06.24.17

Gemini version available ♊︎

SUEPO and the EPO’s Central Staff Committee Condemn Battistelli’s Latest Attempt to Change the Rules in Defiance of Laws

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Staff representatives at the EPO voice opposition to so-called ‘reforms’ which are neither desirable nor legal

THE Administrative Council (AC) of the EPO will be meeting in The Hague at the middle of the coming week and letters have been sent, as usual, to tell delegates what Battistelli is really up to and why he should be stopped. For reasons explained here before, we expect small countries (some of which are mere cities with a vote equivalent in weight to that of a country like Germany or France) to just nod mindlessly at Battistelli, but what about the rest?

Here is SUEPO’s letter, which explains what Battistelli is trying to accomplish and why it must be prevented:

16 June 2017

Deficient proposals tabled to the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (28-29 June meeting)

To: Ministers responsible for Intellectual Property of the EPO Member States
Cc: Heads of Delegation in the Administrative Council of the EPO (by email only)

Dear Sir/Madam,

The Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) wishes to draw your attention to the upcoming session of the Administrative Council (AC) of the EPO on 28 and 29 June 2017 and the proposals made by President Battistelli on which the representatives of the member states, including yours, will vote.

We are aware that the Central Staff Committee of the EPO is in the process of informing your national Delegate in more details of the severe deficiencies of a set of proposals tabled by the President of the EPO (CA/58/17 and CA/65/17).

1. With CA/65/17 the President of the EPO proposes a far-reaching restructuration of the EPO that violates the European Patent Convention, and will, if the AC adopts CA/C 8/17, create a risk of nullity of the patents granted under such structure as well as constitutional risks at national level.

2. A further set of proposals (CA/58/17) relating to the internal justice system of the EPO is highly problematic, because it contains regulations that

- violate fundamental rights, for instance as defined in the European Convention on Human Rights,
- are not compatible with the EU law, including EU Data protection guidelines,
- are not compatible with the national legal framework of EPO Member States,
- entail a high risk of litigation, of disrepute of the organization, and liability of member states.

If the proposals were adopted, the Member States, through their delegates in the AC, would discharge the President of the EPO of any responsibility in those matters, and take


responsibility for the consequences. Their own governments would, in consequence, be vicariously liable.

We thank you very much for your attention to this matter.

The Central Staff Committee too has written about it and we reproduce the letter below (a lot of staff already saw this):

Date: 16.06.2017

To the Members of the Board of the
Administrative Council

Reform of the EPO justice system (CA/58/17)

Dear Delegate in the Administrative Council,

Soon you will gather for the 152nd Council meeting, where you will have to decide on the reform of the internal justice system as proposed in document CA/58/17.

The Council acknowledged the concerns of staff when adopting resolution CA/26/16 in March 2016, by calling on the Office to reform its internal justice system so that it be fair, and be seen to be fair.

CA/58/17 contains elements of progress1. However, the reform addresses none of the true causes of the staff’s distrust. It sometimes even exacerbates it. More particularly, we would like to point to the following flaws:

  • An appointment of staff representatives guaranteeing a balanced composition is a fundamental feature of the Appeals Committee2. By artificial limitations, it is made yet more difficult3.
  • In a (quasi-) judicial system, the appointment, by the Head of the Administration, of a chair endowed with wide-ranging powers for a (renewable) term of three years4 must be considered as incompatible with (the perception of) independence.
  • The route for dealing with lack of professional ability and efficiency can be used to substitute for the disciplinary route, with reduced safeguards5.

___________

1 e.g. non-discrimination and commitment to combatting harassment
2 See Judgments Nos. 3694 and 3785, which annihilated the work of the Appeals Committee for the years 2014 (partly), 2015 and 2016.
3 The eligible appointees are limited to elected staff representatives and the President has further reduced the time allocated to them in revised Circular No. 356.
4 Article 98(4) ServRegs for the Disciplinary Committee; Article 111(7) for the Appeals Committee
5 See in particular the composition of the Joint Committee in Articles 53a


  • The final decision of the appointing authority may still exceed the recommendation in the opinion of the Joint, Disciplinary or Appeals Committees6.
  • The possibility of withholding parts of the salary for alleged failure to comply with one’s duties, by a mere administrative decision and in addition to a disciplinary sanction, is unprecedented and illegal7.
  • The control of the Office is extended into the life of former employees and pensioners8, with wider arbitrary prerogatives and less safeguards than in other international organisations.
  • Data protection and the protection of private property are made discretionary during investigations9.
  • The independence of the Ethics and Compliance Function from the President of the Office is not ensured by its organisational setup10.

The reform leaves fundamental rights unrecognised and unenforceable. It is even likely to set the foundations for future violations of those rights.

If the Council is minded to recall resolution CA/26/16 and restore the trust of the staff, the public, and the ILOAT in the EPO’s ability to administer its own justice system, CA/58/17 must be amended, with clear indications of what the Council expects.

Yours sincerely,
The Central Staff Committee

We confirm that this letter was legitimately decided and produced by the Central Staff Committee11.

___________

6 Articles 53b(4), 94a and 110(4); this is a major cause of the staff’s negative perception of fairness.
7 Compare Article 63a with e.g. German case law ArbG Frankfurt 20.1.2004 – 4 Ca 4332/03
8 See e.g. Article 94(1)(h) ServRegs
9 See e.g. Article 16 Implementing Rule
10 See Article 21 ServRegs
11 Pursuant to Article 35(3) ServRegs, the Central Staff Committee shall consist of ten full and ten alternate members.

The CSC presently consists of 8 full and 7 alternate members, because two have resigned in December 2014, one has been dismissed in January 2016 (against the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee), one resigned as of October 2016, one has been further dismissed in November 2016 and one refused replacement of a full member against Article 7(3) of Circular 355 since December 2014.

Furthermore, one member of a LSC has been dismissed and a further full member of the CSC has been downgraded in January 2016 (against the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee). In fact, the Office has launched investigations and disciplinary procedures against several other Staff representatives as well, affecting negatively their health.

It will be interesting to see how countries vote next week and if, as rumoured, there is another silent push to dismiss the judge who has been on “house ban” for 2.5 years (and whose pay got halved last year). Will the Administrative Council go ahead the following week and post this job vacancy for Battistelli's position? It says that it “shall be published on the Office’s website on 3 July 2017.”

Battistelli lost two separate referendums/elections in recent days. Will he lose another one?

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 8/12/2021: Linux 5.15.7 Out, Linux Mint 20.3 is Near

    Links for the day



  2. Links 8/12/2021: Zorin OS 16 Milestone and Calculate Linux 22 Released; Kubernetes 1.23

    Links for the day



  3. A Call for Sources and Whistleblowers From Microsoft's GitHub

    Remarks on our publications from this morning and a call for more leakers and whistleblowers, who know GitHub better than anybody else (including lots of fools who still outsource all of their hard labour to Microsoft through GitHub)



  4. [Teaser] Rape is Not a Joke

    Having just uploaded a police report, we’re starting to move the ongoing series to the next phase, which will still be — for the most part — weekly installments on Mondays (for months to come)



  5. [Teaser] Meet Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley

    Alex Graveley, a serial abuser, has been protected by Microsoft; what does that say about Microsoft and about Nat Friedman, GitHub’s CEO whom Alex considers his "best friend"? Stay tuned as we have plenty more to show



  6. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 07, 2021



  7. Links 8/12/2021: FreeBSD 12.3, EasyOS 3.1.13, and WordPress 5.9 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  8. [Meme] EU Assurances

    The EPO‘s staff cannot be blamed for losing patience as elected public representatives completely fail to do their job (with few exceptions)



  9. Clare Daly (GUE/NGL) Does What Every Public Official in Europe Should Have Done About EPO Shenanigans

    There’s another (new) push to hold the EPO accountable, seeing that the overseers clearly do not do their job and instead cover up the abuses



  10. Links 7/12/2021: Firefox 96 Beta and Fedora 37 Abandons ARMv7

    Links for the day



  11. Links 7/12/2021: Plasma Mobile Gear 21.12 and Tails 4.25

    Links for the day



  12. All IRC Logs Now Available as GemText Over Gemini Protocol

    Today we've completed the transition from plain text over gemini:// to GemText over gemini:// for IRC logs



  13. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, December 06, 2021



  14. [Meme] Rowing to the Bottom of the Ocean

    The EPO‘s Steve Rowan (VP1) is failing EPO staff and sort of “firing” workers during times of crisis (not at all a crisis to the EPO’s coffers)



  15. EPO Gradually Reduced to 'Fee Collection Agency' Which Eliminates Its Very Own Staff

    Mr. Redundancies and Mr. Cloud are outsourcing EPO jobs to Microsoft and Serco as if the EPO is an American corporation, providing no comfort to long-serving EPO staff



  16. Linux Foundation 2021 Annual Report Made on an Apple Mac Using Proprietary Software

    Yes, you’re reading this correctly. They still reject both “Linux” and “Open Source” (no dogfooding). This annual report is badly compressed; each page of the PDF is, on average, almost a megabyte in size (58.8 MB for a report of this scale is unreasonable and discriminates against people in countries with slow Internet connections); notice how they’re milking the brand in the first page (straight after the cover page, the 1991 ‘creation myth’, ignoring GNU); remember that this foundation is named after a trademark which is not even its own!



  17. Links 7/12/2021: OpenIndiana Hipster 2021.10 and AppStream 0.15

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft “Defender” Pretender Attacks Random Software That Uses NSIS for installation; “Super Duper Secure Mode” for Edge is a Laugh

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  19. Links 6/12/2021: LibreOffice Maintenance Releases, Firefox 95 Finalised

    Links for the day



  20. “Wintel” “Secure” uEFI Firmware Used to Store Persistent Malware, and Security Theater Boot is Worthless

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  21. No Linux Foundation IRS Disclosures Since 2018

    The publicly-available records or IRS information about the Linux Foundation is suspiciously behind; compared to other organisations with a "tax-exempt" status the Linux Foundation is one year behind already



  22. Jim Zemlin Has Deleted All of His Tweets

    The Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin seems to have become rather publicity-shy (screenshots above are self-explanatory; latest snapshot), but years ago he could not contain his excitement about Microsoft, which he said was "loved" by what it was attacking. Days ago it became apparent that Microsoft’s patent troll is still attacking Linux with patents and Zemlin’s decision to appoint Microsoft as the At-Large Director (in effect bossing Linus Torvalds) at the ‘Linux’ Foundation’s Board of Directors is already backfiring. She not only gets her whole salary from Microsoft but also allegedly protects sexual predators who assault women… by hiring them despite repeated warnings; if the leadership of the ‘Linux’ Foundation protects sexual predators who strangle women (even paying them a salary and giving them management positions), how can the ‘Linux’ Foundation ever claim to represent inclusion and diversity?



  23. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IX — Microsoft's Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot Sought to be Arrested One Day After Techrights Article About Him

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley has warrant for his arrest, albeit only after a lot of harm and damage had already been done (to multiple people) and Microsoft started paying him



  24. The Committee on Patent Law (PLC) Informed About Overlooked Issues “Which Might Have a Bearing on the Validity of EPO Patents.”

    In a publication circulated or prepared last week the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO explains a situation never explored in so-called 'media' (the very little that's left of it)



  25. Links 6/12/2021: HowTos and Patents

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 05, 2021



  27. Gemini Space/Protocol: Taking IRC Logs to the Next Level

    Tonight we begin the migration to GemText for our daily IRC logs, having already made them available over gemini://



  28. Links 6/12/2021: Gnuastro 0.16 and Linux 5.16 RC4

    Links for the day



  29. Links 5/12/2021: Touchpad Gestures in XWayland

    Links for the day



  30. Society Needs to Take Back Computing, Data, and Networks

    Why GemText needs to become 'the new HTML' (but remain very simple) in order for cyberspace to be taken away from state-connected and military-funded corporations that spy on people and abuse society at large


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