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Reforming (Fixing) the EPO is the Goal

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 4:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Goal in soccer

Summary: The EPO operates illegally in all sorts of ways (incompatible with European law, international law, labour law, and even its founding document); the solution is to make that simple fact clear enough to invoke outside intervention

THE European Patent Office (EPO) has long misused the term ‘reform’ — or used that to mean something negative while putting positive spin/gloss on it. Battistelli mastered the misuse if not abuse of this word (crimes were whitewashed as ‘safety’) and António Campinos does this in a more passive fashion. It is clear that nothing is changing. 'Efficiency' means layoffs and one must wonder if Serco has lots of European Patents at the EPO; does it not disqualify it from profiting/managing internal affairs and de facto policy? This is a Campinos policy, which will become his legacy. So-called financial ‘reforms’ (unemployment). Don’t get us started on Campinos obstructing speech, like he did at the EUIPO as recently as 2 years ago. “As of 1 November 2019,” the EPO wrote some days ago, “users of the Mailbox will be able to receive an even wider range of EPO communications electronically.” The EPO is still illegally blocking SUEPO’s E-mails and Techrights (the whole Web site), among other things. Welcome to ChinaPOnia — only the Communist Party leadership may communicate. Truth is treason. Campinos has also put further limits on representatives’ communications with staff (we covered this before).

“The EPO is still illegally blocking SUEPO’s E-mails and Techrights (the whole Web site), among other things.”So it is pretty clear that the EPO is nowhere near to improving/recovering (covering up abuses by bribing the media doesn’t count) and in many ways it has been getting even worse since Campinos took over — to the point where staff decided to protest 3 days ago. I saw a lawyer yesterday (one whom I trust, which is rare) for just over one hour. It turned out he had heard about EPO protests (the protests that took place Wednesday). The word is spreading to people who aren’t even into patent law but entirely different domains. Have EPO employees noticed how not a single blog or news site covered these protests? It’s pretty revealing, isn’t it? Well, aside from us and aside from the SUEPO Central page there was also this one from SUEPO Munich and it said (shorter version of the same text but with few differences): “Today, the EPO Budget and Finance Committee meets in Munich. On the agenda are CA/83/19 and CA/84/19. Despite the excellent performance of staff during the last years, these documents foresee an unprecedented set of punitive financial measures. Is it a fair recognition of staff’s efforts ? Is this in the interest of the EPO and its stakeholders? Please join us for the demonstration today in front of the Isar building if you don’t think so !”

As I’ve been saying repeatedly since 2014, my goal when covering EPO scandals isn’t to cause the EPO to collapse. It will in fact collapse if it goes down the current trajectory of Campinos/Battistelli ‘reforms’. EPO workers try hard to salvage not only their careers (at great personal expense and risk) but their employer too. They see the writings on the wall.

“EPO workers try hard to salvage not only their careers (at great personal expense and risk) but their employer too. They see the writings on the wall.”A few days ago Benjamin Henrion resurrected an old hashtag, “EPO must go”…

I’ve never used such a hashtag personally. Campinos/Battistelli policies/teams are those who insist that “EPO must go”… down the bin.

“Unfortunately,” someone responded to Henrion, “wrong hashtag , it is not the EPO that has to go, but those who are responsible for making the wrong decisions. The EPO should be put back on the right track as soon as possible.”

Henrion then said: “An administration which is not responsible in front of a court for its wrong doings should not exist.”

“…there’s still that glimmer of hope or the somewhat elusive prospect of EPO being grabbed by body — metaphorically speaking of course — and this entire body reshaped to fit a structure with accountability, checks and balances, separation of powers, rule of law etc.”“If only it were that simple” was the response. “Shut down the EPO and distribute the billions among the Member States, right? Remember, about 7 to 8k would lose their jobs, no joke. Besides, there is a court perhaps not the most efficient one, but still. Hello ILOAT, do you copy?”

Henrion then said: “ILOAT is not for the users, only for the EPO employees.”

ILOAT isn’t working too well either. The same is true for the appeal boards — a subject we’ll cover later today. But the point is, there’s still that glimmer of hope or the somewhat elusive prospect of EPO being grabbed by body — metaphorically speaking of course — and this entire body reshaped to fit a structure with accountability, checks and balances, separation of powers, rule of law etc. It certainly is not what we have at the moment and this is the primary reason EPO workers are protesting.

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