03.31.17

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EPO Central Staff Committee Points Out to Benoît Battistelli That He is in Gross Violation and Contempt of the Founding Document/Treaty of the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The European Patent Convention (EPC) is routinely being trampled on by Team Battistelli, so what do they care amidst an organisational coup?

Battistelli and Kongstad

Summary: The staff representatives of the EPO, i.e. those doing all the hard work, “advise against giving any impression that the EPC may be disregarded without consequence.”

THE following open letter was circulated earlier this week and we wish to reproduce it below. This is not the first time Battistelli breaks the rules (including his own rules) and gets away with it, just like a classic tyrant in a rogue institution/state.

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY
Mr Benoît Battistelli
President of the EPO

ISAR – R.1081

Date: 29.03.2017

OPEN LETTER

Subject: Replacement of one Vice-President by three Chief Operating Officers

Dear Mr Battistelli,

You are planning to merge DG1 with DG2-Patent Administration whereby for as yet undisclosed operational reasons you intend to appoint yourself three “Chief Operating Officers” (COOs, the so-called “Super-PDs”) to lead this enlarged DG1.

In the vacancy notice, it is stated that “[e]ach of the COOs will report directly to the President” and that the contract period will be for five years (renewable). We infer from this that firstly the COOs will not be under the authority of a Vice-President, and that secondly these arrangements are for the medium to long term (not transitory).

Consequently, you have now requested the CSC to nominate members to the Selection Boards for these three new Chief Operating Officer positions.

In the March Council meeting some delegations have already expressed their reservations about this new institutional set-up. For our part, we have reasons to believe that, at least for the moment, your plans are not in compliance with the European Patent Convention (and its Implementing Regulations):

1. The functions of the enlarged DG1 (and in particular the Receiving Section, the Search Divisions, the Examining Divisions and the Opposition Divisions) fall squarely within the ambit of Article 15 EPC.

2. According to Rule 9(1) EPC, the departments specified in Article 15 shall be assigned to a Directorate-General.

3. According to Rule 9(2) EPC, each Directorate-General shall be directed by a Vice-President.

4. According to Article 11(2) EPC, the Vice-President is appointed by the Council after consultation of the President of the Office.

Ergo, in accordance with the EPC, the functions of the future enlarged DG1 must remain in a Directorate-General under the leadership of a Vice-President appointed by the Council. The EPC does not allow the creation of COO posts to replace VP1.

In addition, we note that to date the procedure laid down in Article 1(1) of the Implementing Rules of Article 7 ServRegs has not been followed, and its deadlines have not been respected. If the Office wishes to follow a different procedure than that laid down, then the Codex must be changed first.

We respectfully submit that the Council ought to be alerted promptly, so that they can look for a new VP1 capable of taking up the considerable challenge of leading such an enlarged DG1 comprising more than 5000 staff members. In addition, we respectfully suggest that you coordinate your plans with the Council as soon as possible, to obtain a “green light” for your amended procedures.

Please let us know at your earliest convenience when this is done, so that we can then proceed with any necessary nomination. For abundant precaution, we must advise against giving any impression that the EPC may be disregarded without consequence. Such a sign could legitimately be used to question the validity of the EPO’s work.

Yours sincerely,

The Central Staff Committee

cc.: Council Secretariat
cc.: Council delegations

We confirm that this letter was legitimately decided and produced by the Central Staff Committee1.
__________
1 Pursuant to Article 35(3) ServRegs, the Central Staff Committee shall consist of ten full and ten
alternate members.

_________
The CSC presently consists of 8 full and 7 alternate members, because two have resigned in December 2014, one has been dismissed in January 2016 (against the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee), one resigned as of October 2016, one has been further dismissed in November 2016 and one refused replacement of a full member since November 2016 and a further one since December 2014 against Article 7(3) of Circular 355.

Furthermore, one member of a LSC has been dismissed and a further full member of the CSC has been downgraded in January 2016 (against the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee). In fact, the Office has launched investigations and disciplinary procedures against several other Staff representatives as well, affecting negatively their health.

None of the above surprises us. As someone put it some hours ago, “Battistelli is impervious to scandal, has full immunity and controls both the council and national politicians.” As we put it days ago, “Benoît Battistelli ‘Pulls an Erdoğan’ Faster Than Erdoğan.”

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