Bonum Certa Men Certa

Social 'Studies' and Sponsored 'Articles' Cannot Hide the Fact That EPO is a Terrible Employer Which Currently Harms Europe

So-called 'social'

The Glassdoor EPO overview



Summary: Superficial gloss and new glassy buildings won't make staff happy; nor can they ensure that the EPO repairs itself in an age of patent maximalism and sheer disregard for human rights, the law, and even its very own staff

THERE IS no reason to take any pleasure in the sad fate of the European Patent Office (EPO). It was supposed to help Europe compete, it was supposed to make Europe look better and it was originally intended to become a factor of unity, predating even the EU. Over the past decade or so the EPO became a "model organisation" for dysfunction and abuse. The EPO thinks it can throw money at the problem, specifically a combination of public relations (PR) and self-serving 'studies' with which to complement the PR. It's not working; in fact, it merely insults the staff (which feels like it's being lied about in these PR campaigns).



Days ago Novagraaf (law firm) did this puff piece about the 'study' (paid for by the subject of assessment) on "link between IP and SME success," as Novagraaf put it. When António Campinos came from EUIPO to the EPO (the two entities behind this 'study') he wasn't shy to promote European software patents, no matter if they're against caselaw, the EPC, SMEs and so forth. As recently as yesterday we still see tweets like this one: "What does the future look like for #blockchain and patenting?"

"The EPO cannot just carry on raising targets and lowering patent quality; a patent office with no sensitivity/priority for quality will perish. Its patents will, in due course, be perceived as worthless (invalid, inadmissible in courts). Applicants will stop applying."Well, "blockchain" is being used as a weasel word for software patents with a database somewhere in the program. Team UPC is fine with it. One of these people has just said: "The @EPOorg has published comprehensive report on the blockchain and patenting conference held in The Hague on December 4, 2018" (conference filled with patent trolls).

The EPO cannot just carry on raising targets and lowering patent quality; a patent office with no sensitivity/priority for quality will perish. Its patents will, in due course, be perceived as worthless (invalid, inadmissible in courts). Applicants will stop applying.

EPO staff is quite likely going on strike a month from now (less than a year after Battistelli's departure). We saw 2 posts about it (except SUEPO's own). There's something curious about the post which allowed comments; after SUEPO had linked to it on Monday morning we noticed lots of troll-feeding; trolls need to be ignored. Provocation for attention is their goal. Comment #7 is pure provocation. It's the pattern of golden cage -- a term also used by this employee reviewer at Glassdoor. As an employer, the EPO scores really poorly there (2.6 stars). We mentioned this before. The polarity in the rankings, however, makes one wonder if some of these are fake (faked to make the EPO not average at less than 2 stars). "Approve of CEO" is at 3% and "Recommend to a Friend" at 27%. Even if one assumes that there's AstroTurfing in there (better and safer to give the benefit of the doubt though), the score is still rather low. It's hard to offset it.

Glossy brochures and EIA events won't be enough to cover this shame. Maybe only distract from it.

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