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07.12.17

The European Patent Office (EPO) Under Benoît Battistelli is Compared to “Soviet Times”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Battistelli with Scud

Summary: The staff of the EPO explains — albeit anonymously for obvious reasons — what it feels like to work for the European Patent Office under Battistelli and why people are afraid to exercise their rights (as these are patently being violated by Battistelli as a matter of routine)

THE social climate at the EPO is as bad as ever if not worse than ever, contrary to what the EPO said/insinuated on Monday.

“These are the figures for monday,” one person explained anonymously in a comment. “The strike participation was very low on monday (it was a bit higher on friday), but the figures do not tell the whole story. The office actively removed all posters and flyers informing the staff about strike in the previous days (email has been prohibited for such uses for years) and instructed large segments of the staff population that they were not allowed to strike (directors, team leaders, anyone with special tasks, etc…). That the delay between polls and strike are so long also insured that strike happened AFTER the council meeting and many members of staff felt that strike after decisions were taken was of little use.”

“…90% of the staff voted for a strike, but strike suppression tactics evidently worked, after vote suppression tactics had mostly failed.”As we pointed out yesterday, 90% of the staff voted for a strike, but strike suppression tactics evidently worked, after vote suppression tactics had mostly failed.

What good is a protest or a strike if nobody cares to notice? Or broadcasters are being intimidated into silence while some get paid to play along?

It “seems that TV networks have been instructed to turn their cameras the other way lately,” said this new comment about media blackout (a real problem as virtually nobody covered or even mentioned the strike). To quote the comment:

Strikes are completely inefficient anyway. Each examiner gets a target to meet at the end of the year and whatever work one does not do during strike will need to be done anyway. Some of the examiners who striked brought the files home. Basically strikes are good for the management, they get the work and keep the pay. Their only effects are political, but demos are more efficient and cheaper.

That is: demos were more efficient, but it seems that TV networks have been instructed to turn their cameras the other way lately. I remember seeing Bayerische Rundfunk and even other TV networks in Munich last year, but now they are gone.

The next comment said this:

and not to be forgotten: the feeling of fear which is wide spread among staff. Many are now totally frozen to voice critics or to be heard voicing some, like in the good old Soviet times….

Now that the new set of abusive rules have been enacted the coming months we are going to see a new wave of “resignations” (read huge pressure on isolated staff members “invited to leave voluntarily” vs. being dismissed) and this in big numbers.

Remember that the plan is that in each DG in each branch everyone knows the story of someone having been sacked.

Battistelli can celebrate: thanks to PD 43 the despicable level of France Telecom is now reached suicide wise (in %)

Yes, there are still many suicides, but these don’t tell the whole story. How many people are depressed? Or suffered a mental breakdown? Or went broke? Or chronically hopeless in the utter lack of justice?

The matter of fact is, the EPO has become a truly horrific employer. As someone put it yesterday in our comments:

There is NO carrer towards the management path for examiners. People tend to forget, but Battistelli told so about 3 years ago: he does not feel it appropriate that examiners become managers. So they can be team leaders, for no extra pay and only for a few years and then they go back to examination. Hint: in the first month, they were called “team managers”, but Battistelli quickly demanded that the wording be corrected: they are NOT “managers” and they will never, ever be. And many examiners understood so much: the EPO found it very difficult to find “volunteers” to become “team leaders”. And, BTW, “team leaders” and directors are not ALLOWED to strike as their function is deemed to be “essential to the functioning of the office”.

Battistelli lady out his plans publicly the first year he arrived. He said:
-”the office is run by suepo, which is horrible” and he proceeded to change that
-”there is not enough difference between regular and management career” (also in pay, he explicitly said that there should be a gap of at least 2000€ a month) and that managers should be exclusively hired from external sources
-lowering the monthly pay and replacing it with bonus when objectives were met was a necessity to improve “staff loyalty”
-there was no need for a DG3 with the UPC litigation court
-the pension plan was far too generous.

It seems he has implemented all these stated objectives but the last one.

In my reply to this I pointed out that I’m already aware of people who are threatened with/intimidated by withdrawal of their pension, too. This is what the EPO has become.

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