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

06.15.16

EPO Brain Drain Goes All the Way to the Top as Head of Patent Administration Abruptly Resigns

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A pattern of resignations continues [1, 2, 3, 4] as Ciaran McGinley too will fall this fall (having just announced intent of resignation or retirement intent far too early in his career)

A photo from EPO Vienna

Summary: People who are allegedly responsible for the unprecedented lawlessness at the EPO are leaving again, perhaps realising what’s next to come and shrewdly trying to dodge it based on insider information which they possess

IN OUR previous post we showed how SUEPO leaders and staff representatives are being abused inside the IU (EPO Investigative Unit). They’re gagged, so not much is known about what goes on inside. No wonder there are strikes this year. The EPO has become an embarrassing institution to work for, based on what EPO workers sometimes tell us. It wasn’t always like that. The EPO used to have relatively good reputation (we had an amicable attitude towards the EPO back in the Brimelow days), not just based on EPO mouthpieces.

“The EPO has become an embarrassing institution to work for, based on what EPO workers sometimes tell us.”Based on the latest news, Board 28 was right to say there's a "crisis" at the EPO. Now, only a few months later, the top managers have begun quitting their jobs. Vacuum remains behind them, compromising the quality of operations (not just as measured by number of approved applications but actual patent quality). We are growing rather concerned that it puts in jeopardy the entire organisation (hence everybody’s jobs, including delegates’).

When one sees his or her employees committing suicide under the Battistelli regime it’s not too shocking to see high-level resignations. If Battistelli does not step down pretty soon, signaling change and hope (to use the Obama buzzwords), a lot of other managers (even those in Battistelli’s circle but especially good, moral, respected ones) will vanish. This will compromise the entire Office, so the Organisation must act fast and decisively. This might also save lives (recall this letter from Ciaran McGinley about the fourth suicide).

Several different sources told us about the latest resignation. Basically, the head of Patent Administration (where many of the suicides happened at the EPO) has just unexpectedly resigned. This was known about yesterday, but now the word is circulating more widely. “I got the news yesterday lunchtime,” told us one person, “however I wasn’t allowed to share” the information, “but since it’s live now, here we go:

It could either mean personal damage control or jumping from the sinking ship (SOS Titanic) or both! The time will tell us.

BREAKING NEWS !

PD 21 CIARAN MCGINLEY JUST INFORMED STAFF THAT HE LEAVES IN EARLY RETIREMENT

with among other one striking sentence “However, looking to the future leads me to the conclusion that early retirement from the EPO is the right step both personally and professionally.”

In our experience (writing about software), people often retire early right before (or shortly after) major scandals that jeopardise one’s ‘peak’ or memorable legacy.

Our theory about this is that he cannot take it anymore, no matter the compensation (salary) working for incompetent top-level managers whom the staff hates so much that some commit suicide. There have been stories like this in other companies. That’s a sort of “acceptance” stage and appropriate action. We begrudgingly commend Ciaran McGinley for this decision, which surely he knew would damage Battistelli’s legitimacy before his potential sacking later this month (well overdue).

“Regarding the resignation of McGinley,” told us another source, “my first thought was exactly like what was portrayed below the first lines: Ciaran McGinley must know something that everyone else don’t.”

Is there more on the way? For completeness of our records, here is Ciaran McGinley’s farewell message in full:

From: Silke Johmann On Behalf Of Ciaran McGinley
Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 1:35 PM
To: PA_all Staff
Subject: To all staff in Patent Administration

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to inform you of my intention to take early retirement later this year, namely from 1st November onwards. I have informed Alberto yesterday evening and the President this morning.

Since taking up my duties at the European Patent Office on 1 January 1982, it has been a continuous privilege to have worked in, and to have contributed to, this organisation. It has furthermore been an honour to have served under, and worked directly with, all six Presidencies. The last years have been especially enjoyable as Principal Director of Patent Administration and I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the wonderful contribution made by each and every one of you. Serving you since 1 January 2010 has been a highlight of my professional career at the EPO.

However, looking to the future leads me to the conclusion that early retirement from the EPO is the right step both personally and professionally. After all these years, I believe that the circumstances are now such that it is time for me to move on.

No doubt we will have the opportunity to share, reminisce and thank each other more personally in the coming months. I very much look forward to that.

Yours faithfully,

Ciaran McGinley
Principal Director, Patent Administration

So Ciaran McGinley, who has worked for the EPO since I was just two weeks old, is now leaving prematurely. Here are some thoughts we found about this, which look upon McGinley rather negatively, framing him as a big part of the problem:

An iconic EPO top manager is prematurely leaving the EPO…

- PD 21, Mr. Ciaran McGinley has announced to his staff his “intention to take early retirement later this year, namely from 1st November onwards”. This announce has come as a great surprise: Mr McG has been a notorious EPO manager for his long and (hyper-?) active time in the EPO but is still far from the EPO statutory pension age of 65.

- He has served in various positions, in particular as advisor to two EPO Presidents (worked under six of them), and is/was renowned for the legions of bold and staff-unfriendly reform ideas, which he repeatedly defended (against all parties preferably, in particular staff) with little diplomacy but with a remarkable skillful and eloquent stamina year after year… Just to cite one: the abolition of Automatic steps, which is unfortunately now a reality under Mr. Battistelli last career reform… So why should such a reform champion leave?

- Surely, personal reasons must prevail (enough pension rights, financial sustainability, personal and professional plans, etc..). Or has this manager informations about an imminent pension reform, that staff does not know about (at least not the Staff representation), rendering a quick departure a tactically clever thing to do? However, most “great leaders” who identify with their organisation, tend to feel essential for the future of the office and often believe in being unreplaceable: so why stopping now so “early”, so suddenly Surely not for simple mundane criteria such as stability and safety.

- Clearly when a herald of “tough” reforms thinks that “circumstances are now such that it is me for [him] to move on”, it does raise a few eye-brows… One cannot but have the impression that, perhaps, even for him, the radical provocateur he always likes(d) to posture himself, the present climate and today’s leadership may have gone a few unbearable steps too far.

- The question is not if other staff or managers think along these lines (a look in the staff survey should be enough to know the answer): the question is when will the Administrative Council understand and act to stop this?

That’s actually a good question. McGinley may be one among several ‘bigwigs’ to fall. Several people believe so. Stay tuned… there’s a lot more coming.

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. When the Decision is OK and the Judge's Motivations Are Also OK

    Justice Huber made the right call; but the bullies and charlatans who conspired to undermine laws and constitutions will never be satisfied



  2. The Fall of the UPC - Part XII: Doing the Unthinkable by Blaming the Judge's (Justice's) Wife?

    Team UPC and its media partners never cease to amaze us; anybody who stands in their way is either portrayed as a Russian stooge or too ignorant to be worth talking to



  3. The Fall of the UPC - Part XI: Lies Told by Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI) in Süddeutsche Zeitung

    Today we look at misleading claims (or lies) published by Süddeutsche Zeitung after the Germans' constitutional court (FCC) had pointed out the obvious, namely that UPC ratification would be in violation of the German constitution



  4. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 05, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, April 05, 2020



  5. Links 5/4/2020: MindSpore, Covid-19 Projects and More

    Links for the day



  6. EPO is Just Like Some Cruel Political Party and Not a Patent Office

    The "cabal" which runs today's EPO (even the word "Mafia" seems suitable here) isn't acting -- not even remotely -- like a patent office; it's a patent-printing operation ("protection money" as income) that uses shallow political stunts to manufacture consent with the EU's 'generous' assistance



  7. Digitalisation and Digital Technologies as a Ploy to Justify Illegal Software Patents

    Say "hello" to the next weasel word/s; from the "hey hi" hype wave we've now moved to something "digital" (which can mean just about anything, including algorithms of all sorts)



  8. The Fall of the UPC - Part X: How We Shall Catalogue UPC Lies

    The cult that Team UPC became (one member lying to another member, maintaining a false version of reality) will be judged based on underlying facts, not lying about facts; we start with a token of contempt for IP Kat and Bristows LLP (there are overlaps)



  9. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 04, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, April 04, 2020



  10. Major Revelation: Microsoft Blackmail Against LAMP (GNU/Linux and Free Stacks for Servers) Goes At Least 16 Years Back, Predating the Novell Patent Deal

    (Techno-)Anthropological analyses of Microsoft's patent war on Free/libre software must take into account what Microsoft did to MySQL, a Swedish company at the time



  11. Links 4/4/2020: Sparky 5.11, Firefox 74.0.1, POCL 1.5

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 03, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, April 03, 2020



  13. Links 3/4/2020: Ubuntu Beta, GNOME 3.36.1, ExTiX LXQt Mini, NetBSD 8.2 Released

    Links for the day



  14. Digital Communication, Digitalisation and Videogaming Among the EPO's Latest Smokescreens for Illegal and Abstract Patents on Algorithms

    The EPO keeps liaising with the EU to promote patents which EU officials have themselves said were illegal; to make matters worse, the EPO's violations of its own laws inspire the United States to do the same



  15. Emotional Blackmail for Illegal Software Patents

    Semantic tactics the European Patent Office (EPO) uses to promote software patents in Europe and may theoretically use in the future (satire)



  16. Clear Linux is to GNU/Linux What Clearly Defined is to Open Source

    The idea that we need Intel to take GNU/Linux ‘mainstream’ is ludicrous; as OSDL co-founder (now succeeded in the flesh of the Corporate Linux Foundation), Intel is more about Linux (with DRM, “secure boot” and everything that lets it be remotely controlled) than about GNU and it’s not too keen on GPL (copyleft), either



  17. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 02, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 02, 2020



  18. Links 2/4/2020: Linux 5.6.2, Qt Creator 4.11.2, LineageOS ROM Based on Android 10

    Links for the day



  19. OIN in 2020 Resembles Linux Foundation in 2020 (Corporate Front Group Piggybacking the Linux Brand)

    We regret to say that the Open Invention Network seems not to care at all about Software Freedom; to make matters worse, it is a proponent of software patents and a voice for companies like IBM and Microsoft, not the "Community" it fancies misrepresenting



  20. Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) - Part IX: Semi-Happy Ending

    Richard Stallman is here to stay and the FSF will let him stay (as chief of GNU); we want to close the series on a positive note



  21. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 01, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 01, 2020



  22. Upcoming Articles and Research Areas

    Although we've failed to write as much as usual, we're still preparing some in-depth articles and maintaining Daily Links (in spite of unforeseen ordeals like a forced laptop migration)



  23. Links 2/4/2020: ProtonMail Bridge for Linux, GTK 3.98.2 and Red Hat DNF 4.2.21

    Links for the day



  24. Links 1/4/2020: Linux 5.7 Merges, Qt 5.14.2, GhostBSD 20.03, Linux Mint 20 Ulyana Plans, WordPress 5.4 “Adderley”

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 31, 2020



  26. Techrights to Delete Articles From All Past Years to Save Disk Space

    What if we deleted over 25,000 posts?



  27. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, March 30, 2020



  28. Links 30/3/2020: GNU Linux-libre 5.6, WireGuard 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 29, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, March 29, 2020



  30. Links 30/3/2020: Linux 5.6, Nitrux 1.2.7, Sparky 2020.03.1

    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