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

06.12.19

Leaked Financial ‘Study’ Document Shows EPO Management and Mercer Engaging in an Elaborate “Hoax”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Purveyors of ‘fake news’ inside what’s supposed to be a scientific institution

How One Family’s Deep Pockets Helped Reshape Donald Trump’s Campaign

Summary: How the European Patent Office (EPO) lies to its own staff to harm that staff; thankfully, the staff isn’t easily fooled and this whole affair will merely obliterate any remnants of “benefit of the doubt” the President thus far enjoyed

THE EPO has been under a (soon) decade-long attack from Campinos and Battistelli, who not only integrated European software patents into their agenda (in defiance of courts and Parliament) but have also attacked the staff and misused EPO money (Campinos might soon give a lot of EPO money to Third Reich goons).

“SUEPO has been too patient with Campinos (strike postponed) in spite of him repeatedly showing that nothing will change, except for the worse.”As we recently mentioned here on several occasions, there’s a fake 'crisis' being manufactured/claimed (not the real crisis) to push so-called ‘solutions’. “The delicious propaganda by EPO top managers to middle managers,” a source tells us, can be seen in this Manager Toolkit (English) [PDF].

As it turns out, there’s already a response to it. “The aim is here disseminate false information and make the deteriorations — sorry, the “reforms” to soon come — more acceptable to joe-average EPO staff although these are new unjustified thus unfair cuts,” the source adds. Here is the position of the Central Staff Committee (CSC) on the same financial study.

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité Central du Personnel

Munich, 07.06.2019
sc19081cp – 0.2.1/1.3.2

The Financial Study: Yet Another Hoax (part 4)

At the EPO financial studies tend to be a pretext for cuts in staff benefits. The
latest study by Mercer and Wyman is no exception. Our previous publications showed that the study deliberately underestimates expected income from fees as well as the return on cash reserves, and overestimates staff costs. The present publication lists these misrepresentations and adds some more.

Recapitulation

The 2019 EPO Financial Study by Mercer and Oliver Wyman assumes1 that:

- between 2018 and 2038 the EPO will not raise its procedural and renewal fees except once, by 4%, in 2020. For the remaining period the fees are assumed to remain constant (page 115). A correction for inflation is not foreseen.

- between 2018 and 2038 the national renewal fees on patents granted by the Office will remain constant (page 116). A correction for inflation is not foreseen.

in sharp contrast during the same period EPO salaries are assumed to increase at a rate of 2.24% above inflation (page 119).

- without providing any underlying data, the study assumes that the costs of pensions and other post-employment benefits (incl. tax compensation) will almost triple over the next 20 years (pages 66-67, page 123).

- The study foresees no further transfer of operational surpluses to the RFPSS, although with a 4.8% return above inflation over the last 20 years (6.3% over the last 5 years) the money would be well placed (RFPSS/SB 41/19, page 2, Fig. 3).

the study assumes that operational surpluses will not be transferred to the EPOTIF either (page 63). The EPOTIF was recently created with the very purpose of shielding EPO capital from inflation and is expected to deliver a return of 4% above inflation (CA/F 10/18 para.10).

- instead expected operational surpluses are assumed to be parked as “other financial assets” with an average annual return of between – 0.03% and 0.78%, i.e. well below the level of inflation2.

- as indicated above, over the last 20 years the RFPSS had a real return of 4.8%. The actuaries who evaluate the RFPSS assume a long-term return of 3.5%. The Financial Study assumes a return above inflation of only 2.1% (FAQs). This transforms today’s 104% coverage (CA/61/17 point 79) into a 2 billion euro gap in 2038.

This is a long list of extremely unlikely assumptions. There may be more, e.g. in the assumptions for the patent processes which we have not checked in detail. We also have doubts about the assumed 2 years increase in longevity (page 122) and the constant 53.87% non-examining staff “as percentage of job groups 1-4” (page 112). At present examiners make up about 64% of our total staff.

___
1 Unless otherwise indicated, the page numbers in the list refer to the Financial Study.
2 Financial Study pages 120 and 122; the return is not explicitly mentioned but can be calculated from the data in the tables.


What about an effort by the Office?

The EPO’s financial situation is excellent – maybe even too good3 – and this despite the recent high costs of the “New Main” building in The Hague and significant losses in IT.
The Financial Study nevertheless wants us to believe that the EPO faces a significant financial gap and that now is the time to do something about it by cutting costs, staff costs. But what about other costs? Is Mercer pointing at possible savings elsewhere? Are the Member States contributing to the effort? Is Mr Campinos leading by example – even if only symbolically? It doesn’t seem so.

The Mercer study assumes 600 million euro in building costs. The real sum may be as much as 1.14 billion euro (CA/43/19, Figure on page 32). Some building maintenance is indeed necessary. But part of the money is for one of Mr Campinos’ pet projects: creating glass-walled offices. Mercer does not comment on these costs.

Mr Campinos strategy document points to another – potentially significant – sink for EPO money: cooperation with the Member States4. The most recent figure that we have seen for cooperation costs is about 25 million euros per year (CA/19/15). Mr Campinos now proposes to “maximize the impact of cooperation” with a new model that will be “all-inclusive and equally open to all member states”. The Council delegates as heads of the national patent offices are all potential beneficiaries of these cooperation activities. For the President the cooperation budget is an efficient tool to reward member states that support him in the Council and punish those that don’t. So we expect the cooperation budget to increase considerably despite the allegedly bad financial situation of the Office.

Finally there is the annual Inventor of the Year event. The sums concerned are relatively modest by EPO standards – a few million euro at most. But is promoting one inventor over the other (with a possible impact on the value of the invention) compatible with the EPO remaining neutral in the exercise of its functions? And is it (to use Mr Campinos’ words) “handling significant amounts of taxpayer’s money with due diligence, due process and careful legal assessment”? We do not think so.

Conclusion

The 2019 Financial Study is a very plump attempt to justify a further reduction of staff benefits while the Office continues its spending. Staff is not fooled.

The Central Staff Committee

____
3 Art. 40(1) EPC stipulates that the EPO’s budget should be balanced. We question whether with an operating surplus of about 20% the EPO budget qualifies as « balanced ».
4 Read: cooperation with the national patent offices (NPOs).

“Make your own opinion,” the reader concludes, “who do you think lies here?”

Mercer (sponsor of sites like Breitbart) and professional liars like Campinos, who only a couple of years ago attacked staff at the EUIPO in the name of ‘cost savings’…

SUEPO has been too patient with Campinos (strike postponed) in spite of him repeatedly showing that nothing will change, except for the worse.

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

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 05, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, June 05, 2020



  2. Guix Petition Demographic Data, by Figosdev

    That old anti-RMS letter, which called for his removal (or resignation) from GNU (RMS is the founder of the GNU Project), as characterised by metadata of signatories



  3. When You Realise People Who Don't Support RMS Do Not Really Support GNU, Either

    The (in)famous letter against Richard Stallman (RMS), which was signed by many Red Hat employees with Microsoft (GitHub) accounts, doesn’t look particularly good in light of recent revelations/findings; it increasingly looks like IBM simply wants Microsoft-hosted and “permissively” licensed stuff, just like another project it announced yesterday and another that it promoted yesterday



  4. The Gates Press (GatesGate) -- Part III: What Happens When You Tell the Truth About Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation

    One might not expect this from a so-called 'charity'; the Gates Foundation's critics are often met with unprecedented aggression, threats and retribution, which make one wonder if it's really a charity or a greedy cult of personalities (Bill and Melinda)



  5. Links 6/6/2020: Bifrost Meets GNOME, Wine 5.10 is Out

    Links for the day



  6. Links 5/6/2020: LibreELEC (Leia) 9.2.3, Rust 1.44.0, and Hamburg's Pivot to Free/Libre Software

    Links for the day



  7. This Article About GitHub Takeover Never Appeared (Likely Spiked by Microsoft and Its Friends Inside the Media)

    And later they wonder why people distrust so much of the media (where paying advertisers set the agenda/tone)



  8. Raw: How Microsoft and/or the EPO Killed an Important EPO Story About Their SLAPP Against Techrights and Others

    Spiking a story about spiked stories about corruption



  9. The Linux Foundation 'Bootcamp' -- Badly Timed and Badly Named in June 2020 -- Only Uses Linus Torvalds Like a 'Prop' (for Legitimacy) While Promoting Militarised Monopolies

    Sometimes a picture says a lot more than words, especially in light of political events in the US and a certain Chinese anniversary we cannot name (Microsoft censors mentions of it)



  10. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 04, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 04, 2020



  11. The Gates Press (GatesGate) -- Part II: When Media That You Bribe Calls All Your Critics 'Conspiracy Theorists' (to Keep Them Silenced, Marginalised)

    The assault on the media by Bill Gates is a subject not often explored by the media (maybe because a lot of it is already bribed by him); but we're beginning to gather new and important evidence that explains how critics are muzzled (even fired) and critical pieces spiked, never to see the light of day anywhere



  12. GitHub is Not Sharing But 'Theft' by Microsoft

    Microsoft buying GitHub does not demonstrate that Microsoft loves Open Source (GitHub is not Open Source and may never be) but that it loves monopoly and coercion (what GitHub is all about and why it must be rejected)



  13. The Huge Damage (Except for Patent Lawyers' Bottom Line) Caused by Fake European Patents

    The European Patent Office (EPO) keeps granting fake patents that cause a lot of real harm (examiners are pressured to play along and participate in this unlawful agenda); nobody is happy except those who profit from needless, frivolous lawsuits



  14. Red Hat/IBM Got 'Tired' of RMS. Is It Getting 'Tired' of GPL/Copyleft Too?

    After contributing to the cancellation of Richard Stallman (RMS) based on some falsehoods perpetuated in the media we're seeing the sort of thing one might expect from IBM (more so now that it totally controls Fedora and RHEL)



  15. Links 4/6/2020: Proton 5.0-8 Release Candidate, GNU Linux-libre 5.7

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 03, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, June 03, 2020



  17. Social Engineering of Free Software, Based on Corporate Criteria

    What "professional" nowadays means in the context of coding and honest assessment of technical work



  18. Weakening GNU/Linux by Disempowering Its Leaders and Founders, Replacing Them With Microsoft Employees and GNU/Linux-Hostile Moles

    The coup to remove (or remove power from) Stallman and Torvalds, the GNU and Linux founders respectively, is followed by outsourcing of their work to Microsoft’s newly-acquired monopoly (GitHub) and appointment of Microsoft workers or Microsoft-friendly people, shoehorning them into top roles under the disingenuous guise of "professionalism"



  19. Sword Group Violates Its Own Commitment by Working for the EPO

    The European Patent Office (EPO) keeps outsourcing its work to outside contractors (for-profit private entities) to the tune of hundreds of millions if not billions — all this without any oversight



  20. In 2020 Canonical No Longer Fights for Freedom

    Freedom requires a GNU/Linux distro other than Ubuntu, which seems unwilling or unable/incapable of speaking about and promoting the ideals of GNU/Linux



  21. We Need to Use the F Word (Freedom) to Promote Adoption of GNU/Linux

    "People get the government their behavior deserves. People deserve better than that." -Richard Stallman



  22. People Who Want to Explore GNU/Linux With Ubuntu See This Today

    "Wait, am I in a GNU/Linux blog or another Windows blog," a visitor might think... or, is Microsoft 'taking over' messaging at Canonical? (Same with code)



  23. Links 4/6/2020: Septor 2020.3, Nextcloud and Blender 2.83

    Links for the day



  24. Hey, Where's Red Hat (IBM)?

    Red Hat is conspicuously silent at these critical times (in its home country); Must be too busy hailing and cashing in on Trump's military (state) while dishing out shallow and self-contradictory diversity PR/fluff…



  25. Microsoft's Latest Vapourware About Supercomputers

    Microsoft has spent almost two decades dropping supercomputers vapourware on the media, but those misinformation dumps always turn out to be 100% hot air, no substance



  26. 2020: A Time for Resolutions or Revolutions?

    There are nonviolent means by which the current system can be corrected; we need to convince peers and relatives to change the way they behave and not cooperate with unjust elements of the system



  27. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 02, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, June 02, 2020



  28. The Gates Press (GatesGate) -- Part I: Lost the Job After Writing an Article Critical of Bill Gates for Attacking Some Actual, Legitimate Charities (Because They Had Spread GNU/Linux)

    The sociopaths from the fake 'charity' of Bill Gates would go to great lengths to squash criticism and also to eliminate critics; this series tells the story of some of those personally affected



  29. Don't Fall for the Spin, Microsoft is Laying Off Workers and It's Not Just Because of the Pandemic





  30. All They Want is Litigation, Not Innovation

    It's getting difficult to ignore or to overlook the fact that the 'litigation lobby' (the likes of Team UPC and today's EPO management, guided by groups like the Licensing Executives Society International) doesn't care about innovation and is in fact looking to profit by crushing innovation


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

Recent Posts