Bonum Certa Men Certa

The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part L (50, Final): 2010 - 2022: Business as Usual?

Series parts:

  1. responsible for the adoption of Battistelli's "Strike Regulations"
  2. "unanimous"
  3. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part III: Three Missing Votes
  4. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IV: The Founding States
  5. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part V: Germany Says “Ja”
  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VI: A Distinct Lack of Dutch Courage
  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VII: Luxembourgish Laxity
  8. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VIII: Perfidious Albion and Pusillanimous Hibernia
  9. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IX: More Holes Than Swiss Cheese
  10. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part X: Introducing the Controversial Christian Bock
  11. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XI: “General Bock” - Battistelli's Swiss Apprentice?
  12. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XII: The French Connection
  13. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Spain
  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIV: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Portugal
  15. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XV: Et Tu Felix Austria…
  16. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVI: The Demise of the Austrian Double-Dipper
  17. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc
  18. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki's Accord
  19. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States
  20. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group
  21. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXI: The Balkan League – The Doyen and His “Protégée”
  22. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXII: The Balkan League - North Macedonia and Albania
  23. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIII: The Balkan League - Bulgaria
  24. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIV: The Balkan League - Romania
  25. fresh faces from the EPO's "captured states"
  26. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVI: A Trojan Horse on the Budget and Finance Committee
  27. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVII: Cypriot Complicity
  28. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVIII: Benoît and António's Loyal “Habibi”
  29. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXXX: The EPOnian Micro-States - Monaco and Malta
  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXX: San Marino and the Perfidious Betrayal of Liberty
  31. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXI: The Abstentionists
  32. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXII: “Plucky Little Belgium”?
  33. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXIII: Swedish Scepticism
  34. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXIV: An “Extremely Dubious” Proposal
  35. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXV: Slovakian Scruples
  36. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXVI: Serbian Sour Grapes
  37. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXVII: Stubbornly Independent Slovenia
  38. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXVIII: Ensnared in the Tentacles of the SAZAS Octopus
  39. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXIX: On the Slippery Slope to Capture
  40. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXX: The Idiosyncratic Italians
  41. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXI: Public Service or Self-Service?
  42. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXII: A Parcel of Rogues?
  43. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXIII: A Legal No-Man's Land
  44. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXIV: Immunity = Impunity?
  45. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXV: In the Shadow of “Waite and Kennedy”
  46. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXVI: An Erosion of Fundamental Rights Protection?
  47. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XLVII: Institutionalised Injustice at the EPO?
  48. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XLVIII: The Unkindest Cut of All
  49. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XLIX: The Rise and Fall of Battistelli's “Social Democracy”...
  50. YOU ARE HERE ☞ 2010 - 2022: Business as Usual?


EPO: Business as Usual
Benoît Battistelli and Jesper Kongstad have been replaced by António Campinos and Josef Kratochvíl.
But has anything of substance really changed? EPO insiders remain sceptical



Summary: The concluding part of this very long series explains that Battistelli's departure has solved almost nothing and delegates from member states aren't doing anything to tackle the EPO's deepening crisis

With this part we have finally reached the finishing line of our marathon series about the EPO's "Strike Regulations" - a key component of Battistelli's sinister plan to deprive EPO staff of their fundamental right to freedom of association.



From ILOAT Judgment No. 4430, it is very clear that the "Strike Regulations" proposed by the President of the Office in CA/57/13 [PDF] of 7 June 2013 were incompatible with the obligations of the EPO's member states to uphold and protect the fundamental rights of EPO staff.

"It took just over eight years until justice was finally done when Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" were struck down by the ILOAT on 7 July 2021."But due to Battistelli's nefarious influence over the organisation's governing body, these inherently flawed regulations were rubber-stamped by the Administrative Council - which gave its "unanimous" endorsement to decision CA/D 5/13 [PDF] on 27 June 2013.

It took just over eight years until justice was finally done when Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" were struck down by the ILOAT on 7 July 2021.

There can be little doubt that the judgments of the ILOAT's 132nd and 133rd Sessions amount to a damning verdict on "le Système Battistelli" and the toxic management culture which held sway over Europe's second largest international organisation between 2010 and 2018.

As the EPO staff union SUEPO put it succinctly:

"What was once a model organisation for Europe has revealed itself as an institution that has breached the fundamental rights of its employees – for more than eight years."


USF on EPO
The European public sector union USF reported on the ILOAT Judgments of the 132nd Session which confirmed serious and persistent breaches of the fundamental rights of EPO staff over a period of eight years.



"However, at the 168th and 169th meetings of the Administrative Council in October and December 2021, there were no signs that the gravity of the situation had registered with the Council delegates."The ILOAT judgments which rescinded the EPO's "Strike Regulations" and "Social Democracy" have belatedly revealed the severe deficiencies in the organisation's governance and management culture and finally exposed them to the light of public scrutiny.

However, at the 168th and 169th meetings of the Administrative Council in October and December 2021, there were no signs that the gravity of the situation had registered with the Council delegates.

Heads in the sand
At the meetings of the Administrative Council which took place in October and December 2021, there were no signs that the gravity of the situation had registered with the Council delegates.



This may be due to the zealous efforts of the EPO's internal "spin doctors" who have been doing their best to paper over the cracks.

The current "PR strategy" appears to be to depict the "Strike Regulations" and "Social Democracy" as unfortunate blunders by a "rogue President" who has long since departed.

"The current "PR strategy" appears to be to depict the "Strike Regulations" and "Social Democracy" as unfortunate blunders by a "rogue President" who has long since departed."But this is an unacceptably simplistic and sanitised narrative. It conveniently omits any mention of the pivotal roles played by the Administrative Council and the EPO's dysfunctional internal justice system in this grotesque fiasco.

In the meantime, many of the Council delegates responsible for the adoption of Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" in June 2013 and "Social Democracy" in March 2014 are gone.

Some have sailed off into the sunset of retirement while others have been promoted to new positions in the civil service of their home countries and are no longer responsible for European "IP" affairs.

It should also be recalled that some of the delegates responsible for rubber-stamping these Orwellian measures have been prodded into early retirement or resignation after becoming implicated in serious irregularities on their home pitches.

"With the passage of time, a lot of new faces have appeared on the Council."Those who remain from the "old guard" of the Battistelli era seem to be busy covering their tracks and insisting to anybody who will listen to them that there is nothing amiss and that everything is hunky-dory in the never-never land of EPOnia.

With the passage of time, a lot of new faces have appeared on the Council. However, it is extremely doubtful as to whether these newcomers - in particular the fresh faces from the EPO's "captured states" - are adequately briefed and properly informed about the mess that their predecessors have left behind for them to clear up.

One thing is certain: Battistelli's inglorious exit from the EPO in 2018 did not resolve the organisation's governance crisis which continues to fester under his anointed successor, António Campinos.

Battistelli inside hourglass
Battistelli's inglorious exit from the EPO in 2018 has not resolved the organisation's governance crisis.



As Kluwer Patent Blog put it in a recent posting which reported on some EPO-related judgments of the ILOAT's 133rd Session:

Years after the departure of president Battistelli at the EPO, the ILOAT cases keep unveiling details about the climate of fear and harassment under his presidency which have been so often described by staff members. Although he was succeeded in July 2018 by António Campinos, one of Battistelli’s closest allies Elodie Bergot, who used to be Battistelli’s principal director for human resources, is currently chief corporate policies officer. Some have linked the recently announced reshuffle at the EPO, in which Bergot will apparently face a considerable loss of influence, to the ILOAT decisions.


Over at the EPO, well-informed insiders predict that Battistelli's "tarnished" legacy - many would consider "toxic" to be a more accurate descriptor - will continue to plague the organisation as it slowly gears up to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the European Patent Convention on 5 October 1973.

EPC at 50 years
Preparations are underway to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the EPC, but as long as Battistelli's "toxic" legacy continues to plague the organisation, there doesn't seem to be a lot to celebrate.



In the meantime, it remains to be seen whether the members of the Administrative Council will continue to adopt the "ostrich position" at the upcoming 170th Meeting scheduled for 22 March 2022 (warning: epo.org link), or whether they will finally manage to pull their heads out of the sand and begin to tackle the manifold problems facing the European Patent Office after more than a decade of chronic mismanagement and cronyism.

"One thing is certain: Battistelli's inglorious exit from the EPO in 2018 did not resolve the organisation's governance crisis which continues to fester under his anointed successor, António Campinos."If the Council fails to step up to the plate, it is more than likely that the EPO will soon find itself engulfed by a new wave of unrest - especially now that the ILOAT has confirmed that staff of international organisations enjoy the fundamental right to "freedom of association" and do not need to beg permission from their employer to engage in "industrial action"!

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