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

01.03.18

Job Applicants at the EPO Disappointed, Reference Made in Interview to Slavery

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Glassdoor

Summary: Working conditions at the EPO, as well as recruitment standards, have taken a plunge under Battistelli and Bergot as head of Human Resources (HR)

LIFE at the EPO is hard; salary may be better framed as “compensation” because for many workers there’s neither pride nor thrill in the job. It isn’t scholarly but more like a production line and stress levels are very high. Notoriously so; and it gets worse over time with growing ‘production’ pressure.

Someone has just left the following comment in Kluwer Patent Blog:

Please accept as new year gift one more Russian word for your list:

gulag.

This is how we feel. Emprisoned and powerless in our (golden?) cages. Blindly undergoing useless restructuring (for example, in the next 3 months everyone will be moving office room at the EPO), scared to speak out for fear of retaliation (every month a list of colleagues who “end service” for no reason is published on our intranet ). Everyone wanting to listen and possibly publish our incredible stories having been silenced anyway.

Counting the days left (180) until “le roi” is gone. Hoping that we don’t end up with an “o rei” at his place.

Like we said before, it’s hard to believe in “instant impact” when Campinos comes; much of the same management and policies shall remain in place. Undoing these policies probably won’t even be on the agenda.

We have meanwhile heard from a reader about declining recruitment standards at the EPO; the HR department, led by Bergot, is struggling. Standards deteriorate as people lose interest in joining the EPO and many talented workers are leaving. This isn’t a theory/hypothesis but something that many insiders privately and publicly (albeit anonymously) talk about.

One such person told us: “Here are some of the last reviews that some applicants gave on the site Glassdoor.de (a job hunting site) about EPO after they had their experience. This is at present all the information I’ve got: they try to recruit and to keep an attractive profile as an employer, but their culture is too crooked to not show for what it is at some point.”

The reviews are largely negative. Most of the relevant answers are in English.

“In the links to further answers you can find also people showing surprise for the negative descriptions,” the person added, “but some other (more) actually confirming they have no surprise about that type of behaviour from EPO. Most answers and reviews are in English; only the site (in my case at least) has most descriptions of paragraphs and entries in German. You can set the language…”

Here are three in English, starting with the old one:

Application

“The procedure took more than 2 months. It took plance in January 2008 at EPO Munich

Interview talk

Intial interview was asking how I would interpret a chemical structure, is it new or not. If a knew a few pharmaceutical ingredients. Read a text in French/German and understand it. My french was a bit weak, but got a second HR interview. This was also ok, usual questions. Then had to wait 1.5 months, until I phoned them, then they said on the phone no…..strange!

Maybe at the time they could afford to turn people down. But now, in late 2017, here are the two reviews that are listed:

Application

Procedure took 6 weeks, talk held in EPO Munich.

Interview talk

The EPO selection process has 3 stages. Online test for personality and logic. Apparently personality does not really matter at this stage. Then skype meeting to discuss patent with your future coworker. Then you skype with an external worker which test your personality. Beware if you are a little bit creative of have a little bit too much of personality. They are looking for malleable people to follow their direction.Finally you get to meet the people in persons. This is when they almost harassed me and I was saved by another person who was in charge to check the interview process was fair. This job has nothing to do with innovation, you will get to scroll down and read a certain number of patents per day. They also are looking for very diligent people who will stay forever with them and follow whatever direction they are told. In my case I was applying for a certain technical field for which I got accepted and got the technical interview in another technical field. I had prepared the technical interview for weeks by learning the relevant vocabulary in the 3 languages and had a technical interview which had nothing to do with that. They suddenly to change the field without letting me know in advance. To me this was truly unprofessional. I had the same feeling of lack of professionalism when they invite me to come to the interview a week in advance but gave me half of the money to pay a plane ticket. I had to request more money and it worked and I can imagine some shy individual would not do so. Please ask for them to reimburse the full cost of the interview. In my case I would have paid about 1000euros out of pocket to come.

Finally the real live interview was shocking with references to slavery as a joke about the job and pushy personal comments.

Read that last sentence again.

Also this:

Application

I applied personally. The procedure took more than 3 months. Talk held in March 2017 at EPO The Hague (The Netherlands).

Interview talk

Quite long, although admin at the interview stage was adequate. Well…maybe if they didn’t come and pick me up from the gate as security didn’t inform them of my arrival. Interview panel of three people of which one was staff association. Chairman at the end started eating (this is how much respect a candidate gets). Questions unrelated to the job, at least for an HR post would expect most competency…

Competency in HR? Led by a person who leaped many pay grades presumably owing to family connections?

The EPO has a pattern of threatening people to remove texts the managers don’t like, so we’ve preserved the above (excluding what’s in German as this isn’t a German-speaking site, unlike the original). The responses to these seem to include actual EPO staff, maybe even the HR department (for example here). Words like “fake testimony” are being brought up; welcome to Trumpist ‘logic’…

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

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

What Else is New


  1. 2018 Will be an Even Worse Year for Software Patents Because the US Supreme Court Shields Alice

    The latest picks (reviewed cases) of the Supreme Court of the United States signal another year with little or no hope for the software patents lobby; PTAB too is expected to endure after a record-breaking year, in which it invalidated a lot of software patents that had been erroneously granted



  2. Patent Trolls (Euphemised as “Public IP Companies”) Are Dying in the United States, But the Trouble Isn't Over

    The demise of various types of patent trolls, including publicly-traded trolls, is good news; but we take stock of the latest developments in order to better assess the remaining threat



  3. EPO Management and Team UPC Carry on Lying About Unified Patent Court, Sinking to New Lows in the Process

    At a loss for words over the loss of the Unitary Patent, Team UPC and Team Battistelli now blatantly lie and even get together with professional liars such as Watchtroll



  4. China Tightens Its Knot of Restrictive Rules and Patents

    Overzealous patent aggressors and patent trolls in China, in addition to an explosion in low-quality patents, may simply discourage companies from doing production/manufacturing there



  5. Microsoft's Patent Racket Has Just Been Broadened to Threaten GNU/Linux Users Who Don't Pay Microsoft 'Rents'

    Microsoft revisits its aggressive patent strategy which it failed to properly implement 12 years ago with Novell; it wants to 'collect' a patent tax on GNU/Linux and it uses patent trolls to make that easier



  6. EPO Scandals Played a Considerable Role in Sinking the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    Today's press coverage about the UPC reinforces the idea that the EPO saga, culminating in despicable attacks on Patrick Corcoran (a judge), may doom the UPC once and for all (unless one believes Team UPC)



  7. J Nicholas Gross Thinks Professors Stop Being Professors If They're Not Patent Extremists Like Him

    The below-the-belt tactics of patent trolls and their allies show no signs of abatement and their tone reveals growing irritation and frustration (inability to sue and extort companies as easily as they used to)



  8. The US Supreme Court Has Just Denied Another Chance to Deal With a Case Similar to Alice (Potentially Impacting § 101)

    There is no sign that software patents will be rendered worthwhile any time in the near future, but proponents of software patents don't give up



  9. Litigation Roundup: Nintendo, TiVo, Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Philips, UMC

    The latest high-profile legal battles, spanning a growing number of nations and increasingly representing a political shift as well



  10. Roundup of Patent News From Canada, South America and Australia

    A few bits and pieces of news from around the world, serving to highlight patent trends in parts of the world where the patent offices haven't much international clout/impact



  11. Links 15/1/2018: Linux 4.15 RC8, Wine 3.0 RC6

    Links for the day



  12. PTAB is Being Demeaned, But Only by the Very Entities One Ought to Expect (Because They Hate Patent Justice/Quality)

    The latest rants/scorn against PTAB -- leaning on cases such as Wi-Fi One v Broadcom or entities like Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Apple etc. -- are all coming from firms and people who profit from low-quality patents



  13. If Ericsson and Its Patent Trolls (Like Avanci and Unwired Planet) Cannot Make It, the Patent Microcosm Will Perish

    The demise of patent-asserting/patent assertion business models (trolling or enforcement by proxy) may see front groups/media supportive of it diminishing as well; this appears to be happening already



  14. European Patent Office Causes Physical Harm to Employees, Then Fires Them

    Another one (among many) EPO documents about the alarming physical wellbeing of EPO employees and the management’s attitude towards the issue



  15. Battistelli Was Always (Right From the Start and Since Candidacy) All About Money

    “I have always admired creative people, inventors, those who, through their passion and their work, bring about scientific progress or artistic evolution. I was not blessed with such talent myself,” explained the EPO‘s President when pursuing his current job (for which he was barely qualified and probably not eligible because of his political work)



  16. “Under the Intergovernmental EPC System It is Difficult to Speak of a Functional Separation of Powers”

    An illustration of the glaring deficiency that now prevails and cannot be tolerated as long as the goal is to ensure democratic functionality; absence of the role of Separation of Powers (or Rule of Law) at the EPO is evident now that Battistelli not only controls the Council (using EPO budget) but also blatantly attacks the independence of the Boards of Appeal



  17. The Patent Microcosm Thinks It's Wonderful That IP3 is Selling Stupid Patents, Ignores Far More Important News

    IP3, which we've always considered to be nothing but a parasite, does what it does best and those who love stupid patents consider it to be some sort of victory



  18. Automotives, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 Among the Buzz Terms Used to Bypass Alice and the EPC Nowadays

    In order to make prior art search a lot harder and in order to make software patents look legitimate (even in various courtrooms) the patent microcosm and greedy patent offices embrace buzzwords



  19. Blockchain Becomes the Target Not Only of Financial Institutions With Software Patents But Also Trolls

    Blockchain software, which is growing in importance and has become ubiquitous in various domains other than finance, is perceived as an opportunity for disruption and also patent litigation; CNBC continues to publish puff pieces for Erich Spangenberg (amid stockpiling of such patents)



  20. EPC Foresaw the Administrative Council Overseeing the Patent Office, Jesper Kongstad Made It “Working Together”

    An old open letter from the EPO shows the famous moment when Jesper Kongstad and Battistelli came up with a plan to empower both, rendering the Administrative Council almost subservient to the Office (complete inversion of the desired topology)



  21. 2010: Blaming the Messenger (SUEPO) for Staff Unhappiness at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Tactics of SUEPO (EPO union) blaming go further back than Battistelli and can be found in the previous administration as well



  22. 2010: Deterioration of Working Conditions (e.g. Office Space) for EPO Staff

    Old EPO proposals which suggested the reduction of office space for EPO staff (among other things) — something which later happened to DG3, following the ‘exile’ to Haar



  23. Budget at the EPO Decided Before Consultation

    An old consultation meeting (GAC) at the EPO coincided with a meeting (MAC) which is perceived as ignoring the actual consultation — something which clearly should not be happening



  24. Less Than Half a Year in the Job, Battistelli Already Disobeys/Disregards Rulings From ILO's Tribunal

    As EPO President, Battistelli shows poor comprehension or lack of respect for the rule of law just months after taking the job



  25. Only Half a Year in the Job, Battistelli Breaks EPO Nomination Rules

    oing back to the dawn of the Battistelli era, irregularities appear very early on



  26. Patent Troll Finjan Manages to Defend a Patent (on Appeal) and the Trolls' Lobby is Loving It

    Blue Coat (now owned by Symantec) has attempted — and failed — to invalidate all of Finjan’s patents using Section 101/Alice; those who are in the business of trolling view that as particularly good news because the judgment came from Timothy Dyk and Todd Hughes (much younger and appointed a few years ago)



  27. Top Rank at USPTO Goes to the Biggest Patent Bully, IBM

    With 2017 figures coming to light (and to the mainstream/corporate media), we scrutinise what has received the most attention and why it's detrimental to the reputation of the US patent system



  28. Dr. Derk Visser's Book About the European Patent Convention (EPC) Explains What Battistelli Has Done

    With quality of European Patents (EPs) and of EPO staff in rapid decline if not a freefall, we look back at the best-selling book from Visser, who warned that the Council/Organisation and the Office would "have other priorities than the role of law" if the Boards don't enjoy true independence (which they no longer do)



  29. Late on a Friday is a Good Time to Spread Misinformation About Unified Patent Court (UPC) Without Being Challenged

    The new document from Winfried Tilmann et al (Team UPC) is being defended by Team UPC not only by publicly attacking UPC critics (like the complainant) but also blogs critical of the UPC



  30. The Patent Trolls' Lobby is Happy That Rep. Darrell Issa is Leaving Because He Fought Against Patent Trolls

    Darrell Issa, a man of patent reform in the United States, seems to be ending his political career and patent parasites are jubilant about it


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts