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Benoît Battistelli is Scheming to Further Erode the Rule of Law and Promote More of His Cronies at the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Also see: Information From SUEPO on the Functional Allowance Reveals How Top-Level Management Intends to ‘Rob’ the Cash Cow (EPO Budget)

Battistelli Orb

Summary: Racing to the very bottom of human rights, dignity, morality and so on, for the sake of ultimate power and unbridled greed, Team Battistelli makes its next move

THE EPO is in a flaky state. Its reputation is long gone, the application numbers continue to decline, key staff is leaving, and Battistelli along with his cronies move further up the ranks. Suddenly, as some professionals openly state, the USPTO looks like it may have higher standards than the EPO. Technically too, not just ethically…

As someone put it the other day, in relation to the EPO right now:

What is most striking is the strong sense of resignation, its impotence of self-regulation, the lack of options, the political apathy. What an extraordinary situation for an institution that has absolute power over intellect and information – there is no greater power really.

Yes, the political system in Europe has been far too apathetic and thus arguably complicit. A report of ours will soon deal with the element of complicity and what can be done about it. What we wish to focus on herein, however, are some of the latest internal moves — those that demonstrate just how much of a lost cause the EPO became. We have some news about Yann Chabod (he’s not ‘retiring’, not yet anyway) and other French allies of Battistelli. The situation was recently explained to us by various sources and we have pieced it together as follows.

Titled “News from the Madhouse” or “News of the Madhouse”, one report told us that “[a]t EPO, che casino! (as Italians say)” and to quote:

From DG4 office-wide

Dir. Yann Chabod is working on new HR policies where:

  • The Office plans to depart from the normal concept of duty of care of the employer (towards its employees) to (hold tight) a duty of employability of staff towards the EPO! (e.g. if you are sick, you are not employable; game over)
  • Euro-contract of 3 years for ALL staff categories/profiles from January 2017
  • Firing staff without disciplinary procedures (which due their gross incompetence DG4 officials are too dumb to understand, much less respect). Instead a very subjective concept of “professional incompetence” will be created with a new structure where it will be decided in speedy procedures to fire staff as they see/please (EPO staff, don’t burn all your cash too quickly. You may be out quicker than you think).

DG4′s cunning plan is a GCC consultation in November and submission to Administrative Council in December 2017 for an entry into force in January 2018.

Needless to say that all this is utterly unhealthy (hence illegal and not practicable, e.g. recruitment needed will increase to levels impossible to manage), but hey, who cares!

Although the EPO has made over 400 Mio eur. surplus, DG4 is currently reviewing all staff in receipt of HANDICAPPED child allowance (yes you read right) to cut all what can be cut. Very tasteful is it not?

  • Staff rep elections are due next June 20th. The one candidate in TH who presents himself as “independent” has recently applied to a position within DG4! (which explains that he shoots on unions)
  • Another “independent” candidate is in the starting blocks in TH [The Hague]. some say that the union refused his presence on their list of candidates for very severe reasons (he collaborated zealously to Bergot’s witch-hunt leading to investigation of several union leaders/dismissal). Be aware of this when you read his pamphlet which will no doubt not be mentioning nothing about his many dirty little secrets.

From DG1

In DG1 two directors of Le Croisé, friends for years, were explained by their principal director that VP1 considers they are seen too often together (e.g. for lunch, or coffee). VP1 even considers that one is doing too much sport over lunch! Directors be aware: you are being watched!

From the building

The planned contingency budget for the entire building in TH is close to empty, although the building works are by far not completed (actually additional delay for completion are already planned). no doubt that the end budget will explode.

From Munich

A new position will soon arise: principal director in the Presidential Office. Lose no time to apply, it is for Gilles Requena the (ex?)husband of E. Bergot.

For the 3 DG1 principal directors positions foreseen in the new structure post-VP1-departure: these positions would be earmarked for a Bulgarian PD, a French one, and Grant Philpott.

Some of the above has already been circulating among staff, either verbally or in written form. Not too long ago “New Merpel” wrote the following long comment:

There was a new document published about the new structure for the EPO. It is typical Battistelli: when being told that the new structure is not compatible with the EPC, keep the structure and pay lip service to the EPC. Try to get a copy of the document, which was distributed over the EPO intranet.

For the following to be understood, the present management structure is: vice president (VP), principal director, director, examiner.

In the new structure, the complete present management of DG1 (the part of the EPO doing search and examination) becomes redundant. Really:
-there is no Vice President. Under the EPC, the VP is the only one that is independent from the President (nominated by the council). This is where Battistelli paid lip service: he nominates present VP2 as VP1. That man has done everything he wants.
-there are 3 COOs, which are apparently the only ones in charge and report directly to the President (although they are under the VP, they report to the President… lip service).
-the present principal directors are made redundant (really!)
-more than half of the directors are made redundant (which should keep the other half quiet, if they don’t want to be put in the “redundant” half)
-directors are replaced by examiners who do the job in addition to their examining duties on a one-year assignment.

So, basically, the new structure is: President, COO (chosen by the President on a short term contract, come from outside the EPO), examiner. What for?

There is another hidden gem in that document (there always is one…). Oppositions will be done by specially chosen examiners, who cannot do more than 30% opposition work. Why 30% one may ask? Simple: tasks done for 30% of your time do not count for your notation. That system is a particularly astute way of giving something to the redundant directors while:
-insuring that they will be without power (they don’t report the people below them, since they only do 30%)
-insuring that oppositions get the attention Battistelli thinks they deserve (the examiners still have to keep the director for which they do 70% work happy, he does not want to be redundant and is judged on output).

As a subsequent comment put it:

Good news for Mr Requena (right hand of Battistelli and ex-husband of PD43) : a position of A6 is ear-marked for him and will soon arive :o)))

who said that talents aren’t recognised at EPO ?

Mind the tone of the next comment:

The new opposition departments are predicated on the view that examiners who do more oppositions can be so efficient that they can almost halve the time spent by the EPO on them. Of course it will mean that these opposition examiners will cover a wider technical area (of the order of 10% of all examiners).

This wasn’t taken too well, inviting comments like this:

Another comment obviously motivate by social envy and ignorance. You do not seem to understand that people are depending on this job, living abroad with their children visiting international school and mortgages that need to be paid. A general strike sounds so simple if you ignore the consequences this would have. We do not get any support by the Dutch and German government which is the actual scandal. Instead jellyfish Rutte shook hands for the press when the construction of the new building started… disgusting. You better think before you judge.

Another person wrote: “Swallow your social envy and shut up, will you. You have obviously no idea what you are talking about.”

“Time for [EPO] examiners to look for a new job I would say.” That’s what this next comment said: “The only time I have seen a similar management structure change in the industry, massive dismissals happened in the next months. That would make sense here if the EPO has 40% productivity gains, they will only need half the staff. Time for examiners to look for a new job I would say.”

Not only this one thread contains inside information. The comments here (now 17 or more) are worth reading in full. Even pro-UPC blogs are very much concerned about the future of the EPO, which is collapsing. It’s the fault of Battistelli’s regime.

The above-mentioned clawback is the latest subject to come up in the very last thread about EPO scandals. To quote:

Currently DG4 is busy reviewing HANDICAPPED CHILD allowances’ recipients, as if the 3 dozens (or the like) of recipients were bandits abusing the EPO. Even if they were (which is of course not the case) the amounts at stake would never cover the spendings of EPO money needed for PD 43 bodyguard.

Fortunately during this time, millions of eur are spent on IT projects with ZERO results, the building in TH has already almost exausted its contigency money and is far from finish yet, Battistelli still employs two bodyguards, flies around the globe visiting the most expensive palaces, drinking the most nobles french wines.

who said tasteless?

Another one said:

New rules for firing people without safeguards will be presented to the next council.

Let me first remind that Battistelli fired 3 people already, two of them a year and a half ago. The reasons were bogus, but they are still out with no solution in sight. They were fired because they were staff representatives. So we know that Battistelli can already fire people at will, it just is a bit of effort to mount a bogus case.

Under the new règles, you will just be out for… “professional incompetence”. Try to find another job in patents after you have been officially declared incompetent. Battistelli already had a big stick, now he wants a machine gun.

And serving to further confirm what we have learned:

indeed according to insiders info DG4 plans a new rule which would allow to fire staff for “processionnal incompetence”, a vague and utterly subjective concept, without the need of disciplinary committee the rules of which are by far too cumbersome and require fairness.

In December DG4 will propose a document that foresees ALL new staff at EPO under 3 years’ contract (no more permanent employment)

the destruction of the EPO continues

This last new comment explains the monumental cost of working for the EPO:

“Handicapped child” comment above.

When one comes to work for the Office, one leaves the social insurance system of his or her country. If one is then fired, one is left without medical insurance, so any recurrent costs for an handicapped child will not be paid. Getting back under the insurance of one’s country is not generally an option.

Basically, if your child needs regular treatment and the other parent is not independently insured, you have a huge problem.

So, in summary, as bad as things already are at the EPO, they’re about to get even worse.

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