11.23.16

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EPO Protest Tomorrow at The Hague

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Strong choice of picture from The Register this morning

Firing Battistelli

Summary: As Dutch politicians start to pay closer attention to the violations at the EPO and unions are being busted at The Hague staff intends to step out in protest

AS EXPECTED (known within some internal circles for a while now), tomorrow there will be another protest at The Hague. British media has already covered something related to this, with a kind of header image that only serves to justify Battistelli’s paranoia. To quote:

The central staff committee at the European Patent Office (EPO) has asked again for the organization’s Administrative Council to take action against its president Benoit Battistelli, citing the dismissal of the secretary of its staff union as the final straw.

“We are skeptical about the real motives behind the dismissal of yet another elected staff representative and union official,” the open letter [PDF] to the 36 members of the EPO’s top body reads. “We are also very concerned that four more staff representatives and/or union officials are (allegedly) going to be targeted soon with investigations that may lead to further disciplinary procedures.”

As a result of Battistelli’s actions, the EPO “remains in a state of social turmoil and perceived lawlessness that risks compromising irremediably the reputation and continued existence of our Organisation,” the letter argues, adding that the council “has to take action: this can no longer be delayed.”

The firing of Laurent Prunier after more than a year of disciplinary proceedings has set off a firestorm of frustration with EPO management. Staff protests at EPO offices have been joined by national politicians and the Dutch government is due to hold a special debate on the matter.

Even the staunchly neutral trade press seems to have had enough, with editor of Intellectual Asset Magazine (IAM), Joff Wild, writing a damning article urging the EPO’s Administrative Council to “get a grip of this situation” and wondering out loud whether he had been wrong to give EPO management the benefit of the doubt.

Meanwhile Battistelli – whom we have dubbed King Battistelli due to his persistent belief that he is above both national laws and his own organization’s independent review boards – is unrepentant, and continues to claim that his targeting of staff that have opposed his reforms is a result of their own actions.

A protest/demonstration is just 24 hours away.

Please take photos of the demonstration and send these to us (we’ll protect anonymity of senders and those pictured, as usual).

Here the original announcement from SUEPO. To quote the whole thing:

On 4 November Mr Battistelli, President of the European Patent Office, dismissed Laurent Prunier, elected member of the Central Staff Committee and Secretary of SUEPO The Hague, against the will of the Administrative Council as expressed in its March 2016 Resolution. In 2016, Mr Battistelli dismissed three elected Staff representatives and SUEPO officials and downgraded another one, a first in the world of International Organisations. Other investigations/disciplinary proceedings concerning SUEPO officials are ongoing.

On 24 November we will demonstrate our solidarity to Laurent and other dismissed / downgraded / targeted Staff Reps and SUEPO officials. We will gather at the “Plein 1813″ at 12:00 and march to the “Lange Vijverberg”, in front of the Office of the Dutch Prime Minister.

As Dutch Parliament is discussing these issues, high attendance level will be important. The weather should be reasonably good.

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