Thursday, 21 June 2012
Complaints: a matter of give and take
The situation is not much more comfortable when the small or sole practitioner is making a complaint, rather than receiving it. Compliance with complaints procedures can be tiresomely repetitive, bureaucratic and time-consuming, even if this is for the laudable purposes of ensuring transparency in dealing with it and in seeking to establish whether the complaint is justified. Where this is the case, and particularly where -- even where the complaint is justified -- no obvious damage can be attributed to the client, it is quite probable that a complaint will simply be left to fester in the mind of its real victim, the frustrated and inconvenienced practitioner.
The European Patent Office is highly conscious of the need to have a quality complaints procedure, and discussion within the profession has led to this week's sidebar poll on the IPKat weblog here. If you have something to say about the EPO's complaints procedure, you will probably find the poll a little too short and simple -- but its organisers would like to hear from you anyway, whether you feel that the EPO is handling your complaints well or not. The closing date for responses is this Sunday evening, 24 June, so don't miss the chance!