07.01.21

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EPO Run by Completely and Totally Incompetent and Irresponsible People

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s quite the miracle (or outcome of diplomatic immunity) that this tactless cabal still runs Europe’s second-largest institution

EPO's violations of German directives
Leading by example? Last autumn’s photo reveals violations of German directives.

Summary: The EPO‘s union expresses concerns about the EPO’s tactless (as always) approach towards COVID-19

The EPO’s Staff Union (SUEPO) has circulated a document among members, taking note of the improper attitude of António Campinos, who has long created blunder after blunder in the wake of coronavirus crisis. The Central Committee of SUEPO amicably contacted Team Campinos, but as always it falls on deaf ears. Campinos is a carbon copy of Benoît Battistelli, with a change in hue, at best. They promote the same agenda typically with the very same tactics. It took Campinos just a couple of years to effectively blacklist SUEPO (it took longer for Battistelli to do the same!) and as the letter below shows, he’s already an empty suit, a worthless manager who conflates rubber-stamping (approving more and more monopolies) with “success”.

“The public needs to see what a bunch of reckless and incompetent people control Europe’s largest patent office and Europe’s second-largest institution overall.”In its message to members, the Central Committee of SUEPO says: “In this letter addressed to the Members of the Administration Council, SUEPO invites the delegations to check whether this continued policy of the Office is in line with the orientations of the Council.”

The letter is reproduced below as HTML, with our comment added below it. The public needs to see what a bunch of reckless and incompetent people control Europe’s largest patent office and Europe’s second-largest institution overall. Every experienced (senior) examiner would have done a better job than those so-called ‘managers’ (whom examiners aptly refer to as “Mafia”).

Here is the letter to Members of the Administration Council:

28.06.2021
su21015cl-0.3.1/4.3/4.4

To: AC delegations
Cc: president@epo.org, council@epo.org

Extension of Covid-19 measures at the EPO despite relaxation in host states

Dear Members of the Administrative Council,

In its Communiqué of 25 June 2021 (see Annex 1), the Office has announced the extension of the Covid-19 measures until 31 January 2022. As far as is known, a first reassessment will only take place mid-September. Until then, the allowed occupancy of EPO buildings remains set at a maximum of 15%. The canteens (except in The Hague), cafeteria and Amicale sports facilities remain closed. It will remain difficult and unattractive for EPO staff to come back to the buildings for the months to come.

The staff representation had requested from the Office that it follows the relaxation of Covid-19 measures currently performed in host states (e.g. see Annex 2) with due respect to Article 20 PPI. Unfortunately, such requests were rejected.

We kindly invite the delegations to check whether this continued policy of the Office is in line with the orientations of the Council.

SUEPO Central

Annexes:

1. Communiqué of 25-06-2021, “More vaccination slots & updated measures”
2. Letter from the Local Staff Committee Munich to Ms Simon (VP4), “On Covid-19 measures at the EPO” (sc21012ml)

Here is the first annex (referred to above):

28/06/2021

More vaccination slots & updated measures

Home → Organisation → DG 0 → PD Communication → Announcements → 2021

More vaccination slots & updated measures

25.06.2021

For colleagues and their families wishing to be vaccinated in Munich & Berlin

More vaccination slots for active staff and their families available

The EPO vaccination campaign at our sites in Germany has started, with 500 vaccination slots already offered to staff in Germany. As there is sufficient vaccine available, staff in Berlin and in Munich can now register family members to be vaccinated, too (spouse, partner, dependants above 18 years of age). This is an exceptional offer to ensure that all available vaccine doses are used. Family members should bring along their ID, paperwork, and vaccination booklet to their appointment.

Please regularly check this list for remaining availability if you would like a vaccination but have not yet registered. More slots are being opened for next week (Wednesday 30 June to Friday 2 July). The general requirements for participation in the vaccination programme are:

- You have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccination
- You undertake to have both vaccinations carried out by the EPO, at the same site.
- If you have a medical condition, are currently using medication, or have had adverse reactions to previous inoculations, we advise you to be vaccinated at your doctor’s practice or medical centre.

You can find further details for being vaccinated in Berlin and Munich here.

Measures to keep all colleagues safe and healthy

Quarantine measures and travel

You are no longer required to comply with EPO-wide rules on quarantine when returning from travelling. In order to provide greater clarity when returning from travels, all colleagues are simply required to comply with national rules and measures relating to quarantine and travelling. When travelling this summer, colleagues are urged to be prudent given the evolution of the pandemic and the risk of infection that still persists. Colleagues are also asked to ensure that they have the ability to work remotely in the eventuality that their plans to return from leave are impacted by evolutions in the pandemic and interruptions to travel.

Measures to remain in force

Please note that measures to fight coronavirus at the EPO are foreseen to remain in place until 31 January 2022. Please be reminded that we need to be patient and cautious to succeed in fighting coronavirus and that we are employing a prudent and careful approach in order to protect the health of all our colleagues. While many staff members have received the vaccination, many have not been vaccinated against an infection that can be fatal.

The maximum occupancy rate at all buildings will therefore continue to be 15% for the foreseeable future. Colleagues should continue to work from home. However, the situation will be reassessed in mid-September. Any increases in the maximum limit will be implemented gradually and as conditions allow.

In the event that you have to come to the Office, please observe the golden rules and occupancy rates; and be sure to always wear an FFP2, a surgical mask or any kind of non-medical, three layer disposable mask in all public areas, as well


as any other instances when social distancing requirements cannot be met.

Further information

You can find links to the official communications of EPO host countries on the Strong together pages.

25.06.21

Back

The second annex:

Date: 22.06.2021
sc21012ml

European Patent Office | LSC Munich | GERMANY

Ms Nellie Simon
VP4

Subject: On Covid-19 measures at the EPO

Dear Ms Vice President,

We are writing to you in your capacity as site manager of Munich City.

Reopening of Canteens. The Local Staff Committee Munich has received a significant number of requests from colleagues in Munich asking for the re-opening of canteens. During the summer of 2020 the service provided by the personnel from Leonardi was greatly appreciated by the staff. This brought a sense of normality after a difficult period caused by the Covid-19 restrictions both at home and at the office.

Unfortunately, after a short while, all the canteens were closed. Because of this decision, the colleagues working from their office were forced to fetch lunch from nearby restaurants, thereby unnecessarily exposing themselves to the virus.

Resume activities provided by Amicale Clubs. Furthermore, staff would like to resume with the activities provided by Amicale clubs. The inability to practice group sports, meditation, and other mentally easing activities has had a major impact on their ability to cope with stress and to durably concentrate at work, leading to reduced effectiveness.

Reopening showers. To avoid using public transport as a source of infection with the COVID-19 virus, numerous staff members cycle to work. Access to showers is hence unarguably necessary in at least in one of the buildings.

Nonetheless, the staff has continuously performed well, despite the restrictions.


According to the 3G concept Geimpft, Getestet oder Genesen the LSC Munich is proposing a reopening of the canteens, sports and showers facilities.

To be consistent with Article 20 PPI, we would like to refer to regulations issued by two Bayerische Staatsministeriums (link and link). The LSC Munich notes that within this Rahmenhygienekonzept it would be possible to re-open some of the above-mentioned facilities in Munich City.

Moreover, given the size of the rooms (inter alia the gym at BT8 or the Amicale room for smaller groups) the sports activities can take place in full compliance with hygiene standards in Bavaria as of today, when setting the appropriate rules and limits in accordance with the above-mentioned Rahmenhygienekonzept.

As increasingly more colleagues get vaccinated, the reasons for restrictions inside the office buildings need, in our opinion, to be reevaluated.

We gratefully acknowledge the Health & Safety department’s periodic reviews and its intention to give an update on the sports and canteen facilities at the office at the next LOHSEC meeting in June ‘21. In order to provide a complete picture, we ask the Administration to communicate to us the conditions under which rooms or gym areas can be reopened.

We further suggest linking any relaxation or tightening of restrictive measures to the publicly known incidence rate of new infections, like the state and federal governments do (expressed as n / 100.000). Beside strengthening the efforts on the protective side, it would have the advantage of staff being able to prepare in advance, much like under the present teleworking scheme. Thus, the first and second thresholds of n=35, respectively n=50 should find application in the same way in the EPO than outside of its premisses.

Yours sincerely,
Michael Alex Kemény
Chairman of the Local Staff Committee

While it’s unclear whether Nellie Simon is even based on Munich (some of the high-level managers have used the pandemic to go on holiday; barely even online, managing in absentia), it remains to be seen what happens next. It has been over a week and talking to EPO managers expecting any form of empathy is like speaking to a wall. Nellie Simon was not selected to support her staff but to support her friend.

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