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10.13.18

100 Days Into the Term of Campinos There is Already an EPO Suicide

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Water cistern

Summary: A seventh known suicide at the EPO since the so-called ‘reforms’ began; the EPO continues to pretend that everything is changing for the better, but in reality it’s yet more nepotism and despotism

IT was with sadness, albeit not shock, that yesterday we learned that the seventh EPO suicide (in recent years) had happened days ago. It’s one among many, albeit the first under the new President. Remember what Bergot said about such suicides. She is still the EPO‘s head of HR, even under António Campinos.

The first report came from Märpel, who yesterday wrote:

Märpel learned that a staff member committed suicide in The Hague earlier this week. That person worked in formalities.

[...]

Management simply wants to get rid of formalities, expecting computers to replace them, while we have several incompatible procedures (EPC, PCT…) and any mistake bears legal consequences. It is a disaster in the making.

High salaries do not mean happiness and don’t guarantee safety. Money does not buy happiness. Many at the EPO aren’t desperate for money either (they’re well educated), they just want respect and dignity. The EPO cannot offer that anymore.

“The managers don’t like to discuss such matters, definitely not with the German media, whom they threatened for bringing it up.”Suffice to say, the EPO won’t say a word about the above (except perhaps internally). The managers don’t like to discuss such matters, definitely not with the German media, whom they threatened for bringing it up.

The EPO has meanwhile issued yet another press release (warning: epo.org link), binding together the three announcements of appointments and tweeting about it. To quote:

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation has appointed Stephen Rowan (UK), Christoph Ernst (Germany) and Nellie Simon (Austria) as the next vice-presidents of the European Patent Office (EPO). The appointments were made at a meeting of the Administrative Council chaired by its Deputy Chairman, Josef Kratochvíl. The three new vice-presidents will take up their positions on 1 January 2019 for a period of five years.

This means that Christoph Ernst, who ‘bosses’ Campinos even in the next meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, will a fortnight later become his deputy. Christoph Ernst was never much of a ‘boss’ to Battistelli and under Campinos it couldn’t be any more obvious that the Office now runs the Administrative Council (it should have been the other way around).

Press coverage has thus far been as shallow as expected (the above conflict among others isn’t brought up all).

UKIPO is proud to have sent someone to the EPO — proud enough to have issued this puff piece. Intellectual Property Watch copy-pasted the press release. It was posted by William New, who did a selfie with Campinos last month. He has published this introduction:

The new vice-presidents are: Stephen Rowan (UK), Christoph Ernst (Germany) and Nellie Simon (Austria). They will take office on 1 January for five years. The selection was made at a meeting of the EPO Administrative Council.

EPO President Antonio Campinos was in Geneva during the recent World Intellectual Property Organization annual General Assemblies, and was seen with representatives of the UK delegation, as he was said to support the candidacy of Rowan.

Simon takes over for the embattled Željko Topić of Croatia, who faced accusations from his home country throughout his EPO tenure.

Another site focused on Ernst:

The European Patent Office (EPO) Administrative Council has appointed Christoph Ernst as vice president of the office’s Directorate General legal and international affairs.

Ernst, who is currently head of Directorate at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection succeeds Raimund Lutz and will begin his role on 1 January 2019.

Why not mention the absurdity of one’s boss becoming one’s assistant? Was he just a phantom boss all along? JUVE’s Amy Sandys and Konstanze Richte also wrote about Ernst, but it’s all in German. World Intellectual Property Review said:

UK-based Stephen Rowan, Christoph Ernst from Germany and Austria-based Nellie Simon were all appointed as vice presidents at an Administrative Council (AC) meeting.

Rowan, Ernst and Simon will take up their new positions on January 1, 2019 for a five-year tenure.

The news comes after António Campinos took up the reins as president of the EPO in July.

No investigation whatsoever. It’s like an edit job (of the press releases). And nobody other than Märpel has yet mentioned the suicide, which is actually relevant and worth reporting on (while preserving privacy) because of the history associated with EPO suicides.

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