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11.23.16

Anonymous EPO Staff: EPO Management’s Moral Compass is Broken

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I am afraid (and very sorry) to say that even among the EPO’s top officials, the principle of the Rule of Law does not seem to be respected very much. Where are you, Administrative Council? (source: Kluwer Patent Blog)

Batti degage

Summary: An anonymous message from EPO insiders who are concerned about the state of the Office under Battistelli’s misguided and reckless leadership

As staff, we have been asking ourselves the same question for the past 3½ years. In the last few sessions of the AC, the delegations seemed to realise that they need to act. But acting goes beyond voting on and writing down statements of intent.

What more is needed to make the Council do the right thing?

Staff still gets its bearings right, though.

We have observed the structural erosion of quality, legal and professional standards in the Office. We can clearly see how a sequence of actions was targeted at dismantling all elements in the chain of due process. Staff and all interested observers now understand how utterly unashamed the EPO’s senior management are of their despicable acts.

When the only way to deal with difficult union officials is to fire them and when so many staff members feel underappreciated and ill-used, it is clear that something is badly wrong. … The impression given by recent events is not one of firm, balanced management, but of management by intimidation. That is no way to run a patent office.

How deep do we still need to sink? When will we cry outrage and put an end to it?

The unfair dismissal of staff representatives – first Ion and Elizabeth, and now Laurent – is merely the most perverse expression of exercising limitless power. What works for staff representatives will most certainly work when used against average staff members. And why does it work? Because management is getting away with abusing the Privileges and Immunities awarded to the Organisation for the purpose of exercising its duties free of obstruction.

The madness has to stop. We cannot be seen any longer as being just as half-hearted as the Council in our claims and acts. Our claims are few and clear:

Managers must stand to account for their acts!

Their irresponsible behaviour, including “harassment … by exclusion, isolation and intimidation” and ignoring the Council’s March resolution justifies dismissal1.

This week’s demonstration of EPO staff at The Hague must be the biggest ever. We all need to show our determination:

Mr Battistelli, Mr Topić and Ms Bergot must go.

Our dismissed staff representatives Ion, Elisabeth and Laurent must be reinstated.

The downgradings of Malika, Michael and Aurélien must be reversed, and the house ban on the DG3 judge must be lifted.

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