Bonum Certa Men Certa

Team Battistelli Plans to Send to Exile (or Effectively Fire) Law-abiding Staff Because the Staff is Independent and Unwilling to Sack a Whistleblower

The European Patent Office (EPO) "going full rogue" and punishing those who uphold justice...


Summary: The latest complaints about the EPO's attempts to just magically 'vanish' its potential opposition, or do some 'staff laundering' by moving entire sections of the Office far away

THE more we write about the EPO, the more we think of Europe in its darkest times (in recent history). The management of the EPO is just 'disappearing' or metaphorically executing opposition, much like Stalin's USSR or Hitler's Germany back in the days. You know that this is happening when a superpower casts rivals/dissidents as crazy or dangerous, trying to associate them with violence and hate, much like the media tries to characterise Julian Assange as a violent rapist (physical threat) who is escaping justice because of irrational "paranoia" (craziness).

Last night we received the following document, which we've put into text, as follows:

Employment at our Brave New EPO:

you can’t win, you can’t play even & you cannot quit the game!!!

Dear colleagues,

Please check the latest proposal of the President to the Administrative Council: CA/98/15. The document pleads forcefully for moving DG3 to Vienna, which will do nothing to strengthen its independence but must rather be seen as a revenge for its independence. Additionally, under point 34 et seq. the document proposes “post-service restrictions” for all staff. This means that the Office intends to reserve for itself the right to decide whether or not you may take on a given new job after you have left the Office!

Such non-compete clauses or "restrictive covenants" are used in certain professions under certain circumstances. The extent to which such clauses are legally allowed varies depending on the jurisdiction but tends to be strictly regulated and may be subject to compensatory payments for income lost, see e.g.

In Europe, such restrictions are normally only allowable if the employer can show a reasonable business interest. Both the legality and enforceability of such clauses by the Office (which is not in a competitive business) are highly doubtful. Again: the main aim seems to be revenge on staff that shows a little too much independence.

After having seriously deteriorated the career perspectives for normal staff and having introduced punitive sick-leave and invalidity conditions, the Battistelli administration now tries to block normal staff members from leaving the Office for another job.

Interestingly, the compensatory payments also open the possibility of monthly golden handshakes for loyal managers who may be forced to leave the Office when the wind turns.

The message is clear: the only option is unconditional loyalty

Much of this isn't entirely new, hence not so shocking. We covered this before (on numerous occasions) and our source, who isn't from the EPO, called it "the newest crap..."

It seems evident that a lot of people not only inside the EPO but also outside the EPO are extremely concerned. A new poll shows that almost everyone is concerned, including stakeholders in Europe (like businesses and lawyers). "Last time I looked at non-competition agreements was decades ago," our source told us, and "the case law in many countries imposed the following:

- Limited in duration - Limited geographically - Limited in scope

"The usual allowable delay was something like one year, and there had to be consideration [€€€] if anything more stringent was demanded.

"I haven't seen what they specifically want to impose. Up to now, it happened that examiners switched sides quasi overnight, but this never really posed a problem.

"The EPO is going full rogue, and resorting to techniques tried and tested by despots for time immemorial... I am the upholder of the law, and he who questions questions my power breaks the law."

In our next article we are going to show that "full rogue" may be an understatement. The EPO has gone lunatic.

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