06.09.16

Gemini version available ♊︎

Dutch Media Reveals That Battistelli Continues His Vicious War on Staff Unions, Laurent Prunier the Latest Casualty (The Hague)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Worse than doing none of what the Administrative Council demanded

Battistelli in Dutch media

Summary: “Last week,” says Dutch media, Laurent Prunier from SUEPO in The Hague “got delivered its final report. Conclusion: guilty of “misconduct” that undermine Battistelli’s leadership.”

THE EPO is busy distracting from today's protests which we'll expand on in our next post. But not all the media received money from the EPO (at Battistelli’s request), nor does it drink that silly EIA16 Kool-Aid.

As one person pointed out in IP Kat the other day, “the EPO is back again in the NL reputable press” (pointing to this new bit of negative publicity from the Dutch mainstream media).

Well, “translations welcome,” we said, and we believe the article was well overdue because of the latest protests (to be covered later). Only a day later SUEPO added a link to this article and Petra Kramer, a native Dutch speaker, prepared a translation for us and remarked: “Not one bit of progress has been made.”

Here is the full translation with important bits highlighted in yellow:

Private war between CEO and and the union of the patent office is not over yet

Labour conflict Again there is hassle in the European Patent Office. The ruthless nature of CEO Battistelli is a concern for Member States.

Eppo König

June 9, 2016

Earlier this year it seemed or Battistelli President of the EPO would resign.

The war between President Benoît Battistelli of the European Patent Office (EPO) and its trade union continues. While the Frenchman Thursday in Lisbon rewards the inventor of the year, his staff in The Hague holds a protest march along the embassies of EU Member States. “Our management is bullying and intimidating trade union and works council members in a manner that would be unacceptable in your country,” they wrote to the ambassadors.

The patent office (38 States, 7,000 employees) is the largest intergovernmental organization in Europe, after the European Commission. The agency reviews patent applications and grants European patents. Headquartered in Munich, inter alia, an office in Rijswijk.

Early this year, tensions at the EPO were so high that it seemed as if Battistelli (65) would resign. The highest body of the Agency, the Management Board representing the 38 Member States, forced Battistelli to hold back against union SUEPO.

The intervention followed the dismissal of two trade union leaders, the Dutch Els Hardon, union president in Munich, its German predecessor Ion Brumme. Treasurer Malika Weaver is cut in her salary. The official accusations are conspiring against Battistelli and bullying a member of the council who was pro-Battistelli.

Guilty of misconduct

But the president is not finished with the union, which represents half of the employees. The own research unit of the EPO completed the research of union secretary Laurent Prunier, who was too stressed to work and has been on unpaid leave for five months. Last week he got delivered its final report. Conclusion: guilty of “misconduct” that undermine Battistelli’s leadership.

“Either you have not understood the resolution of the Member States or you ignored it from the beginning,” Prunier’s lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld wrote in a letter to all Member States and Battistelli last week. The president was indeed summoned to suspend all pending proceedings against trade unionists. He needs the review the ‘disciplinary procedures’ to ensure that they are fair and that the are seen that way by the outside world.

The point is that the patent office as an international organization is not covered by national labour law. We are immune to our rules and can not be judged through Dutch eyes, says Battistelli. In refusing to recognize trade union SUEPO he is in defiance of the Hague Court. Employees with a labour dispute should go to the International Labour Organization, a slow UN body in Geneva. The office in Rijwijk uses a Belgian company doctor that is not registered as a doctor in the Netherlands.

Just as the agency has its own research unit – which hears employees without a lawyer present, is the criticism of the union. Even independent research confirms that the “integrity” and “ethical behavior” in this package can be improved. A “very clear” definition of misconduct must be drawn up, according to a report from May. The service should clearly explain how e-mail and computers are investigated. And above all: the unit must operate independently of the president.


“The research unit will answer without a lawyer workers there”


The case Prunier can end up as a sensitive issue this month as the management board meets again. Major countries, such as Netherlands, Germany, France, Sweden and Switzerland, have heavily criticized by Battistelli, according to sources. The negative publicity about the conflicts harm the reputation of the agency, which has outstanding patent researchers. The incidents embarrass host countries such as the Netherlands because intervention is almost impossible.

In substantive terms critical Member States do agree with Battistelli. They support the reforms he has implemented, such as investment in IT and bonuses for performance instead of seniority. The Member States’ concern lies primarily with the ruthless, irascible character Battistelli. He seems to wage a private war against a union, which is just as war-like as the president himself. The conflict thereby is also hindering business operations, such as the reform of the pension system.

As the president of the EPO Battistelli has a lot of power, the 38 Member States can not do much. There is no impeachment procedure in the regulations, apart from the question of whether or not a majority of the Member States would support it. The more time passes, the closer Battistelli gets to the end of his term. That could mean two long years of conflict, lawsuits and bad publicity.

The patent office does not respond to individual cases, said a spokesman. The agency says that the management board is regularly informed on the reform of investigations and sanctions.

As we are going to show in our next post, it’s likely that not only Prunier is under additional attacks from Battistelli, who is truly crazy and detached from reality (perhaps he feels like he’s totally unsackable). Is Jesus, who reportedly suffered mental breakdowns due to the vicious attacks on him (and apparently his wife too came under veiled attacks), next in Battistelli’s firing line, for the alleged ‘crime’ of helping to conduct a staff survey? Based on patterns of the EPO's actions against SUEPO, The Hague is next, after all the attacks in Munich (which still exacerbate further).

Correction (10/6/2016): The “NRC Translation,” a reader told us, had a “factual error” as follows:

I spotted an important factual error from the document translated that requires clarification to best illustrate how the current regime acts:

Laurent Prunier is not on unpaid leave contrary to what is here written. The current administration cut 100% of his remuneration since January (!) although Laurent has been certified sick by his treating GP and by the GP designated as Arbiter. This is of course nothing else but a harsh disciplinary sanction, this time without even a board of discipline! That’s very different than being on unpaid leave ;)

Thanks for correcting this small but important detail!

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Linux News or Marketing Platform?

    Ads everywhere: Phoronix puts them at the top, bottom, navigation bar, left, and right just to read some Microsoft junk (puff pieces about something that nobody other than Microsoft even uses); in addition there are pop-ups asking for consent to send visitors’ data to hundreds of data brokers



  2. Daily Links at Techrights Turn 15, Time to Give Them an Upgrade

    This year we have several 15-year anniversaries; one of them is Daily Links (it turned 15 earlier this week) and we've been working to improve these batches of links, making them a lot more extensive and somewhat better structured/clustered



  3. Back to Focusing on Unified Patent Court (UPC) Crimes and Illegal Patent Agenda, Including the EPO's

    The EPO's (European Patent Office, Europe's second-largest institution) violations of constitutions, laws and so on merit more coverage, seeing that what's left of the "media" not only fails to cover scandalous things but is actively cheering for criminals (in exchange for money)



  4. European Patent Office Staff Votes in Favour of Freedom of Association (97% of Voters in Support)

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) at the EPO makes a strong case for António Campinos to stop breaking and law and actually start obeying court orders (he’s no better than Benoît Battistelli and he uses worse language already)



  5. Links 02/02/2023: Glibc 2.37 and Go 1.20

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 01, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 01, 2023



  7. Links 01/02/2023: Security Problems, Unrest, and More

    Links for the day



  8. Links 01/02/2023: Stables Kernels and Upcoming COSMIC From System76

    Links for the day



  9. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 31, 2023



  10. Links 31/01/2023: Catchup Again, Wayland in Xfce 4.20

    Links for the day



  11. Links 31/01/2023: elementary OS 7

    Links for the day



  12. Intimidation Against Nitrux Development Team Upsets the Community and Makes the Media Less Trustworthy

    Nitrux is being criticised for being “very unappealing”; but a look behind the scenes reveals an angry reviewer (habitual mouthpiece of the Linux Foundation and Linux foes) trying to intimidate Nitrux developers, who are unpaid volunteers rather than “corporate” developers



  13. Links 31/01/2023: GNOME 44 Wallpapers and Alpha

    Links for the day



  14. Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) and KU Leuven Boosting Americans and Cancellers of the Father of Free Software

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), along with the SFLC one might add, have been under a siege by the trademark-abusing FSFE and SFC; Belgium helps legitimise the ‘fakes’



  15. Techrights in the Next 5 or 10 Years

    Now that I’m free from the shackles of a company (it deteriorated a lot after grabbing Gates Foundation money under an NDA) the site Techrights can flourish and become more active



  16. 60 Days of Articles About Sirius 'Open Source' and the Long Road Ahead

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series ended after 60 days (parts published every day except the day my SSD died completely and very suddenly); the video above explains what’s to come and what lessons can be learned from the 21-year collective experience (my wife and I; work periods combined) in a company that still claims, in vain, to be “Open Source”



  17. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 30, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, January 30, 2023



  18. Taking Techrights to the Next Level in 2023

    I've reached a state of "closure" when it comes to my employer (almost 12 years for me, 9+ years for my wife); expect Techrights to become more active than ever before and belatedly publish important articles, based on longstanding investigations that take a lot of effort



  19. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Realise That Outsourcing Clients' Passwords to LassPass After Security Breaches Is a Terrible Idea

    The mentality or the general mindset at Sirius ‘Open Source’ was not compatible with that of security conscientiousness and it seemed abundantly clear that paper mills (e.g. ISO certification) cannot compensate for that



  20. Links 30/01/2023: Plasma Mobile 23.01 and GNU Taler 0.9.1

    Links for the day



  21. EPO Management Isn't Listening to Staff, It's Just Trying to Divide and Demoralise the Staff Instead

    “On 18 January 2023,” the staff representatives tell European Patent Office (EPO) colleagues, “the staff representation met with the administration in a Working Group on the project “Bringing Teams Together”. It was the first meeting since the departure of PD General Administration and the radical changes made to the project. We voiced the major concerns of staff, the organization chaos and unrest caused by the project among teams and made concrete proposals.”



  22. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023



  24. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"



  25. Not Tolerating Proprietary 'Bossware' in the Workplace (or at Home in Case of Work-From-Home)

    The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.



  26. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software



  27. Debian 11 on My Main Rig: So Far Mostly OK, But Missing Some Software From Debian 10

    Distributions of GNU/Linux keep urging us to move to the latest, but is the latest always the greatest? On Friday my Debian 10 drive died, so I started moving to Debian 11 on a new drive and here's what that did to my life.



  28. Stigmatising GNU/Linux for Not Withstanding Hardware Failures

    Nowadays "the news" is polluted with a lot of GNU/Linux-hostile nonsense; like with patents, the signal-to-noise ratio is appalling and here we deal with a poor 'report' about "Linux servers" failing to work



  29. Microsofters Inside Sirius 'Open Source'

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has been employing incompetent managers for years — a sentiment shared among colleagues by the way; today we examine some glaring examples with redacted communications to prove it



  30. Links 29/01/2023: GNOME 43.3 Fixes and Lots About Games

    Links for the day


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