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The European Patent Office (EPO) Will Fail at Retention and Recruitment This Way

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 27e25e31c926cfb22d48bdd7e02e2ee5
Staff Prospects at EPO
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO), Europe’s second-largest organisation, is not convincing its own staff that employees are properly rewarded; the hard-working staff representatives assert that “the discrepancy of rewards among staff grows, giving even more reasons for staff to complain against a career mechanism that has never fulfilled its alleged intent of rewarding “merit” and appears as arbitrary. There is no clear definition of “merit” given by management and the abolition of any seniority component remains contested.”

Retention and recruitment at the EPO have long been a problem, which worsened profoundly under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, who referred to himself as “the f***ing president”.

“Nowadays “merit” at the EPO likely refers to lying, nepotism, and disregard for the laws that govern the Office, e.g. granting as many patents as possible on flimsy grounds.”As this new document [PDF] (discussed in passing above, it’s the fifth part) serves to show, a rogue institution which discriminates against women (contrary to what it says in its official Web site, as the next video and article shall show), isn’t just repressive and corrupt. Those who work for it (the ordinary patent examiners) don’t have long-term prospects, set aside personal integrity issues (the management compels examiners to work against the law).

The official site, EPO.org, can brag all it wants about illegal actions taken by itself, as we shall show later. But it won’t fool EPO insiders. They’re too smart for this mindless PR and the shallow optics.

The uploaded PDF was accompanied by the following message from the EPO’s Central Staff Committee. It read as follows:

[CSC] Rewards Exercise 2022: Cumulated Pensionable Rewards

Dear colleagues,

The aim of this paper, the fifth part in a series of publications on the rewards exercise 2022 (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4), is to identify patterns in the way rewards are being distributed and compare such patterns with the rewards policy of the new career system (NCS) and/or the former career system. One useful method is to observe histograms reflecting how staff have been similarly or differently rewarded over several years.

If the rewarding exercise were not arbitrary, the cumulated output over many years for any staff member should match with measurable data resulting from criteria that are clearly defined in the Service Regulations or implementing provisions, that is applicable to the staff member and comparable with peers. Having considered the only collective data ever produced by the management and trying to see if that data could explain the observed distribution of cumulated rewards, it must be concluded that there is a complete mismatch.

The “holistic” approach after one year of implementation has had no appreciable effect on the distribution of rewards. In contrast, the NCS reveals itself more and more as a “winner-takes-all” system for a small minority.

Over time, the discrepancy of rewards among staff grows, giving even more reasons for staff to complain against a career mechanism that has never fulfilled its alleged intent of rewarding “merit” and appears as arbitrary. There is no clear definition of “merit” given by management and the abolition of any seniority component remains contested.

Nowadays “merit” at the EPO likely refers to lying, nepotism, and disregard for the laws that govern the Office, e.g. granting as many patents as possible on flimsy grounds. The next post will say and show more on this subject.

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