The IPKat rarely gets the chance to read anything in German, since most of his German friends have a command of the English that is second only to the Scots and way ahead of most of the rest of the world: it is therefore in English that they generally write to him. This is just as well, since this Kat in particular is not a gifted modern linguist. He does however love those long words which possess a gravity and a dignity which few other tongues can summon up. Sometimes he can even guess their meaning, as in the case of the word Interessenkonflikten, which he found in the first link included in the piece he reproduces below, a piece anonymously penned by an author who manifestly is not about to pick up a €4,000 bonus for doing his job. What's all this about? Prepare to be astounded -- and read on:
"Readers who consider that footballers, politicians and celebrities are over-rewarded for their work, and that a redistribution of wealth is long overdue, may wish to consider this post in the Süddeutche Zeitung concerning a proposed bonus of €4,000 to all European Patent Office (EPO) members of staff. In essence the President of the EPO has proposed a bonus to all EPO members of staff on the basis that, since the EPO had a positive operating result of about €89 million in 2011, he thought it would be fun to share some of this with the rest of the EPO's team.
Merpel doesn't see
why IP bloggers
don't also get a
Leaving aside minor questions such as:
* does a positive operating result of €89 million make up for a negative financial result of €464 million?there is the further and not insignificant question:
* could the increase in operating income be as much the result of increasing renewal fee income (up €42 million) as the result of staff efforts?
* is it appropriate for a public body to tie bonuses to financial income rather than to productivity increases?
* surely the users of the system should share in any bonus, since the operating surplus of the EPO is 100% due to the fees which those selfsame users pay?
* in the current economic circumstances, is the making of such a bonus good politics?
SUEPO's logo: in urgent
need of a witty slogan?
Contrary to all expectation it appears that the EPO Staff Association (SUEPO) is creditably opposed to the bonus, out of concern for the independence of EPO staff and in particular because the bonus scheme might be thought to incentivise the allowance of dubious patents [the IPKat is not convinced that this is the case: he wonders whether dubious patents might be a more likely consequence of dubious examiners than an incentive-based pay differential. Don't be silly, says, Merpel, everyone knows that dubious patents are exclusively caused by applicants]. From the outside, one might assume that it would incentivise doing nothing (generating all those lovely internal renewal fees in exchange for a cautious and concerned inertia).
Whichever analysis one follows, it is refreshing that the report indicates that SUEPO does not appear to have the simplistic mindset that money in the pocket buys contentment. Whether it is playing a deeper political game is however open to question".The IPKat wondered whether this might be some sort of practical joke at his expense, till he found that it was true. He has many friends and correspondents at the EPO, many of whom are really fun, extremely erudite and
What do readers think?