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01.30.16

The Connection Between the EPO’s Investigative Unit/Battistelli Policies and EPO Suicides

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Suicide message
Golden Gate Bridge

Summary: Remarks and observations, based on new information and much older information, serving to inform anyone out there who hasn’t been paying attention (or has been denied access to information because of gags/secrecy) of the truly horrible state of affairs inside the EPO, where depression and suicidal tendencies are now a crisis and an epidemic

“More abuses at the EPO” were reported to us some days ago. Eyewitnesses told us what they had seen and some were as mortified as the main victims of the bullying (or witch-hunt) — victims whom we never spoke to before. It doesn’t look like these victims are even able to communicate calmly as composure was lost amid mental torture by what a Dutch politician (whom we exchanged a few words with this week), John Kerstens, referred to as "the Gestapo". He was talking about the EPO’s Investigative Unit (I.U.), a dark secret of Team Battistelli. This undeclared cell or ‘dungeon’ clearly violates European laws, as we explained here before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Earlier today the Dutch media (NRC Handelsblad) published the article titled “‘Wat als het octrooibureau martelt?’”, which means/says: “What, if the European Patent Office EPO tortures?” We want a translation of this article.

“Unfortunately, any publication on the methods of the I.U. will put at risk those who are currently accused by the I.U.”
      –Anonymous
We already know some of the rogue things these people have been up to, but we’re discouraged from writing about these things. “Would it be possible to,” I asked, “with discretion, to name the interrogation methods used by the I.U. without naming any person in the I.U.?”

“Unfortunately,” told me a source in response, “any publication on the methods of the I.U. will put at risk those who are currently accused by the I.U.”

Well, the firing line won’t get smaller and the queue for the firing line won’t get shorter unless we publicly speak about these issues.

“The accusations against Elizabeth Hardon were only the beginning,” I was told at one time (well before the suspensions of staff representatives). Well, Hardon (since then) got suspended, slapped with a mock trial before being sacked and unless the public knows more about what’s going on, more people will suffer physical harm (not just mental harm) as she attested to several months ago. How many people must suffer or even die before the I.U. is finally held accountable? And if public officials don’t know what’s going on (people under investigation are prevented from talking about it), how can there ever be justice?

“…if public officials don’t know what’s going on (people under investigation are prevented from talking about it), how can there ever be justice?”The EPO uses the equivalent of a gag order or a non-disclosure agreement (where only one side agrees, or imposes) to suppress information and actively impede dissemination of information already in circulation. A lot of what we know we have known for a long time but refrained from commenting on. I actually had another article about depressions coming (about the EPO’s role in them) at one time, whereupon I found out about the culmination in suicides (including the 5th suicide). These suicides are proportional to depressions. Not every depression results in suicide. I had prepared a report about a previous suicide, but couldn’t quite keep up with the events. Everything was happening so fast. I eventually decided to wait until the date or the time that politicians got deeply involved and then publish the articles about the I.U., the suicides, and so on.

“Here is what happens to ill staff at EPO,” one person told me the other day, insinuating that there is a lot more to this framing of sicknesses. These don’t come about naturally; people’s immune systems have been severely weakened by the work environment, including abuses from various thugs, who rather than reduce harassment in the workplace (the publicly-stated goal of the I.U.) have done exactly the opposite.

As was mentioned here before, invalidities (incapacity) were correlated with suicides at the EPO. There are severe sanctions on imposed invalids and based on our understanding there were 0 people put on invalidity in 2015, which makes it likely that they were just fired instead. This means that injured or ill people may not have enjoyed the most basic work security, as typically offered/protected by European law. We have heard of such stories, which we may or may not share in the future. “Historically,” we’ve learned, “some 25 EPO employees were put on invalidity every year.”

“Once sacked, they receive no unemployment benefits, no severance grant, and have no access to social security in most European countries. That is because they are ex-international civil servants.”
      –Anonymous
We urge readers to tell their national delegates about this. Labour protection groups too need to be notified. The I.L.O. is too slow when it comes to dealing with complaints.

“Now Battistelli sacks employees who are too sick,” one person told us. “Once sacked, they receive no unemployment benefits, no severance grant, and have no access to social security in most European countries. That is because they are ex-international civil servants.”

Imagine not just being sick (or severely injured) but also losing the job, losing the pension (potentially), and so on. This is just an ideal way to break people down (mentally). “Staff representatives are in a desperate state,” we were told, “burned-out, depressed, on sleeping pills, divorcing, etc.”

“For some staff, including people with families in the Netherlands, intervention by the Dutch government can be a matter of life and death.”This is the lesser-known effect of Battistelli’s regime on the lives of thousands of people and the lives of thousands of families, including children. Watch what Battistelli did to Ion Brumme, who is left having trouble trying to cater for many children while the EPO can prevent him from seeking alternative employment (we hope EPO staff will financially help him). Brumme was dismissed despite the disciplinary committees advising against it (Battistelli just ignored these committees).

Based on information that we received, several medical practitioners at the EPO have independently noted a sharp increase in mental illnesses among EPO staff in recent months. Suicide prevention is on the agenda now. According to this new comment however:

The Isar building is a fairly rundown non-descript technocratic architectural folly from the 1970s where you can’t even open a window for a bit of fresh air.
The wings with a southerly aspect are prone to overheating in summer.

And before anybody makes a tasteless joke about “suicide prevention measures” the lack of openable windows has nothing to do with that. It’s simply a “design feature” somehow related to the air-conditioning system (which rarely functions at an optimum level).

Not exactly what most people would consider “luxurious employee facilities”.

The term “luxurious employee facilities” came from this prior comment which said: “The sweatshop reference is absurd, given the luxurious employee facilities at the EPO. It also distracts from the real issues, which are the EPO management’s lack of transparency, integrity and respect for the law.” the sweatshop reference can be found here:

It has probably already been said, but I would like to repeat it:

the Management of the European Patent Office are so hell-bent on getting rid of the staff representatives in order to reach their goals – even at the price of having the Supreme Court to confirm the decision of the Court of Appeal – that they do not even realise the damage that they have already done and continue to do to the image of the Organisation that they preside.

Nor does the Administrative Council, either in its sheer ignorance or willful complicity.

And even if the Dutch Supreme Court gives reason to the EPO, it will be a pyrrhic victory.

Because, from then on, the general public will be aware that the granting of a Patent in Europe is based on the violation of human rights and the international law.

At the end, the only difference between the EPO and a sweatshop will only be the salaries.

“That can easily be fixed,” added a later commenter.

In relation to what happened in Holland a few days ago, one person provided a sort of translation:

“De regering maakt zich weliswaar zorgen over de sociale situatie bij het Octrooibureau, maar stelt: “voor de vraag of een internationale organisatie immuniteit toekomt (is) niet van belang of haar mensenrechtenschendingen of andere schendingen van internationaal recht verweten worden.”

The Government does indeed worry about the social situation at the patent office, but stated that “For the question whether an international organisation enjoys immunity or not, is independent of accusations of a violation of human rights or violation of other international rights by this organisation.”

That may be true, yet the PPI of the EPO includes specific obligations, and the EPO is invoking immunity contrary to courts finding that there is no immunity based on the PPI.

If the Dutch gave the EPO more immunity in their seat agreement than the PPI necessitates, then the Dutch are right, the EPO is immune, but they might need to renegotiate the seat agreement to bring it into line with the intentions of the PPI. And other host countries should check their seat agreements too, to not be faced with such a loss of face as the Dutch are currently facing.

“Es darf keine rechtsfreien Räume geben.”

Here is more about the behaviour of the Dutch Government:

Representatives of the Dutch Government talk about the EPO as an independent International Organisation. By doing that they try to distance themselves from the responsibility of what is happening. Truth is that NL is inside the EPOrganisation. Participates in the Council and in the Confidential sessions as member. It seats in the B-28.

The NL government line of action is a bit erratic

1-Now, officiallay they seem to be on the side of good sense and moderation. Pushing BB towards a more social attitude and more dialogue

2- But they insist to be on the side of the EPO and against SUEPO in the Cassatie case

3- Let us not forget that the Social Democracy, the Investigation Guidelines and the (criminal) Health Policy were proposed by BB but they became our Law because the Council voted in favour. By doing that the Council became co-responsible of this evil.The Netherlands voted IN FAVOUR of these three regulations, Dutch judges found that what happens at he EPO is illegal and contrary to fundamental Human RIGHTS .

Dear Dutch Government, thanks for your present support. Your votes in the past have led to the situation of today: Who is responsible? Where is the accountability?

We urge Dutch citizens to contact their delegates, whose E-mail addresses are as follows: derk-jan.degroot@agentschapnl.nl, p.h.m.vanbeukering@minez.nl. These citizens might also want to contact (or CC) the national Office assistant on b.becker@minez.nl and spokespersons on b.visser@minez.nl, P.vanStrien@minez.nl, and t.d.vanes@minez.nl.

For some staff, including people with families in the Netherlands, intervention by the Dutch government can be a matter of life and death.

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