Merpel has just heard that European Patent Office employees are taking to the streets of Munich to express their extreme anxiety and disquiet at the state of governance of the office that, if things go according to plan, will soon be responsible for administering the unitary patent system that will provide patent protection across almost all of the European Union's Member States.
Europe is no stranger to authoritarian management and, although the continent has no monopoly of it, there's not much the rest of the world can teach the Europeans in this regard. President Benoît Battistelli has certainly earned a great degree of unpopularity, to the point that people have long stopped grumbling about the real or imaginary failings of his predecessors -- and that is no mean achievement.
Apart from this weblog, Intellectual Property Watch has also carried reports of unrest and mismanagement at the EPO (see eg here). And there's more about the employees' grievances here, in German.
Merpel calls on those who enjoy the prestige and wield the responsibility for overseeing the operations of the European Patent Office to take a look at what is happening at the EPO and ask themselves, and each other, if they have ever troubled themselves to look closely at how the organisation is run and what the grievances of its employees are. If everything is absolutely fine and there is nothing for anyone to worry about, they can tell us, can't they? And if it seems that all is not right, they can do something about it too ...
The IPKat has little add here except to say that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance and, if you don't watch carefully how power is exercised, you end up playing the Football World Cup in Qatar.