07.01.16

At the European Patent Organisation the Administrative Council Does Not Care About Staff

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“An Earthquake Would be Needed for the Administrative Council… Not to Support My Major Proposals.”Benoît Battistelli

Arūnas Želvys, Director of the State Patent Bureau of the Republic of Lithuania, and EPO President Benoît Battistelli sign the agreement
This is how Benoît Battistelli allegedly ‘buys’ the Administrative Council

Summary: The Administrative Council (AC) of the European Patent Organisation continues to show carelessness and apathy if not complicity by maintaining a deeply heartless approach and blind support for a President with 0% approval ratings (among polled staff)

WHEN IT COMES to the EPO, disregard for the rule of law, for the rights of staff and for anything other than self-servitude is the norm. We were therefore far from shocked by the Administrative Council’s attitude this week. The Administrative Council is now complicit rather than merely apathetic or misinformed (ignorance as an excuse). It actively helps Battistelli crush the EPO, destroy the lives of staff, and basically discredit the European Union as a whole (bringing it closer to a state of collapse). This matters not only to people who work within or interact with the EPO; it should matter to everybody in the world, not just in Europe. This is a coup by neo-conservatives-like charlatans from ENA and until/unless they are stopped, there are going to be severe long-term consequences. It’s a truly destructive force.

“This matters not only to people who work within or interact with the EPO; it should matter to everybody in the world, not just in Europe.”The Administrative Council has no excuses for its behaviour and Mr. Kongstad clearly returned to Battistelli’s lap 4 months after his strongly-worded letter. Battistelli made a mockery of nearly every member of the Administrative Council as he didn't do anything they told him to and yet his sacking isn’t even on the agenda. Following last night's report and this morning's leak we now have some updates from an insider.

“Social dialog and other “minor” issues,” noted the person (referring to social unrest as a minor issue sarcastically), “circulez ya rien à voir!”

Here is a roundup of the relevant developments:

On the first day, the presidential activity report was the opportunity very little rejoicing from the delegations. Beyond the casual and traditional congratulations for the good production, all delegations asked pointed questions or even explicit criticism on the quality of the EPO work. A thorough report from the Office was requested. Further the Social climate was qualified as “unsatisfactory” (DE) or giving “great concerns” (NL) and it was promised to discuss this more in detail later.

Unfortunately, it seems that this point went under as the delegates rushed to catch their plane after lunch. The Social Report on the second day was the occasion of surreal congratulations for its “extensiveness” (NO) and the “great amount of facts” (UK). A staff representative reminded the AC that Laurent Prunier got suspended just one day before this very AC session. And Staff plea to urgently act on this front remained uncommented: not a word was lost on the deep social crisis in the EPO. And neither was the AC March resolution
mentioned.

All these points, including the two reform proposals (investigation CA 52/16 and disciplinary procedure) were brushed aside and pushed to the next council. The same applies to DG3 colleague who will have to wait until the next session of the AC (at least) to know how this noble institution intends to put into application the final decision taken of the Enlarged Board of Appeal several weeks ago. By then, the DG3 colleague will have been suspended almost two years.

“I suppose a mix of perplexity, disappointment and deep sadness are in order,” concluded the person who wrote the above.

Consider the Bretton Woods Legal Opinion and Report, which are circulating [PDF] among EPO staff [PDF] these days. “Bretton Woods was instructed by SUEPO to produce an opinion in respect of the rights of staff members,” as one person put it, but the Administrative Council continues to ignore any such reports, perhaps drunk on money (since months ago). As one reader put it to us: “Is it the Administrative Council or the great People’s Chamber in Pyongyang? I’m too punch-drunk to add anything else.”

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