EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.03.16

EPO Strike in 3.5 Days Effective in All Sites, Lots for EPO Staff to be Angry About

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stuff for staff of the EPO to be aware of

EPO strike banner

Summary: An outline of the strike at the European Patent Office (EPO), why it is happening, how EPO’s management attempted to derail it (even pro-actively), how the Administrative Council’s inaction contributed to it, and why this matters to Techrights

THIS was inevitably going to happen. The staff has had enough and it won’t tolerate it without sending out a strong message. For some context and background on this we suggest the following older articles of ours (sorted chronologically):

There are a few more articles on this topic, but the above are linked to them one way or another. It is important to also remember that EPO Vice-President Željko Topić formally weakened the right to strike last year, threatening financial retaliation against those who go on strike. He must be thinking that Eponia is as lawless as his own/home country; well, Eponia is technically worse in many ways. It’s like a kingdom with a king — one who can also break his own rules whenever he feels like it and ignores his sort of 'judges' (because a king is a king, Sun King).

The strike images are apparently being circulated this weekend* and earlier today (Sunday) SUEPO posted the following text in its public pages:

One-day Office-wide strike on 7 April 2016

No essential progress has been made on staff’s claims as expressed in the call for strike entitled “Lawfulness at the EPO” that was sent to the President on 10 February 2016. The initiators of the call for strike have informed the CSC that they would like the strike to happen at the earliest opportunity. Accordingly, the strike shall take place on 7 April 2016 at all sites of employment: Munich, The Hague, Berlin and Vienna.

This is not a SUEPO thing but also a CSC thing**, so it’s very broad and widely supported.

Meanwhile, according to this morning’s new comment, CA/26/16 is out. AC-DC (Administrative Council-Disciplinary Committee presumably, as a band-named joke) wrote:

“The AC, [...] having repeatedly expressed its deep concerns about the social unrest within the EPOffice;
having repeatedly urged the EPOffice President and the trade unions to reach a consensus on an MOU which would establish a framework for negotiation between social partners;
noting that disciplinary sanctions and proceedings against staff or trade union
representatives have, among other reasons, made it more difficult to reach such a consensus;
noting that these disciplinary sanctions and proceedings are widely being questioned in the public opinion;
recalling the importance and the urgency of the structural reform of the BOA;
recognizing the important institutional role of the AC and its dependence on a well-resourced and independent secretariat;
Calls on both parties to the social dialogue to recognize their responsibilities and to work diligently and in good faith to find a way forward, and:
Requests the EPOffice President – to ensure that disciplinary sanctions and proceedings are not only fair but also seen to be so, and to consider the possibility of involvement of an external reviewer or of arbitration or mediation pending the outcome of this process and before further decisions in disciplinary cases are taken, to inform the AC in appropriate detail and make proposals that enhance confidence in fair and reasonable proceedings and sanctions;
to submit to the AC a draft revision of the Staff Regulations which incorporates investigation guidelines (including the investigation unit) and disciplinary procedures which have been reviewed and amended;
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;
to submit proposals to the AC at its June 2016 meeting, after discussion in B28, for immediate implementation of the structural reform of the BOA, on the lines of the 5 points agreed by the AC at its December 2015 meeting and of the legal advice given by Prof. Sarooshi, and taking into account comments from the Presidium of the BOA;
to submit proposals to the AC at its June 2016 meeting, after discussion in B28, for reinforcement of the AC secretariat and a clarification of its position in terms of governance.
Requests the staff representation and the Trade Unions – to acknowledge the importance
of firm and fair disciplinary procedures; and to respond constructively to the initiatives set out above, in particular to work rapidly to an agreement on Union recognition without preconditions.”

Sounds like the AC did not have a clue of what was going on, did they? Supervisory body? European model institution? Frightening …

Yours, AC-DC

By failing to take firm action in the middle of March the Administrative Council failed to prevent a strike. In a sense, it’s partly at fault and arguably to blame for this. It’s just too close to Battistelli, still. People can sense it and they act accordingly.

Personally, and as many readers of Techrights would agree, I have an issue with software patents in Europe, which the UPC threatens to bring/cement. EPO lobbying for UPC at Fordham 2016 was covered here in English and in Spanish over the weekend and another blog update from a UPC proponent who was there says:

In the UPC, the risk of a pan-European injunction increases these considerations. Tina suggested that a concept of an automatic one-size fits all injunction can distort how companies do business. Indeed, a concept of an automatic injunction may prioritize litigation over licensing.

Annabelle Bennett, in the audience, commented that the patent is the right to exclude: “Previously, in the ordinary patent sense, people would come to court and almost automatically be granted an injunction. But, an injunction is a discretionary remedy which means you do not get an injunction in all cases. Standard essential patents (SEPs) are a classic example or where a device has 1000 patents in it. Judges are not automatons – they will fashion the remedy to the case.” This will hopefully also ring true in the UPC, says Merpel.

There is generally a lot more to be angry about than just abuse of EPO workers. This institution does not serve humans, it increasingly just serves large corporations (at the expense of people) and many of these corporations are not at all European.
___________
* One image/message we took a glimpse at said: “From a friend of a friend… The future of the EPO is at stake! 3701 colleagues voted for strike. You made it possible: The restoration of fundamental rights and the end of injustice at the EPO is now within our reach. The cracks in the system can no longer be hidden. Join now for a day of office-wide strike. Change the course of the EPO. As everyone is watching, your determination can now restore our rights. On 7 April, you will decide about your future and the future of the EPO. Strike on 7 April”

** “Please note,” one message stated, “that has been notified by this strike day has been officially notified by CSC to the President in a letter on the 30.03.16 [...] the choice of the date is a consequence of a letter from the lawyer acting on behalf of the initiators of the strike “Lawfulness at the EPO”. Please note that, even though the strike is “organised by the EPO”, it seems that so far (four working days before) no registration tool has been put in place. But it can only be a matter of time.”

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Looking for Explanations About Samsung's DeX and Other FOSS Initiatives Being Canned

    DeX was primarily a threat to the desktop/laptop monopoly of Microsoft, so its sudden abandonment — without even an explanation — continues to attract speculations



  2. EPO Will Need a Lot More Than Photo Ops and Hoax 'Studies' to Restore the Perception of Lawfulness

    Battistelli‘s illegal attacks on European Patent Office (EPO) judges have tarnished any impression that the EPO serves justice and the current regime torpedoes an assessment of these attacks; EPO workers understand that to follow guidelines from the management may be a breach of the EPC



  3. Links 21/10/2019: More on DeX, Disney DRM and Linux 5.4 RC4

    Links for the day



  4. GNU/Linux is Bigger Than Ever (Used More Than Ever Before), But Communication Means and Brands Have Changed

    The GNU/Linux market is alive and healthy; it's how we measure its health that ought to adapt because things are constantly changing, more rapidly in the realm of technology than anywhere else



  5. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 20, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 20, 2019



  6. Samsung Does Not Say Why It's Dropping DeX, But the ASUS EEE Story Might Offer Clues

    It's not at all outlandish or unreasonable to suggest that Microsoft used patents or bribes or kickbacks as incentives for Samsung to abandon GNU/Linux as a desktop platform



  7. EPO: It's Only Getting Worse

    Inhaling Seagull meme for EPO presidents



  8. It Has Begun: EPO Staff Protests Against António Campinos (Starting Wednesday)

    Wednesday marks the resumption of EPO protests; it’s happening for the first time under Campinos and only a year after he took Office. Even Battistelli, the notorious thug, lasted longer before such escalations/actions or — put another way — he did better than that (if one checks the timeline of his presidency)



  9. Links 20/10/2019: GNU/Linux at Penn Manor School District, Wine-Staging 4.18, Xfce 4.16 Development, FreeBSD 12.1 RC2

    Links for the day



  10. Guest Post: Understanding Autism for More Complete Inclusion

    "...assuming that autistic people are all the same isn't only technically wrong, it is misleading and leads to harmful and needless misunderstandings."



  11. Guest Post: Free Software Freedom is Not a Freedom of Choice

    The concept of "Freedom of Choice" and how the ruling class uses it to give a false impression of "Freedom"



  12. Guest Post: Free Software Developers and Pursuing 'Market Share'

    "The only people interested in software freedom are (almost always) free software developers. And users are interested in freedom to a very limited extent: the "free beer" side. Even many free software developers are only interested in the "free beer" part of free software."



  13. The Assertion That Microsoft Uses Communist Tactics Against GNU/Linux and Free/Libre Software

    A study of Taistoism might help understand how Free/libre software is being undermined



  14. European Patent Office and US Patent and Trademark Office Cranks Discovered Buzzwords, Stopped Worrying, Started Granting Patents They Know to be Fake

    The world's patent repositories are being saturated with loads of junk patents or patents that have no legal bearing but can still be leveraged for extortion purposes; the EPO is resorting to lies and artificially-elevated buzzwords to justify granting such fake (yet ruinous) patents



  15. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 19, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 19, 2019



  16. “The True Hypocrite is the One Who Ceases to Perceive His Deception, the One Who Lies With Sincerity,” Said André Paul Guillaume Gide (Nobel Prize in Literature)

    Lies flow like water in the realm of EPO and its publishers, whose sole role is dissemination of deliberate falsehoods, misnomers and misinformation



  17. The EPO Cannot Guard Fake European Patents From Scrutiny (in the Long Run)

    Legal certainty associated with newly-granted European Patents is already pretty low and as long as the EPO refuses to acknowledge that its courts (or boards) lack autonomy the EPO merely brushes a growing problem under the rug



  18. Links 19/10/2019: DeX Discontinued, DXVK 1.4.3 and Wine 4.18 Released

    Links for the day



  19. 'Corporate Linux' Will Not Protect Software Freedom

    The corporate model is inherently not compatible with software that users themselves fully control (or Software Freedom in general), so we must rely on another model of sovereignty over code and compiled code (binaries)



  20. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 18, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, October 18, 2019



  21. 26,000 Posts

    We want to thank those who help spread the word; it gives us moral support and morale.



  22. The Myth of 'Analysts'

    People with exaggerated roles (exaggerated by corporate media and corporations that control them) distort public perceptions about their clients; they're in effect just elevated marketing or Public Relations (PR) operatives



  23. The FSF Has Two Acting Presidents Now

    Alexandre Oliva, who acted as a sort of deputy of Richard Stallman in recent weeks, sheds some much-needed light on the current situation



  24. Should Anybody Dictate the Free Software Movement?

    "There's a great myth, as Jagadees reminds us, that advocacy doesn't produce software. That myth is corporate, and proper advocacy has at times produced the greatest software in the history of computing. If we want great Free software to continue, we need advocacy more than ever."



  25. Links 18/10/2019: More KDE Events and OpenBSD 6.6

    Links for the day



  26. We Don't Know Who Will Run the Free Software Foundation, But We Know Who Will Run the GNU Project

    Software Freedom is under a heavy and perhaps unprecedented attack; some people out there are paid by the attackers to celebrate this attack and defame people (cheering for corporate takeover under the blanket of “Open Source”), but the founder of the Free software movement remains alive, well, and very much active



  27. New EPO Meme: Who Wants to Make Billions From a 'Public' Monopoly?

    What was supposed to be a cash-balanced patent office became a money-making monster that fakes ‘crises’ to attack hard-working examiners



  28. EmacsConf Without Richard Stallman

    Now that emacs is being 'rebranded' this kind of meme seems apt



  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 17, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 17, 2019



  30. Guest Article: In the Absence of Richard Stallman OEM Source Software ('Open Source') is Trying to Hijack Even Emacs

    "Now they have to create some fictional history. No need to worry."


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts