08.17.17

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Corruption at the European Patent Office and Systematic Bullying That Leads People to Suicide/Bankruptcy

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Patents at 1:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The EPO, quite unsurprisingly, likes to legally bully (and potentially bankrupt) its critics

Gawker bullied
When multi-billion dollar operations/individuals simply litigate their critics into oblivion

Summary: A look back at 3 years of intensive EPO coverage and what’s coming up next (suppression of truth behind closed doors in the courtrooms)

TECHRIGHTS started its special EPO coverage almost exactly 3 years ago and is now in the process of preparing another EPO series, this time coming from Croatia. As readers may have already noticed, earlier this month we felt more liberated/comfortable to simply label the EPO corrupt and openly accuse it of corruption. The evidence is simply overwhelming.

We are also exploring, more so at the moment, some Dutch affairs which would leave the EPO red-faced once made public. Both the story from Croatia and the story from Holland require access to court documents. This is why they take a long time to write about. We also haven’t forgotten about ILO, whose latest judgments require careful analysis of courts’ (or tribunals’) decisions.

SUEPO is on the right side of history. EPO management is rather lucky that nobody among it (at least not yet) is in prison. The chief of the Organisation is leaving at the end of next month and the chief of the Office has only 10 months left. They will probably never be held accountable for anything. Immunity goes a long way…

“SUEPO doesn’t care about [patent] quality,” said this comment from yesterday, “it cares about the social and financial benefits of the workers…”

This comment overlooks the fact that those two things can be inherently connected/correlated. SUEPO probably recognises that examiners wish to be intellectually challenged (like whenever examining papers or doing peer review) and don’t want to be reduced to assembly line workers who issue invalid (to later be invalidated) patents — patents that are soon to be used for frivolous litigation that’s against the public interest.

Here is the full comment: “The elite of very well paid and full of benefits public servants is discontent, but now interestingly they seem worried about “quality” of their job. If they do the job, they are fully responsible for such quality. SUEPO doesn’t care about quality, it cares about the social and financial benefits of the workers, and that’s legitimate. My question: who cares about the public interest in this “war”? Answer: as always, no-one!”

Actually, as a programmer myself, for me it was always about software patents and the interests of software developers, who want none of these software patents in Europe. It’s universally true that programmers reject software patents and there are good reasons for that.

It’s no secret that over the years we heard from many patent examiners. A lot of what we heard we never published (for risk of exposing the messenger). But we keep record of everything and shall the need or relevance arise, these issues will be aired responsibly.

Years ago we learned about some truly appalling stories which involve not only examiners but also staff representatives at the EPO. One particular story remained in our minds. We had begun working on a story which we still believe can be broken down as follows:

  1. EPO fires SUEPO person, without even notifying the person, and without telling the public
  2. EPO took advantage of illness in the family
  3. EPO showed hypocrisy on cancer

A lot of EPO workers are aware of this story. There are quite a few famous cases and this is probably one of them. A lot of these cases involve the exploitation of illness/injury, in the same way some farms in Florida are right now (as per today’s news) getting rid of staff. It’s not only illegal; it’s morally corrupt. But that’s what the EPO has become and since it’s immune to lawsuits it does not fear accountability.

From our understanding, there are various people who are notorious for their mistreatment of ill staff. Yann Chabod, chief of HR directly under Elodie Bergot, is one of these people. There is much to be said also about the things done by Bergot and Željko Topić in relation to this. We never heard of anything even remotely like it at the USPTO.

How can anyone get away with it? Threats to cut pensions? Exploiting people’s illnesses?

Off the record we often discuss why people are committing suicide at the EPO and what EPO management has done to these people. People out there wrongly assume that staff can simply choose the leave the EPO and go somewhere else, but it’s not that simple. As one person once put it, “the Office might still be tempted to retaliate, maybe cutting my pension or similar.”

This can be like a death knell to older employees, who will be able to sustain themselves financially without a pension (and often exhaust their savings on legal cases).

As someone once explained it to us, There are “cases that so far have afflicted the staff, some unknown to most, some others already known to public, including the suicide cases.”

We would not be surprised if there are more suicides on the way. How many more people need to lose their lives due to legal bullying and systematic harassment by the EPO?

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