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Old Article About Battistelli’s Right-hand Man, Željko Topić, Highlights Severity of the Whole Situation

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No room for free speech about Željko Topić at the EPO…

Željko Topić Hebdo

…because it’s embarrassing to Team Battistelli

Summary: The highly controversial person who initiated a lot of the union-busting chaos has quite an extraordinary past back in Croatia

THIS morning we wrote about a possible successor (replacement rather) of Battistelli, the current EPO President. Both MIP* and IAM’s editor in chief nodded in a possible agreement over at Twitter (relaying the article to their followers) and as promised, here is an English translation of this article which we said would be published at a later date (well, it’s almost 5 AM now on a Tuesday, so technically it’s another date).

The following text includes possible evidence that Battistelli should drag Topić along with him as he leaves the Office. We highlight in yellow some noteworthy bits because the article is fairly long.

Criminal proceedings pending against Topić in six cases

Non-certified translation from the original Croatian.

Wednesday 11th, April 2012, 07:00
Author: Franjo Dobrovic

Picture caption: Croatia is faced with an international scandal

The announcement on the official website of the State Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia that Željko Topić has been appointed as of 1 May 2012 to a post at the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich, could lead to a disgrace and a scandal – not only for Mr. Topić himself, but also for the Republic of Croatia. In such a law-abiding country as Germany it may prove difficult to conceal the criminal proceedings already pending against Mr. Topić – although he himself appears to have managed to conceal details of these affairs from the EPO and from the international professional public so far.

According to our information, there is also an appeal pending before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which includes mention of Mr. Topic’s alleged bribery of the former education minister in the government of the corrupt Ivo Sanader. Currently there are criminal proceedings pending against Željko Topić in six cases that are in various stages of processing to which a number of civil lawsuits against him must also be added.

Intellectual criminal

In the documentation, which accompanies the file before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, it is alleged that Željko Topić literally “purchased” his position as director of the State Office of Intellectual Property [in Croatian: DZIV] in 2008, paying the then Minister of Education Dragan Primorac nearly 500,000 kuna. This is also well known to the current government. In January 2009, the then government of the Republic of Croatia requested an explanation and a review on the part of the former Ministry of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship [Croatian: MGRP] concerning the allegations of bribery and other illegal acts by Mr. Topić. However, the MGRP never complied with the request. Had the then government and monitoring system been functioning properly, Željko Topić should already have been replaced in 2008 – following the exposure as a result of the state inspection of his violations of financial and labor laws, the cover-up of criminal offences by the previous Director-General of the DZIV, the payment of bribes and other matters, reflected in numerous criminal complaints. According to our information, even the Bishop of Banja Luka, Franjo Komarić, lobbied the Cabinet of Ivo Sanader in 2008 on behalf of this esteemed “intellectual criminal” for a renewal of his mandate as Director-General of the DZIV.

Interesting spicy stories

We are further informed that a confidential urgent memorandum with all the juicy details on the “Topić Case” including the risk of a possible international scandal at the expense of the Republic of Croatia has been lying for a number of days now on the desks of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, the first deputy prime minister, the deputy prime minister Mimica and other members of the Government of the Republic of Croatia. However, there has been no official response so far, either from this quarter or from the government department responsible for the DZIV headed by Minister Željko Jovanović. The only information issued by the Croatian government so far has been a brief notification referring to the appointment of the Deputy Director, Liljana Kuterovac as acting Director-General of the DZIV for a period of six months. This appointment has proven to be questionable, as the newly appointed Director-General is a graduate in electrical engineering, whereas the post actually requires a person with legal qualifications. Additionally, in 2008 the then Director-General, Mr. Topić, carried out a restructuring of the DZIV, against the recommendations of the EU and contrary to official undertakings given by the DZIV to the EU in the framework of the CARDS-programme, by effectively abolishing the department dealing with authors’ and similar rights. Intellectual property is divided into two sectors: industrial property, an area in which over a hundred people work in the DZIV, while only a single official is now responsible for the other fundamental area – authors’ and related rights. In view of various criminal complaints and other proceedings against Željko Topić there is reason to suspect that this matter constitutes a joint offence in the form of abuse of office and power under Article 333 of the Croatian Criminal Code*. There are at least three persons who appear to be involved here, namely the Director-General of the DZIV, Željko Topić, his former deputy Romana Matanovac Vuckovic (who was previously active in the Association of Composers ZAMP which she failed to publicly disclose) and her best friend Tajana Tomic.

On 14 March 2012, the “Intelektiv” Conference on Intellectual Property organized by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmChamCroatia) took place in the Forum Convention Centre Zagreb. The main sponsor of the “Intelektiv” Conference on Intellectual Property was the Croatian Composers’ Union (Croatian HDS ZAMP). Additional information about this “interesting” case can be accessed on the official website: www.intelektiv.com

Although it had been announced in the official programme of the conference that the Director-General of DZIV, Željko Topić, would give a talk, to the general astonishment of those present he failed to appear as scheduled. Instead – whether by coincidence or not – Mr. Ivan Mijatovic, Mag. Iur., who was presented as a Chief Police Inspector, appeared as a speaker and representative of the Ministry of the Interior. Ivan Mijatovic has been working at the Ministry since 1993, initially assigned to the Police Headquarters in Zagreb where he was
responsible for dealing with the infringement of intellectual property rights. From 2008 onwards he has held the post of Chief Police Inspector of the police department which deals with white-collar criminality and corruption, where his tasks include monitoring the violation of intellectual property rights and computer criminality. Perhaps Mr. Mijatovic from the Ministry of the Interior could have explained to the Prime Minister in a few words who Željko Topić really is and what his appointment to an international organization like the EPO means at a time when Croatia is subject to EU monitoring in relation to its legal system – with the aim of determining how and by whom his appointment was facilitated, particularly in view of the series of very dangerous and serious criminal charges tailing him from behind and of which the law enforcement agencies do not yet appear to be aware.

In view of the fact that the EU, as well as the international media, are following the matter with great attention, it is to be expected that Mr. Topić will be subject to particular scrutiny by the media upon his arrival at the EPO in Munich as the European and the German public learn at first-hand who exactly their new guest is.

* Article 333: Associating for the Purpose of Committing a Criminal Offense
(1) Whoever organizes a group of people or in some other way associates in joint action three or more persons, the objectives of whom are directed toward the perpetration of a serious criminal offense for which, according to the law, imprisonment for five years or a more severe punishment may be imposed shall be punished by imprisonment for three months to three years.
(2) Whoever organizes a criminal organization or manages it shall be punished by imprisonment for six months to five years.
(3) A member of the group referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be punished by a fine or by imprisonment not exceeding one year.
(4) A member of the group referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article, shall be punished by imprisonment for three months to three years.
(5) If the member of a group or a criminal organization uncovers such a group or criminal organization prior to committing a criminal offense as a member of it or for it, the court may remit his/her punishment.

It is important to remember that a lot of the union-busting chaos began when Topić’s reputation was at stake. Everywhere Topić goes chaos follows, or so it seems…
* MIP (Managing IP) also pointed out that Antonio Campinos has his existing term until 2020, but then again Battistelli has got his for another couple of years and given the state of emergency at the EPO he can be fired once he accepts his golden parachute (superfluous severance).

German Transcript of Bayerischer Rundfunk Coverage About EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents, Videos at 10:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The full German transcript of the TV program shown earlier this month in Germany

Dialogue time: 00:00.000:07.00: Bayerischer Rundfunk FernsehenMagazin „Kontrovers“ 02.03.2016 21:00Die Story:„Wenn der Traumjob zum Albtraum wird“
Dialogue time: 00:07.94,0:00:11.40: Klaus Schießl besucht das Grab seines Bruders
Dialogue time: 00:12.32,0:00:16.98: Sein Bruder Wolfgang war jahrelang Mitarbeiter des Europäischen Patentamtes, …
Dialogue time: 00:16.98,0:00:21.86: … bis er sich im Sommer 2014 umgebracht hat.
Dialogue time: 00:23.86,0:00:27.76: „Ja, ich denke, er ist da voll und ganz in der Arbeit aufgegangen.
Dialogue time: 00:27.92,0:00:30.84: Der war hilfsbereit, der war immer da.
Dialogue time: 00:30.84,0:00:33.28: Er hat versucht, alles genauestens zu machen.
Dialogue time: 00:33.28,0:00:38.28: Und, ja, er war, Gott sei Dank, bei Kolleginnen und Kollegen sehr geschätzt.“
Dialogue time: 00:42.28,0:00:46.20: Klaus Schießl weiß lange Zeit nichts von den Problemen seines Bruders,
Dialogue time: 00:46.200:53.94: weder dass er schwere Depressionen hat, noch dass das Europäische Patentamt ein Disziplinarverfahren gegen ihn anstrengt.
Dialogue time: 00:54.02,0:00:59.78: Doch als sich sein Bruder im Sommer 2014 tagelang nicht meldet, wird er unruhig.
Dialogue time: 00:59.78,0:01:03.48: Deshalb beschließt er, in dessen Haus zu gehen.
Dialogue time: 01:07.16,0:01:09.52: „Hier habe ich ihn tot gefunden.
Dialogue time: 01:09.52,0:01:16.80: Es war ja damals so warm.Ungefähr den dreifachen Körperumfang hat er gehabt.
Dialogue time: 01:16.801:22.10: Da vorn ist der Fernseher gelaufen.
Dialogue time: 01:22.58,0:01:29.92: Das war ein bestialischer Geruch. Und im Gesicht war er schon fast ganz schwarz.“
Dialogue time: 01:33.92,0:01:39.96: Das Europäische Patentamt hatte Wolfgang Schießl verdächtigt, anonyme Beschimpfungen verschickt zu haben,
Dialogue time: 01:39.96,0:01:43.93: deswegen das Disziplinarverfahren gegen ihn.
Dialogue time: 01:43.93,0:01:48.00: Klaus Schießl findet noch einen Abschiedsbrief.
Dialogue time: 01:50.26,0:02:04.83: „An meinen Bruder Klaus! Bitte verdamme mich nicht! Meine Depressionen waren so übermächtig. Ich habe im Leben total versagt.“
Dialogue time: 02:06.33,0:02:11.23: Klaus Schießl glaubt, dass auch der Konflikt in der Arbeit ein Auslöser war.
Dialogue time: 02:11.53,0:02:15.96: Wenn er schreibt, er hat Depressionen, er kann nicht mehr,
Dialogue time: 02:15.96,0:02:22.93: und dann gerade an dem Tag, wo wieder ein Brief kommt, wie es mit dem Disziplinarverfahren weitergeht,
Dialogue time: 02:23.402:28.90: ich denke, das hat ihm letztendlich das Kreuz gebrochen.
Dialogue time: 02:32.03,0:02:34.03: Gibt es diesen Zusammenhang?
Dialogue time: 02:34.03,0:02:38.56: Bekannt ist: Die Stimmung im Europäischen Patentamt ist schlecht.
Dialogue time: 02:38.86,0:02:42.55: Immer wieder demonstrieren die Mitarbeiter vor ihrer Verwaltung,
Dialogue time: 02:42.55,0:02:49.23: und das, obwohl die Mitarbeiter hier hoch bezahlt sind und viele Privilegien haben.
Dialogue time: 02:49.23,0:02:53.20: Wir wollen wissen, was die Menschen hier trotzdem auf die Straße treibt.
Dialogue time: 02:53.202:58.46: Doch als wir mit der Kamera auftauchen, bitten uns viele, sie nicht offen zu zeigen.
Dialogue time: 02:58.46,0:03:00.46: Hier herrscht offensichtlich Angst.
Dialogue time: 03:00.46,0:03:02.26: „Hmm, ich sag’ gar nichts.“
Dialogue time: 03:02.26,0:03:04.26: “Weil, wir dürfen nicht mit Journalisten sprechen.“
Dialogue time: 03:05.96,0:03:08.26: „Warum können Sie mir nichts sagen?“
Dialogue time: 03:08.56,0:03:11.36: „Weil wir eine Verantwortung unseren Familien gegenüber haben.
Dialogue time: 03:11.36,0:03:16.24: Es ist so: Die ganze Familie hängt daran, die Ausbildung der Kinder, die Schule, Sozialsystem, soziale Absicherung,
Dialogue time: 03:16.28,0:03:17.93: alles hängt an diesem Job.
Dialogue time: 03:17.93,0:03:20.76: Und jetzt, wenn wir den Job verlieren, verlieren wir alles.“
Dialogue time: 03:20.76,0:03:23.80: „Aber man verliert normalerweise nicht so schnell den Job?“
Dialogue time: 03:23.803:25.13: „Hier schon!“
Dialogue time: 03:25.13,0:03:28.92: Das Europäische Patentamt ist eine außerstaatliche Institution.
Dialogue time: 03:28.92,0:03:31.70: Deshalb gilt hier das deutsche Arbeitsrecht nicht.
Dialogue time: 03:31.703:34.31: Was geht da vor, hinter den Kulissen?
Dialogue time: 03:34.31,0:03:37.53: Warum haben die Mitarbeiter so große Angst?
Dialogue time: 03:37.56,0:03:41.40: Im Münchener Justizpalast treffen wir Siegfried Broß.
Dialogue time: 03:41.403:43.60: Er war Richter beim Bundesverfassungsgericht.
Dialogue time: 03:43.603:47.80: Sein Spezialgebiet: öffentliches Recht und Patentrecht.
Dialogue time: 03:47.803:53.50: Er erklärt, weshalb die Angestellten diesem Arbeitgeber so ausgeliefert sind.
Dialogue time: 03:53.504:03.36: „Ich stelle fest, dass dort ganz erhebliche Defizite bestehen, was die arbeitsrechtliche Stellung der Bediensteten anbetrifft.
Dialogue time: 04:03.36,0:04:09.86: Es gibt zwar Personalvertretung, aber die hat keine konstitutiven Mitwirkungsrechte,
Dialogue time: 04:09.86,0:04:14.55: sondern kann nur Empfehlungen abgeben, an die der Präsident nicht gebunden ist.“
Dialogue time: 04:16.404:20.19: Während unserer Recherchen wenden sich viele Menschen an uns,
Dialogue time: 04:20.19,0:04:23.50: berichten von Schikanen im Europäischen Patentamt,
Dialogue time: 04:23.504:27.46: aber niemand wagt sich vor die Kamera.
Dialogue time: 04:27.46,0:04:30.10: Nicht einmal die Vertreter des Personalrats.
Dialogue time: 04:30.104:36.03: Schließlich erklärt sich ein Patentprüfer aus Den Haag bereit, uns in Köln zu treffen.
Dialogue time: 04:36.804:39.16: Auch er will nicht erkannt werden.
Dialogue time: 04:39.16,0:04:42.66: Deswegen sprechen wir seinen Bericht nach.
Dialogue time: 04:47.03,0:04:51.40: „Der Druck gerade auf die Patentprüfer hat sich enorm erhöht.
Dialogue time: 04:51.404:57.56: Das kann man daran lesen, dass die Tage pro Patentprodukt stetig abgenommen haben,
Dialogue time: 04:57.56,0:04:59.56: das Zeitbudget, das man da hat.
Dialogue time: 04:59.56,0:05:03.86: Es ist schon sehr fließbandmäßig geworden.
Dialogue time: 05:03.86,0:05:13.46: Also man kann den komplexen technischen Gebieten, der Sache wirklich nur noch, ja, grenzwertig gerecht werden, wenn man mal ehrlich ist.
Dialogue time: 05:13.46,0:05:19.40: Weil: Es wird ja nur noch Wert gelegt auf den quantitativen Output.“
Dialogue time: 05:21.705:27.83: Man sagt uns, dass der Druck seit dem Amtsantritt von Präsident Benoît Battistelli enorm gestiegen ist.
Dialogue time: 05:27.83,0:05:31.50: Sein Ziel: das Patentamt reformieren und Kosten senken.
Dialogue time: 05:31.505:33.16: Doch zu welchem Preis?
Dialogue time: 05:33.16,0:05:38.26: Wir fragen nach.Zu einem Hintergrundgespräch lädt uns das Europäische Patentamt ein.
Dialogue time: 05:38.26,0:05:40.96: Ein Interview vor der Kamera bekommen wir nicht.
Dialogue time: 05:40.96,0:05:45.36: Schriftlich bestätigt das Amt die durch die Reform gestiegenen Anforderungen.
Dialogue time: 05:45.36,0:05:54.90: „Schließlich hat das Amt ein jährliches Anmeldewachstum von durchschnittlich 4 % zu bewältigen, und dies bei gleichbleibendem Personalbestand.“
Dialogue time: 05:54.906:06.53: „Die Reformen haben positive Ergebnisse bewirkt: Unsere Produktivität ist im letzten Jahr um 10 % gestiegen, die Produktion gar um 14 %“.
Dialogue time: 06:08.53,0:06:11.63: Doch der Weg dahin ist fragwürdig.
Dialogue time: 06:11.63,0:06:15.73: Umstritten zum Beispiel der Umgang mit kranken Kollegen.
Dialogue time: 06:15.73,0:06:22.26: Seit 2013 dürfen diese ihre Wohnung während der Kernarbeitszeit nicht verlassen,
Dialogue time: 06:22.26,0:06:25.43: nur für angemeldete Arztbesuche.
Dialogue time: 06:25.43,0:06:32.53: Das kann das Patentamt jederzeit mit einem Anruf oder einem unangemeldeten Besuch überprüfen.
Dialogue time: 06:34.53,0:06:42.80: Wir lernen einen Mitarbeiter kennen, der wegen einer schweren chronischen Erkrankung nicht mehr arbeiten kann und jetzt ans Haus gefesselt ist.
Dialogue time: 06:44.26,0:06:50.50: „Man hat das Gefühl, dass man ein Verbrecher ist, dass man etwas Falsches gemacht hat,
Dialogue time: 06:50.506:54.03: obwohl ich leider nur krank geworden bin.
Dialogue time: 06:54.03,0:06:56.03: Es fühlt sich wie ein Gefängnis an.“
Dialogue time: 06:59.33,0:07:02.80: Die genaue Krankheitsgeschichte dürfen wir nicht erzählen.
Dialogue time: 07:02.807:06.53: Wieder jemand, der große Angst vor der Amtsleitung hat.
Dialogue time: 07:06.53,0:07:12.00: Wir sprechen mit einem Arzt, der viele Mitarbeiter des Europäischen Patentamtes betreut.
Dialogue time: 07:12.007:17.83: Auch er will nur verdeckt gedreht werden, um seine Patienten zu schützen.
Dialogue time: 07:18.53,0:07:26.60: „Das Europäische Patentamt geht mit den Patienten so um, dass die Mitarbeiter so verängstigt sind,
Dialogue time: 07:26.607:35.66: dass sie im Grunde selbst wenn es medizinisch indiziert wäre, dass sie krankgeschrieben werden, eine Krankschreibung ablehnen,
Dialogue time: 07:35.66,0:07:49.23: weil sie befürchten, wenn sie eine gewisse Anzahl an Fehltagen auf ihrem Konto aufweisen, dass sie entlassen werden, mit negativen Sanktionen belegt werden.
Dialogue time: 07:50.607:53.76: Das Patentamt sieht das anders.
Dialogue time: 07:54.53,0:08:08.36: „In Folge der stringenteren Praxis auf diesem Gebiet hat sich der durchschnittliche Krankenstand im Amt innerhalb eines Jahres bereits von über 14 Tagen auf 11,5 Tage reduziert.“
Dialogue time: 08:10.16,0:08:18.50: Während unserer Recherche bekommen wir einen immer klareren Blick hinter die Kulissen der Glaspaläste des Europäischen Patentamts…
Dialogue time: 08:18.508:24.10: und stellen fest: Die Menschen, die uns ihre Geschichte erzählt haben, sind keine Einzelfälle.
Dialogue time: 08:24.108:30.46: Sie berichten von der Angst, wegen kleinster Vergehen abgemahnt oder entlassen zu werden.
Dialogue time: 08:31.86,0:08:35.36: Der Rechtsanwalt Alexander Holtz berät viele von ihnen.
Dialogue time: 08:35.36,0:08:40.83: Die meisten brauchen vor allem seelischen Beistand, weil sie mit dem Druck nicht mehr fertigwerden.
Dialogue time: 08:42.36,0:08:49.50: „Das sind häufig Menschen, die beispielsweise zu mir als Anwalt einmal die Woche kommen, ihre Post vorbeibringen, …
Dialogue time: 08:49.508:51.64: … ich muss dann die Post für die Menschen öffnen,
Dialogue time: 08:51.64,0:08:57.34: weil sie nicht mehr in der Lage sind, solche Dinge des täglichen Lebens selbst zu erledigen,
Dialogue time: 08:57.409:03.32: … Leute, die, äh, wirklich in lebensbedrohlicher Situation sich befunden haben,
Dialogue time: 09:03.32,0:09:06.94: äh, bei denen ich froh war, wenn ich am Montag sie wieder telefonisch erreichen konnte,
Dialogue time: 09:06.94,0:09:11.75: weil ich nicht wusste, ob sie nicht übers Wochenende sich etwas antun.“
Dialogue time: 09:12.66,0:09:19.53: Innerhalb von drei Jahren haben fünf Mitarbeiter des Europäischen Patentamtes Selbstmord begangen.
Dialogue time: 09:19.53,0:09:22.46: Das Amt sieht keine Verantwortung bei sich.
Dialogue time: 09:25.13,0:09:41.30: „Gespräche unseres betriebsärztlichen Diensts, von Kollegen und Managern mit den Familien der Verstorbenen erlauben in allen Fällen keine Rückschlüsse auf berufliche Gründe für den Suizid, sondern stellen persönliche Umstände in den Vordergrund.“
Dialogue time: 09:43.76,0:09:47.83: In Deutschland hilft bei Konflikten mit dem Arbeitgeber der Personalrat.
Dialogue time: 09:47.83,0:09:50.86: Seine Mitglieder genießen besonderen Schutz.
Dialogue time: 09:50.86,0:09:58.00: Anders hier: Gewerkschaftsvertreter, wie die Biologin Elizabeth Hardon, sind zur Zielscheibe geworden.
Dialogue time: 09:58.010:03.56: Sie und ihr Kollege Ion Brumme, Vater von fünf Kindern, wurden im November [2015] suspendiert.
Dialogue time: 10:03.56,0:10:10.46: Ausgerechnet sie, als Mitarbeitervertreter, sollen Kollegen gemobbt und das Amt diffamiert haben.
Dialogue time: 10:11.03,0:10:14.86: Doch viele Mitarbeiter solidarisieren sich mit ihnen.
Dialogue time: 10:14.86,0:10:18.76: [Ion Brumme]„Ich bin wirklich, wirklich, froh, so viele von Euch hier zu sehen.
Dialogue time: 10:18.76,0:10:22.33: Danke für Euer Kommen, für Eure Unterstützung für uns.“
Dialogue time: 10:23.210:29.20: Weil das Verfahren noch läuft, dürfen sich die beiden nicht konkret äußern.Nur so viel:
Dialogue time: 10:29.210:34.10: [Elizabeth Hardon]„Es ist schon – schon sehr belastend und für meine Kollegen noch schlimmer.
Dialogue time: 10:34.110:39.80: Ich bin im Vorrentenalter also, aber meine Kollegen sind viel jünger.
Dialogue time: 10:39.810:45.63: Also da, für den ist es, den anderen suspendierten Kollegen, ist es sehr, sehr, sehr bedrohlich.“
Dialogue time: 10:48.57,0:11:05.11: „Aus meiner Sicht handelt es sich um ein systematisches Vorgehen der Amtsleitung, um die Führung der Gewerkschaft zu beseitigen, zu eliminieren.“
Dialogue time: 11:07.91,0:11:15.02: In der Zwischenzeit wurden Elizabeth Hardon und Ion Brumme sogar gekündigt. [Januar 2016]
Dialogue time: 11:19.02,0:11:25.42: Auch am Standort in Den Haag sind Personalvertreter ins Visier der Geschäftsführung geraten.
Dialogue time: 11:25.42,0:11:32.08: Unser Informant berichtet uns in Köln von einem Vorfall, der viele Mitarbeiter geschockt hat.
Dialogue time: 11:32.35,0:11:40.93: Nachdem ein Personalvertreter in Den Haag abends seinen Arbeitsplatz verlassen hat, bekommt er eine Nachricht, die er nicht mehr sieht.
Dialogue time: 11:40.93,0:11:47.42: Die interne Ermittlungseinheit des Amtes bittet ihn für den nächsten Morgen zum Gespräch.
Dialogue time: 11:47.42,0:11:53.28: Als er wieder ins Büro kommt, hat er keine Zeit mehr, sich darauf vorzubereiten, und bittet um Aufschub.
Dialogue time: 11:56.88,0:12:06.57: „Wenn jemand sagt, er habe gewisse Probleme mit einem anderen Mitarbeiter, dann wird eine Untersuchung eingeleitet. Dann werden Zeugen befragt.
Dialogue time: 12:07.11,0:12:09.88: Da ist halt der Rechtsstandard sehr niedrig,…
Dialogue time: 12:09.88,0:12:13.35: weil: man darf keinen Rechtsanwalt einschalten.“
Dialogue time: 12:15.55,0:12:22.51: Innerhalb von wenigen Minuten erscheinen zwei interne Ermittler an seinem Platz und überreden ihn mitzukommen.
Dialogue time: 12:22.51,0:12:27.20: Diese Form der Befragung ist bei den Mitarbeitern gefürchtet.
Dialogue time: 12:32.24,0:12:36.60: „Da wird man anscheinend auch schon relativ hart angegangen.
Dialogue time: 12:36.912:39.60: Da wird es auch mal richtig laut.
Dialogue time: 12:40.02,0:12:45.13: Da wird man auch schon sehr eingeschüchtert, selbst wenn man nur Zeuge ist.“
Dialogue time: 12:47.31,0:12:53.08: In Den Haag bricht der Personalrat im Anschluss an seine Befragung zusammen.
Dialogue time: 12:54.42,0:12:57.33: Seine Ehefrau muss ihn ins Krankenhaus bringen.
Dialogue time: 12:58.11,0:13:01.44: Inzwischen ist er dauerhaft krankgeschrieben.
Dialogue time: 13:03.82,0:13:10.68: Die interne Ermittlungseinheit des Europäischen Patentamtes ist unter den Arbeitnehmern auch deswegen so gefürchtet,
Dialogue time: 13:10.68,0:13:15.02: weil sie dort die Aussage nicht verweigern können, auch wenn es ihnen schadet.
Dialogue time: 13:15.02,0:13:17.11: Ist das wirklich rechtens?
Dialogue time: 13:17.64,0:13:20.15: Das Europäische Patentamt schreibt dazu:
Dialogue time: 13:20.77,0:13:35.46: „Das Untersuchungsverfahren im Europäischen Patentamt ist kein Strafverfahren, sondern ein administratives Tatsachenfeststellungsverfahren im Sinne eines Dialogs zwischen beschuldigtem Mitarbeiter und Arbeitgeber.
Dialogue time: 13:35.71,0:13:45.44: … Es entspricht damit der Praxis und den Standards in nationalen und internationalen Organisationen unserer Vertragsstaaten.“
Dialogue time: 13:46.86,0:13:53.17: Wegen der Immunität des Europäischen Patentamtes gelten deutsche Rechtsgrundsätze bei den Ermittlungsverfahren nicht.
Dialogue time: 13:53.17,0:13:56.44: Die Angestellten gehen verzweifelt auf die Straße.
Dialogue time: 13:56.44,0:14:02.11: „Wir sind ja nicht in Deutschland. Das Europäische Patentamt, das fühlt sich außerhalb des deutschen Rechts.“
Dialogue time: 14:02.11,0:14:04.60: „Da zählen keine Menschenrechte. Da zählt gar nichts mehr.
Dialogue time: 14:04.614:11.00: Was unser Herr Präsident für richtig hält, das wird durchgesetzt.“
Dialogue time: 14:11.06,0:14:13.02: Ist das wirklich möglich,
Dialogue time: 14:13.08,0:14:17.53: ein Amt mit 3.000 Mitarbeitern im quasi rechtsfreien Raum?
Dialogue time: 14:17.53,0:14:20.71: Wir bitten den Bundesjustizminister [Heiko Maas] um ein Interview.
Dialogue time: 14:20.71,0:14:22.71: Er will uns nicht direkt antworten.
Dialogue time: 14:22.71,0:14:26.60: Zu den umstrittenen Ermittlungsverfahren schreibt sein Ministerium:
Dialogue time: 14:26.614:40.82: [Bundesministerium für Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz]„Deutschland hat den Präsidenten des Europäischen Patentamtes wiederholt und nachdrücklich aufgefordert, die von ihm erlassenen Richtlinien für das Ermittlungsverfahren insofern zu ändern. Dies ist bedauerlicherweise bisher nicht geschehen.“
Dialogue time: 14:42.214:49.55: „Bloße Aufforderungen sind zu wenig“, sagt der ehemalige Bundesverfassungsrichter Siegfried Broß.
Dialogue time: 14:49.55,0:14:53.13: [Siegfried Broß, Bundesverfassungsrichter a.D.]„Das Bundesverfassungsgericht sagt ausdrücklich,
Dialogue time: 14:53.13,0:14:59.31: dass die Bundesrepublik Deutschland nicht die Hand reichen darf für menschenrechtswidrige Behandlungen,
Dialogue time: 14:59.31,0:15:04.33: und, von daher gesehen, ist Deutschland als Sitzland schon gefordert.
Dialogue time: 15:04.33,0:15:08.57: Wenn man’s etwas überspitzt und weiterdenkt,
Dialogue time: 15:08.66,0:15:12.60: bei diesen Denkstrukturen, wie sie hier zu Tage treten,
Dialogue time: 15:12.615:14.60: wäre Guantanamo möglich in Deutschland,
Dialogue time: 15:15.415:17.98: und das kann ja nicht sein. Das leuchtet jedem ein.“
Dialogue time: 15:19.68,0:15:24.66: Doch das Europäische Patentamt ignoriert sogar Gerichtsentscheidungen.
Dialogue time: 15:25.17,0:15:34.73: In den Niederlanden stellte das oberste Gericht die Verletzung von Grundrechten fest und fordert, dass die Immunität des Amtes aufgehoben wird.
Dialogue time: 15:34.73,0:15:37.88: Die endgültige Entscheidung steht noch aus.
Dialogue time: 15:37.88,0:15:47.95: Aber der Vizepräsident des Patentamts stellt im Interview mit dem niederländischen Fernsehen schon mal klar, wie er mit einer möglichen Verurteilung umgehen wird.
Dialogue time: 15:49.26,0:15:54.88: [Niederländischer TV-Reporter]„Was ist, wenn das Hohe Gericht die Immunität des Europäischen Patentamtes aufhebt?“
Dialogue time: 15:54.88,0:16:07.68: [EPO Vizepräsident]„Äh, ja, dann wird der Präsident mit dem Verwaltungsrat reden, den Vertretern der Mitgliedsstaaten, um zu sehen, was in diesem Fall geschehen soll.
Dialogue time: 16:07.71,0:16:14.75: Das Ergebnis wird wahrscheinlich sein, dass das Urteil zu den Akten gelegt wird.“
Dialogue time: 16:14.77,0:16:18.93: „Sie werden also das Urteil des höchsten Gerichtes der Niederlande nicht akzeptieren?“
Dialogue time: 16:18.93,0:16:20.93: [EPO Vizepräsident]“Ja!”
Dialogue time: 16:23.33,0:16:30.84: Wie kann es sein, dass sich eine Behörde nicht an Grundrechte gebunden fühlt und Entscheidungen oberster Gerichte ignoriert?
Dialogue time: 16:31.416:34.97: Die Ursachen dafür liegen in der Gründungsgeschichte.
Dialogue time: 16:34.97,0:16:42.66: Vor mehr als vierzig Jahren haben die Mitgliedsstaaten ein Regelwerk entwickelt, das dem Präsidenten sehr viel Macht gibt,
Dialogue time: 16:43.02,0:16:47.77: und der aktuelle Präsident Benoît Battistelli nutzt diese Macht.
Dialogue time: 16:48.04,0:16:59.76: „Ich hab’ den Eindruck, dass hier eben diese Lücken und Spielräume, die durch die Vertragsstaaten geschaffen wurden, ausgenützt werden.“
Dialogue time: 17:00.73,0:17:06.26: Die einzigen, die den Präsidenten stoppen könnten, wären die Mitglieder des Verwaltungsrats.
Dialogue time: 17:06.26,0:17:09.24: Sie kommen aus den 38 Mitgliedsstaaten.
Dialogue time: 17:09.24,0:17:14.91: Jedes Land hat eine Stimme, egal ob San Marino oder Deutschland.
Dialogue time: 17:14.91,0:17:18.75: Im Verwaltungsrat saß auch der Österreicher Friedrich Rödler.
Dialogue time: 17:18.75,0:17:22.35: Er reist extra aus Wien an, um uns einen Einblick zu geben.
Dialogue time: 17:22.35,0:17:28.08: Seiner Meinung nach findet seit Jahren keine wirksame Kontrolle der Führungsspitze mehr statt.
Dialogue time: 17:28.08,0:17:31.80: [Friedrich Rödler, ehemaliges Verwaltungsratsmitglied EPA]„Der Verwaltungsrat stößt auch an strukturelle Grenzen.
Dialogue time: 17:31.817:39.66: Der Verwaltungsrat ist bei seinen Beschlüssen auf jene Informationen angewiesen, die er selbst vom Präsidenten des Amtes erhält.
Dialogue time: 17:39.66,0:17:42.13: Über andere Informationen verfügt er nicht.
Dialogue time: 17:42.617:47.48: Und das ist genau die Basis, auf der der Verwaltungsrat seine Entscheidungen trifft…
Dialogue time: 17:47.48,0:17:50.45: oder manchmal eben leider nicht trifft.
Dialogue time: 17:52.217:55.51: Die Patentamtsmitarbeiter protestieren weiter.
Dialogue time: 17:55.51,0:18:01.71: Inzwischen hat der Verwaltungsrat den Präsidenten aufgefordert, das soziale Klima zu verbessern.
Dialogue time: 18:01.71,0:18:03.71: Doch viele Mitarbeiter bleiben skeptisch.
Dialogue time: 18:04.31,0:18:06.06: Wie geht es weiter?
Dialogue time: 18:06.06,0:18:10.42: Die Personalratsmitglieder wollen ihre Entlassung intern anfechten.
Dialogue time: 18:10.42,0:18:16.88: Wenn das nicht klappt, müssen sie in Genf beim Gericht der Internationalen Arbeitsorganisation [ILO] klagen.
Dialogue time: 18:16.88,0:18:24.68: Auch einige chronisch Kranke versuchen derzeit in Genf, die aus ihrer Sicht menschenunwürdigen Auflagen des Amtes anzufechten.
Dialogue time: 18:24.84,0:18:28.26: Doch bis es zu einem Urteil kommt, kann es Jahre dauern.
Dialogue time: 18:28.88,0:18:35.20: „Hier geht es um Menschen, Schicksale, um Familien, Kinder.
Dialogue time: 18:35.218:37.08: Da geht es um wirklich viel mehr.“
Dialogue time: 18:37.51,0:18:43.02: Den Präsidenten des Europäischen Patentamtes scheint das nicht zu berühren.
Dialogue time: 18:43.02,0:18:47.14: Bericht: Jutta Henkel, Irene Esmann Kamera: Harry Rensch, Dany Hunger, Nicole Christmann Schnitt: Stefan Kinnl, Florian Stronski

English Transcript of Bayerischer Rundfunk Coverage About EPO

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

Summary: The full English transcript of the TV program shown earlier this month in Germany

Dialogue time: 00:00.000:07.00: Bayerischer Rundfunk FernsehenMagazin “Kontrovers” 02.03.2016 21:00Die Story: “When the dream job becomes a nightmare.”
Dialogue time: 00:07.94,0:00:11.40: Klaus Schießl is visiting his brother´s grave.
Dialogue time: 00:12.32,0:00:16.98: His brother Wolfgang was an employee of the European Patent Office for many years…
Dialogue time: 00:16.98,0:00:21.86: …until he killed himself in the summer of 2014.
Dialogue time: 00:23.86,0:00:27.76: I think he was completely absorbed in the work.
Dialogue time: 00:27.92,0:00:30.84: He was helpful, he was always there,
Dialogue time: 00:30.84,0:00:33.28: he tried to do everything carefully.
Dialogue time: 00:33.28,0:00:38.28: And he was greatly appreciated by his colleagues, thank God.
Dialogue time: 00:42.28,0:00:46.20: Klaus Schießl knows little of his brother’s problems.
Dialogue time: 00:46.200:53.94: Neither that he is suffering from severe depression, nor that the European Patent Office is carrying out a disciplinary procedure against him.
Dialogue time: 00:54.02,0:00:59.78: But when his brother doesn’t get in touch for days in the summer of 2014, he becomes unsettled.
Dialogue time: 00:59.78,0:01:03.48: So he decides to go to his house.
Dialogue time: 01:07.16,0:01:09.52: Here is where I found him dead.
Dialogue time: 01:09.52,0:01:16.80: It was so warm at that time. His body had about three times its normal girth.
Dialogue time: 01:16.801:22.10: There at the front, the TV was running.
Dialogue time: 01:22.58,0:01:29.92: There was a beastly smell. And his face was almost completely black.
Dialogue time: 01:33.92,0:01:39.96: The European Patent Office suspected Wolfgang Schießl of having sent anonymous insults.
Dialogue time: 01:39.96,0:01:43.93: Hence the disciplinary proceedings against him.
Dialogue time: 01:43.93,0:01:48.00: Klaus Schießl was still to find a suicide note.
Dialogue time: 01:50.26,0:02:04.83: “To my brother Klaus: Please do not condemn me, my depression was too overpowering. I’ve totally failed in life.”
Dialogue time: 02:06.33,0:02:11.23: Klaus Schießl believes that the conflict at work was also a trigger.
Dialogue time: 02:11.53,0:02:15.96: If he writes, he is depressed, he can’t carry on,
Dialogue time: 02:15.96,0:02:22.93: and then, on the same day a letter arrives saying how the disciplinary procedures will proceed, …
Dialogue time: 02:23.402:28.90: … I think it was the final straw.
Dialogue time: 02:32.03,0:02:34.03: Is there a link?
Dialogue time: 02:34.03,0:02:38.56: It’s well known: The mood in the European Patent Office is bad.
Dialogue time: 02:38.86,0:02:42.55: Again and again the employees demonstrate in front of their administration.
Dialogue time: 02:42.55,0:02:49.23: Even though the employees here are highly paid and have many privileges.
Dialogue time: 02:49.23,0:02:53.20: We want to know what is nevertheless driving the people here onto the streets.
Dialogue time: 02:53.202:58.46: But when we show up with the camera, many ask us, not to show them publicly.
Dialogue time: 02:58.46,0:03:00.46: There is obviously fear here.
Dialogue time: 03:01.86,0:03:05.36: “Because, we cannot speak to journalists.”
Dialogue time: 03:05.96,0:03:08.26: Why can’t you tell me anything?
Dialogue time: 03:08.56,0:03:11.36: “Because we have a responsibility towards our families.
Dialogue time: 03:11.36,0:03:16.24: The whole family depends on it, the children’s education, the school, the social system, social security.
Dialogue time: 03:16.28,0:03:17.93: Everything depends on this job.
Dialogue time: 03:17.93,0:03:20.76: If we lose the job, we lose everything.”
Dialogue time: 03:20.76,0:03:23.80: But you usually don’t lose your job so quickly, do you?
Dialogue time: 03:23.803:25.13: “Here you do!”
Dialogue time: 03:25.13,0:03:31.70: The European Patent Office is an inter-governmental institution, so German labour law does not apply here.
Dialogue time: 03:31.703:34.31: What is going on behind the scenes?
Dialogue time: 03:34.31,0:03:37.53: Why are staff so afraid?
Dialogue time: 03:37.56,0:03:41.40: In the Munich Palace of Justice we meet Siegfried Broß.
Dialogue time: 03:41.403:43.60: He was a judge at the Federal Constitutional Court.
Dialogue time: 03:43.603:47.80: His specialty: Public law and patent law.
Dialogue time: 03:47.803:53.50: He explains why the staff are so at the mercy of this employer.
Dialogue time: 03:53.504:03.36: I note that there are very substantial deficiencies, as regards the staff’s employment law status.
Dialogue time: 04:03.36,0:04:09.86: While there is a staff representation, it has no constitutional right of involvement,
Dialogue time: 04:09.86,0:04:14.55: but can only make recommendations to which the President is not bound.
Dialogue time: 04:16.404:23.73: During our research, many people turn to us, report of harassment in the European Patent Office,
Dialogue time: 04:23.73,0:04:25.97: but no one dares to face the camera.
Dialogue time: 04:27.46,0:04:30.10: Not even the representatives of the Staff Representation.
Dialogue time: 04:30.104:36.03: Finally, a patent examiner in The Hague agreed to meet in Cologne.
Dialogue time: 04:36.804:39.16: He also does not want to be identified.
Dialogue time: 04:39.16,0:04:42.66: For that reason his report is spoken by an actor.
Dialogue time: 04:47.03,0:04:51.40: The pressure especially for patent examiners has increased enormously.
Dialogue time: 04:51.404:57.56: This can be seen in that the days per patent product have been steadily declining.
Dialogue time: 04:57.56,0:04:59.56: The time budget that you have for it.
Dialogue time: 04:59.56,0:05:03.86: It has become very much like an assembly line.
Dialogue time: 05:03.86,0:05:13.46: If you’re honest, it’s borderline whether you can to justice to all the aspects of the complex technical fields.
Dialogue time: 05:13.46,0:05:19.40: Because there is really only any emphasis on the output quantity.
Dialogue time: 05:21.705:27.83: We are told that the pressure since the inauguration of President Benoît Battistelli has increased enormously.
Dialogue time: 05:27.83,0:05:33.16: His goal: To reform the Patent Office and reduce costs. But at what price?
Dialogue time: 05:33.16,0:05:38.26: We make enquiries. The European Patent Office invites us for a background discussion.
Dialogue time: 05:38.26,0:05:40.96: But we can’t have an interview on camera.
Dialogue time: 05:40.96,0:05:45.36: In writing, the Office confirms increased demands due to the reform:
Dialogue time: 05:45.36,0:05:54.90: “At the end of the day, the Office has to cope with an annual increase in filings of 4% on average, and this with staffing levels remaining the same.
Dialogue time: 05:54.906:06.53: The reforms have led to positive results: our productivity increased by 10% last year, the production by as much as 14%.”
Dialogue time: 06:08.53,0:06:11.63: But the path taken to get there is questionable.
Dialogue time: 06:11.63,0:06:15.73: Controversial is, for example, the way sick colleagues are treated.
Dialogue time: 06:15.73,0:06:22.26: Since 2013, they are not allowed to leave their homes during core working hours.
Dialogue time: 06:22.26,0:06:25.43: Only for registered visits to the doctor.
Dialogue time: 06:25.43,0:06:32.53: The Patent Office can check up on this at any time with a phone call or an unannounced visit.
Dialogue time: 06:34.53,0:06:42.80: We get to know an employee who can no longer work because of a serious chronic illness and is now housebound.
Dialogue time: 06:44.26,0:06:50.50: “You have the feeling that you’re a criminal, that you have done something wrong,
Dialogue time: 06:50.506:54.03: even though I’ve just unfortunately fallen ill.
Dialogue time: 06:54.03,0:06:56.03: It feels like a prison.”
Dialogue time: 06:59.33,0:07:02.80: We can’t explain the exact medical history.
Dialogue time: 07:02.807:06.53: Again someone who is very much afraid of the Office management.
Dialogue time: 07:06.53,0:07:12.00: We talk with a doctor who cares for many employees of the European Patent Office.
Dialogue time: 07:12.007:17.83: He too only wants to be filmed under concealment to protect his patients.
Dialogue time: 07:18.53,0:07:26.60: “The European Patent Office treats the patients in such a way that the employees are so scared…
Dialogue time: 07:26.607:35.66: that they basically refuse to be written off sick, even if that would in fact be medically advisable.
Dialogue time: 07:35.66,0:07:49.23: Because they are afraid that if they have a certain number of days of absence on their account they will be dismissed, or have sanctions imposed.”
Dialogue time: 07:50.607:53.76: The Patent Office sees it differently:
Dialogue time: 07:54.53,0:08:08.36: “As a result of more stringent practices in this field, the average sickness rate has already been reduced from 14 days to 11.5 days in Office within a year.”
Dialogue time: 08:10.16,0:08:18.50: During our research, we get an ever clearer look behind the scenes of the glass palaces of the European Patent Office.
Dialogue time: 08:18.508:24.10: And we note: The people who told us their stories are not isolated cases.
Dialogue time: 08:24.108:30.46: They tell of the fear of being reprimanded or fired for the smallest offenses.
Dialogue time: 08:31.86,0:08:35.36: The lawyer Alexander Holtz represents many of them.
Dialogue time: 08:35.36,0:08:40.83: Most need above all emotional support, because they no longer cope with the pressure.
Dialogue time: 08:42.36,0:08:49.50: [Alexander Holtz, lawyer]“They are often people who, for example, come to me as their lawyer once a week to bring their mail.
Dialogue time: 08:49.508:57.40: I then have to open the post for them, because they are no longer able to do such everyday things themselves.
Dialogue time: 08:57.409:02.30: People who were in a life-threatening situation,
Dialogue time: 09:02.309:11.80: where I was glad when I was able to reach them on Monday because I didn’t know whether they might do something to themselves over weekend.”
Dialogue time: 09:12.66,0:09:19.53: In three years, five employees of the European Patent Office have committed suicide.
Dialogue time: 09:19.53,0:09:22.46: The Office does not consider itself at all responsible.
Dialogue time: 09:25.13,0:09:41.30: “In all cases, talks that our occupational health service, colleagues and managers have held with the families of the deceased do not allow the conclusion to be drawn of any work-related reasons for suicide, but put personal circumstances at the forefront.”
Dialogue time: 09:43.76,0:09:47.83: In Germany, the Staff Representation helps when there are conflicts with the employer.
Dialogue time: 09:47.83,0:09:50.86: Its members enjoy special protection.
Dialogue time: 09:50.86,0:09:58.00: Here it is different: Union representatives like the biologist Elizabeth Hardon are being targeted.
Dialogue time: 09:58.010:03.56: She and her colleague Ion Brumme, a father of five children, were suspended in November [2015].
Dialogue time: 10:03.56,0:10:10.46: Of all people they, as staff representatives, are supposed to have bullied colleagues and defamed the Office.
Dialogue time: 10:11.03,0:10:14.86: But many employees are in solidarity with them.
Dialogue time: 10:14.86,0:10:18.76: [Ion Brumme]“I’m really, really happy to see so many of you here.
Dialogue time: 10:18.76,0:10:22.33: Thank you for coming, for supporting us.”
Dialogue time: 10:23.210:29.20: Because the procedure is still ongoing, the two cannot comment specifically. Only this much:
Dialogue time: 10:29.210:34.10: [Elizabeth Hardon]“It is very distressing and even worse for my colleagues.
Dialogue time: 10:34.110:39.80: I’m in pre-retirement age, but my colleagues are much younger.
Dialogue time: 10:39.810:45.63: For the other suspended colleagues that is very threatening.”
Dialogue time: 10:48.57,0:11:05.11: “As I see it, this is a systematic strategy of the Office management, to get rid of the union leadership, to eliminate them.”
Dialogue time: 11:07.91,0:11:15.02: In the meantime Elizabeth Hardon and Ion Brumme have even been dismissed [Jan. 2016].
Dialogue time: 11:19.02,0:11:25.42: Staff representatives in The Hague have also come into the management’s sights.
Dialogue time: 11:25.42,0:11:32.08: Our informant in Cologne told us about an incident that has shocked many people.
Dialogue time: 11:32.35,0:11:40.93: After a staff representative in the Hague had left work in the evening, he received a message that he didn’t see.
Dialogue time: 11:40.93,0:11:47.42: The Office’s internal investigation unit invites him for an interview the next morning.
Dialogue time: 11:47.42,0:11:53.28: When he comes back to the office, he no longer has time to prepare for it and asks for postponement.
Dialogue time: 11:56.88,0:12:06.57: “If someone says he has a problem with another employee, an investigation is started and witnesses are interviewed.
Dialogue time: 12:07.11,0:12:09.88: The legal standards applied for that are simply very low.
Dialogue time: 12:09.88,0:12:13.35: Because: You can’t call in a lawyer.”
Dialogue time: 12:15.55,0:12:22.51: Within a few minutes two internal investigators turn up at his workplace and persuade him to come with them.
Dialogue time: 12:22.51,0:12:27.20: This type of questioning is feared by the staff.
Dialogue time: 12:32.24,0:12:39.28: “There, you’re apparently attacked quite hard; it can sometimes get really loud.
Dialogue time: 12:40.02,0:12:45.13: You can also be really very intimidated, even if you’re only a witness.”
Dialogue time: 12:47.31,0:12:53.08: In The Hague, the Staff Representative collapses after his questioning.
Dialogue time: 12:54.42,0:12:57.33: His wife has to take him to the hospital.
Dialogue time: 12:58.11,0:13:01.44: He is now on long-term sick leave.
Dialogue time: 13:03.82,0:13:10.68: The internal investigation unit of the European Patent Office is also feared by the staff…
Dialogue time: 13:10.68,0:13:15.02: because you cannot refuse to make a statement, even if it is damaging to you.
Dialogue time: 13:15.02,0:13:17.11: Is this really legal?
Dialogue time: 13:17.64,0:13:20.15: The European Patent Office writes:
Dialogue time: 13:20.77,0:13:35.46: “The investigation procedure at the EPO is not a criminal procedure, but an administrative fact-finding process in the sense of a Dialogue time between the accused employees and the employer.
Dialogue time: 13:35.71,0:13:45.44: As a result, it corresponds with the practices and standards in the national and international organisations of our contracting states.”
Dialogue time: 13:46.86,0:13:53.17: Because of the European Patent Office’s immunity, German legal principles for investigations do not apply.
Dialogue time: 13:53.17,0:13:56.44: The staff take to the streets in desperation.
Dialogue time: 13:56.44,0:14:02.11: “We are not in Germany here. The European Patent Office considers itself to be outside of German law.”
Dialogue time: 14:02.11,0:14:04.60: “Human rights don’t count there, nothing counts there anymore.
Dialogue time: 14:04.614:11.00: Only what our Mr President thinks is right, that is forced through.”
Dialogue time: 14:11.06,0:14:13.02: Is that really possible?
Dialogue time: 14:13.08,0:14:17.53: An office with 3,000 employees in a sort of legal vacuum?
Dialogue time: 14:17.53,0:14:20.71: We ask the Federal Justice Minister for an interview.
Dialogue time: 14:20.71,0:14:22.71: He doesn’t want to answer us directly.
Dialogue time: 14:22.71,0:14:26.60: Regarding the controversial investigation procedures his ministry writes:
Dialogue time: 14:26.614:40.82: [Federal Justice Ministry]“Germany has called on the President of the EPO repeatedly and urgently to change the rules it has laid down for the investigation procedures in this respect. This has unfortunately not yet happened.”
Dialogue time: 14:42.214:49.55: Mere requests are too little, says former federal constitutional judge Siegfried Broß.
Dialogue time: 14:49.55,0:14:53.13: [Siegfried Broß, former Judge, Federal Constitutional Court]“The Federal Constitutional Court explicitly states…
Dialogue time: 14:53.13,0:14:59.31: that the Federal Republic of Germany may not assist in acts which violate human rights.
Dialogue time: 14:59.31,0:15:04.33: From that point of view, Germany as a host country is indeed called upon to act.
Dialogue time: 15:04.33,0:15:08.57: If you exaggerate a little and think ahead,
Dialogue time: 15:08.66,0:15:12.60: with the way of thinking that has come to light here,
Dialogue time: 15:12.615:14.60: Guantanamo would be possible in Germany.
Dialogue time: 15:15.415:17.98: It should be clear to all that that can’t be.”
Dialogue time: 15:19.68,0:15:24.66: But the European Patent Office even ignores court decisions.
Dialogue time: 15:25.17,0:15:34.73: In the Netherlands, the Supreme Court determined a violation of fundamental rights and calls for the immunity of the Office to be lifted.
Dialogue time: 15:34.73,0:15:37.88: The final decision is still pending.
Dialogue time: 15:37.88,0:15:47.95: But the vice-president of the Patent Office has made it clear in an interview with Dutch television how he will deal with a possible conviction.
Dialogue time: 15:49.26,0:15:54.88: [Dutch TV Reporter]“What if the High Court lifts the immunity of the European Patent Office?”
Dialogue time: 15:54.88,0:16:07.68: [EPO Vice-President]“Then the President will talk to the Administrative Council, with the representatives of the Member States, to see what should happen in this case.
Dialogue time: 16:07.71,0:16:14.75: The result will probably be that the verdict will be shelved.”
Dialogue time: 16:14.77,0:16:18.93: “So you will not accept the verdict of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands?”
Dialogue time: 16:18.93,0:16:20.93: [EPO Vice-President]“Yes.”
Dialogue time: 16:23.33,0:16:30.84: How can it be that an authority does not feel bound by fundamental rights and ignores decisions made by the courts?
Dialogue time: 16:31.416:34.97: The reasons for this lie in the history of the Office’s creation:
Dialogue time: 16:34.97,0:16:42.66: More than 40 years ago, the member states developed a set of rules that gave the President a great deal of power.
Dialogue time: 16:43.02,0:16:47.77: And the current President Benoît Battistelli is making use of this power.
Dialogue time: 16:48.04,0:16:59.76: “I have the impression that the loopholes and leeway, created by contracting states, are being exploited.”
Dialogue time: 17:00.73,0:17:06.26: The only ones who can stop the President are the Members of the Administrative Council.
Dialogue time: 17:06.26,0:17:09.24: They come from the 38 Member States.
Dialogue time: 17:09.24,0:17:14.91: Each country has one vote, regardless whether San Marino or Germany.
Dialogue time: 17:14.91,0:17:18.75: The Austrian Friedrich Rödler sat on the Administrative Council.
Dialogue time: 17:18.75,0:17:22.35: He travelled especially from Vienna to give us an impression.
Dialogue time: 17:22.35,0:17:28.08: In his opinion, there has been no effective control of the top management for years.
Dialogue time: 17:28.08,0:17:31.80: [Friedrich Rödler, former Austrian Administrative Council Representative]“The Administrative Council is also constrained by structural limitations.
Dialogue time: 17:31.817:39.66: The Administrative Council is guided in its decisions by the information that it receives from the President of the Office.
Dialogue time: 17:39.66,0:17:42.13: It has no other source of information.
Dialogue time: 17:42.617:47.48: This is the exact basis on which the Administrative Council has to reach a decision…
Dialogue time: 17:47.48,0:17:50.45: …or sometimes unfortunately not.”
Dialogue time: 17:51.77,0:17:55.51: The Patent Office employees continue to protest.
Dialogue time: 17:55.51,0:18:01.71: Meanwhile, the Administrative Council has called on the President to improve the social climate.
Dialogue time: 18:01.71,0:18:03.71: But many employees remain sceptical.
Dialogue time: 18:04.31,0:18:06.06: What will happen next?
Dialogue time: 18:06.06,0:18:10.42: The staff committee members wish to contest their dismissal internally.
Dialogue time: 18:10.42,0:18:16.88: If that doesn’t work, they will have to make a claim in Geneva before the Tribunal of the International Labour Organisation [ILO].
Dialogue time: 18:16.88,0:18:24.68: Also, some chronically ill employees are currently trying in Geneva to challenge what in their view are the inhumane requirements of the Office.
Dialogue time: 18:24.84,0:18:28.26: But before there is a judgment, it can take years.
Dialogue time: 18:28.88,0:18:35.20: “This is about people and their fate, families, children.
Dialogue time: 18:35.2,0:18:37.08: It’s really about much more.”
Dialogue time: 18:37.51,0:18:43.02: That doesn’t seem to concern the President of the European Patent Office.

French Transcript of Bayerischer Rundfunk Coverage About EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents, Videos at 10:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The full French transcript of the TV program shown earlier this month in Germany

Dialogue time: 00:00.000:07.00: Bayerischer Rundfunk Fernsehen Magazin „Kontrovers“ 02.2016 21:00 L’histoire : lorsqu’un emploi de rêve tourne au cauchemar:
Dialogue time: 00:07.94,0:00:11.40: Klaus Schießl est venu se recueillir sur la tombe de son frère.
Dialogue time: 00:12.32,0:00:16.98: Son frère Wolfgang était employé de l’Office Européen des Brevets (OEB) depuis de nombreuses années..
Dialogue time: 00:16.98,0:00:21.86: …jusqu’à ce qu’il mette fin à ses jours durant l’été 2014.
Dialogue time: 00:23.86,0:00:27.76: “Oui, je pense qu’ il s’est pleinement réalisé dans le travail.
Dialogue time: 00:27.92,0:00:30.84: Il était serviable, toujours là.
Dialogue time: 00:30.84,0:00:33.28: Il a essayé de tout faire méticuleusement.
Dialogue time: 00:33.28,0:00:38.28: Et, Dieu merci, il était très estimé de ses collègues.“
Dialogue time: 00:42.28,0:00:46.20: Pendant longtemps Klaus Schießl ne sait rien des problèmes qu’a son frère.
Dialogue time: 00:46.200:53.94: Ni qu’il souffre de graves dépressions, ni que l’OEB intente une procédure disciplinaire à son encontre.
Dialogue time: 00:54.02,0:00:59.78: Mais il s’inquiète lorsque durant l’été 2014 il reste pendant plusieurs jours sans nouvelles de son frère.
Dialogue time: 00:59.78,0:01:03.48: Il décide alors de se rendre à la maison de son frère.
Dialogue time: 01:07.16,0:01:09.52: „C’est ici que je l’ai trouvé mort.
Dialogue time: 01:09.52,0:01:16.80: Il faisait tellement chaud à l’époque.
Dialogue time: 01:16.801:22.10: Devant lui, le téléviseur marchait encore.
Dialogue time: 01:22.58,0:01:29.92: Il y avait une odeur bestiale.“
Dialogue time: 01:33.92,0:01:39.96: L’OEB avait soupçonné Wolfgang Schießl d’avoir envoyé des injures anonymes.
Dialogue time: 01:39.96,0:01:43.93: D’où la procédure disciplinaire à son encontre.
Dialogue time: 01:43.93,0:01:48.00: Klaus Schießl trouve encore une lettre d’adieu.
Dialogue time: 01:50.26,0:02:04.83: „A mon frère Klaus ! S’il te plaît, ne me maudis pas ! Mes dépressions étaient tellement surpuissantes.“:
Dialogue time: 02:06.33,0:02:11.23: Klaus Schießl croit que le conflit au travail était aussi un déclencheur.
Dialogue time: 02:11.53,0:02:15.96: Si il écrit qu’il a des dépressions, qu’il n’en peut plus,
Dialogue time: 02:15.96,0:02:22.93: et juste le jour où arrive à nouveau une lettre lui indiquant le déroulement de la procédure disciplinaire,
Dialogue time: 02:23.402:28.90: je pense que cela lui a finalement cassé les reins.
Dialogue time: 02:32.03,0:02:34.03: Y-a-t’il ce lien ?
Dialogue time: 02:34.03,0:02:38.56: Il est connu que : l’ambiance à l’OEB est mauvaise.
Dialogue time: 02:38.86,0:02:42.55: A plusieurs reprises les employés manifestent devant leur administration,
Dialogue time: 02:42.55,0:02:49.23: et ce, bien que les employés soient hautement rémunérés et bénéficient de nombreux privilèges.
Dialogue time: 02:49.23,0:02:53.20: Nous voulons savoir qu’est-ce qui pousse néanmoins les gens à descendre dans la rue.
Dialogue time: 02:53.202:58.46: Mais quand nous apparaissons avec la caméra, beaucoup nous prient de ne pas les montrer en public.
Dialogue time: 02:58.46,0:03:00.46: Ici la peur règne apparemment.
Dialogue time: 03:00.46,0:03:02.26: „Je ne dis rien du tout.“:
Dialogue time: 03:02.26,0:03:05.54: „Parce que : nous n’avons pas le droit de parler aux journalistes.“:
Dialogue time: 03:05.96,0:03:08.26: „Pourquoi est-ce que vous ne pouvez rien me dire ?“
Dialogue time: 03:08.56,0:03:11.36: „Parce que nous avons une responsabilité envers nos familles. :
Dialogue time: 03:11.36,0:03:16.24: C’est comme ça : toute la famille en dépend, l’éducation des enfants, l’école, le système social, la protection sociale,:
Dialogue time: 03:16.28,0:03:17.93: tout dépend de cet emploi.:
Dialogue time: 03:17.93,0:03:20.76: Et maintenant, si nous perdons l’emploi, nous perdons tout. :
Dialogue time: 03:20.76,0:03:23.80: „Mais normalement on ne perd pas son emploi si vite.“
Dialogue time: 03:23.803:25.13: „Ici, oui“:
Dialogue time: 03:25.13,0:03:28.92: L’OEB est une institution inter-gouvernementale.
Dialogue time: 03:28.92,0:03:31.70: C’est pourquoi le droit allemand du travail n’est pas en vigueur ici.
Dialogue time: 03:31.703:34.31: Que se passe-t-il dans les coulisses ?
Dialogue time: 03:34.31,0:03:37.53: Pourquoi les employés ont-ils tellement peur ?
Dialogue time: 03:37.56,0:03:41.40: Dans le Palais de justice de Munich nous rencontrons Siegfried Broß.
Dialogue time: 03:41.403:43.60: Il était juge à la Cour constitutionnelle fédérale.
Dialogue time: 03:43.603:47.80: Sa spécialité :droit public et droit des brevets.
Dialogue time: 03:47.803:53.50: Il explique pourquoi les employés sont à la merci de cet employeur.
Dialogue time: 03:53.504:03.36: „Je constate qu’il y a des déficits considérables en ce qui concerne le statut du droit du travail des employés.
Dialogue time: 04:03.36,0:04:06.26: Certes il y a une représentation du personnel.
Dialogue time: 04:06.26,0:04:09.76: Néanmoins celle-ci n’a pas de droit constitutionnel de participation,
Dialogue time: 04:09.76,0:04:16.40: mais peut seulement faire des recommandations, auxquelles le Président n’est pas lié.“
Dialogue time: 04:16.404:20.19: Pendant nos recherches, beaucoup de gens se sont adressés à nous.
Dialogue time: 04:20.19,0:04:23.50: Ils font état des chicanes à l’intérieur de l’OEB,
Dialogue time: 04:23.504:27.46: mais personne n’ose poser devant la caméra,
Dialogue time: 04:27.46,0:04:30.10: même pas les représentants du Comité du personnel.
Dialogue time: 04:30.104:36.03: Finalement, un examinateur de La Haye accepte de nous rencontrer à Cologne.
Dialogue time: 04:36.804:39.16: Lui aussi ne veut pas être reconnu.
Dialogue time: 04:39.16,0:04:42.66: C’est pourquoi nous relatons son rapport.
Dialogue time: 04:47.03,0:04:51.40: „La pression, en particulier sur les examinateurs, a énormément augmenté.:
Dialogue time: 04:51.404:57.56: On peut le voir à la diminution continue du nombre de jours par produit-brevet. :
Dialogue time: 04:57.56,0:04:59.56: Le budget de temps qui vous est accordé. :
Dialogue time: 04:59.56,0:05:03.86: Ça ressemble déjà beaucoup au travail à la chaîne. :
Dialogue time: 05:03.86,0:05:13.46: Si on est honnête, on est à la limite pour apprécier tous les aspects des domaines techniques complexes. :
Dialogue time: 05:13.46,0:05:19.40: Parce que : il n’y a plus qu’à la quantité du Output que l’on accorde de l’importance. :
Dialogue time: 05:21.705:27.83: On nous dit que depuis l’entrée en fonction du Président Benoît Battistelli la pression a énormément augmenté.
Dialogue time: 05:27.83,0:05:31.50: Son but : réformer l’Office des brevets et réduire les coûts.
Dialogue time: 05:31.505:33.16: Mais à quel prix ?
Dialogue time: 05:33.16,0:05:34.42: Nous interrogeons.
Dialogue time: 05:34.42,0:05:38.26: L’OEB nous invite à une discussion sur le fond.
Dialogue time: 05:38.26,0:05:40.96: Nous n’obtenons pas d’entrevue devant la caméra.
Dialogue time: 05:40.96,0:05:45.36: Par écrit l’Office confirme les exigences accrues dues à la réforme.
Dialogue time: 05:45.36,0:05:54.90: „En fin de compte l’Office doit maîtriser une augmentation annuelle des demandes de 4% en moyenne, tout en maintenant constant l’effectif du personnel.“ :
Dialogue time: 05:54.906:06.53: „Les réformes ont produit des résultats positifs : l’année dernière notre productivité a augmenté de 10%, la production même de 14%.“:
Dialogue time: 06:08.53,0:06:11.63: Mais les moyens d’y parvenir sont discutables.
Dialogue time: 06:11.63,0:06:15.73: Par exemple la façon dont sont traités les collègues malades est controversée.
Dialogue time: 06:15.73,0:06:22.26: Depuis 2013 ceux-ci n’ont pas le droit de quitter leur logement durant le temps de travail noyau,
Dialogue time: 06:22.26,0:06:25.43: sauf pour des visites médicales enregistrées.
Dialogue time: 06:25.43,0:06:32.53: Une mesure que l’Office peut contrôler à tout moment par appel téléphonique ou une visite sans préavis.
Dialogue time: 06:34.53,0:06:42.80: Nous faisons la connaissance d’un employé, qui ne peut plus travailler en raison d’une maladie chronique grave et qui est maintenant cloué à la maison.
Dialogue time: 06:44.26,0:06:50.50: „On a l’impression que l’on est un criminel, que l’on a fait quelque chose de faux,:
Dialogue time: 06:50.506:54.03: alors que je n’ai malheureusement fait que tomber malade.:
Dialogue time: 06:54.03,0:06:56.03: On se sent comme en prison.“:
Dialogue time: 06:59.33,0:07:02.80: Nous n’avons pas le droit de révéler le déroulement exact de la maladie.
Dialogue time: 07:02.807:06.53: Encore quelqu’un qui a très peur de la direction de l’Office.
Dialogue time: 07:06.53,0:07:12.00: Nous parlons avec un docteur qui soigne beaucoup d’employés de l’OEB.
Dialogue time: 07:12.007:17.83: Lui aussi ne veut être filmé qu’avec le visage dissimulé afin de protéger ses patients.
Dialogue time: 07:18.53,0:07:26.60: „L’OEB traite les patients de telle sorte qu’ils sont tellement appeurés..:
Dialogue time: 07:26.607:35.66: qu’ils refusent d’eux-mêmes un arrêt du travail même médicalement indiqué.:
Dialogue time: 07:35.66,0:07:49.23: Ils craignent le licenciement ou des sanctions négatives au cas où ils totaliseraient trop de jours de maladie.:
Dialogue time: 07:50.607:53.76: L’Office des brevets voit cela différemment.
Dialogue time: 07:54.53,0:08:08.36: „Suite à la pratique plus sévère dans ce domaine, le nombre moyen de jours de maladie à l’Office est passé de 14 jours à 11,5 jours en un an.“:
Dialogue time: 08:10.16,0:08:18.50: Durant notre recherche nous avons une vue de plus en plus nette dans les coulisses des palais de verre de l’OEB
Dialogue time: 08:18.508:24.10: et nous constatons : les gens, qui nous ont raconté leur histoire ne sont pas des cas individuels.
Dialogue time: 08:24.108:30.46: Ils font état de leur peur d’être sanctionné ou licencié pour la moindre faute.
Dialogue time: 08:31.86,0:08:35.36: L’avocat Alexander Holtz conseille beaucoup d’eux.
Dialogue time: 08:35.36,0:08:40.83: La plupart ont avant tout besoin d’assistance morale, parce qu’ils ne viennent plus à bout de la pression.
Dialogue time: 08:42.36,0:08:49.50: Ce sont souvent des gens, qui par exemple viennent chaque semaine m’apporter leur courrier. :
Dialogue time: 08:49.508:51.64: Je dois alors ouvrir le courrier des gens,:
Dialogue time: 08:51.64,0:08:57.34: car ils ne sont plus en état d’accomplir eux-mêmes ces tâches de la vie quotidienne. :
Dialogue time: 08:57.409:03.32: Des gens qui se sont réellement retrouvés dans une situation mettant en danger leur vie,:
Dialogue time: 09:03.32,0:09:06.94: où j’étais heureux quand je pouvais à nouveau les joindre au téléphone le lundi,:
Dialogue time: 09:06.94,0:09:11.75: car je ne savais pas, si ils ne feraient pas une tentative de suicide durant la fin de la semaine. :
Dialogue time: 09:12.66,0:09:19.53: En l’espace de trois ans, cinq employés de l’Office européen des brevets se sont suicidés.
Dialogue time: 09:19.53,0:09:22.46: L’Office dénie toute responsabilité.
Dialogue time: 09:25.13,0:09:41.30: “Les entretiens de notre service médical du travail, de collègues et managers avec les familles des décédés, ne permettent dans tous les cas aucune déduction quant à des raisons professionnelles pour le suicide, mais mettent en avant des circonstances personnelles.”:
Dialogue time: 09:43.76,0:09:47.83: En Allemagne, c’est le Comité d’entreprise qui aide lors de conflits avec l’employeur.
Dialogue time: 09:47.83,0:09:50.86: Ses membres bénéficient d’une protection particulière.
Dialogue time: 09:50.86,0:09:58.00: A l’opposé ici: des représentants syndicaux, comme la biologue Elizabeth Hardon, sont devenus des cibles.
Dialogue time: 09:58.010:03.56: Elle et son collègue Ion Brumme, père de cinq enfants, ont été suspendus en Novembre [2015].
Dialogue time: 10:03.56,0:10:10.46: Précisément eux, en tant que représentants du personnel, auraient harcelé des collègues, et diffamé l’Office.
Dialogue time: 10:11.03,0:10:14.86: Mais beaucoup de membres du personnel se solidarisent avec eux.
Dialogue time: 10:14.86,0:10:18.76: [Ion Brumme] „Je suis vraiment, vraiment heureux de voir autant de vous ici.:
Dialogue time: 10:18.76,0:10:22.33: Merci d’être venus, de nous soutenir.“:
Dialogue time: 10:23.210:29.20: Parce que la procédure est encore en cours, les deux ne peuvent s’exprimer concrêtement. Juste ceci:
Dialogue time: 10:29.210:34.10: [Elizabeth Hardon] „C’est quand même – quand même très pesant, et pour mes collègues encore pire.:
Dialogue time: 10:34.110:39.80: Je suis en âge de la préretraite donc, mais mes collègues sont beaucoup plus jeunes.:
Dialogue time: 10:39.810:45.63: Alors là, pour lui c’est, pour les autres collègues suspendus, c’est très, très, très menaçant.“:
Dialogue time: 10:48.57,0:11:05.11: „De mon point de vue, il s’agit d’une manière d’agir systématique de la direction de l’Office, afin d’achever, d’éliminer la direction du syndicat.“:
Dialogue time: 11:07.91,0:11:15.02: Entretemps Elizabeth Hardon et Ion Brumme ont même été licenciés. [Januar 2016]
Dialogue time: 11:19.02,0:11:25.42: Au site de La Haye également des représentants du personnel sont ciblés par la direction.
Dialogue time: 11:25.42,0:11:32.08: Notre informateur nous rapporte à Cologne un incident qui a choqué beaucoup d’agents.
Dialogue time: 11:32.35,0:11:40.93: Alors qu’un représentant du personnel a quitté le soir son lieu de travail, il reçoit un message, qu’il ne voit plus.
Dialogue time: 11:40.93,0:11:47.42: L’unité d’investigation interne l’invite à un entretien au lendemain matin.
Dialogue time: 11:47.42,0:11:53.28: Lorsqu’il revient à son bureau, il n’a plus le temps de se préparer, et demande un délai.
Dialogue time: 11:56.88,0:12:06.57: „Lorsque quelqu’un dit, qu’il a certains problèmes avec un autre employé, une enquête est initiée. On interroge alors des témoins. :
Dialogue time: 12:07.11,0:12:09.88: La norme du droit y est donc très basse,…:
Dialogue time: 12:09.88,0:12:13.35: parce que: on n’a pas le droit d’avoir recours à un avocat.“:
Dialogue time: 12:15.55,0:12:22.51: En quelques minutes apparaissent deux enquêteurs internes à son lieu de travail, et le persuadent de les suivre.
Dialogue time: 12:22.51,0:12:27.20: Cette forme d’interrogation est redoutée par les agents.
Dialogue time: 12:32.24,0:12:36.60: „On y est attaqué apparemment aussi déjà de manière relativement dure. :
Dialogue time: 12:36.912:39.60: Cela devient alors aussi parfois vraiment bruyant. :
Dialogue time: 12:40.02,0:12:45.13: On y est parfois aussi très intimidé, même lorsqu’on n’est qu’un témoin.“:
Dialogue time: 12:47.31,0:12:53.08: A La Haye, le membre du Comité du Personnel a un malaise à la sortie de l’interrogatoire.
Dialogue time: 12:54.42,0:12:57.33: Son épouse doit l’amener à l’hôpital.
Dialogue time: 12:58.11,0:13:01.44: Entretemps il est en congé maladie de longue durée.
Dialogue time: 13:03.82,0:13:10.68: L’unité d’investigation interne de l’Office européen des brevets est aussi tellement redoutée par les employés,
Dialogue time: 13:10.68,0:13:15.02: parce qu’ils n’y peuvent refuser de témoigner, même à leur propre dépens.
Dialogue time: 13:15.02,0:13:17.11: Est ce réellement légal?
Dialogue time: 13:17.64,0:13:20.15: L’Office européen des brevets écrit é ce sujet:
Dialogue time: 13:20.77,0:13:35.46: „La procédure d’investigation à l’Office européen des brevets n’est pas une procédure pénale, mais une procédure administrative d’établissement de faits dans le sens d’un Dialogue time entre employé accusé et employeur. :
Dialogue time: 13:35.71,0:13:45.44: … Cela correspond à la pratique et aux normes dans les organisations nationales et internationales de nos états membres.“
Dialogue time: 13:46.86,0:13:53.17: Du fait de l’immunité de l’Office européen des brevets les principes légaux lors de procédures d’enquête n’ont pas cours.
Dialogue time: 13:53.17,0:13:56.44: Les employés descendent désespérés dans la rue.
Dialogue time: 13:56.44,0:14:02.11: „Nous ne sommes pas en Allemagne ici. L’Office européen des brevets, il se sent en-dehors du droit allemand.“
Dialogue time: 14:02.11,0:14:04.60: „Les droits de l’homme n’y comptent pas. Rien n’y compte du tout. :
Dialogue time: 14:04.614:11.00: Seulement ce que notre Monsieur le Président pense être correct, est appliqué.“:
Dialogue time: 14:11.06,0:14:13.02: Est ce vraiment possible ?
Dialogue time: 14:13.08,0:14:17.53: Un Office avec 3000 employés dans un espace de quasi non-droit?
Dialogue time: 14:17.53,0:14:20.71: Nous sollicitons une interview avec le Ministre fédéral de la justice [Heiko Maas].
Dialogue time: 14:20.71,0:14:22.71: Il ne veut pas nous répondre directement.
Dialogue time: 14:22.71,0:14:26.60: Quant aux procédures d’enquêtes contestées, son ministère écrit:
Dialogue time: 14:26.614:40.82: [Ministère fédéral de la Justice et de la protection des consommateurs] „L’Allemagne a invité, à plusieurs reprises et avec insistance, le Président de l’Office européen des brevets, à revoir en cela les directives pour les procédures d’enquêtes, édictées par lui. Cela n’a regrettablement jusqu’à présent pas eu lieu.“:
Dialogue time: 14:42.214:49.55: „De simples invitations, cela est trop peu“: , dit l’ancien juge fédéral Siegfried Broß.
Dialogue time: 14:49.55,0:14:53.13: [Siegfried Broß, Juge fédéral à la retraite] „La Cour constitutionnelle fédérale dit expressément,:
Dialogue time: 14:53.13,0:14:59.31: que la République fédérale allemande ne doit pas prêter la main à des traitements allant à l’encontre des droits de l’homme,:
Dialogue time: 14:59.31,0:15:04.33: et, de ce point de vue, l’Allemagne est, en tant que pays hôte, appelé à agir.:
Dialogue time: 15:04.33,0:15:08.57: Si l’on exagère un peu, et le pense jusqu’au bout,:
Dialogue time: 15:08.66,0:15:12.60: avec ces structures de pensées, telles qu’elles sont apparues ici au grand jour,:
Dialogue time: 15:12.615:14.60: Guantanamo serait possible en Allemagne.:
Dialogue time: 15:15.415:17.98: Et cela ne peut être. C’est clair pour quiconque.“:
Dialogue time: 15:19.68,0:15:24.66: Mais l’Office européen des brevets ignore même des décisions de justice.
Dialogue time: 15:25.17,0:15:34.73: Aux Pays-Bas la Cour Suprême constata une enfreinte aux droits fondamentaux et demande que l’immunité de l’Office soit levée.
Dialogue time: 15:34.73,0:15:37.88: La décision finale est en attente.
Dialogue time: 15:37.88,0:15:47.95: Mais le Vice-Président de l’Office des brevets dit clairement dans une interview avec la télévision néerlandaise comment il traitera cette condamnation possible.
Dialogue time: 15:49.26,0:15:54.88: [Reporter Télé-NL] „Que se passe-t-il, si la Cour Suprême lève l’immunité de l’Office européen des brevets?“:
Dialogue time: 15:54.88,0:16:07.68: [Vice-président de l'OEB] „Euh, oui, alors le Président va parler avec le Conseil d’administration, les délégués des Etats membres, pour savoir ce qu’il y a à faire dans ce cas.:
Dialogue time: 16:07.71,0:16:14.75: Le résultat sera sans doute que le jugement sera mis de côté.“:
Dialogue time: 16:14.77,0:16:18.93: „Alors Vous n’allez pas accepter le jugement de la plus haute Cour des Pays Bas ??“:
Dialogue time: 16:18.93,0:16:20.93: [Vice-président OEB] “Oui!”: :
Dialogue time: 16:23.33,0:16:30.84: Comment se peut il, qu’une administration estime ne pas devoir respecter les droits fondamentaux et ignore lla jurisprudence de Cours suprêmes ?
Dialogue time: 16:31.416:34.97: Les causes pour cela résident dans l’histoire de sa fondation.
Dialogue time: 16:34.97,0:16:42.66: Il y a plus de quarante ans, les états membres ont élaboré un ensemble de règles, qui confère au Président beaucoup de pouvoir.
Dialogue time: 16:43.02,0:16:47.77: et le Président actuel Benoît Battistelli use de ce pouvoir.
Dialogue time: 16:48.04,0:16:59.76: „J’ai l’impression, qu’ici justement ces failles et ce jeu dans les règles, qui ont été créées par les états membres, sont exploités.“:
Dialogue time: 17:00.73,0:17:06.26: Les seuls, qui pourraient stopper le Président, sont les membres du Conseil d’administration.
Dialogue time: 17:06.26,0:17:09.24: Ils sont originaires des 38 états membres.
Dialogue time: 17:09.24,0:17:14.91: Chaque pays a une voix, peu importe que ce soit San Marino ou l’Allemagne.
Dialogue time: 17:14.91,0:17:18.75: L’autrichien Friedrich Rödler a aussi siégé au Conseil d’administration.
Dialogue time: 17:18.75,0:17:22.35: Il nous rejoint exprès de Vienne, afin de nous donner un aperçu.
Dialogue time: 17:22.35,0:17:28.08: Selon son avis depuis des années la direction n’est plus contrôlée de manière efffective.
Dialogue time: 17:28.08,0:17:31.80: [Friedrich Rödler, ancien membre du Conseil d'administration de l'OEB] „Le Conseil d’administration se heurte à ses limites structurelles.:
Dialogue time: 17:31.817:39.66: Le Conseil d’administration dépend pour ses décisions des informations spécifiques, qui lui sont données par le Président.:
Dialogue time: 17:39.66,0:17:42.13: Il ne dispose pas d’autres informations.:
Dialogue time: 17:42.617:47.48: Et ceci est exactement la base, sur laquelle le Conseil d’administration prend ses décisions…:
Dialogue time: 17:47.48,0:17:50.45: ou bien malheureusement parfois ne les prend pas.:
Dialogue time: 17:52.217:55.51: Les employés de l’Office de brevet continuent de protester.
Dialogue time: 17:55.51,0:18:01.71: Entretemps le Conseil d’administration a sommé le Président d’améliorer le climat social.
Dialogue time: 18:01.71,0:18:03.71: Mais de nombreux agents restent sceptiques.
Dialogue time: 18:04.31,0:18:06.06: Quelle sera la suite?
Dialogue time: 18:06.06,0:18:10.42: Les membres du Comité du personnel veulent contester leur licenciement par recours interne.
Dialogue time: 18:10.42,0:18:16.88: Si cela ne fait pas son effet, ils doivent déposer leur plainte à Genève auprès du Tribunal de l’Organisation internationale du Travail.
Dialogue time: 18:16.88,0:18:24.68: Quelques malades chroniques essayent également actuellement, de contester les régulations qui, selon leur point de vue, vont à l’encontre de la dignité humaine.
Dialogue time: 18:24.84,0:18:28.26: Mais jusqu’à ce qu’il y ait un jugement, cela peut durer des années.
Dialogue time: 18:28.88,0:18:35.20: „Ici il s’agit de personnes individuelles, de destins, de familles, d’enfants. :
Dialogue time: 18:35.218:37.08: Ici il s’agit réellement de beaucoup plus.“:
Dialogue time: 18:37.51,0:18:43.02: Cela ne semble pas concerner le Président de l’Office européen des brevets.
Dialogue time: 18:43.02,0:18:47.14: Bericht: Jutta Henkel, Irene Esmann Kamera: Harry Rensch, Dany Hunger, Nicole Christmann Schnitt: Stefan Kinnl, Florian Stronski

EPO Hypocritically Responds to TV Program by Defamation/Mocking of the Dead and Threats to the Media (Truth as Defamation?)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stay classy, Battistelli et al. (more attempts to chill the media)

Erdoğan and EPO
Original photo: Minister-president Rutte from Nederland

Summary: Techrights will accelerate dissemination of the recent Bayerisches Fernsehen TV program in response to what looks like an attack by the EPO’s management on the media (again) and also controversial accusations (leaking out of confidential and dubious ‘investigations’ again) made against the dead

YESTERDAY we made local copies (right here, no third party/ies) in English, the original in German, and also in French of a very recent TV program. It’s probably a good thing that we did so, as we are seeing a pattern of censorship (as used against Techrights and against SUEPO in the recent past) in its early phase. It’s hard to censor TV programs which were already screened (national broadcast); preserving the programs is another matter.

“It’s hard to censor TV programs which were already screened (national broadcast); preserving the programs is another matter.”The scandalous EPO management always finds excuses for its abusive behaviour; those who speak out about/against such abusive behaviour end up being compared to Nazis, criminals, snipers etc.

Battistelli et al habitually attack the messengers, typically whistleblowers, and then celebrate actions such as union-busting, all this while comparing these unions to "Mafia" (and judges to "Nazis").

Fortunately for the unions and the judges, they’re still alive and they can attempt to defend themselves. The EPO has a massive PR contract with which to smear them and it’s even easier when the accused is dead, hence unable to defend himself/herself. Those who have followed this saga long enough probably know too well that EPO accusations against staff are extracted under immense pressure (intimidation and more) and sometimes even made up or entrapped for. The same thing happened in the (in)famous Aaron Swartz case. This is in fact what many of the complaints themselves are about and this is why the EPO came under intense fire. This mirrors in some ways what happened in WIPO (there too there are gagged/daemonised whistleblowers and even suicides).

“The EPO is drunk on power and if it’s not stopped very soon, then more suicides can be expected.”Earlier this month we showed that EPO management (Battistelli’s circle) was flipping out because of the TV program which exposed the nastiness and the illegalities of the ‘Gestapo’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Well, not too shockingly Battistelli’s circle at the EPO responds to such a TV program by attacking the dead and what looks like an implicit threat to the media. One day we are hoping to show that newspapers too are subjected to such abusive tactics. The EPO is drunk on power and if it’s not stopped very soon, then more suicides can be expected. The media too is facing a firing line.

What follows is the latest “Communique” from EPO management (appeared today as a supposedly factual response). Our response is in-line below. We attempted to keep it concise, but it’s still rather long (and it’s 3 AM here, it actually took me 2 hours to write it).

Report on Bayerisches Fernsehen

More like ‘damage control’, not a “report”.

Distorted information and facts

Coming from the EPO, which lies to its own staff and to journalists.

On 2 March, the Bayerisches Fernsehen aired a report about the Office on which we have already commented with a first note.

We wrote about it before. There was something menacing about it, as if the EPO was preparing to sue the reporters and/or their bosses (potentially costing these reporters their jobs).

The broadcast portrays the Office in a way that is factually false and damaging to the EPO’s external image.

Damaging to the EPO’s external image? For sure. Factually false? No. The EPO does not have some God-given right to have a positive external image and if its actions are so abusive (if not corrupt), then it deserves negative publicity. Only a psychopath or a sociopath would be so intolerant/resistant to criticism.

In several aspects, it concerns staff members’ privacy for which the Office has always adopted very protective behaviour. The broadcast implies that our management and staff – including our occupational health physicians, lawyers, investigators, administrative staff, as well as staff members from all DGs involved to various degrees – are acting in a non-professional way and would even be endangering the health of other colleagues. This is false, offensive and totally unacceptable.

Nope. It is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT based on what we have been hearing from many separate sources. The Office does not care about “staff members’ privacy” as if claims. Just look what it did to a suspended judge. There are many other examples as such. The EPO is selectively ousting people based on Battistelli’s evil agenda. In that respect, the EPO is hardly any better than North Korea. Maybe the UN should take a closer look at Battistelli, the I.U. and the EPO, rather than only obsess over North Korea (incidentally, see the nature of the WIPO scandals in relation to North Korea).

The EPO says it has “adopted very protective behaviour” when it comes to privacy. This is just hilarious. How many EPO staff members know about the (personal) data exchange with Europatis? Read all about it in:

  1. Jacques Michel (Former EPO VP1), Benoît Battistelli’s EPO, and the Leak of Internal Staff Data to Michel’s Private Venture
  2. Europatis: “Turnover of €211,800 and Zero Employees”
  3. Loose Data ‘Protection’ and Likely Privacy Infringements at the EPO: Here’s Who Gets Employees’ Internal Data
  4. Summary of the EPO-Europatis Series
  5. Revolving Doors of High-Level EPO Management: Jacques Michel and the Questel Deal With the EPO

Regarding “endangering the health of other colleagues,” see how EPO management (mis)treats ill staff. That’s despicable. Even China isn’t this bad. The EPO under Battistelli has become like some kind of Republican/neo-liberal experiment in human rights abandonment, something akin to the Stanford prison experiment.

We have therefore analysed the broadcast thoroughly, including sequences, statements and accusations therein, as a basis for discussion with the Bayerisches Fernsehen on the topics that seem essential to us.

We are going to publish transcripts in several languages. When the above says “us” it probably means the tiny (all-time low) minority that voted against a strike (see the raw numbers).

Below we provide you with the same information.

We are “transparent” enough when it suits us, i.e. when it demonises those who help expose our abuses.

This information only contains what can be made public.

We omit the stuff that doesn’t bolster our side/position, e.g. Battistelli’s secret contract and defense of the accused.

It explains the background and real facts behind the events fictitiously outlined or even fabricated in the broadcast.

Both “fictitiously” and “fabricated”, eh? Like the EPO 'results'?

It shows how information has been distorted and how crucial facts were omitted, changing the context of entire events.

Get your “facts” and “information” from Battistelli and his boys (and his boy’s wife), because nobody but they is the fountain of truth.

From the broadcast by the Bayerisches Fernsehen:

Suicide of Mr S.

As if the name isn’t obvious already from the broadcast. Whose identity are they trying to guard?


They conveniently forgot the scare quotes.

Disciplinary procedures are initiated only after facts have been established and not based on simple suspicions. Mr S. admitted, both in person and through his lawyer, to having sent anonymous death wishes and severe insults to three colleagues working in Patent Administration.

Given the accusations made against Ms. Hardon (and repeatedly refuted), we urge readers to be sceptical of the above. The EPO has a terrible track record on accuracy. It should be noted that “death wishes” aren’t the same as death threats. I received numerous death wishes over the years (even online and at times anonymously), however I never received death threats. I know some who have.

These letters led to serious health effects in the case of at least one of the colleagues concerned in pregnancy.

The EPO evokes “health”, conveniently forgetting what it did to Ms. Hardon's health. In its threatening legal letters (sent to me) the EPO used similar strategies, as if being emotionally harmed is in itself grounds for action. My lawyer clarified that it doesn’t work this way. When someone gets exposed doing something wrong or unethical that someone is likely to feel agitated and stressed. This in itself isn’t grounds for seeking damages/reparations.

The same letters were made available to other colleagues. Mr S.’s suicide occurred in June 2014, only days after he had suffered a tragic loss in his personal life.

Let’s divert attention to something else then. When causing someone to commit suicide it’s just so convenient to divert attention.

The Office has supported his family after his death with psychological and administrative support. Until the said broadcast, his brother had never complained about the Office’s possible responsibility. On the contrary, he thanked the Office for its support on several occasions. (see also here EPO guideline regarding psycho-social risks).

In the case against Ms. Hardon (amateurish accusations sheet) we saw these same claims coming from the EPO. If the brother ‘defected’ — so to speak — then it’s probably because he found out something that he didn’t know before. The EPO doesn’t seem to be able to accept that. The EPO also regularly misleads people, which makes one wonder…

Dismissal of staff members

No, no…

These are staff representatives. Don’t repeat the lie that this is all just a coincidence. They are targeting unions. This is unequivocally union-busting action. It is made abundantly clear from letters that we published here before (in full or in part).

The EPO lies in small doses and small steps. Don’t fall for it.


They conveniently forgot the scare quotes again.

According to our Service Regulations, dismissal can only occur after a thorough disciplinary procedure in case of serious misconduct (frauds, severe acts of harassment, gross negligence) or incompetence (continuous lack of fulfilment of professional duties). In the past 3 years, there have been 2 dismissals per year following disciplinary procedures on issues such as fraud and repeated severe moral harassment.

What are they getting at? We’re obviously not talking about “fraud” or even “repeated severe moral harassment” here (unless the made-up claims against Ms. Hardon get counted as the latter). What about Ion Brumme? Was his ‘offense’ the signing up of more members for the incredibly popular union, SUEPO? The EPO just relies on people being lazy or insufficiently informed. One can imagine how they bully the TV staff over it, Battistelli style

How many TV channels will be ‘brave’ enough to criticise the EPO after this journalism-shaming routine?

Disciplinary procedures against staff representatives/union officials

“Union-busting” is shorter.


They conveniently forgot the scare quotes again.

Disciplinary procedures are not launched based on suspicions but on facts and evidence. The events leading to disciplinary procedures and subsequent sanctions against some staff representatives do not relate to having expressed criticism or disagreements with management, nor are they linked to the colleagues’ role as staff representatives or trade union officials. They relate to the facts of moral harassment, abuse of authority towards other colleagues (denial of their fundamental rights), as well as defamations and insults via the use of external blogs under hidden pseudonyms.

This is nonsense. A person who didn’t even lodge a complaint is being used as a phantom ‘witness’ to bring about excuses to dismiss Ms. Hardon, making it appear like the real cause for dismissal rather than her speech (like the use of rape allegations against Julian Assange in order to muzzle Wikileaks). This is a classic union-busting and movement-crushing tactic (many examples exist, including recent ones beyond the scope of this response). As for “defamation”, the EPO needs to actually investigate Željko Topić’s terrible status in Croatia rather than people who speak about it (obviously anonymously, for their own protection).

Maybe Bayerisches Fernsehen should consider doing another episode, this time about Željko Topić (if his story is even possible to fit within one episode at all). There would be many criminal charges to cover.

The Office has a duty to prevent and sanction such actions.

Except when Topić, Battistelli and other untouchable thugs do it? This is a two-tiered ‘justice’ system, where some people enjoy inculpability and some are assumed to be guilty all along (because the agenda makes it imperative).

Not doing so would on the contrary engage the responsibility of the Office. In certain cases, the process was launched due to direct complaints against the staff representatives/trade union officials introduced by other staff members, in all cases on the basis of facts and documents voluntarily reported by the victims.

“In certain cases” is a term used because it wasn’t always the case and they know it.

Acts of intimidation by the respondents have taken place against witnesses, victims and EPO officials in charge of the cases throughout the fact-finding and disciplinary procedures. An elected staff representative, member of SUEPO, even asked for the protection of the administration. As an example, a staff representative, harassed by other staff representatives, resigned from his mandate and wrote publicly this on 25 November 2014.

This is a distortion of what actually happened because when the accuser, the judge and so on is the same person, what kind of a moron even frames this as above, as if there’s a legitimate legal process at hand? It’s a mock trial, and Elodie Bergot sure isn’t happy about people discovering that she’s the mistress of ceremony (MC) of it all. It is a blatant spit on democracy, on the rule of law, and on human rights.

Investigation Unit meeting a Staff Representative in The Hague


Investigations at the EPO are carried out to address concerns of harm to colleagues, the Office’s resources, or its reputation.

Remember that Topić, Battistelli, Bergot and so on count as “colleagues”, so basically criticising the management for something (anything!) would be interpreted as “harassment”. It’s funny that they again mention “reputation”, almost as though the EPO has a God-given right to good reputation.

The facts pertaining to allegations of misconduct are established objectively and impartially, taking into account all exculpatory and inculpatory evidence and mitigating or aggravating circumstances.

“Objectively and impartially”? On EPO payroll? Or external contracts (EPO ‘dark money’) with Control Risks? That’s a mockery of the very notion of fair trial, let alone of ad hoc justice.

No staff member has ever “collapsed” during or in relation to an investigation interview.

Nonsense. That’s just denial. See above regarding the suicide. Similar pattern for sure…

As someone from the EPO put this when asked, “it is really horrible. Quite a few people in the Office who were friends of Wolfgang were very upset.”

Audio records of the meetings are made of each meeting and are at the disposal of the disciplinary committee (which itself also includes two staff representative members) and of the interviewee. In all the interviews conducted by the investigative unit, which are audio recorded, there is not a single incident of any investigator raising his voice. No interviewee was at any time and in any way neither intimidated nor psychologically or physically attacked.

Release the tapes. Or maybe destroy them like the Bush era government did. The EPO’s words are without value as long as the EPO’s management, and especially its spokespeople, habitually lie if/when it suits them.

Interviews are conducted professionally and with the utmost level of respect for all parties. In the case discussed in the said broadcast, the staff member in question was never escorted by any member of the Investigative Unit to the interview room. He was invited to an interview as a witness and he joined the meeting unaccompanied after a delay of 20 minutes. The interview lasted 25 minutes.

See what the EPO is doing here? It targets and zooms in on the identity of people who wish to remain anonymous. If anything, this proves what the program claimed. There’s a culture of witch-hunting and whistleblowers are being cast/framed “liars” by all means possible. Victims are the predators now?

It was passed in a respectful atmosphere from both parties, and was concluded early, on request of the interviewee, to allow him to prepare for his meeting with the Central Staff Committee. It is after this later meeting with the Central Staff Committee, that the staff member in question reported that he was feeling unwell. He was permitted to leave work, and returned to work a few days later. For transparency reasons, the Investigative Unit would be willing to make the record of the interview available with the consent of the interviewee.

At this stage it’s rather clear who they are alluding to. And the alleged ‘crime’? Doing an independent staff survey about satisfaction (or lack thereof). It’s all about reputation. In an effort to guard his reputation, Battistelli now does the same thing as North Korea because he monopolises truth by elimination. Even family members are impacted by this (collective punishment).

Sickness reform


The possibility to verify sick leave (control at home) has been an integral part of the EPO’s regulations for many years. The only significant change introduced in recent years is the possibility for the EPO to send a doctor to the staff member’s home to verify the sick leave claimed. When sick, staff members should therefore be at home between 10.00 and 12.00 hrs and between 14.00 and 16.00 hrs. In case a staff member is not at home e.g. for visiting his/her doctor, he/she must simply provide the Medical Advisory Unit with justification. Privacy is fully respected and nobody is obliged to grant access to his/her private home. On average, 14 verifications are conducted per year at the EPO (with regard to more than 6700 staff members, i.e. about 0.2% of total staff. This is done by all health insurance schemes). No EPO’s employee has ever been dismissed due to sickness or because of “too many sick leave days”. There is also no legal basis in the Service Regulations to do so.

We have evidence with which to refute this. The EPO relies on the TV channel’s staff having no access to such evidence. How convenient.

Confronted with such accusations and false information, it is important to us to provide the facts behind decisions and events that were mentioned in the broadcast, so that each one of you can judge for him/her self the content of the broadcast and question the real motivation of the few employees who have taken the responsibility to participate in such a defamatory and damaging campaign against the Office. All necessary steps to obtain the repair of the damages are considered.

Is the EPO considering legal action? They seem to have sent such letters to German names (German media we assume) before. We still have some stories in the pipeline about German media and EPO meddling. Are they going to demand ‘corrective’ reporting, an ‘apology’ (a forced one of extracted by pressure), or something along those lines? Whatever it is, be prepared for the nastiness of Team Battistelli to shine through.

We will do even more work on disseminating the program (locally-hosted videos) in the coming days, in order to ensure nothing can take it down, not even EPO legal threats against SUEPO Munich, which uploaded videos to YouTube. The harder they try to suppress the truth, the wider it’ll spread. The fools who advise Battistelli obviously don’t understand how the Streisand Effect works.

EPO Protest in Munich in a Couple of Days

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

Munich’s “big story” is becoming not its migration to GNU/Linux but the EPO débâcle

Munich city centre

Summary: Staff of the European Patent Office is going to protest again, possibly before going on general strike

THE EPO‘s management wants gullible people to believe that union-busting patterns are merely a coincidence and this offensive position (offensive to people’s intelligence) will soon have a protest that coincides (not in the coincidence sense) with the quarterly meeting of the Administrative Council.

As SUEPO’s public site has just put it:

Actions continue at the European Patent Office: next demonstration on 16 March

SUEPO organises on Wednesday 16 March 2016 a demonstration in Munich in front of the EPO Isar building (Bob-van-Benthem-Platz 1) starting at 12.30h.
The purpose of the demonstration is to appeal to the Administrative Council. Staff demands:

  • A return to Rule of Law
  • Freedom of association and freedom of speech
  • Good faith negotiation of reforms
  • Hands off our staff representation!

Hopefully close to 2,000 people (if not a lot more) can attend, leaving an effectively empty Office rather than an excessively laborious Office. Close to 4,000 people already voted for a strike this month.

The meeting of the Administrative Council is going to be unusually arduous for Benoît Battistelli (several of our sources suggest so), who is probably going to be replaced soon; it’s just not too clear yet who is going to replace him and there's no election (the aristocracy typically decides behind closed doors, for the “greater good” or for their interests as well as their affluent friends’).

EPO Rumours About Antonio Campinos as Replacement for Benoît Battistelli

Posted in Europe, Patents, Rumour at 9:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Antonio Campinos: potential EPO reformer or more of the same?

Antonio Campinos

Summary: Information about the man who is rumoured to be parachuted in to replace Battistelli and continue some of his less desirable legacy

Later this week the Administrative Council of the EPO (Organisation) will be gathering to speak about the Office, so I took a whole week off work (just so that I can properly cover the outcome). We have been receiving various EPO rumours recently, some easier to substantiate than others. Today we wish to share a particular strand of rumours. It’s about Battistelli’s succession, or rather his replacement (succession implies graceful transition without effective change in policy/direction).

“It’s about Battistelli’s succession, or rather his replacement (succession implies graceful transition without effective change in policy/direction).”We have already published many articles about Christoph Ernst [1, 2, 3, 4] and in particular his stance on software patents (which is of special interest to us). Scroll down to the part about Christoph Ernst in this post about the last Administrative Council meeting to see what he said about Battistelli

The relevant part is this:

To paraphrase Mr. Ernst, the Head of the German delegation (to the best of my knowledge): “The president reports positive developments. I do not
share this view.[...] The president has spoken 40 minutes, of which only 2 minutes on the social situation.”

That was 3 months ago and things have changed a lot, particularly in light of the Board 28 intervention with its leaked letter and leaked conclusions.

“A competent “outsider” with a credible track-record would probably be more acceptable to EPO staff but at the moment no such candidates are visible.”
We now believe — albeit with great caution — that we know about another candidate for Battistelli’s position (EPO presidency). “To try and sort out the current mess at the EPO,” one person told us, “you would probably need someone of mythical proportions like Hercules. As can be seen from the names which are currently being bandied about, any prospective candidates are likely to come from the “inner circle” of the Administrative Council. The problem here is that the Administrative Council is or at least appears to have been so heavily complicit in the activities of the current “regime” for so long now that all of its members are potentially “tainted”.

“In reality, the Administrative Council is a diverse body and there are undoubtedly some people there who have been critical of Battistelli’s misdeeds and excesses. So it’s probably a little unfair to tar all its members with the same brush. But the point is that EPO staff are likely to be understandably sceptical about any successor to Battistelli who comes from the ranks of the Administrative Council.”

It is worth noting here that even Battistelli himself came from the Administrative Council, where he’s alleged to have been one of the (perhaps) two “alpha-males” who pushed Brimelow out, paving the way to Battistelli’s ‘takeover’ with a secretive contract (Brimelow’s contract wasn’t secret). We wrote about this several times last year.

“During his time as President of the Directive Council of the Portugese National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), Campinos also sat on the Administrative Council of the EPO.”
“A competent “outsider” with a credible track-record would probably be more acceptable to EPO staff but at the moment no such candidates are visible,” a person told us. “Another name that we [collectively speaking] are starting to hear with increasing frequency as a potential replacement for Battistelli is that of the current President of OHIM: António Campinos. We [collectively speaking] are bit sceptical about Campinos because from what we [collectively speaking] have been able to gather he is another “insider” who also seems to have close connections to Battistelli and other members of the “inner circle”. Some information about Campinos follows.”

Suffice to say, this serves to legitimise claims that Campinos is in the rumour mill (we heard this before), if not a contender too. We kindly ask readers to treat this as coverage of the state of rumours, not necessarily of any concrete discussions, e.g. at the Administrative Council or Board 28. “Campinos is currently being mentioned as a possible replacement for Battistelli,” told us one source, “but so far these are only rumours.”

More background information about Campinos

As noted above, studying the background of potential future presidents is better off done before an appointment/announcement as this can leave room for veto power/opposition. Remember the bizarre, undemocratic, opaque process by which Battistelli inherited (if not stole) Brimelow’s position. We wrote about this before. Here is what a reader told us about Campinos:

António Campinos is the current President of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs).

OHIM is basically the “European Trademark Office”.

However, in contrast to the EPO, it is not an autonomous international organisation.

It is an EU agency entrusted with managing EU trade mark and design registration systems as well as promoting cooperation and convergence initiatives with national IP offices in the European Union.

For more information see the official website.

Campinos has been President of the OHIM since 2010.

He previously held the roles of IP Commissioner and President of the Directive Council of the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) of Portugal and Chairman of the Ad Hoc working group on the Legal Development of the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks.

From 2005 to 2007, he was head of the Portuguese delegation to OHIM’s Administrative Board, becoming Chairman in 2007, prior to his election as President. Since 2013, Mr Campinos has also served as President of the Administrative Council of the Centre d’Études Internationales de la Propiété Intellectuelle (CEIPI).

SOURCE: https://www.epo.org/learning-events/european-inventor/jury.html

During his time as President of the Directive Council of the Portugese National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), Campinos also sat on the Administrative Council of the EPO.

There is regular cross-contact between the OHIM and the EPO in the field of IP and Campinos often features in press releases with Battistelli or appears at the same IP events.

For example:

2011 – EPO and OHIM agree closer cooperation


December 05, 2013 – IP contribution study unveiled in Brussels


Official Launch of New EU-China Intellectual Property Cooperation

“Building on the solid foundations created by the previous EU-China projects IPR1 and IPR2, the a new action will be implemented over a period of three years by OHIM, the EU´s largest intellectual property agency, in partnership the European Patent Office as partner. On the Chinese side will be the Department of Treaty and Law of the Ministry of Commerce, coordinating the Chinese contribution to the cooperation action, with the participation of more than 15 Chinese IP authorities.”


Training Centre for European patent judges opened in Budapest


There isn’t necessarily anything suspicious about any of this.

It can be seen as part and parcel of routine professional contacts between the Directors of two intergovernmental European IP bodies.

However, it should be noticed that Campinos seems to have quite a cosy relationship with the EPO because he managed to get appointed as a jury member for the European Inventor Award which is one of Battistelli’s favourite annual extravaganzas.

European Inventor Award – Jury members


It has been discovered that there is an even more interesting connection which involves the Menéndez Pelayo International University (UIMP) in Spain.

A key player here seems to be the former Director of the Spanish Intellectual Property Office and current EPO Vice-President, Alberto Casado Casado Cerviño who as people may recall got a mention in an article published in a Spanish newspaper last year:


What is interesting here is that Casado Cerviño, Battistelli and Campinos regularly appear as guest speakers at IP seminars organised by the UIMP.


[Editor’s note: we have decided to locally store the PDFs proving it [1, 2], including an English version, as these may become unavailable in the future]

These connections seem to go back to at least 2011 when Casado Cerviño was still Director of the Spanish Intellectual Property Office and a member of the Administrative Council and they have continued after his appointment as EPO Vice-President (see the attached PDFs).

Casado Cerviño was appointed as EPO Vice-President in 2012:


By a curious coincidence, Battistelli was awarded with an honorary doctorate from the UIMP in July 2014:


Maybe Spanish contacts/readers can provide more information about these connections.

In his role as President of the OHIM, Campinos regularly meets with the Directors of national Intellectual Property Offices.

Some interesting photos can be found on the websites of these national Intellectual Property Offices.

For example:


One can guess that Campinos was not amused to see this photo re-appear in an article entitled “Criminal proceedings pending against Topić in six cases” which was published by the Croatian news portal tjedno.hr in April 2012:


That’s not suggesting that Campinos had any involvement in the alleged irregularities at the SIPO Croatia but we guess that it must have embarrassing for him to have his official photograph with Topic “recycled” in an article reporting about these matters.

An English translation of this article will be published at a later date.

Campinos and Battistelli: more information about EPO & OHIM cooperation

According to a 2010 article from James Nurton (MIP), Campinos won praises from WIPO. “At WIPO,” Nurton noted, “he won plaudits for his ability to encourage parties with different priorities to reach consensus.” Remember that Battistelli nearly became head of WIPO, which is now deep/mired in scandals of its own and may have other EPO connections. “Campinos was interviewed by Managing IP [MIP] in 2008,” Nurton concluded.

A reader added some bits to elaborate on/comment about possible overlaps between Campinos and Battistelli:

In 2013 EPO and OHIM jointly launched a Report on the economic performance of IP-intensive industries in the EU.

The report was subsequently criticised by Annette Kur and Dietmar Harhoff of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition: “In September 2013, EPO and OHIM jointly launched a Report on the economic performance of IP-intensive industries in the EU. Ever since its publication, the Report has been cited as bearing proof to the economic importance of IP, thereby bolstering claims for further enforcement-enhancing measures and policies. However, the eagerness with which the Report is instrumentalized for political purposes ignores the fact that, as the economists performing the study themselves have emphasized, their findings do not provide evidence regarding the causal relationship between IP and the economic data. Instead of serving a better understanding of the economics of IP, such politically tainted over-interpretations might actually discredit the analytical results and the advances in setting up a comprehensive database of IPR utilization at the firm level.”

See also this article published by IP Watch, “Researchers Say EPO/OHIM Study Is A Tale Without A Message”

A PDF of the EPO/OHIM report bears the signatures of Battistelli and Campinos.

Based on information coming from reliable sources who are close to the action, Campinos seems to be the preferred successor candidate of the Battistelli-Kongstad axis inside the Administrative Council.

It has also been suggested that he may have political support at EU level.

Apparently some people in Brussels are getting worried that the current turbulent situation at the EPO could have an adverse effect on the planned timetable for the introduction of the Unitary Patent. In these circles it seems that Campinos is viewed as someone who could be parachuted in to stabilise the situation at the EPO.

If Battistelli’s position inside the EPO is so weakened that he is forced to depart prematurely, the “game plan” in these circles seems to be to install Campinos as a “safe pair of hands” who can be trusted to manage any fallout arising from the sudden “regime change”.

It also seems that those supporting Campinos on the Administrative Council (i.e the pro-Battistelli faction led by Kongstad) are hoping that he can be relied upon to keep as many skeletons as possible from the Battistelli era safely in their closets.

A copy of the critique by Annette Kur and Dietmar Harhoff has been made local for future reference and long-term preservation. It responds to a report signed both by Battistelli and Campinos.

The notion that Battistelli would need to be thrown aside while maintaining his agenda isn’t totally outlandish. As this one comment put it this morning, EPO policies may be “the very same ones where the TTIP was “negotiated”. [...] pump for the UPC.” Here is the comment in full:

I do not for one moment believe that it was the management of the EPO who decided anything. They are only the obedient “implementers” and certainly not the master strategists.

The “decisions” are more likely to have been made behind closed doors in some smoke-filled rooms in Brussels or elsewhere. Maybe the very same ones where the TTIP was “negotiated”.

Don’t forget: lots of “dodgy patents” increases the probability of litigation and could be seen as a handy way of priming the pump for the UPC.

In this context some senior appointments at the EPO in recent years might be worth a closer investigation.
Such as: http://www.managingip.com/Article/3016676/Moves-Margot-Frhlinger-joins-EPO.html

This relates to what we wrote about last night and responds to a comment quoted therein.

In summary, Antonio Campinos has a history of being on the side of Battistelli, whereas Christoph Ernst has an (at least recent) history of criticising Battistelli.

Por Su Sobrevivencia, Microsoft Se Está Convirtiéndo en Una Agresiva Compañíá de Impuestos Sobre Patentes Así Como de Advertising, Obliga a Usuarios de Windows a Moverse a Su Ritmo

Posted in America, Deception, Microsoft, Patents, Vista 10, Windows at 8:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Publicado en America, Decepción, Microsoft, Patentes, Vista 10, Windows at 9:43 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

También Disfrazándose De Abierto por contratos gubernamenteales, especialmente donde el gobierno solicita standards y código

Snow leopard
Un leopardo puede pintarse algunas machas, pero un leopardo todavía es un leopardo

Sumario: Los últimos estragécios movimientos de Microsoft y como se relacionan con su ¨calentamiento con open source¨ o ¨ama a Linux¨ desfile de PR

Las ganancias de WINDOWS se están encogiendo. Android (Linux) esta agarrándo la parte del leon en el mercado y el precio de Vista 10 cayó hasta casi zero. Esto es porque Microsoft esta ahora usando patentes en un esfuerzo de hacer dinero de Android y otros sistemas operativos basados en GNU/Linux, como el sistema operativo Chrome. Como Simon Phipps lo puso esta mañana [1], ¨Microsoft anunció que exitosamente ha extraido patentes de Wistron de Taiwan por el uso de Android y de Rakuten de Japón por su uso de Linux y Android. Aunque se ha adormecido en su agresión de patentes ultimamente, tiene un largo historial y les genera unas impresionates ganancias. [...] Microsoft quiere que miembros de las comunidades de Android y Linux paguen por licencias de patentes o se enfrentena a destructivos juicios.

“…Microsoft utiliza su openwashing de SQL Server como una táctica de excusa/propaganda, como lo demuestra el último artículo de abajo.”Para Microsoft, sin embargo, extorsión de patentes no es suficiente. La compañía es tan codiciosa que, basado en [2] (un ayayero de Windows quien se queja de su dirección), ahora escaló a un forzado ´upgrade´ a Vista 10 poniéndo más advertisement en el [3], e incluso bloque screens (no cubrimos esto por falta de tiempo por mucho cubrimiento de EPO).

A pesar de ello, todavía están los despidos de Microsoft (escribimos acerca de ellos temprano en la semana) y ahora el gobierno de los Estados Unidos, a pesar del fuerte cabildeo de Microsoft, se inclina hacia FOSS [4] (hay un montón de cubrimiento de prensa acerca de esto ahora mismo e.g [5-11], Microsoft usa su openwashing (pretensión de abierto) de su servidor SQL como táctica de excusa/propaganda, evidenciado en el último artículo de abajo [12].

Elementos/Relacionados contextuales en las noticias:

  1. ¿Ama Microsoft al open source? Sólo cuando es conveniente

    Pero mientras esto ha estado sucediendo, tu no has estado enterandote de la otra parte de Microsoft. Simúltaneamente con Eclipse y SQL anuncios, Microsoft también anunció que exitosamente extrajo licencias de patentes de Wistron de Taiwan por el uso de Androiid y de Rakuten de Japón por el uso de Linux y Android. Aunque ha habido una completo adormecimento en agresión de patentes últimamente, esto tiene una larga historia y les genera un montón de dinero.

    Si, eso es correcto: Con una cara, Microsoft quiere que lo perdonemos y olvidemos los comentarios de ¨cancer¨, sus sucios trucos, y sus arreglos de estándares. Incluso cuando el cadaver de SCO estuvo todavía tibio siguiendo la Redmon-financiada guerra contra Linux, Microsoft quiere que no miremos más de una década de hostilidad y lo aceptemos como un miembro con derechos completos ya que se muestra con código, dinero y adulaciones. Pero con la otra cara, Microsoft continua forzando a miembros de las comunidades de Android y Linux a pagar dinero a montones por ¨licencias¨ de patentes o se enfrenten a litigación destructiva.

  2. Advertencia! Windows 7 y 8.1 ¨Updates de Seguridad¨ Es Básicamente Un Windows 10 Downloader

    Microsoft tiene un Windows 10 ad-generador/downloador en su último update de seguridad KB 3139929. Este update de ´seguridad´ es para usuarios de IE11 que todavía estan usando Windows 7 y 8.1. Así que, antes de instalar cualquier ¨Arreglo¨ del Martes, tomen un momento de mirar lo que hay adentro.

  3. Windows Arreglo KB 3139929: Cuando un update de seguridad no es un update

    If Microsoft’s documentation is correct, installing Patch Tuesday’s KB 3139929 security update for Internet Explorer also installs a new Windows 10 ad-generating routine called KB 3146449.

    Mucha gente – compañías presentes incluídas – sienten que poner un generador de propaganda dentro de un supuesto update de seguridad cruza la línea. En realidad, tienes que preguntartelo tu mismo si existen todavía algunas.


    Si la documentación es comprobada, el intrusivo consigue Vista 10 ha alcazado nuevos bajos niveles.

  4. Aprovechándose del la ingenuidad estadounidense a través de software de código abierto y reutilizable – White House continua impulsando códig open source federal
  5. La Casa Blanca Continúa Impulsando un Código Abierto Federal

    La Casa Blanca emitió un público diseño para comentarios que apoyaría hacer el código usado por agencias federales sea abierto el pasado Jueves.

    Es parte del continuo esfuerzo de la administración de Obama de hacer los sistemas de cómputo del gobierno más eficientes al usar programas de código abierto y de hacer público el código escrito por agencias gubernamentales dentro y fuera del gobierno.

  6. 3r Memo de Políticas de OMB en una semana tiene como objetivo la compra de software

    La ocupadísima semana de la Oficina de Gerencia y Presupuesto continuó el Jueves con su tercer memo de prácticas en siete dias.

    Conjuntamente con un diseño de consolidación de datos y un final mandato para cada agencia establecer un Club de Compradores para adquisiciones Innovativas, OMB tiene en la mira que el software que se usa en esos centros de datos y sea comprado por esos expertos en procuración.

    El Jefe de Informática Tony Scott publicó un diseño de políticas de software de código abierto el 10 de Marzo con el gold de reducir compras dobles y tomar ventaja de las mejores prácticas de la industria.

  7. ¿Estás listo a compartir to Código?

    La Oficina de Gerencia y Presupuesto ha publicado un diseño de prácticas para mejorar como código personalizado es desarrollado por el gobierno – incluyendo aquel desarrollado por contratados – es comprado y distribuído.

  8. La Casa Blanca quiere más compartible, código reusable

    La Casa Blanca esta buscando hacer que el código de software usado por las agencias federales sea más abierto, compartible y reusable. El 10 de Marzo un blog post del CIO Federal Tony Scott anunció un nuevo diseño de política federal que crearía un nuevo set de reglas para el uso de código personalizado y/o desarrollado por el gobierno federal.

  9. La Agencias tendrían que responder ante los nuevos requerimientos bajo un diseño de politicas de OMB

    La Casa Blanca emitió un diseño de políticas que requeriría que las agencias federales abran una significante parte de su código. Bajo esta propuest, la Oficina de Gerencia y Presupuesto, pilotearía el requerimiento de compartir públicamente todo el código personalizado desarrollad dentro de las agencias federales y por lo menos 20% de código nuevo de terceros que trabajen para ellos.

  10. OMB se prepara para convertir todo el código federal a open source

    La administración ha estado mirando a usar las mejores prácticas el el desarrollamiento de software, usando tiendas de innovación com 18F y el Servicio Digital de los Estados Unidos para probar y promover métodos como desarrollo agile y hacer uso del código abierto.

    Ahora, el entero gobierno federal se embarcará en ello. La Oficina de Gerencia y Presupuesto publicó el primer diseño en la Política de Fuente de Código, un mandato para hacer todo código desarrollado federalmente abierto a cualquiera.

  11. Nueva Politica de la OMB aputa hacer el código de las agencias federales open source

    La Casa Blanca publicará un diseño de políticas el Jueves para compartir código fuente dentro de las agencias federales, incluyendo un programa piloto que hará una porción del código federal open source.

  12. Microsoft Tratando de Engatusar a los feds a probar su nuevo SQL para Linux

    Analysts dicen que este movimiento le permitiría competir más efectivamente con Oracle e IBM, quienes desde hace tiempo producen Linux compatibles databases.

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