|Merpel catches up on her|
incoming EPO mail ...
Merpel's disquiet is moving up a gear now, since she has since learned that a Board of Appeal member has just been suspended from office and escorted from the building. Apparently the ground of suspension is alleged misconduct and the EPO's Investigation Unit has been instructed to examine the matter. Merpel's intelligence reveals that the suspension (technically a "house ban", she believes, but with the same functionality as a suspension) was ordered by none other than President Battistelli himself. Now there is a structure for dealing with alleged misconduct on the part of Board of Appeal members -- but there are also checks and balances in place. One such check is that the power to suspend Board of Appeal members lies in the hands of the Administrative Council and not the President: if this were not the case, we would have the executive branch of the EPO having effective control of the judiciary -- a dangerous and undesirable situation.
Merpel believes that next week the Administrative Council is meeting in Munich. She notes from its web page that there are some jolly good souls on it. In the chair is Jesper Kongstad (Director General, Danish Patent and Trademark Office), with Hungarian Intellectual Property Office President Miklós Bendzeel as his deputy chairman and Yves Grandjean (Director, Council Secretariat) as its secretary. Each member state nominates its own representative, plus the Board of Auditors, the Staff Committee -- and President Battistelli himself. Then there are the observers, intergovernmental organisations, and non-governmental organisations.
If you are concerned about what is going on in the European Patent Office and come from one of the European Patent Organisation's member states, you can check who your representative is by clicking here and scrolling down. Why not get in touch with your national representative? You can ask him or her (i) if they know what is happening, (ii) if they care and (iii) if they are going to say or do anything about it.