Bonum Certa Men Certa

Attacks on the EPC: Reality and Fiction

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Mar 02, 2024,
updated Mar 02, 2024

EPC 50 celebrations - A Missed Opportunity

EARLIER this winter the EPO had "50 years EPC celebrations" - basically celebrating the VERY THING IT IS ATTACKING!

As noted as recently as a month ago at the General Assembly, the EPC is under attack, the understaffed examination teams are unable to properly assess patent applications, and many are forced to grant European software patents in violation of the EPC. Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos had both attacked the EPC, then celebrated it. Sometimes it is known as pissing on the grave.

In any event, and speaking of events, the Local Staff Committee The Hague wrote the following to staff around the time of the "grave-pissing" by António, who chooses to be called "the f**king president" because he doesn't give a f**k about the staff, the EPC, and the Office (to which he was totally new when he landed as "President" in 2018). Here is the full text from the mass communication:

Campus Days and EPC 50 celebrations - A Missed Opportunity

Dear colleagues,

Last month was rich in terms of events at the EPO. On 13 and 14 September, we witnessed the first “Campus Days”, an “essential part of the New Ways of Working pilot, allowing us to reconnect face-to-face and engage in various learning, collaboration and socialising activities.”[1] On 5 October, we celebrated the 50 years of the EPC, where “we may all come together to commemorate the successes of the past 50 years as we look towards the future.”[2].

In the administration’s own words, two events, full of interesting activities, that provided opportunities to reconnect, engage and come together. But was it so?

We want to start by expressing our appreciation for the hard work and dedication invested by staff in the organisation of these events. Our thanks go out to those who strived to make these events engaging and memorable. Their commitment to fostering a sense of community through diverse activities is commendable, and we recognize the energy and effort that went into it.

However, as interesting and memorable as those events might have been, staff did not follow in their engagement and participation.

Many “Campus Days” activities were less than half full, and the Auditorium in The Hague was more than half empty. We must address the shared feeling among most of colleagues regarding the missed opportunities for robust staff engagement. While the events were designed with enthusiasm, it is evident that a substantial portion of our staff felt unable to fully seize the opportunity. Many cited the challenge of balancing their work commitments and/or achieving their production objectives, expressing a desire to participate but being constrained by lack of time and work pressure. Others felt outright anger that they simply could not partake in any of the activities for the same reasons. Additionally, there was a common perception amongst DG1 operational staff that participation was, to put it mildly, discouraged by their line managers leading to a significant decrease in staff participation.

The 50 years celebration was mainly characterised by a festive dressing of the Office premises rather than a staff participative event. Disengagement was also the key note for a big proportion of staff overwhelmed by the usual working pressure and for which the show at the corridors felt as a party they were not invited to.

We see these instances as missed opportunities for the entire EPO community. The events were marketed as opportunities for us to come together, share experiences, and strengthen our sense of belonging. The reality showed an environment where staff could not actively participate without feeling hampered by work and production constraints.

We understand that balancing work responsibilities and participation in such events can be challenging. Still, we firmly believe that fostering a culture where everyone feels empowered to engage is crucial for our collective growth and cohesion and it is in the hands of the administration to do so.

Thank you once again to all who contributed to these events, and let's hope for a more engaged and connected future at the EPO.

Kind regards,
Local Staff Committee The Hague - LSCTH


Using Chrome on Windows they've captured the internal (intranet) propaganda from the Office [1, 2], which includes phrases like "colleagues will help foster learning and meaningful discussions". Except colleagues can never have any real discussion about the direction of the Office or even how the Office violates the EPC. There's a token mention of "Data Protection Statement" from an office that spied on visitors (using keyloggers and cameras, which is illegal) and has violated privacy laws with Microsoft. The "blog post" about the EPC says "350 guests will be seated in the atrium of PschorrHöfe 8 to experience the live event." Contrast this with the above, which says: "Many “Campus Days” activities were less than half full, and the Auditorium in The Hague was more than half empty."

What today's EPO does is illegal. It may serve patent maximalists well, as does the illegal and unconstitutional kangaroo court. But that's all done at the expense of science, technology, and Europe.

Remember what we wrote yesterday about "EPO Discriminat[ing] Against Families of Its Own Workers"; it's more like a siege than administration; it's more like regulatory capture (being more lenient about monopoly-granting) or a coup, not a service to Europe.

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