01.26.16

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Newly-Released Badinter Report Shows That by Treating Staff Like Garbage the European Patent Office is Violating Fundamental Rights

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The European Patent Office (EPO) cannot pretend to be law-abiding or deserving any respect anymore

Badinter report

Summary: “Related to EPO,” a source told us, crushing of fundamental rights now deemed a serious offense, based on a new report from France

“Here is a link to a recent publication in the French newspaper “Le Monde” which is of a big interest in the present context. It is all about a report that the French government ordered to the former Minister of Justice, Mr Robert Badinter. I haven’t read Badinter’s report yet but I was appealed by the title: « Le respect des droits fondamentaux, première exigence du droit du travail » which translates approximately into “The respect of fundamental rights, first requirement of labour law”.

“I could summarise the situation by stating tat Dr. Elisabeth Hardon and Mr. Robert Badinter are both fighting for “fundamental rights” with respect to labour law.

“Here is another link on the same subject. The more I dig on this subject, the more it is relevant to the EPO. Last but not least: the Badinter report [PDF].

“Here is the translation of the text [...] It is amazing: Mr Robert Badinter should really talk to Benoit Battistelli to teach him good habits.”

Labour law: the Badinter report defines a foundation of fundamentals

January the 25th, 2016

The report of the committee chaired by Robert Badinter defining the fundamental principles that must be established in labour legislation was handed over to the Prime Minister on January 25th, 2016. For the committee, the first requirement of labour law is “to ensure working woman and man, employees and all those who participate in wealth creation process in a company, the respect for their fundamental rights, including their dignity. ”

The report defines 61 basic principles of labour law in eight main areas:

Freedom and rights at work. “Fundamental freedoms and human rights are guaranteed in any working relationship.” Among the stated principles are equality between men and women, racism, respect for privacy, prohibition of harassment, etc.

Training, implementation and termination of the employment contract. “The employment contract of indefinite duration.” Are also defined: the freedom of choice of the professional activity, maternity rights, the right to extended vocational training, the need for real and serious grounds for dismissal, etc.
Remuneration. “All employees are entitled to a remuneration ensuring decent living conditions. A minimum wage is set by law.”

Work time. “The normal working hours are fixed by law.” The report states that any transgression of the legal working hours entitles to a compensation. The principle remains the established weekly rest on Sunday, derogations may be authorized by law. Also part of the essential rights: the daily rest, supervision of night work, paid holidays.

Health and security at work. “The employer must ensure the safety and protect the health of employees in all areas related to work.” The report recognizes the right of withdrawal for employees who consider themselves in situations that present a serious and imminent danger. Employees need access to a independent occupational health service.

Freedoms and collective rights. The report postulates freedom of organisation and freedom for employees to join the union of their choice. He recalls the right of every employee to defend its interests by strike. The exercise of the right to strike may justify neither dismissal nor a sanction.

Collective bargaining and social dialogue. “Any labour law reform project is subject to prior consultation with the social partners.”

Administrative control and dispute resolution. “Labour inspection supervises the application of labor law under conditions protecting its members from undue external pressure.” Work-related disputes are brought before a specialized court, the employees cannot be punished for bringing the matter to court or for testifying.

The minister responsible for labour is expected to present in early March, a bill to reform the labor law. The principles set out by the Badinter Committee could be the preamble.

Keywords: Work, labour

The EPO is not only mistreating staff representatives, whom it is constantly trying to crush. Just recall how the EPO management (mis)treats the sick workers.

IP Kat comments got derailed by one single commenter (maybe another pro-EPO troll), repeatedly portraying EPO staff that’s protesting as spoiled and selfish, echoing the common PR tactic that we found coming out of EPO management every time mainstream media covered these issues. As we can safely skip much of that (the provocation and comments feeding the provocateur) — because it would be unwise and counterproductive to do rebuttals again — let’s look at what new information we can find in the comments. Right now, for instance, among the latest comments (not all) we have what could be related to the upcoming strike:

sick people will declared “not sick”;
interesting question :
if somebody “not sick” causes an accident (e.g. falls down an escalator) and injures/kills somebody else, because of the prescribed medication he had to take, will BB take the blame ?
will the EPO pay the damages?

One response to that says:

The history of labour disputes is full of examples, such as the “blue flu”, of non-cooperation of labour with management. But such history is all irrelevant to life inside the EPO, unless it concerns a labour dispute in a land where there are no courts. A land in which there is just a President who is investigator, prosecutor, judge, court of appeal and the sentencing authority, all rolled into one malevolent all-powerful being, an alien entity who looks down on his subjects from a satellite orbiting above them.

Recall the example of Admiral Byng, the British Admiral who in the 18th century was executed on his own quarter deck, in front of all the officers of the Fleet. Did he forfeit his pension rights? No doubt he did too!

Why did the Naval Authority do that to him? Why “pour encouragez les autres” of course. BB probably knows the story and has learnt something from it.

Now who at the EPO volunteers to be the next Admiral Byng?

Regarding that Admiral, another person wrote:

BB may have read his Voltaire.
But perhaps he should also have studied Blyng’s epitaph:

To the perpetual Disgrace
of PUBLICK JUSTICE
The Honble. JOHN BYNG Esqr
Admiral of the Blue
Fell a MARTYR to
POLITICAL PERSECUTION
March 14th in the year 1757 when
BRAVERY and LOYALTY
were Insufficient Securities
For the
Life and Honour
of a
NAVAL OFFICER

Alluding to the “Pompidou/Brimelow era”, one person wrote:

To answer the question about the applicable health and safety law: The applicable law is that of the host state, see article 16 (I think) of the PPI which imposes on the EPO the duty to co-operate with the host authorities for the observance of this law. However, the EPO has consistently defied this provision, not just in the notorious case of the suicide on office premises, but also earlier in The Hague, when the Dutch Labour Inspectorate sent a letter politely requesting a discussion as to how such co-operation could be arranged, only to be firmly rebuffed.

After a long series of negotiations between the Staff Committee and the management a comprehensive health policy for the EPO was agreed, which among other things, looked at the applicable legal framework. Part of the agreement was that the President would ask the AC for permission to co-operate with the national authorities as laid down in the PP, not that any such permission was needed. The request was never made, despite many reminders from the Staff Committee.

It may interest readers to know that the health policy also adopted a comprehensive health policy based on best practice which included the prevention of occupational illness, reintegration of sick staff, fair provisions for the verification of sick leave, the settlement of disputes by a panel of three doctors, the confidentiality of medical information, etc., etc. All this took place in the Pompidou/Brimelow era and the policy was patchily applied, due to management hostility. Nevertheless, it covered every aspect of the subject, and contained a provision for periodic review, which could have been used to remedy any defects found in practice. It was a model of a negotiated approach to a thorny problem in which both sides strove to solve each others problems.

Of course, all this was all immediately swept away by Battistelli. Occupational disease no longer exists, nor does confidentiality of medical information. The head of the health department is now a lay person, who reads confidential medical files. Battistelli or one of his minions will decide if you are sick or well, over-ruling qualified medical advice, and will decide on arbitrary grounds if and how much sick pay you receive. If you have a long-term illness you will face a form of house arrest for up to 10 years, before you may be allowed to return to your home country.

The speed and ferocity with which the health policy was dismantled shows just how much BB knew he had to fear from its correct application.

To repeat the above, “Battistelli or one of his minions will decide if you are sick or well” (which in itself is absurd). Is this how the EPO treats highly-qualified patent examiners? If so, what does that say about the EPO in relation to the Badinter Report?

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