The Organisation’s latest meetup has been more of the same, i.e. a great disappointment
In the words of Board 28 (leaked document)
Summary: The EPO “crisis” — as Board 28 called it — lingers on because no substantial steps were taken towards Battistelli’s removal from Office for his violation of Office rules (his own rules) among other laws that Eponia perceives itself as exempt from
MANAGEMENT of the EPO (Office) continues to control the Organisation (the other EPO), which doesn’t seem to care about abuses of the law, human rights abuses, subversion of justice and so forth. Intuitively enough it means that the Organisation is somewhat complicit in the whole thing (see our previous post on this matter).
One new comment says that “it does turn out that there were hefty discussions throughout the day, with a particular emphasis over DG3 matters. The overarching Presidential powers were actually put into question. B28 [Board 28, which admitted there's a crisis] should be busy “squaring the circle” throughout the night and prepare revised documents. Whether they can deliver under such pressure acceptable texts remains to be seen. These should also withstand scrutiny after been adopted in the hectic atmosphere of the AC.” [Administrative Council]
“Today the members of the AC disgraced themselves,” another person wrote. “First they granted Benoit Battistelli impunity for his obstruction to justice and then they approved his disastrous reform of the Boards. We can play a requiem for the independent judiciary review of the EPO decisions. Shame on the members of the Council!”
Here is something that a random EPO worker wished to tell us following our publication of some text read out loud at the meeting (the word is spreading out fast and Techrights is under very heavy load tonight — to the point of becoming inaccessible at times):
It’s a very sad day in the history of the EPO, the entire staff and the democracy in Europe in general! Today I’m so ashamed to hold a European nationality, however I will fight them till my very last breath of air. What Battistelli and his thugs did to Laurent Prunier, Els, Ion and all the other staff reps and staff members, it beggars description. Let’s wait and see if we can achieve something through the national court(s). I’m afraid that this will be SUEPO’s last option in this desperate fight. Poor Laurent, it breaks my heart to see him suffer. He is one of the most competent and intelligent persons I know. That said, here is some more additional insider info…
All delegations find the increase in production figures great, the reduction of sick leave great (despite the fact that none of them can ascertain that the figures from VP1 are not fake ones; they also have no idea how bad currently are sick colleagues “dealt with” to achieve such questionable figures).
Delegations stress that quality is important (hahahahaha) and find that the social climate is not at his best (arghhhhhhh); Delegations await with great excitement the results of the “social study” and Oshra (we remind you that for both exercises your staff reps were not genuinely associated); the President is confident that the results will be fine (sighs; sobs)
The DG3 reform does not fly as presented and must be discussed further; Battistelli is happy to have signed a MoU with a union representing 1% of staff and accuses SUEPO of organising a public campaign against him.
No revision of the disciplinary sanctions for Ion and Malika, only an insufficient one for Els (he cancelled the reduction of her pension but she remains fired, no one complains).
Your central Staff Committee representatives remind the AC delegations of the worrying results regarding quality obtained via the Technologia survey, the (too) high pressure for staff, the undue sanctions on staff reps not revised, the 20 demonstrations organised so far, the strike with 2700 members etc. No comment nor question from any delegation.
A lot of the claims from EPO management are lies, including the claims about production. We wrote about this before and various insiders tell us the same thing. The EPO’s management has a well-documented record of lying to staff, to journalists and so on. The integrity of the EPO as a whole (including the Organisation) is rapidly descending to zero and the delegates (part of the Organisation) do not seem to mind. They don’t care enough to actually take action. What an historic coup. Benoît Battistelli may be to the Organisation and the EPC what Nigel Farage is to the European Union and the Lisbon Treaty. They have secured their names in history books, but primarily as villians. █
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Not criminals are punished but those who report the crimes or merely mention the crimes
The notion of justice at today’s EPO is about as farcical as the above (if not a lot worse for numerous reasons)
Summary: By implicitly declaring a war on those who speak truth to power or those who are associated with perceived truth-tellers, Battistelli reinforces the perception that he is protecting the bad people at all cost (even his very own career)
WHAT apparently began with an attack on a truth-telling judge has developed into an Office-wide (if not Organisation-wide) crisis. Putting Željko Topić in a position of power was a terrible mistake all along and right now Battistelli just wages a war on truth itself. By doing so Battistelli made himself — not Željko Topić — enemy number one at the Office. “Apparently,” one person told us, “SUEPO has a post-Battistelli exit party fund [...] this is extremely “end game” now…”
SUEPO representatives have come under incredible attacks for well over a year now. They’re being attacked for basically informing staff (not just members) and explaining to them the situation. As an example of the baselessness of the attacks (with alleged fabrications by Team Battistelli), consider the attacks on SUEPO's Prunier at The Hague. This SUEPO representative, who is banned from the EPO‘s premises (i.e. guilty until/unless proven innocent), should be cause for alarm in all EPO sites. SUEPO published its text about Prunier at SUEPO’s own Web site this morning (in RSS form only) and SUEPO has just provided an English translation of the article from NRC
[PDF] (also in other languages) because it shows to what lengths Team Battistelli goes to prevent lawsuits against the Office (i.e. itself). The Techrights translation of the article helped show a barracks mentality in today’s EPO, one that defames perceived enemies and tries to destroy their lives with bogus ‘trials’. “Regarding my question (not opinion) about the closure of the disciplinary case,” one person wrote today about the judge: “Isn’t it so that a decision has been taken, that is, NOT to propose dismissal? That is a decision, on whatever grounds, substantive or not. There are plenty cases outside the EPO where a decision was taken on procedural grounds and it is not possible to reopen the case once a final decision has been taken, regardless if that was done on procedural or on substantive grounds. And yes, by taking this decision the member remains in limbo because there is nothing foreseen to reinstate him. What an incredible mess.”
Another person wrote about the case in relation to the external appeals process:
The EPO president is used to face the weak Administrative Tribunal of the ILO.
The ILOAT never organises Oral proceedings. There are no witnesses, no facts finding. The procedure is all but transparent. The file is not public then the Tribunal can easily modify the facts and hide the evidence brought by the staff members. Also, the Tribunal trust the EPO – No need to bring evidence for the EPO.
If the Office explains that the investigation found that Mr X did something wrong. The Tribunal will repeat that the investigation proved that Mr X did that thing wrong.
For the Tribunal, the EPO is a fair organisation that never lie. That’s why the Tribunal never put in doubt the explanations given by the EPO.
The EPO wins 95 % of the cases in front of the ILOAT.
When the EPO is in front of a real justice, then usually it looses the cases.
For example, in front of a Dutch Tribunal or now in front of the Enlarged Board of Appeal.
“Very very sad,” one person told us about this, “but that’s exactly the way ILOAT operates. This causes an extremity of misery amongst the parties concerned” (not just judges but also representatives and those whom they represent).
Right now there is a campaign of terror at the EPO. It’s being waged by a deluded President whose termination seems to be only a matter of time. He did this to himself. █
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Summary: An intervention by an EPO Central Staff Committee (CSC) member who is under gag orders from Battistelli’s regime and cannot speak about his case, which apparently involves truly severe disciplinary actions for merely helping or contributing to a staff survey (not controlled by and paid for by Battistelli)
“Unfortunately not a lot of information [is] leaking,” told us one source about this week’s secret meeting which helps determine the
EPO‘s future. “Here is what I got,” this source told us, “get your own idea!”
“Jesus Areso who is a CSC representative was in the AC [Administrative Council] meeting today,” we got told. “The text is in German. After the sexy presentation by Battistelli of his “social report for 2015″ Jesus Areso [whose personal story we mentioned here before], CSC representative attending the Council meetings for The Hague, made the following intervention:
Personalausschuß (JA): Ich weiß, daß wir es eilig haben. Aber als Personalvertreter benötigen wir fünf Minuten von Ihrer Zeit. Wir wissen zu schätzen, daß das Dokument umfangreich ist. Wir müssen auch die Trends betrachten und anschauen, was nicht im Bericht steht. Es gibt 77 weniger Bedienstete. 15 Mitglieder weniger in den Beschwerdekammern ist ein enormer Rückgang. In den Geschlechterunterschieden können Sie feststellen, daß 1/3 Frauen sind. Wenn Sie aber die höchsten Besoldungsgruppen anschauen, sehen Sie, daß nur eine Frau von sechs Personen bei den Beförderungen dabei ist. Eine Frau von zehn Personen wird in die höchste Stellengruppe gesetzt. Dies ist im 21. Jahrhundert nicht in Ordnung. Es gibt 20 % mehr Bewerbungen. Einstellungen sind um 34 % gesunken. Wir haben niemand aus Slowenien, Tschechien, Norwegen, der Schweiz etc. niemanden mehr eingestellt. Die Anzahl der britischen Kollegen sinkt dramatisch. 100 Kollegen sind 2014 in Rente gegangen. 2015 waren des doppelt so viele. Jetzt ist das Durchschnittspensionsalter bei 61,1 im Gegensatz zu 63 Jahren vorher. Bei den internen Beschwerden wurde nur 1 % zugelassen. Es ist kein Wunder, daß die VGIAO-Beschwerden gestiegen sind. Aspekte der sozialen Situation sind gar nicht im Bericht. Wir verweisen dafür auf den Technologia-Bericht. Das Vertrauen in den Präsidenten ist 0 %, 11 % des Personals als psychische Risiken. Die soziale Situation wird in den Zeitungen immer wieder erwähnt. In 2015 wurden Elisabeth Hardon und Ion Brumme entlassen. Das Sekretariat wurde gekürzt. Trotz Ihrer Resolution hat Herr Battistelli Disziplinarverfahren gegen Herrn Prunier eingeleitet. Ein weiterer Personalvertreter aus Berlin wurde entlassen. Wann hört dies endlich auf. Die Resolution aus März war schon ein Schritt in die richtige Richtung. Wir fordern den Rat auf, diese Entschließung auch umzusetzen.
“Guess what,” said our source, “neither a single comment nor a single question from a single delegation.” They must be afraid of the crazed Battistelli, who has already bullied some of them.
Here is an English translation: (using Google Translation)
Staff Committee (YES):
I know that we are in a hurry. But as a personal representative we need five minutes from your time. We appreciate that the document is extensive.
We need to look and see and not in the report, the trends. There are 77 fewer staff. 15 members less in the boards is a huge decline.
In the gender differences you may notice that 1/3 women. But if you look at the top grades, you will see that only one woman in six people in the transport is.
One woman out of ten is placed in the highest position group. This is not in order in the 21st century. There are 20% more applications. Settings have fallen by 34%.
We have no one from Slovenia, Czech Republic, Norway, Switzerland, etc. set anyone. The number of British colleagues drops dramatically. 100 colleagues have retired, 2014.
2015 were of twice as many. Now, the average retirement age is 61.1, as opposed to 63 years ago. The internal complaints only 1% was approved.
It is no wonder that the VGIAO complaints have risen. Aspects of the social situation are not in the report. We refer it to the Technologia report.
Confidence in the president is 0%, 11% of the staff as a mental risks. The social situation is repeatedly mentioned in the newspapers.
In 2015 Elizabeth Hardon and ion Brumme were dismissed. The Secretariat has been shortened. Despite your Resolution Mr Battistelli has initiated disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Prunier.
Another staff representatives from Berlin was dismissed. When this finally stop. The resolution of March was a step in the right direction. We urge the Council to also implement this resolution.
If someone has any more information (not necessarily minutes or reports) or has heard anything whatsoever about the meeting of the EPO and the Organisation’s Administrative Council, please get in touch so that we can inform people. Transparency is crucial for accountability. Battistelli prefers secrecy as it helps hide or spread uncertainty about his abuses (making it harder for reporters to write about these abuses). █
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Summary: Cases against Željko Topić, a Vice-President at the European Patent Office, are moving forward in Croatia, where he still faces many criminal charges
Updates from Croatia occasionally reach us from various sources. The Vice-President that Battistelli uses for intimidation of staff is still facing many criminal charges and also civil lawsuits in Croatia — a fact that apparently is unspeakable. To inform delegates regarding such matters is not OK; when a woman from Croatia wrote to Croatian politicians about it she got sued for defamation but won the case repeatedly, lending legitimacy to her claims and leaving the accuser rather bashful.
What triggered many of today’s abuses against staff representatives at the EPO is this story (directly and indirectly), so it cannot be ignored. Željko Topić should be discussed widely at all levels of the EPO. As usual, as the EPO lies both to staff and to journalists, lies about Željko Topić come from EPO management, i.e. Team Battistelli. They have zero credibility on the subject. Rather than get rid of this liability Battistelli is believed to be trying to keep it around even longer.
“Delegates would have their own careers jeopardised if the EPO became virtually synonymous with “organised crime” and its Vice-President sent to prison.”Justice in Croatia may be notoriously slow (and favourable to the party with deeper pockets), but sooner or later the public will find out what happened and be sufficiently equipped to examine/judge the evidence. Topić refuses to attend trials (same arrogance demonstrated by Battistelli and Willy Minnoye who snub high courts in The Hague), but proceedings become publicly accessible. As an update about the civil lawsuit reported on Techrights, consider information we have received from Croatia. The lawsuit “which is being conducted by SIPO employees in relation to allegedly abusive behaviour by the management in 2007,” a source told us, is still ongoing and important news is just a fortnight away. “According to a reliable source a further court hearing took place on the 16th of June,” we learned. “The last court hearing is scheduled for the 13th of July and after that it is expected that the court will deliver its verdict.”
We shall keep readers updated on the matter. Delegates too deserve to know the background of Željko Topić (most of them probably know something about it, but not the very latest developments). Delegates would have their own careers jeopardised if the EPO became virtually synonymous with “organised crime” and its Vice-President sent to prison. █
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Summary: The UPC appears to be a dead end, much like Battistelli’s career, not only in the UK but in Europe as a whole (it has been all along designed with London/England/UK in mind)
LAST night’s post about the UPC (second that day about the UPC and tenth among eleven about the EPO) showed that even proponents of the UPC were more or less giving up. It’s just too much of a mess right now, as they too admit.
This morning we found several dozens of so-called ‘analyses’ of ‘Brexit’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28]. These came from law firms for the most part and they helped highlight the fact that ‘IP’ firms are truly in a panic over ‘Brexit’. Also see the many comments in IP Kat these days. Total panic. It’s not just them who are in panic (see this for example) and the question of patents isn’t even on top of the list of worries (nationally and EU-wide). The only upside here, as far as Techrights is concerned, is the demise of the UPC, which threatened to bring software patents to Europe (among other things).
“The legacy of EU harmonisation,” as IP Kat called it today, may be a dead legacy of patent harmonisation (“harmonisation” is how they used to market UPC almost a decade ago, well before it was even called “unitary”). This may actually be beneficial to Europe as a whole because, as one comment put it earlier today: “It is highly irresponsible and opportunistic to come up with such a unrealistic proposal. This once again amounts to pure lobbyism from the patent profession. The whole system is moreover not worth saving it. It’s whole architecture is full of deficiencies and the system is intrinsically unattractive for SMEs contrary to what is propagated by the Commission and the EPO.”
They must be alluding to proposals like that which came from Prof. Tilmann.
Battistelli’s special friend Baroness Neville-Rolfe has apparently just reinforced the great uncertainty surrounding the UPC because in her own words: “I know that many of you will be particularly concerned about the potential implications of the Referendum result for the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court. Again, I am afraid that there is not much I can say at this stage. As you will know, we will have a new Prime Minister in early September who will need to take key decisions on our overall approach to negotiations on trade with the EU.”
“You may be interested in this speech,” one person noted, “delivered yesterday [...] “Baroness Neville-Rolfe addresses the British group of the Union of European Practitioners in Intellectual Property” [i.e. preaching to the choir]” (Neville-Rolfe has a reputation for this). █
Update: MIP now has a report about this too. It says (behind paywall): “Baroness Neville-Rolfe has said that the UK’s position on the UPC and Unitary Patent system will not be known anytime soon. The Minister has also invited UK stakeholders to be involved in the discussions which will lead to a decision” (in other words, she seemingly urges the conspiracy of lawyers to just carry on).
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