01.15.16

Massive EPO Protests After Team Battistelli Fires Legitimate Critics and Staff Representatives (Even Those With Young Children)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Firing messengers/witnesses rather than the guilty party

Sepp Blatterstelli

Summary: Team Battistelli (or Blatterstelli as Florian Müller calls him) manages to carry on just firing those who speak about abuses at the top (Team Battistelli), rather than be sacked itself

THE THUGS who run the EPO (compared to famous criminals on television, including El Chapo Guzmán who has just been arrested) have done what we knew all along they were going to do. They fired staff representatives. This is coming from sociopaths whose regime allegedly led to a tenfold rise in the number of suicides. Today’s management is undoubtedly causing depression, harming the health/wellbeing of staff, so nervous breakdowns, suicides, etc. are inevitable. Journalists should definitely look into phone surveillance, keyloggers and hidden cameras inside the EPO (targeting visitors too, not just staff). What kind of a work atmosphere is this? How many more people need to die before change takes place? The EPO is rotten at the top and those at the top just try to get rid of those who say so, obviously in an effort to protect their own jobs. This isn’t FIFA. It’s a lot worse than FIFA. People are actually dead. But because this concerns patents (a concept not many people correctly grasp) rather than football there’s insufficient interest from the mainstream media.

“This isn’t FIFA. It’s a lot worse than FIFA. People are actually dead.”There’s a lot left to be said about what EPO management did today. It won’t fit a single article as it’s not some short/simple story and it’s not over yet. They hoped that firing staff would end it all, but we are going to prove them otherwise. Streisand Effect (silencing the messengers) means that the blowback will make the initial action (firing) less than worthwhile and more than inversely proportional in force. Many leaks are on their way now, so stay tuned.

As several important sites have not yet covered the news (Friday is a good opportunity to get bad news out of the day), we are going to rely more on anonymous voices. The short story is, the EPO’s management confirmed what seemed obvious all along. It can only do show/mock trials. To make matters worse, the EPO is trying to openly defend such mock trials. Welcome to Eponia. It’s inarguably worse than Putin’s Russia in terms of human rights.

“Welcome to Eponia. It’s inarguably worse than Putin’s Russia in terms of human rights.”SUEPO wrote this afternoon that “IPKAT reports on the outcome of the disciplinary procedures against three staff representatives/union officials.” Here is what Merpel wrote: “With a heavy heart, Merpel reports that she has just learned that Mr Battistelli, President of the EPO, has just fired the current chair of SUEPO, Elizabeth Hardon, and an ex-chairman, Ion Brumme. SUEPO Treasurer, Malika Weaver has been downgraded. The charges of which Merpel has been aware (see her post here) seemed tenuous to the point of being trumped up, and in all three cases the sanction imposed has been more than was recommended by the Disciplinary Committee: in the case of Elizabeth Hardon, there has been imposed a pension sanction not suggested by the Disciplinary Committee, in the case of Ion Brumme downgrading rather than firing was suggested, and in the case of Malika Weaver the Disciplinary Committee recommended suspension of career advancement, not downgrading.”

A lot of comments are being posted there right now. If someone could please send us the Battistelli-led communiqué (regarding the firing of people who ‘dared’ to highlight his abuse), that would be awesome. We already have a bunch of new documents relating to this. EPO whistleblowers are advised not to use something like GMail unless they do so over Tor. We never compromised any of our sources in nearly 10 years and we wish to keep it that way.

It should be noted that, based on our sources, the EPO fired staff ahead of the scheduled date (which makes the mock trial even more of a sham), probably in an effort to reduce the ability to strike back (late/early afternoon on a Friday is perfect timing).

“It should be noted that, based on our sources, the EPO fired staff ahead of the scheduled date (which makes the mock trial even more of a sham), probably in an effort to reduce the ability to strike back (late/early afternoon on a Friday is perfect timing).”Navigating through some comments in IP Kat, we found just one pro-EPO voice there (anonymous) and the rest are very angry. One person wrote: “A communiqué of the president has just been issued internally. In it, we are informed that “None of the [fired or suspended staff representatives] acknowledged their wrongdoings, nor did they express their intention not to repeat them”. They are guilty, and don’t even admit it. These people are incorrigible. What a nice piece of Stalinist propaganda.”

Yes, this follows a lot of what we saw before. There is no Rule of Law inside the EPO. To assume otherwise would be unwise.

Another person asked: “Is there any way to get rid of M. Battistelli? He is a shame for the whole patent community [...] a shame for EPO and a shame for the french people. We should start a “petition” asking for his firing from EPO. We’re in a democracy, aren’t we?(except EPO apparently)”

On Battistelli one person remarked: “Yes, I did like the President’s puff-piece. What a farce, and what an incorrigible liar he is. Very sad day for the Office, an Office for which I used to proud to work, but no longer. I’m just praying that my director doesn’t “volunteer” me to meet him for his latest propaganda effort.”

One person alluded to British officials, asking: “Mr Alty and Mr Denehey, when are you going to wake up and do something?”

I contacted John Alty and his colleagues regarding abuse from Battistelli and his EPO thugs against myself. These cowards didn’t even reply.

Another person asked: “Where was the voice of the delegates from the UK?” Here is the comment in its entirety:

It has been reported that German, French and Dutch delegates to the AC spoke up at the last meeting to express concern about the “social situation” and the EPO’s actions against SUEPO representatives. Where was the voice of the delegates from the UK? Why did they not also voice concern? They surely cannot claim to have been unaware of the serious grounds for concern.

As a Brit myself, I am truly ashamed of the apparent complicity of the UK’s delegation in allowing this to come to pass. Whilst no single delegation has the power to overrule the will of the majority, surely not even BB could withstand concerted opposition from delegates of all of the TOP4 countries.

Whilst the SUEPO representatives may or may not have been whiter than white, it is not hard to see that the charges against them would not have passed muster before any competent court. I find it particularly ironic that part of (if not the core of) the charges against them relied upon a reference to provisions of German national law. Not only was no one on the disciplinary committee competent to rule on points of German national law, but the SUEPO representatives were unable to rely upon the protections that the national law would offer them!

Quite frankly, I am disgusted that applicant’s money is being wasted on this whole sham – and that waste is made even worse by the fact that the President did not even follow the DC’s recommendations!

I predict that the absence of respect for democracy and the rule of law that is so evident from recent events at the EPO will have profoundly unpleasant consequences. However, my fear is that none of those consequences will touch those who are currently shielding behind the veil of immunity. Perhaps it is time for the AC to lift that immunity?

Here come the FIFA comparisons again. This one person wrote: “The Board to which the President reports needs to do something. The man is out of control. I suspect FIFA will be looking for a new leader soon, perhaps he can take on this role where he’ll do less damage to the reputation of the patent profession in Europe. In the meantime, examiners and applicants suffer.”

If the EPO’s management or Team Battistelli thinks it’ll shut up critics by firing representatives, then it’s very wrong. It opened a can of worms and left it open. “It appears that the reputation of the EPO, and the AC, is being dragged through the mud,” this one comment said. We urged people to contact their delegates and we have published contact details.

One critic who didn’t respond anonymously is George Brock-Nannestad, who had written very detailed reports about the EPO’s abuses. Today he wrote:

I had hoped that the Battistelli administration would have saved face by letting the charges fall.

I cannot understand how a French education can bring about such a scandalous approach to fair trial.

Shame on the petty public servants in the member states who have sat on their hands. Directors General, the lot, but with a moral stamina of worms.

In utter disgust,

Stefan Krempl, a Heise writer (Germany’s biggest online IT newspaper), wrote about the firings, but an English translation is needed (any volunteers would be widely thanked).

“In over a decade of writing about such matters never have I encountered thugs who can get away with this much.”Consider this comment which said: “We need a Europe-wide co-ordinated strategy to finally rid ourselves of this pernicious President, who is harming the EPO, its staff and european industry. I am eager to know what I can do in my Member State to help achieve this. One thing that strikes me is that, as I have read somewhere in a SUEPO publication, it may be possible to sue my government directly as complicit in denying me my rights, e.g., the right to be represented by a Union, the right to a fair and timely hearing, etc, along the lines of the successful Dutch case. If such cases were to be started in every Member State, then indeed our AC members might wake up.”

This is a reign of terror and as one comment put it: “Should explain that BB had demanded that every directorate sends 5 examiners to a presentation from BB to be broadcast through the office on Feb 4th in The Hague (one to follow in Munich). Questions may be allowed but who will dare ask if risking the sack??”

See the sort of hypocritical, ridiculous accusations EPO made against staff representatives. The mock trial against Ms Hardon shows that not even law- or rules-abiding staff can feel safe. Remember how the EPO twisted British defamation law in a failed bid to silence Techrights, having done similar things before. The EPO has a long history of misusing or misrepresenting laws to shoot down critics. These people are thugs. Let’s repeat that to ensure it sinks in. These people are thugs. In over a decade of writing about such matters never have I encountered thugs who can get away with this much.

“What kind of trap do people get themselves into when joining the EPO then?”“I am a mere external observer to these events,” wrote this one person, “but I would wager that this is going to backfire very badly on BB and his clique. SUEPO now has more of a cause than ever for disgruntled or fearful employees to rally around. The numbers attending the demonstrations and taking part in future strikes will surely only grow from this point onwards.

“Then again, perhaps this was BB’s plan all along. In his eyes, SUEPO will no longer be a negotiating partner in view of such demonstrations. Hey presto! An excuse to finally call off the “social dialogue” which the management is (allegedly) committed, despite all its actions and announcements so far having shown that commitment to be a total sham.”

Another new comment said: “Do the ServRegs (or anything else) prevent the now-fired staff members from speaking out? As they are no longer employees of the office, perhaps it is time for the full details of their side of the story to emerge. The EPO no longer has any power over them. Full disclosure of all the documentary evidence might jolt a few of the more complacent AC delegates into action.”

“The office pays their pensions,” one person added, “and i think can force more than a 20% penalty if it is so malign. And BB wants the right to veto future employment. His spite has not been fully tested i fear.”

What kind of trap do people get themselves into when joining the EPO then? There needs to be a warning label on this tin. One of the latest comments (so far) asks: “Can some french-speaking reader please inform the Mr. Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’ of what is going on here?”

A lot of this reporting from Merpel can be traced back to these two comments [1, 2] that said “Hardon also loses 20% of her pension. Staff protesting at 1230 (and in The Hague too apparently). Sad day.”

“Battistelli and his clique should serve to remind us that FIFA is peanuts or small potatoes compared to the EPO, but there is media blackout.”“Mrs Elisabeth Hardon has just been fired,” said the second comment. “Of the other two suspended staff representatives, one (with 3 children, one still a baby) has been fired, the other severely downgraded.”

Battistelli and his clique should serve to remind us that FIFA is peanuts or small potatoes compared to the EPO, but there is media blackout. This is, as one person put it, “a premiere in the world of international organisations under French “leadership”….”

There are many issues at the EPO other than staff crackdown. We’ll come back to some of the other issues some other day. Another EPO patent, for example, has just been granted to help guard monopoly on cancer treatment, based on a new press release [1, 2].

“Worth noting is the fact that the EPO is so abusive that not only does it fire staff but it also reduces pensions (which hard work literally earned).”These mock trials against employees are extremely worrying because if this is where Europe is going (with impunity), then Europe rapidly loses its moral high ground, e.g. over Russia. Worth noting is the fact that the EPO is so abusive that not only does it fire staff but it also reduces pensions (which hard work literally earned). They’re sort of stealing money after causing serious personal losses in terms like legal fees. Europe or China? It’s getting hard to guess… and watch where Battistelli travels to these days.

There was a protest today (unscheduled/spontaneous) at the EPO in Munich and elsewhere, with details to be published soon (next part hopefully). “European Patent Office Munich,” one person wrote, was to have “demo in front of the EPO, today, within 2h! Police spokesman confirms that there were 1.800 participants!”

2 hours is a very good response time. That’s very spontaneous. It is a short timeframe for as many as 1,800 examiners/participants (that’s about half of them) to organise in the face of this kind of alarming news [1, 2].

The EPO has said nothing about this publicly. The EPO’s Twitter account invites people to ask questions today, so I actually asked them: “why did Battistelli fire his critics earlier today?” The EPO’s management never speaks to me, except via aggressive lawyers. While ~2000 EPO staff go to protest against the Office (which they figuratively vomit on) the latest kind of PR campaign starts. Is this part of the FTI Consulting deal? Shame on the EPO. This is far from over. Battistelli is just making himself more enemies.

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