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

04.09.17

The Latest on the Collapse of the European Patent Office (EPO)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Taking the Office on a cruise to nowhere

EPO ship

Summary: Eclectic news and views about the European Patent Office, which neither workers nor stakeholders (like clients) are happy about

AS noticed by this comment and several of our readers (who had told us about it), there is already this new report on the Bavarian Parliament discussing the EPO situation, as was planned. We don’t want to attempt to conclude anything based on automated or faulty translations and someone has already volunteered to translate it for us. Stay tuned…

Meanwhile, with controversial plans to send appeal boards to ‘exile’ (in Haar) already materialised, the final part — this one about BoA — comes out of Thorsten Bausch as part of his 4-installment series. Some people at IP Kat have already taken note, as did SUEPO. Bausch says that “TBA 3.3.02 now seems to be completely dysfunctional, with only one technical member left.” So if the person is ill, there is not even anyone to acknowledge communications. Here are some of the relevant passages from Bausch:

TBA 3.3.02 now seems to be completely dysfunctional, with only one technical member left.

[...]

To be fair to the EPO management, the number of legal BoA members slightly increased in 2016, but this does little, if anything, to solve the problem since usually the technical members act as juges rapporteurs in opposition appeal cases and draft the decisions.

One should expect a competent Office President to take decisive action against the BoAs’ serious understaffing, yet in lieu of that the President seems to be obsessed by the idea that the problem can be tackled by “measures to increase efficiency” (whatever this may mean), including the appointment of a new President of the Boards of Appeal and (again) amended Rules of Procedure…

See what Battistelli has done?

One reader recently told us: “I’ve heard the words “lame duck” being used about Battistelli (should he not decide to prolong his reign). Considering what’s going on at the EPO right now and which plans are in store that’s a naive assumption. If there was no method to the EPO madness engulfing the office now it appears there’s some method, and this is to run it down at full power.

  1. Treating the staff like assembly line workers. In August there will be introduced ID access cards able to register the time of entry in and exit from the office in order to control the effective time spent at work. It’s only that each examiner has a yearly production to achieve so checking whether he’s done this in less or more of the 8 hour 45 min time seems to be useless. Could a patent attorney imagine his working day being [like this]?
  2. The issue of mega-directorates. Battistelli and his HR brains have thought that one could cut down on the directors by merging directorates and having 60 people under one director. Thus a saving of more than 1/3 or the directors could be achieved (leaving roughly 70 out of over 100). The work of a director will then be delegated to team leaders who will do a director’s job for merely some hundreds of EUR a month, non-pensionable.
  3. 3-year contracts for newcomers starting next year. Undoubtedly there will be candidates for any job in the world but will the EPO still recruit the best candidates when they know that their job doesn’t involve any certainty? Anybody leaving the office after a cycle of three years, be it three or a multiple of three, will certainly consider the lack of a wide range of jobs, like in any other position on the market. It’s going to [be tough as] patent attorney and starting from the bottom, or nothing.
  4. Early certainty for the examination. Was commented before by a patent attorney so we have the voice of a user who’s far from pleased with the idea. What it means for the examiners is that more and more fields are suffering from lack of applications so the examiners are doing only examination and rarely any searches, just waiting for files that so far don’t arrive. If things continue like this, in spite of the huge success [trumpeted by Battistelli], many examiners will remain without enough work. What is the conclusion? Mass firings and replacement by novices under 3-year contracts seem to be the logical step. That this should also entail a lower quality does not seem to bother Battistelli and his henchmen. They already got through their bonus…

SUEPO has already mentioned these bonuses.

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

A Single Comment

  1. john said,

    April 10, 2017 at 4:22 am

    Gravatar

    It gets more and more difficult for the EPO to hire workers, because more and more people realise that the EPO is a bad career move. The biggest problem is that, in case one wants to leave, there is nowhere else to go. Once an engineer has worked in patents for a few years, it is very difficult to be hired to do a normal engineering job any more, so it will be patents for the rest of your professional life. And there aren’t that many patent offices hiring, so the only choice would be to be patent attorney, but it’s already a bit full.
    Strangely enough, the UPC is not hiring examiners. I don’t know who is supposed to do the litigation work (if the UPS happens, which is unlikely of course).
    Maybe the plan is to simply accept the search an examination of other major offices? That would indeed cut the number of examiners and attorneys needed worldwide by a factor of 4-5.
    As to bad career move: there was also the regulation that examiners cannot work in a 2 years grace period after they left (or have been fired). This was not accepted by the council, but it seems that Battistelli cannot accept no for an answer. I have been told by 3 different people now that it was extremely difficult to get a certificate that they worked for the EPO after they left. Without the certificate, no EQE and job interviews are a bit awkward.

What Else is New


  1. They Tell Us Linus Torvalds is Sexist But Evidence Suggests Otherwise

    Torvalds and others who are middle-aged (or older) males are often torpedoed using weakly-backed allegations (or insinuations/innuendo) of sexism; that does not seem to matter and won't matter when they treat men the same (or worse)



  2. Sometimes Sounding 'Rude' Can Be Necessary

    We need to quit accepting this corporate-led ideology that says you cannot 'offend' people whose work is of offending quality (an offense against technical standards)



  3. Status Update: DDoS, Traffic, Interns

    Times are difficult for liberty/freedom; but we're trying to stay on top of it all in spite of attempts to derail us



  4. GNU/Linux Still Not Controlled Purely by Large Corporations

    Linus Torvalds was not fully canceled; nor was Richard Stallman, who's still heading the GNU Project (under conditions specified by those looking to oust him; people who code for Microsoft GitHub and many IBM employees)



  5. The Need for Purely Independent Media

    The media crisis, which has deepened greatly as more journalists are laid off amid pandemic, means that the PR/B2B industry takes over what's left of news sites; we need to counter this worrying trend



  6. Links 7/6/2020: Sparky 2020.06, Wine Staging 5.10, Vulkan SDK 1.2.141

    Links for the day



  7. GNU is Open Source

    "The GNU Project is no longer ethical. RMS may care, but he's outnumbered enough by liars and traitors."



  8. Chairman of the Board of Red Hat Explains He Was Introduced to GNU/Linux When It Helped His Regime Change in Haiti

    General Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the Board of Red Hat, explains (keynote in 2011 Red Hat Summit/JBoss World) that he was introduced to the system as part of a military campaign; it basically helped war, not antiwar



  9. The Faces of 'The Cloud' (Surveillance in Clown Computing/Clothing)

    Consolidation of the world's computers/servers and the stories told by photo ops; we're particularly interested in IBM's relationship with Condé Nast, which owns The New Yorker and Wired



  10. Microsoft is Now in the Technical Advisory Board of the Linux Foundation

    Techrights politely takes note of the growing role (or roles) of Microsoft employees inside the Linux Foundation; there are now at least half a dozen people



  11. Two Things IBM and Microsoft Have in Common: Layoffs and Fake Hype Like 'Clown Computing' and 'Hey Hi' (AI) as Perceived 'Opportunity' for 'Growth'

    The infamous pair of monopolists, Microsoft and IBM, are both suffering during the COVID-19 lock-downs (no matter how hard they try to spin it and/or distract from it)



  12. IBM (Red Hat) Lectured FSF That It Needed More Diversity, But Was It Looking at the Mirror? IBM and Red Hat Are Even Less Diverse.

    Techrights examines Red Hat’s (IBM’s) hypocritical claims about the Free Software Foundation, founded by Richard Stallman back when IBM was the “big scary monopolist”; IBM employees were prominent among those pushing to oust Stallman from the GNU Project, which he founded, as well



  13. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 05, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, June 05, 2020



  14. Guix Petition Demographic Data, by Figosdev

    That old anti-RMS letter, which called for his removal (or resignation) from GNU (RMS is the founder of the GNU Project), as characterised by metadata of signatories



  15. When You Realise People Who Don't Support RMS Do Not Really Support GNU, Either

    The (in)famous letter against Richard Stallman (RMS), which was signed by many Red Hat employees with Microsoft (GitHub) accounts, doesn’t look particularly good in light of recent revelations/findings; it increasingly looks like IBM simply wants Microsoft-hosted and “permissively” licensed stuff, just like another project it announced yesterday and another that it promoted yesterday



  16. The Gates Press (GatesGate) -- Part III: What Happens When You Tell the Truth About Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation

    One might not expect this from a so-called 'charity'; the Gates Foundation's critics are often met with unprecedented aggression, threats and retribution, which make one wonder if it's really a charity or a greedy cult of personalities (Bill and Melinda)



  17. Links 6/6/2020: Bifrost Meets GNOME, Wine 5.10 is Out

    Links for the day



  18. Links 5/6/2020: LibreELEC (Leia) 9.2.3, Rust 1.44.0, and Hamburg's Pivot to Free/Libre Software

    Links for the day



  19. This Article About GitHub Takeover Never Appeared (Likely Spiked by Microsoft and Its Friends Inside the Media)

    And later they wonder why people distrust so much of the media (where paying advertisers set the agenda/tone)



  20. Raw: How Microsoft and/or the EPO Killed an Important EPO Story About Their SLAPP Against Techrights and Others

    Spiking a story about spiked stories about corruption



  21. The Linux Foundation 'Bootcamp' -- Badly Timed and Badly Named in June 2020 -- Only Uses Linus Torvalds Like a 'Prop' (for Legitimacy) While Promoting Militarised Monopolies

    Sometimes a picture says a lot more than words, especially in light of political events in the US and a certain Chinese anniversary we cannot name (Microsoft censors mentions of it)



  22. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 04, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 04, 2020



  23. The Gates Press (GatesGate) -- Part II: When Media That You Bribe Calls All Your Critics 'Conspiracy Theorists' (to Keep Them Silenced, Marginalised)

    The assault on the media by Bill Gates is a subject not often explored by the media (maybe because a lot of it is already bribed by him); but we're beginning to gather new and important evidence that explains how critics are muzzled (even fired) and critical pieces spiked, never to see the light of day anywhere



  24. GitHub is Not Sharing But 'Theft' by Microsoft

    Microsoft buying GitHub does not demonstrate that Microsoft loves Open Source (GitHub is not Open Source and may never be) but that it loves monopoly and coercion (what GitHub is all about and why it must be rejected)



  25. The Huge Damage (Except for Patent Lawyers' Bottom Line) Caused by Fake European Patents

    The European Patent Office (EPO) keeps granting fake patents that cause a lot of real harm (examiners are pressured to play along and participate in this unlawful agenda); nobody is happy except those who profit from needless, frivolous lawsuits



  26. Red Hat/IBM Got 'Tired' of RMS. Is It Getting 'Tired' of GPL/Copyleft Too?

    After contributing to the cancellation of Richard Stallman (RMS) based on some falsehoods perpetuated in the media we're seeing the sort of thing one might expect from IBM (more so now that it totally controls Fedora and RHEL)



  27. Links 4/6/2020: Proton 5.0-8 Release Candidate, GNU Linux-libre 5.7

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 03, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, June 03, 2020



  29. Social Engineering of Free Software, Based on Corporate Criteria

    What "professional" nowadays means in the context of coding and honest assessment of technical work



  30. Weakening GNU/Linux by Disempowering Its Leaders and Founders, Replacing Them With Microsoft Employees and GNU/Linux-Hostile Moles

    The coup to remove (or remove power from) Stallman and Torvalds, the GNU and Linux founders respectively, is followed by outsourcing of their work to Microsoft’s newly-acquired monopoly (GitHub) and appointment of Microsoft workers or Microsoft-friendly people, shoehorning them into top roles under the disingenuous guise of "professionalism"


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