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

06.17.17

European Patent Office (EPO) Whistleblowing Guidelines

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Because the consequences can be dire if it’s not done right

Reality Winner

Summary: The first part of a series which offers tips for sending us material/evidence, specifically from the European Patent Office (EPO)

THE EPO has become both secretive and abusive. Toxic mix. “Dangerous cocktail,” one might call it. Even the salary of the boss is no longer known (predecessors’ used to be publicly disclosed). The combination of secrecy and immunity is outright unacceptable and the only way to assure accountability (e.g. public scrutiny) is to leak documents pertaining to the operations of the Office and the Council/Board. We welcome submissions of information about the EPO and as always we are deeply committed to protecting our sources. We have a perfect record after 11 years (of never compromising a source). Security and privacy is something we are intimately familiar with (professionally too).

In the words of an insider, “some people at the EPO decided that they can no longer look away and tacitly/passively accept that some EPO managers, above all managers at the very top of the organization and their cronies, can enjoy the doubtful benefits of an intransparent system which fosters bribing and corruption and is self-stabilizing, if not self-intensifying – mainly due to a total lack of accountability of the persons in charge. I am one of these people.”

Here is the first part of a series, in which tips shall be given to insiders for (1) the safe acquisition of material and (2) secure passage of this material (with additional/contextual information) to us, preferably without leaving a personally-identifying trail at any level.

We can make up or compensate for imperfect transmission (e.g. metadata, lack of obfuscation), but if it’s done the wrong way by the source (e.g. printing pages without awareness of something we have warned about for years), then it limits our capacity to protect the source.

Unofficial EPO Circular no. 001

Whistleblowing Guidelines

for the staff of the European Patent Office

- part 1 -

Misconduct by EPO Management and Administrative Council

Are you an employee of the European Patent Office (EPO), its Boards of Appeals Unit or the secretariat of the Administrative Council? Then you won’t need to think long before you can come up with several severe cases of abuse of power1,2, misconduct and negligence2, ruthlessness1,2, a ‘reign of terror’3 – even leading to staff suicides4,5, slander6, nepotism7,8, corruption9, greed10, recent or ongoing, by EPO senior management and the representatives of the Administrative Council2(AC).

Several documents and numerous allegations have been leaked to the public during the Battistelli presidency. A more focused approach may be useful in the interests of staff and the Organisation. This document is intended to complement the legal and pseudolegal framework of the EPO, by providing, for the first time in the history of the EPO, guidelines advising EPO staff when and how to blow the whistle.

Conflict Resolution within a Model Organisation

In a model organisation, most problems would be resolved within the usual hierarchic procedures. A reliable internal system for whistleblowing or conflict mediation would also be available for bypassing the hierarchy. Furthermore, for certain cases, National law enforcement mechanisms would be available.

The EPO, on the contrary, has opted for a reign of terror. Hierarchy is used to protect superiors from subordinates. The oversight body of the EPO, the Administrative Council, regularly fails to take interest in the pleas of staff and users of the European patent system. Internal conflict resolution systems have been twisted to deny access to justice by stretching procedures to endless length and by denying basic rights to members of staff. Denunciation and self-censorship are encouraged. Social dialogue and collective bargaining through official staff representation or trade unions have been brutally crushed. Internal regulations are perverted to be used as weapons against employees11 instead of respecting their rights. The Office even overstretches the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities to hide from National authorities, which results in a legal vacuum and islands of lawlessness within the borders of the Organisation’s democratic host states.

As a consequence, external whistleblowing is not an option, it’s a must.
____
1 https://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2016/11/firings-will-continue-until-morale.html
2 https://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2016/11/remember-house-ban-how-two-years-flies.html
3 http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/03/european-patent-office-under-fire-over-reign-of-terror/
4 https://www.suepo.org/public/ex15152cp.pdf, https://www.suepo.org/public/ex15350cp.pdf
5 http://www.politico.eu/article/labor-relations-turn-toxic-in-the-european-patent-office/
6 http://www.iam-media.com/blog/detail.aspx?g=2141acfb-0254-48ab-a380-31fee0da7f97
7 https://www.suepo.org/documents/42912/54300.pdf
8 http://techrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/epo-people.pdf
9 http://www.fosspatents.com/2014/12/european-patent-office-pays-for-health.html
10 http://techrights.org/2017/03/11/suepo-on-the-functional-allowance/
11 https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/23/euro_patent_office_internal_rule_changes/

Part 2 will follow soon.

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 5/12/2019: qBittorrent 4.2.0, Expensive Librem 5 and OpenBSD Bugs

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft Staff Repeatedly Refuses to Tell How Many People Use WSL, Defends Patent Extortion and Blackmail of Linux Instead

    The people who develop WSL (mostly Microsoft employees) get easily irritated when asked how many people actually use this thing; but more interestingly, however, they reveal their disdain for GNU/Linux and support for Microsoft blackmail (for 'Linux patent tax')



  3. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 04, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 04, 2019



  4. Links 4/12/2019: Tails 4.1, UCS 4.4-3 and Proxmox VE 6.1

    Links for the day



  5. Google Tightens Its Noose

    Now it’s official! Google is just a bunch of shareholders looking to appease the Pentagon at all costs



  6. Europeans Still Need to Save the European Patent Office From Those Who Attack Its Patent Quality

    Patent quality is of utmost interest; without it, as we're seeing at the EPO and have already seen at the USPTO for a number of years, legal disputes will arise where neither side wins (only the lawyers win) and small, impoverished inventors or businesses will be forced to settle outside the courts over baseless allegations, often made by parasitic patent trolls (possessing low-quality patents they don't want scrutinised by courts)



  7. We Never Accepted and Will Never Accept Corporate Money

    Corporate money is a unique problem because of its magnitude and the fact that it's impersonal; shareholders can only ever accept its supposed justifications if they're receiving something in return (of proportional worth to the payment/transaction)



  8. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 03, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 03, 2019



  9. Links 3/12/2019: elementary OS 5.1 Hera, Plasma 5.17.4, Firefox 71

    Links for the day



  10. Laundering the Reputation of Criminals: That's an Actual Job

    An important reminder that the manufactured, paid-for (media is being bribed) image of Bill Gates is the product of the PR industry he enlisted to distract from his endless crimes



  11. 'Priceless' Tickets to the EPO's Back End and Team UPC

    CIPA's and the EPO's event (later this week) is more of the same; the EPO exists not to serve European businesses but a bunch of law firms and their biggest clients (which usually aren't even European)



  12. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 02, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, December 02, 2019



  13. New EPO Leak Shows That the Rumours and Jokes Are Partly True and We Know Who 'Runs the Show'

    Europe’s second-largest institution is so profoundly dysfunctional, a reprehensible kakistocracy of tribalism, money-grabbing career-climbing autocrats and possibly major fraud; today’s leak looks at what motivated and enabled the formation and latest incarnation of “Team Campinos”



  14. Links 2/12/2019: Linux Mint 19.3 Beta, DPL Sam Hartman Talks About SystemD

    Links for the day



  15. What Former Debian Project Leader (Second to the Late Ian Murdock) Thinks About SystemD in Debian GNU/Linux

    Now that Debian is debating and voting on diversity in the technical sense the thoughts of Bruce Perens merit broader audience/reach



  16. Free/Libre Software Will Eventually Become the Norm, 'Open Source' is Just Proprietary Software Trying to 'Buy Time'

    More people are starting to ask questions about Free software while “Open Source” languishes (people can see it’s just a mask for proprietary software); it was a two-decade delaying tactic that’s wearing off (people see GitHub and the OSI/Linux Foundation for what they really are)



  17. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 01, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 01, 2019



  18. Richard Stallman is Active and Doing Well

    The rumour mill may still be humming along; but against all odds — as Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project — Stallman keeps fighting the good fight (in the face of growing resistance)



  19. Banning Former Microsoft Employees Who Complain About Microsoft Lies, Abuses and Crimes

    The official account of Windows Insider is banning people whom it never even spoke to; this seems like a way of 'punishing' people who are not 'true believers' in Microsoft



  20. Wikileaks: Thierry Breton May Have Misused Regulatory/Government Positions to Attack His Competition (in the Market)

    Thierry 'revolving doors' Breton as seen by the United States government



  21. 13 Years of UPC Promises

    The anatomy of UPC 'fake news' or lobbying tactics along the lines of self-fulfilling prophecies and false predictions



  22. Is Water Wet?

    The criteria for patent eligibility reduced only to this question: will allowing these patents increase ‘production’ (number of patent grants)?



  23. The EPO's President Admits He's Illegally Granting Software Patents (CII, 4IR, IoT, AI and Blockchain Mean Software Patents at the EPO)

    The EPO's chief liar is openly and proudly promoting software patents using buzzwords and hype waves (and mysterious acronyms that are rather meaningless but spread by the media in exchange for money received from the EPO)



  24. Tone Policing and the Linux Foundation

    A timely example of situations where the Linux Foundation can seemingly 'cancel' people (using the Code of Conduct) for political opinions



  25. It EEEsn't Just a Microsoft Thing Anymore

    The EEErosion of Python's independence is a known problem and Microsoft is not the sole culprit



  26. Links 1/12/2019: KDE's GTK CSD Support, Skrooge 2.21.0

    Links for the day



  27. Links 1/12/2019: Genode OS 19.11 Release, Sam Hartman (DPL) Speaks Out on SystemD

    Links for the day



  28. Maximalists Cherry-Picking the So-Called 'Corbyn' 'Leak' for Their Patent Agenda While the US Lobbies Britain for Software Patents and Worse

    A quick look at what last week's media coverage may have missed and what patent maximalists don't want to tell us about confidential trade-related documents



  29. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 30, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 30, 2019



  30. Microsoft Loves Linux Because It Pays for It

    Microsoft cannot ‘buy’ Linux itself, so it has been buying (bribing) all the ‘right’ people while telling them (and then they tell us, too!) they “love Linux” (which they don’t even use!)


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