Gemini version available ♊︎

EPO Management Will Exploit the Pandemic to Crush Patent Examiners Like It Crushed the Rule of Law (and Judges)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Work (or the boss) comes home to roost

You don't need to kidnap judges if you control all the judges' boss
Imagine home ‘raids’; also remember that the EPO has already ‘normalised’ surprise visits to people’s homes (to “verify” they were in fact ill and not “faking it”)

Summary: EPO management pretends to “protect” the staff from an invisible enemy; people who have worked in the Office long enough are familiar with these antics (as if there are terrorists and “Nazis” and “snipers” on the premises) and should view very sceptically the real motivations behind sending staff to homes/apartments with growing workloads and more pervasive spying (such as illegal Microsoft spyware which has a covert keylogger and can access microphones, cameras etc. — shades of a supposedly bygone EPO era)

THIS post isn’t intended to provoke. It’s an expression of an opinion. But this opinion is based on past experiences and a lot of reading, including some of the practices observed in technology companies such as IBM.

“The list of issues is endless and many aspects were covered here last year when lock-downs began at the end of March (UK).”Last week I did a 25-minute video expressing my personal thoughts on home-working or work-from-home arrangements, having done that (mostly full-time) since 2007. Don’t call it “remote work” or “teleworking”; these misnomers manipulate semantics and twist the narratives so as to harm workers, making it seem like working from one’s own residence is inadequate and thus merits additional deductions, surveillance, a lack of flexibility and so on. One example is, employers tend to wrongly assume that because one’s office is at home they can phone the worker any time of the day. Other common examples are, they expect workers to be productive at any time of the day/week (for no additional or exceptional payment — something most countries mandate), convert “commute time” into unpaid work time, and generally work very long hours under constant wiretapping/spying, impacting not only the workers but also other tenants, usually loved ones. The list of issues is endless and many aspects were covered here last year when lock-downs began at the end of March (UK). The title of last week’s post was “EPO Home-Working (or ‘Remote’ Working or ‘Teleworking’) Isn’t an Act of Generosity But of Exploitation” and it seems like some workers have been bamboozled/conned into thinking that António Campinos buying them some ergonomic chair (a tiny fraction of the annual salary of EPO examiners) makes it acceptable for him to take away lots of benefitd. Don’t be grateful for it; António has ideas and now that fewer people are in the Office they approach low-cost labourers further abroad (outside Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands). Like Greek mythology teaches us, the oversized wooden horse isn’t quite the gift which it’s disguised as. That ergonomic chair too is easily discardable.

“My advice to EPO staff representatives is, stay constantly vigilant.”Earlier today the EPO’s Central Staff Committee (CSC) circulated this document [PDF] and a member of staff ‘leaked’ it to us. The document isn’t exceptionally interesting and it concerns a meeting that took place 13.5 days ago, i.e. nearly a fortnight ago. The gist (or the abstract) says: “On 18 October, the administration provided us with a copy of a draft Circular defining a mid-term teleworking policy for the Office (see CA/38/21, page 17) as of 1 February 2022 and to be reviewed in no later than 3 years after entry into force. This Circular would replace both the Emergency Teleworking Guidelines in place since March 2020 and the revised Part-Time Home Working (PTHW) Guidelines in place since May 2018. Management invited us ["the staff representation"] to a meeting which took place on 22 October.”

Page 2 describes location limitations. In page 1 it gives the example of “EPO employee recruited in Munich or Berlin would be allowed to reside in Hamburg and to telework from there. In addition to the employee’s residence, an employee can telework from any location within the country of employment.”

This is just Germany shielding its economic interests in the Office. Obviously most workers are based in Germany, so they’re force to stay there and spend money there. For some, this means sending the kids to highly expensive international schools.

My reflex or my instinct about all this, having observed the tricks leveraged by Benoît Battistelli, isn’t positive at all. They’re trying to sell this ‘reform’ using “pandemic”, even though it actually predates the pandemic, as noted in this document. They did the same with the SAP, based on a lie, and we’ve already seen how they misuse the pandemic to outsource 'courts' to American companies, not just to the outskirts (Haar). It’s unconstitutional, it is in violation of the EPC (respectively), but what do these people care/worry about? It took ILO-AT nearly an entire decades to assess "Strike Regulations", which were unlawful all along.

I’m not being facetious and I’m not being negative for the sake of ‘bashing’ the EPO. I’ve been working from home for over 14 years (incidentally, this site turns 15 in a matter of days). I saw how such working conditions are exploited as a sort of pretext for paycuts (or a lack of pay increases, which as long as we have positive inflation rates means a paycut).

My advice to EPO staff representatives is, stay constantly vigilant. Try to envision the next step of the administration or the proposals floated behind closed doors; these people absolutely do not care about patent examiners and they do not even understand them (or their jobs)! Letting people work from home is just a matter of complying with the national laws — to the most minimal extent in this case — while squeezing out the most “production” out of workers… in a time of international emergency/crisis.

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. Links 01/06/2023: Spleen 2.0.0 Released and Team UPC Celebrates Its Own Corruption

    Links for the day

  2. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 31, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 31, 2023

  3. Tux Machines Closing the Door on Twitter Because Twitter is Dead (for a Lot of People)

    Tux Machines recently joined millions of others who had already quit Twitter, including passive posting (fully or partly automated)

  4. Links 31/05/2023: Inkscape’s 1.3 Plans and New ARM Cortex-A55-Based Linux Chip

    Links for the day

  5. Gemini Links 31/05/2023: Personality of Software Engineers

    Links for the day

  6. Links 31/05/2023: Armbian 23.05 Release and Illegal UPC

    Links for the day

  7. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 30, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 30, 2023

  8. Gemini Protocol About to Turn 4 and It's Still Growing

    In the month of May we had zero downtime (no updates to the system or outages in the network), which means Lupa did not detect any errors such as timeouts and we’re on top of the list (the page was fixed a day or so after we wrote about it); Gemini continues to grow (chart by Botond) as we’re approaching the 4th anniversary of the protocol

  9. Links 31/05/2023: Librem Server v2, curl 8.1.2, and Kali Linux 2023.2 Release

    Links for the day

  10. Gemini Links 31/05/2023: Bayes Filter and Programming Wordle

    Links for the day

  11. [Meme] Makes No Sense for EPO (Now Connected to the EU) and Staff Pensions to be Tied to the UK After Brexit

    It seems like EPO staff is starting to have doubts about the safety of EPO pensions after Benoît Battistelli sent money to reckless gambling (EPOTIF) — a plot that’s 100% supported by António Campinos and his enablers in the Council, not to mention the European Union

  12. Working Conditions at EPO Deteriorate and Staff Inquires About Pension Rights

    Work is becoming a lot worse (not even compliant with the law!) and promises are constantly being broken, so staff is starting to chase management for answers and assurances pertaining to finances

  13. Links 30/05/2023: Orc 0.4.34 and Another Rust Crisis

    Links for the day

  14. Links 30/05/2023: Nitrux 2.8.1 and HypoPG 1.4.0

    Links for the day

  15. Gemini Links 30/05/2023: Bubble Version 3.0

    Links for the day

  16. Links 30/05/2023: LibreOffice 7.6 in Review and More Digital Restrictions (DRM) From HP

    Links for the day

  17. Gemini Links 30/05/2023: Curl Still Missing the Point?

    Links for the day

  18. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, May 29, 2023

  19. MS (Mark Shuttleworth) as a Microsoft Salesperson

    Canonical isn’t working for GNU/Linux or for Ubuntu; it’s working for “business partners” (WSL was all along about promoting Windows)

  20. First Speaker in Event for GNU at 40 Called for Resignation/Removal of GNU's Founder

    It’s good that the FSF prepares an event to celebrate GNU’s 40th anniversary, but readers told us that the speakers list is unsavoury, especially the first one (a key participant in the relentless campaign of defamation against the person who started both GNU and the FSF; the "FSFE" isn't even permitted to use that name)

  21. When Jokes Became 'Rude' (or Disingenuously Misinterpreted by the 'Cancel Mob')

    A new and more detailed explanation of what the wordplay around "pleasure card" actually meant

  22. Site Updates and Plans Ahead

    A quick look at or a roundup of what we've been up to, what we plan to publish in the future, what topics we shall focus on very soon, and progress moving to Alpine Linux

  23. Links 29/05/2023: Snap and PipeWire Plans as Vendor Lock-in

    Links for the day

  24. Gemini Links 29/05/2023: GNU/Linux Pains and More

    Links for the day

  25. Links 29/05/2023: Election in Fedora, Unifont 15.0.04

    Links for the day

  26. Gemini Links 29/05/2023: Rosy Crow 1.1.1 and Smolver 1.2.1 Released

    Links for the day

  27. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 28, 2023

  28. Daniel Stenberg Knows Almost Nothing About Gemini and He's Likely Just Protecting His Turf (HTTP/S)

    The man behind Curl, Daniel Stenberg, criticises Gemini; but it's not clear if he even bothered trying it (except very briefly) or just read some inaccurate, one-sided blurbs about it

  29. Links 29/05/2023: Videos Catchup and Gemini FUD

    Links for the day

  30. Links 28/05/2023: Linux 6.4 RC4 and MX Linux 23 Beta

    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