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English Transcript of Bayerischer Rundfunk Coverage About EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents, Videos at 10:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The full English transcript of the TV program shown earlier this month in Germany

Dialogue time: 00:00.000:07.00: Bayerischer Rundfunk FernsehenMagazin “Kontrovers” 02.03.2016 21:00Die Story: “When the dream job becomes a nightmare.”
Dialogue time: 00:07.94,0:00:11.40: Klaus Schießl is visiting his brother´s grave.
Dialogue time: 00:12.32,0:00:16.98: His brother Wolfgang was an employee of the European Patent Office for many years…
Dialogue time: 00:16.98,0:00:21.86: …until he killed himself in the summer of 2014.
Dialogue time: 00:23.86,0:00:27.76: I think he was completely absorbed in the work.
Dialogue time: 00:27.92,0:00:30.84: He was helpful, he was always there,
Dialogue time: 00:30.84,0:00:33.28: he tried to do everything carefully.
Dialogue time: 00:33.28,0:00:38.28: And he was greatly appreciated by his colleagues, thank God.
Dialogue time: 00:42.28,0:00:46.20: Klaus Schießl knows little of his brother’s problems.
Dialogue time: 00:46.200:53.94: Neither that he is suffering from severe depression, nor that the European Patent Office is carrying out a disciplinary procedure against him.
Dialogue time: 00:54.02,0:00:59.78: But when his brother doesn’t get in touch for days in the summer of 2014, he becomes unsettled.
Dialogue time: 00:59.78,0:01:03.48: So he decides to go to his house.
Dialogue time: 01:07.16,0:01:09.52: Here is where I found him dead.
Dialogue time: 01:09.52,0:01:16.80: It was so warm at that time. His body had about three times its normal girth.
Dialogue time: 01:16.801:22.10: There at the front, the TV was running.
Dialogue time: 01:22.58,0:01:29.92: There was a beastly smell. And his face was almost completely black.
Dialogue time: 01:33.92,0:01:39.96: The European Patent Office suspected Wolfgang Schießl of having sent anonymous insults.
Dialogue time: 01:39.96,0:01:43.93: Hence the disciplinary proceedings against him.
Dialogue time: 01:43.93,0:01:48.00: Klaus Schießl was still to find a suicide note.
Dialogue time: 01:50.26,0:02:04.83: “To my brother Klaus: Please do not condemn me, my depression was too overpowering. I’ve totally failed in life.”
Dialogue time: 02:06.33,0:02:11.23: Klaus Schießl believes that the conflict at work was also a trigger.
Dialogue time: 02:11.53,0:02:15.96: If he writes, he is depressed, he can’t carry on,
Dialogue time: 02:15.96,0:02:22.93: and then, on the same day a letter arrives saying how the disciplinary procedures will proceed, …
Dialogue time: 02:23.402:28.90: … I think it was the final straw.
Dialogue time: 02:32.03,0:02:34.03: Is there a link?
Dialogue time: 02:34.03,0:02:38.56: It’s well known: The mood in the European Patent Office is bad.
Dialogue time: 02:38.86,0:02:42.55: Again and again the employees demonstrate in front of their administration.
Dialogue time: 02:42.55,0:02:49.23: Even though the employees here are highly paid and have many privileges.
Dialogue time: 02:49.23,0:02:53.20: We want to know what is nevertheless driving the people here onto the streets.
Dialogue time: 02:53.202:58.46: But when we show up with the camera, many ask us, not to show them publicly.
Dialogue time: 02:58.46,0:03:00.46: There is obviously fear here.
Dialogue time: 03:01.86,0:03:05.36: “Because, we cannot speak to journalists.”
Dialogue time: 03:05.96,0:03:08.26: Why can’t you tell me anything?
Dialogue time: 03:08.56,0:03:11.36: “Because we have a responsibility towards our families.
Dialogue time: 03:11.36,0:03:16.24: The whole family depends on it, the children’s education, the school, the social system, social security.
Dialogue time: 03:16.28,0:03:17.93: Everything depends on this job.
Dialogue time: 03:17.93,0:03:20.76: If we lose the job, we lose everything.”
Dialogue time: 03:20.76,0:03:23.80: But you usually don’t lose your job so quickly, do you?
Dialogue time: 03:23.803:25.13: “Here you do!”
Dialogue time: 03:25.13,0:03:31.70: The European Patent Office is an inter-governmental institution, so German labour law does not apply here.
Dialogue time: 03:31.703:34.31: What is going on behind the scenes?
Dialogue time: 03:34.31,0:03:37.53: Why are staff so afraid?
Dialogue time: 03:37.56,0:03:41.40: In the Munich Palace of Justice we meet Siegfried Broß.
Dialogue time: 03:41.403:43.60: He was a judge at the Federal Constitutional Court.
Dialogue time: 03:43.603:47.80: His specialty: Public law and patent law.
Dialogue time: 03:47.803:53.50: He explains why the staff are so at the mercy of this employer.
Dialogue time: 03:53.504:03.36: I note that there are very substantial deficiencies, as regards the staff’s employment law status.
Dialogue time: 04:03.36,0:04:09.86: While there is a staff representation, it has no constitutional right of involvement,
Dialogue time: 04:09.86,0:04:14.55: but can only make recommendations to which the President is not bound.
Dialogue time: 04:16.404:23.73: During our research, many people turn to us, report of harassment in the European Patent Office,
Dialogue time: 04:23.73,0:04:25.97: but no one dares to face the camera.
Dialogue time: 04:27.46,0:04:30.10: Not even the representatives of the Staff Representation.
Dialogue time: 04:30.104:36.03: Finally, a patent examiner in The Hague agreed to meet in Cologne.
Dialogue time: 04:36.804:39.16: He also does not want to be identified.
Dialogue time: 04:39.16,0:04:42.66: For that reason his report is spoken by an actor.
Dialogue time: 04:47.03,0:04:51.40: The pressure especially for patent examiners has increased enormously.
Dialogue time: 04:51.404:57.56: This can be seen in that the days per patent product have been steadily declining.
Dialogue time: 04:57.56,0:04:59.56: The time budget that you have for it.
Dialogue time: 04:59.56,0:05:03.86: It has become very much like an assembly line.
Dialogue time: 05:03.86,0:05:13.46: If you’re honest, it’s borderline whether you can to justice to all the aspects of the complex technical fields.
Dialogue time: 05:13.46,0:05:19.40: Because there is really only any emphasis on the output quantity.
Dialogue time: 05:21.705:27.83: We are told that the pressure since the inauguration of President Benoît Battistelli has increased enormously.
Dialogue time: 05:27.83,0:05:33.16: His goal: To reform the Patent Office and reduce costs. But at what price?
Dialogue time: 05:33.16,0:05:38.26: We make enquiries. The European Patent Office invites us for a background discussion.
Dialogue time: 05:38.26,0:05:40.96: But we can’t have an interview on camera.
Dialogue time: 05:40.96,0:05:45.36: In writing, the Office confirms increased demands due to the reform:
Dialogue time: 05:45.36,0:05:54.90: “At the end of the day, the Office has to cope with an annual increase in filings of 4% on average, and this with staffing levels remaining the same.
Dialogue time: 05:54.906:06.53: The reforms have led to positive results: our productivity increased by 10% last year, the production by as much as 14%.”
Dialogue time: 06:08.53,0:06:11.63: But the path taken to get there is questionable.
Dialogue time: 06:11.63,0:06:15.73: Controversial is, for example, the way sick colleagues are treated.
Dialogue time: 06:15.73,0:06:22.26: Since 2013, they are not allowed to leave their homes during core working hours.
Dialogue time: 06:22.26,0:06:25.43: Only for registered visits to the doctor.
Dialogue time: 06:25.43,0:06:32.53: The Patent Office can check up on this at any time with a phone call or an unannounced visit.
Dialogue time: 06:34.53,0:06:42.80: We get to know an employee who can no longer work because of a serious chronic illness and is now housebound.
Dialogue time: 06:44.26,0:06:50.50: “You have the feeling that you’re a criminal, that you have done something wrong,
Dialogue time: 06:50.506:54.03: even though I’ve just unfortunately fallen ill.
Dialogue time: 06:54.03,0:06:56.03: It feels like a prison.”
Dialogue time: 06:59.33,0:07:02.80: We can’t explain the exact medical history.
Dialogue time: 07:02.807:06.53: Again someone who is very much afraid of the Office management.
Dialogue time: 07:06.53,0:07:12.00: We talk with a doctor who cares for many employees of the European Patent Office.
Dialogue time: 07:12.007:17.83: He too only wants to be filmed under concealment to protect his patients.
Dialogue time: 07:18.53,0:07:26.60: “The European Patent Office treats the patients in such a way that the employees are so scared…
Dialogue time: 07:26.607:35.66: that they basically refuse to be written off sick, even if that would in fact be medically advisable.
Dialogue time: 07:35.66,0:07:49.23: Because they are afraid that if they have a certain number of days of absence on their account they will be dismissed, or have sanctions imposed.”
Dialogue time: 07:50.607:53.76: The Patent Office sees it differently:
Dialogue time: 07:54.53,0:08:08.36: “As a result of more stringent practices in this field, the average sickness rate has already been reduced from 14 days to 11.5 days in Office within a year.”
Dialogue time: 08:10.16,0:08:18.50: During our research, we get an ever clearer look behind the scenes of the glass palaces of the European Patent Office.
Dialogue time: 08:18.508:24.10: And we note: The people who told us their stories are not isolated cases.
Dialogue time: 08:24.108:30.46: They tell of the fear of being reprimanded or fired for the smallest offenses.
Dialogue time: 08:31.86,0:08:35.36: The lawyer Alexander Holtz represents many of them.
Dialogue time: 08:35.36,0:08:40.83: Most need above all emotional support, because they no longer cope with the pressure.
Dialogue time: 08:42.36,0:08:49.50: [Alexander Holtz, lawyer]“They are often people who, for example, come to me as their lawyer once a week to bring their mail.
Dialogue time: 08:49.508:57.40: I then have to open the post for them, because they are no longer able to do such everyday things themselves.
Dialogue time: 08:57.409:02.30: People who were in a life-threatening situation,
Dialogue time: 09:02.309:11.80: where I was glad when I was able to reach them on Monday because I didn’t know whether they might do something to themselves over weekend.”
Dialogue time: 09:12.66,0:09:19.53: In three years, five employees of the European Patent Office have committed suicide.
Dialogue time: 09:19.53,0:09:22.46: The Office does not consider itself at all responsible.
Dialogue time: 09:25.13,0:09:41.30: “In all cases, talks that our occupational health service, colleagues and managers have held with the families of the deceased do not allow the conclusion to be drawn of any work-related reasons for suicide, but put personal circumstances at the forefront.”
Dialogue time: 09:43.76,0:09:47.83: In Germany, the Staff Representation helps when there are conflicts with the employer.
Dialogue time: 09:47.83,0:09:50.86: Its members enjoy special protection.
Dialogue time: 09:50.86,0:09:58.00: Here it is different: Union representatives like the biologist Elizabeth Hardon are being targeted.
Dialogue time: 09:58.010:03.56: She and her colleague Ion Brumme, a father of five children, were suspended in November [2015].
Dialogue time: 10:03.56,0:10:10.46: Of all people they, as staff representatives, are supposed to have bullied colleagues and defamed the Office.
Dialogue time: 10:11.03,0:10:14.86: But many employees are in solidarity with them.
Dialogue time: 10:14.86,0:10:18.76: [Ion Brumme]“I’m really, really happy to see so many of you here.
Dialogue time: 10:18.76,0:10:22.33: Thank you for coming, for supporting us.”
Dialogue time: 10:23.210:29.20: Because the procedure is still ongoing, the two cannot comment specifically. Only this much:
Dialogue time: 10:29.210:34.10: [Elizabeth Hardon]“It is very distressing and even worse for my colleagues.
Dialogue time: 10:34.110:39.80: I’m in pre-retirement age, but my colleagues are much younger.
Dialogue time: 10:39.810:45.63: For the other suspended colleagues that is very threatening.”
Dialogue time: 10:48.57,0:11:05.11: “As I see it, this is a systematic strategy of the Office management, to get rid of the union leadership, to eliminate them.”
Dialogue time: 11:07.91,0:11:15.02: In the meantime Elizabeth Hardon and Ion Brumme have even been dismissed [Jan. 2016].
Dialogue time: 11:19.02,0:11:25.42: Staff representatives in The Hague have also come into the management’s sights.
Dialogue time: 11:25.42,0:11:32.08: Our informant in Cologne told us about an incident that has shocked many people.
Dialogue time: 11:32.35,0:11:40.93: After a staff representative in the Hague had left work in the evening, he received a message that he didn’t see.
Dialogue time: 11:40.93,0:11:47.42: The Office’s internal investigation unit invites him for an interview the next morning.
Dialogue time: 11:47.42,0:11:53.28: When he comes back to the office, he no longer has time to prepare for it and asks for postponement.
Dialogue time: 11:56.88,0:12:06.57: “If someone says he has a problem with another employee, an investigation is started and witnesses are interviewed.
Dialogue time: 12:07.11,0:12:09.88: The legal standards applied for that are simply very low.
Dialogue time: 12:09.88,0:12:13.35: Because: You can’t call in a lawyer.”
Dialogue time: 12:15.55,0:12:22.51: Within a few minutes two internal investigators turn up at his workplace and persuade him to come with them.
Dialogue time: 12:22.51,0:12:27.20: This type of questioning is feared by the staff.
Dialogue time: 12:32.24,0:12:39.28: “There, you’re apparently attacked quite hard; it can sometimes get really loud.
Dialogue time: 12:40.02,0:12:45.13: You can also be really very intimidated, even if you’re only a witness.”
Dialogue time: 12:47.31,0:12:53.08: In The Hague, the Staff Representative collapses after his questioning.
Dialogue time: 12:54.42,0:12:57.33: His wife has to take him to the hospital.
Dialogue time: 12:58.11,0:13:01.44: He is now on long-term sick leave.
Dialogue time: 13:03.82,0:13:10.68: The internal investigation unit of the European Patent Office is also feared by the staff…
Dialogue time: 13:10.68,0:13:15.02: because you cannot refuse to make a statement, even if it is damaging to you.
Dialogue time: 13:15.02,0:13:17.11: Is this really legal?
Dialogue time: 13:17.64,0:13:20.15: The European Patent Office writes:
Dialogue time: 13:20.77,0:13:35.46: “The investigation procedure at the EPO is not a criminal procedure, but an administrative fact-finding process in the sense of a Dialogue time between the accused employees and the employer.
Dialogue time: 13:35.71,0:13:45.44: As a result, it corresponds with the practices and standards in the national and international organisations of our contracting states.”
Dialogue time: 13:46.86,0:13:53.17: Because of the European Patent Office’s immunity, German legal principles for investigations do not apply.
Dialogue time: 13:53.17,0:13:56.44: The staff take to the streets in desperation.
Dialogue time: 13:56.44,0:14:02.11: “We are not in Germany here. The European Patent Office considers itself to be outside of German law.”
Dialogue time: 14:02.11,0:14:04.60: “Human rights don’t count there, nothing counts there anymore.
Dialogue time: 14:04.614:11.00: Only what our Mr President thinks is right, that is forced through.”
Dialogue time: 14:11.06,0:14:13.02: Is that really possible?
Dialogue time: 14:13.08,0:14:17.53: An office with 3,000 employees in a sort of legal vacuum?
Dialogue time: 14:17.53,0:14:20.71: We ask the Federal Justice Minister for an interview.
Dialogue time: 14:20.71,0:14:22.71: He doesn’t want to answer us directly.
Dialogue time: 14:22.71,0:14:26.60: Regarding the controversial investigation procedures his ministry writes:
Dialogue time: 14:26.614:40.82: [Federal Justice Ministry]“Germany has called on the President of the EPO repeatedly and urgently to change the rules it has laid down for the investigation procedures in this respect. This has unfortunately not yet happened.”
Dialogue time: 14:42.214:49.55: Mere requests are too little, says former federal constitutional judge Siegfried Broß.
Dialogue time: 14:49.55,0:14:53.13: [Siegfried Broß, former Judge, Federal Constitutional Court]“The Federal Constitutional Court explicitly states…
Dialogue time: 14:53.13,0:14:59.31: that the Federal Republic of Germany may not assist in acts which violate human rights.
Dialogue time: 14:59.31,0:15:04.33: From that point of view, Germany as a host country is indeed called upon to act.
Dialogue time: 15:04.33,0:15:08.57: If you exaggerate a little and think ahead,
Dialogue time: 15:08.66,0:15:12.60: with the way of thinking that has come to light here,
Dialogue time: 15:12.615:14.60: Guantanamo would be possible in Germany.
Dialogue time: 15:15.415:17.98: It should be clear to all that that can’t be.”
Dialogue time: 15:19.68,0:15:24.66: But the European Patent Office even ignores court decisions.
Dialogue time: 15:25.17,0:15:34.73: In the Netherlands, the Supreme Court determined a violation of fundamental rights and calls for the immunity of the Office to be lifted.
Dialogue time: 15:34.73,0:15:37.88: The final decision is still pending.
Dialogue time: 15:37.88,0:15:47.95: But the vice-president of the Patent Office has made it clear in an interview with Dutch television how he will deal with a possible conviction.
Dialogue time: 15:49.26,0:15:54.88: [Dutch TV Reporter]“What if the High Court lifts the immunity of the European Patent Office?”
Dialogue time: 15:54.88,0:16:07.68: [EPO Vice-President]“Then the President will talk to the Administrative Council, with the representatives of the Member States, to see what should happen in this case.
Dialogue time: 16:07.71,0:16:14.75: The result will probably be that the verdict will be shelved.”
Dialogue time: 16:14.77,0:16:18.93: “So you will not accept the verdict of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands?”
Dialogue time: 16:18.93,0:16:20.93: [EPO Vice-President]“Yes.”
Dialogue time: 16:23.33,0:16:30.84: How can it be that an authority does not feel bound by fundamental rights and ignores decisions made by the courts?
Dialogue time: 16:31.416:34.97: The reasons for this lie in the history of the Office’s creation:
Dialogue time: 16:34.97,0:16:42.66: More than 40 years ago, the member states developed a set of rules that gave the President a great deal of power.
Dialogue time: 16:43.02,0:16:47.77: And the current President Benoît Battistelli is making use of this power.
Dialogue time: 16:48.04,0:16:59.76: “I have the impression that the loopholes and leeway, created by contracting states, are being exploited.”
Dialogue time: 17:00.73,0:17:06.26: The only ones who can stop the President are the Members of the Administrative Council.
Dialogue time: 17:06.26,0:17:09.24: They come from the 38 Member States.
Dialogue time: 17:09.24,0:17:14.91: Each country has one vote, regardless whether San Marino or Germany.
Dialogue time: 17:14.91,0:17:18.75: The Austrian Friedrich Rödler sat on the Administrative Council.
Dialogue time: 17:18.75,0:17:22.35: He travelled especially from Vienna to give us an impression.
Dialogue time: 17:22.35,0:17:28.08: In his opinion, there has been no effective control of the top management for years.
Dialogue time: 17:28.08,0:17:31.80: [Friedrich Rödler, former Austrian Administrative Council Representative]“The Administrative Council is also constrained by structural limitations.
Dialogue time: 17:31.817:39.66: The Administrative Council is guided in its decisions by the information that it receives from the President of the Office.
Dialogue time: 17:39.66,0:17:42.13: It has no other source of information.
Dialogue time: 17:42.617:47.48: This is the exact basis on which the Administrative Council has to reach a decision…
Dialogue time: 17:47.48,0:17:50.45: …or sometimes unfortunately not.”
Dialogue time: 17:51.77,0:17:55.51: The Patent Office employees continue to protest.
Dialogue time: 17:55.51,0:18:01.71: Meanwhile, the Administrative Council has called on the President to improve the social climate.
Dialogue time: 18:01.71,0:18:03.71: But many employees remain sceptical.
Dialogue time: 18:04.31,0:18:06.06: What will happen next?
Dialogue time: 18:06.06,0:18:10.42: The staff committee members wish to contest their dismissal internally.
Dialogue time: 18:10.42,0:18:16.88: If that doesn’t work, they will have to make a claim in Geneva before the Tribunal of the International Labour Organisation [ILO].
Dialogue time: 18:16.88,0:18:24.68: Also, some chronically ill employees are currently trying in Geneva to challenge what in their view are the inhumane requirements of the Office.
Dialogue time: 18:24.84,0:18:28.26: But before there is a judgment, it can take years.
Dialogue time: 18:28.88,0:18:35.20: “This is about people and their fate, families, children.
Dialogue time: 18:35.2,0:18:37.08: It’s really about much more.”
Dialogue time: 18:37.51,0:18:43.02: That doesn’t seem to concern the President of the European Patent Office.

French Transcript of Bayerischer Rundfunk Coverage About EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents, Videos at 10:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The full French transcript of the TV program shown earlier this month in Germany

Dialogue time: 00:00.000:07.00: Bayerischer Rundfunk Fernsehen Magazin „Kontrovers“ 02.2016 21:00 L’histoire : lorsqu’un emploi de rêve tourne au cauchemar:
Dialogue time: 00:07.94,0:00:11.40: Klaus Schießl est venu se recueillir sur la tombe de son frère.
Dialogue time: 00:12.32,0:00:16.98: Son frère Wolfgang était employé de l’Office Européen des Brevets (OEB) depuis de nombreuses années..
Dialogue time: 00:16.98,0:00:21.86: …jusqu’à ce qu’il mette fin à ses jours durant l’été 2014.
Dialogue time: 00:23.86,0:00:27.76: “Oui, je pense qu’ il s’est pleinement réalisé dans le travail.
Dialogue time: 00:27.92,0:00:30.84: Il était serviable, toujours là.
Dialogue time: 00:30.84,0:00:33.28: Il a essayé de tout faire méticuleusement.
Dialogue time: 00:33.28,0:00:38.28: Et, Dieu merci, il était très estimé de ses collègues.“
Dialogue time: 00:42.28,0:00:46.20: Pendant longtemps Klaus Schießl ne sait rien des problèmes qu’a son frère.
Dialogue time: 00:46.200:53.94: Ni qu’il souffre de graves dépressions, ni que l’OEB intente une procédure disciplinaire à son encontre.
Dialogue time: 00:54.02,0:00:59.78: Mais il s’inquiète lorsque durant l’été 2014 il reste pendant plusieurs jours sans nouvelles de son frère.
Dialogue time: 00:59.78,0:01:03.48: Il décide alors de se rendre à la maison de son frère.
Dialogue time: 01:07.16,0:01:09.52: „C’est ici que je l’ai trouvé mort.
Dialogue time: 01:09.52,0:01:16.80: Il faisait tellement chaud à l’époque.
Dialogue time: 01:16.801:22.10: Devant lui, le téléviseur marchait encore.
Dialogue time: 01:22.58,0:01:29.92: Il y avait une odeur bestiale.“
Dialogue time: 01:33.92,0:01:39.96: L’OEB avait soupçonné Wolfgang Schießl d’avoir envoyé des injures anonymes.
Dialogue time: 01:39.96,0:01:43.93: D’où la procédure disciplinaire à son encontre.
Dialogue time: 01:43.93,0:01:48.00: Klaus Schießl trouve encore une lettre d’adieu.
Dialogue time: 01:50.26,0:02:04.83: „A mon frère Klaus ! S’il te plaît, ne me maudis pas ! Mes dépressions étaient tellement surpuissantes.“:
Dialogue time: 02:06.33,0:02:11.23: Klaus Schießl croit que le conflit au travail était aussi un déclencheur.
Dialogue time: 02:11.53,0:02:15.96: Si il écrit qu’il a des dépressions, qu’il n’en peut plus,
Dialogue time: 02:15.96,0:02:22.93: et juste le jour où arrive à nouveau une lettre lui indiquant le déroulement de la procédure disciplinaire,
Dialogue time: 02:23.402:28.90: je pense que cela lui a finalement cassé les reins.
Dialogue time: 02:32.03,0:02:34.03: Y-a-t’il ce lien ?
Dialogue time: 02:34.03,0:02:38.56: Il est connu que : l’ambiance à l’OEB est mauvaise.
Dialogue time: 02:38.86,0:02:42.55: A plusieurs reprises les employés manifestent devant leur administration,
Dialogue time: 02:42.55,0:02:49.23: et ce, bien que les employés soient hautement rémunérés et bénéficient de nombreux privilèges.
Dialogue time: 02:49.23,0:02:53.20: Nous voulons savoir qu’est-ce qui pousse néanmoins les gens à descendre dans la rue.
Dialogue time: 02:53.202:58.46: Mais quand nous apparaissons avec la caméra, beaucoup nous prient de ne pas les montrer en public.
Dialogue time: 02:58.46,0:03:00.46: Ici la peur règne apparemment.
Dialogue time: 03:00.46,0:03:02.26: „Je ne dis rien du tout.“:
Dialogue time: 03:02.26,0:03:05.54: „Parce que : nous n’avons pas le droit de parler aux journalistes.“:
Dialogue time: 03:05.96,0:03:08.26: „Pourquoi est-ce que vous ne pouvez rien me dire ?“
Dialogue time: 03:08.56,0:03:11.36: „Parce que nous avons une responsabilité envers nos familles. :
Dialogue time: 03:11.36,0:03:16.24: C’est comme ça : toute la famille en dépend, l’éducation des enfants, l’école, le système social, la protection sociale,:
Dialogue time: 03:16.28,0:03:17.93: tout dépend de cet emploi.:
Dialogue time: 03:17.93,0:03:20.76: Et maintenant, si nous perdons l’emploi, nous perdons tout. :
Dialogue time: 03:20.76,0:03:23.80: „Mais normalement on ne perd pas son emploi si vite.“
Dialogue time: 03:23.803:25.13: „Ici, oui“:
Dialogue time: 03:25.13,0:03:28.92: L’OEB est une institution inter-gouvernementale.
Dialogue time: 03:28.92,0:03:31.70: C’est pourquoi le droit allemand du travail n’est pas en vigueur ici.
Dialogue time: 03:31.703:34.31: Que se passe-t-il dans les coulisses ?
Dialogue time: 03:34.31,0:03:37.53: Pourquoi les employés ont-ils tellement peur ?
Dialogue time: 03:37.56,0:03:41.40: Dans le Palais de justice de Munich nous rencontrons Siegfried Broß.
Dialogue time: 03:41.403:43.60: Il était juge à la Cour constitutionnelle fédérale.
Dialogue time: 03:43.603:47.80: Sa spécialité :droit public et droit des brevets.
Dialogue time: 03:47.803:53.50: Il explique pourquoi les employés sont à la merci de cet employeur.
Dialogue time: 03:53.504:03.36: „Je constate qu’il y a des déficits considérables en ce qui concerne le statut du droit du travail des employés.
Dialogue time: 04:03.36,0:04:06.26: Certes il y a une représentation du personnel.
Dialogue time: 04:06.26,0:04:09.76: Néanmoins celle-ci n’a pas de droit constitutionnel de participation,
Dialogue time: 04:09.76,0:04:16.40: mais peut seulement faire des recommandations, auxquelles le Président n’est pas lié.“
Dialogue time: 04:16.404:20.19: Pendant nos recherches, beaucoup de gens se sont adressés à nous.
Dialogue time: 04:20.19,0:04:23.50: Ils font état des chicanes à l’intérieur de l’OEB,
Dialogue time: 04:23.504:27.46: mais personne n’ose poser devant la caméra,
Dialogue time: 04:27.46,0:04:30.10: même pas les représentants du Comité du personnel.
Dialogue time: 04:30.104:36.03: Finalement, un examinateur de La Haye accepte de nous rencontrer à Cologne.
Dialogue time: 04:36.804:39.16: Lui aussi ne veut pas être reconnu.
Dialogue time: 04:39.16,0:04:42.66: C’est pourquoi nous relatons son rapport.
Dialogue time: 04:47.03,0:04:51.40: „La pression, en particulier sur les examinateurs, a énormément augmenté.:
Dialogue time: 04:51.404:57.56: On peut le voir à la diminution continue du nombre de jours par produit-brevet. :
Dialogue time: 04:57.56,0:04:59.56: Le budget de temps qui vous est accordé. :
Dialogue time: 04:59.56,0:05:03.86: Ça ressemble déjà beaucoup au travail à la chaîne. :
Dialogue time: 05:03.86,0:05:13.46: Si on est honnête, on est à la limite pour apprécier tous les aspects des domaines techniques complexes. :
Dialogue time: 05:13.46,0:05:19.40: Parce que : il n’y a plus qu’à la quantité du Output que l’on accorde de l’importance. :
Dialogue time: 05:21.705:27.83: On nous dit que depuis l’entrée en fonction du Président Benoît Battistelli la pression a énormément augmenté.
Dialogue time: 05:27.83,0:05:31.50: Son but : réformer l’Office des brevets et réduire les coûts.
Dialogue time: 05:31.505:33.16: Mais à quel prix ?
Dialogue time: 05:33.16,0:05:34.42: Nous interrogeons.
Dialogue time: 05:34.42,0:05:38.26: L’OEB nous invite à une discussion sur le fond.
Dialogue time: 05:38.26,0:05:40.96: Nous n’obtenons pas d’entrevue devant la caméra.
Dialogue time: 05:40.96,0:05:45.36: Par écrit l’Office confirme les exigences accrues dues à la réforme.
Dialogue time: 05:45.36,0:05:54.90: „En fin de compte l’Office doit maîtriser une augmentation annuelle des demandes de 4% en moyenne, tout en maintenant constant l’effectif du personnel.“ :
Dialogue time: 05:54.906:06.53: „Les réformes ont produit des résultats positifs : l’année dernière notre productivité a augmenté de 10%, la production même de 14%.“:
Dialogue time: 06:08.53,0:06:11.63: Mais les moyens d’y parvenir sont discutables.
Dialogue time: 06:11.63,0:06:15.73: Par exemple la façon dont sont traités les collègues malades est controversée.
Dialogue time: 06:15.73,0:06:22.26: Depuis 2013 ceux-ci n’ont pas le droit de quitter leur logement durant le temps de travail noyau,
Dialogue time: 06:22.26,0:06:25.43: sauf pour des visites médicales enregistrées.
Dialogue time: 06:25.43,0:06:32.53: Une mesure que l’Office peut contrôler à tout moment par appel téléphonique ou une visite sans préavis.
Dialogue time: 06:34.53,0:06:42.80: Nous faisons la connaissance d’un employé, qui ne peut plus travailler en raison d’une maladie chronique grave et qui est maintenant cloué à la maison.
Dialogue time: 06:44.26,0:06:50.50: „On a l’impression que l’on est un criminel, que l’on a fait quelque chose de faux,:
Dialogue time: 06:50.506:54.03: alors que je n’ai malheureusement fait que tomber malade.:
Dialogue time: 06:54.03,0:06:56.03: On se sent comme en prison.“:
Dialogue time: 06:59.33,0:07:02.80: Nous n’avons pas le droit de révéler le déroulement exact de la maladie.
Dialogue time: 07:02.807:06.53: Encore quelqu’un qui a très peur de la direction de l’Office.
Dialogue time: 07:06.53,0:07:12.00: Nous parlons avec un docteur qui soigne beaucoup d’employés de l’OEB.
Dialogue time: 07:12.007:17.83: Lui aussi ne veut être filmé qu’avec le visage dissimulé afin de protéger ses patients.
Dialogue time: 07:18.53,0:07:26.60: „L’OEB traite les patients de telle sorte qu’ils sont tellement appeurés..:
Dialogue time: 07:26.607:35.66: qu’ils refusent d’eux-mêmes un arrêt du travail même médicalement indiqué.:
Dialogue time: 07:35.66,0:07:49.23: Ils craignent le licenciement ou des sanctions négatives au cas où ils totaliseraient trop de jours de maladie.:
Dialogue time: 07:50.607:53.76: L’Office des brevets voit cela différemment.
Dialogue time: 07:54.53,0:08:08.36: „Suite à la pratique plus sévère dans ce domaine, le nombre moyen de jours de maladie à l’Office est passé de 14 jours à 11,5 jours en un an.“:
Dialogue time: 08:10.16,0:08:18.50: Durant notre recherche nous avons une vue de plus en plus nette dans les coulisses des palais de verre de l’OEB
Dialogue time: 08:18.508:24.10: et nous constatons : les gens, qui nous ont raconté leur histoire ne sont pas des cas individuels.
Dialogue time: 08:24.108:30.46: Ils font état de leur peur d’être sanctionné ou licencié pour la moindre faute.
Dialogue time: 08:31.86,0:08:35.36: L’avocat Alexander Holtz conseille beaucoup d’eux.
Dialogue time: 08:35.36,0:08:40.83: La plupart ont avant tout besoin d’assistance morale, parce qu’ils ne viennent plus à bout de la pression.
Dialogue time: 08:42.36,0:08:49.50: Ce sont souvent des gens, qui par exemple viennent chaque semaine m’apporter leur courrier. :
Dialogue time: 08:49.508:51.64: Je dois alors ouvrir le courrier des gens,:
Dialogue time: 08:51.64,0:08:57.34: car ils ne sont plus en état d’accomplir eux-mêmes ces tâches de la vie quotidienne. :
Dialogue time: 08:57.409:03.32: Des gens qui se sont réellement retrouvés dans une situation mettant en danger leur vie,:
Dialogue time: 09:03.32,0:09:06.94: où j’étais heureux quand je pouvais à nouveau les joindre au téléphone le lundi,:
Dialogue time: 09:06.94,0:09:11.75: car je ne savais pas, si ils ne feraient pas une tentative de suicide durant la fin de la semaine. :
Dialogue time: 09:12.66,0:09:19.53: En l’espace de trois ans, cinq employés de l’Office européen des brevets se sont suicidés.
Dialogue time: 09:19.53,0:09:22.46: L’Office dénie toute responsabilité.
Dialogue time: 09:25.13,0:09:41.30: “Les entretiens de notre service médical du travail, de collègues et managers avec les familles des décédés, ne permettent dans tous les cas aucune déduction quant à des raisons professionnelles pour le suicide, mais mettent en avant des circonstances personnelles.”:
Dialogue time: 09:43.76,0:09:47.83: En Allemagne, c’est le Comité d’entreprise qui aide lors de conflits avec l’employeur.
Dialogue time: 09:47.83,0:09:50.86: Ses membres bénéficient d’une protection particulière.
Dialogue time: 09:50.86,0:09:58.00: A l’opposé ici: des représentants syndicaux, comme la biologue Elizabeth Hardon, sont devenus des cibles.
Dialogue time: 09:58.010:03.56: Elle et son collègue Ion Brumme, père de cinq enfants, ont été suspendus en Novembre [2015].
Dialogue time: 10:03.56,0:10:10.46: Précisément eux, en tant que représentants du personnel, auraient harcelé des collègues, et diffamé l’Office.
Dialogue time: 10:11.03,0:10:14.86: Mais beaucoup de membres du personnel se solidarisent avec eux.
Dialogue time: 10:14.86,0:10:18.76: [Ion Brumme] „Je suis vraiment, vraiment heureux de voir autant de vous ici.:
Dialogue time: 10:18.76,0:10:22.33: Merci d’être venus, de nous soutenir.“:
Dialogue time: 10:23.210:29.20: Parce que la procédure est encore en cours, les deux ne peuvent s’exprimer concrêtement. Juste ceci:
Dialogue time: 10:29.210:34.10: [Elizabeth Hardon] „C’est quand même – quand même très pesant, et pour mes collègues encore pire.:
Dialogue time: 10:34.110:39.80: Je suis en âge de la préretraite donc, mais mes collègues sont beaucoup plus jeunes.:
Dialogue time: 10:39.810:45.63: Alors là, pour lui c’est, pour les autres collègues suspendus, c’est très, très, très menaçant.“:
Dialogue time: 10:48.57,0:11:05.11: „De mon point de vue, il s’agit d’une manière d’agir systématique de la direction de l’Office, afin d’achever, d’éliminer la direction du syndicat.“:
Dialogue time: 11:07.91,0:11:15.02: Entretemps Elizabeth Hardon et Ion Brumme ont même été licenciés. [Januar 2016]
Dialogue time: 11:19.02,0:11:25.42: Au site de La Haye également des représentants du personnel sont ciblés par la direction.
Dialogue time: 11:25.42,0:11:32.08: Notre informateur nous rapporte à Cologne un incident qui a choqué beaucoup d’agents.
Dialogue time: 11:32.35,0:11:40.93: Alors qu’un représentant du personnel a quitté le soir son lieu de travail, il reçoit un message, qu’il ne voit plus.
Dialogue time: 11:40.93,0:11:47.42: L’unité d’investigation interne l’invite à un entretien au lendemain matin.
Dialogue time: 11:47.42,0:11:53.28: Lorsqu’il revient à son bureau, il n’a plus le temps de se préparer, et demande un délai.
Dialogue time: 11:56.88,0:12:06.57: „Lorsque quelqu’un dit, qu’il a certains problèmes avec un autre employé, une enquête est initiée. On interroge alors des témoins. :
Dialogue time: 12:07.11,0:12:09.88: La norme du droit y est donc très basse,…:
Dialogue time: 12:09.88,0:12:13.35: parce que: on n’a pas le droit d’avoir recours à un avocat.“:
Dialogue time: 12:15.55,0:12:22.51: En quelques minutes apparaissent deux enquêteurs internes à son lieu de travail, et le persuadent de les suivre.
Dialogue time: 12:22.51,0:12:27.20: Cette forme d’interrogation est redoutée par les agents.
Dialogue time: 12:32.24,0:12:36.60: „On y est attaqué apparemment aussi déjà de manière relativement dure. :
Dialogue time: 12:36.912:39.60: Cela devient alors aussi parfois vraiment bruyant. :
Dialogue time: 12:40.02,0:12:45.13: On y est parfois aussi très intimidé, même lorsqu’on n’est qu’un témoin.“:
Dialogue time: 12:47.31,0:12:53.08: A La Haye, le membre du Comité du Personnel a un malaise à la sortie de l’interrogatoire.
Dialogue time: 12:54.42,0:12:57.33: Son épouse doit l’amener à l’hôpital.
Dialogue time: 12:58.11,0:13:01.44: Entretemps il est en congé maladie de longue durée.
Dialogue time: 13:03.82,0:13:10.68: L’unité d’investigation interne de l’Office européen des brevets est aussi tellement redoutée par les employés,
Dialogue time: 13:10.68,0:13:15.02: parce qu’ils n’y peuvent refuser de témoigner, même à leur propre dépens.
Dialogue time: 13:15.02,0:13:17.11: Est ce réellement légal?
Dialogue time: 13:17.64,0:13:20.15: L’Office européen des brevets écrit é ce sujet:
Dialogue time: 13:20.77,0:13:35.46: „La procédure d’investigation à l’Office européen des brevets n’est pas une procédure pénale, mais une procédure administrative d’établissement de faits dans le sens d’un Dialogue time entre employé accusé et employeur. :
Dialogue time: 13:35.71,0:13:45.44: … Cela correspond à la pratique et aux normes dans les organisations nationales et internationales de nos états membres.“
Dialogue time: 13:46.86,0:13:53.17: Du fait de l’immunité de l’Office européen des brevets les principes légaux lors de procédures d’enquête n’ont pas cours.
Dialogue time: 13:53.17,0:13:56.44: Les employés descendent désespérés dans la rue.
Dialogue time: 13:56.44,0:14:02.11: „Nous ne sommes pas en Allemagne ici. L’Office européen des brevets, il se sent en-dehors du droit allemand.“
Dialogue time: 14:02.11,0:14:04.60: „Les droits de l’homme n’y comptent pas. Rien n’y compte du tout. :
Dialogue time: 14:04.614:11.00: Seulement ce que notre Monsieur le Président pense être correct, est appliqué.“:
Dialogue time: 14:11.06,0:14:13.02: Est ce vraiment possible ?
Dialogue time: 14:13.08,0:14:17.53: Un Office avec 3000 employés dans un espace de quasi non-droit?
Dialogue time: 14:17.53,0:14:20.71: Nous sollicitons une interview avec le Ministre fédéral de la justice [Heiko Maas].
Dialogue time: 14:20.71,0:14:22.71: Il ne veut pas nous répondre directement.
Dialogue time: 14:22.71,0:14:26.60: Quant aux procédures d’enquêtes contestées, son ministère écrit:
Dialogue time: 14:26.614:40.82: [Ministère fédéral de la Justice et de la protection des consommateurs] „L’Allemagne a invité, à plusieurs reprises et avec insistance, le Président de l’Office européen des brevets, à revoir en cela les directives pour les procédures d’enquêtes, édictées par lui. Cela n’a regrettablement jusqu’à présent pas eu lieu.“:
Dialogue time: 14:42.214:49.55: „De simples invitations, cela est trop peu“: , dit l’ancien juge fédéral Siegfried Broß.
Dialogue time: 14:49.55,0:14:53.13: [Siegfried Broß, Juge fédéral à la retraite] „La Cour constitutionnelle fédérale dit expressément,:
Dialogue time: 14:53.13,0:14:59.31: que la République fédérale allemande ne doit pas prêter la main à des traitements allant à l’encontre des droits de l’homme,:
Dialogue time: 14:59.31,0:15:04.33: et, de ce point de vue, l’Allemagne est, en tant que pays hôte, appelé à agir.:
Dialogue time: 15:04.33,0:15:08.57: Si l’on exagère un peu, et le pense jusqu’au bout,:
Dialogue time: 15:08.66,0:15:12.60: avec ces structures de pensées, telles qu’elles sont apparues ici au grand jour,:
Dialogue time: 15:12.615:14.60: Guantanamo serait possible en Allemagne.:
Dialogue time: 15:15.415:17.98: Et cela ne peut être. C’est clair pour quiconque.“:
Dialogue time: 15:19.68,0:15:24.66: Mais l’Office européen des brevets ignore même des décisions de justice.
Dialogue time: 15:25.17,0:15:34.73: Aux Pays-Bas la Cour Suprême constata une enfreinte aux droits fondamentaux et demande que l’immunité de l’Office soit levée.
Dialogue time: 15:34.73,0:15:37.88: La décision finale est en attente.
Dialogue time: 15:37.88,0:15:47.95: Mais le Vice-Président de l’Office des brevets dit clairement dans une interview avec la télévision néerlandaise comment il traitera cette condamnation possible.
Dialogue time: 15:49.26,0:15:54.88: [Reporter Télé-NL] „Que se passe-t-il, si la Cour Suprême lève l’immunité de l’Office européen des brevets?“:
Dialogue time: 15:54.88,0:16:07.68: [Vice-président de l'OEB] „Euh, oui, alors le Président va parler avec le Conseil d’administration, les délégués des Etats membres, pour savoir ce qu’il y a à faire dans ce cas.:
Dialogue time: 16:07.71,0:16:14.75: Le résultat sera sans doute que le jugement sera mis de côté.“:
Dialogue time: 16:14.77,0:16:18.93: „Alors Vous n’allez pas accepter le jugement de la plus haute Cour des Pays Bas ??“:
Dialogue time: 16:18.93,0:16:20.93: [Vice-président OEB] “Oui!”: :
Dialogue time: 16:23.33,0:16:30.84: Comment se peut il, qu’une administration estime ne pas devoir respecter les droits fondamentaux et ignore lla jurisprudence de Cours suprêmes ?
Dialogue time: 16:31.416:34.97: Les causes pour cela résident dans l’histoire de sa fondation.
Dialogue time: 16:34.97,0:16:42.66: Il y a plus de quarante ans, les états membres ont élaboré un ensemble de règles, qui confère au Président beaucoup de pouvoir.
Dialogue time: 16:43.02,0:16:47.77: et le Président actuel Benoît Battistelli use de ce pouvoir.
Dialogue time: 16:48.04,0:16:59.76: „J’ai l’impression, qu’ici justement ces failles et ce jeu dans les règles, qui ont été créées par les états membres, sont exploités.“:
Dialogue time: 17:00.73,0:17:06.26: Les seuls, qui pourraient stopper le Président, sont les membres du Conseil d’administration.
Dialogue time: 17:06.26,0:17:09.24: Ils sont originaires des 38 états membres.
Dialogue time: 17:09.24,0:17:14.91: Chaque pays a une voix, peu importe que ce soit San Marino ou l’Allemagne.
Dialogue time: 17:14.91,0:17:18.75: L’autrichien Friedrich Rödler a aussi siégé au Conseil d’administration.
Dialogue time: 17:18.75,0:17:22.35: Il nous rejoint exprès de Vienne, afin de nous donner un aperçu.
Dialogue time: 17:22.35,0:17:28.08: Selon son avis depuis des années la direction n’est plus contrôlée de manière efffective.
Dialogue time: 17:28.08,0:17:31.80: [Friedrich Rödler, ancien membre du Conseil d'administration de l'OEB] „Le Conseil d’administration se heurte à ses limites structurelles.:
Dialogue time: 17:31.817:39.66: Le Conseil d’administration dépend pour ses décisions des informations spécifiques, qui lui sont données par le Président.:
Dialogue time: 17:39.66,0:17:42.13: Il ne dispose pas d’autres informations.:
Dialogue time: 17:42.617:47.48: Et ceci est exactement la base, sur laquelle le Conseil d’administration prend ses décisions…:
Dialogue time: 17:47.48,0:17:50.45: ou bien malheureusement parfois ne les prend pas.:
Dialogue time: 17:52.217:55.51: Les employés de l’Office de brevet continuent de protester.
Dialogue time: 17:55.51,0:18:01.71: Entretemps le Conseil d’administration a sommé le Président d’améliorer le climat social.
Dialogue time: 18:01.71,0:18:03.71: Mais de nombreux agents restent sceptiques.
Dialogue time: 18:04.31,0:18:06.06: Quelle sera la suite?
Dialogue time: 18:06.06,0:18:10.42: Les membres du Comité du personnel veulent contester leur licenciement par recours interne.
Dialogue time: 18:10.42,0:18:16.88: Si cela ne fait pas son effet, ils doivent déposer leur plainte à Genève auprès du Tribunal de l’Organisation internationale du Travail.
Dialogue time: 18:16.88,0:18:24.68: Quelques malades chroniques essayent également actuellement, de contester les régulations qui, selon leur point de vue, vont à l’encontre de la dignité humaine.
Dialogue time: 18:24.84,0:18:28.26: Mais jusqu’à ce qu’il y ait un jugement, cela peut durer des années.
Dialogue time: 18:28.88,0:18:35.20: „Ici il s’agit de personnes individuelles, de destins, de familles, d’enfants. :
Dialogue time: 18:35.218:37.08: Ici il s’agit réellement de beaucoup plus.“:
Dialogue time: 18:37.51,0:18:43.02: Cela ne semble pas concerner le Président de l’Office européen des brevets.
Dialogue time: 18:43.02,0:18:47.14: Bericht: Jutta Henkel, Irene Esmann Kamera: Harry Rensch, Dany Hunger, Nicole Christmann Schnitt: Stefan Kinnl, Florian Stronski


Video Sheds Light on Policy/Stance of the Man Rumoured to be Battistelli’s Successor at the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents, Rumour, Videos at 9:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dr. Ernst of EPO

Summary: An analysis of a presentation from Dr. Ernst, who is rumoured to be among the possible options for EPO leadership after Battistelli, who is stuck deep in or under the mud right now

TECHRIGHTS is interested in knowing whether the EPO will adhere to the EPC and refrain from granting software patents, which software professionals don’t want anyway (they already have copyrights).

Currently, the only person who is rumoured to be a contender to become Battistelli’s replacement is Dr. Ernst, whom we believed to have been among the opposition to Battistelli in the last meeting of the Administrative Council (December 2015).

“What is interesting is not his presentation but that the roundtable was chaired by Julia Reda.”
“I’ve been looking a little more,” told us a reader (FOSS person), “and still not finding anything aside from neutral, political statements. Some are even issued through his lawyer. I did spot the following though. What is interesting is not his presentation but that the roundtable was chaired by Julia Reda. I do not know her but I do know that she’s been doing excellent work in the parliament. Maybe she is one of the people that could say what position Ernst has.”

We asked her yesterday, but have not yet received a response. A few months ago she warned that TPP would bring software patents to Europe and she knows the perils of software patents, being more technically literate than a lot of politicians out there.

Our reader found this video and asked about Dr. Ernst: “Is this him?”

“At 18:00 he seems to dodge naming software patents.”
Well, it sure looks like it. He mentioned the EPC too.

“The part about patents starts at 12:15 to 19:00 and he talks about EPC,” our reader says. “At 18:00 he seems to dodge naming software patents. At about 20:00 he begins about copyright.”

Here is the full video, which can be streamed non-sequentially.

When Battistelli leaves the Office and goes back to Corsica where he comes from (or rejoin his political allies who are Sarkozy-connected) it’ll be interesting to see if the EPO removes the ban on Techrights.


Kontrovers: German Program (With Subtitles) About the European Patent Office

Posted in Europe, Patents, Videos at 8:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: English subtitles added to last week’s investigative report (TV program) about the EPO

“SUEPO Munich” uploaded the following yesterday. This is a two-part video of the program we mentioned here the other day.

The attacks on the unions continue, especially because SUEPO’s popularity grew enormously, necessitating some form of character assassination (the subject of our next post).


The EPO’s Investigative Unit (I.U.) Called ‘Gestapo’ on Dutch Television

Posted in Europe, Patents, Videos at 9:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The EPO’s staff union, SUEPO, shares an English (by subtitles) version of a recent interview with SUEPO’s lawyer

THE unrest at the EPO and the protests organised by staff have gotten plenty of coverage from Dutch media. That was at the end of last month. We have some English translations of articles in Dutch, e.g. [1, 2]. Here is the video posted a week ago and made public on YouTube (and accessible as Flash from SUEPO’s Web site). It’s reposted below in WebM format in order to help bypass software patents, DRM, JavaScript, cookies etc.

Due to the way YouTube works, one must open the video in YouTube in order to see the English subtitles. Mind the part which speaks about the EPO’s Investigative Unit [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

Hopefully the above can help broaden the reach of this important, is not historic, information.


Dutch Television Talks About EPO Conflict and Today’s Protest at The Hague, Previous Protests Too

Posted in Europe, Patents, Videos at 9:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history.”

Richard Stallman

Summary: A clip just extracted from today’s segment about the EPO’s union-busting actions that caused unprecedented disputes and may soon lead to strikes

THE EPO scandals have already attracted the attention of Belgian TV and Dutch TV. In Croatia, matters which implicate an EPO Vice-President also attracted the attention of Croatian TV (more than once even).

The following video is an excerpt taken from a much longer programme (about one hour in total). It is tonight’s TV broadcast about the EPO (it’s all in Dutch). The colours got distorted due to some conversion difficulties, but it’s the audio that matters a lot more. We made the file small enough for steaming locally (more resistant in the face attempted takedowns, like bogus DMCA requests that discard Fair Use provisions and pursue censorship).

If someone has the time to prepare a transcript or preferably a translation of the above, that would significantly improve our records. People who work at the EPO must fight both for their individual rights and their group rights, such as the right to organise.

“I don`t believe in quotas. America was founded on a philosophy of individual rights, not group rights.”

Clarence Thomas


Today’s Chaos Computer Club (CCC) Talk: EU Software and Business Method Patents: Call for Action

Posted in Europe, Patents, Videos at 6:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Today’s talk about software patents in Europe and a petition calling for action to stop these (again)

AS EPO examiners probably know by now, despite software patents (“as such,” as per Brimelow) not being legal in Europe, the EPO does occasionally entertain patent applications that pertain to software, even if it euphemistically names them CII to nymshift and add smoke to the debate. This can devastate famous European companies.

A CCC talk which was mentioned here over the weekend is now available for viewing online. It was presented earlier today and we were hoping to find a static file (Ogg/WebM preferable) as soon as possible in order to share information about software patents in Europe. EPO workers might wish to watch this in order to better understand how the management dodges the rules. The above video is from YouTube (the speaker has just sent it to us) and the MP4 version is already mirrored in the FFII’s Web site (1.1GB file in a heavily-patented multimedia format, ironically enough).

“A CCC talk which was mentioned here over the weekend is now available for viewing online.”“Henrion and colleagues are on at 32C3 now,” a reader wrote to us earlier, so some people were evidently streaming it live. This reader of ours tracked down the petition mentioned at the end of the talk. “It seems risky,” the reader said, as more people now realise that the EPO is out of control and UPC needs to be shunned. “According to the petitioner,” says the European Parliament’s Web site, “the European Patent Office is an international European institution which does not fall under EU law. He proposes that the EU contacts the EPO in order to conclude an interinstitutional agreement which would enable Members of the European Parliament to address parliamentary questions to the EPO and improve the parliamentary supervision of the EPO. The petitioner also asks the European Commission to harmonise national substantive patent law so that patent law becomes part of the acquis communautaire and the major differences which currently exist between the national patent law systems are removed. The EPO cannot deal with these differences, but has become the de facto harmoniser of patent law owing to its position as the provider of patents. According to the petitioner, the current situation is lacking a legislator and the development of patent law is concentrated in the hands of the executive and the judiciary. This is contrary to the separation of powers. The lack of balance between the powers means that it is difficult to respond to the fact that patent law affects areas other than that of EU policy, such as industrial policy, European standardisation and research policy. Moreover, the petitioner believes that the lack of harmonisation of substantive patent law weakens the negotiating position of the EU in matters relating to patent law with respect to third parties (WIPO, SPLT, TRIPS+, etc.).”

Incidentally, earlier today we found more articles about India rejecting software patents (for now…)

An article by RNA, who call themselves “Intellectual Property Attorneys” (it’s not hard to guess whose side they’re on), was published earlier today, around the same time of an article with the title “The Murky Waters Of Software Patents”.

“The one side isn’t “patent supporters” but mostly large corporations.”“India has announced a hold on plans to clarify the software patent process within the country,” wrote the reporter of the latter article, “a move that has both critics and supporters up in arms. In one camp, patent supporters argue that the investment in a new piece of software has to be protected both financially and by reputation against cheap imitators, while critics of software patents claim that software patents do nothing but lead to expensive litigation to fight infringement claims.”

The one side isn’t “patent supporters” but mostly large corporations. They’re not even Indian. They support not patents but software patents in India, which makes no sense for this economy that thrives in software and isn’t wealthy enough to withstand legal actions from aboard (mostly north America, obviously). That’s the kind of thing which UPC passage would enable, attracting all sorts of patent trolls and bring them to Europe with their software patents (that’s what trolls typically use for extortion purposes, where small companies are attractive targets that cannot afford legal battles and may quickly settle instead).

Learn from the mistakes of patent scope at the USPTO (whose official site is reportedly still not fully working today, based on IP Kat‘s comments, even 4 days after the outage).


EPO President Benoît Battistelli Compared to Famous Criminals on European Television

Posted in Europe, Patents, Videos at 2:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Battistelli, what the helli?”

Summary: The Belgian TV network featured a show which was making fun of Battistelli earlier this month (see the above)

THE gradual spread of the EPO scandals coverage to media outlets all across Europe made this inevitable. We saw this in newspapers, radio, and now it’s on television too. We also saw it in various parliamentary systems, both EU institutions and institutions of member states. It spreads like fire.

The above 10-minute video can be summarised using the following frames:










Someone on IPKat has taken the above screenshots from the video and provided explanations/interpretations in simple English. Going by the pseudonym “Roufousse T. Fairfly” the commenter said:

It required some effort before you can finally look at it, but it was worth it.

It is a sequence from a program on Flemish private TV. The invited star on that particular episode was a singer.

The middle of the show is segment titled “sla de sloeber“, which loosely translates to “hit the rascal”.

I wasn’t familiar with the term “sloeber”, which has many possible, and mostly unflattering, synonyms:

1) Arme kerel
2) Arme
3) Belgisch bier
4) Bier van hoge gisting
5) Een goede vent
6) Hals
7) Iemand die veel tekort komt
8) Pauper
9) Persoonsbenaming
10) Slokop
11) Smeerlap
12) Stakker
13) Sufferd
14) Sukkel
15) Smeerdoos
16) Schooier
17) Schoelje
18) Schlemiel
19) Schurk
20) Stumper
21) Vlegel
22) Zeer arm mens
23) Zielenpoot

The guest is invited to select between one of three rogues:

1) One Michel D., who trafficked blood diamonds into Belgium;
2) Benoît Battistelli, who needs no presentation;
3) Mexican gangster El Chapo Guzmán, who recently escaped a maximum security penitentiary through a two kilometer-long tunnel.

Specimen #2 is chosen, and the singer reminisces about his experiences working for a French company, if I understood correctly.

After an interminable number of commercials equal or greater than 14 (I believe I lost count), the show returns with the effigy of the chosen one affixed to a punchball machine.

Once the scoundrel has been properly sent flying by the avenger’s fist, the calculated result is entered into the high score table.

Pretty silly, but it shows that BB and the EPO are becoming household names, and not thanks to the pointless and expensive non-events called the “inventor of the year awards”.

I close my eyes and picture a scene in a Munich penthouse, with a group of scared stiff assistants drawing straws to designate a “volunteer” for showing and translating the video to Le Président

Cut to London near the Shard, in a discrete office… A phone rings impatiently… Hullo… Yes? A contract? In Ghent? … OK, sure, we promise we won’t send those bozos who totally bungled that job back In Bruges

Another pseudonym, “Old man of EPO”, said in response to the above on Monday: “Have to say I’m surprised that Vier had heard of BB. Their intro to him is a bit OTT but, hey, there’s no such thing as bad publicity apparently so I guess it’s not that bad (?) to be matched with a murderous Mexican gang leader. Or maybe not…”

Whether it is negative or positive publicity, well… we shall let readers/viewers decide. Being compared to criminals can hardly be framed as positive because of the legal nature of the comparisons, insinuating perhaps that all of the above three characters belong in a prison cell (if not worse) for very heinous and expensive crimes.

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