Workers Under Attack (and How Fear is Leveraged to Suppress Unionising, Whistleblowing, Dissent)

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 8:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum c7700ef58958161c6bced749684892fd
Workers at Times of Crises
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The age of union-busting, layoffs and witch-hunts (my wife and I were subjected to a botched attempt at a vendetta/witch-hunt) is here; companies and organisations that cannot justify their existence cheat and plunder anything and anyone at sight’s range

THE so-called ‘ruling class’ is always trying to find new methods to keep the labour force under tighter control. Workers who are afraid or blackmailed (e.g. drastic financial consequences for ‘badmouthing’ an employer or former employers) are a lot easier to ‘keep in line’.

“In good (or relatively better) economic times companies make a lot of promises and offer endless assurances. What happens when those companies go under or struggle?”The video about speaks about this year’s second wave of Microsoft layoffs (the media intentionally does not cover this), the latest intimidating moves by EPO management, and even the pension of former colleagues (apparently “gone missing”!).

In good (or relatively better) economic times companies make a lot of promises and offer endless assurances. What happens when those companies go under or struggle? Will they even be honest with staff and clients? In Microsoft’s case, a lot of money has been sunk into media/publishers (paid to lie) lately, propping up the share price based on vapourware and false marketing. Microsoft’s business is barely viable, but it is propped up by bailouts owing to political connection rather than importance.


Who Will Assess the Performance of the Corrupt EPO? Nobody. It’s Above Scrutiny.

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: The EPO, Europe’s largest patent office, is subjecting staff to stress-inducing appraisals while the EPO itself keeps lying about management’s performance and lets managers shamelessly break the law (there are no consequences for crime if you’re a manager in this institution, Europe’s second-largest institution)

THE EPO‘s staff union, SUEPO, has highlighted another new post about the demise of quality of European Patents under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos. The comments are worth reading; it’s not limited to European software patents and the illegitimacy of the UPC is noted along the way. We try to archive such comments because we’re told that Kluwer Patent Blog is still censoring comments. The blog is, as a whole, a giant booster of the UPC that always fails to disclose a giant conflict of interest (like Bristows staff running it anonymously a lot of the time).

“Get ready for some big EPO leaks about corruption. It’s under preparation at the moment.”The Local Staff Committee The Hague (LSCTH) has meanwhile shared slides that it presented exactly a fortnight ago. “Thanks to all the participants of the online information session on the topic of performance / appraisal last Thursday February 2nd, 2023,” LSCTH wrote. It deals mostly with potential legal disputes in 13 slides. Under the guise of appraisal/assessment/performance reports EPO management probably tries to bully staff into patent maximalism rather than adherence to the EPC. It’s important not to surrender to this illegal agenda.

Get ready for some big EPO leaks about corruption. It’s under preparation at the moment. The EPO likes to talk about “legality” and “courts” and the “law” when in fact it is routinely committing crimes, violating conventions, burying constitutions and so on, with Grabinski’s grubby hands on the gavel and an army of blackmailing trolls to defend this mafia-like activity [1, 2]. We’ve reported these mobsters to the EFF and the EFF opened a ticket for it. Europe has been getting more authoritarian and it fails to protect the press. There’s barely any press left, just lobbying sites of special interests like Team UPC’s. Europe has adopted Maltese media standards.


Management of the European Patent Office Has Laid Off All the Staff That Fed the Employees (Despite Drowning in Money Generated by Granting Fake European Patents)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s all about greed and exploitation by managers who give themselves massive bonuses

EPO Leonardi Team

Summary: An internal publication explains many of the violations that have occurred at the EPO in the past couple of years, including and especially the attacks on staff

THE UNION of the EPO‘s staff, SUEPO, was targeted by Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos told the vindicated victim of this unlawful witch-hunt — right to his face — that he would rather see him leave (or something to that effect).

“They are in effect an element of vendor (corporate) capture of Europe’s largest patent agency, which is also trying to override pertinent nations’ patent court systems.”The EPO is run by truly corrupt officials. They cannot tolerate criticism and they don’t follow the law. They are in effect an element of vendor (corporate) capture of Europe’s largest patent agency, which is also trying to override pertinent nations’ patent court systems.

The following report was circulated last week and it was authored by one victim of the unlawful witch-hunt. SUEPO members have seen this already and the public should too. This is where the EPO stands


Ortssektion München
Local section Munich
Section locale de Munich

10 February 2023
su23005mp – 0.2.1

SUEPO Munich Chairman’s report

2021 – 2022

The SUEPO Munich elections for the period 2021-2022 took place in March 2021. The election results were announced on 17 March 2021, and the committee constituted on 29 March 2021. Presently the committee is composed of four members. The number of SUEPO Munich branch members remained stable between 1.700 – 1.800. The membership income is however decreasing slowly since more staff are going on pension than are hired by the EPO.

Work with EPO management.
The most prominent fact to be mentioned here is the consistent reluctance of Mr Campinos to talk to the unions over the last two years. Mr Campinos successfully avoided all invitations coming from SUEPO and when the unions called for industrial actions, Mr Campinos sent a delegation of members of the administration without any mandate to propose anything. However, the work with management at all other lower levels is relaxing.


Year 2021

Caterers kicked out

Throughout 2021, the Covid-19 epidemy raged on. EPO staff adapted to the ‘Emergency Guidelines’ allowing them to work 100% from home or from abroad. These had major implications for the EPO, for the staff and for the contractors.

The caterers of our canteens were decimated during the pandemic years, to the extent that all our canteens in Munich were closed down. From April to September 2021, the staff committee Munich supported by SUEPO Munich, organized a GOFundMe campaign and collected over Euro 100.000 support for the 40 canteen staff laid off.

‘Team Leonardi’ was the caterer in Munich who served EPO staff the longest with great food. Some employees had been with us for 20-30 years. Now most of them are either unemployed or retired. All of them however were very thankful for the donations.

Education allowance

In May 2021, the Office tabled in the General Consultative Committee (GCC) the Education and Childcare allowance reform. Officially, the reform was aimed at introducing equal treatment between expatriates and nationals. However, it significantly reduced benefits to EPO sites relying on International Schools while reducing the overall budget by -10% compared to the previous years at a time the EPO made a profit of over 348,9 million euros.

The administration remained oblivious to all the letters sent to them with all the rational arguments presented therein, which were repeated in the GCC. Instead of simplifying the work of the HR Department, we explained that it would rather increase their workload. Two years later in 2023, we are proven right. Any request sent to the HR needs months to be answered due to the high amount of work regarding the education allowance requests. The lack of proper definition of indirect costs is now the preferred tool of HR to reduce reimbursements and pretend they are covered by a “lump-sum”. It is worth nothing that this reform was again drafted and implemented by Ms. Elodie Bergot. Yet another successful project….against the staff.

An army of litigators
The savings made by the EPO on the back of staff and the education of their children amount to what the EPO invested in an army of litigators. In the same month the education allowance reform was introduced, May 2021, the EPO presented a financial request to the Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) for a tremendous increase in their litigation budget for external law firms working on the EPO’s behalf in front of the Tribunal. The budget increased from a few hundred thousand Euros in the past years to 5.8 million Euro. It just shows the kind of social dialogue Mr Campinos has in mind.

New Normal

In May 2021 the EPO embarked on yet another ‘successful’ pilot project described in an orientation paper, the ‘New Normal’. The paper was essentially empty and void of any specifics. It was not even tabled in the GCC. Mr. Campinos considered its purpose was only to give the “opportunity to give further input” to “stakeholders” which will be assessed for inclusion in the final draft of the document.

In our opinion, proper good faith consultation would have allowed a reasonable amount of time for statutory bodies to discuss the issue, to have its main questions answered and to provide reasoned advice. The proposed exercise merely consisting in sending “further input” to an email alias address, lacked essential features of a genuine consultation.

Even external stakeholders have realized that such a call for input is more of a communication exercise than a consultation. The same is still happening on the topic of quality for which the EPO showed reluctance to come to the round table.

Young Professionals
In June 2021 the EPO provided another blow to its staff and future staff. Management tabled Circular 405 which goes again in the exact opposite direction than what is needed. Instead of providing young staff with a safe and secure environment the Circular puts all new staff on a 13 years’ probation. According to the EPO, young staff prefers precarity.

The new colleagues, named ‘Young Professionals’, are recruited directly from the university. In order to propose the lowest salaries ever, the EPO had to cobble together a new way of putting them off-scale below the lowest grade and step at the EPO. They are recruited for one year. They can obtain a two year extension. After these three successful years, the ‘Young Professional’ can apply for a five year contract. Again, passing these 5 years the not so ‘Young Professional‘ anymore can be extended for five more years. Overall, it constitutes 13 years on probation. After passing these 13 years of probation the middle aged ‘Young Professional’ could become a permanent staff provided that the EPO sees a need for her or him.

We are appalled by this new reform and treatment of our new colleagues. Once again, we tried to make positive suggestions but to no avail. In a competitive environment where the industry offers permanent contracts after one year and even 6 months, the EPO is actually deteriorating even further its employment package. We expect this reform to have a profound negative effect on the office capability in finding job applicants to perform its tasks in the future.

Year 2022

Technologia Survey
Beginning of 2022, SUEPO organized the Fifth Edition of the ‘Technologia Staff survey’. The Technologia Survey is organized by SUEPO every three years without interruption since the last 15 years. When the EPO runs its own staff survey, it formulates non-question so as to get non-answers. And when answers tend to be negative for management, the results are swept under the carpet.

Call for actions
Simultaneously, SUEPO called for actions. The action was necessary in view of many unresolved issues such as:

• violation both individual and collective of the rights of staff to freedom of association since 2013;
• inefficient and biased EPO internal justice system
• unsolved major reforms such as the salary adjustment procedure and its disastrous loss of staff’s purchasing power ignoring the massive efforts made by EPO staff during the pandemic time.
• the introduction of an alleged “coverage gap” predicted for 2038 which was covered already in the first two years since mentioning it.

An overwhelming number of staff (90%) voted for the action plan.

The ‘Work to rule’ action appeared to be successful. This action continued throughout 2022 until end of September. The action had a great impact on the production of grants. This effect was also echoed by the delegates in the Administrative Council where they indicated that in some national office they had to lay staff off because of lack of income. However, none of them came to the conclusion that maybe the lack of dialogue with the staff could be a problem and that maybe a different approach from the management would improve things.


SUEPO called for 1 full day of strike on the 22 March 2022.

According to the unsigned Intranet Communiqué from management, 1.514 employees participated in the strike. It was the highest result of an industrial action since 2016 and an even better participation than in the strike of 15 December 2020. It was a clear signal to Mr Campinos that there is room for improvement in terms of social dialogue.

In addition, strike registration was made difficult by the management and therefore still remains an unreliable tool. When putting the figures into perspective, even based on these unreliable and incomplete data, we count that at least 40% of non-managerial available staff went on strike.

SUEPO invited Mr Campinos to urgent meetings and proposed multiple dates (1 April, 5 April or 6 April) with the aim to explore ways out of the social unrest with the aim of delivering positive outcomes to our legitimate claims.

Needless to say that Mr. Campinos did not turn up but sent his management instead to the negotiation table. They came empty handed however, with no proposals or mandate to solve any of the raised problems.

Our successful actions were also followed closely by the media.

Political and legal

SUEPO Central is the structure regrouping all SUEPO committees from all four places of employment (or sites). Together we are able to tackle all the issues which have become of a more general nature concerning all staff. Munich being the biggest site participates financially and legally to this structure to a very large extent. Actions launched by SUEPO Central are normally backed by all SUEPO committees.

Year 2021

Following a series of well attended General Meetings in all sites, the SUEPO committees were entrusted by their members to prepare litigation procedures against the New Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP). Via SUEPO Central, templates to challenge the procedure were provided for the deadline of 16 March 2021 which was the deadline for filing the management review (RfR). Over 1.200 staff members filed this review.

Campinos protecting Battistelli’s legacy

In February 2021, Mr. Campinos rejected the Appeals against the New Career System and Invalidity Lump sum. As in the past and in the same line with his predecessor Mr. Campinos followed the majority opinion in favor of the EPO for the New Career system but at the same time refused to follow the unanimous opinion for the Invalidity lump sum when this was in favor of the staff.

The days when Mr Campinos preferred to reduce litigation through settlement discussions seem now to be over. By selectively following ApC opinions to confirm two major negative reforms against EPO staff, Mr Campinos reveals one facet of his mandate: to protect and pursue the political legacy of his predecessor.

In May 2021, SUEPO provided appeal templates to challenge these decisions in front of the ILO.

Cash injections for upper management
In April 2021, SUEPO provided another request for review template this time against the unfair cash injections in the Salary Savings Plan (SSP) of lower grades. Managers in higher grade fill their pockets with 16x more injection in their private salary savings plans than the staff in the lower grades. It was questioned why the higher managerial staff should receive 16x more financial injection (bonus) in their private salary savings plans when their salaries can only be up to 3x more than staff in the lower salary scales.

Strike judgments
Since 2013, EPO staff were subject to illegal strike regulations put in place by Mr. Battistelli and zealously implemented by Ms. Elodie Bergot. Such a regime infringing the fundamental right to strike continued to prevail under the first mandate of Mr. Campinos.

On 15 December 2020, 1.448 employees representing 22,6% of all staff participated in a strike against the new salary adjustment procedure. On the January 2021 salary slip, the EPO deducted 1/20th of a monthly’s salary for a whole day of strike (instead of 1/30th) or 1/40th for half a day of strike (instead of 1/60th). The excessive strike deductions put in place since 2013 were already the subject of complaints pending in front of the Tribunal.

SUEPO provided yet again a Management review template to challenge this excessive deductions.

In its 132nd session on 7 July 2021, the Tribunal delivered a total of 43 judgments, of which 25 concern the EPO. The encouraging news from this session was that very important cases were finally ruled in favour of the complainants (i.e. the staff):

• Judgments 4433 and 4435 on strike deductions;
• Judgments 4430, 4432 and 4434 on Circular 347.

A more detailed overview of all judgments of the 132nd session can be found here. The Tribunal ruled that the EPO infringed upon staff’s fundamental rights and imposed excessive strike deductions of punitive character. EPO management, Mr. Battistelli and Ms. Elodie Bergot, were sanctioned for abusing their power. Furthermore, the Tribunal considered that the EPO interfered in the legitimate call for strike on 2 and 3 July 2013.

At the time, Ms. Elodie Bergot had sent letters to those declaring themselves on strike informing them that their absence was treated as unauthorised absence and that future unauthorised absences would lead to disciplinary action. The Tribunal considered it was an attempt to stifle, by threat, the exercise of the lawful right to strike and that Ms. Elodie Bergot acted without authority when sending the letter.

After 8 years of breach of a fundamental rights at the EPO (including 3 years under the mandate of Mr. Campinos), it was now up to Mr. Campinos to take the consequences and to repair the damage done to the Organisation. Mr. Campinos reimbursed the excessive strike deductions with interests. The bigger damage however was to the reputation of the office now proven to be a repetitive offender of fundamental rights. Ms. Elodie Bergot suffered no consequence and was even promoted to Chief Policy Officer was left in charge of the sensible Welfare and

Remuneration department (where she did the most damage) and her contract was then extended for a further 5 years until 2028.

No moral damages have been awarded to those who neither filed a complaint in front of the Tribunal nor an application to intervene although their rights have also been infringed. In a meeting with the Central Staff Committee (CSC) on 15 September 2021, Mr Campinos even strongly excluded any form of apology from the Organisation to the staff.

A biased Appeals Committee?
The Tribunal declared the strike regulations (Circular 347) illegal and set these aside. Back in 2015, the Dutch Court of Appeal had also found that these violated fundamental rights.

However, the EPO Appeals Committee (ApC) had issued a majority opinion in favour of the strike regulations. This wrong opinion was even supported by the Appeal’s committee Chair at that time, Sir Paul Mahoney despite his former experience as a Judge at the European Court of Human Rights. This blunder came as clear evidence of bias and dysfunction of the EPO internal justice system.

In view of the fundamental importance of legal certainty and social peace, and in order to restore staff’s confidence in the opinions of the internal Appeal’s committee (ApC) as soon as possible, as well as to be settle disputes internally instead of at the ILOAT, the CSC urged the delegations in the Administrative Council (AC) to take steps to ensure that:

• staff representation is allowed to appoint members to the selection board for the Chair and Vice-Chairs of the ApC,
• the General Consultative Committee (GCC) is consulted prior to appointment of the Chair and Vice-Chairs,
• no Chair or vice-Chair may be appointed who does not find consensus in the GCC.

Litigation: past and new reforms

In July 2021, SUEPO prepared and published the internal appeals templates for challenging the new Salary adjustment procedure.

In September 2021, SUEPO provided requests for review (RfR) templates to contest the Education and Childcare allowance that disproportionately affected some colleagues more than others.

In November 2021, SUEPO organised a survey on teleworking in order to reassess the telework preferences one year after the introduction of the new normal way of working.

In December 2021, SUEPO prepared templates to challenge the new career system (CA/D10/14) in front of the Tribunal.

Year 2022

“Social Democracy” and EPO institutional harassment

In February 2022, the Tribunal ruled in its 133rd Session on 51 cases among which
12 EPO cases.

For the second time after the judgments on the unlawful strike regulations, the Tribunal ruled in Judgment 4482 that an EPO reform, “Social Democracy“, breached the fundamental right to freedom of association.

Judgments 4488, 4489, and 4490 sanctioned the EPO’s institutional harassment of a former Principal Director by Mr. Battistelli and Ms. Elodie Bergot and awarded above 250.000 € of damages in total. Judgment 4491 ordered the reinstatement of a single mother with babies (at the material time) unlawfully charged with fraud by the Investigative Unit which made an unfair and distorted analysis of the facts.

Between all these successful legal actions SUEPO continued also in 2022 to provide staff with standard management reviews or complaint templates against the different negative reforms such as the salary adjustment procedure.

Ban on mass-emails declared unlawful

On 6 July 2022, the Tribunal ruled yet again against the EPO in another blockbuster Judgement 4551 that the EPO Communiqué of 31 May 2013 restraining the use of email to no more than 50 recipients without prior authorisation breached the fundamental right to freedom of association. The Tribunal considered that the true reason was to exercise prior censorship on the content of communications.

It also confirmed that the mass emails of the staff representation and unions at the material time did not exceed the limits to freedom of opinion and speech, and hence did not justify a mechanism of a prior authorisation.

After 9 years of breach of freedom of communication (including 4 years during the mandate of Mr. Campinos), the Tribunal has declared the ban of mass emails was unlawful. Six months later, at the time of writing this report (February 2023) Mr. Campinos has still not lifted the technical restrictions imposed on staff and their representation. It is yet another judgment confirming his lack of willingness to restore fundamental rights at the EPO on his own initiative.

In August, in September and then in November 2022, SUEPO and the staff representation demanded that the judgment be finally executed. The response was a lame excuse. The EPO now pretends that staff representation is an entity not in the interest of the service and which makes ‘marketing’ for itself or others on EPO lines. On top of that, management wants to force the use of an external provider acting as a black box for sending emails. Access to EPO mailing-lists for addressing all staff remained forbidden as well as the limitation to 50 recipients.

Final words

Presently, the EPO managed to yet again anger staff by starting a new ‘successful’(!) project named ‘Bringing teams together’. This project is so badly managed that even hard line managers are distancing themselves from it. Allowing only a selected few to have an individual office and moving the rest of staff out of their rooms in ‘workplaces-for-the-day’ (hot desking) is demotivating and it is disconnecting staff from the EPO. The aim of the higher management is apparently to overcome the ‘ghost’ feeling in the buildings and to “bring the teams” together. Following the first plans we saw the teams will neither be together nor is the EPO any better. The EPO has now, next to the ‘ghost’ feeling also the ‘hospital-sterile’ feeling too as no personal items are allowed in the office anymore.

During the last two years, the EPO staff underwent several badly designed and wrongly implemented reforms. It would take a lot of time to comb through them to find a single positive aspect for the staff. Over the same period, Mr. Campinos neither met

with SUEPO Central nor with SUEPO Munich. The last meeting was on 18 November 2020. To be noted that during that meeting Mr. Campinos forecasted that: “In any case, if SUEPO wants back access to mass-emails, it would be only in the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding. SUEPO will lose in Geneva anyway.” Now that Mr. Campinos lost the case in Geneva, he launched into an exercise of bad faith in order not implement it.

In 2023 the office embarks on a follow up financial study to the biased financial study made by Mercer in 2019. Mr. Campinos already announced in the Administrative Council that the office is again looking at a deficit of two billion Euro. This number was mentioned even before starting the financial study. It shows already where the ride will end. The main reason mentioned for this was the salary adjustment.

Internally however, we see an imbalance in the workforce. Namely, in the number of staff working on the line and those who don’t. It has become very obvious that new Director posts are generated regularly in the DG’s outside the line. Also the ratio of staff to a director in DG1 in comparison to those in the other DG’s is highly imbalanced. This increase in the ‘Wasserkopf’ is unsustainable to use a managerial term. Less ‘Chefs’ and more ‘Indians’ would be appreciated in order to alleviate the pressure put on the examiners to produce the 10% more products to cover the apparent deficit.

The mathematically challenged salary adjustment was a shock to everyone. The lack of a salary adjustment for many years was a shock to staff. This was followed by a large adjustment which was a shock to the management and the AC. Hence, the salary adjustment method designed by Ms. Bergot is demonstratively a complete failure. A new method needs to be presented to the AC at the end of the six years period, in 2026. The preparations need to already start next year. This time around, maybe Mr. Campinos considers a tried and proven salary method like the one from the European Commission, instead of re-inventing the wheel. That method was agreed on by the ministers of all member states, hence also by those member states in our Administrative Council. It provided moderate adjustments over the years without any shock effects and is not legally challenged by the over 30.000 staff to whom it applies. Also it is ready to be implemented, therefore the cost in developing a sound salary adjustment method is minimal.

In view of the financial study to be performed, we can only warn of any new negative reforms in the near future and other cuts in staff’s welfare and employment package (eg: pension reform). If the management want to reach the envisioned drastically increased targets then unrest, especially in the examiners area is probably not the best way to achieve it. Presently, after the pandemic years and the new normal project staff need a period of consolidation with no new detrimental reforms. EPO staff do not need even more disruption. What they do need is to be moved back into their comfort zone. The EPO experimented enough on the back of the staff over the last 10-15 years with the mantra of ‘moving the staff out of their comfort zone’. The result is high sickness levels, lower production, lower quality, demotivation and disconnection.

And finally for the next SUPO mandate, the pensioners and their rights should come more into focus. The EPO has more and more pensioners but treats them stepmotherly. Pensioners are treated almost like every other external public member even if they worked for the EPO and contributed to the success of this office for 20, 30 or even 40 years. The support they receive from the office when they have difficulties with their pension or health care needs to be improved, a lot.

It is time for management to revise their policies.

Ion Brumme

Chairman SUEPO Munich (2021-2022)

There’s so much more wrong with the EPO than just the granting of European software patents illegally (see these leaks). We’re not dealing with law here; we deal with a law-breaking agency that’s being protected by the Dutch and German governments. Their secret pact involves passive corruption, so they try to hush up everyone and everything. One day it’ll all come out.

Management of the European Patent Office is Lying About Office Space

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 11765bbb40cd5784da21a97480b580b4
EPO Does Not Lack Desks and Seats
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: European Patent Office (EPO) officials, predominantly friends of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos (chosen owing to nepotism, not qualifications) are innovating ways to suppress speech (communication with colleagues), oppress the staff, crush unions, and generally make people miserable

THIS site has already published about 4 videos and half a dozen posts about this topic, but there are some new developments and they help expose the insincerity of EPO management.

Some of the existing issues are discussed in the video above. The Central Staff Committee, or CSC for short, tells colleagues: “In its Communiqué of 2 February 2023, the administration announced new accommodation plans for Munich and The Hague together. In a letter sent to the Central Staff Committee (CSC), Ms Simon (VP 4) reaffirmed that “staff members who work at least three days per week at the office or have special needs determined on a case-by-case basis will be allocated a fixed workplace”. We strongly advise staff to make sure their line manager follows this guiding principle.”

The accompanying publication is reproduced below as HTML, plain text, and GemText. The general public needs to be aware of this.

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité Central du Personnel


Bringing Teams Together:

“Three days per week” for a fixed workplace

In its Communiqué of 2 February 2023, the administration announced new accommodation plans for Munich and The Hague together. In a letter sent to the Central Staff Committee (CSC), Ms Simon (VP4) reaffirmed that “staff members who work at least three days per week at the office or have special needs determined on a case-by-case basis will be allocated a fixed workplace”. We strongly advise staff to make sure their line manager follows this guiding principle. This paper gives more details.

Dear Colleagues,

A major cause of concern
In January 2023, EPO staff gathered in General Assemblies in all places of employment (including 850 attendees in Munich and 631 in The Hague). The “Bringing Teams Together” project triggered many questions from the floor and confirmed to be a hot topic for staff.

The staff representation met on 18 January 2023 with the administration in a working group on this topic. We voiced major concerns of staff about the organisation chaos and unrest caused by the project among teams and made concrete proposals (see our report here).

Quotas vs staff wishes
Line managers were asked to proceed on the basis of quotas (70% of workplaces per directorate, among which 50% can be allocated fixed) thereby triggering divisive discussions among staff. The implementation is chaotic and arbitrary with a broad range of diverging implementations on top of “managerial arbitrariness”. A purely quota-based distribution of workplaces and allocated fixed workplaces cannot match the wishes of staff.

Three days per week as a guiding principle
In a letter of 3 February 2023 (see annex), Ms Simon (VP 4) reaffirmed that

“as a guiding principle it makes complete sense that staff members who work at least three days per week at the office or have special needs determined on a case-by-case basis will be allocated a fixed workplace, while staff choosing to come less often will use workplaces for the day.”

Ms Simon had already stated this principle in the December Administrative Council meeting.

However, the new accommodation plans for Munich and The Hague still feature an amount of workplaces which we know is incompatible with this principle. Indeed, in several directorates, the amount of workplaces is not sufficient to have an allocated fixed workplace for everyone who fulfil the above guiding principle.

What can you do?
If you come to work at least three days per week at the Office or have special needs, we strongly invite you to write to your line managers and to put your local staff committee in Cc.

[skipped template]

The “Bringing Teams Together” project contains many flaws. In our view:
−allocated fixed workplaces must have a key and storage space and personalisation should be allowed;
− the project lacks a proper impact study and is likely to increase disengagement of staff.

The administration still refuses to properly address these points. For the time being, make sure your line management implements the project in line with the guiding principle stated by Ms Simon (VP4) and keep us informed.

The Central Staff Committee

Annex: Letter of Ms Simon (VP4) to the CSC dated 3 February 2023

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY
Mr Alain Dumont
Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

Sent by email only to:

European Patent Office
80298 Munich
DG4 Corporate Services

Nellie Simon

Tel +49 (0)89 2399 – 4000

Date: 03.02.2023

Your communications on “Bringing our Teams Together”

Dear Mr Chair,

Reference is made to your open letter dated 18 November 2022 and the CSC various publications, in which you raise concerns regarding “Bringing our Teams Together”. We would like to take the opportunity of this letter to clarify the points you address.

With regard to the Office’s intranet communication of 17 November 2022, please note that the aim was to inform and update staff about the next steps towards bringing our teams together, notably following the feedback obtained from staff in DG 1. The next steps will be implemented on the basis of the guiding principles already communicated to staff and their representatives, i.e. to bring teams together and life back into our buildings and to provide allocated workplaces to staff mostly coming to the office or having specific and individual needs.

Keeping in mind these guiding principles, the next steps also need to be implemented in light of the following two main considerations:

First, and in addition to the feedback gathered from staff and managers, it is recalled that since the full entry into force of the New Ways of Working (NWoW) on 1 September 2022, building occupancy rates show that our buildings have remained empty to a large extent. This observation is particularly relevant as autumn is the time of the year when staff members’ presence in the buildings would traditionally be at its peak.

You state that the low occupancy rates are due to the fact that the buildings and facilities offered are insufficiently attractive to staff. However, ambitious renovations of the Office’s buildings, including new sports facilities, have recently been completed to provide staff with a modern workplace. As regards the canteens, the aim is to provide the best service possible, in view of the reduced number of staff present at the sites. We will continue to monitor closely how the needs of our staff evolve as we settle into the NWoW and suggestions and ideas as to how to improve this service are always welcome.

Second, the Office’s commitment to environmental sustainability and the energy crisis which we are currently facing compels us to use our premises in a sustainable way. When the facts show that our buildings are being used only partially, it is not socially responsible to leave large areas empty.

In this context, and as further explained in our dedicated meetings of 21 November 2022 and 18 January 2023, this means that as a guiding principle it makes complete sense that staff members who work at least three days per week at the office or have special needs determined on a case-by-case basis will be allocated a fixed workplace, while staff choosing to come less often will use workplaces for the day. Additionally, the consolidation of staff in certain areas might also lead to emptying other parts of some sites, notably the Shell building and some of the buildings in the PschorrHöfe.

Please be assured that the implementation steps will be closely monitored and modified as necessary. It is worth emphasising that the preparation of the accommodation plans by the relevant units, which is currently ongoing, is taking place in close co-operation with the departments affected.

Finally, many of the points you address have already been discussed in statutory bodies or at technical meetings. For instance, at the last meeting with the staff representatives of the different sites which took place on 18 January 2023 concrete progress on operational preparation was shared and the staff representatives were able to ask any questions or raise any concerns they had. Such ad hoc technical meetings will continue to be held to allow continuous exchanges on this specific subject. Additionally, this specific subject will be put on the agenda of the relevant Local Staff Committee meetings.

We hope that this clarifies the aforementioned points and look forward to continuing discussions with you.

Yours sincerely,
Nellie Simon
Vice-President DG 4
Corporate Services

Yes, “Corporate Services”. The EPO… Corporate Services. Do not overlook the irony of all this.

How Much Longer Can the EPO Deny That It Has a Patent Quality and Patent Legitimacy Crisis?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 550c4201b173a1a6a233b1d0b1d1b5e4
EPO Quality is Low, Say Patent Maximalists
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The EPO has a legal and technical crisis, but it is talking about natural disasters like earthquakes in order to change the subject and act like a political party, not a patent office (it also does greenwashing this month)

QUALITY of EPO-granted patents is a longstanding theme here. Staff has warned about this for years and Kluwer now reports on the issue (focus on the comments), probably more than 5 years late. SUEPO, the staff union, has been cautioning about this for nearly a decade already!

“The corrupt management does everything it can to hide the grim reality — to the point of even exploiting the devastating earthquakes.”The video above talks about the issue and then shows the latest propaganda from the EPO’s official site. The corrupt management does everything it can to hide the grim reality — to the point of even exploiting the devastating earthquakes. If Benoît Battistelli habitually exploited crises including earthquakes for self-serving propaganda in the EPO’s Web site, why can’t António Campinos too?

“An Earthquake Would be Needed for the Administrative Council… Not to Support My Major Proposals.” -Benoît Battistelli

“An Earthquake Would be Needed for the Administrative Council… Not to Support My Major Proposals.” -Benoît Battistelli

EPO Falcon


Reality Versus Fiction: EPO Insiders Versus EPO Web Site and UPC ‘Churnalists’

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 393d7ab5d3511e0dbef05a5974488a71
EPO Staff, Site, and Propaganda Network
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The “official” sources of the European Patent Office (EPO), as well as the sedated “media” that the EPO is bribing for further bias, cannot tell the truth about this very large institution; for proper examination of Europe’s largest patent office one must pursue the interpretation by longtime veterans and insiders, who are increasingly upset and abused (they’re being pressured to grant patents in violation of the charter of the EPO)

THE VIDEO above looks at this new staff presentation [PDF] from the EPO, the EPO’s shameless PR, and Kluwer Patent Blog’s current front page (UPC and EPO propaganda galore).

“The patent courts across Europe fear they might face the same fate as that of examiners, in effect being governed and abused by unaccountable corporate actors like Battistelli, Campinos, and their German enablers.”While it’s hardly surprising that suppressed staff and anonymous comments say a lot more than so-called media (they’re openly mocking IAM, the EPO’s unofficial mouthpiece), it’s worth registering what’s actually true and what’s patently false, sometimes even criminal. Only a few days ago the staff unveiled a survey and we said that “European Patent Office Staff Votes in Favour of Freedom of Association (97% of Voters in Support)”; staff representatives at The Hague (TH/NL) issued the following statement:

[LSCTH] General Assembly The Hague January 2023 – 97% in favour of resolution to end breaches of fundamental rights at the EPO

Dear colleagues,

On January 24th, 631 colleagues from The Hague participated in the hybrid General Assembly by the Local staff Committee The Hague (LSCTH).
As a result:

  • a resolutionurging the Administrative Council and the President to put an end to breaches of the right to freedom of association and of the right to freedom of communication at the EPO was put forward and received 97% support from 502 respondents.

  • 415 colleagues responded to a poll about the Bringing Teams Together project with the following results:

    • 60% feel negative and 34% feel resignated about the move,

    • 92% declare that the recent changes including the move have affected their overall wellbeing with 53% indicating that it has affected them a lot,

    • 84% do not trust this will be the only move in the near future and 13% do not care,

    • 79% have no trust in the BTT project and its implementation at all.

For more information, please see slides below: 





Staff representation matters 2023: mass emails, freedom of association, call for candidates, vote on resolution

Page 3


Salary Adjustment Procedure

Page 13


Bringing Teams Together

Page 23




We received many questions from the audience and responded to many of them during the meeting. However, if any of your queries or questions remain unanswered, please do not hesitate to contact us [...]
We thank everybody who participated.

Kind regards,

Take care of yourselves and your loved ones,
Your Local Staff Committee The Hague (LSCTH)

The video above does not discuss financial aspects of the dispute; with Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos it was rarely a dispute about money but about human rights. When it comes to the UPC, what’s at stake is a lot of stuff, including European software patents. We strongly urge EPO staff, including the union, to talk about this. The patent courts across Europe fear they might face the same fate as that of examiners, in effect being governed and abused by unaccountable corporate actors like Battistelli, Campinos, and their German enablers. It’s worth seeing the comments in Kluwer Patent Blog. We’ve made copies of them for preservation purposes (that blog quietly censors — i.e. deletes — some comments to silence “dissent”… or hide reality/facts).


Back to Focusing on Unified Patent Court (UPC) Crimes and Illegal Patent Agenda, Including the EPO’s

Posted in Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 8:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The EPO’s (European Patent Office, Europe’s second-largest institution) violations of constitutions, laws and so on merit more coverage, seeing that what’s left of the “media” not only fails to cover scandalous things but is actively cheering for criminals (in exchange for money)

THE END of 2021 was very, very busy. As a result, around that time I quit adding patent-, trademark-, and EPO-related stories to Daily Links. I was unable to keep up anymore. It was overwhelming. The worst thing was, over 90% of the “news” wasn’t actually factual; it was agenda-pushing cruft from litigation profiteers and patent maximalists. I started doing long videos to demonstrate what had happened to “the news”.

“We saw several ‘fake news’ examples earlier this week regarding the UPC, courtesy of the usual suspects (the UPC lobbyists and their sites, looking to undermine patent justice for personal gain).”As will be noted in our next post, we’ve found a way to more efficiently assess news and thus, starting this week, we’re once again including some links of interest about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the EPO, which António Campinos continues to destroy, continuing the legacy of his friend Benoît Battistelli. There will also be many links about software patents, especially their invalidation at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), owing to inter partes reviews (IPRs) in the United States. Though European software patents continue to be granted, many patent courts across Europe would turn them down. That’s why criminal elements that hijacked the EPO are eager to introduce and illegal and unconstitutional kangaroo court to replace them all in one fell swoop. These people keep threatening me personally [1, 2]. We saw several ‘fake news’ examples earlier this week regarding the UPC, courtesy of the usual suspects (the UPC lobbyists and their sites, looking to undermine patent justice for personal gain).

While European politicians keep lecturing Zimbabwe they fail to see that under their very own watch Europe’s largest institutions become barely less corrupt than Zimbabwe’s. What do they do about it upon reports of concern? NOTHING. This is complicity. It’s called passive corruption.

European Patent Office Staff Votes in Favour of Freedom of Association (97% of Voters in Support)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 8aaf46b4d4e705044ab8a73306f3ff6d
EPO Staff Wants Human Contact
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The Central Staff Committee (CSC) at the EPO makes a strong case for António Campinos to stop breaking and law and actually start obeying court orders (he’s no better than Benoît Battistelli and he uses worse language already)

THE CSC Chairman from Munich, along with the ones from The Hague, Vienna, and Berlin (the smaller EPO ‘branches’), asked the President to actually act like one. At the moment the EPO is governed by an under-qualified cabal of friends, whose role there is protected by corporate interest groups, which are happy to see the EPO operating in direct violation of its charter (like a regulatory agency that intentionally fails to regulate the industry).

For us in Techrights the main issue of interest is European software patents (and other patent monopolies, as covered in passing in the video above), but for EPO staff there are severe human rights violations to deal with. That’s how a bunch of corrupt “managers” (it’s all nepotism) keep examiners down and blackmail them into granting European Patents in violation of the EPC, i.e. in violation of the rules that govern the Office. The EPO’s Web sites has just published propaganda again, distracting from systematic violations of the EPC.

There’s an open letter circulating at the moment, stating:

[CSC] Resolution on freedom of association supported by EPO staff

Dear Colleagues,

All EPO staff was invited to gather in General Assemblies in all four places of employment. The attached resolutions were adopted and found office-wide support of 998 EPO staff members.

We would like to thank you very much for your strong support.

With the resolution EPO staff urges the President

- to quash Article 35(7) ServRegs so as not to prevent re-election of staff committee members,
- to restore freedom of communication in the Office by executing Judgment 4551 on mass-emails,
- to restore secretarial support to staff committees
- to take into account the requests from staff and to proceed to the relevant amendments to EPO service regulations.

The resolutions have been submitted to the President by open letter.

Michael Kemény
Chairman LSC Munich City, Haar and Brussels

Jorge Raposo
Chairman LSC The Hague

Martin Schaller
Chairman LSC Vienna

Thomas Czogalla
Chairman LSC Berlin

The corresponding publication is mostly the same statement from 4 EPO sites.

European Patent Office | 80298 MUNICH | GERMANY

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

By email


Local Staff Committees
Comités locaux du personnel
Lokale Personalausschüsse
Reference: sc23001bp
Date: 27.01.2023

Resolution supported by General Assemblies at all Places of Employment

Dear Mr President,

All EPO staff was invited to gather in General Assemblies in all four places of employment. The attached resolutions were adopted and found the support of 998 members of EPO staff in respective assemblies as follows:

On 19.01.2023 in Munich City, Haar and Brussels supported by 97% (420 votes in favour).
On 24.01.2023 in The Hague supported by 97% (485 votes in favour).
On 17.01.2023 in Berlin supported by 98% (58 votes in favour).
On 23.01.2023 in Vienna supported by 97% (35 votes in favour).

Thereby EPO staff urges you

− to quash Article 35(7) ServRegs so as not to prevent re-election of staff
committee members,
− to restore freedom of communication in the Office by executing Judgment
4551 on mass-emails,
− to restore secretarial support to staff committees.

We urge you to take into account the requests from staff and to proceed to the relevant amendments to EPO service regulations.

Sincerely yours,


]Annex: The four resolutions

These resolutions are almost identical. Here’s the one from Munich:


Staff of the EPO in Munich, gathered in a General Assembly,

Noting that:
• Since 2012, the EPO has been consistently testing the limits of employment law.
• The Tribunal already sanctioned the EPO for its illegal strike regulations (Judgments 4430 to 4435), for its “Social Democracy” interference into staff representation elections (Judgment 4482), for prohibiting nominations in the Appeals Committee among all staff (Judgment 4550) and for its unlawful ban on mass-emails (Judgment 4551).

Further noting that:

• The EPO arbitrarily limits the term of office of staff committee members to three consecutive (re-)elections (Article 35(7) ServRegs) thus unduly limiting the right of staff to freely choose their representatives.

• The EPO has not honoured its obligations to restore freedom of communication and hence not executed Judgment 4551 on mass-emails since July 2022.

• The President has disbanded any secretarial support to staff committees.

Express their deep disappointment that the President of the Office has not settled any of his predecessor’s breaches of the fundamental right to freedom of association on his own motion and merely waited for the Tribunal’s judgments.

Urge the President:

− to quash Article 35(7) ServRegs so as not to prevent re-election of staff committee members,

− to restore freedom of communication in the Office by executing Judgment 4551 on mass-emails,

− to restore secretarial support to staff committees.

Request the Administrative Council and the President to put an end to breaches of the right to freedom of association and of the right to freedom of communication at the EPO.

Munich, 19.01.2023

Well, the Administrative Council and the President are closely connected. There’s no real governance or oversight there (don’t be misled by buzzwords like “Ombuds”; they scuttled the real one!). The Administrative Council receives bribes from the President to ‘re-elect’ this President, who in turn serves special interests of patent maximalists instead of following the charter of the Office. What would the founders of the EPO say if they knew it would sponsor Lukashenko and outsource to Belarus (and also to American spy firms like Microsoft)?

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »

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 Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts