This document provides a non-exhaustive list of some articles, blog posts or videos published in July 2016 (sorted in reverse chronological order, not necessarily by relevance). Latest additions are highlighted in yellow. You may also want to access the list of articles for June 2016.
- “Special Report: Union Lawsuit Claims EPO Has Prevented It From Functioning; Office Claims Immunity” (IP-Watch, 11 July 2016).
- “EU-Patent steht auf der Kippe” (BR, 8 July 2016).
- “Europäisches Patentgericht vor dem Aus” (FinanzNachrichten.de, 6 July 2016).
- “EPO – Structural Reform of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO” (EPLAW, 1 July 2016).
- “European Patent Office palace coup bombs - Administrative Council leaves staff frustrated” (The Register, 1 July 2016).
This document provides a non-exhaustive list of some articles, blog posts or videos published in June 2016 (sorted in reverse chronological order, not necessarily by relevance). Latest additions are highlighted in yellow. You may also want to access the list of articles for May 2016 or July 2016.
- “Vakbond wil opheffing immuniteit Battistelli” (NRC, 29 June 2016). Translations are available in English, French and German.
- “A l'Office européen des brevets, un patron français sème la culture antisyndicale” (Libération, 28 June 2016). Translations are available in English and German.
- “EPA-Streit: Richter fühlen sich von Amtschef Battistelli bedroht” (JUVE, 28 June 2016). Translations are available in English and French.
- “EPO – EBA complains undue pressure exercised by the President of the Office in proceedings on the request to remove a member of the Boards of Appeal from office” (EPLAW, 24 June 2016).
- “Nazi witch-hunt ends with fierce judgment” (The Register, 24 June 2016). Translations are available in French and German.
- “CIPA response to proposals for reform of the EPO Boards of Appeal” (CIPA, 23 June 2016).
- “Enlarged Board publishes decision: EPO President violated judicial independence” (IPKAT, 23 June 2016). A translation is available in French.
- “Open letter from EPO staff pleads with country reps to fire president” (The Register, 22 June 2016). Translations are available in French and German.
- “Scary Figures Call for Action by the EPO” (Kluwer Patent Blog, 19 June 2016).
- “EPO president caught threatening independent appeal board” (The Register, 15 June 2016). Translations are available in French and German.
- “Eklat am EPA: Battistelli greift in Amtsenthebungsverfahren ein” (JUVE, 15 June 2016). Translations are available in English and French.
- “High how will the ball bounce?” (IP - non credere, 15 June 2016): analysis of B1 publications (granted patents) of the EPO.
- “Procedure to remove Board of Appeal member from office ends - after reports of attempts to nobble the Enlarged Board” (IPKAT, 14 June 2016).
- “The European Inventor Award Is Like Eurovision for Hot Patent Talent” (Motherboard, 14 June 2016).
- “EPO – Structural Reform of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO (BoA)” (EPLAW, 13 June 2016).
- “Privéoorlog topman en bond octrooibureau nog niet voorbij” (NRC, 9 June 2016). Translations are available in English, French and German.
- “The EPO's plans to restrict post-service employment” (IPKAT, 7 June 2016).
- “European Patent Office blocks staff reading critical articles at work” (The Register, 7 June 2016). In the meantime, access to the IPKAT has been restored within the EPO.
- “But is it appealing?” (IP - non credere, 7 June 2016): analysis of the increase in appeal fees on the number of appeals filed before the Boards of Appeal.
- “Ënnerstëtzt Lëtzebuerg weiderhin den aktuellen, staark ëmstriddenen EPO-President?” (Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party, 3 June 2016). Scroll down to read the parliamentary question in French of Claudia Dall’Agnol, Member of Parliament. Translations are provided in English, German and Dutch.
- “MdL Susann Biedefeld kritisiert Verhalten des Europäischen Patentamts gegenüber Arbeitnehmerinnnen und Arbeitnehmern aufs Schärfste” (2 June 2016).
- “EPO accused of decreasing power of boards of appeal” (WIPR, 2 June 2016).
- [Video] “MdL Susann Biedefeld kritisiert Verhalten des Europäischen Patentamts” (intervention of Susann Biedefeld in the Bavarian Parliament, 1 June 2016).
- “Schmidt/FREIE WÄHLER: Mitarbeiter-Schikane beim Europäischen Patentamt stoppen” (Presse Portal, 1 June 2016). Translations are available in English and French.
- “FREIE WÄHLER setzen sich im Landtag weiter gegen Mitarbeiter-Schikane beim Europäischen Patentamt ein / Schmidt: EPA-Mitarbeiter brauchen dringend Hilfe” (Bundes Presse Portal, 1 June 2016).
- “Leak: Euro Patent Office 'court of appeals' rails against King Battistelli” (The Register, 1 June 2016). Translations are available in French and German.
Last week is not one upon which President Battistelli will look back with undiluted pleasure.
First, the Enlarged Board of Appeal decided to close the proceedings concerning the Judge accused of misconduct and in so doing not recommend his release from office. Following public accusations coming allegedly from the Office, the accused had requested a public hearing to clear his name. Although the Enlarged Board had granted his request, Mr Battistelli apparently did not like this turn of events and tried to forbid both the public hearing and the open questioning of key witnesses. You can read publications about this scandal in Juve, The Register and in IPKAT (which also provides a link to the full text of the EBoA judgment).Then second, SUEPO and SUEPO-TH once again summoned the EPO before the Dutch Court. With this lawsuit, the unions complain of both severe union harassment and non-compliance with the Council’s resolution CA/26/16, as reflected in their claims. On 21 June, a bailiff tried to serve the summons in person on the EPO in Rijswijk, but the EPO refused to accept the papers. Unfortunately for President Battistelli, this does not stop the law from taking due course: the summons is nonetheless considered as served and the package was in any case delivered to the Office by registered mail the following day. The court has set the date and venue for the hearing: 15 July at 9 am in the district court of The Hague. Apparently, despite being given fair notice, the President had not even bothered to alert the Council on this issue. We assume he must have been too busy, so our lawyer has done this service for him…
To summarise: nobbling of EBoA judges and attempts to pervert the course of justice; harassment of unions and of their leaders; contempt for the legal authorities of a host state. The picture that is emerging is of a deranged man who either has misunderstood the concept of “rule of law” or is willfully putting himself above it. Should an organization that delivers juridical products and services for the European public be seen to be led by such a figure?
Quo usque tandem abutere, Benedicte, patientia nostra?
SUEPO organises on Wednesday 29 June 2016 a demonstration in Munich in front of the EPO Isar building starting at 12.30h.
[AMBA] Open Letter to all Stakeholders with an Interest in Maintaining the Boards of Appeal of the EPO as an Independent Judicial Body
The Association of the Members of the Boards of Appeal (AMBA) sent an 'Open Letter' to all Stakeholders with an Interest in Maintaining the Boards of Appeal of the EPO as an Independent Judicial Body.
The letter specifies that:
After two years of work following the Enlarged Board’s decision R 19/12, the European Patent Office has produced a proposal for re-structuring the BoA.
The proposals represent a serious deterioration, as compared to the situation before that decision.
Today (Thursday, 7 April), staff at the European Patent Office (EPO) went on strike in order once again to draw attention to their difficult working conditions. The Court of Justice of the EU had previously called for these conditions to be improved, but nothing was done in response to that pronouncement. Conditions at the EPO have reached a nadir, but the EPO is not alone in this respect. At other EU institutions and agencies too, including the ECB and the Fundamental Rights Agency in Vienna, infringements of the Staff Regulations of Officials have occurred in recent years.
1. Does the Commission agree with staff at the EPO that the industrial relations climate at the EPO is unacceptable and needs to be substantially improved?
2. The Commission is an observer on the EPO's Administrative Council. In that role, is it insisting that industrial relations at the EPO be improved?
3. How does the Commission try to remedy failures of compliance at other EU institutions and agencies which ought to abide by the Staff Regulations of Officials?
Following the implementation of the 2010 plan to increase productivity, a ban on trade union activity, repeated privacy violations, harassment and unachievable productivity targets which make a mockery of European workers' rights have put the EPO's 7 000 staff in a very difficult position. Since 2012, four of them have committed suicide.
The Commission has a representative with observer status on the EPO's Administrative Council who rarely intervenes, despite the governance problems.
What is the exact role of the Commission representative?
Does he/she report back to the Commission on the management problems?
During its March meeting, the Administrative Council (the Supervisory Body) of the EPO passed a resolution making a number of requests to the Mr Battistelli, President of the EPO. None of the changes that Mr Battistelli will table to the June meeting of the Administrative Council (AC) comply with these requests.
The reforms proposed by Mr Battistelli - if adopted by the Council - will further increase the discretionary powers of the President over EPO staff and their representatives (new investigation regulations, new disciplinary procedures, post-service employment restrictions) and reduce the independence of the Boards of Appeals (reform of DG3). In short, the new proposals are bad for staff and bad for the EPO.
In spite of the many proposals tabled by SUEPO in the (recent) past and of the clear request of the Administrative Council, SUEPO - representing 50% of staff, was not even approached by the President to re-open discussions about a Memorandum of Understanding.
By acting this way, Mr Battistelli shows a blatant disregard not only for staff but also for the representatives of the EPO Member States.
The demonstration in The Hague on 28 January 2016 led to an extensive media coverage in The Netherlands, including video reports that have now been grouped in a playlist in Youtube. All the video reports are now provided with translations in English, French and German (you simply need to activate subtitles in your preferred language):
The actual video reports of the playlist are the following:
- From 32’57’’, NOS nieuwsuur (nos.nl, 28/01/2016).
- Video in the article "Protest tegen 'intimidatie' bij Europees Octrooibureau" (nos.nl, 28/01/2016)
- Video in the article "Personeel protesteert tegen ‘intimidatie’ bij Europees Octrooibureau" (omroepwest.nl, 28/01/2016)
- From 5’34’’ "TV West Ochtendnieuws" (omroepwest.nl 28/01/2016)
- From 3’40’’ http://nos.nl/uitzending/12324-nos-journaal.html (NOS Journaal 28/01/2016, 09:00)
- Video in the article "'De heksenjacht heeft nu ook Rijswijk bereikt'" (nos.nl, 28/01/2016)
- From 6’25’’ "TV West Nieuws" (omroepwest.nl, 28/01/2016)
- Video in the article "Hoe ver gaat de immuniteit van het Europees Octrooibureau?" (Nieuwsuur, 28/01/2016).
- From 11’13’’ http://nos.nl/uitzending/12339-uitzending.html (NOS Journaal 28/01/2016, 20:00)
- “Who should pay for the independence of the Boards of Appeal? Why the users, of course!” (IPKAT, 31 May 2016).
- “Patent scandal: US outmaneuvered on UN agency investigation” (Fox News, 27 May 2016).
- “EPO’s president has bike brakes ‘cut’” (WIPR, 27 May 2016).
- “Euro Patent Office prez's brake line cut – aka how to tell you're not popular” (The Register, 26 May 2016). Translations are available in French and German.
- “Despite a year of conflict, the EPO is still rated as number one for quality and service by IAM readers” (IAM, 26 May 2016).
- [VIDEO] “Sinnloser Patentschutz” (ZDF, 24 May 2016).
- [VIDEO] “La guerra dei brevetti” (RAI TV, 15 May 2016).
- “Does the UPC spell disaster for the EPO Boards of Appeal?” (IPKAT, 12 May 2016).
- “Do you want to be a UPC judge? Application process now open!” (IPKAT, 11 May 2016).
- “Merpel prowls further around the corridors of the EPO” (IPKAT, 10 May 2016).
The results of the 2016 EPO Staff Survey by Technologia are now available. With a participation rate of 39% this third edition allows to assess reliably the current situation and the development of psychosocial risk among EPO staff under Mr Battistelli’s presidentship. The situation and the trend are worrying.
Most important findings are available in the “Executive Summary” (also available in German, French and Dutch). Other relevant information has been gathered in a summary presentation (also available in German and French).