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12.03.15

EPO Staff Protest Statistics: Over 2,600 Signatures (So Far) in Petition, About 800 Staff in The Hague Protest, Much More to Come in Munich

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Dutch EPO protest (Tuesday, the 1st of December)

Dutch EPO protest

Summary: Coverage from The Hague’s EPO protest, with much larger protests expected near the Munich ‘branch’ on Friday, and also the pro-SUEPO petition which in some places got immediately signed by a majority of staff

“PEOPLE POWER” at the EPO seems to be working. The management is seeing a higher proportion of its staff drifting away and defecting — publicly even — to the side of the management’s biggest critics. The reputation laundering campaign (leaked here last week) is seemingly failing.

“The staff representatives, despite being thoroughly demonised by the management (Team Battistelli and personally by Battistelli himself), is refuting the illusion…”There is now a petition in circulation. How many people formally oppose the management right now? 2,600 would be nearly half of all EPO staff, potentially to reach half in the coming days (if people were brave enough to have put their names and protect those who protected them from the aggressive management). The names won’t be shown to Team Battistelli, just the overall number of petitioners/signatures.

Why is this important? The staff representatives, despite being thoroughly demonised by the management (Team Battistelli and personally by Battistelli himself), is refuting the illusion that staff is happy [1, 2, 3, 4] and that the current state of affairs should be accepted. Suicide statistics speak for themselves.

“A huge proportion decided to attend despite the growing danger of reprisal.”A few days ago we wrote about how the Team Battistelli tried to crush the protest in Holland (the Netherlands). Team Battistelli evidently failed — miserably based on past attendance — because despite the comparably small size of the staff there, a lot of people attended the protest. A huge proportion decided to attend despite the growing danger of reprisal.

“In The Hague,” said one eyewitness report, “a massive demonstration took place in front of the Dutch ministry of economy in The Hague. Despite the fact that all foreseen buses were full and that the remaining staff had to go by their own means to the location, an estimated 800 Staff members braved the extremely unpleasant weather (see pictures above) to demonstrate peacefully their support for the suspended colleagues.”

“The following week there will be another action.”Well done! All the buses were full, which means that the scale of the protest exceeded the expectations of organisers. This movement speeds up and it wouldn’t be unthinkable or far-fetched to expect 2,000 people to walk out on Friday in Munich. As WIPR put it a few days ago: “Certain staff members at the European Patent Office (EPO) will stage two demonstrations this week to protest against what the office’s union has called “persistent attacks” on staff representatives.

“A demo is taking place today, December 1, at the Ministry of Economic Affairs in The Hague. It was due to start at 12pm local time.

“A second protest will take place in Munich on Friday, December 4, outside the EPO’s Isar building at 12.30pm local time.”

“For now, considering immediate danger to anyone who dares to challenge the tyranny (especially in small enough numbers), it’s better to focus on this coming Friday and supersize everything.”SUEPO’s site says “Friday 04 December, starting at 12.30h in front of the Isar building in Munich.” No changes to this plan have been made since. In a potentially other (unspecified for now) location, on 10/12/2015, more protests will take place. Later today (Thursday), the text of the petition and “the number of petitioners (not their names) will be sent to Mr. Battistelli,” we have learned. The same goes for “Mr. Kongstad and the members of the board 28.”

Why Board 28?

Well, as a source revealed to us, “on that day an extraordinary Board 28 meeting will take place. A demo at the Isar building will be organised by SUEPO. Please attend in vast numbers!”

Sounds like a good plan. The following week there will be another action. Demonstrations will be taken to the Justizpalast, which Wikipedia describes as “two courthouses and administrative buildings in Munich.”

“Worth noting: in Berlin, within less than 24 hours, most of the staff of the EPO already signed the petition…”For now, considering immediate danger to anyone who dares to challenge the tyranny (especially in small enough numbers), it’s better to focus on this coming Friday and supersize everything. “In Munich,” as revealed to us another source, “SUEPO Munich invites all staff to a demonstration [...] in front of the ISAR building. On that day an extraordinary Board 28 meeting will take place. Please attend in vast numbers! The demonstration was approved by the Munich local authorities.”

Obviously Team Battistelli would never approve such a thing. In fact, nasty threats were made in the past by Battistelli and his right-hand man, leading to pro-active suppression of free expression.

“Friday seems likely to bring the biggest protest (yet) that the EPO ever saw.”The source says regarding the “[Patent] Office-wide Petition” that “despite the fact that this spontaneous initiative is not driven by any organs of the Staff representation, so far ca. 2600 signatures have been collected: In Berlin 135 signatures have been collected in 24 hours! (from ca. 260 Staff – including sick/vaca on&co) – now in total of 154 –in Mu[nich], over 1600 and over 700 in DH [The Hague]. Preliminary figures will be communicated to the Board 28 this Friday and the final certified count should be made available to the AC next week.”

Worth noting: in Berlin, within less than 24 hours, most of the staff of the EPO already signed the petition, without even proper organisation of the process (it has been mostly done in secret, for fear of the mighty and somewhat lunatic Team Battistelli).

Well done and good luck. Thursday (today) will be interesting because of the signatory number being handed out. Friday seems likely to bring the biggest protest (yet) that the EPO ever saw.

“I’m always happy when I’m protesting.”

Richard Stallman

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