01.26.16

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Philip Cordery Says the EPO Situation is Well Known to All, as Attested by the Numerous Press Articles, Political Actions, or Administrative Recommendations

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Philip Cordery

Summary: SUEPO shows and translates a letter sent from Philip Cordery (above) to the International Labour Organisation (I.L.O.) bemoaning the abuses by the management and calling for action

“French MP Philip Cordery (Deputy for French Citizens of Benelux),” according to this comment, “issued a post (dated 9 January 2016) in which he indicates that he has sent a letter (dated 14 December 2015) to Guy Rider, Director General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Translations are available in English, German and Dutch.”

This links to what SUEPO put in its public page yesterday, regarding a matter that we covered before (also in Spanish), even more than once (in English or in Spanish). It also quotes that in full (the words above are SUEPO’s), except the PDF which correctly states that the I.L.O. is massively overwhelmed by complaints about the EPO's management:

Philip Cordery
Deputy for French Citizens of Benelux
Secretary of the Commission of
European Affairs
Member of the Commission of Social
Affairs
President of the study group for
cross-border zones and workers

Paris, 14 December 2015

To the Director General,
Dear Guy,

As you are aware, the social climate within the European Patent Office (EPO) has deteriorated in the extreme. Since my last letter, however, matters have come to a head. Essentially, the repression has considerably hardened against the representatives of the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO). A number of them have been suspended from office, while others have been the object of aggressive investigations and also risk dismissal, for entirely fallacious reasons.

While the main protagonists who are the victims of the campaign of defamation all have in common the responsibilities they have assumed within SUEPO (the former or present President, Secretary, Treasurer, active elected officers), all of the personnel of the organization remain subject to intense pressure. The management of the personnel being imposed by the management and the human resources elements of the EPO, based on fear, isolation, and repression, must cease. This is an issue of the physical and mental health of a considerable number of people whose welfare is our concern.

The social situation is well known to all, as attested by the numerous press articles, political actions, or administrative recommendations. In their report last November, the International Labour Office of your organization exposed the tensions within the EPO, citing the very large number of applications lodged by EPO functionaries with the Tribunal (56% of the complaints recorded by the Tribunal in 2015), even threatening to compromise the activity of the Tribunal itself.

In the light of this, and as indicated in the report, it would be particularly appropriate to engage the EPO in discussion in order to ameliorate the present social climate.

I am at your disposal to exchange views with you on these matters.

Yours faithfully and

Philip Cordery

One interesting comment that we found last night said: “Apart from the intervention of James Carver (see youtube), I’ve not seen coverage of the EPO in UK media. No interest? Not even in the run-up to the referendum? Not even in a referendum where a few hundred votes might make a drastic difference? What will a random UK voter think of the current EPO administration, and the way it handles its workforce? And what’s the odds that, given his exceptional achievements at the EPO, BB is rewarded with something much bigger, like, next president of the European Commission? Would the Brits oppose? Would anyone oppose?”

IP Kat has all sorts of discussions over there about UPC, but it’s a little bit tilted in favour of patent lawyers because it’s many of them who are interested in such articles and comment on them.

In relation to that last comment, one person wrote: “How do the British feel that a EU referendum is coming, but the government is making an exit more difficult by signing the UPC? But the media is rather silent everywhere. Süddeutsche has exchanged the reporter covering the EPO, and the new lady seems to be under pressure to produce articles, and seems to have less time for investigation. But like a friend said: how can we generate public interest when we cannot even catch the interest of our users, more specifically, the representatives? He said that when there still have been strikes.”

“The UPC would place even more power at the hands of people who have shown utter disregard for human rights and the Rule of Law.”There is Insufficient reporting on this issue, except from patent-centric sites, by and for patent lawyers. One of them wrote: “Finland has ratified the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement, meaning there are now nine total countries involved with the new regime.”

“EFFI should file a Constitutional Complaint in Finland against the UPC, in memoriam of Ville Oksanen’s work,” the President of the FFII wrote, linking to a writeup more than a decade old (also having cited the above article).

The UPC would place even more power at the hands of people who have shown utter disregard for human rights and the Rule of Law. Until things are resolved inside the EPO it would make a lot of sense to put UPC on the ice.

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