12.23.20

Christmas for Team UPC

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 6:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

German guten tag; Don't do it, Margot; UPC right around the corner; the patent trolls await; Screw the German constitution; We're above the law anyway and pandemic distracts everybody

Summary: Given that the UPC is getting nowhere (twice as many complaints as the last time) these holidays will be exceptionally tough for people who spent a decade or more pushing this Trojan horse

12.22.20

Focus for Next Year Will Include European Patent Office (EPO) Conflict With the Law Itself

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents, Site News at 10:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Reasons for the recent lack of activity and some imminent plans for the site, which is eager to restore justice at the European Patent Office — a matter of growing priority and urgency

TWO years ago we made the difficult decision to significantly decrease our focus on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), seeing that 35 U.S.C. § 101 was doing its job and cutting off lots of software patents, especially those reaching an actual court to be properly (re)assessed. Weeks later, in early January (2019), Mr. Andrei Iancu decided to undermine 35 U.S.C. § 101, but Iancu is quite likely on his way out because Mr. (president-elect) Biden will be inaugurated in 4 weeks and Iancu openly endorsed and promoted Trump ahead of the November election (his firm had also worked with Trump before Trump gave him the job).

“They’re milking this system for money (never mind external costs, e.g. legal defence fees) and then gamble with this money.”The system here in Europe, especially the EPO, may be considerably crooked. Under the Trump regime, however, it sometimes felt like the USPTO was ‘going the way of EPOnia’… (despots and corruption as the norm)

ToplapsThe video above discusses the past few days and the coming few days, which have been and will be very busy because of site-related maintenance and operational tasks. Having not prepared or scripted the video, I focused on public stories from the Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) and explained why we’re so committed to the examiners of the EPO. Based on what we’ve heard from them, they absolutely do not wish to grant software patents (they knows it’s not legal in Europe), but their management compels them to do it anyway. The likes of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos barely know anything about patents (very limited career experience), yet they know just one thing; they want to grant more and more of them, irrespective of quality. They’re milking this system for money (never mind external costs, e.g. legal defence fees) and then gamble with this money. The public needs to put an end to this epic scam.

I’m still recovering from a 2-day illness and it’s super-busy here (many tasks to complete by year’s end), so don’t expect the usual number of articles (or videos). Next month we ought to explore/actively check what equipment can improve recording quality, especially if videos are a long-term plan.

12.20.20

Team UPC Throws Vienna Convention Out the Window/Under a Bus and Vienna’s EPO Branch (in EPC) Discarded by EPO Management

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents, Videos at 4:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In the same away BoA was illegally cast away/thrown into Haar for the mere pretence of EPC compliance (not that BoA has any real independence)

Summary: Staff of the EPO is smart enough to see what EPO management has up its sleeve (see "The EPO is Silently Shrinking in Vienna"); it’s neither legal nor acceptable, which is why the strikes are back and SUEPO envisions a year of conflict ahead

AS we noted just over a day ago, many workers of the EPO in Vienna went on strike, seeing that the boss of António Campinos (no, not a Czech guy from the Council) continues the war on the EPC and on EPO staff. While studying the history of it I stumbled upon this old article from Ingrid Marson; even in 2006 a concern was raised that EPO managers failed “to enforce the quality standards set by the European Patent Convention”. Here are some portions, or the two closing paragraphs:

This is not the first time patent examiners have raised the issue. In a 2004 survey of 1,300 EPO patent examiners, three-quarters of staff claimed productivity demands from managers did not allow them “to enforce the quality standards set by the European Patent Convention”.

Campaigners against software patents have also criticised the quality of patents issued by the EPO. In particular, they have been frustrated that the EPO has continued to grant software patents despite last year’s rejection of the software patent directive.

This mentions software patents in Europe; those should never be granted. That’s the kind of thing that got us ‘fired up’ in the first place (chastising the EPO).

While recording the above video (first take, no scripting) I realised, in hindsight, that it was worth bringing up this latest post from Kluwer Patent Blog (apparently Bristows again). The Unitary Patent (UPC) post is highly misleading, but this latest comment stands out:

Of “If no complaints are filed, two more countries will have to ratify (or otherwise consent to) the PPA for the provisional application phase to come into force”, what does the Vienna Convention on Treaties say?

Vienna Convention on Treaties, Article 24, Entry into force says:

24.1. A treaty enters into force in such manner and upon such date as it may provide or as the negotiating States may agree.

• But, the requirement for UK ratification, that the UPC Agreement provides, has not been satisfied.

24.2. Failing any such provision or agreement, a treaty enters into force as soon as consent to be bound by the treaty has been established for all the negotiating States.

• But, all the negotiating states, which include the UK, have not given such consent.

• Could the UPC Agreement be amended to allow entry into force without UK ratification? Article 39 allows amendment?

Article 39: A treaty may be amended by agreement between the parties. The rules laid down in Part II apply to such an agreement except insofar as the treaty may otherwise provide.

• It requires agreement between the parties. That includes the UK.

• Is there such an agreement?

As readers may have noticed, we barely mention the UPC anymore, just as we promised over a month ago. It’s not getting anywhere, but lots of faked 'news' from Team UPC would tell people otherwise; we mention those pieces in Daily Links along with remarks to debunk them (it’s relegated to that because it’s just not worth the mention anymore). As we wrote back in July, citing or directly quoting an EPO insider: “There is No Longer a Legal Context and No One Left to Implement It and Nothing to Be Rescued.” Weeks ago we were given an insider story about ‘Fraudlinger’. It’s really sad that Europe’s second-largest institution is run by a bunch of liars and frauds.

12.03.20

[Meme] European Patent Office Violates European Laws

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 2:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We're special; No law applies to us, not even EU law

Summary: By violating international and European laws the EPO basically tells us what it’s all about (and it has nothing to do with protecting patent law or any law for that matter, not even the EPC)

The EPO’s 2020 Impaired Vision/ViCo: Imposing Illegal Practices on EPO Stakeholders, Not Only on EPO Staff

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 6:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This is how lawbreaking* becomes ‘normalised’ (moral relativism and a parallel race to the ethical bottom/gutter, where one evil gets justified by presence of a greater one)

I do something illegal; I say it's OK because Trump is the greater criminal; I make my staff do illegal things; I make my stakeholders do illegal things; The whole system becomes illegal

Summary: Corruption is contagious; we now see a growing number of EPO stakeholders speaking out against the outrageous attempts by Office management to impose illegal practices on them; they don’t wish to participate in any of this

THE issues associated with surveillance, espionage etc. aren’t directly relevant to the EPO; GDPR violations are too routinely, but the EPO enjoys diplomatic immunity, so who the heck will hold accountable the likes of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos? Given some of the tactics used by Battistelli half a decade ago, without immunity he would be detained and then sentenced to prison.

“Given some of the tactics used by Battistelli half a decade ago, without immunity he would be detained and then sentenced to prison.”The other day we mentioned that the whole “ViCo” hype is nothing new; putting aside sarcastic remarks about patent trolls targeting “ViCo” providers and users, there’s that old point about very old prior art (“ViCo” is nothing new and similar things could be accomplished technologically before the EPO even existed and probably before NASA landed men on the moon; “Multiple user videoconferencing first being demonstrated with Stanford Research Institute’s NLS computer technology (1968),” says Wikipedia). Here are some prior articles we published about “ViCo”:

Some “ViCo” history:

'ViCo' history

As we explained before, illegal practices are being justified by autocrats in the name of fake 'novelty' or ‘emergency’ (as if debating patents is really an emergency).

We do illegal stuff to stop supposed patent 'pirates'Last night we saw something very relevant; we noticed that that Kluwer Patent Blog decided to respond to this issue, only days or weeks after two or more rants from Dr. Bausch about the impracticality if not illegality of this practice. The post is uncharacteristically (for this topic, not for UPC lies) anonymous, but we can guess it was at least partly composed by Dr. Bausch, who has been increasingly vocal in his condemnations of the EPO lately.

We truly need more attorneys to ‘grow a pair’ and speak out about what goes on at the EPO. Otherwise, as EPO insiders keep warning us, there won’t be an EPO anymore.

From the relatively long post:

Parties should not be forced to accept oral proceedings via videoconference before the EPO Board of Appeals. That is the clear feedback, at least in the responses that have been published, on the EPO’s user consultation regarding a proposed new Article 15a RPBA concerning oral proceedings by videoconference.

The consultation closed on 27 November. In the explanatory remarks, the EPO doesn’t give any reason for the proposal, but it is clear that the corona pandemic has given a boost to videoconferencing. ‘From May to October 2020, oral proceedings were held by videoconference in over 120 appeal cases. Initially, they were held by videoconference only if all parties to the proceedings agreed. This enabled the parties and the members of the Board to become accustomed to oral proceedings being conducted in the new format. It is envisaged that in the near future the Boards of Appeal will extend their practice by holding oral proceedings by videoconference without requiring the parties’ agreement to this format.’

[...]

However, it seems that CIPA didn’t participate in the EPO consultation regarding the proposed new Article 15a RPBA; at least it didn’t publish any consultation response. So it remains unclear what CIPA’s view is regarding the proposed new power of the Board of Appeal to decide to hold oral proceedings by videoconference, even if (one of) the parties opposes this.

In an article of JUVE Patent, most IP professionals react with understanding to the EPO’s temporary extension of videoconferencing to prevent the build-up of further backlogs, and taking into account the problems caused by the corona pandemic. But many say they hope that video hearings ‘will not replace all hearings for good’.

We’ll monitor comments there (at least those that make it through their censorship sieve). “Concerned observer” was first to point out: “My understanding is that CIPA did submit a response to the consultation. It is just that the response has not yet been made publicly available and so very few people are aware of its content. To my knowledge, the views of CIPA’s membership were not surveyed prior to preparation and submission of the response. Make of that what you will.”

Alessandro Cossu then said: “I was wondering whether and when all the responses to the consultation will be made available to the public; my firm also submitted comments but, as of today, I do not even know whether they were correctly received.”

We know that the EPO likes to hide feedback that the management does not welcome.

We predict there will be some high-level legal challenge over this some time in the not-so-distant future. Office management has basically lied about the views of stakeholders — just as it keeps lying about the sentiments of staff. It’s perfectly reasonable to expect this subject to not just go away… especially in light of repeated violations of the EPC, defended in part by scripted puff pieces.
____
* Included below is the leaked document [PDF] showing that Clinton’s team sought to elevate Donald Trump as he was dirty enough for Clinton to beat in the 2016 election (never mind the consequences if he does get elected).

Strategy on GOP 2016ers page 1

Strategy on GOP 2016ers page 2

11.26.20

European Patent Office (EPO) Reduced to ‘Justice Over the Telephone’ and Decree by E-mail

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 7:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chinese labour “standards” (from the back door)

The EPO's threatening language

Being behind bars

Summary: The EPO is trashing the EPC and everything that the Office was supposed to stand for, as it wrongly assumes demand for monopolies (typically from foreign corporations) comes before the rule of law and Europe’s public interest

WE are gratified to see responses to the EPO regime of António Campinos; after Benoît Battistelli ‘kidnapped’ judges from their offices (“house ban”) Campinos places staff on "house arrest". Because “innovation” or something…

“People’s general mood/spirit is already lowered by inability to travel (and see loved ones, exercise, meet friends); treat them with respect and dignity, at the very least.”What has EPOnia turned into? We’ve shown threatening if not menacing E-mails sent from management to examiners. Are they trying to shock people? Is the goal to induce stress and depression? People’s general mood/spirit is already lowered by inability to travel (and see loved ones, exercise, meet friends); treat them with respect and dignity, at the very least.

The problem is, today’s EPO isn’t run by qualified managers but a Praetorian Guard of Campinos. They bully anyone who dares to challenge their agenda, not their authority. Even if that agenda is outright illegal. In other words, people are given unlawful instructions and defiance of such unlawful instructions begets unwarranted bollocking.

Bars and dogOne might expect this sort of autocracy in Red China, not the red (logo) EPO. And speaking of China, this morning the EPO spoke about (warning: epo.org link) the latest “discussion rounds” with China (and its smaller albeit patent-savvy neighbours to the east). When the EPO says “discussion” it means webchats rather than a roundtable discussions. And this one also misuses laughable buzzwords like “Artificial intelligence (AI).” (Or Hey Hi)

From this morning’s EPO so-called ‘news’: “Several important topics and issues were discussed over the course of three days including amendments to law, cross-lingual search possibilities and the opportunities presented by Artificial intelligence (AI).”

Notice the part about “amendments to law”; those “discussion rounds” aren’t permitted to change underlying legislation; that’s another branch, but at the EPO there’s no notion of separation of powers. If there was, a lot of that "new normal" would be blocked. Many things that the EPO did in the wake of the pandemic are completely illegal. Who’s going to be held accountable for it? Probably nobody.

The ‘discussions’ (webchats) weren’t supposed to tackle underlying law but instead focus on this: “The discussion rounds provided a platform for direct interaction between users and experts on topics such as Asian data in Espacenet and keyword searches in Chinese, Japanese and Korean full texts.”

Those are not affected by the pandemic because they’re less formal, almost informal. In fact, texts produced by automatic (machine) translation are technically and legally invalid.

We can recommend to our readers this one new comment on the latest article from Dr. Bausch, a European patent attorney. This one of many comments (over a dozen, with the original post now cited by SUEPO as well) correctly notes: “A reasonable interpretation of the term “oral proceedings” can only mean the physical presence of the parties before the EPO’s decision-making body. The terms “oral proceedings” are far from being ambiguous or obscure, let alone that their interpretation in good faith leads to a result that is manifestly absurd or unreasonable. [...] A videoconference is nothing more than a telephone conversation during which the parties can see each other.”

Here’s the full comment reproduced:

The Boards of Appeal regularly invoke the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) when it comes to deciding on how to interpret the EPC.

The interpretation of Art 116 given in the explanatory note for the proposal of Art 15a RPBA is in manifest contradiction with the VCLT in its Art 31 and 32. According to the VCLT, a treaty has to be interpreted in good faith and if this interpretation should not lead to a result that is manifestly absurd or unreasonable.

The mere assertion that “neither Art 116 nor any other article of the EPC or RPCR 2020 stipulates that the parties to the proceedings, their representatives or the members of the board must be physically present in the room”, amounts to ignoring the philosophy underlying Art 116.

A reasonable interpretation of the term “oral proceedings” can only mean the physical presence of the parties before the EPO’s decision-making body.

The terms “oral proceedings” are far from being ambiguous or obscure, let alone that their interpretation in good faith leads to a result that is manifestly absurd or unreasonable.

Nowhere in the “travaux préparatoires” to Art. 116 it has ever been envisaged that the parties are not physically present before the deciding body, and that for instance it could be held by phone. A videoconference is nothing more than a telephone conversation during which the parties can see each other.

What is said here applies mutatis mutandis to oral proceedings before examining and opposition divisions.

Neither the Chairman of Boards, nor the Chairman of the BOAC, and even less the president of the EPO, have the power to amend the EPC in the way they are attempting to do. They simply lack the legitimacy to do so. The same applies to the AC.

That in a period like the pandemic solutions have to be envisaged is not at stake. In exceptional situations, exceptional solutions can be envisaged, but as soon as the exceptional situation is over, then the exception should be stopped and the normal situation be re-established.

In any case, the possibility of holding oral proceedings by videoconference should be left to the parties and not decided ex-officio, even in exceptional circumstances. As explained by Mr Bausch, the parties also have an interest to come to decisions and not unduly keep their files open. Once a party is opponent, once it is proprietor so that a fair balance can be stricken between contradictory requirements.

Whilst I can have some understanding of Max Drei’s plea about representatives sitting at a distance from The Hague or Munich, I cannot fundamentally agree with him. When he speaks about the three members of divisions of first instance, I have to take away his illusions. See below.

It is not for the Office and its Boards of Appeal to decide what is good for the parties. After all, the income of the Office stems from the contributions of the parties, so that the parties must have a say about the way they are treated. Presently it is with morgue and disdain.

Under the pretext of the pandemic situation, both the EPO and the Boards want manifestly to dematerialise the EPO. This would in the long term allow to transfer its duties to national patent offices and get read of staff which is not as docile as the management would like to.

If you think that there are discussions within examining or opposition divisions, please abandon this idyllic vision. In vast areas of the EPO the three men divisions of first instance are long time gone and only exist on paper. In some areas there have even been oral instructions that if the first member has signed, the two other have to sign as well. Consulting the register recently, I even came across a Form 2035 in which only the first member had signed! If you take on top the difficulties imposed by videoconferencing among members of divisions, this trend has rather increased.

By isolating its staff, the EPO gains even more influence on it and concerted actions would be made more or less impossible. What a perspective for the head of (anti)personnel!

That by dematerialising the office it would then be possible to even sell some buildings has been clearly envisaged by the management.

The role of the EPO and its Boards is not to play Monopoly© but to offer an acceptable service to its users. Why was it then necessary to invest in rented accommodation for the boards when other buildings of the EPO are allegedly empty and can be sold?

By the way, the EPO wanted to sell the latest buildings of the EPO (BT8) on the other side of Grasserstraße, but the city of Munich refused as it had a contractual say in the matter.

For a while the EPO has become the playground of would be managers only having in mind juicy bonuses and relying on management methods from the 19th century. The EPO plays a big role in European IP, and it should not be left to the incompetent amateurs presently at its helm. If anything goes wrong, they can always rely on their immunity…..

The fathers of the EPC must be turning over at high speed in their graves.

If the EPO has no (real) physical location and it’s reduced to a bunch of workers across Europe (mostly based around two locations) granting monopolies from home and discussing those patents over E-mail/phone (serious data protection violations, including outsourcing to the United States), then what has it become? What “access to justice” is there, really? Those are the sorts of “hard questions” the EPO can only even attempt to distract the public from, sometimes with the veil of diversity (which it lacks).

There’s a severe crisis of (il)legitimacy when those who proclaim to stand for the law so routinely break the law themselves.

11.24.20

Dr. Bausch Questions the Merits and Claims of EPO Management Regarding ViCo (‘Skynet’ Virtual ‘Courts’)

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 6:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As did a few other law firms as of late, mostly for practical reasons rather than illegality (ripe for espionage)

Dollars
Can’t anyone see that outsourcing ‘European’ legal proceedings to the United States is outright absurd and unlawful?

Summary: Few courageous attorneys are willing to speak out about (and against) what EPO management is doing right now, in effect exploiting a public health crisis to override the law, spy on lots of people, outsource legal proceedings to the United States and so on

THE management of the EPO isn’t fooling staff. The management will have its E-mail boxes stuffed by complaints this week. This kind of action is long overdue and may be effective when staff cannot congregate (legally) to protest.

“Well, as it turns out, not everyone in the patent/legal profession appreciates this ridiculous rush to ViCo, which now forces (or compels) parties to participate in something illegal (SUEPO cited the relevant laws or regulations).”What about law firms and attorneys? As it turns out, those with a spine are willing to speak out and we’re thankful to the few that do. Thorsten Bausch (Hoffmann Eitle) wrote about the EPO’s management breaking the law (again), this time by rushing to ViCo (or VICO, the spelling varies). Laws replaced by buzzwords and catchy acronyms?

The “EPO should also listen to the parties’ concerns,” Dr. Bausch explains, “against oral proceedings by VICO in an individual case and take them seriously.”

Stocks
As we put it the other week, using an analogy and moreover paraphrasing the EPO’s misleading text: “Nuclear weapons advances have been broadly welcomed by the military profession.”

Well, as it turns out, not everyone in the patent/legal profession appreciates this ridiculous rush to ViCo, which now forces (or compels) parties to participate in something illegal (SUEPO cited the relevant laws or regulations). From Dr. Bausch’s analysis/opinion:

With that, we are back in the present. Just recently, the EPO President has ordered (oktroyiert) that oral proceedings before the Opposition Divisions will from now on take place via videoconference (VICO). Consent of the parties will be no longer required.

[...]

So, to cut it short, VICO as a means to hold oral proceedings in opposition proceedings were available since (at least) May 2020. Yet alas, they were not accepted by “the patent profession” to an extent sufficient to clear the EPO’s backlog. Thus, time to tell the profession how to do it properly. Thank you, Mr. President.

It is more the style of this communication that disturbs me than the substance of the President’s decision. I (and I think this applies to the majority of the patent profession) do realize that we live in difficult times, and that oral proceedings in person before the Opposition Divisions are not exactly what should be done in order to keep your contacts to the necessary minimum. I also understand that the EPO is building up a backlog of cases if no or only a few decisions can be made in COVID-19 times. The patent profession will suffer at least as much from this backlog as the EPO itself. Just imagine if you have to attend to (and ideally win) 2 or more oral proceedings every week… – So, I understand that something should be done to avoid this unpleasant state of affairs. But is this not the point in time where to conduct a public consultation and collect both the ideas of stakeholders and their concerns before announcing such a decision? Conversely, if you understand your position as the boss of an Octroybureau, why bother?

[...]

So this new Article would enable and empower the Boards of Appeal to adopt a “new normal”, i.e. oral proceedings by videoconference “if the Board considers it appropriate to do so“. Notably, this new Article in its present form would apply indefinitely, i.e. may well outlive the current COVID-19 situation. I would not be surprised if the Boards of Appeal and their President would tell us that this is definitely not intended and that the Boards would certainly return to the “old normal” after the end of the pandemic. I would even accept and believe that at face value. However, this is precisely the problem of enablement laws – you are completely dependent on the goodwill of the persons you have empowered. I personally would therefore much prefer a legal solution that is either limited in time from the beginning or made dependent on a declaration of the President of the Boards of Appeal or (better) by the Administrative Council that there is a state of emergency due to a pandemic, during which special rules apply, but these rules cease to be applied once this state of emergency has ended. If my understanding is correct, this is also how several contracting states (including Germany) have formulated their infection protection laws.

[...]

Conversely, the EPO should also listen to the parties’ concerns, if any, against oral proceedings by VICO in an individual case and take them seriously.

Some clever commenter has already made the point we last made yesterday, with respect to software patents in Europe: “How many patents are there over videoconferencing? Even the EPO can’t tell if it is a legal solution that respects all the patents they granted themselves.”

Yesterday we joked that those webchats of theirs can be taken down by a patent troll engaging in injunctions, patent assertion activities (blackmail) and so on. We already know about some European GNU/Linux developers who face such abuse, thanks in part to the corrupt EPO granting patents it never should have granted. It hurts everybody. At the moment there are a couple more comments in there. It’s good to see Dr. Bausch back to asking the “tough questions” — the sorts of questions that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos can only ever distract from using fluff/noise du jour.

Growing Concerns That EPO Staff Has Been Placed Under de Facto House Arrest by an Entirely Unaccountable Office

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 5:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bars

Summary: “House arrest” is excessive and disproportionate. So says the Central Staff Committee of Europe’s second-largest institution (which surprisingly enough the media is failing to properly study and investigate) as it highlights yet more human rights violations.

WHEN we started the “Corona” series earlier this months we gradually showed a large number of illegalities at the EPO, perpetrated by António Campinos and his friends (whom he now calls “colleagues”). Days ago we started showing the intent to start legal actions over this.

Dog in distressJust over 3 weeks ago the following letter was sent and then circulated among EPO staff by the Central Staff Committee, basically a group of elected staff representatives who work to highlight the grievances of staff and protect staff from an unaccountable Office management. Sick leave and incapacity scheme means “house arrest” during a pandemic:

Reference: sc20165cl-0.3.1
Date: 30.10.2020

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

ISAR – R.1081

OPEN LETTER

Urgent amendment of Circular 367 and immediate suspension of “house arrest”

Dear Mr President,

Recently, the Appeals Committee has unanimously found that the Office is bound to take due account of human rights, in particular the fundamental right to privacy1 . Consequently, it has unanimously confirmed our view that the obligations imposed on sick staff to stay at home under certain times2, also known as “house arrest”, are excessive and disproportionate.

Our Service Regulations already contain less intrusive measures available to verify persons on sick leave. We ask for a meeting with you with a view to amending in depth Circular No. 367, as a matter of urgency. A proposal to revise the Circular inspired by the EU practice was already submitted to the COHSEC on 6 September 2019. It could be a basis for discussion.

In addition, we consider it absolutely necessary to alleviate any undue pressure on sick staff now, out of a duty of care.

We request therefore an immediate suspension of the provision on “house arrest”.

Yours sincerely,

Alain Dumont
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

_______
1 As in Article 12 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
2 Currently, Article B(3) of Circular No. 367 obliges a sick employee to be available at their home address from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 and from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. every day, including on weekends.

“In this open letter to the President,” the Central Staff Committee said, “we ask for a meeting with a view to amending Circular No. 367, as a matter of urgency.” We’ve been back to the Benoît Battistelli era for quite some time now; if this doesn’t prove it, what will?

“Days ago we started showing the intent to start legal actions over this.”In another recent letter the Central Staff Committee sought feedback from staff regarding the general sentiment and stress levels. “Of course we will treat your feedback confidentially,” they said, pointing out mindless buzzwords and euphemisms commonly used by the corrupt administration, run by incompetent bullies.

Here’s the full letter:

Munich, 26.10.2020
sc20164cp

Dear colleagues in Job Groups 5 and 6
We are listening to you, let’s talk, make your voice heard!

SP2023 – agility – reorganisations – new normal – staff health – new career – production targets – diversity and inclusion… EPO buzzwords these days, but do you find yourselves addressed in all this?

Does management involve you, take your concerns and input into account? Or do you rather feel ignored by management and are issues specific to your situation not taken seriously?

Your staff representation has started an internal Job Group 5 and 6 Working Group because we are sure that there are issues you would like to share with us – and of course also positive ideas and experiences.

Take a moment and reflect on the following questions

 Do you feel stressed?
 Can you cope with the workload?
 Did the reorganisation(s) impact you?
 Is the frequency of changes too high, at a pace too fast to follow?
 Have you received the training you need to do your (new) job?
 Do you have a feeling of job satisfaction?
 Do you feel supported by your colleagues within your team?
 Is your work recognised?
 Do you feel respected for your contribution to the EPO?
 Are you worried about your future at the EPO?

We are very keen to receive your feedback to these questions, no matter how detailed or short they are, and would like to include them in the list of topics relevant to you. Of course we will treat your feedback confidentially.

The aim is to get an idea on which topics to start with in our discussions with management, topics especially relevant for colleagues in Job Groups 5 and 6.

Your staff representatives

Notice the part about “diversity and inclusion…”

As recently as 6 days ago Office management pretended to care about disabled people; in reality, they’re a large contributor to this problem. EPO workers aren’t gullible enough for Office management to get away with these white-washing lies.

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