04.02.15

Gemini version available ♊︎

Željko Topić: “SUEPO [Staff Union] Has No Standing in This Office. SUEPO Has No Role to Play in This Office.”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SIPO article

Summary: EPO staff responds to the weak charm offensive from “Mr Battistelli’s boys”, stating that much work — including protests — remains to be done

LAST WEEK we started writing about the Dutch scandal that led Benoît Battistelli to concessions, in an effort to appease his critics who got his very job under serious threat. Florian Müller said that Battistelli would allow SUEPO to merely exist (based on just a statement) and also published some thoughts about the EPO Administrative Council meeting that we had mentioned for quite a while. Flier [PDF] and comments [PDF] from staff were also uploaded and we present these below.

Ortssektion München . Local Section Munich . Section locale de Munich

23.03.2015
su15028mp – 0.2.1/0.3.2/0.2.2

ACTIONS CONTINUE
DEMONSTRATION: WEDNESDAY 25 MARCH
ISAR BUILDING AT 12.30h

The EPO in the news
Last Saturday (21 March) the two most respected Dutch newspapers, NRC and Volkskrant, both ran highly critical two-page articles about the EPO. The NRC commented in a second article on the refusal of the EPO to admit the Dutch labour inspection after a suicide on the premises in The Hague. As usual, Mr Battistelli denied all the charges, insisted on the EPO’s immunity and blamed SUEPO. The articles can be found here:

NRC, “Ik ben geen zonnekoning”

http://www.nrc.nl/handelsblad/van/2015/maart/21/ik-ben-geen-zonnekoning-1477227

(printable version)1, (Google translation)

NRC, “De arbeidsinspectie komt er bij het Europees Octrooibureau niet in”,
http://www.nrc.nl/handelsblad/van/2015/maart/21/ruzie-de-arbeidsinspectie-komt-er-bij-heteuropee-1477187 (printable version)2, (Google translation)

De Volkskrant, “Baas van Europese octrooiorganisatie voert schrikbewind”
http://www.volkskrant.nl/economie/baas-van-europese-octrooiorganisatie-voertschrikbewind~a3918719/ (printable version)3, (Google translation)

SUEPO will provide official translations as soon as possible.

IP blogs have also become rather critical of Mr Battistelli’s attitude and behaviour, see e.g.:

http://kluwerpatentblog.com/2015/03/20/behavior-benoit-battistelli-is-bad-for-the-epos-reputation/

http://www.fosspatents.com/2015/03/epo-human-rights-issues-and-eu-patent.html

Finally, an English translation of judgment pronounced in a court case in Croatia earlier this
year has become available: http://techrights.org/2015/03/18/full-judgment-against-topic/

In this case Mr Topic (VP4) complained about defamation. The judge could not see any defamation in the – very serious – accusations against Mr Topic. These findings are highly embarrassing not only for Mr Topic but also for Mr Battistelli who has long denounced what he called a “defamation campaign against VP4”4. Mr Battistelli imposed (and the Council rubberstamped) a house ban on a Member of the Boards of Appeal suspected of involvement in the alleged “defamation campaign”5. Such charges now seem difficult to maintain.

___________
1 http://www.suepo.org/public/ex15136cp.pdf
2 http://www.suepo.org/public/ex15138cp.pdf
3 http://www.suepo.org/public/ex15139cp.pdf
4 see e.g. Mr Battistelli’s note to all staff of 26.02.2013:
5 link to Communiqué No. 64


And the politicians?
The leading politicians responsible for patent matters in the Member States remain mostly silent. But it is clear that Mr Battistelli’s open disdain for the Dutch judiciary and the Dutch
labour inspection has raised eye-brows in The Netherlands. We also hear that Mr Battistelli’s plan to move DG3 to Berlin did not go down well with the German government. It seems that the French government is starting to become seriously worried about possible damage to the reputation of France. And we doubt that the UK minister of Innovation (“the Baroness”) failed to notice the criticism about her apparent inactivity in the current crisis:

http://ipkitten.blogspot.de/2015/03/peace-for-our-time-or-another-wasted.html

http://ipkitten.blogspot.de/2015/02/epo-suepo-and-question-of-governance.html

Next reforms
The Administrative Council of the EPO will meet on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 March in Munich. On the agenda are a reform of DG3 (CA/16/15) and the next “health reform” (CA/14/15a). The proposed reform of DG3 is purportedly intended to improve the “perception of independence of the Boards of Appeal.” In reality the reform amounts to a hostile take-over of DG3 by the Administrative Council.

The “health reform” pretends to improve the reintegration of staff on long-term sick-leave or invalidity. In practice it will seriously weaken the position of sick staff vis à vis the Office by excluding the treating physician from the medical committee. The Office furthermore plans to unilaterally abolish the – thus far compulsory – invalidity insurance that staff may have been paying for 10, 20 or even 30 years. This amounts to a breach of contract.

Apart from being financially disadvantageous, the new regulations would oblige sick staff to remain at their place of employment during at least 10 years of full incapacity before the Office will consider recognizing their invalidity. During this time they will need to request permission from their employer for every absence. According to SUEPO this is an impermissible infringement of their privacy.

What are our claims?
Staff at the EPO calls on the Administrative Council:
- to reject the proposed health reform that foresees measures that have no equivalent in any of the EPO member states and violates fundamental rights, and
- to order the President of the EPO to enter into negotiation with the staff representation in order to come to an agreed solution.

SUEPO intends to organise a demonstration every month for as long as it takes to bring the EPO back on track.

SUEPO Munich

“I’m open. But we also have troublesome unions. A mix of French unions with German efficiency: a dangerous cocktail.”

Benoît Battistelli, NRC, “Ik ben geen zonnekoning”, 21 March 2015

Here are the comments:

Ortssektion München . Local Section Munich . Section locale de Munich

27.03.2015
su15029mp – 0.2.1/0.3.1/0.3.2

ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL
25 / 26 MARCH 2015 – A REPORT
&
NEXT ACTIONS

The Administrative Council: deaf & dumb?

Leading IP blogs have become rather critical of Mr Battistelli’s attitude and behaviour, as well as of the EPO Administrative Council’s passivity in this respect, see e.g.:

http://kluwerpatentblog.com/2015/03/20/behavior-benoit-battistelli-is-bad-for-the-epos-reputation/

http://www.fosspatents.com/2015/03/epo-human-rights-issues-and-eu-patent.html

http://ipkitten.blogspot.de/2015/03/a-kat-may-look-at-administrative.html

SUEPO1, EPO staff in general2 and the Members of the Boards of Appeal3 have also called upon the delegations not to rush through the fundamental reforms on the agenda, namely an outline of a reform of the Boards of Appeal (CA/16/15) and the second health reform (CA/14/15), without thorough reflection and proper consultation of the internal and external stake-holders. To no avail.

DG3 matters
Despite all the comments and objections (see above), the delegations unanimously approved the framework for the proposed reform of the Boards of Appeal. Another controversial decision concerned the suspension of a DG3 accused of “anonymous defamation of VP4” which was prolonged. And again there were no new appointments to DG3, meaning that DG3 will be forced to cope with an increasing workload through increased “efficiency” rather than increased capacity.

The health reform
The health reform also passed, albeit with 10 abstentions. The delegations discussed a 8 (!) hours in closed session (i.e. with the usual observers and without their “social partner”), probably mostly about the social dialog and the social reforms. The open discussion of the health reform was planned to take a mere 10 minutes. It seems for the Office difficult to signal more clearly to your “social partner” that you are not interested in his opinion. On the other hand: the open session finally took 50 minutes rather than 10. And the 8 hours in closed session are a clear sign that discussions are now taking place. That can almost be qualified as “progress”. The three major delegations (DE, FR, and UK) were amongst those who abstained. They were joined by CZ, IE, IT, MT, SE, SI and SK. This voting pattern shows that

_______
1 http://munich.suepo.org/archive/su15023ml.pdf
2 http://munich.suepo.org/archive/su15024mp.pdf
3 http://amba-epo.org/page/get/ca1615 and http://www.epostaff.org/archive/ex15146cp.pdf


traditional alliances in the Council have shifted. A majority of mostly small countries with a weak or negligible patent system are now outvoting countries with a much bigger population and a greater interest in a functional patent system. This does not bode well for the stability of the EPO and for its functioning as administrator for the Unitary Patent.

What next?
The Council’s approval of the reform of DG3 was not a final decision. The topic will be back on the agenda in June. We can only hope that by then the responsible politicians will have finally woken up and realised what is really going on: a hostile take-over of DG3 by the Administrative Council involving the creation of 8 new “jobs for the boys” – presumably Mr Battistelli’s boys.

For the health reform SUEPO will provide staff with the requests for management review that are now the necessary first step before filing an internal appeal. We will renew our contact with the Bayerische Laendesärztekammer in order to get answers to some pertinent questions about the extent to which medical doctors in Germany may fulfil the tasks the EPO intends to assign to them. Finally, SUEPO will provide legal support for its members who are denied invalidity or otherwise disadvantaged by the latest reform.

Union matters
Amazingly, after having once again brushed aside the concerns of staff and their representation and pushed through yet another ill-conceived reform, Mr Battistelli and Mr Kongstad now jointly announce4 “new initiatives to restore social peace” starting with an invitation to the trade unions (note the plural) to a kick-off meeting on 22 April 2015. Given the previous positions5 of Mr Kongstad, he and Mr Battistelli seem an unlikely pair to negotiate social peace. Whereas SUEPO wishes to echo Mr Battistelli’s statements that “our door is always open”, we also make it clear that we are not interested in merely improving “the perception of a social dialogue”.

Next actions
Should the discussions with Mr Battistelli and Mr Kongstad lead to unexpected progress (e.g. the withdrawal of the above health reform) then SUEPO would be more than delighted to postpone further actions. Until this happens, however, SUEPO intends to organise a demonstration every month for as long as it takes to bring the EPO back on track.

Details of the next demonstration will be published after the Easter holidays.

SUEPO Munich
“I am not talking about SUEPO at all: SUEPO has no standing in this Office. SUEPO has no role to play in this Office.”

Željko Topić (VP4), 19 March 2015, in a meeting with the Munich Staff Committee

_______
4 http://www.epo.org/news-issues/news/2015/20150326.html
5 http://ipkitten.blogspot.de/2014/12/battistelli-and-kongstad-respond-to-epo.html

“Details of the next demonstration will be published after the Easter holidays,” says the above, so surely Battistelli knows that it’s far from over. It shouldn’t be over until there is justice, which should include not just recognition of the staff’s rights but also removal of corrupt EPO officials.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below



  2. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation



  3. EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

    The EPO's management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains



  4. Links 1/12/2021: LibreOffice 7.3 Beta, Krita 5.0, Julia 1.7

    Links for the day



  5. Links 1/12/2021: NixOS 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 30, 2021



  7. Links 1/12/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and WordPress 5.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  8. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  9. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."



  10. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline



  11. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day



  12. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers



  13. Freenode.net Becomes a 'Reddit Clone' and Freenode IRC is Back to Old Configurations After Flushing Down Decades' Worth of User/Channel Data and Locking/Shutting Out Longtime Users

    Freenode is having another go; after “chits” and “jobs” (among many other ideas) have clearly failed, and following the change of daemon (resulting in massive loss of data and even security issues associated with impersonation) as well as pointless rebrand as “Joseon”, the domain Freenode.net becomes something completely different and the IRC network reopens to all



  14. Jack Dorsey's Decision is a Wake-up Call: Social Control Media is Just a Toxic Bubble

    The state of the World Wide Web (reliability, preservation, accessibility, compatibility etc.) was worsened a lot more than a decade ago; with social control media that’s nowadays just a pile of JavaScript programs we’re basically seeing the Web gradually turning into another Adobe Flash (but this time they tell us it’s a “standard”), exacerbating an already-oversized ‘bubble economy’ where companies operate at a loss while claiming to be worth hundreds of billions (USD) and generally serve imperialistic objectives by means of manipulation like surveillance, selective curation, and censorship



  15. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 29, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, November 29, 2021



  16. Links 29/11/2021: NuTyX 21.10.5 and CrossOver 21.1.0

    Links for the day



  17. This Apt Has Super Dumbass Powers. Linus Sebastian and Pop_OS!

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  18. [Meme] Trying to Appease Provocateurs and Borderline Trolls

    GNU/Linux isn’t just a clone of Microsoft Windows and it oughtn’t be a clone of Microsoft Windows, either; some people set themselves up for failure, maybe by intention



  19. Centralised Git Hosting Has a Business Model Which is Hostile Towards Developers' Interests (in Microsoft's Case, It's an Attack on Reciprocal Licensing and Persistent Manipulation)

    Spying, censoring, and abusing projects/developers/users are among the perks Microsoft found in GitHub; the E.E.E.-styled takeover is being misused for perception manipulation and even racism, so projects really need to take control of their hosting (outsourcing is risky and very expensive in the long run)



  20. Links 29/11/2021: FWUPD's 'Best Known Configuration' and Glimpse at OpenZFS 3.0

    Links for the day



  21. President Biden Wants to Put Microsofter in Charge of the Patent Office, Soon to Penalise Patent Applicants Who Don't Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats

    The tradition of GAFAM or GIAFAM inside the USPTO carries on (e.g. Kappos and Lee; Kappos lobbies for Microsoft and IBM, whereas Lee now works for Amazon/Bezos after a career at Google); it's hard to believe anymore that the USPTO exists to serve innovators rather than aggressive monopolists, shielding their territory by patent threats (lawsuits or worse aggression) and cross-licensing that's akin to a cartel



  22. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley's Long Career Serving Microsoft's Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub's GPL Violations Machine)

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley was promoting .NET (or Mono) since his young days; his current job at Microsoft is consistent with past harms to GNU/Linux, basically pushing undesirable (except to Microsoft) things to GNU/Linux users; Tomboy used to be the main reason for distro ISOs to include Mono



  23. Dr. Andy Farnell on Teaching Cybersecurity in an Age of 'Fake Security'

    By Dr. Andy Farnell



  24. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 28, 2021



  25. Links 29/11/2021: Linux 5.16 RC3 and Lots of Patent Catch-up

    Links for the day



  26. By 2022 0% of 'News' Coverage About Patents Will Be Actual Journalism (Patent Litigation Sector Has Hijacked the World Wide Web to Disseminate Self-Promotional Misinformation)

    Finding news about the EPO is almost impossible because today’s so-called ‘news’ sites are in the pockets of Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cohorts who turned the EPO into a hub of litigation, not science; this is part of an international (worldwide) problem because financial resources for journalism have run out, and so the vacuum is filled/replaced almost entirely by Public Relations (PR) and marketing



  27. Trying to Appease Those Who Never Liked Free Software or Those Who Blindly Loved All Patent Monopolies to Begin With

    It’s crystal clear that trying to appease everyone, all the time, is impossible; in the case of the EPO, for example, we hope that exposing Team Battistelli/Campinos helps raise awareness of the harms of patent maximalism, and when speaking about Free software — whilst occasionally bashing the alternatives (proprietary) — we hope to convince more people to join the “Good Fight”



  28. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



  30. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts