile devices Microsoft is just falling further and further behind. The desktop is, in relative terms, becoming less important.

Windows Mobile and Windows Phone (or whatever branding Microsoft chooses next, now it has a “10″ in it, e.g. “Windows 10 Mobile”) have failed miserably, even after killing Nokia for whatever can be squeezed out of it. The biggest fans and advocates of Windows Phone are now openly complaining and The Register has covered it as follows:

Windows Phone fanbois are turning on each other in an online orgy of recrimination. So says Daniel Rubino of unabashed fan site Windows Central – formerly Windows Phone Central.

Rubino made the observation in a candid post entitled: “The Windows Phone community is imploding”.

“The tone today from many is dire,” he laments. “No one is happy with the Cityman and Talkman leaks, Windows 10 Mobile still feels rough and incomplete, and Microsoft looks to be miles from the competition. Throw in things like certain Lumia apps being retired and the relative success yesterday of Apple’s big press event and it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, at times, there is barely a glimmer of light.”

Microsoft’s advocates are throwing in the towel, but we don’t expect Microsoft to give up, only to become more aggressive (software patents, forced ‘upgrades’, and so on). Never underestimate the sheer disregard Microsoft has for ethics and for the law itself. By breaking laws it can come from behind and by the time justice gets served (see WordPerfect or Netscape) it’s already too late to salvage companies Microsoft committed crimes against.

“Microsoft is, I think, fundamentally an evil company.”

Former Netscape Chairman James H. Clark

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