08.05.22

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António Campinos Once Again Failing to Obey Court Orders, Making Up Ludicrous Excuses for Non-Compliance

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum af31b6449352c52b10e23b8797df9886
ILOAT Judgments Ignored by EPO
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The absurdity of this situation is bare and completely naked for all to see, as once again the EPO refuses to obey very explicit, unequivocal court orders, which are nearly a decade overdue. Today’s EPO seems to have been taken over by crime lords, or an embodiment of nepotism brought to us by the Frenchman Campinos and his enablers from Alicante.

THE EPO‘s dictator António Campinos (his father would hate him with a passion if he was still alive) is once again proving to be no better — perhaps even worse — than Benoît Battistelli.

How predictable this was!

“So the EPO’s management, which shamelessly violates the privacy of workers and applicants, now uses “privacy” as an excuse to not obey to law and to impede freedom of expression!”Last month we repeatedly said that complying with Judgment No. 4551 (ILOAT) should take no longer than a few minutes! Almost a month has passed and guess what… no action taken!

What is Campinos waiting for? Well, he wants to go on holiday and merely “discuss” the matter after frying himself in the Mediterranean for a few weeks (no, not Portugal; he might as well vacation in his true homeland, France).

The EPO has said nothing about ILO or ILOAT rulings against the EPO. Not a word. No statement at all in over a week already, just this site update (warning: epo.org link) which states: “Central Fee Payment will be fully deployed and Online Fee Payment decommissioned on 10 September 2022.”

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) has meanwhile revealed a very belated message (it took him over a fortnight to respond!) from “the f***ing president” (this is how Campinos refers to himself in official meetings). To quote the ridiculous excuses (using “privacy”, which Campinos grossly violates, as a straw man):

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY
Chair of the Central Staff Committee

Via mail only to: centralstcom@epo.org

[...]

president@epo.org
Date: 22.07.2022

Implementation of J. No. 4551

Dear Mr Chair,

Reference is made to your letter of 7 July concerning Judgment No. 4551 delivered by the Tribunal in its 134th session concerning the use of mass e-mails within the Office as it resulted from the Communiqué of 31 May 2013.

As expressed in my letter of 22 April 2020 and in discussions in different fora, in particular the WG on Resources & Communication, the Office has meanwhile strived to facilitate open communication, including through mass e-mails, between staff and their representatives. To this end, in addition to the pilot allowing invitations to general assemblies, a number of mass e-mails has also been allowed for specific purposes and an expanded right to mass e-mails was contemplated in the draft agreement on means of communication shared with you.

The aforementioned Judgment No. 4551 now broadens the possibility to send mass e-mails. While the Office is committed to implementing the Tribunal’s orders in full, it also needs to ensure compliance with the new Data Protection Rules in force since 1 January 2022.

At the moment, the Office is clarifying technical aspects with BIT and discussing data protection related aspects with the Data Protection Office and the Data Protection Board. These notably include the need for a further data protection statement and the possibility for staff to unsubscribe from the mailing list as well as the setting up of an ethics board comprising members appointed by the staff representation and the Office.

We will keep you updated on the developments and set up a meeting after the upcoming summer break.

Yours sincerely,
António Campinos

cc:
LSC Berlin (via mail only to: lscbe@epo.org)
LSC Munich (via mail only to: msc@epo.org)
LSC The Hague (via mail only to: dhstcom@epo.org)
LSC Vienna (via mail only to: pvwien@epo.org)

So the EPO’s management, which shamelessly violates the privacy of workers and applicants, now uses “privacy” as an excuse to not obey to law and to impede freedom of expression! incredible! Welcome to Lukashenko's second home

In an open letter the CSC responded firmly (within limits given the authoritarian nature of Team Campinos). “ILOAT Judgment 4551 on mass emails – We demand its immediate execution,” said the title, informing colleagues that “[i]n Judgment No. 4551 the Tribunal has, as of 6 July 2022, set aside in part the Communiqué of 31 May 2013 and reinstated the former rules on mass emails as published in Communiqué No. 10 and in the announcement of 28 December 2011. Therefore, the limitation to 50 addressees has been set aside and Staff Committee members have the possibility of addressing all staff in the context of their statutory and official activities. In a reply letter of 22 July 2022, the President of the Office states that time is needed to clarify technical aspects and proposes that a meeting be scheduled after the summer break. As explained in this open letter, we see no legal or technical requirements preventing the immediate execution of the judgment. Therefore, we demand its immediate execution.”

Here’s the response dated a week ago and discussed a little further in the video above:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

By email

OPEN LETTER

[...]

centralSTCOM@epo.org
Reference: sc22109cl
Date: 28/07/2022

Execution of ILOAT Judgment No. 4551 (mass emails)

Dear Mr President,

In Judgment No. 4551 the Tribunal has, as of 6 July 2022, set aside in part the Communiqué of 31 May 2013 and reinstated the former rules on mass emails as published in Communiqué No. 10 and in the announcement of 28 December 2011. Therefore, the limitation to 50 addressees has been set aside and CSC members have the possibility of addressing staff Office-wide in the context of their statutory and official activities. Similarly, LSC members have the possibility of addressing staff in their respective site by mass emails.

We note that Staff Committees and their members still cannot technically send an email to more than 50 addresses and are not authorised to use the mailing lists DDL-ALL-STAFF(-XX) which already exist. Granting authorisation is technically a matter of seconds for BIT. It is also a necessity for any Staff Committee (member) “for the execution of [their] official business”, as recited in Article 2 of Communiqué No. 10.

In your letter of 22 July 2022, you state that the Office is clarifying technical aspects which notably include “the possibility for staff to unsubscribe from the mailing list” and “the need for a further data protection statement”.

Firstly, in considerations 10 and 11, the Tribunal held that emails fulfilling the criteria of Communiqué No. 10 and the announcement of 28 December 2011 “shall be considered lawful” and ensure a reasonable balance between the interests of the organisation and the fundamental rights to free communication, information, and speech. Therefore, executing the judgment “as ruled” means restoring the status quo ante prior to 31 May 2013, at which time there was no need for a Staff Committee to ensure that staff can unsubscribe from the official mailing list. In consideration 10, the Tribunal further recalled that freedom of communication implies the right to freely choose the means by which the communications are sent. Imposing additional constraints (such as a possibility to unsubscribe) upon Staff Committees and their members would go against the ruling of the Tribunal, in particular the necessity for a body representing the staff to be able to circulate emails to all staff members, as recalled in consideration 12.

Secondly, the judgment restored access to the EPO’s electronic (email) communications systems, whereby a Staff Committee does not need (or intend) to collect, store or process any personal data. Therefore, we do not see the need for any data protection statement.

Finally, in consideration 11, the Tribunal considered that the mass emails sent by the staff representation and provided by the parties in the present case “did not exceed the limits to freedom of opinion and speech, and therefore did not justify a mechanism of a prior authorisation”. In this respect, there is no justification derivable from Judgment 4551 for the setting up of an Ethics Board prior to the execution of the judgment.

In your letter you explain that time is needed and that a meeting will be scheduled after the upcoming summer break. As explained above, we see no legal or technical requirements preventing the immediate execution of the judgment.

Consequently, we demand the immediate execution of the judgment.

Yours sincerely,
Alain Dumont
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

It has been rather telling. This past month Campinos carried with on the tradition of obstructing justice and finding excuse to not obey ruling, or barely obeying them (usually optics and PR, not real actions). Later they wonder why people no longer want to work for the EPO

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