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09.29.16

Leaked: Conclusions of the Secretive EPO Board 28 Meeting (8th of September 2016)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO Board 28 Meeting

Summary: The agenda and outcome of the secretive meeting of the Board of the Administrative Council of the EPO

LAST night we wrote about the EPO‘s further union-busting escalation, based on evidence extracted from the conclusions of Board 28. We are pleased to report that, after repeated requests, the entire document has been leaked to us. We present it below with highlights on important bits, excluding the cover page (seen above):

The Board of the Administrative Council (“the Board”) held its 74th meeting in Munich on 8 September 2016, with Mr Kongstad in the chair. Mr Debrulle had sent his apologies.

1. Adoption of the provisional agenda (B28/8/16 e)

1. The Board adopted the provisional agenda set out in B28/8/16 e.

2. Follow-up of the 148th meeting of the Administrative Council

2. -

3. Preparation of the 149th meeting of the Administrative Council

3. The Board discussed the draft agenda for the 149th meeting of the Administrative Council.

4. Concerning AC and General Affairs,

- the Board noted new elements of information provided by the President on the disciplinary case of a Council appointee. Following an exchange of views, it indicated that it would reflect on the information, pending receipt of a legal note from the President;

- the Board noted information provided by the President about three current investigations/disciplinary proceedings involving SUEPO members in The Hague. Three requests for review addressed to the Council were also briefly discussed.

5. Concerning Appointments/Elections,

- the Board noted that the vacancy notice for the Presidency of the Boards of Appeal had been published and that the intention was for the Boards of Appeals Committee (BOAC) and the President to submit a joint proposal for the Presidency of the Boards of Appeal to the Council meeting in December 2016. The Board agreed that whilst BOAC members should represent the diversity of the Council, qualifications took precedence over nationality. External BOAC members should be judges with experience in the functioning of judicial bodies rather than IP experts and should be highly regarded by the judges’ community in Europe;

the Board noted the President’s thinking with regard to Vice-Presidencies VP 2 and VP 4 as well as Boards of appeal appointments and reappointments.

6. Concerning Building Matters, the Board agreed that the contract for the rent of the new building of the Boards of Appeal Unit would first be submitted for opinion to the Budget and Finance Committee in October 2016, followed by a decision in the Council either at its meeting in December 2016, or earlier, by written procedure, if the rent negotiations imposed time constraints.

7. Concerning Personnel/Policy Matters and Financial Matters/Budget Planning,

- the Board noted information given by the President on the Social Conference, which would take place in Munich on 11 October 2016, as well as on the Social, Financial and Risk Assessment studies. It noted that these would be made available to staff and would be presented first for information to the Council at its meeting in October 2016 and later submitted for opinion/decision to the Council at its meeting in December 2016. The Financial study would first be discussed in the Budget and Finance Committee meeting in October 2016 with a view to preparing the discussion in the Council meeting in December 2016. The President informed that the Social and Financial Studies were complementary and that the Organisation now, for the first time, had a “positive equity” covering all its liabilities in the next 20 years;

- regarding the Revision of the Service Regulations-Standards of conduct and administrative fact findings as well as the Reviews of the disciplinary procedures framework and of Articles 52 and 53 ServRegs, the Board noted and discussed comments received from a Board member as well as presentations given by the Office on revised proposals. These proposals already addressed some of the Board member’s comments and issues raised at the Council meeting in March 2016. The Board had an in-depth discussion on the (i) right to silence/duty to co-operate, (ii) hierarchy of norms and resulting competences of the President and the Council, (iii) need for efficient proceedings, but also for a perception of fairness of the proceedings from the outside, (iv) need for an atmosphere of mutual trust etc. The Board agreed to discuss proposals which were further revised at its next meeting on 22 September 2016;

- the Board also noted information given by the President about various legal proceedings initiated by SUEPO against the EPO, both in The Hague and Munich.

4. Any other business

The Board noted information provided by the President on a global package to be submitted to the Council meeting in December 2016, in closed session, concerning IT and physical security.

A few minor remarks about the above-mentioned bits that are highlighted in yellow:

  1. VP 4 is a thug with history (even predating the EPO)
  2. Tenders at the EPO are farcical and sometimes don't exist (for large projects)
  3. The social ‘study’ was mentioned here on Friday and it's a load of nonsense or hogwash
  4. Regarding the social climate, there has been an escalation in union-busting (it gets worse by the week/month), so clearly enough that Council has accomplished nothing and Battistelli still acts like a lunatic autocrat
  5. Battistelli is wasting a lot money on bodyguards for him and Bergot (and conveniently this is discussed only “in closed session”); insiders tell us there is absolutely no need for these, but it helps perpetuate the atmosphere of fear and the perception that the staff is armed, violent and dangerous (fiction for an opportunistic politician)

That is all for now. Board 28 is clearly part of the problem because it refuses to tackle any of the hard questions.

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