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02.12.17

Not Only EPO Staff Are Committing Suicide; the EPO as a Whole is Committing Institutional Suicide

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The clowns Battistelli has chosen to run the Office with him will be its historic downfall

MoU signed by Bergot

Summary: The leadership of the EPO has managed to receive the support of not even one among thousands polled and frustration is taken out on staff, rather than a stubborn, incompetent, and highly misguided management

THE EPO has already managed to alienate not only its stakeholders (who are the source of income) but also its own workforce (which does all the work). Battistelli, the self-acclaimed leader of the EPO, has received 0% approval rating from both stakeholders and staff. In other words, the EPO moves into a very dark place and everyone can see that apart from Battistelli and the goons whom he appoints to protect him.

According to this new report from IP Watch, there is growing backlash over patent scope at the EPO. TO quote:

The patentability of plants or animals that have been obtained by natural occurrence such as selection and crossing has been a recurrent issue discussed at the European Patent Office (EPO). A recent notice from the European Commission challenged a ruling by the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal on such patents, prompting yet more discussions in the organisation. In the meantime, all examination and opposition on such patents have been halted at the EPO. Industry is concerned that the EPO ruling might be questioned, and warns of effects on innovation, harm to applicants. Civil society is concerned about a non-transparent process.

So this “civil society” is concerned about the process, but which one of them? There are so many processes that have gone awry under Battistelli — too many for us to list exhaustively here. To be crude, the EPO has become a “clusterfuck” that just issues lots of bad patents by reaching out for old patent applications on the shelf, then faking “production” (while the backlog or “stock” on the shelf lasts, and it won't last for much longer).

“…the EPO moves into a very dark place and everyone can see that apart from Battistelli and the goons whom he appoints to protect him.”“In under a week you’ll be able to ask our experts all about patent families,” the EPO wrote the other day, but that includes even families that are not valid; the EPO ignores the rules anyway. See the above for example. See for example our Wiki page about software patents in Europe as well.

Is the EPO still an examination centre or just a production/assembly line? How long before it’s just a registration office (as insiders already envision)? How long before the job qualifications at the EPO are reduced to just shelving paper and work benefits are reduced to those of an intern (or a temporary worker on short-term contract)? We seem to be gradually heading there, as experienced and competent examiners are being pushed out by unreasonable — sometimes unattainable — “production” goals.

“Is the EPO still an examination centre or just a production/assembly line?”“I’ve received job offer from someone impersonating admin@epo.org,” someone wrote the other day. “Are you interested in mail headers?”

“Even if that was a real job offer,” I told him, “only a fool would accept it.” No salary is worth the amount of pain (and damage to one’s health) that work at the EPO inflicts. We keep hearing stories about nervous breakdowns, physical collapses, people on the verge of suicide, people resorting to drugs, and even suicides, some of which go unreported.

“[W]e do not own that email address so it’s probably spam,” the EPO said. “Please send us the mail header to jobinfo@epo.org. Thanks for the feedback!”

“Lying and chronic lies are the new norm at the Office, or the “alternative facts” — to put it somewhat more politely.”We are aware that demand for jobs at the EPO nosedived. Rather than wait for applications the EPO is now desperately going after people, asking if they are interested in joining. Yet the EPO (Bergot to be specific) carries on lying about this brain drain/recruitment crisis. Lying and chronic lies are the new norm at the Office, or the “alternative facts” — to put it somewhat more politely.

A few days ago we noticed two news reports about the EPO’s new building [1, 2]. These actually focus on construction, not the inhabitants or their occupation/operations. “UK consultant Turner & Townsend (T&T),” one of these reports says, “has been appointed to programme manage the relocation of 1,750 staff to the new office of the European Patent Office (EPO) in the Hague.”

“Will they pretend that a new shiny building somehow makes it OK to abuse staff and break Dutch law?”Is Battistelli’s EPO moving out of the building where workers went as far as jumping out the window due to the EPO’s horrors, which only intensified even further recently (aforementioned raid against a father of three)? Don’t forget to block the windows from being opened (we heard these got bolted down in the existing building, in order to prevent more suicides during office hours).

“Feeling very sorry for them,” one person told me. “Worked as a doctor in similar environments. I believe they are the first who deserve an unconditional basic income, because their work doesn’t add real value to life anyway (which is why they are depressed).”

Will the new building attempt to simply mask or suppress the symptoms, as in the previous building after the suicides epidemic? Will they pretend that a new shiny building somehow makes it OK to abuse staff and break Dutch law? We are often told that journalists have not been entirely sympathetic towards EPO staff because they, journalists, are renowned for their low salaries whereas EPO examiners are renowned if not notorious for generous cheques. Money does not buy happiness and cannot compensate for erosion of human rights however…

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