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Dr. Thorsten Bausch: Quality of European Patents Going Down, “Likely Caused by the Current EPO Policy Focusing too Much on ‘Production’.”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Corporate/mainstream (non-patent/tech) media is still not covering any of this, with only a few rare exceptions

Thorsten Bausch

Summary: Thorsten Bausch, an attorney who knows the EPO as a stakeholder, bemoans the decline in patent quality and “SUEPO blasts EPO employment proposal” (says another new headline from a patents-centric news site)

THIS morning when we checked Kluwer Patent Blog it was suffering prolonged site downtime (quite routine a problem nowadays). This blog typically amplifies EPO talking points (notably UPC advocacy), but some writers there are exceptions to that. Bausch is the main exception. Bausch’s issues with the EPO are not the same as ours (he’s not a software developer) or the same as examiners’ (his firm profits from litigation and patent maximalism), but there are some common goals/observations among us all; the management of the EPO is undoubtedly out of control and it threatens the very existence of the EPO.

Bausch wrote a very long post as part of a 4-installment series. This time he focused on quality of patents — a subject he tackled several times before in that blog. He says that “trend of quality is downwards, which is most likely caused by the current EPO policy focusing too much on “production”.”

Somebody called “depressed epo staff” then wrote a comment (the only comment there at the moment) and it cited us:

Another outstanding article of yours Mr Bausch. Vielen Dank

The damage done to the EPO by Battistelli and Bergot will be hard one (if not impossible) to redress.

By France Telecom when they finally get rid of the toxic top managers responsible for the debacle, it took years to the new top managerial structure to recover since middle management did not understood the change of culture (from brutal back to normal), hence had difficulties to accept and translate these changes into concrete healthy actions (they were used to follow arbitrary orders blindly and had difficulties to accept that their previous leaders had requested from them illegal, shameful, contra-productive actions).

This is likely to be the very same at EPO.

Currently on Techrights two papers illustrate the current EPO top management’s methods:

The threat letter of Principal Director HR

The publication of the Central Staff Committee censored by PD HR

Out of fear, nearly all EPO middle-managers (no matter the departments they work in) bowed in front of Battistelli and Bergot and followed all obnoxious orders no matter how sick these were (and how damaging these were for the EPO as an organisation).

(Top) managers are recruited not because they are good and have potential to develop, but on the sole assumption that they will follow orders of their superiors without questioning them (mediocracy)

After 6 years of such regime, all is perverted at EPO.

Abnormality has become the norm, words are vergewaltigt on a daily basis and this on all kinds of subjects. EPO staff is in denial, totally exhausted, disoriented, lost. The experienced ones (read elderly ones) are leaving the EPO as soon as possible and are replaced by young, poorly trained and highly pressurized (vi time-limited contracts) new-comers.

The crucial knowledge transfer, upon which the EPO could grow up its competence to the praised level we now deplore has vanished (under Battistelli’s and Bergot), is gone.

The EPO is in real danger Mr Bausch.

One can only wish good luck to Mr Campinos who next July will have to clean the pigs’ breakfast inherited from the previous team. If he keeps some of the current top managers responsible at their positions then you can kiss goodbye to any recovery of the EPO, it will only be more of the same with a clear tendency to further decrease of competence due to the departure of the experienced staff.

We would like to note that there’s one single person who comments at Kluwer Patent Blog and makes snide remarks (directed towards us); that person falsely and even repeatedly claims that we do not honour requests to not be cited/quoted (never mind if from a copyright perspective that person is on no ground anyway). Since it’s Kluwer Patent Blog, dominated by Team UPC and catering mostly for lawyers/attorneys (whom we don’t expect to like our views), that’s almost predicable, understandable, and expected. There are things Bausch disagrees with us on, quite unsurprisingly.

Patent quality and the welfare of EPO workers is our priority. Not money (we don’t profit from anything we write, neither directly nor indirectly). Not the financial welfare of a bunch of law firms, that’s for sure…

It has meanwhile emerged that this relatively new site is a regular source of EPO coverage, not just EPO PR (it does that too) but also employment and union matters/conflicts. The latest article is titled “SUEPO blasts EPO employment proposal”; it doesn’t contain any information which is new to us, but nevertheless it’s good to see that material in the (almost) mainstream.

The Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) has blasted recent proposals to the employment framework of the office, arguing that the trust of its staff in its management and administrative council has been lost.

The employment proposals are part of the “extreme” situation at the office, that Union Syndicale Fédérale highlighted in a recent letter.

Brought by EPO president Benoît Battistelli and principal director of human resources, Elodie Bergot, the proposals were criticised by the office’s Central Staff Committee for being “far-reaching”.

Article 53(1)(f) of the proposal would have given the EPO the ability to terminate the service of an employee if the “exigencies of the service require abolition of their post or a reduction in staff”.

However, at the end of February, the proposal was halted and the article was withdrawn.

In a letter to its members, SUEPO said that the original proposal generated “a great turmoil among staff”

In case someone wonders why mainstream media does not cover this (when we say “mainstream” we mean Spiegel, BBC and so on), look back at things we wrote before. They actively suppress even their own writers who wish to cover EPO scandals, possibly because there’s some higher agenda prevalent at the newsroom. Such silence or media blackout is not only detrimental to Europe but also to the Office itself; Team Battistelli has long benefited from media apathy (with few exceptions here and there). Sepp Blatter could only pray and hope for such apathy. Team Battistelli actively bribes and threatens the media, too.

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