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EPO Strikes

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epologoThe World IP Review is reporting that EPO staff have voted on a series of strikes commencing with a one day strike on Thursday 20th November and then increasing the number of strike days per week by one day per week until there is a whole week of strikes in the week beginning 15th December.

The World IP Review article states that:

Some staff members at all three EPO sites—Munich, Berlin and The Hague—will walk out in what has been dubbed an “incremental” strike.

IPcopy was curious how many people would be included within the “some staff members” statement and so reached out to contacts at the EPO.

Apparently there is a mandatory “strike registration tool” under new strike regulations so the EPO can track the extent of the strike (one wonders if the EPO “has an app for that” in the various app stores…). However, until the first strike occurs on 20th November and the tool data has been received it is not known how many EPO staff members will take part.

The strike comes against the background of changes at the EPO and, according to WIPR, “apparent changes to strike regulations, and alterations to starting salaries and career prospects”.

Here’s hoping that everyone can sort out their differences!

In the meantime the proposed timetable for the strikes is:

  • Thursday 20th November.
  • Tuesday 25th November and Wednesday 26th November.
  • Tuesday 2nd December to Thursday 4th December.
  • Monday 8th December to Thursday 11th December.
  • Monday 15th December to Friday 19th December.


  1. Tufty the Cat says:

    Handy I suppose for examiners struggling to find time to do some Christmas shopping. Seriously though, I don’t think very many outside the EPO have much sympathy. I certainly don’t.

  2. Tuffet Miss Muffet says:

    Thanks Tufty. Unfortunately, the EPO president has banned all forms of industrial action (and, in truth, any expression of disagreement with his opinion) other than strikes so my other half only has one possible option to express opposition to a number of his decrees… Perhaps you could ask him why he did that? In any case, the staff can only strike when he agrees to organise a ballot for them (if the union does it itself, the strike is illegal). So, unbelievably, he organises his own strike ballot for staff and tries to load the ballot e.g. non-Union members must also be allowed to vote, including all management and a quorum including them must be reached.

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