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The EPO’s Administrative Council Keeps Postponing Debate About Grounds for Firing the President

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli and KongstadLike FIFA coverups but much broader

Summary: A recollection of events prior to the latest Administrative Council meeting, where Benoît Battistelli’s failings and accountability for failing to correct them never even came up

“COMPLICITY” is increasingly becoming the correct term by which to describe the Administrative Council with its national delegations (who are supposed, at least in principle and in theory, to hold the EPO accountable). Disinterested or self-interested would be a more polite way to put/frame it. If they cared, they would have fired Battistelli already. Even if they kept their word or promise, he would be sacked by now. No secret endowments to this autocrat.

“Watch what Erdoğan is doing in Turkey right now (against military generals, judges, journalists etc.) to better understand how Battistellites (Benoît along with his largely French circle) are running the EPO.”Like in most autocratic regimes, control is exerted through fear and the Erdoğan- or Duterte-like Battistelli scares people at all levels, including delegates whom he bullies in plain sight (maybe to make an example). No wonder some top managers are leaving and others, who reportedly (based on rumours) thought about leaving, say the darnest things on TV in order to cover Battistelli's back.

Watch what Erdoğan is doing in Turkey right now (against military generals, judges, journalists etc.) to better understand how Battistellites (Benoît along with his largely French circle) are running the EPO. It’s something to be expected from third-world nations, but it’s happening in Bavaria, traditionally known for class and sophistication. Fear of Battistelli, including fear of firing him (long overdue), is apparent. Developments prior the latest Administrative Council meeting suggest that there was not a reversal of their position but rather abstinence from the topic of Battistelli’s abuses (breaking rules, including his own).

“The last B28 [Board 28, which privately admits there's an EPO crisis] meeting took place just ahead of the BFC meeting at the end of May,” we learned. “The B28 focused once again on following-up on the consequences of the resolution adopted by the Administrative Council on 16 March 2016. Of particular interest and importance for staff was whether there was any progress in the disciplinary matters, which should be fair and seen to be fair. According to the summary of conclusions of this meeting (B28/8/16), no tangible progress could be reported on then. In June, the President rejected the requests for review of Malika Weaver and Ion Brumme and thereby reconfirmed their disciplinary sanctions. Later the same month, the President apparently interfered with the independence of the Enlarged Board of Appeal proceedings, thereby preventing them from ruling on the merits in the case of the Judge accused of misconduct. Just a few days ahead of the Council meeting, the President suspended Laurent Prunier in The Hague, a further staff representative and SUEPO official to be sanctioned.”

“How convenient for Battistelli, who is no longer so far from his retirement anyway (maybe he will join Sarkozy with his political career thereafter).”One might expect, based on any of the above actions, that Battistelli would be considered in violation/deviance from the requirement set to him by the overseers. How can they possibly reconcile all this? Simple; just don’t mention any of that at all. That is precisely what happened at the meeting, as we wrote at the time. Based on text that was shown to us: “During the AC [Administrative Council] meeting, the Council was informed by both internal and external stakeholders on the flawed consultation process leading to the documents presented for their approval. As for the proposals themselves, among the more obvious deficiencies in the Boards of Appeal reform, the theme had been expanded to include post service employment restrictions and relocation and, according to the President, to be treated as a package. Finally, a review of the Investigation and Disciplinary Procedures which were originally on the agenda were postponed.”

That’s right. Postponed. 3 months! How convenient for Battistelli, who is no longer so far from his retirement anyway (maybe he will join Sarkozy with his political career thereafter). To quote further: “The circumstances leading to the disciplinary cases against staff representatives and Union Officials have been repeatedly raised with the delegations before and after the confidential Council session. [...] The only mention made in the summary of the C-session was that “the Council resolution will be followed up in one of the next meetings”.

This incredible procrastination shows that the Council is not at all interested in restoring stability to the Office. Put another way, the delegates are complicit; they’re a bunch of obedient cowards, maybe some of them paid for it.

In the mean time, judging by the spammy activity of the Twitter account this summer* (the PR team just keeps spamming for EIA 2017 e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4]), there is the assumption that Battistelli will survive another year. If that actually happens, how many workers will even stay at the Office now that resignations and early retirements skyrocket? Rumours we heard say that Battistelli wants to extend the term of Topić’s EPO appointment in spite of the criminal charges against him (not to mention extreme unpopularity among staff, whom he attacks like he attacked staff in Croatia).
* Or just talking to everyone in general, e.g. [1, 2].

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