10.17.22

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The ILO’s Tribunal Decided That the Appeals Committee (ApC) at the European Patent Office (EPO) is Flawed and Staff Can Take Action

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 76d583bf10e9f2a78ca2c63f5f1d4e21
A Call for Action by EPO Staff
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: “Decision [by ILO] on internal appeals” at the EPO is being utilised to overturn wrong decisions, overseen by unqualified and vengeful managers instead of proper processes

THE EPO‘s Central Staff Committee (CSC) recently circulated a publication that said: “Dear colleagues, [who had elected the CSC]

“In Judgment No. 4550, the Tribunal ruled that the composition of the Appeals Committee (ApC) was flawed. It set aside the decision by the President in question and referred the individual case back to the Office, resulting in further delay in the administration of justice.

“We are not sure whether the Tribunal will draw similar consequences in other cases and whether other appeals / complaints currently pending will also be affected. On the other hand, it seems that the Office is now contacting some staff affected and inviting them to “refrain from filing a complaint with the Tribunal at this stage”, announcing that they would be contacted regarding the impact of Judgment No. 4550 on their case “as soon as possible”. The assessment seems to take time…

“One thing is certain, however: the 90-day deadline for filing a complaint with the Tribunal after the President has taken a decision remains and no one has the possibility of extending it.

“Therefore, in order to preserve all options, we draw staff’s attention to the possibility of initiating a complaint procedure on time in a summary form, exceptionally, by only filing the most necessary documents with the Tribunal before the 90-day deadline.”

The video above discusses the publication, which is also reproduced with some redaction below:

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité Central du Personnel

Munich,30/09/2022
sc22127cp

Internal appeals and decisions taken by the President
The clock at ILOAT is ticking.

Dear Colleagues,

In Judgment No. 4550, the Tribunal ruled that the composition of the Appeals Committee (ApC) with appointees selected only from elected Staff Committee members was flawed, so that the opinions the ApC gave to the President are also flawed. The Tribunal set aside the decision by the President in question and referred the individual case back to the Office, resulting in further delay in the administration of justice. Back to square one, so to speak.

We are not sure whether the Tribunal will draw similar consequences in other cases and whether other appeals / complaints currently pending will also be affected, including those for which the ApC provided their reasoned opinion (in a flawed composition) and the President took a decision based on it.

On the other hand, it seems that the Office is now contacting some staff affected and inviting them to “refrain from filing a complaint with the Tribunal at this stage”, announcing that they would be contacted regarding the impact of Judgment No. 4550 on their case “as soon as possible”. The assessment seems to take time…

One thing is sure: the 90-day deadline1 for filing a complaint with the Tribunal after the President has taken a decision2 remains and neither the Office nor the complainants nor the Tribunal have any possibility of extending it.

____
1 See Article VII(2) of the ILOAT Statute
2 In accordance with Article 110(4) ServRegs


Therefore, in order to preserve all options, we draw staff’s attention to the possibility of initiating a complaint procedure on time in a summary form, exceptionally, by only filing the most necessary documents with the Tribunal before the 90-day deadline. Namely, it is essential to:

[redacted]

Once this has been done the complainant can decide later whether to withdraw or to correct the summary complaint. The Tribunal will set a time limit for correcting the complaint and filing the brief and any annexes.

The President will most likely offer the affected colleagues the following possibilities in their individual cases:

a) Have their case reassessed by a properly composed chamber of the ApC. In this case the President will withdraw his decision and refer the case back to the ApC. In this case the complainant will also have to withdraw in writing (e-mail form is sufficient) any complaint filed.
b) Have the decision maintained. In this case, the complainant can proceed to the Tribunal and will receive moral damages in an amount of 100 euro as suggested in Judgment No. 4550.

Don’t hesitate to contact your Staff Representation if in doubt.

Your Central Staff Committee

[redacted]

As images:

ILOAT page 1

ILOAT page 2

The staff conflict never ended. Examiners want a real patent office, not a company that sells monopolies.

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