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Press release of COHAUSZ & FLORACK
25.06.2018 / Gottfried Schüll

"High time for labor jurisdiction at the European Patent Office"

Statement by Cohausz & Florack on the conditions at the EPO

Düsseldorf, 05.07.2018 – The European Patent Office (EPO) has been facing serious accusations of bullying and human rights violations for years. An article from the debate magazine Cicero once again describes concerning details, including the case of a judge who was suspected of having disclosed internal information and having defamed top EPO personnel. He was then ordered to be suspended. The judges of the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO declared the orders for dismissal inadmissible, however made apparent that they had been put under enormous pressure and threatened with disciplinary measures by the head of office. "The drama takes place on a stage without spotlights. A place outside the law because the immunity of the supranational EPO circumvents any judicial supervision or control,” as the Cicero article describes. In addition to these and other constitutional democratic deficits as a consequence of the concept of immunity, the article also questions the work quality of the EPO. Many EPO patent examiners are said to have issued warning themeselves that they could no longer ensure the quality of their work. The fear of sanctions is substantial.

In a current blog entry on https://www.cohausz-florack.de Gottfried Schüll, patent attorney and partner at Cohausz & Florack, discusses the Cicero article and the abuses described at the EPO. "It is obviously high time for proper labor jurisdiction at the EPO," he writes. This is the appropriate means to avoid and resolve conflicts between the parties involved. It is difficult to understand why the Administrative Council and the individual Member States have so far failed to act.



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