12.09.14

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Protests Against EPO Corruption Approach 1,000 in Attendance

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Protest in one location among several

EPO protest
Protest image via IPKat (click image for a larger version)

Summary: EPO staff at all levels is revolting against the management of the EPO, whose dismissal seems to be only a matter of time

IT NEED not be emphasised that EPO staff can be free-thinking and suitably educated. Many inside the institution (except management perhaps) have doctoral degrees and/or extensive experience in very specialised fields. Nobody who is serious would dare label EPO staff a herd, a mob, or a bunch of hooligans with vengeance. These people are barely nationalists either, so using the race card (or xenophobia) won’t work here. Management is not being witch-hunted by so-called ‘disgruntled’ staff because of their nationality/ies. The EPO’s staff (many thousands of people) has legitimate concerns and these are widely shared across the institution, albeit individuals dread identifying themselves as they are very much fearful; a thug’s tactic (or the Mob’s modus operandi) involves aggressively and publicly punishing people (like public hanging) to earn a sort of bogus “respect”, earned through fear alone. This is where the EPO stands at the moment, due to a large degree to President Battistelli and his cronies (with a notorious track record, preceding their time at the EPO and involving bullying too).

Techrights has covered EPO staff revolts for about 7 years and intensified coverage in recent years, got involved by writing letters to regulators, and identified the culprits who have stooped far lower (very low!) than Brimelow ever did. The EPO has become a laughing stock and the corporate/establishment press is finally covering this, perhaps motivated by some reporting in smaller, independent sites. The recklessness of the media can be characterised by its longstanding pattern of dismissal, i.e. ignoring the genuine grievances of European citizens, EPO staff included. This ought to change.

At Techrights we going to accelerate our coverage of the EPO fiasco, as material leaked to us is piling up faster than we can publish it and the EPO is now in state of rapid collapse (especially the management), based on several separate sources inside the EPO.

Microsoft Florian, who lives in the area of the EPO, wrote about the protests which we covered yesterday (pro-actively). IPKat has done a decent job covering parts of these protests and preceding ones (there are several simultaneous ones and it’s a recurrent event), which are long overdue given the long series of serious abuses inside the EPO (especially its management). According to this other post from IPKat, there is a lot going on very fast. To give some recent figures, “600 participants joined the peaceful demonstration organised yesterday by SUEPO in front of the French and the Danish Embassies.”

“The recklessness of the media can be characterised by its longstanding pattern of dismissal, i.e. ignoring the genuine grievances of European citizens, EPO staff included.”There’s a lot going on in Munich and The Hague. It is spreading. Staff in large numbers becomes better equipped and better able to defend itself from identification, singling out, etc. thereby shielding itself against retribution. SUEPO did a good job. It’s growing to be somewhat of a revolution and we are being contacted by more and more people from the EPO — people who put at risk their career because they are so eager to cause changes at the institution, at the very least toppling the corrupt management (that alone would not be enough, albeit a good start).

Quoting IPKat again: “The suspension of a patent examiner who was also a former member of the Internal Appeals Committee (IAC) that handles internal disputes, working in Munich, that apparently happened in October.”

There is also this: “The reported suspension of another former IAC member, who worked in The Hague office, and was allegedly suspended last month.”

Finally they add “[t]he departure of the head of communications Oswald Schröder in October.” We covered that at the time. Oswald Schröder has been in touch with IPKat, but he is now being gagged. That’s what these surprise suspensions seem to be all about. As one activist site puts it, “a whistle-blower informed me that if following a specific link on the Intranet, one could observe and possible record the EPO’s promises and the surrounding public traffic at their branch in Rijswijk, 24/7, via the EPO’s security cameras! Is the Dutch governement and public informed about those practices?”

Be sure to also read the anonymous comments in this article (EPO staff is afraid to be identified, hence the anonymity).

To quote just one comment: “President Battistelli likes to eliminate free thinkers. For example in 2011 he got rid of the Principal Director responsible for the Internal Audit, in 2012 of the Principal Director responsible for Quality Management and in 2014 of the Principal Director responsible for Communication. He also destroyed the appeal system, weakened the staff representation and now is attacking the Boards of Appeals. The administrative council is silent and thus is not fulfilling its role. What else should happen before somebody in the council wakes up and stops Battistelli?”

In the next post we are going to show one of the latest debacles. We are, in general, going to write a lot more about the EPO in weeks to come, so anyone who is interested in the topic is advised to subscribe and where applicable contact us with information. We have a 100% track record of protecting our sources in 8+ years of existence.

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