Ortssektion München . Local Section Munich .

Section locale de Munich
12.02.2015
su15009mp – 0.2.1/0.3.2/0.2.2

NEXT DEMONSTRATION
WEDNESDAY 25 FEBRUARY 2015
How many patents does Europe need?
At the beginning of 2015, staff of the EPO is faced with demands for massive increases in
production (up to 20%) at the same time as a further worsening of their working conditions.
The EPO receives some 150.000 patent applications a year, of which roughly one-third (35
%) come from the EPO member states and two-thirds (65 %) from outside Europe 1 .
Despite the EPO’s very healthy financial situation2, Mr Battistelli’s main policy aim for the
Office seems to be to make it more “efficient”. According to staff, efficiency is not an aim
by itself: it is subordinated to the Office's duty, as a public service, to examine patent
applications thoroughly and to refuse any “bad” patents that would otherwise be a
nuisance, in particular for the many European small and medium-sized enterprises that
cannot afford expensive litigation. Mr Battistelli’s single-minded focus on “efficiency” and
cost cutting is not in the interest of Europe!
March to the Danish consulate
On 24 January 2015 some 1000 colleagues braved the freezing cold for a demonstration
in front of the Danish consulate in Munich. Staff reproaches the EPO’s Administrative
Council headed by Mr Kongstad, a Dane, for its failure to exercise due oversight over
the President of the EPO, its failure to fulfill its duty of care towards EPO staff by
allowing unacceptable employment law to be imposed on staff, and its lack of
transparency towards the EPO's users and the general public. More information here3.
The demonstration was reported in the Danish press.
The Danish newspaper “Jyllands-Posten” published a
rather critical article4 of 3 pages entitled “Raging war
at the EPO”. An English translation can be found by
scrolling through the document.
Wednesday 25 February 2015 - March to the British consulate
The next demonstration will be aimed at the British consulate. Mr Sean Dennehey5 (UK),
member of the British delegation, is a major player in the Administrative Council. He was
also recently re-elected 6 chairman of the Patent Law Committee for a three-year term,
starting on 30 March 2014. Like Mr Kongstad, Mr Dennehey is member of the “Board 28”,
1
2
3
4
5
6

http://www.epo.org/about-us/annual-reports-statistics/statistics/filings.html
In 2013 and 2014, the EPO had an operating surplus of over 300 million Euros.
http://munich.suepo.org/archive/su15006mp.pdf
http://www.suepo.org/public/ex15056cp.pdf
Biography of Mr Sean Dennehey: https://www.gov.uk/government/people/sean-dennehey
139th meeting of the AC: http://www.epo.org/news-issues/news/2014/20140328.html

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the ultra-secretive think-tank of the Administrative Council. The Board 28 met this week to
discuss and probably decide upon the future of DG3.7 Mr Dennehey actively supports and
defends the reforms of Mr Battistelli, which increasingly deny EPO staff fundamental rights
that are taken for granted by all other European citizens. Mr Dennehey also supports the
Office in trying to suppress8 public discussion about the suspension of a Member of the
Boards of Appeal while leaving space for Mr Battistelli to express his view of the events
behind closed doors.
We wish to alert the British government to the problems in the EPO and the role played by
the British delegation. We hope to be able to meet the British Consul-General, Paul
Richard Heardman, to ask for his support.
What are our claims?
As with the previous march, we claim9 for


Rule of Law,
Freedom of Association and
Honest Negotiation of our work package.

But we do not forget the mission of the EPO as a public service created for the benefit of
the citizens of Europe. That is why we continue to defend

quality in search and examination as well as
more transparency in the governance of the EPO.

The demonstration will start in front of the Isar building on Wednesday 25 February
at 12.10h. We expect to arrive at the British consulate (Möhlstraße 5) at 13.15h.

We invite all staff to participate.
SUEPO Munich

"Mr Battistelli made it clear that, in his view, action is now expected and that academic
models and debates, however interesting, are not enough to answer the priorities
expressed by the Council. Ms Brimelow called for a measured approach in matters that
are by essence of deep and long-term relevance." [...]
"Both Mr Battistelli and Mr Kongstad stressed that the March Council conclusions were
clear enough to enable the rapid development of proposals. Priority on increased
output should be the leading consideration. It is no longer time for consultation, but
rather for action and a real sense of urgency should prevail."
Board 28 meeting of 6 May 2009 (B28/8/9)

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139th meeting of the AC: http://www.epo.org/news issues/news/2014/20140328.html
http://www.cipa.org.uk/pages/whatsnew/article?B3DF31C2-BF7B-4885-831F-B4832AB5C690
What does EPO staff want? http://www.suepo.org/public/su14286cp.pdf

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