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07.06.17

Weeks Later, British Media Writes About British EPO Worker That Committed Suicide and the Administrative Council’s ‘Coverup’

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: EPO’s Elodie Bergot Calls Staff Suicide Just ‘Passing Away’, Pretends to Care

EPO on suicide

Summary: The contempt/disregard for human life and for the health of employees at the European Patent Office extends to the Administrative Council (European Patent Organisation)

THE news about changes at the EPO may have begun circulating in German media and even British media. Earlier today The Register covered some of the latest events, including last week’s meeting, Battistelli’s expected departure, the suicide of a British examiner in Munich, and various other things. Among the key points (with highlight on what’s new to us):

Perhaps more significantly, the Administrative Council named its new chairman after its current chair, Jesper Kongstad, unexpectedly resigned from his position of chairman of the Danish patent office.

Kongstad was widely credited with supporting and protecting Battistelli at the council, repeatedly blocking efforts to have him kicked out of the job early. In his place, from October, will be German Christoph Ernst, who has been a critic of several of Battistelli’s more controversial reforms.

The selection of Ernst has been widely seen as a public rebuke of Battistelli for his crusade against anyone opposing his plans – a situation that has led to a complete breakdown in communication between staff and management.

At its recent meeting in Munich, the Administrative Council was asked by the EPO staff union to launch an independent investigation into the circumstances behind the recent suicide of an examiner: the sixth such death in just five years. They declined to do so.

[...]

Battistelli famously storms out of meetings if he doesn’t like what he hears.

IAM’s editor believes that Battistelli's friend Antonio Campinos may take over. It seems plausible.

“We referred to Nouvel as a “death trap” last night because of the fire risk — a subject for which we can hopefully leak hard evidence one day.”Regarding some of Battistelli’s latest proposals, one person said: “If these sort of changes are passed it shows that it isn’t just the top that is rotten. What a toxic place to have to work at..”

“So the penthouse suite,” added another person. “Is it included as a benefit?”

The EPO does not even want anyone to speak about the penthouse's very existence. As we pointed out before, the money for it was apparently taken from the budget of TBI Holding, which had been tasked with construction of Nouvel, a building which we wrote about last night. TBI Holding wanted to sue the EPO. But guess what… it cannot. Immunity!

Thanks to the notorious immunity, Dutch authorities are unlikely to investigate such irregularities (or potential felonies). We referred to Nouvel as a “death trap” last night because of the fire risk — a subject for which we can hopefully leak hard evidence one day.

“It’s one of the many things that make the EPO an undesirable employer that tends to cover things up rather than make up.”Regarding the accident this week, we later received additional information about it from Dutch people. One person said, “please be careful when commenting on the accident.”

Another person, a native Dutch speaker, said that it was not as serious as the headlines (or automated translation of these) may suggest. “A worker fell from the building’s highest floor three meters to the floor below,” one person said. “He was injured and needed to be brought to a hospital. But it was an accident and has nothing to do with Nouvel or Battistelli. Such a thing can happen everywhere. Let’s hope that the guy is not severely injured and will get better soon. What is strange is that the labour inspection can investigate what happened when someone gets injured but is not allowed to enter EPO premises when someone comes to death by suicide.”

It’s one of the many things that make the EPO an undesirable employer that tends to cover things up rather than make up. Introspection is simply not an option.

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