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At the EPO, the Word “Reform” Means Abolition (Abandonment of Staff)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Knocking down the house built half a century ago, predating the EU

Reform by construction

Summary: “Reform” seems to (nowadays) refer to something regressive, not progressive; since the Battistelli days, as a matter of fact, this term has been a misleading euphemism and with enough ‘reforms’ there won’t be an EPO left (at all)

The Central Staff Committee of the EPO recently wrote to António Campinos, whom Benoît Battistelli had left in charge of the corrupt Office management. Truth must be suppressed, right? Otherwise, there might even be arrests

“It is a self-destructive trajectory!”Central Staff Committee (CSC) members recently noted that, in relation to “Education and Childcare Reform” (a subject recently addressed in other letters of theirs; we’ve reproduced some of these), that “the President rejected the[ir] attempt. The consultation on the reform of the Education & Childcare Allowance will thus be a thing of the past on 29 April 2021.” That’s two days from now. “Consultation will be a thing of the past on 29 April 2021,” they noted in a message to staff.

Does staff still play any role whatsoever in EPO policies? Apparently not. The staff does all the actual work, but a bunch of corrupt bureaucrats make all the important decisions on behalf of some shadowy cabal of business people. This is no way to run a patent office!!! It is a self-destructive trajectory! One might think the examiners are empowered to make important decisions regarding patents and patentability, but actually the decisions “come from above” in the form of unlawful guidelines that even instruct examiners to grant European software patents (provided the applications contain some buzzwords like “hey hi”).

Silhouette of catholic preacher“In an open letter to the President,” the CSC said, “we requested that the reform of the Education & Childcare Allowance be adjourned, but that the proposal to amend Article 71 ServRegs be submitted for statutory consultation, for the purpose of extending the education benefits for the post-secondary education to employees who are nationals of the country where they will be serving in the next school year 2021-2022. The President was not impressed and maintained a GCC meeting for bringing the consultation process to a close. In this letter, we made one final attempt to reopen the discussion and make last-minute improvements possible.”

We’ve decided to reproduce (herein, below) this letter, which was authored or at least signed by Alain Dumont, and also the response from the “Mafia” don (the EPO’s staff internally refers to the management as “Mafia”; we’re not joking!)

Here is the letter from the CSC:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

ISAR – R.1081

GCC meeting of 29 April

Reference: sc21049cl-0.3.1/4.2.2
Date: 16.04.2021

Dear Mr President,

Thank you for sending us the agenda of the upcoming GCC meeting on 29 April.

The document on the reform of the Education and Childcare Allowance (GCC/DOC 2/2021) has been distributed “for consultation”. In the past, documents for reforms that profoundly affected staff were first distributed “for information”, followed by a final consultation before submission to the bodies of the Administrative Council, most notably the career reform initiated by your predecessor. This two-step approach would enable you to give due consideration to the observations and comments made by the GCC members at the first meeting.

The CSC is of the opinion that the same approach should be adopted here. Therefore, it requests that document GCC/DOC 2/2021 be reclassified in the category “for information” in accordance with Article 5(2) of the Rules of Procedure. Genuine consultation could then take place at a later GCC meeting.

Yours sincerely,

Alain Dumont
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

The response was as follows (dated “22.04.2021″):

re21052cl – 0.3.1/4.2.2
related sc21049cl

Mr Alain Dumont
Chairman Central Staff Committee

By email: xxxxxxxxxx@epo.org

Your letter dated 16 April 2021

Dear Mr Chair,

I refer to your letter dated 16 April 2021 requesting the document on the reform of the education and childcare benefits (GCC/DOC 2/2021) to be submitted to the GCC on 29 April 2021 for information rather than for consultation.

While some reforms in the past were indeed first submitted to the GCC for information in advance of a formal consultation to allow for exchanges of view to occur, this is not a procedural requirement under the GCC Rules of Procedure.

In the case at hand, extensive discussions and exchanges of information in relation to the education and childcare benefits have already taken place not only in the framework of my meetings with the CSC in September and November 2020, as well as in February 2021, but also in the context of the nine meetings of the Working Group over the past months.

The fact that GCC/ DOC 2/2021 is now submitted to the GCC for consultation therefore logically reflects the level of maturity of the discussions on the topic. It is also consistent with the timeline foreseen to submit the document to the BFC and AC for approval.

In the light of the above, I confirm that GCC/DOC 2/2021 will be submitted to the GCC on 29 April for consultation.

I look forward to a fruitful discussion.

Yours sincerely,
António Campinos

So basically, as usual, the staff is left out in the cold. The rights and the benefits of staff get taken away, little by little, and there’s nothing staff can do about it. Meanwhile, the Office milks the cow and kills the goose for its golden eggs; sooner or later there will be no skilled staff left at the Office, no reputation, and not many valid patents. In some public comments people have already pointed out that the number of applications will be accordingly affected and the proportion that’s valid (as per EPC and courts, not the EPO) decreased significantly. This assures harm to Europe.

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