09.12.16

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Benoît Battistelli is Putting More EPO Staff Representatives in Front of His Firing Line

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

While Battistelli effectively uses FFPE-EPO and unskilled recruits on limited contracts as scabs or strike-breakers

Summary: The war on the staff union of the EPO (SUEPO) has apparently resulted if not culminated in a formal warning to Joachim Michels, President of SUEPO Central

GRIM time at the EPO is already public knowledge. The very existence of the EPO as we know it is at stake now, thus the competitiveness of Europe. Patent examiners are rightly worried.

“The very existence of the EPO as we know it is at stake now, thus the competitiveness of Europe. Patent examiners are rightly worried.”Based on a new letter we saw — an open letter in fact — Jesus Areso has been warned and so has Joachim Michels. This is significant because Joachim Michels is (or was, as of last Christmas) the President of SUEPO Central. A more recent letter lists him as Chair of SUEPO Central. SUEPO is a very large staff union, representing most staff having already enlisted as registered members about half of the entire Office (all branches).

The context in which we found out about the status of Michels is a letter addressing the fact that ILO is overloaded by EPO complaints. We wrote about this many times before, including in the following articles:

We recently wrote about the case of Laurent Prunier, who is likely — if Battistelli gets his way — to be the first staff representative in The Hague to be dismissed based on what Prunier called cref 95210 “demonstrably fabricated accusations”] (we have seen this pattern before and covered it). This is how bad things have become and the following Open Letter to the President (Benoît Battistelli) rightly bemoans the lack of juridical oversight, rendering the EPO a lawless place that’s run by a crazed autocrat. They put it more politely though:

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr Benoît Battistelli
President of the EPO

ISAR – R.1081

Open letter:
Reform of the internal justice system

Dear Mr President,

Recently1, the Administrative Tribunal and its Governing Body have expressed concerns about the internal justice system at the EPO and the negative consequences of its dysfunction on the caseload of the Tribunal.

The Tribunal has also found in Judgment No. 3694 that, considering the quasi-judicial functions of the Appeals Committee, its composition was fundamental. The balance sought to be achieved by the composition of this body, which includes members appointed by the Administration and by the staff representation, is a fundamental guarantee of its impartiality. Accordingly, the Tribunal has ordered (re-)examination by an Appeals Committee composed in accordance with the applicable rules.

When making appointments for the calendar year 2016, we had already expressed our intention to appoint members to the Appeals Committee in application of Article 36(2)(a) ServRegs as soon as issues in the appeals system are addressed satisfactorily.

We have already identified problems to be solved in order to establish internal means of redress seen to be fair by staff. It appears that it is time to repeat our invitation to discuss with you our concerns and intentions and to devise ways to move forward.

We therefore respectfully ask for a meeting with you at your earliest convenience, preferably in September.

____
1 see on particular §§ 653 to 662 on pages 153 – 155 of the Minutes of the 326th Session of the Governing Body of the International Labour Office

We don’t know if a meeting will take place (or has already taken place), but one sure thing is that things are rotten at the EPO and staff representatives are under attack. The union-busting activities of Battistelli are still alive and well (these are often effective, especially when there’s no oversight as in the case at Eponia).

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