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01.28.16

EPO Protests Earn Coverage on Dutch Television, Programme Starts Now (10PM CET)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: EPO protests have become mainstream news, at least in the Netherlands, as revealed by today’s comments

THE EPO protest in The Hague became mainstream news today, akin to last year’s press coverage after EPO management refused to obey court orders. This morning we explained some of the latest developments and earlier tonight we cited many press reports about the protest.

Another new report about the protest came from nu.nl. It’s titled “Van Dam begint onderzoek naar Octrooibureau” and we need translations. The more we have, the better we can document and correct mistakes. Someone told us about another new article from Nos as well. It’s titled “‘De heksenjacht heeft nu ook Rijswijk bereikt’”, which means that there are now four articles in total from Nos.

“Tonight,” said this new comment, “Nieuwsuur NPO 2 at 2200 cet (Dutch tv equivalent of BBC) – Also online at nos.nl Includes interview with VP1 and suepo lawyer about the problems (or not…).”

Can someone record this and help us make a static/permanent copy?

This isn't the first time these issues make in into television in the area. There is also radio coverage, based on this comment which says:

After today’s demonstration, Radio West (regional radio for The Hague) had an interesting interview with studio guests Gersthuizen and Kerstens, the members of parliament who were also present at the demonstration. While the show also included news about the failed re-election of a major of a town near The Hague, the EPO was only one of the topics, but nevertheless: listen here.

More people now realise what happens at the “Gestapo,” as a Dutch politician called it when he was on Dutch radio last year.

“Therefore,” to quote this new comment, at the EPO “even after retirement: no freedom of speech!”

Here is the context of this comment:

The author seems to assume that a retired employee escapes the long disciplinary arm of the President of the EPO. However, Art. 93(1) of the Service Regulations reads:

Any failure by a permanent employee or former permanent employee to
comply with his obligations under these Service Regulations, whether
intentionally or through negligence on his part, shall make him liable to disciplinary action.

3 hours ago, Jeremy J Phillips, who had retired, wrote: “I still can’t believe that this travesty of governance that is the @EPOorg is allowed to continue” (it can’t last for much longer). This is what Merpel, a former colleague of Mr. Phillips, wrote about it this afternoon, tackling some of the latest lies of the EPO’s PR team (we wrote about and responded to these lies earlier today).

“From what Merpel can see,” she wrote about herself, “the “social dialogue” mainly takes place in disciplinary hearing rooms during the final stages of proceedings against staff representatives instigated by Mr Battistelli or those close to him.”

She also wrote: “Mr Battistelli has continued to push through and even intensify disciplinary measures against staff and union representatives, dismissing one union official and downgrading two others. Disciplinary actions against at least two other staff representatives are being actively pursued, as far as Merpel can tell.”

The final words were as follows:

It would take a brave person to be an EPO staff representative in the current climate. Happily, being a member of the AC is far less risky. In that forum, outright rebellion is expressed in a more gentlemanly fashion, by abstaining from a vote every now and again, and then, to show that there are no hard feelings, publicly applauding the President for his latest production figures.

If the Administrative Council really does want to address the “culture of fear” and the indisputably toxic staff relations within the office, then allowing the management to continually target and pressurise the staff representatives seems counter-productive. As long as the AC limits its actions to public displays of hand-wringing and paternal expressions of concern, nothing will change, and staff relations will continue to dance to Mr Battistelli’s rather discordant tune. Merpel suspects that residents of the embassy districts of Munich and the Hague can expect disruptions to their lives to continue for the foreseeable future.

One person quickly asked: “Is anyone able to say how many SUPEO officials have been disciplined/sacked over, say the last three years, and give the total number of official SUPEO has had during that period?”

There are some more who have not spoken out (or been mentioned publicly) yet. To quote some other comments, consider this:

merpel, I understand you do not want to spread rumours. However, a colleague witnessed another colleague who felt faint on friday 15, at lunch time at the epo. It was a few hours after the terrible news for the 3 colleagues who were either dismissed or downgraded and this adds up to the staff rep last monday. I do not know if there is a link with the EPO situation, however I find the sole fact of 2 colleagues within a week time to fall in a faint at work with both needing medical care very worrying.

It’s then revealed that heart attacks too have happened:

@epo upside down: the one who fell sick in the canteen had a heart attack, he was already diagnosed with heart problems before that happened, so it is unrelated.
Not going to disclose more here…

Someone decided to use a famous quote:

“Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don’t give up the fight.”
― Bob Marley -

Finally, here are some statistics about attendance at today’s protest:

900. The Battistelli PR engine will probably present this as “a minority”. But it’s 30% of the EPO staff who feel strongly enough about the dismal incompetence of their superiors that they took part in this march. Assuming that at least part of the inactive majority has similar feelings but greater inertia/fear, that’s a huge concensus.

Very impressive.

Yes, once again there is something close to a majority in attendance. The corresponding petition probably got a majority.

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