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12.06.15

The Tail That Wags the Dog: How an EPO President Virtually Controls the Administrative Council (AC)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Willy (Guillaume) Minnoye's Speech
Source: Willy (Guillaume) Minnoye’s Speech

Summary: A reminder of the weird procedures for selecting and appointing highly paid staff at the EPO, courtesy of transparency in the form of meeting minutes

THE EXISTING state of affairs at the EPO is simply not sustainable. Nearly half of all employees are brave enough (in the face of systematic retaliation from management) to go out and protest in front of their employer, breaking if not smashing recent records. The staff has very legitimate reasons to be concerned and more so upset, even angry.

“Meeting in restricted composition, without the observers and the staff and Office representatives (apart from the President and the Vice-President DG 3), the Council unanimously decided to make the following appointments…”
      –Summary of AC decisions
Quite a while back we showed how the EPO and the Administrative Council (AC) basically denied there was an issue when obviously there were many issues. Not only did they declare the Topić affair a non-issue two years before Topić lost a court case in Croatia but they also appointed people to positions of power without much transparency, and definitely not accountability. To quote their June 2013 report (Summary of Decisions) [PDF]: “16. Meeting in restricted composition, without the observers and the staff and Office representatives (apart from the President and the Vice-President DG 3), the Council unanimously decided to make the following appointments…

Notice how small a presence in the room. Things have not exactly improved since then. Two years later a similarly formatted (even similar wording, as if there’s a template/formula, or gross text reuse) shows that chairman Kongstad (of the AC) is acting more like a courier of Battistelli, not like a person who is supposed to oversee Battistelli. Here is extract from the draft minutes of the June 2015 Council concerning the extension of VP1′s and VP5′s contract until 31 December 2018: “Meeting in restricted composition, without the observers and the staff and Office representatives (apart from the President), the Council unanimously decided to extend the contract of Guillaume Minnoye (BE) as vice-president in charge of Directorate General 1 until 31 December 2018. The chairman was mandated to negotiate the terms of this extension, in co-ordination with the President, and to sign the new contract on behalf of the Administrative Council”

Got that? Kongstad is “mandated to negotiate” and then “sign the new contract on behalf of the Administrative Council”. In “co-ordination with” Battistelli, of course! No wonder people like Bergot rose to power so magically [1, 2, 3, 4] and with a supposed (without independent eyewitnesses) unanimous vote…

Welcome to the family business.

“If they want peace, nations should avoid the pin-pricks that precede cannon shots.”

Napoleon Bonaparte

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