Symptoms of a severe ‘constitutional crisis’
When power-hungry people simply decide that laws and rules don’t apply to them…
Summary: The ‘constitutional crisis’ at the European Patent Office in the context of Turkey, which has signed “the EPC and as such recognises the competence and the decisions of the institutions which have been introduced in the convention.”
THE moral and ethical erosion at the EPO‘s top-level management is very apparent. Using the pretense of “emergency” human rights are suspended and the rules are made up for retaliation purposes as Battistelli goes along and breaks his very own rules. The EPO just ignores the EPC right now.
An article by Selin Sinem Erciyas and Ozge Atilgan Karakulak from Gun & Partners, published a fortnight ago in a lawyers’ site, makes timely comments regarding the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan-run Turkey being part of the EPO/EPC. There are many parallels these days between what Battistelli does and what Erdoğan does, including attacks on reporters. “The European Patent Convention (EPC)”, it says, “is a part of Turkish national domestic law and is enforced in Turkey under Article 90 of the Turkish Constitution. Furthermore, it was formed under international agreement and as a result cannot be claimed as unconstitutional.
“The EPC law can be applied directly in Turkey and therefore it is legally binding. Alongside other member states, Turkey also declared and signed the EPC and as such recognises the competence and the decisions of the institutions which have been introduced in the convention. It is assumed that the member states are not able to declare their commitment for certain bodies of the European Patent Office (EPO), such as decisions only made by the examination division or appeal board. This may seem an unusual statement, however, it should be stressed as it is one of the most important proceedings in Turkey, it has been argued by IP courts that EPO decisions are only binding for Turkey if the decision can be grounded on an explicit provision in the EPC.”
Looking at recent IP Kat comments regarding the detachment from the EPC at the EPO, we find the following:
I am thinking of the relations with the work-rules regulating organs of the host countries (Arbeitsinspectie, Gewerbeaufsicht,…)
Article 18 of the Seat Agreement with the Netherlands makes provision for a Joint Consultative Committee which shall meet “at least once a year”:
(1) A Joint Consultative Committee shall facilitate the implementation of this Agreement and may address other administrative issues through consultations between the relevant authorities of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Organisation. It shall meet at least once a year and may convene at any other time at the request of the Government or the Organisation.
(2) The Chairman of the Committee shall be appointed by mutual agreement between the Government and the Organisation.
It actually took a while for this to show up, as explained by the latter two comments:
Article 18 of the Seat Agreement with the Netherlands establishes a Joint Consultative Committee which “shall facilitate the implementation of this Agreement and may address other administrative issues through consultations between the relevant authorities of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Organisation.”
The JCC “shall meet at least once a year and may convene at any other time at the request of the Government or the Organisation.”
Ho hum. I keep trying to post a comment about Article 18 of the Seat Agreement with the Netherlands which establishes a Joint Consultative Committee.
But for some reason it doesn’t make it through the IPKat comment filter …
In any case, the point made above is that something is absent in this process. The EPO cannot go on like it currently does and congregations of the Administrative Council, which is effectively in Battistelli’s pocket, are no remedy. They are part of the problem after the Audit Committee got destroyed by the Administrative Council at the behest of Battistelli. There is clearly a ‘constitutional crisis’ at the European Patent Office, not just a crisis. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has only just begun catching up with this. █
Original photo: Erdoğan, 2012