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12.08.15

Lawyers’ Response to Incredible Accusations From EPO Management and Its Praetorian Guard

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Historically familiar situations…

Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon
Edited public domain photograph

Summary: The sordid mess inside the EPO — or the management’s attempts to use smears and witch-hunts to sedate whistleblowers (leading to an ever-exacerbating cycle of crises) — is now being properly tackled by a staff representative’s legal representative

THE previous post gave just a taste of how the EPO’s abusive management, along with its praetorian guard, is trying to frame the whole crisis. Naïve or impressionable outsiders are supposed (if the expensive media strategy succeeds) to think that what we have here are poor, victimised men in suits (management) against armed Nazis and snipers, or something ludicrous along these lines. Those highly-paid managers are, in our view, dealing with something that’s akin to whistleblowers, not staff representatives (whistleblowers’ lawyers should not be needed here because it’s not clear who, if anyone among staff representatives, actually blows a whistle). The ‘dirty laundry’ is coming out and the management is trying to punish the perceived bringer of the laundry rather than actually clean this laundry. How foolish do they think staff will be? Are there actually enough people smart enough to be recruited by the EPO who are also, at the same time, this gullible? It’s not as though EPO management sticks to facts. Not even the almighty President sticks to facts.

As far as we’re aware, we never ever spoke to a staff representative at the EPO. Ever. Unless someone was using a fake identity. But this is of course detrimental to the dossier served by or to the management (Team Battistelli and its praetorian guard), failing to actually provide any evidence of staff representatives sending anything to the media. The thugs’ incredulous smiles wouldn’t satisfy an honest judge.

Anyway, a short response was provided by the accused and there is also a more detailed response from the lawyers (who Team Battistelli probably hopes will help drain all the savings of the accused). It’s a 4-page response:

Letter from lawyers - page 1

Letter from lawyers - page 2

Letter from lawyers - page 3

Letter from lawyers - page 4

We haven’t highlighted anything in the above because we don’t want to tamper with the text.

Meanwhile, over at SUEPO, it has just been stated that there is an issue with the discussion about “Workload and effectiveness of the ILO Tribunal”. As SUEPO puts it:

In a recent document, the ILO Legal Advisor and the ILO Administrative Tribunal blame the number of complaints coming from the EPO for the Tribunal’s current workload and effectiveness problems. CA/21/15,  a report by the external auditors of the EPO, confirms problems in the internal justice system of the EPO (see in particular points 13-15 and 59-61). In response the Governing Body of the ILO requested its Director-General “to initiate without delay discussions with the European Patent Organisation … in order to identify a solution to the difficulties …” (point 33 of the above mentioned document). Staff representatives are only to be “consulted”, and that only afterwards.

ILO defines its mission and objectives as “to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues” (emphasis added).

SUEPO was therefore shocked and dismayed to see that the governing body of ILO (International Labour Organisation) proposed discussions with representatives of the President without involving representatives of the staff. On behalf of SUEPO and the other staff associations that rely on the Tribunal for justice, SUEPO’s lawyer, Ed Flaherty, has requested to involve staff representatives from the outset. Click here to access the letter of Mr Flaherty.

We covered this on a couple of occasions before [1, 2].

Here is the letter from Mr Flaherty as images (people don’t tend to bother with PDF files on the Web).

ILO letter- page 1

ILO letter- page 2

There is a lot more coming. If we have been writing a lot (and more frequently) as of late, it’s because a lot is happening a lot needs to be shown. The EPO’s attempts to gag Techrights (with censorship and threats) truly backfired; these only led more people to choosing Techrights as their reporter. It also led to a lot more sources coming to us (so a lot of the breaking news and exclusive coverage now happen in Techrights).

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