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03.18.16

Benoît Battistelli Made SUEPO Stronger by Trying to Decapitate It, May in Fact Have Self-Decapitated EPO (President in the Chopping Line)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not a guillotine reference but the technical name of a union-busting or movement-crushing strategy

Hercules slaying the Hydra
Lernaean Hydra

Summary: By attacking SUEPO, hoping this would somehow make it go away, Battistelli has in fact just made it stronger and his ‘boss’ at the Administrative Council is growing impatient, based on a new interview with Managing IP (MIP)

THINGS have only been heating up at the EPO as shortly after the meeting of the Administrative Council the suspended/dismissed people at the EPO gained more power/popularity; Battistelli’s aggressive actions merely served to legitimise them. This made them look like martyrs in a sense and this even united the staff (united against the management, which is increasingly perceived as illegitimate, with record numbers in attendance at protests). By refusing to being them back (whether pending an independent investigation or not) Battistelli digs himself deeper into/inside a hole. It’s going to end up with Battistelli as the sole casualty.

Based on new information that we have received, SUEPO elections have ended. Here is a message about it:

A quick summary of the SUEPO elections:

17 Feb 2016: SUEPO AGM
After a vote SUEPO Munich statutes were amended so that the term of office of the elected SUEPO Committee was changed from 1 to 2 years.

10 March 2016 – 16 March 2016: Voting period for the new SUEPO Munich Committee

16 March 2016: Election results announced
57% turn out. 1240 people voted (up to 7 votes each).
The following candidates (among others) were declared elected (number of votes in parentheses):
Ion Brumme (1142)
Malika Weaver (1103)
Elizabeth Hardon (1100)

16 March 2016: Resolution adopted by the Administrative Council
Requests the EPOffice President –

to achieve, within the framework of the tripartite negotiations, an MOU simultaneously with both trade unions, which would have no pre-conditions or exclude any topics from future discussions.

18 March 2016: Constitution of Munich SUEPO Committee announced
Chairperson: Elizabeth Hardon (sacked and banned from EPO)
Vice-Chairman: Ion Brumme (sacked and banned from EPO)
Treasurer: Malika Weaver

This means that the staff will be represented by people whom Battistelli wrongly thought he had eliminated. How foolish was he. As a reader of ours put it: “it was most interesting that Elizabeth Hardon is now back to annoy Battistelli for another two years, if he doesn’t sort it out with her he is possibly facing the sack, and she is still not allowed inside the EPO! The last SUEPO AGM had to be held in a local hall precisely for that reason.”

MIP has been trying to speak to the man who can fire Battistelli for quite some time (they even told us about it after we had published a leaked message from him). James Nurton has finally managed to speak to him and the resultant article is titled “EPO’s Admin Council chair expects action by June”. This result should be, based on many people’s expectations, Battistelli’s departure, as he sure isn’t willing to tolerate his opposition or recognise the real staff union. Here is the publicly-accessible part of the article (behind paywall):

The EPO’s Administrative Council has called on the Organisation’s management and staff “to work diligently and in good faith” to find a way out of the current crisis, as its Chair Jesper Kongstad told Managing IP in an exclusive interview

The Admin Council, which comprises representatives of all 38 contracting states, met for two days this week as scheduled.

Following the meeting, on Thursday night, it issued a communiqué recognising the social unrest, the controversy over disciplinary proceedings, the need for structural reform of the Boards of Appeal and the role of the Council.

Battistelli’s ‘damage control’ carries on with PR people promoting his inane little post (warning: epo.org link) about a meaningless ‘milestone’. Too bad Benoît Battistelli does not tell staff anything about the privatisation aspects associated with those numbers, as covered in the following older series of posts about another Frenchman.

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

Battistelli is still deep inside a hole and we expect him not to last for much longer. The numbers he presents often turn out to be bunk (making him harder to trust). The only way for the Organisation to begin to repair its public image is to sack the President of the Office, or convince him to amicably resign (with whatever severance package he dreams of).

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