International Labour Organization Orders Reinstatement Of EPO Appeals Judge 06/12/2017 by Dugie Standeford for Intellectual Property Watch 2 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In an extraordinary 6 December session, the UN International Labour Organization Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) handed down five decisions involving the European Patent Office (EPO), one of which reinstated a suspended Board of Appeals judge. The cases are just “the tip of the iceberg,” said the Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO). [Update: EPO staff will hold a demonstration on Wednesday 13 December at 12:30 h in front of the Isar building in Munich (https://munich.suepo.org/), after reports that the suspended judge was blocked from entering the EPO building despite the ILO ruling.] The tribunal rulings are here: http://www.ilo.org/dyn/triblex/triblexmain.showList?p_lang=en&p_session_id=125 In a message to members on its website (available here: https://www.suepo.org/suepo_central_on_the_extraordinary_session_of_the_ilo_today/d-44484), the union noted that judgments 3958 and 3960 ordered the “immediate reinstatement” of the suspended EPO Board of Appeals member to his former post. It further ordered the EPO to give him access to premises, return any EPO property it had asked him to hand in, and to unblock his EPO User ID. The Office will also have to pay costs and compensation for moral injury. EPO President Benoît Battistelli “The Tribunal personally and heavily criticized [EPO President Benoȋt] Battistelli, who having had a personal stake in the matter, had a major conflict of interest and should not have been involved in the decision,” the union said in a separate notice to members. The ruling in judgment 3960 states: “As it might reasonably be thought that the President was directly, specifically and individually offended by the misconduct for which the complainant was charged, he could not take part in any individual proceedings regarding the allegedly identified author of the alleged misconduct. The President’s participation in these proceedings has give rise to the unlawfulness of the individual decisions impugned with the Tribunal. These decisions must be set aside and the President must abstain from participating in any of the proceedings regarding this issue in which he has a conflict of interest.” The SUEPO notice also mentioned a further ILOAT ruling quashing an EPO decision to dismiss an employee while he was on sick leave. The cases “are only the tip of the iceberg.” SUEPO said. Its legal team is now analysing the judgments in detail, it said. But “the conclusion is clear,” SUEPO said. Either EPO officials “are unwilling to comply with the most basic rules of procedural and legal propriety, or they do not realize what they mean.” In either case, it said, the Office should now focus on what it needs for top managers for the 21st century. The judgment “is a slap in the face of Battistelli,” but the question is what he and the Administrative Council will do about it, said a source within the EPO. EPO Response [Update] “The EPO respects the ruling of the ILOAT,” which is the second-instance tribunal with jurisdiction over labour disputes between EPO employees and the Office, a spokesman told Intellectual Property Watch. The matter addressed in judgments 3958 and 3960 falls under the authority of the EPO Administrative Council, which will discuss it at next week’s meeting, he said. ILOAT rulings are final and no appeals are possible, he added. Image Credits: EPO Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Dugie Standeford may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."International Labour Organization Orders Reinstatement Of EPO Appeals Judge" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.