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05.07.17

ILO Gives the European Patent Office Unfair Advantage in Disputes With Staff

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Patents at 7:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When people start receiving envelopes such as these they know justice is unlikely to ever be served (waste of time and money, good only for lawyers)

ILO envelope
Institutional Laziness Organization?

Summary: Dispute resolution cannot be attained at ILO because ILO does not properly enforce labour law, does not give staff adequate opportunity to respond, rarely issues an actual judgment (deferrals instead), and lets the EPO dodge compliance with rulings

THE EPO is habitually abusing the law and nonchalantly abusing its own staff. Incredibly enough, time after time it somehow dodges justice; it keeps getting away with it. Staff is in shock, not in awe, as there seem to be no safeguards for them, not even ILO (whose sole job is to ensure justice from a peripheral, independent angle). Something is seriously wrong and truly dysfunctional here. See what happens in WIPO (Switzerland) for parallels. Is this civilised Europe or have international bodies, especially those residing on European soil, descended to standards of third world countries? How can this be? Whistleblowers from these bodies face incredible retribution. They live in police states, sheltered by a bubble of immunity and impunity. There are de facto monarchs. They are above the law.

Claude RouillerReaders have begun writing to us with additional feedback. A lot of them got severely abused by the EPO, but few have the courage to speak about it, or to air their ordeals publicly (it’s like the EPO is blackmailing them). We have been hearing many complaints about Albert Koopman, for instance — a doctor whom we last wrote about one week ago. Why does his name keep coming up? How many people feel victimised by this man?

We have begun learning not just about abuse of ill and/or disabled people at the EPO (we have plenty of material related to that). We gradually learn about ILO’s apathy towards them, if not discrimination towards them. “ILO will only check whether the EPO follows their internal rules, but will not check the validity of these rules,” one person wrote the other day, alluding to Claude Rouiller's ILOAT. Well, the problems were explained in a document from SUEPO quite recently. “There we go,” told us another person. “Useless auditing process then.”

Here is the full comment about it:

A new document about the tribunal of ILO was just published by SUEPO. It is worth reading.

2 things are worth mentioning. First, there has been a change in style in ILO decisions under Battistelli’s time: the number of summary dismissals has increased considerably. Basically, there were none before Battistelli.
Second, and I feel this is even more important, ILO will not exercise any normative control. In plain English: ILO will only check whether the EPO follows their internal rules, but will not check the validity of these rules.

What does this mean in practice? In practice, it means that the EPO staff has to follow their end of the contract (like not talking to the press under penalty of losing their pensions) while the EPO council is free to change the terms of the contract at their leisure.

I think that the people seeking employment at the EPO ought to know.

Some people go further and raise suspicion that ILO is just rubbing the EPO’s back rather than policing it or enforcing labour law. See the following E-mail for example (redacted by us):

Date: ██████
From: ██████
To: trib@ilo.org
Cc:
Subject: URGENT procedural requests in re AT █████ and in re AT █████

In re AT █████ and in re AT ████

Dear Mr. Butler, dear Sir or Madam,

With regard to your e-mail of █████ 2017 (last in the e-mail exchange as attached) and to the EPO’s reply of █████ 2017 to this complaint which I received yesterday on ██████, I have the following comments, questions and requests:

1. Thank you very much for noting my request to join these two cases, yet I understand from you that they are not currently joint yet.

2. Given your earlier instruction (in some of my other cases, cf. your e-mail of ██████ 2015, among others) to remove cross-references to documents provided in other procedures it is unclear to me how I can “provide additional arguments and evidence” in reply to the EPO’s new allegations in their latest submission in re AT ██████, for instance on my alleged additional meetings with Dr. Koopman within the medical committee procedure, without being allowed to refer to such new allegations by the EPO and refute them. Could you please clarify?

3. In view of my fundamental right to reply to the EPO’s new allegations in re AT █████ I maintain my procedural request under 6. of my e-mail of █████ 2017 (as attached).

4. In view of the term of 30 days granted to me for my rejoinder in re AT ██████ in reply to the EPO’s extensive reply of ████ pages with ████ Annexes [Editor's note: massive numbers!], this term having started from the day of receipt, i.e. from yesterday, and in view of the extremely generous extension of 60 days provided to the EPO’s two specialised professional lawyers for their reply, I urgently request an extension of 90 days for my rejoinder in re AT █████ due to my chronic illness and to my personal obligations, my own administration, my social life, necessary repair works at my home, and the like.

Please confirm receipt for this e-mail.

Awaiting your prompt reply,
Sincerely yours,

████████████

What we are seeing above is a rather perversely disproportionate action; it’s asymmetric legal warfare against discriminated, abused (and as usual, then maligned) EPO staff with a chronic illness. We have heard from (and written about) similar cases involving other people, so there is certainly a pattern here. The EPO uses deep pockets (stakeholders’ money) to overwhelm and overburden the victim with legal fees, potentially bankrupting some. What kind of inhumane place has the EPO become and why does ILO shelter the EPO so much? Is ILO part of the problem? People are dying over this

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