07.01.17

The Future of the EPO Does Not Look Encouraging as Injustice and Abuse Carry On While the Press Looks the Other Way

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Media blackout
Media blackout

Summary: In the absence of justice and lack of people who truly care about justice inside and outside (e.g. ILO) the EPO, combined with lack of press coverage and zero accountability from politicians (facing a barrier of immunity), the EPO continues its downward trajectory

THE EPO has shown no signs of recovery. The latest meeting of the Administrative Council, preceding a very major strike, gave no reasons for optimism. The decisions from ILO, which almost coincided with the meeting, will be analysed by us shortly as our focus will shift somewhat to ILO injustice (tomorrow the USPTO will be our focus).

“Their method for getting rid of this allegedly whistleblowing judge is let his contract expire and not renew his position, having already halved his salary last year.”As mentioned in several past articles, it looks as though the suspended judge, whom Battistelli put on “house ban” at the end of 2014 (before all hell broke loose), will be jobless soon. Their method for getting rid of this allegedly whistleblowing judge is let his contract expire and not renew his position, having already halved his salary last year.

Showing concern for this judge, whose fate may help indicate what will happen to other staff after Kongstad and Minnoye are gone, one person asked: “Are there any news of the suspended member of the BoA?”

There was only one detailed response to it (which IP Kat approved):

The fate of the suspended BoA member is only indirectly known. He’s still suspended. His contract has not been renewed, like his colleagues contracts.
He’s on a disciplinary measure, without disciplinary procedure.
Guess how ATILO will find that?
But the contract has ended, and ATILO will be okay with the job loss.

I sincerely hope his mental health survives, because how the AC treats _their_ employee is mind-bogging.

Mr. Ernst is a lawyer, he should know better how to treat employees with a contract, even difficult employees.
I hope once he’s officially in charge, he’ll have a good look at the case, and find a way out. This case is extremely disgraceful for all concerned, especially EPO management and the AC.
But, seeing how the new Codexchanges were waved through (“to get it off the table”), and DE voting in favour (only four abstentions: NL, IT, IE, LI), I fear the constitutional court in Germany will finally say a word about a lack of independence and power abuse inside the EPO, and a lack of supervision…

This whole situation is like a fight: too many people are watching and waiting for someone else to step in.

The one advantage with FR and DE voting in favour is, that if their nationals get fired, tehy might have a chance with national courts and get a job in the national administration due to gross violation of their countries’ law by the delegate, and the duty of care springing forth from this case. And if someone wins against their state, guess how the delegates will react next AC meeting?

An anonymous person, potentially an insider, said about the above: “There is no contract. And no loophole. [] Appointment to an office for a term of years is not a contract. I think. [] epo has to behave in ways that make the boards of appeals independence clear. Not doing it is illegal?”

It went on for a bit, but it’s inconclusive.

The next comment spoke about Jesper Kongstad, whose role in this affair has been thoroughly documented throughout (he acted as Battistelli’s courier, not boss):

This case is extremely disgraceful for all concerned, especially EPO management and the AC.

Would you care for another petit four or a pain au chocolat … ?
Time to crack open the champagne for Jesper’s farewell party …
What is that rumbling I hear in the background … must be another summer thunderstorm on the way …

Willy Minnoye, whose last day at work was yesterday, was then mentioned in relation to the strike that took place yesterday:

…and Willy’s… leaving party on a Friday night at an international organisation? In summer? (On a strike day??) How many people are even around. I’ll let you know…

Incredible, but not too shockingly (to us), no publications wrote about the strike other than IP Watch and then WIPR, which yesterday published the article “EPO staff strike again” and said:

Staff members at the European Patent Office (EPO) are holding another demonstration today and Monday, July 3.

According to a document seen by WIPR, the Central Staff Committee (CSC) and local staff committees across the EPO’s sites informed EPO president Benoît Battistelli of the strike on May 22.

The strike will take place at the EPO’s offices in Munich, The Hague, Berlin and Vienna.

A spokesperson for the EPO said: “The EPO fully respects the right of its staff to strike.”

The media silence has been appalling. Someone called “IAMgettingsick” (clearly someone who is not happy with IAM ‘magazine’ facilitating Battistelli’s regime in all sorts of ways) wrote about the latest suicide: “an examiner known to have experienced a burn out followed by depression, all this to end under the wheels of an S-Bahn. Meanwhile AC members enjoying their petits fours and nodding greedily, BB cozily hiding behind his bodyguards and devising yet more sadistic unilateral rule changes, attorneys and blogs looking somewhere else (but never missing an opportunity to take part in EPO staff bashing), hum, what, quality drop? haven’t noticed anything, please do not cancel my authorization to represent…”

“The media silence has been appalling.”SUEPO has meanwhile mentioned the latest article from Stefan Krempl (maybe a translation will come soon), covering a story which Techrights broke. It’s about Mr. Ernst, who some claim showed no concerns at all for staff. Not those who commit suicide and certainly not the judge who was mishandled by Team Battistelli.

Thankfully, the UPC is stuck in Germany. As Benjamin Henrion from FFII put it: “We should have 28 constitutional complaints against UPC, but one in Germany will be enough to kill the monster…”

Mr. Ernst is in fact expected to push for the UPC (considering his other professional roles).

“We should have 28 constitutional complaints against UPC, but one in Germany will be enough to kill the monster…”
      –Benjamin Henrion
Kingsley Egbuonu, writing for a pro-UPC and Battistelli-friendly publication, has just published this “progress [sic] report” about the UPC, stating that “many feared the Brexit vote would scupper the UPC.”

By “many” he means Team UPC, i.e. very few greedy people from London (where Egbuonu is based). He wrote about Germany at the very start as follows:

Legal challenge delays Germany’s UPC Agreement ratification progress…

Delays? It may actually kill it. But boosters of the UPC keep saying “delay” as if this thing is inevitable and everyone who dares suggest otherwise is a laughable fringe.

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