Summary: Willy/Guillaume Minnoye (VP1) was at one point rumoured to be on his way out, so maybe that is still the case
THE EPO is probably Europe’s most notorious institution these days (worse than FIFA). This isn’t the fault of patent examiners but of top-level management which decided to treat examiners like an enemy and impose unreasonable demands.
“For a person his age, it would not count as early retirement but as late retirement (he was never supposed to have this post in the first place).”Working for Battistelli is difficult enough as an examiner, but even for those working for him at top-level management it has become hard and stressful. Recently, as we wrote earlier this summer, Ciaran McGinley resigned (set to retire early). As Principal Director of Patent Administration, his departure is a very big deal, but he’s not alone. Many people are leaving the Office and there are ways for retrieving some statistics; there are staff changes published every month and anyone in the office can read them. Based on these, one can easily see the increase in retirements over the last couple of years (we don’t know if anybody has already done that) and some people told us that it is indeed the case. Several sources told us the same thing and some people wrote anonymous comments about it online.
Earlier this year we learned that Principal Directors were starting to scrabble around with an eye on the VP1 post (that would be Minnoye’s post, around the time he embarrassed himself on Dutch TV). It was premature at the time to circulate rumours that Minnoye might be leaving and in fact he did not leave*. Given his age (past retirement age), maybe it’s just a matter of time. For a person his age, it would not count as early retirement but as late retirement (he was never supposed to have this post in the first place). █
* “Mrs Elodie Bergot has apparentlly [sic] resigned,” one person claimed at the time, but it turned out to be false. We never published this rumour; we refuted it.