EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.18.15

Meltdown at the EPO, Massive Staff Protests This Afternoon

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Photos via Florian Müller [1, 2]

EPO protest

EPO protest

Summary: Unrest at the EPO is reaching what seems like unprecedented levels and the EPO’s management, instead of recognising these issues, prepares for additional repressions

THE EPO’s management just doesn’t get it, does it? The harder it cracks down on staff, the more “blowback” it will suffer (not a reference to the events in Hanover but the CIA term).

As we noted earlier today, staff protests were set to take place and based on photographs these were massive, despite the short preparation time (given enough notice, the EPO's management intimidates protesters and manipulates them too).

“Battistelli has successfully destroyed the EPO. Congratulations.”
      –Anonymous
Merpel at IP Kat is disturbed by a torrent of mails and she wrote that she “has been reading, with some alarm, the emails that have been reaching her with increasing frequency over the past couple of days with regard to some recent developments at the European Patent Office (EPO).”

We are particularly interested in anonymous comments posted in response to this short blog post. One such comment shows that the notorious I.U., or the Stasi which may be the cause of some suicides (its tactics were the subject of a recent series [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], is hiring (warning: direct link to epo.org so tracking is possible). This means that either someone has resigned or they’re expanding the 'gestapo' (internal name or joke).

What the EPO needs is new management because the ‘low’ level staff (i.e. the most technically-qualified staff, not a bunch of bulldogs) cannot co-exist with Battistelli and its ilk anymore. These protests are a living testament and this is far from the first such outcry from employees. To quote some noteworthy comments from IP Kat:

Some weeks ago, the EPO Central staff Committee (hereafter CSC) published on its intranet site a document “Questions on the European Patent Office – a discussion paper”
This document presents 23 questions based on cases which all have a background in real life. I suppose that Merpel will get soon (or later) a copy of this document.
Personally I like the question 13:

The entrusted member has placed a report in the internal post to be sent to the applicant. After reading through the report, the superior, known as the Director, is of the opinion that the arguments presented therein are incorrect because the closest prior art is document D1 and not – as stated in the report – document D2. He asks the entrusted member to revise the report accordingly.
a) What is the legal position?
b) When and how does the public find out about this occurrence?

Continuation:
The entrusted member then consults with the other members of the Examining Division. Following this consultation, the Examining Division decides that the report should be sent out unchanged. The Director refuses to approve the report for sending out to the applicant. Instead, he instructs the entrusted member in writing to revise the report in accordance with his stipulation (D1 instead of D2 as closest prior art) and to sign it in the name of the entrusted member. The entrusted member fears a disciplinary penalty and revises the report as requested, but does not sign off on it.
The Director approves the revised report for sending out. The report is provided with the authentications of the Examining Division and of the entrusted member and is sent to the applicant as a report pursuant to Article 94(3) EPC.
c) What is the legal position?
d) When and how does the public/the applicant find out about this occurrence?
e) What options do the members of the Examining Division have for defending themselves against the Director’s actions, if desired?

Variation:
The Examining Division would like to place its decision regarding the originally compiled report and the written instruction of the Director to the entrusted member in the electronic file as an internal file note that is excluded from public inspection of the files. The Director issues an instruction that this must not be done, and so no one plucks up the courage to place the file note in the electronic file.
f) How does the public/the applicant find out about this occurrence?

The CSC document doesn´t indicate if the director is a DG1 director in direct contact with the ten major applicants.

If anyone can send us “Questions on the European Patent Office – a discussion paper”, that would be enormously helpful. These matters probably merit a public — not just private — discussion. With sensible redactions anonymity can be assured.

Here is another comment:

To fair play : this looks like a batant violation of the EPC;
What would happen if the BoA would have to deal with such a case (and some little birdy would tell them ?

A similar comment states:

The fathers of the EPC envisaged that EPO will be run by reasonable peaple who have interest in everything other than profit. To ensure this the fathers of the EPC provided for that the budget of the EPO must be ballanced. How naive of them!

Here is how the EPO’s management tries to ‘soften’ its actions:

Three members of the Staff Committee are suspended and this splendid piece of literature is published:

“Each staff member deserves to benefit from the duty of care of the Office
The EPO is deeply grateful for the hard work, commitment and loyalty of its 7,000 strong workforce who
have helped make us the leading IP office in the world for both quality of patents issued and the level of
service offered.
Unfortunately, the EPO has recently uncovered instances of anti-social and unlawful misconduct
concerning few employees. These matters are being investigated and dealt with according to a set of
publicly available mles, designed to ensure the fair treatment and protection of employees (Code of
Conduct; Circular 342).
In some cases, those under investigation have attempted to disrupt this proper process through the
making of false allegations and personal attacks against EPO colleagues. Such conduct constitutes a
breach of both our Service Regulations and our Public Service Values.
The EPO – like any other responsible employer – will not tolerate any form of harassment by any of its
employees, regardless of their status, against their colleagues and is taking these matters very seriously
Each staff member deserves to benefit from the duty of care of the Office. It is for this reason that
disciplinary procedures are being launched.
The Office is convinced that these incidents will not overshadow our common good: our reputation of
excellence due to the dedication of the staff. Together. we can continue to make the EPO the successful
organisation to which we are proud to belong.”

It’s so outrageous that I am missing words … and NO I am not anymore proud to belong to this organisation which apparently only serves to nurse the egomania of a psychotic and his acolytes.

This short comment says it all really:

Battistelli has successfully destroyed the EPO. Congratulations.

Finally, we agree with the following comment:

What else must happen before the EPO host countries (Germany, Holland) finally take action to stop these people?
Shame on them!

As we stated over an hour ago, failure to take action may result in more (but still preventable) suicides.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 21/2/2020: EasyOS 2.2.11 Released, Microsoft's Control of the Linux Foundation Increases and More Binary Blobs Arrive

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 20, 2020



  3. Video: LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman

    LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman



  4. GNU World Order is a Personal Sacrifice, LinuxWorld Just Business

    As the Linux Foundation shows, Linux is just business (and proprietary software) as usual, software patents included, whereas it’s GNU that continues the Free Software Movement’s battles



  5. Links 20/2/2020: Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU18, Mesa 20, VirtualBox 6.1.4

    Links for the day



  6. Open Source Did Not Win, It Was Assimilated to and by Proprietary Software

    Don’t fall for the whole “Open Source has won!” spiel; You know we’ve lost the battle (and were in effect gradually conquered) at OSI and elsewhere when those who speak for the OSI are Michael Cheng (Facebook), Max Sills (Google), and Chris Aniszczyk (Linux Foundation); they say “Open Source Under Attack” (FOSDEM talk) but their employers are the ones attacking and they downplay openwashing



  7. Former Microsoft Employees Don't Like Talking About Past and Present Microsoft Back Doors (Designed for Spy Agencies)

    In a typical Microsoftian fashion, once they cannot defend the illusion/delusion that Microsoft values security the 'Softers' run away and block any further debate



  8. Techrights Warns Against Impending Extradition Efforts (Passage of Julian Assange to His Death in the United States)

    Imprisonment of journalists who are effective at exposing crimes (of the powerful, not petty crimes) must never be condoned



  9. Team UPC: Many Mouths and No Ears

    The mental condition of Team UPC gets more worrisome by the week



  10. Team UPC Insults Judges Because the UPC is Dead and UPC Lobbyists Have Nothing Left to Lose

    More judge-shaming tactics are in the mix; Team UPC seems to feel like there's nothing left to lose as the UPC is already dead (hope itself is next to die)



  11. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 19, 2020



  12. China Bashing is Grounded in Fear (That They Can Simply Do Better Than the West)

    The atmosphere of hate towards China — fuelled partly by a white supremacist in the White House — is unhelpful and insulting; dignity and understanding is the way to go



  13. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 18, 2020



  14. FFII Press Release: Germany Can No Longer Ratify the Unitary Patent Due to Brexit and the Established AETR Case-law, says FFII

    Germany cannot ratify the current Unitary Patent due to Brexit and the established AETR case-law. The ratification of the UPC (Unified Patent Court) by Germany would constitute a violation of the AETR case-law, which was used during the EPLA negotiations in 2006 to consider a deal with non-EU countries, such as Switzerland.



  15. DRM (Proprietary Software) Already Makes Mozilla Firefox Broken, Unreliable, Undependable (Dependent on Binary Blobs)

    More people are beginning to realise that Mozilla resorted to self-harming DRM and self-inflicted damage that impacts Firefox; can Mozilla (re)join the anti-DRM coalitions?



  16. EPO and Other Patent Updates Over RSS

    Site syndication (over RSS feeds or XML/Atom) is vastly better than what became popular in recent years (censored, centralised, discriminatory "Social Control Media"); here are some feeds of interest



  17. When It Comes to a Unitary Patent System, Bad (or Intentionally Dishonest) Legal Advice Has Become the Norm

    The Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent (UPC and UP, respectively) reinforce the old saying about lawyers being liars, doing anything to attract clients (to take their money); the UPC is basically dead, but fiction, falsehoods and outrageous fantasies still find their way into Web sites of law firms



  18. Links 19/2/2020: KDE Plasma 5.18.1, GNOME 3.36 Beta 2 and WordPress 5.4 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  19. Is Linux Foundation a Microsoft Branch Now?

    The so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation (LF) nowadays helps Microsoft cement its monopoly — the very opposite of what ages ago it said the LF would do



  20. Are Songs Property? And Maths Also Property? Artificial Monopolies Are Not Property...

    Patent maximalists continue to face stronger arguments from their sceptics, who rightly allege that words are being intentionally misused and numbers fabricated so as to distort underlying facts



  21. Battistelli Blocked Techrights at EPO (Banned for More Than 5 Years), So CEIPI Won't Respect Access to Information Either

    The use of censorship to confront people who talk about (not even expose) corruption isn't novel; but the adoption of this approach in Europe (not just places like Russia and China) is definitely noteworthy



  22. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 17, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, February 17, 2020



  23. Links 18/2/2020: Linux 5.6 RC2, Wine 5.2, GNU Social Contract and Sparky 2020.02 Special Editions

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 16, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 16, 2020



  25. Links 16/2/2020: MX Linux 19.1 and MyPaint 2.0

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 15, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 15, 2020



  27. Guest Article: Au Revoir, GNU/Linux

    "Funny how OSI just ended up being another vehicle for their takeover of the computing world..."



  28. Former Microsoft Employee: ZDNet is Owned by Microsoft (and Others) in Some Senses

    A noteworthy message we've received from someone who knows Microsoft from the inside



  29. Links 15/2/2020: Blender 2.82, Qt 5.15 Alpha and NetBSD 9.0 Released

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft Views 'Open Source' as a Zero-Cost Heist Opportunity (Making Proprietary Software/Spyware Using Other People's Free Labour)

    Making GPL-licensed (copyleft) software and hosting it outside Microsoft’s jaws is the best way to counter the abusive monopolist, which still says it “loves” what it is actually attacking


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts