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. Links 16/12/2018: DXVK 0.94, WordPress 5.0.1, Fuchsia SDK

    Links for the day



  2. Immunity of the European Patent Office Has Helped Shield Dangerous Thugs From Justice

    The Topić case is set to resume in Croatia as Topić runs out of diplomatic immunity he long enjoyed (and exploited) at the European Patent Office



  3. Patent Law Firms' War on Facts and Constant Lying About Unitary Patent

    The Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC) has failed; this, however, is no excuse for constantly lying and it's a problem more people ought to speak about because it stigmatises lawyers as self-serving liars, not a legitimate source of honest legal advice



  4. EPO Chief Economist Yann Ménière Keynote Speaker at Patent Trolls-Funded Event Set Up by the Patent Trolls' Lobby

    The EPO continues to align itself not only with the interests of patent trolls (even those from another continent) but also with the trolls themselves, causing great embarrassment and confusion over the goals/motivations of the Office



  5. The European Patent Organisation (EPO) Loses Legitimacy If (or When) Christoph Ernst Becomes Subservient to António Campinos

    The structural deficiencies of the EPO, where separation of powers does not quite exist, is further pronounced by the imminent role of Christoph Ernst, who gets 'demoted' from pseudo-boss of Campinos to a mere assistant of his



  6. Links 15/12/2018: Cockpit 184, Vivaldi 2.2, Krita 4.1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  7. Links 13/12/2018: IRS Migration, GNOME 3.31.3 Released

    Links for the day



  8. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Decisions Still Uncontroversial Unless One Asks the Patent Maximalists

    Contrary to what the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has claimed, PTAB is liked by companies that actually create things and opposition to PTAB comes from power brokers of the Koch brothers, law firms, and trolls (including those who foolishly repeat them)



  9. Latest Talk From IBM’s Manny Schecter Shows That IBM Hasn't Changed and After the Red Hat Takeover It'll Continue to Promote Software Patents

    IBM's hardheaded attitude and patent aggression unaffected by its strategic acquisition of a company that at least claimed to oppose software patents (whilst at the same time pursuing them)



  10. The European Patent Troll Wants as Much Litigation as Possible

    Patent quality is a concept no longer recognisable at the European Patent Office; all that the management understands is speed and PACE, which it conflates with quality in order to register as much cash as possible before the whole thing comes crashing down (bubbles always implode at the end)



  11. António Campinos Turns His 'Boss' Into His Lapdog, Just Like Battistelli and Kongstad

    The European Patent Organisation expects us to believe that Josef Kratochvíl will keep the Office honest while his predecessor, the German who failed to do anything about Battistelli's abuses, becomes officially subservient to António Campinos



  12. Links 12/12/2018: Mesa 18.3.1 Released, CNCF Takes Control of etcd

    Links for the day



  13. EPO Trust, Leadership and Commitment

    "Trust, leadership and commitment" is the latest publication from EPO insiders, who in the absence of free speech and freedom of association for the union/representation are an essential spotlight on EPO abuses



  14. Links 11/12/2018: Tails 3.11, New Firefox, FreeBSD 12.0

    Links for the day



  15. Number of Filings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Highest in Almost Two Years

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs), which [cref 113718 typically invalidate software patents by citing 35 U.S.C. § 101], are withstanding negative rhetoric and hostility from Iancu



  16. With 'Brexit' in a Lot of Headlines Team UPC Takes the Unitary Patent Lies up a Notch

    Misinformation continues to run like water; people are expected to believe that the UPC, an inherently EU-centric construct, can magically come to fruition in the UK (or in Europe as a whole)



  17. The EPO Not Only Abandoned the EPC But Also the Biotech Directive

    Last week's decision (T1063/18, EPO Technical Board of Appeal 3.3.04) shows that there's still a long way to go before the Office and the Organisation as a whole fulfil their obligation to those who birthed the Organisation in the first placeLast week's decision (T1063/18, EPO Technical Board of Appeal 3.3.04) shows that there's still a long way to go before the Office and the Organisation as a whole fulfil their obligation to those who birthed the Organisation in the first place



  18. Patents on Abstract Things and on Life (or Patents Which Threaten Lives) Merely Threaten the Very Legitimacy of Patent Offices, Including EPO

    Patent Hubris and maximalism pose a threat or a major risk to the very system that they claim to be championing; by reducing the barrier to entry (i.e. introducing low-quality or socially detrimental patents) they merely embolden ardent critics who demand patent systems as a whole be abolished; the EPO is nowadays a leading example of it



  19. Links 10/12/2018: Linux 4.20 RC6 and Git 2.20

    Links for the day



  20. US Courts Make the United States' Patent System Sane Again

    35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and other factors are making the patent system in the US a lot more sane



  21. Today's USPTO Grants a Lot of Fake Patents, Software Patents That Courts Would Invalidate

    The 35 U.S.C. § 101 effect is very much real; patents on abstract/nonphysical ideas get invalidated en masse (in courts/PTAB) and Director Andrei Iancu refuses to pay attention as if he's above the law and court rulings don't apply to him



  22. A Month After Microsoft Claimed Patent 'Truce' Its Patent Trolls Keep Attacking Microsoft's Rivals

    Microsoft's legal department relies on its vultures (to whom it passes money and patents) to sue its rivals; but other than that, Microsoft is a wonderful company!



  23. Good News: US Supreme Court Rejects Efforts to Revisit Alice, Most Software Patents to Remain Worthless

    35 U.S.C. § 101 will likely remain in tact for a long time to come; courts have come to grips with the status quo, as even the Federal Circuit approves the large majority of invalidations by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) panels, initiated by inter partes reviews (IPRs)



  24. Florian Müller's Article About SEPs and the EPO

    Report from the court in Munich, where the EPO is based



  25. EPO Vice-President Željko Topić in New Article About Corruption in Croatia

    The Croatian newspaper 7Dnevno has an outline of what Željko Topić has done in Croatia and in the EPO in Munich; it argues that this seriously erodes Croatia's national brand/identity



  26. The Quality of European Patents Continues to Deteriorate Under António Campinos and Software Patents Are Advocated Every Day

    The EPC in the European Patent Office and 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the USPTO annul most if not all software patents; under António Campinos, however, software patents are being granted in Europe and the USPTO exploits similar tricks



  27. Team UPC is Still Spreading False Rumours in an Effort to Trick Politicians and Pressure Judges

    Abuses at the European Patent Office, political turmoil and an obvious legislative coup by a self-serving occupation that produces nothing have already doomed the Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC); so now we deal with complete fabrications from Team UPC as they're struggling to make something out of nothing, anonymously smearing opposition to the UPC and anonymously making stuff up



  28. Patents on Life and Patents That Kill the Poor Would Only Delegitimise the European Patent Office

    After Mayo, Myriad and other SCOTUS cases (the basis of 35 U.S.C. § 101) the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is reluctant to grant patents on life; the European Patent Office (EPO), however, goes in the opposite direction, even in defiance of the European Patent Convention



  29. EPO 'Untapped Potential'

    "Campinos is diligently looking for ways to further increase the Office’s output without increasing the number of examiners," says the EPO-FLIER team



  30. Links 9/12/2018: New Linux Stable Releases (Notably Linux 4.19.8), RC Coming, and Unifont 11.0.03

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts