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[Meme] Geneva Convention or Geneva’s Suggestion?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Geneva Convention
Geneva Convention? ILO has made it conventional for EPO “elites” to decide on their own ‘punishment’.

Summary: It remains to be seen whether EPO President (the ‘heir’ of Benoît Battistelli) António Campinos will obey a ruling from Geneva or just treat that as “advisory”, as usual, to protect Battistelli and the ‘coup plotters’*

Experienced Examiner (January 28, 2022 at 5:36) et al:

a long time ago, the EPO was built on three technical areas, roughly labelled as mechanics, electronics and biology/chemistry. Each area was headed by a Principal Director (PD). Technology evolves (thankfully, or we would be out of business), and the EPO created fourteen clusters. Each cluster was headed by a PD. Eleven new PD posts had been created, dedicated to the patent area.

Later, the EPO restructured to “Joint Clusters”, cutting the number of PDs in the patent area to seven. The next round of restructuring brought the EPO to three sectors: mobility and mechatronis (M&M), information and communications technology (ICT) and healthcare, biotech & chemistry (HBC). Any resemblance with the earlier structure is pure coincidence. These three sectors are each run by a PD. The latest twist is that there will be one “Super PD” or COO.

This exercise was said to increase quality, efficiency, efficacy, user satisfaction as well as employee motivation and engagement. As a side effect it also created a huge number of high level posts – 11 new PDs – which had to be filled. Most of those posts have been moved away from the patent area. That is why we now have e.g. a Chief Sustainability Officer and the likes.

If you take a look at Article 15 EPC (defining the departments in the EPO), you will not find anything even remotely resembling the positions listed in the blog. This really begs the question why we have them and what their justification is.

Indeed, the EPO has become too much corporate and remained too little patent office. About 25-30% of staff are now non-revenue (excluding DG1 (examiner/formalities officers) and BoA). How does that compare to corporate or other large patent offices?
If upper management wishes to run the office like a corporation then bad decisions which cost the EPO many millions (like the move to Haar and back again, or the right of staff to assemble and strike) should also have corporate consequences. The individuals responsible for these decisions are still in the upper floors of the Isar building.

Yes, the EPO has become corporate. Why are you shocked? That’s not new and not just the EPO. After all, Campinos has clients to satisfy. Thirty-eight of them. And they’re more and more difficult to satisfy (they didn’t buy his “new normal”!). Free dental care is not enough anymore.



The list is endless.

Under the law, a corporation owes no duty to its employees, its suppliers, its customers, those who have a human interest in the survival of the corporation. Its only duty is to deliver to its shareholders what those shareholders perceive as “value”.

As has been pointed out, free dental care for AC members was all fine and good but by now is no longer enough. Having been given a taste of rich dividends and assorted pay-outs, the EPO’s shareholders are, it seems, ever more greedy for more.

* One comment of many (21): “Reflect on how expensive patent litigation is in the USA. Why is that? Mostly because the big litigation law firms like it that way. And do these firms have any influence on how the UPC develops? You bet they do.”

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