10.19.21

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Norway Should Have Voted Against Benoît Battistelli’s Illegal (Anti-)’Strike Regulations’ at the European Patent Office

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ooxml_demo_4.jpg

Summary: Benoît Battistelli‘s EPO faced no real and potent opposition from Norwegian delegates, who chose to abstain from the vote on the notorious and illegal so-called ‘Strike Regulations’ (they’re just an attack on strikes, an assault on basic rights of labourers)

THIS post is devoted to Norway because the vote is registered neither as absent nor opposed. To me, personally, it’s a bit of a mystery; Here’s a translation of what Bodil Stueflaten (Acting Division Director) and Gundla Kvam (Technical Director) of the Norwegian Ministry of Labour wrote 8 years ago:

Request for input concerning proposals to regulate the right to strike at the EPO –The European Patent Organisation

We refer to the inquiry of 24 June [2013] concerning the above.The right to strike is regulated in several international instruments ratified by Norway, inter alia ILO Convention No. 87 and No. 98 on the right to self-organise and engage in collective bargaining, and the Council of Europe Social Charter. The right to strike is seen as a natural and necessary consequence of the right to organize and engage in collective bargaining. Strikes are however a powerful tool and the right is not absolute. The right to strike and limitations of the right to strike have evolved over time and are defined by the ILO and the Council of Europe expert committees.

The Department of Labour is not aware of whether international organizations have regulated the right to strike more in detail. From our starting point, we do not believe this is especially common because it intervenes in an area that naturally falls within the negotiation area of employers and workers organizations. The Department of Labour is therefore skeptical about a solution with an administrative regulation and about the content that, at a quick glance, seems extremely dubious in respect of its compliance with applicable international conventions.

Our suggestion would be that Norway request more info concerning how the right to strike is formulated in other organizations, and that the EPO takes no position on the proposal at the present time. A natural partner for the EPO administration would be the ILO office in Geneva.

Norway is a little different from most countries I know and tonight’s series will mention Norway only in passing. In the more distant past we wrote about how Norway had fought against Microsoft’s OOXML; people literally took it to the streets! Many links related to this can be found at the bottom of this post. Same with the photo at the top.

Norway did not actively object to Battistelli’s regime, though it did raise questions about quality of European Patents, which it recognised as a growing problem. Norway also studied the “Strike Regulations” (with a negative opinion on those).

“Norway did not actively object to Battistelli’s regime, though it did raise questions about quality of European Patents, which it recognised as a growing problem.”Norway will be mentioned in passing tonight; but it’s worth highlighting, upfront, the document from the Norwegian Ministry of Labour [PDF] (unofficial translation above). Why didn’t the delegates openly vote against the proposal? Fear of standing out from the crowd? Groupthink? Cold feet?

Either way, consider this to be a little homage to Norway. It’s not part of the EU, but unlike Switzerland it seems to occasionally care just a little about EPO staff. And to mention something of interest to casual readers of Techrights, Norway is also an adopter of GNU/Linux. The data below covers laptops/desktops; for GNU/Linux and ChromeOS (also based on GNU/Linux) we’re looking at around 10% market share, based on data from Web sites that spy a lot (the more complete numbers are likely to include more privacy-conscious GNU/Linux users as well).

Norway desktop

As the teasers tell (or prematurely give away), as per both memes from last night and this morning, the main culprits among Nordic states are Denmark and Iceland, joined by Finland, which will be the subject of tomorrow’s part.

More on Norway:

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