03.26.17

Gemini version available ♊︎

Yes, Battistelli’s Ban on EPO Strikes (or Severe Limitation Thereof) is a Violation of Human Rights

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

British unions must defend their right to strike – and become better at it
Reference: British unions must defend their right to strike – and become better at it

Summary: Battistelli has curtailed even the right to strike, yet anonymous cowards attempt to blame the staff (as in patent examiners) for not going out of their way to engage in ‘unauthorised’ strikes (entailing dismissal)

THE EPO had a general strike one year ago. The Office was half empty. But it only lasted one day, it resulted in paycuts for those who participated, and it took a monumental effort to organise, with permission sought from the bosses under extreme constraints and risk to those voting/joining. This isn’t what we should expect in the 21st century, certainly not in the EPO. The whole thing (the strike and vote for a strike) just came to show how badly oppressed EPO staff really is. For Battistelli and Bergot, moreover, attempts to prevent the strike were self-defeating and they just served to reinforce the point made by disgruntled staff (almost everyone vote for a strike).

The other day we noticed the following comment, which responded to provocation that we refuse to repeat (similar provocation, maybe from the same person, was posted among comments in The Register at the same time). To quote the response alone:

I understand that the examiners have moved to this working practice because Battistelli introduced Rank and Yank. Last year, the EPO granted 90,000 patents, which is 50% more than in the years before. The examiners increased their production by 50% just to compete with their colleagues for a salary increase of about 2,000 euro per year, which only half of the examiners are entitled to receive.

[provocation omitted]

I do not know anyone who works “for the bonus of 2,000 euro”. I certainly don’t. In fact, I couldn’t care less if I get the bonus or not. What is much more worrying is missing your target by such an amount that you get a poor report.

“But it is even worse. A judge remains in limbo, union officials have been fired, the appeal court will be moved to the outskirts of Munich. And the staff in the EPO remains silent. Poor people! They get what they deserve. “Even if you win the rat race, you are still a rat.” ”

Unfortunately we are powerless, with the changes that BB has introduced. We have been been as non-silent as possible, witness the various protest marches that we have held, resulting in occasional negative reports in the (local) press. I’m curious what else it is that you think we should do under the current management – you may have rights in your country (whichever that is), unfortunately, as has been repeatedly demonstrated, we don’t. Obviously, when they decide to start investigating the contents of our private electronic devices, not only will we have no rights, we will also have no privacy.

I am posting anonymously for obvious reasons.

In reply to the above, one person said: “A proper all out strike for a month would have sent a message that could not have been ignored.”

This demonstrates that some clueless people (who don’t know the EPO’s new rules) are eager to just blame the victims. If the staff strikes without permission — as ludicrous as the notion of permission may be in this context — Team Battistelli will replace staff with Google algorithms (this is already done to a degree, limiting their role in decision-making and assessment of prior art). It would further damage patent quality and thus penalise European businesses.

The person in question (maybe just blissfully naïve) said:

EPO staff have nobody to blame but themselves.

A proper all out strike for a month would have sent a message that could not have been ignored.

If people are not prepared to show solidarity and fight for their rights then there is no point whingeing when they are taken away from you.

“I would think twice before blaming the examiners” at the EPO, said a person in response to this. They’re the victim. They are well paid, but they are suffering. The reply to the above went as follows:

Wow. That’s pretty harsh. Whilst I too have never been in the employ of the European Patent Organisation, I would think twice before blaming the examiners in the way that you have done.

You do realise that BB has imposed serious restrictions upon the ability of EPO employees to strike, don’t you? So, in effect, he has taken away the very weapon that you condemn the EPO examiners for not deploying.

And as for fighting for their rights, do you not count taking court cases as far as possible in both Germany and the Netherlands? And what about making repeated pleas to the members of the AC?

Frankly, I think that you should walk a mile or two in the shoes of the examiners… deprived of rights enshrined in European law, badly let down by the “supervisory” bodies (the AC, ILOAT and the national courts) that should be there to protect you, invisible to the majority of the general public, ignored by most mainstream media and politicians, the subject of increasingly draconian rules imposed by EPO management, etc., etc. I would like to see how you coped with all of that!

About time you had treatment for your hypoempathy disorder, methinks.

If they ever go beyond the rules, they will get sacked. Battistelli is merciless and he makes “examples” out of people, even innocent people. Yet the same person persists with the idea of civil disobedience on Battistelli’s ‘production line’, where no anonymity is possible:

Not true.

BB certainly imposed some restrictions on striking but he did not prevent a strike being called if the staff really wanted it. There just has to be a strike ballot and the will to follow through.

Instead of striking, the staff has basically capitulated and even went so far as to churn out a 40% production increase.

While you are at it maybe you should ask the Appeal Boards what happened to their interview with an IP journal and why they voluntarily consented to be censored by BB?

Unless you can explain that one I don’t intend to go for any hypoempathy disorder treatment any time soon.

Someone clarified the rules even further:

Would that it were so simple.
“The President of the Office may lay down further terms and conditions for the application of this Article to all employees; these shall cover inter alia the maximum strike duration and the voting process”

http://ipkitten.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/the-epo-rules-on-strikes-revealed-to.html

Indeed, BB is not afraid of “outlawing” strikes for which the staff have voted (in spite the draconian rules).

http://www.worldipreview.com/news/anger-as-epo-president-rejects-latest-strike-6767

Looks like you will have to start that treatment after all…

You will also have to explain what you mean about the Boards of Appeal. The structure of the EPO means that issues with DG3 are different to those with DG1. So I am not quite sure what the relevance of DG3′s actions would be to the situation in DG1. Do let me know if I’m missing something, though.

The very notion of a boss rejecting a call for a strike is utterly ludicrous. Therein lies a key issue, yet some people insist that unless EPO workers resign or engage in “illegal” strikes which would cause dismissal, they are part of the problem.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 24/10/2021: GPS Daemon (GPSD) Bug and Lots of Openwashing

    Links for the day



  2. Links 24/10/2021: XWayland 21.1.3 and Ubuntu Linux 22.04 LTS Daily Build

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 23, 2021



  4. Links 24/10/2021: Ceph Boss Sage Weil Resigns and Many GPL Enforcement Stories

    Links for the day



  5. GAFAM-Funded NPR Reports That Facebook Let Millions of People Like Trump Flout the So-called Rules. Not Just “a Few”.

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  6. Some Memes About What Croatia Means to the European Patent Office

    Before we proceed to other countries in the region, let’s not forget or let’s immortalise the role played by Croatia in the EPO (memes are memorable)



  7. Gangster Culture in the EPO

    The EPO‘s Administrative Council was gamed by a gangster from Croatia; today we start the segment of the series which deals with the Balkan region



  8. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXI: The Balkan League – The Doyen and His “Protégée”

    The EPO‘s circle of corruption in the Balkan region will be the focus of today’s (and upcoming) coverage, showing some of the controversial enablers of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, two deeply corrupt French officials who rapidly drive the Office into the ground for personal gain (at Europe’s expense!)



  9. Links 23/10/2021: FreeBSD 12.3 Beta, Wine 6.20, and NuTyX 21.10.0

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 22, 2021



  11. [Meme] [Teaser] Crime Express

    The series about Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" (20 parts thus far) culminates as the next station is the Balkan region



  12. Links 23/10/2021: Star Labs/StarLite, Ventoy 1.0.56

    Links for the day



  13. Gemini on Sourcehut and Further Expansion of Gemini Space

    Gemini protocol is becoming a widely adopted de facto standard for many who want to de-clutter the Internet by moving away from the World Wide Web and HTML (nowadays plagued by JavaScript, CSS, and many bloated frameworks that spy)



  14. Unlawful Regimes Even Hungary and Poland Would Envy

    There’s plenty of news reports about Polish and Hungarian heads of states violating human rights, but never can one find criticism of the EPO’s management doing the same (the mainstream avoids this subject altogether); today we examine how that area of Europe voted on the illegal "Strike Regulations" of Benoît Battistelli



  15. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group

    The EPO‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations” (which helped Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos illegally crush or repress EPO staff) were supported by only one among 4 Visegrád delegates



  16. [Meme] IBM Has Paid ZDNet to Troll the Community

    Over the past few weeks ZDNet has constantly published courses with the word "master" in their headlines (we caught several examples; a few are shown above); years ago this was common, also in relation to IBM itself; clearly IBM thinks that the word is racially sensitive and offensive only when it's not IBM using the word and nowadays IBM pays ZDNet — sometimes proxying through the Linux Foundation — to relay this self-contradictory message whose objective is to shame programmers, Free software communities etc. (through guilt they can leverage more power and resort to projection tactics, sometimes outright slander which distracts)



  17. [Meme] ILO Designed to Fail: EPO Presidents Cannot be Held Accountable If ILOAT Takes Almost a Decade to Issue a Simple Ruling

    The recent ILOAT ruling (a trivial no-brainer) inadvertently reminds one of the severe weaknesses of ILOAT; what good is a system of accountability that issues rulings on decisions that are barely relevant anymore (or too late to correct)?



  18. Links 22/10/2021: Trump's AGPL Violations and Chrome 95 Released

    Links for the day



  19. [Meme] How Corporate Monopolies Demonise Critics of Their Technically and Legally Problematic 'Products'

    When the technical substance of some criticism stands (defensible based upon evidence), and is increasingly difficult to refute based on facts, make up some fictional issue — a straw man argument — and then respond to that phony issue based on no facts at all



  20. Links 22/10/2021: Global Encryption Day

    Links for the day



  21. [Meme] Speaking the Same Language

    Language inside the EPO is misleading. Francophones Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos casually misuse the word “social”.



  22. António Campinos Thinks Salary Reductions Months Before He Leaves is “Exceptional Social Gesture”

    Just as Benoît Battistelli had a profound misunderstanding of the concept of “social democracy” his mate seems to completely misunderstand what a “social gesture” is (should have asked his father)



  23. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 21, 2021



  24. Links 21/10/2021: MX Linux 21 and Git Contributors’ Summit in a Nutshell

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] [Teaser] Miguel de Icaza on CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Our ongoing series, which is very long, will shed much-needed light on GitHub and its goals (the dark side is a lot darker than people care to realise)



  26. Gemini Protocol and Gemini Space Are Not a Niche; for Techrights, Gemini Means Half a Million Page Requests a Month

    Techrights on gemini:// has become very big and we’ll soon regenerate all the pages (about 37,500 of them) to improve clarity, consistency, and general integrity



  27. 'Satellite States' of EPO Autocrats

    Today we look more closely at how Baltic states were rendered 'voting fodder' by large European states, looking to rubber-stamp new and oppressive measures which disempower the masses



  28. [Meme] Don't Mention 'Brexit' to Team UPC

    It seems perfectly clear that UPC cannot start, contrary to what the EPO‘s António Campinos told the Council last week (lying, as usual) and what the EPO insinuates in Twitter; in fact, a legal challenge to this should be almost trivial



  29. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States

    How unlawful EPO rules were unsurprisingly supported by Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in Baltic states; António Campinos maintained those same unlawful rules and Baltic connections, in effect liaising with offices known for their corruption (convicted officials, too; they did not have diplomatic immunity, unlike Battistelli and Campinos)



  30. Links 21/10/2021: GIMP 2.99.8 Released, Hardware Shortages, Mozilla Crisis

    Links for the day


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