Bonum Certa Men Certa

Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) and EPO Vice-President of DG3 Suspiciously on Unlimited Sick Leave After Benoît Battistelli's Unprecedented Attacks on Other EBoA Staff

Wim Van der Eijk
Photo from EPO.org



Summary: Rumours suggest that Benoît Battistelli's affairs at the EPO may have something to do with Wim Van der Eijk's longterm absence

IT IS widely known by now that, due to (probably legitimate) criticism of Željko Topić, Battistelli (arguably) illegally suspended a judge and attacked the EBoA (among other boards).



"The present VP3," says this comment, "Mr Van der Eijk, is on unlimited sick leave and thus out of function."

Well, "unlimited sick leave" at the notorious office which treats sick staff like liars and cheats must really mean something. Remember how the EPO framed the suspension of a judge in order to overcome serious legal issues, or create uncertainty and doubt. It's like assassinating someone, then calling it an "unfortunate accident".

To quote some sarcastic comments about this: "Sounds like a bloody malingerer to me. He should be immediately summoned to a medical examination by one of the President's doctors. And of course subject to strict "house arrest" ..."

Another one says: "The President has an interest in keeping VP3 at home as at work he does only damages, i.e. he's unable to control the chairs and the members who are too independent and do not obey orders."

Another goes like this: "VP3 has always been a silent subordinate of the President and never had the guts to show disagreement with the mad line imposed upon the staff. Now, under house arrest, he has the time to meditate and understand the true nature if [sic] the President. Too late for coming out!"

Here is an important new comment: "VP3 has been appointed by the Administrative Council under Article 11 EPC and thus subject to the disciplinary authority of the Council - not that of the President. It is not clear whether the President can actually impose "house arrest" on him.

"Apart from that he can only be removed from office as the Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal on a proposal of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (Article 23(1) EPC)."

"Given how Battistelli historically dealt with boards like these, one shouldn't be hastily accused of making a mountain out of a molehill."The latest mystery, to put it politely or even just prudently, is why he's away for so long.

"For your information," told us a source, "the Vice-President in charge of the EPO Boards of Appeal (known internally as DG3) is on extended sick leave [...] Mr van der Eijk is the Vice-President of DG3 (VP3) and also the Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal." [Wikipedia says "Wim van der Eijk (born ca. 1957) is a Dutch civil servant, currently Vice-President of the European Patent Office (EPO), head of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO, known as DG3 (Directorate-General, 3, Appeals), and Chairman of the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal."]

Given how Battistelli historically dealt with boards like these, one shouldn't be hastily accused of making a mountain out of a molehill. Also remember the gag orders that Control Risks and the I.U. use against staff like Elizabeth Hardon whilst under investigation/interrogation [1, 2]. "The Enlarged Board of Appeal," as someone explained to us, "is one of the few instances which - at least on paper - enjoys some independence from the EPO President although he seems to have been doing his best to interfere in its workings over the last year or so.

"Internal rumour at the EPO has it that some recent decisions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal have not been to Battistelli's liking."

We covered this before. The Enlarged Board of Appeal and other boards have been under bombardment (at times silent) by Battistelli and his ilk.

Our source "can't say at this point whether there is any connection between these events and the sudden mysterious "indisposition" of VP3. But it definitely looks like there is something fishy going on behind the scenes."

As we explained about a year ago, the Administrative Council is now in Battistelli's pocket and largely subservient to him.

"If the Administrative Council was doing its job properly," told us another source, "they should investigate what exactly is going on. But if past performance is any indicator, they are more likely to stick their heads in the sand at the upcoming quarterly meeting on 14th/15th October."

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