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05.09.17

SUEPO Releases Statement About Its Complaint Regarding the EPO’s Immunity, Filed Yesterday at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: Corruption Indictments Brought Against Vice-President of the European Patent Office (also in Strasbourg)

European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg
Photo licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit: Alfredovic.

Summary: The Staff Union of the European Patent Office (EPO) explains why it has decided to take on the Dutch state, essentially for protecting Team Battistelli in spite of its serious abuses, which were in fact confirmed but not dealt with because of immunity

LAST night we wrote about the latest major development at the EPO, namely escalation/appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The word has been spreading in Dutch media, especially today [1, 2, 3], adding to a bunch of other developments such as Jesper Kongstad’s planned departure [1, 2] (premature; “My contact in Denmark told me that the new government asked Jesper Kongstad to resign,” a reader told us moments ago, confirming our suspicions that the story he publicly told was distracting from the truth), a sternly-worded message from USF to all MEPs, and unflattering media coverage. There was also, quite recently, a message from the FICSA General Secretary about the scandals at WIPO. There are many parallels there.

SUEPO has just published the following message in its Web site and it says:

Dear SUEPO Members, dear Colleagues

“…The Netherlands have failed (so far) to discharge their duty of care, thereby allowing a breach of fundamental rights on their soil and de facto condoning, if not endorsing, the EPO’s abuses.”As you remember, to defend the interests of its members when attacked by President Battistelli, SUEPO sought protection from the Dutch courts in the form of an injunction. An injunction is meant to prevent a violation of rights likely (if not certain) to cause irreparable damage. Disappointingly, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands upheld the EPO’s immunity.

A host state has a heavy duty of care. On the one hand, it must take reasonable steps to safeguard the immunity of an international organisation, when such immunity is necessary for the lawful operations of the organisation. On the other hand, the host state must see to it that all individuals within its jurisdiction have effective means to protect their rights when menaced.

“Therefore, on 8 May 2017 SUEPO has filed a complaint against The Netherlands before the European Court of Human Rights.”When the legal system applicable to an international organisation does not provide for protection in the form of an injunction, which is essential to prevent irreparable damage, and even worse when it is virtually indisputable that the organisation is violating rights, the host state has a serious difficulty. In our opinion, it has only two options: either to lift the immunity of the organisation for the benefit of a party aggrieved, or to take itself action against the rogue organisation by resorting to international arbitration (in the EPO’s case, Article 23(1) PPI).

Being unwilling to do either, in our opinion The Netherlands have failed (so far) to discharge their duty of care, thereby allowing a breach of fundamental rights on their soil and de facto condoning, if not endorsing, the EPO’s abuses.

Therefore, on 8 May 2017 SUEPO has filed a complaint against The Netherlands before the European Court of Human Rights.

As usual, we will keep you informed of any essential development.

Your SUEPO central

“What is the latest news on the European Patent Office?”

That’s the message I received earlier today from a prominent local academic and top administrator. That university is rethinking its strategy on EPs because of all these scandals. Battistelli has done enormous damage to what previously was a fine institution with great reputation.

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