EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

02.07.17

Translation: Battistelli’s Patent Office Remains a Legal Island

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Image and translation by SUEPO

Eppo König article

Summary: SUEPO’s translation of the above article, which speaks about the EPO’s immunity from the law — an immunity it now exploits to reinstate its notorious reign of terror in the Netherlands [1, 2]

THE VERY FIRST article we found about the Dutch court’s decision on the EPO we translated and published on the 20th of January. A very similar article was published in print (see above) and SUEPO has a translation of it. The author, Eppo König, is already familiar with the scandals, having written about them before, e.g. in [1, 2]. Here is SUEPO’s translation:

SUPREME COURT

Battistelli’s patent office remains a legal island

The European Patent Office, based in Rijswijk, has been widely criticised. But courts in the Netherlands cannot intervene.

By our editor
Eppo König

AMSTERDAM. Can an employer in the Netherlands have employees interrogated by a private detective without a solicitor? Can they dismiss trade-union leaders or reduce their
salary or pension? Can they refuse access to the Labour Inspectorate if a suicidal employee jumps from a window of the office?

All this has happened at the European Patent Office in Rijswijk. And Dutch courts cannot pass rulings relating to the patent office. The Supreme Court confirmed this on Friday morning, in a long-awaited ruling. As an international organisation in the Netherlands, the patent office is immune, according to the Supreme Court.

In other words, the patent office is a kind of legal island in the Netherlands. The Supreme Court ruling is significant for all forty international organisations in the Netherlands,
including the International Criminal Court and the European Space Agency. For the patent office trade union SUEPO, this is a major setback.

Well paid employees
The office approves patent applications and grants patents that apply in all 38 countries who are members. With customers including Philips, Samsung, LG and Siemens, the patent office
is important in protecting the European market. The office has 7000 specialised, well paid employees in Germany, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The patent office is also infamous, thanks to the temperamental French president, Benoît Battistelli (66). The president has now been at war for years with the SUEPO trade union,
which says it represents half the staff but is not officially recognised. Last year, three trade- union representatives were dismissed and three others were demoted. SUEPO has denounced the work pressure, the authoritarian management and the legal position of the employees.

Emails blocked
The battle intensified when the Court of Justice in The Hague ruled in early 2015 that the office could not limit strikes, block emails from the trade union and must recognise the union. Then Minister of Justice, Ivo Opstelten (VVD), ordered that the judgement should not be implemented, however, in order to guarantee the immunity of other international organisations: a very unusual situation.

The patent office appealed to the Supreme Court on this matter, with the support of the Dutch state, which acted as a party in the case. The Netherlands does not want to drive away other international organisations, as that would be bad for its reputation as well as its economy. Battistelli smartly reminded the cabinet last year that his office creates ‘1 billion euro’ in revenue in the Netherlands and is investing ‘250 million euro’ in new high-rise development.

The Supreme Court has now rejected previous judgements by the preliminary injunction court and Court of Justice in The Hague. The rights of employees are already sufficiently protected by the internal disputes procedure. They can also appeal to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva.

But this disputes procedure is shaky and the road to Geneva is a long one, say employees. Only one solution remains, said SUEPO’s lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld, before the Supreme Court’s ruling. “Proceedings against the Dutch state, as the violation of trade-union rights is taking place on Dutch soil. Is the state doing enough to prevent this? The answer is no.”

During a conversation with State Secretary Van Dam, Battistelli left in anger

Exploitation
Next month, there will be a parliamentary debate on the working conditions. During a parliamentary debate last month, the patent office was already criticised by the SP and D66 as well as the ruling PvdA and VVD. The PvdA gave the example of the exploitation of Libyan and Sudanese employees in London. Didn’t a British court rule in that case that the European Convention on Human Rights weighed more heavily than ‘diplomatic immunity’? The conflict has forced the Netherlands to confront a strange dilemma. The state supported the patent office in the courtroom but, at the same time, the cabinet is critical. State Secretary Martijn van Dam (Economic Affairs, PvdA) recently expressed his concerns about the ‘difficult relationship between unions and the top management’ in a letter to parliament. During the introductory meeting between Van Dam and Battistelli last year, the Frenchman left in anger.

The Dutch patent world is also concerned, says an Economic Affairs spokesperson. The Netherlands is represented at the office by Derk-Jan de Groot, director of the Netherlands Patent Office. Together with other important patent countries, such as Germany, France, Sweden and Switzerland, the Netherlands is among the critical member states. The problem is that the Administrative Council of all member states, the highest body, is too large and diverse to come up with a solution. Last year a revolution seemed to have broken out, when 26 of the 38 member states (with 12 abstentions) called a halt to Battistelli’s actions. They demanded arbitration in the conflict, an end to ongoing proceedings against trade-union members and reformation of the punitive measures. But almost all proposals were delayed, so that the situation ‘has not yet improved’, according to an Economic Affairs spokesperson. One member of SUEPO, who was at home with stress, was then dismissed. It seems as if all parties want to wait out Battistelli’s second term, until 30 June next year. The patent office welcomes the ‘confirmation of the legal immunity’ by the Supreme Court and ‘will continue to strive to strengthen the social dialogue’, says a spokesperson.

A couple more translations were published by SUEPO today and the next post will be about those.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Debian Leadership Should Not be 'Shy' of Politics (and It's OK to Admit Palestinians Are Human Beings Too)

    The contemporary tendency to limit people's freedom of speech (e.g. permission to express political views) means that while people may find software freedom they will lose other essential freedoms



  2. New Series: Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    In the interest and motivation of exposing the true nature of things, Techrights will turn its attention to internal affairs at the higher echelons of the FSF, founded more than three and a half decades ago in MIT (where Stallman launched the GNU Project, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and a lot more foundational Free software)



  3. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 23, 2020



  4. Links 23/2/2020: PipeWire 0.3 and Osu!

    Links for the day



  5. FSF's Interim Co-President Alexandre Oliva on Being Cancelled

    It was reading this that I realized I’d been cancelled myself. In my case, I was painted misogynist and transphobic, and for a post in which I supported women but denounced a crowd of men twisting the feminist cause, that I share, to attack rms, as if he wasn’t a feminist himself; and in which I express curiosity as to what pronoun to use to refer to zero women to paint me as someone who disregards gender identities and their pronouns.



  6. Good People Need to Run for Free Software Foundation (FSF) Board Positions After an FSF Coup Threw in the Towel, Pushing Out the Founder

    "I have been hit, but not knocked out, and my campaign for free software is not over." --Richard Stallman, October 2019



  7. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 22, 2020



  8. Alexandre Oliva's Message About Cancel Culture at the FSF

    Being cancelled is no fun. In my case, it was for standing for a friend who got canceled for defending someone else from an accusation that was later proven false.



  9. Links 22/2/2020: Polish Government Increases GNU/Linux Use, Samza 1.3.1

    Links for the day



  10. Being Rich Does Not Imply Being Smart (Especially When One is Born Into Wealth)

    Presenting the 'genius' (college dropout, but that does not matter when the yardstick of wisdom is wealth alone), with his own predictions overlaid on top of his photo from the show of Bloomberg (another 'genius' whose supposed brilliance is measured using money alone)



  11. The Rise and Fall of Free Software

    "We simply need to make the movement less corporate, and more grassroots."



  12. Why You Should Adopt Debian 10, Not Vista 10 (Windows Vista With Microsoft's Latest Surveillance Add-ons)

    A little personal story and recommendation of Debian "Buster" (10) or Devuan (whose developers persist)



  13. Ethics by Exclusion

    It's the same old philosophical question; can excluding those who are perceived to be intolerant be seen as an act of tolerance?



  14. Even Worse Than Microsoft Inside the Board of the OSI

    The OSI has accepted people from companies that actively attack Software Freedom and there may be more on their way



  15. ZDNet Continues to Stuff Its 'Linux' Section With Proprietary Software of Microsoft

    The above is what the "Linux" section of ZDNet is going to look like throughout the weekend (and this is hardly unusual, either)



  16. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, February 21, 2020



  17. Links 21/2/2020: EasyOS 2.2.11 Released, Microsoft's Control of the Linux Foundation Increases and More Binary Blobs Arrive

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 20, 2020



  19. Video: LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman

    LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman



  20. GNU World Order is a Personal Sacrifice, LinuxWorld Just Business

    As the Linux Foundation shows, Linux is just business (and proprietary software) as usual, software patents included, whereas it’s GNU that continues the Free Software Movement’s battles



  21. Links 20/2/2020: Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU18, Mesa 20, VirtualBox 6.1.4

    Links for the day



  22. Open Source Did Not Win, It Was Assimilated to and by Proprietary Software

    Don’t fall for the whole “Open Source has won!” spiel; You know we’ve lost the battle (and were in effect gradually conquered) at OSI and elsewhere when those who speak for the OSI are Michael Cheng (Facebook), Max Sills (Google), and Chris Aniszczyk (Linux Foundation); they say “Open Source Under Attack” (FOSDEM talk) but their employers are the ones attacking and they downplay openwashing



  23. Former Microsoft Employees Don't Like Talking About Past and Present Microsoft Back Doors (Designed for Spy Agencies)

    In a typical Microsoftian fashion, once they cannot defend the illusion/delusion that Microsoft values security the 'Softers' run away and block any further debate



  24. Techrights Warns Against Impending Extradition Efforts (Passage of Julian Assange to His Death in the United States)

    Imprisonment of journalists who are effective at exposing crimes (of the powerful, not petty crimes) must never be condoned



  25. Team UPC: Many Mouths and No Ears

    The mental condition of Team UPC gets more worrisome by the week



  26. Team UPC Insults Judges Because the UPC is Dead and UPC Lobbyists Have Nothing Left to Lose

    More judge-shaming tactics are in the mix; Team UPC seems to feel like there's nothing left to lose as the UPC is already dead (hope itself is next to die)



  27. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 19, 2020



  28. China Bashing is Grounded in Fear (That They Can Simply Do Better Than the West)

    The atmosphere of hate towards China — fuelled partly by a white supremacist in the White House — is unhelpful and insulting; dignity and understanding is the way to go



  29. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 18, 2020



  30. FFII Press Release: Germany Can No Longer Ratify the Unitary Patent Due to Brexit and the Established AETR Case-law, says FFII

    Germany cannot ratify the current Unitary Patent due to Brexit and the established AETR case-law. The ratification of the UPC (Unified Patent Court) by Germany would constitute a violation of the AETR case-law, which was used during the EPLA negotiations in 2006 to consider a deal with non-EU countries, such as Switzerland.


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts