09.07.21

EPO Timeliness (or How the European Patent Organisation/Office Uses Time to Deny Justice)

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 8:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Have I won my appeal yet?
Some people will never live (literally) to see justice; to borrow an example, Japan is just waiting for Korean “comfort women” to die (not many of them left by now).

Summary: Staff representatives from Europe’s second-largest institution show that many workers were denied a promotion in complete and direct violation of the contract they had signed; it took 6 years for the matter to be rectified and nobody is being held accountable, as usual…

THE Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO wrote about nearly 3,000 days of EPO violating fundamental rights of the staff on the same day it issued a 3-page publication about CA/D 10/14, also known as “New Career System” (when the dictator Benoît Battistelli uses a term like “new” and António Campinos speaks of “adjustment” remember that it is newspeak).

“Back in 2014,” the CSC explains, “some examiners recruited under the Old Career System on language contracts in old job group grade A1 did not receive an expected promotion to A2 after the date of their appointment as permanent employees. This had to do with the transition to the New Career System (NCS). Some of them filed an internal appeal.”

This is about several dozens of workers who actively challenged the situation. There are more out there who chose not to challenge Battistelli, maybe out of fear (remember what year it happened; Battistelli was already kidnapping judges!), so there’s a call for more workers to join: “If your [sic] are in the same (or a similar) situation as the appellants, please send a short note to the CSC (Keyword A1/A2 promotion). In this way information can be shared and common actions, if needed, can be coordinated.”

“This is about several dozens of workers who actively challenged the situation.”“After more than 6 years of procedure,”the CSC notes, “the Appeals Committee unanimously recommends to compensate the appellants for the lost A1/A2 promotion…”

The CSC quotes a decision as saying: “Any reasonable person would have felt a sense of gross unfairness and injustice at receiving the treatment that resulted for the present appellants from the application of decision CA/D 10/14″ [New Career System]

How could the EPO’s management possibly win such a case? There’s no merit or justification for what it did. So of course the EPO “President [only after 6 years] has decided to follow the recommendation and retroactively grant the appellants the equivalent number of steps. We hope that the President will apply the recommendation to all colleagues who find themselves in the same or similar situation.”

“The EPO likes talking about “timeliness”, conflating that with quality, but when it comes to its very own staff a decision so trivial can take so long? It doesn’t make any sense.”Why did it take 6 years? Why does a fundamental right of staff being violated for nearly 3,000 days before something gets done (or not) about it? Why can ILO-AT appeals take half a decade (sometimes more) to fully process?

The EPO likes talking about “timeliness”, conflating that with quality, but when it comes to its very own staff a decision so trivial can take so long? It doesn’t make any sense.

Reproduced below is the full publication, dated yesterday:

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité Central du Personnel

Munich, 06/09/2021
sc21110cp

New Career System
Appeals Committee in favour of staff

After 6 years appellants win cases on missed A1/A2 promotions

Case: No promotion to A2 because of New Career System
Some examiners recruited in 2014 under the Old Career System on language contracts in old job group grade A1 did not receive an expected promotion to A2 after the date of their appointment as permanent employees. This had to do with the transition to the New Career System (NCS). Some of those examiners filed an internal appeal.

Appeals Committee disagrees with the Office
The internal Appeals Committee in its final opinion on the case now recommends to compensate the appellants for the lost A1/A2 promotions. We are very pleased to learn that the President will follow this recommendation and retroactively grant them the equivalent number of steps.

The Appeals Committee concluded unanimously that the EPO was not sufficiently diligent in the exercise of its discretion and violated its duty of care by not providing any transitional measure. It also considered that the short time frame between the date the appellants accepted the job offer (2014) and the changes resulting from the New Career System reform (2015) constituted an aggravating factor.

The proceedings lasted 6 years
In the view that the Appeals Committee unanimously agreed with the appellants, our interpretation of the case is that it has been another substantial waste of time and money on the part of the EPO and staff. Indeed, for the Appeals Committee:

Any reasonable person would have felt a sense of gross unfairness and injustice at receiving the treatment that resulted for the present appellants from the application of decision CA/D 10/14 [New Career System]“

(from the abstract of the opinion of the Appeals Committee)

Note that CA/D 10/14 is the Administrative Council’s decision of introducing the New Career System.

Damage for the Office from errors of the past
Many lessons are to be learned and the outcome has still to be analysed. What is sure is that there is a need to avoid such litigation in the first place and, if unavoidable, to accelerate the internal procedure of conflict resolution. Office resources should be better managed in order to avoid sterile disputes. Errors from the past when implementing new reforms have caused much frustration to staff and highlight today once more the dysfunctional processes having led to these errors.

And for the future?
Many reforms of the past are tainted with unfairness and injustice. Our calls to revise them have received little attention but we still hope for a reassessment of the relationship between management and staff. A relationship in which legal conflicts are prevented and solved faster and more efficiently by an open dialogue.

Application to everybody?
The Appeals Committee has acknowledged that a total of 37 colleagues did not receive a promotion from A1 to A2 in 2014. However, only some of them filed an internal appeal. We hope that the President will apply the recommendation of the Appeals Committee to all colleagues who find themselves in the same or similar situation.

In our view, this would be the right way forward and an indispensable step towards a long due reconciliation. Furthermore, if recommendations by the Appeals Committee would be applied not only to those who filed an internal appeal but to everybody who finds itself in the same or similar situation as the appellants, this would contribute to substantially reducing the future workload of the Appeals Committee. Mass appeals and related legal costs could be avoided. Furthermore, it would greatly foster trust in the internal legal system.

You are in the same (or a similar) situation as the appellants? Contact us!
Please send a short note to the CSC (Keyword A1/A2 promotion) if you believe you are in the same or similar situation as the appellants. In this way information can be shared and common actions, if needed, can be coordinated.

Your Central Staff Committee

There’s so much injustice at the EPO and nobody is being held accountable. Why does the EU tolerate this? Why are member states not raising their voices? We’re going to look more closely at such questions in weeks to come.

08.24.21

Expecting the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation to Actually Follow the Law…

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Law, Patents at 2:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 4449a20ad1a87e19292b30bd9031f5f5

Summary: The representatives of staff of the EPO, the Central Staff Committee (CSC), are approaching the Heads of Delegation of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation along with their Chairman; they’re politely asking for better safeguards against systematic abuses of the law, including abolition of workers’ basic rights

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO has distributed a letter, an open letter, and readers of Techrights typically ensure that we too can see a copy. This letter only partly concerns the unlawful regulations of Benoît Battistelli — regulations which António Campinos continued to exploit while keeping 100% silent on the court’s outcome (he doesn’t seem to care what tribunals say unless those tribunals are controlled by him).

“The intent is to raise awareness and garner sympathy from the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (mostly a bunch of legal hacks rather than scientists).”The letter from the CSC mostly concerns the internal Appeals Committee, which was mentioned earlier this year and several times last year. The intent is to raise awareness and garner sympathy from the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (mostly a bunch of legal hacks rather than scientists).

“On 7 July 2021,” the CSC said, “the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization (ILOAT) delivered several important Judgments on the rules governing the exercise of the right to strike at the EPO. The ILOAT found that virtually every single one of the strike rules blatantly and obviously violated the fundamental right to strike, that the President exceeded his competence when drawing up Circular No. 347 in 2013 and that the Circular is therefore unlawful in its entirety and is set aside. Already in 2015 a national court in The Hague, the so-called Gerechtshof, found that the EPO violated fundamental European rights. In view of the long list of violations of the fundamental right to strike identified by the ILOAT, the question can be raised of why a majority in the internal Appeals Committee (ApC) reached a completely opposite opinion, based on the same facts and arguments.”

Then they spoke of the internal Appeals Committee (ApC). “The members of the ApC are laypersons. However, the Chair and Vice-Chairs are expected to possess the qualifications required for appointment to high judicial office or be lawyers with experience in the area of employment law acquired at national or international level (see Article 111(3) ServRegs). A reasonably objective and informed person might question whether they would at times give up their independence and impartiality.

“The damage caused by the ApC’s massively wrong assessment of the strike rules and their application is considerable, both for the Organisation and for its staff.

  • The Organisation is now stigmatised in the public eye as an employer that has been violating fundamental rights of its staff for over eight years and has been depriving them of an important tool for collective bargaining.
  • Staff have also definitively lost confidence in the internal means of settling disputes.

Much of the rest of the publication is included in letter form, as shown in the video above, and we’ve decided to replicate it as HTML so that it makes it into IPFS and Gemini space.

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Reference: sc21102cl – 0.3.1/1.3.1
Date: 13/08/2021

To the Chairman and
the Heads of Delegation of the
Administrative Council of the
European Patent Organisation

OPEN LETTER

System for the settlement of disputes – Proposals for strengthening the Appeals Committee

Dear Mr Chairman,
Dear Heads of Delegation,

On 7 July 2021, the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization (ILOAT) delivered several important Judgments on the rules governing the exercise of the right to strike at the European Patent Office1, introduced in 2013 with decision CA/D 5/13 and Circular No. 347, as well as on subsequent implementing decisions. ILOAT found that virtually every single one of the strike rules blatantly and obviously violated the fundamental right to strike, that the President exceeded his competence when drawing up Circular No. 347 and that the Circular is therefore unlawful in its entirety and is set aside2. The ILOAT furthermore ruled that a salary deduction for absence due to strike participation of 1/20th of the monthly remuneration per day of absence instead of 1/30th as for all other unpaid lawful absences was punitive3 and that the President had abused his power when applying the strike rules and through his interpretation of Circular No. 347, of which he was the author4, justifying high moral damages.

Already in 2015 a national court in The Hague, the so-called Gerechtshof, found that the EPO violated fundamental European rights5.

____
1 Judgments Nos. 4430 to 4435
2 Judgment No. 4430, consideration 16 and decision
3 Judgment No. 4435
4 Judgments Nos. 4432 to 4434
5 The decision of the Gerechtshof was later on set aside by the Dutch Supreme Court, the Hoge Raad, only on the ground that the Organisation could invoke its immunity from national jurisdiction and that the Dutch courts therefore have no jurisdiction (see Judgement of the Gerechtshof Den Haag).


Based on the same facts and arguments the internal Appeals Committee (ApC), by a majority, concluded in the underlying internal appeal procedures that the new strike rules as well as the salary deductions were lawful, that the President did not act ultra vires when laying down the strike rules in Circular No. 347 and that he did not abuse his powers in applying them6. The ILOAT found that the ApC had erred in all these points. In view of the long list of violations of the fundamental right to strike identified by the ILOAT7, this is remarkable and raises the question of why a majority in the ApC reached such an opposite opinion. The members of the ApC are laypersons. However, the Chair and Vice-Chairs are expected to possess the qualifications required for appointment to high judicial office or be lawyers with experience in the area of employment law acquired at national or international level, pursuant to Article 111(3) ServRegs. A reasonably objective and informed person might question whether they would at times give up their independence and impartiality, codified in Article 112 ServRegs.

The Staff Representation has already pointed out several times8 that the unilateral selection and appointment of the Chair and the Vice-Chairs by the President (Article 111(2)(a) ServRegs) does not ensure the required balance in the ApC and does not promote confidence in its opinions. The Staff Representation has therefore repeatedly requested to be involved in their selection and that the GCC be consulted on the appointments, to no avail9.

Internal appeals are procedure where a Committee is composed with an equal number of members appointed by the President and by the Staff Representation, however with the Chair taking alone all procedural decisions (Article 111a(1) ServRegs), leading the debate and making sometimes the difference in the opinions. Therefore, a mutual agreement on their appointment is key for arriving at balanced opinions accepted by staff and for preventing from overloading ILOAT with complaints which could have easily been settled internally. This was the reason why the GAC10 had to be consulted on the appointment of the Chair and Vice-Chairs since the founding of the European Patent Organisation11 until 2013. However, with decisions CA/D 8/12 and 9/12 this consultation process was abolished and the Chair and Vice-Chairs have since then been unilaterally appointed by the President.

____
6 Only in the internal appeals procedure underlying Judgment No. 4432 the ApC concluded that a postponement of a strike ballot had been unlawful, but despite the blatant abuse of power no moral damage was awarded.
7 See, in particular, Judgment Nos. 4430, cons.16 and 4435, cons.15 to 17
8 See for example the letter to the Administrative Council of 31 January 2020
9 Although Staff Representation has been granted an observer status in the last selection procedure for a new chair, this cannot be a substitute for being able to appoint members to the selection board and for the required consultation of staff representation in the GCC.
10 Replaced by the GCC with decision CA/D 2/14
11 Article 110(4) ServRegs, version 1977 (CA/D 9/77)


The damage caused by the ApC’s massively wrong assessment of the strike rules and their application is considerable, both for the Organisation and for its staff.

The Organisation is now stigmatised in the public eye as an employer that has been violating fundamental rights of its staff for over eight years and has been depriving staff of an important tool for collective bargaining, as their right to strike has been severely obstructed at a time when many fundamental reforms were pushed through (inter alia “social democracy”, the new career system, the new salary adjustment procedure, the new rules for the education allowance, …).

Staff have also definitively lost confidence in the internal means of settling disputes and will, in most cases, eventually file a complaint with the ILOAT for protecting their rights. In addition, there is a high risk that many other decisions in appeal cases were also based on opinions where the ApC erred in law.

In view of the fundamental importance of legal certainty and legal peace and in order to restore staff’s confidence in the opinions of the ApC as soon as possible, and to prevent that disputes have to be settled outside the Organisation, we urge you that the Administrative Council takes steps to ensure that:

• Staff Representation is allowed to appoint members to the selection board for the Chair and Vice-Chairs of the ApC,
• the GCC is consulted prior to appointment of the Chair and Vice-Chairs,
• no Chair or vice-Chair may be appointed who does not find consensus in the GCC.

Yours sincerely,

Alain Dumont
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

cc.: President of the EPO
Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization

In short, there seems to be a tendency to enshrine unlawful rules as “the law”; moreover, “there is a high risk that many other decisions in appeal cases were also based on opinions where the ApC erred in law.”

This is by design; in the past we saw EPO dictators intervening when the ApC got it right; so, as usual, there’s not even any regard/respect to those appointed to assess legality within the EPO.

08.18.21

[Meme] Who Needs Laws Anyway?

Posted in Deception, Europe, Fraud, Law, Patents at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

'It came from Campinos'; baby yoda: die trash, Fucking EPC
In a fantastic act of dynamic interpretation, Josef puts the EPC out of its misery for babyface Tony.

Visser on EPC
Yes, Sir Visser.
Your book now deals with imaginary (or theoretical) laws.

Summary: The EPO‘s corruption problem is deepening and it is further exacerbated by the fact that bribed media (sometimes just intimidated by the EPO’s lawyers) won't even mention that corruption

08.15.21

When Nations Are Dens of Nepotism and Corruption, Just Like the EPO

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 3:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum e8f7e5b53f2cf6a7755321513a6a21dd

Summary: Abandonment of lawfulness seems to be something that the EPO and Balkan states have in common

THE EPO‘s despotic leadership didn’t start in 2010. But it certainly got a whole lot worse under Benoît Battistelli. Currently, after neutering a lot of the media with various bribes and threats, the public is meant to think that António Campinos exercises ‘soft power’ and is in fact a master negotiator.

That’s a lie!

“The notion of lawfulness is mostly theatrics.”In the past year alone we’ve seen Campinos intervening in courts’ affairs to rig their outcomes (e.g. decisions on ‘ViCo’ and European software patents), so there’s merely an illusion of separation of powers, access to justice and so on.

It’s all an illusion. Just like in Balkan states. The notion of lawfulness is mostly theatrics. When people in charge of ‘justice’ issue cleverly-worded threats that sound like death threats directed towards children you start to wonder if the department in charge of ‘justice ‘is a mental asylum or should instead be designated a prison ward, detaining its very own staff.

The video at the top is a bunch of personal views regarding the last part, which was published a few minutes earlier. There are 3 more parts to come. On this particular topic alone…

08.12.21

[Meme] A Statement That Wouldn’t Age Well…

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 12:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“An Earthquake Would be Needed for the Administrative Council… Not to Support My Major Proposals.” -Benoît Battistelli

Summary: Benoît Battistelli openly boasting that he’s above the law wouldn’t do any good to the image of the EPO; we recently saw he had passed patently illegal rules with help from the Administrative Council

08.08.21

[Meme] Inventors as ‘Robots’ in the Western World and Global South

Posted in Africa, America, Europe, Law, Patents at 7:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Should we also award copyrights to dead people and their great grandchildren? Will that improve creativity?

Patents for bots in EPO, UK-IPO, and USPTO; Bots in South Africa and Australia
When you hype up “Hey Hi” and start calling every computer program “Hey Hi”
AI can be an inventor on patent filings, rules Australian court

Summary: The Global North and Global South have both said “OK” to patents that clearly don’t advance innovation (nor do they reward people)

07.30.21

[Meme] Rowan and António Sittin’ on a Tree…

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Law, Patents at 4:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Have they climbed up some tree? Behold; they need to come down… off their high horses or the 10th floor… sooner rather than later… because the silence and inaction contribute to the perception of non-compliance with court rulings (except fake courts which they control).

ILO-AT issues ruling on strike regulations; May-June, Late June, Early July, End of July

Summary: How much longer can Team Campinos keep issuing tons of noisy and self-congratulatory puff pieces to (perhaps) distract from the elephant in the 10th floor of the Isar building (EPO HQ)? Staff won't wait for eternity.

07.17.21

EPO Examiners Should Be in Charge of EPO Policies, Not Self-Serving Politicians Who Exploit and Flaunt Diplomatic Immunity

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 8:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPC supremacy
I believe in EPC supremacy; do does the staff and its union

Summary: Supranational entities like the EPO have outlived their legitimacy; it’s becoming a purely political stunt, profoundly corrosive to the Rule of Law and to constitutions

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