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05/11/2019

The Staff of the European Patent Office demands social dialogue - Demonstration of EPO staff in The Hague on 7 November 2019 at 12:00

The European Patent Office (EPO) is in a deep crisis.

 

Since the receipt of the first European patent application in June 1978, the EPO has become a leader in the worldwide patent world, and a driving force in European economic integration. Indeed, the European Union has entrusted the EPO with the administration of the European Unitary Patent, once the legislation enters into force. It is the only European Organisation that is not only self-financing, but also generating revenue for the member states.
 
However, since 2013 the EPO has been experiencing a prolonged crisis, the worst in its history.
 
The core of the problem is that decisions are made without proper consultation of all stakeholders, which include staff and their representatives. Worse still, any voice of dissent is actively quashed; there have even been instances of violations of fundamental rights, none of which would have been tolerated by the authorities of the members states or in other European institutions. For years, the members states have turned a blind eye to the abuses.
 
Then, as of 1 July 2018, the Administrative Council appointed a new President of the EPO, Mr António Campinos (of Portugal), with the explicit task of restoring social dialogue. Sixteen months into his presidency, little has changed.
 
Read more here.