09/05/2017

[SUEPO] SUEPO has filed a complaint against The Netherlands before the European Court of Human Rights

Dear SUEPO Members, dear Colleagues

As you remember, to defend the interests of its members when attacked by President Battistelli, SUEPO sought protection from the Dutch courts in the form of an injunction. An injunction is meant to prevent a violation of rights likely (if not certain) to cause irreparable damage. Disappointingl y, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands upheld the EPO’s immunity.  
 
A host state has a heavy duty of care. On the one hand, it must take reasonable steps to safeguard the immunity of an international organisation, when such immunity is necessary for the lawful operations of the organisation. On the other hand, the host state must see to it that all individuals within its jurisdiction have effective means to protect their rights when menaced.  
 
When the legal system applicable to an international organisation does not provide for protection in the form of an injunction, which is essential to prevent irreparable damage, and even worse when it is virtually indisputable that the organisation is violating rights, the host state has a serious difficulty. In our opinion, it has only two options:  either to lift the immunity of the organisation for the benefit of a party aggrieved, or to take itself action against the rogue organisation by resorting to international arbitration (in the EPO’s case, Article 23(1) PPI).  
 
Being unwilling to do either, in our opinion The Netherlands have failed (so far) to discharge their duty of care, thereby allowing a breach of fundamental rights on their soil and de facto condoning, if not endorsing, the EPO’s abuses.
 
Therefore, on 8 May 2017 SUEPO has filed a complaint against The Netherlands before the European Court of Human Rights.
 
As usual, we will keep you informed of any essential development.

Your SUEPO central