06.04.19

EUIPO/EPO Redundancies While Spending a Billion Euros on Unnecessary Buildings

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO buildings
There’s always money, but not for the workers (source document [PDF])

Summary: EUIPO/EPO redundancies seem inevitable while those who manage to survive or be spared will see their working/employment conditions severely harmed

THE European Patent Office (EPO) is rapidly reentering where it was 12 months ago, back when Battistelli was lying like a North Korean rocket man. Staff has noticed the rapid decline.

“Staff has noticed the rapid decline.”At the EPO, as one apparent insider (Märpel) has just put it, “over 500 examiners being targeted for dismissal.” That cites the publication we reposted here earlier today and says:

Märpel reported about the financial study and how it is based on false assumptions, but in the mean time another document was issued by the Staff Committee and then Märpel found a third document distributed in the canteen. It seems that the financial study is a huge hoax. One might wonder why…
Possibly the Council might not be impressed by the financial study. In any case, the members of the budget and finance committee were not impressed by the pharaonic building refurbishing projects and gave a negative opinion. Will that be enough?

In the mean time http://epostaff4rights.org also published a document, this time about reporting. In a nutshell: staff is working harder than ever and getting the lowest performance ratings ever, with over 500 examiners being targeted for dismissal.

Performance ratings are somewhat linked to salary raises, bonuses and promotions (if your boss likes you) and staff may here as well prepare for a bad surprise. Promotions are normally announced in June. It is only a rumor, but Märpel heard that the rewards exercise may be delayed this year. Directors will not be nominated before the end of this year. Vice-President Steve Rowan apparently said that examiners were paid far too much and that he wanted their career to end before grade G12.

Rowan sounds like someone Battistelli too would get along with, not just Campinos.

Here’s another new comment about Campinos, posted about a day ago in Märpel’s blog. Anonymous Immunity said: “Campinos can halt planes and be drunk all he wants, he has immunity!”

There’s more on that affair coming soon (research ongoing). It isn’t pretty and it seems like a sackable offense (if it wasn’t for immunity). This is António Campinos, the former EUIPO chief, whose son wanted to 'borrow' immunity (from daddy) after committing very serious crimes.

“Rowan sounds like someone Battistelli too would get along with, not just Campinos.”Speaking of EUIPO, watch this new puff piece about it. Christian Archambeau (former EPO, now EUIPO) has been coordinating puff pieces with the patent maximalists at the end of last month; first IAM, now Managing IP. No critics or sceptics in attendance, only “true believers…”

The title says “EUIPO director: humans “will be replaced” but still required” (sounds familiar?) and what we generally have here is EUIPO riding the “blockchain and AI” hype wave to justify cost-cutting (like this final sham of Campinos; it's not about "AI" but cheaper labour in India). Managing IP keeps amplifying forums of patent trolls and bullies (here’s a new example from LESI and there’s even pure SPAM they’ve just published). It’s not journalism but jingoism. To quote what’s outside the paywall:

Christian Archambeau discusses some challenges that the EUIPO faces, and how he plans to use new technologies – including blockchain and AI – to help

In an interview with Managing IP, EUIPO executive director Christian Archambeau says that the volume of filings is one of the major challenges currently facing the office.

If we could see the remainder of it (the interview), it would probably be rather ugly. Looking at the EPO’s Twitter feed (or timeline) today, here they are speaking of languages: “Patent Translate helps you to understand patent documents from all over the world…”

“Considering what happened at the EUIPO (the last Campinos scandal at that prestigious EU institution), maybe they should brush up on their Tamil soon, at least for internal EPO correspondence.”“These translation don’t work and have no legal validity,” I’ve responded to them. “In the name of reducing costs the Office will provide a shoddy service in collaboration with foreign surveillance capitalism giants” (Google in this case).

Funnily enough, the EPO has just posted “news” in non-English languages (German) and there’s no option for English, not even automated. The EPO is self-satirising. “Sorry, this page is currently not available in English,” says the page. (warning: epo.org link)

Considering what happened at the EUIPO (the last Campinos scandal at that prestigious EU institution), maybe they should brush up on their Tamil soon, at least for internal EPO correspondence.

“Archambeau says humans “will be replaced”; with ‘cheaper’ humans? No humans? Foreigners (non-European workers)? It sounds like a so-called ‘rat race’ and a race to the bottom.”Notice how the EPO and EUIPO are nowadays using the very same misleading hashtags, e.g. #IPforSMEs in this EUIPO tweet. They obviously try to distract from their betrayal of SMEs (they keep repeating the lie to distract from the simple truth). It certainly looks like today’s EUIPO has quickly become a propaganda source and think tank like EPO, which promotes bribes for scholars every single day (in tweets). The EPO is run by a former EUIPO official and the EUIPO is fun by a former EPO officials. Campinos is meanwhile bringing many of his EUIPO colleagues to the EPO — the hallmark of nepotism if not outright corruption. “New study finds that there is a 33 % chance of an SME becoming a high-growth firm if they use “bundles” of trade marks, patents, and designs instead of one single IP right category,” the EUIPO wrote. Who funded this ‘study’? Take a wild guess. Well, they even retweet each other (the EPO retweeted this tweet from the EUIPO), so one might think that their fates can be similar. They’re becoming almost the same.

We expect the EPO to continue staff cutbacks, under the guise of “incompetence” (calling people who actually do their job properly “incompetent”). We feel very sad for people who relocate to another country (with their family!), having to learn new languages etc. It does not take long for the EPO and EUIPO to break promises of permanent contracting (reassurances prior to relocation, so they don’t end up with many German men); they then ‘can’ (sack) them and take away pensions etc. because it’s all about money. They send the jobs to India (probably illegal for EU agencies to do this), lower their salary, bully them at work and so on. Expect us to take a closer look at the EUIPO in months to come. Archambeau says humans “will be replaced”; with ‘cheaper’ humans? No humans? Foreigners (non-European workers)? It sounds like a so-called ‘rat race’ and a race to the bottom.

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