Bonum Certa Men Certa

The EPO is Being Destroyed and There's Nothing Left to Replace It Except National Patent Offices

A bonfire of what was supposed to be promising, lifelong careers (justifying relocation of entire families -- children included -- to a foreign country). Where's ILO when one needs it?

International Labour Organization
Reference: International Labour Organization



Summary: It looks like Battistelli is setting up the European Patent Office (EPO) for mass layoffs; in fact, it looks as though he is so certain that the UPC will materialise that he obsesses over "validation" for mass litigation worldwide, departing from a "model office" that used to lead the world in terms of patent quality and workers' welfare/conditions

THE goal of EPO management seems to be the destruction of the EPO and driving away its most valuable assets: the examiners. National Patent Offices (NPOs) are the only fallback (except USPTO and other 'IP5' offices), for the UPC is falling flat on its face and patent applications at the EPO decline in number. In fact, applications impending examination too are running out (maybe will have run out by this year's end).

EPO workers are very smart people. They know what's going on. The impending mass layoffs (possibly the new job of the ex-banker, Campinos) aren't hard to envision.

"EPO wants in a soon future to be able to get rid of staff as it see fit," Anonymous said this afternoon, linking to a new article about a letter which we published yesterday. SUEPO too has cited this article (some time around the afternoon). To quote bits from it:

The latest version of a proposal to scrap permanent employment contracts at the European Patent Office (EPO) for the “modernisation” of its employment framework has come under fire.

According to a letter from the EPO’s Central Staff Committee (CSC), addressed to members and heads of the office’s administrative council, the new version of the framework “does not answer nor address any of the demands and objections of the CSC concerning the previous [version]”.

The original proposal for the removal of permanent employment contracts for all new staff in favour of renewable five-year fixed-term contracts was revealed in November last year.

The change was aimed at the “modernisation of the employment framework of the EPO” and would ensure the office’s “long-term sustainability” and allow for a more “flexible management of the EPO’s workforce”


Put two and two together. It's not hard to see what's happening. I don't want to say it out loud too often, but SUEPO habitually says it anyway... there's plenty of layoffs on the way (e.g. termination of employment contract by virtue of it not being renewed/extended). It's a modus operandi ILO has publications about. Are German politicians OK with that? Are they thoroughly intoxicated by the UPC, which is unconstitutional and not happening anyway? Earlier today SUEPO posted this PDF (in German). Is Bavaria/Germany getting its act together? It might already be too late. The value of European Patents (EPs) is in a freefall. So is the quality of EPs. The EPO just retweets buzzwords such as this one from today (as Battistelli and IAM recently admitted, it is just a mask for software patents and those patents are clearly against the rules and thus likely invalid).

"In 2016 alone," it said, "there were more than 5,000 patent applications for autonomous related inventions!! #Industry40 #IoT #AI" (that's 4 buzzwords for software patents in just one tweet!)

Suffice to say, most "autonomous" things just mean software. I know, having come from that area of research and developed some programs for several domains (autonomous car navigation, medical analysis etc.).

French Connection?



Betting on a French UPC President (Battistelli is alleged to be after this job, which is said to be reserved for a French person)? How about today's EPO puff piece, published in a former French colony with no EPs? From a human rights perspective, Battistelli might fit in just fine over there (see what HRW has just published). When reading this remember that Cambodia has no EPs: "Cambodia will soon become a validation state in the European patent system, allowing the 38 members of the European Patent Organisation to apply to validate their patents within the Kingdom. According to an agreement struck between the EPO and Cambodian Ministry of Industry and Handicrafts last month, EPO members will be able to validate their patents in Cambodia beginning March 1."

Wow. What an accomplishment for Battistelli. Unfortunately for him, his career may be over because having spoken to some IP lawyers, it seems like nothing happened in the UK today. What does Bristows say? Nothing. France already ratified, so obsessing over UPC in relation to France (as Bristows did today, shifting focus away from the UK) is a lousy little decoy. IAM is meanwhile crossposting UPC stuff (pressuring Germany over the complaint) for increased reach because that's where the main question lies. From what we heard today (again, from IP lawyers), some of them now embrace a baseless conspiracy theory that someone is secretly funding the complaint and the complainant. Evidence for that? None. But then again, what can be expected from people who label UPC opponents "idiots" and "trolls"?

Recent Techrights' Posts

Links 01/03/2024: Navalny Funeral and Media Under Attack
Links for the day
Gemini Links 01/03/2024: Making Art and the Concept of Work Management
Links for the day
Schriftleitergesetz: Hiding the Holocaust with censorship
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] His Lips Moved
Here is your national "news" for today
statCounter: GNU/Linux Exceeded 6% in Asia Last Month (Compared to 4% Just 12 Months Earlier)
numbers may be biased
What the End of Journalism Looks Like
All on the same day
Links 01/03/2024: Microsoft 'Retiring' More Services and Raspberry Pi Celebrates 3rd Birthday (Launched on February 29th, 2012)
Links for the day
Women's Empowerment
Sponsored by Bill Gates
Gemini Links 01/03/2024: Speed Bumps and Analog Stuff
Links for the day
[Meme] Those Greedy EPO Examiners
Says the litigation industry, charging 300 euros an hour per attorney
EPO Discriminates Against Families of Its Own Workers, the Union Explains Legal Basis Upon Which It's Likely Illegal and Must be Challenged
To the Council, the EPO boasts about its wealth (seeking to impress by how much breaking the law "pays off")
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 29, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, February 29, 2024
Links 01/03/2024: Misuse of Surveillance Against UK-Based Journalism, EPO Conflict Now in the Media
Links for the day
Taking a Break From Paid Promotion of the Illegal, Unconstitutional Kangaroo Court for Patents (UPC)
JUVE returns to its 'roots'?
FSFE admits losing funds from bequest by insulting and ignoring Fellowship representative
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gemini Links 29/02/2024: Raspberry Pi Incus Cluster and Aya 0.5.0 Coming Soon
Links for the day
Links 29/02/2024: Layoffs at Apple, Expedia, and Electronic Arts
Links for the day
Gemini Links 29/02/2024: Web Enshittification and Firefox user-agents
Links for the day
Spiked Piece/Censoreed Piece: 'Microsoft Copilot is a gimmick', says top CIO
Issues relate to connectivity and cost
Enrico Zini, Mattia Rizzolo, Plagiarism & Debian
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Clergy of GNU/Linux (Corporations Like IBM)
Volunteers as powerless "followers" of companies that "harvest" their labour
There Will Be Lots More Apple Layoffs (Already Years in the Making)
The corporate media still tries to shape the narrative to prevent panic or delay market hysteria
Latest SUEPO (Staff Union of EPO) Report For The Hague Reveals EPO Does Not Obey Court Orders, Refuses to Allow Workers to Freely Talk to One Another
working in a place where communication itself is restricted
[Meme] The Oppression Will Continue Until EPO 'Quality' Improves
wonder why EPO morale is so low?
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 28, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Outreachy, GSoC-mentors & Debian-Private may soon become public records in federal court
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 28/02/2024: Many War Updates and Censorship
Links for the day
Gemini Links 28/02/2024: Social Control Media Notifications and Gemini Protocol Extended
Links for the day
Links 28/02/2024: Microsoft the Plagiarist is Projecting, Food Sector Adopts Surge Pricing
Links for the day
Helping Microsoft 'Hijack' Developers (to Make Them Work for Microsoft, Not the Competition)
VS Code is proprietary spyware of Microsoft. Jack Wallen keeps promoting its use.
Gemini Links 28/02/2024: Groupthink and the 'Problem' With Linux
Links for the day
Android Rising (Windows Down to All-Time Lows, Internationally)
This month was a bloodbath for Microsoft
HexChat Looks for Successors to Keep IRC Growing
IRC is far from dead
[Meme] Just Make Him Happy
Y U no produce more monopolies?
End of a Long February
top 10 posts
[Meme] The EPO's Relationship With Patent Examiners
Nobody is "safe"
New Pension Scheme (NPS) at the European Patent Office Explained at the General Assembly
Investing in the future, or...
Donald Trump & FSFE Matthias Kirschner election denial
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 27, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, February 27, 2024