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

02.23.17

The Sickness of the EPO – Part III: Invalidity and Suicides

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Toxic cocktail (or "dangerous mix")

Toxic cocktail

Summary: An explanation of what drives a lot of EPO veterans to depression and sometimes even suicide

THE mistreatment of EPO workers who go through a temporary (not even permanent) illness is a widely known problem. We keep hearing about it from more and more people who if not themselves got subjected to this kind of abuse know someone (or someones) who did. This series, by itself, has already managed to unearth more suppressed facts and taboos — observations that would get one sacked if publicly aired/expressed. People do not wish to speak about these things without strict assurance of anonymity.

The other day we received some interesting statistics.

“Each time they get mail from the EPO, they feel even worse.”
      –Anonymous
“More than 250 persons are receiving an invalidity pension,” one person told us. “I don’t have (yet) figures about the persons under house arrest due to their illness. I’ll try to find them. Invalids are systematically bullied. Their benefits are changed without, or at a short, notice. Each time they get mail from the EPO, they feel even worse. “What is coming next?””

Two years ago we wrote about them, as did the media which merely alluded to them. Some end up committing suicide, which isn't too shocking given the way they are treated (some allege that they cannot even help refugees in their spare time).

“The Office succeeded in deteriorating the health condition of some of them,” the above person told us, “by introducing without notice and without any kind of explanation a reform of the invalidity benefits as from January 2008 (changed again in 2015, effective as from January 2016). With that change many invalids had problems with the local tax authorities. The Office declared the benefits to be exempted from the local tax (they changed from a pension to an allowance). Of course without consulting the respective tax authorities in each country. The moron-in-chief Battistelli was at the time head of the French delegation at the AC and shouted (to be actual: trumpeted) that his country would NEVER recognise the newly introduced invalidity pension as being tax-free.

“No wonder that some of them commit suicide. Because the worse is yet to come…”
      –Anonymous
“Do you understand what all this means to a person receiving invalidity benefits? No wonder that some of them commit suicide. Because the worse is yet to come: as some countries didn’t accept the tax-free nature of the invalidity pension they had to pay taxes. Pretty normal every does [sic]. Except that they paid twice… Very “generously” again the Office proposed to reimburse the paid taxes…. at a cost. The condition was to sign a contract to go to their tax consultant, to disclose every penny of your income (your partner may work as well), to spend hours if not days, months discussing with them. And on the top of that once you were reimbursed the local tax office considered the reimbursement as an additional income. The obviously unqualified managers of the Office never heard of exponential progression. According to my calculations with such a system one would have to declare an income of about 10.000.000 € a year in 15 years from now for a real income being 7% of that amount, the rest are the accumulated reimbursements. Not bad! But what if the office says “FU”? They then abolished the system and replaced it with another fully incomprehensible system; inquiries for explanations remained unanswered.”

In future parts of this series we are going to dive a little deeper and expose some documents which help illuminate how bad things have become. As was repeatedly noted, by more than one source in fact, these policy changes are directly responsible to quite a few suicides, not that tragedies only count when a person’s tragedy culminates in death. There is a lot of suffering associated with what the EPO is doing and since there is no proper justice system, there is no hope, either.

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. Links 19/8/2019: Another Linux 5.3 RC, OpenSUSE's Richard Brown Steps Down, Slackware Creates Patreon Page, Qt 6 Initiated

    Links for the day



  2. Speaking Truth to Monopolies (or How to Write Guest Posts in Techrights)

    We need to have more articles tackling the passage of all power — especially when it comes to software — to few large monopolies that disregard human rights or actively participate in their abolishment in the digital realm



  3. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free as in Speech

    "While a new breed of so-called anarchists campaign against expression that even the state allows, people are also foolishly overplaying the relevance of the state to free speech issues -- as if it's not a freedom issue when a project is increasingly thought-policed, because the thought-policing isn't on a state level."



  4. Toxic Culture at Microsoft

    Racism, intolerance, sexism and bullying are rampant at Microsoft; but Microsoft would rather deflect/divert/sidetrack to Google and so-called 'GAFA'



  5. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Introduction

    "The FSF isn't just threatened, it will hit a large iceberg in the future that changes it permanently."



  6. Linux Journal and Linux.com Should Have Been Kept Going

    There's apparently no good explanation for the effective shutdown of Linux Journal and Linux.com; London Trust Media Holdings (LTMH), owner of Linux Journal, saw numbers improving and the Linux Foundation, steward of Linux.com, is loaded with money



  7. 2019 Microsoft Glossary

    How Microsoft internally interprets words that it is saying to the public and to the press



  8. 2019 Surveillance Glossary

    Distortion of technical and nontechnical terms in this day and age of '1984'



  9. Openwashing Report: It's Getting Worse, Fast. Everything is Apparently 'Open' Now Even Though It's Actually Proprietary.

    The latest examples (this past week's) of openwashing in the media, ranging from 5G to surveillance



  10. GitHub is a Dagger Inside Free/Open Source Software (FOSS); This is Why Microsoft Bought It

    A year later it seems pretty evident that Microsoft doesn’t like FOSS but is merely trying to control it, e.g. by buying millions of FOSS projects/repositories at the platform level (the above is what the Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin said to Microsoft at their event while antitrust regulators were still assessing the proposed takeover)



  11. Microsoft Grows Within and Eats You From the Inside

    Microsoft entryism and other subversive tactics continue to threaten and sometimes successfully undermine the competition; Microsoft is nowadays doing that to core projects in the Free/Open Source software world



  12. Links 18/8/2019: New KNOPPIX and Emmabuntus Released

    Links for the day



  13. Links 17/8/2019: Unigine 2.9 and Git 2.23

    Links for the day



  14. Computer-Generated Patent Applications Show That Patents and Innovations Are Very Different Things

    The 'cheapening' of the concept of 'inventor' (or 'invention') undermines the whole foundation/basis of the patent system and deep inside patent law firms know it



  15. Concerns About IBM's Commitment to OpenSource.com After the Fall of Linux.com and Linux Journal

    The Web site OpenSource.com is over two decades old; in its current form it's about a decade old and it contains plenty of good articles, but will IBM think so too and, if so, will investment in the site carry on?



  16. Electronic Frontier Foundation Makes a Mistake by Giving Award to Microsoft Surveillance Person

    At age 30 (almost) the Electronic Frontier Foundation still campaigns for privacy; so why does it grant awards to enemies of privacy?



  17. Caturdays and Sundays at Techrights Will Get Busier

    Our plan to spend the weekends writing more articles about Software Freedom; it seems like a high-priority issue



  18. Why Techrights Doesn't Do Social Control Media

    Being managed and censored by platform owners (sometimes their shareholders) isn’t an alluring proposition when a site challenges conformist norms and the status quo; Techrights belongs in a platform of its own



  19. Patent Prosecution Highways and Examination Highways Are Dooming the EPO

    Speed is not a measure of quality; but today's EPO is just trying to get as much money as possible, as fast as possible (before the whole thing implodes)



  20. Software Patents Won't Come Back Just Because They're (Re)Framed/Branded as "HEY HI" (AI)

    The pattern we've been observing in recent years is, patent applicants and law firms simply rewrite applications to make these seem patent-eligible on the surface (owing to deliberate deception) and patent offices facilitate these loopholes in order to fake 'growth'



  21. IP Kat Pays the Price for Being a Megaphone of Team UPC

    The typical or the usual suspects speak out about the so-called 'prospects' (with delusions of inevitability) of the Unified Patent Court Agreement, neglecting to account for their own longterm credibility



  22. Links 17/8/2019: Wine 4.14 is Out, Debian Celebrates 26 years

    Links for the day



  23. Nothing Says 'New' Microsoft Like Microsoft Component Firmware Update (More Hardware Lock-in)

    Vicious old Microsoft is still trying to make life very hard for GNU/Linux, especially in the OEM channel/s, but we're somehow supposed to think that "Microsoft loves Linux"



  24. Bill Gates and His Special Relationship With Jeffrey Epstein Still Stirring Speculations

    Love of the "children" has long been a controversial subject for Microsoft; can Bill Gates and his connections to Jeffrey Epstein unearth some unsavoury secrets?



  25. Links 16/8/2019: Kdevops and QEMU 4.1

    Links for the day



  26. The EPO's War on the Convention on the Grant of European Patents 2000 (EPC 2000), Not Just Brexit, Kills the Unitary Patent (UP/UPC) and Dooms Justice

    Team UPC continues to ignore the utter failures that have led to lawlessness at the EPO, attributing the demise of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) to Brexit alone and pretending that it's not even a problem



  27. Links 15/8/2019: GNOME's Birthday, LLVM 9.0 RC2

    Links for the day



  28. 'Foundation' Hype Spreads in China

    Nonprofits seem to have become more of a business loophole than a charitable endeavour; the problem is, this erodes confidence in legitimate Free software and good causes



  29. Links Are Not Endorsements

    If the only alternative is to say nothing and link to nothing, then we have a problem; a lot of people still assume that because someone links to something it therefore implies agreement and consent



  30. The Myth of 'Professionalism'

    Perception of professionalism, a vehicle or a motivation for making Linux more 'corporate-friendly' (i.e. owned by corporations), is a growing threat to Software Freedom inside Linux, as well as freedom of speech and many other things


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