EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

02.22.15

The EPO’s Sham ‘Internal Investigation’ of EPO Vice-President Željko Topić’s Affairs

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Benoît Battistelli probing the Topić affair is akin to John Brennan probing CIA abuses

John Brennan

Summary: The EPO never investigated the Željko Topić affair, it only pretends to have investigated it (one small aspect, i.e. cherry-picking) using a Benoît Battistelli-controlled group

OUR ~70 articles about the EPO‘s management have so far shown misconduct and a lot of dark background when it comes to Željko Topić. They have demonstrated that EPO dissent is not to be attributed to few disgruntled employees but the institution as a whole, as well as outsiders, including some of the biggest stakeholders.

The so-called “internal investigation” of the EPO is worse than a sham. It’s a case of the EPO investigating itself, as the CIA has done after its staff had been cracking US Senate PCs — the same PCs used to investigate illegal CIA torture at the time. The EPO shows that it has become as unaccountable as the CIA. The “internal investigation” was more like a coverup and an attack on legitimate critics.

Let’s go back in time and see what this “internal investigation” actually involved. Here is Benoît Battistelli calling it “Defamation Campaign” [PDF] before the investigation even began! Way to go, Battistelli. You had given away your bias even before the “internal investigation” began. Here is what he posted internally:

Defamation Campaign against VP 4

26.02.2013

Note to All Staff

Over the past couple of days an obviously concerted effort has been made to attack the reputation and standing of the Vice-President of DG 4, Mr Topic. This has taken the form of anonymous letters being sent and/or made available to EPO employees.

In the face of this vicious campaign, I wish to make clear that the allegations are without any foundation. They have already been dismissed by the Croatian authorities. Furthermore, Mr Topic engaged legal proceedings some time ago in Zagreb, for criminal slander and defamation as well as for damages against parties who have published the allegations.

I believe that all EPO staff will deplore the events which have occurred and share my shock and sadness that the circumstances surrounding the anonymous letters – the postmarks, the forms of address and so on – clearly point to the involvement of persons with a connection to and precise knowledge of the EPO in Munich.

My duty is to defend every staff members by all legal means if they, through an attack to their dignity and integrity, become victims of harassment. But beyond this general principle, we cannot tolerate the behaviour of those who spread false and malicious rumours with impunity, the content of which clearly bears the mark of entrenched prejudice against our first Vice-President from a new member State.

Should any member of EPO staff be found to have played a role in the cowardly anonymous attacks against Mr Topic, he she or they will be called to account.

Benoît Battistelli
President

It was only 4 months later that there was an update on this, so one might think that a thorough investigation took place, probing Topić’s very notorious background in Croatia. But no. Look what took 4 months. Florian Andres wrote Communique PD 0/6 [PDF], stating:

The investigation demonstrated that all aspects of the allegations pertaining to an alleged falsification of academic credentials are baseless.

That’s it? It does nothing at all to dispel the allegations about the Vice-President and instead deals with just one dubious aspect relating to his academic degree, extrapolating this to imply that he is totally innocent just because he didn’t fabricate his diploma. It’s like a straw man.

Communique No. 29 [PDF] was published on the very same date. Repeating this, Battistelli did a “me too”post:

The investigation concludes that the accusations concerning Mr Topic’s academic qualifications are entirely without foundation.

Ah, all right! Topić is therefore a Saint. As if that was the only accusation against him.

“It’s like a straw man.”This actually goes deeper than this and thanks to an unnamed source we are now in possession of additional [PDF] documents [PDF]. Our source says: “We are informed that Dr. Peter Gauweiler a member of the German Bundestag (Federal Parliament) from the Bavarian CSU submitted a query to the German Ministry of Justice in October 2013.

“According to our information, he received the following response:

«Die gegen Herrn Željko Topić erhobenen Vorwürfe sind dem Bundesministerium der Justiz – aufgrund mehrerer anonymer Schreiben – bekannt. Im Ergebnis ist es dem Bundesministerium der Justiz jedoch nicht möglich zu klären, ob die Vorwürfe letztlich begründet sind. Nach Auskunft des Europäischen Patentamtes hat allerdings in dieser Angelegenheit der Präsident des Europäischen Patentamts interne Ermittlungen aufgenommen und sogar einen Vertreter nach Kroatien entsandt, um unmittelbar vor Ort Nachforschungen zu betreiben. Nach hiesigem Kenntnisstand haben diese Ermittlungen keine Anhaltpunkte für etwaige Verfehlungen ergeben.»

Translation:

“The Federal Ministry of Justice is aware of the allegations which have been raised against Mr. Željko Topić as a result of a number of anonymous letters. Ultimately, however, it is not possible for the Federal Ministry of Justice to determine whether or not there is any substance to these allegations. Nevertheless, according to information provided by the European Patent Office, the President of the EPO initiated internal investigations into the matter and even dispatched a representative to Croatia to carry out enquiries locally. According to the information currently available to us, these investigations did not yield any evidence of possible irregularities.”

But wait, they did nothing to address allegations about corruption by Topić. They cherry-picked just one aspect of many.

Our source’s observations are as follows:

1. The German Ministry of Justice seems to have a surprisingly poor level of geographical knowledge. The EPO investigators were sent to the University of Banja Luka which is actually in Bosnia & Hercegovina, not Croatia! This is because Topić who is apparently an ethnic Croat and pursued a career in the Croatian civil service, was originally born in Banja Luka in Bosnia & Hercegovina prior to the breakup of the former Republic of Yugoslavia. He studied at the University there before moving to Zagreb in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Thus allegations relating to his claim to have an MBA from the University of Banja Luka had to be investigated in Bosnia & Hercegovina – not Croatia.

2. The EPO’s internal investigation was restricted to just one specific aspect of the allegations against Topić, namely allegations concerning irregularities in his claimed academic qualifications. The various other allegations raised against Topić have never been subject to any investigation by the EPO.

3. The EPO’s internal investigation was carried out by the so-called “Internal Audit” department which is directly under Battistelli’s control. Given that Battistelli sponsored Topić’s candidacy as Vice-President, there is a clear conflict of interest here. This investigation cannot realistically be considered as an independent investigation.

4. In fact, in February 2013, Battistelli had already informed EPO staff that all allegations against Topić were completely baseless and without foundation. This claim was made by Battistelli before any internal investigation had been carried out! He also claimed that all of the allegations had been dismissed by the Croatian authorities. This is complete hogwash as a number of the alleged irregularities are the subject of pending court proceedings in Croatia.

5. The EPO’s Administrative Council was informed about Battistelli’s internal investigation at its meeting in June 2013. They apparently accepted these findings at face value and didn’t ask any questions.

The above assertions were made completely independently from Techrights, which, having received copies of these messages some time last year, reached the conclusions in (2) and (4) above, namely that it’s a biased ‘investigation’ with pre-determinded outcome of only one aspect among many. Any person with some knowledge of the Topić affair would have seen this charade for what it is because it is very shallow. Battistelli showed a very low degree of sophistication here; his attempt to whitewash Topić is self-undermining and misguided. It helps show just how corrupt this system of pseudo-oversight has truly become. If only Battistelli can invoke ‘investigation’ of his own cronies, then what kind of investigation can that ever be?

In one of the newly-presented exhibits (above) refer to the documents of “SUMMARY OF DECISIONS of the 136th meeting of the ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL”, specifically item 1.7 (emphasis added):

11. Meeting in restricted composition, without the observers and the staff and Office representatives (apart from the President), the Council

· took note of the results of an investigation recently conducted by the independent [sic] Internal audit. This investigation concerned the Vice-President DG 4, appointed by the Council.

· addressed broad issues pertaining to the social situation and the social dialogue. The Council reiterated its full support to the President in his endeavours to achieve reasonable and balanced measure.

The Internal Audit department is not “independent”, it is directly under the control of the EPO President. These inadequacies in the “internal investigation” carried out by the EPO were subsequently commented on in the Croatian press in an article published in October 2013 [PDF].

Putting aside the summary, see “MINUTES of the 136th meeting of the ADMINISTRATIVE COUNCIL Munich, 26 and 27 June 2013″ (the other new document) and refer to Item 1.7 on page 8/48 (emphasis added):

41. Meeting in restricted composition, without the observers and staff and Office representatives (apart from the President), the Council

- noted the outcome of a recent independent enquiry by Internal Audit concerning Vice-President DG 4, a Council appointee, and noted with great satisfaction that the enquiry had shown that all allegations against him were unfounded, and expressed every sympathy for him

- addressed various questions relating to the social situation and social dialogue, and reiterated its full support for the President in searching for reasonable and balanced measures.

Observations made by our source are as follows:

1. The minutes of the AC meeting refer to “a recent independent enquiry by Internal Audit”.

This is complete nonsense because, as we mentioned previously, the Internal Audit department is not “independent”. It is directly and exclusively under Battistelli’s control.

The appointment and replacement of the Head of Internal Audit lies completely within Battistelli’s discretion.

2. The AC “noted with great satisfaction that the enquiry had shown that all allegations against him were unfounded”.

More nonsense. The enquiry purported to have established that one specific allegation relating to Topić’s academic qualifications was unfounded. It made no attempt to investigate any other allegations against him.

There has been no further investigation of the matter by the AC since June 2013.

So, the above represents the official EPO position, i.e. an “independent” internal investigation has (allegedly) established that all allegations against Topić are unfounded.

So as far as the AC is concerned, the matter is closed.

The funny thing about all this is that before any investigation was ever carried out, Battistelli had already announced more or less the same result to EPO staff in a note issued on 26 February 2013:

“… I wish to make clear that the allegations are without any foundation. They have already been dismissed by the Croatian authorities.”

Unfortunately Battistelli never bothered to explain which “Croatian authorities” he was relying on for this assertion which appears to be incorrect.

According to in the formation which we have from reliable sources in Zagreb, a number of lawsuits, including both criminal and civil proceedings, are pending against Topić in Croatia.

In conclusion, Battistelli is a tyrant, a liar, and a revisionist. He is eager to deceive his own staff by protecting thugs whom he uses for ‘protection’.

We have a lot more coming about Topić. We received another large heap of documents and half a gigabyte of videos last night.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Bogus Patents Which Oughtn't Have Been Granted Make Products Deliberately Worse, Reducing Innovation and Worsening Customers' Experience

    How shallow patents — or patent applications that no patent office should be accepting — turn out to be at the core of multi-billion-dollar cases/lawsuits, with potentially a billion people impacted (their products made worse to work around such questionable patents)



  2. EPO is Like a Patent Litigation (Without Actual Trial) Office, Not a Patent Examination Office

    Examination of patent applications isn't taken seriously by an office whose entire existence was supposed to be about examination; bureaucracy at the top of this office has apparently decided that the sole goal is to create more demand (i.e. lawsuits) for the litigation 'industry'



  3. Philippe Cadre From the French National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) Wants to Join António Campinos

    Yet another example of INPI's creeping influence if not 'entryism' at the EPO and this time too patent quality isn't a priority



  4. Links 22/9/2018: Mesa 18.2.1, CLIP OS, GPL Settlement in Artifex/First National Title Insurance Company

    Links for the day



  5. Links 21/9/2018: Cockpit 178, Purism 'Dongle'

    Links for the day



  6. Criticism of Unitary Patent (UPC) Agreement Doomed the UPC and Patent Trolls' Plan -- Along With the Litigation Lobby -- for Unified 'Extortion Vector'

    The Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC) was the trolls' weapon against potentially millions of European businesses; but those businesses have woken up to the fact that it was against their interests and European member states such as Spain and Poland now oppose it while Germany halts ratification



  7. It Wasn't Judges With Weapons in Their Office, It Was Benoît Battistelli Who Brought Firearms to the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The EPO scandals deepen in light of a very major scandal which has occupied the French media for a couple of months



  8. Links 20/9/2018: 2018 Linux Audio Miniconference and Blackboard's Openwashing

    Links for the day



  9. Links 19/9/2018: Chromebooks Get More DEBs, LLVM 7.0.0 Released

    Links for the day



  10. Links 18/9/2018: Qt 5.12 Alpha , MAAS 2.5.0 Beta, PostgreSQL CoC

    Links for the day



  11. Today's European Patent Office (EPO) Works for Large, Foreign Pharmaceutical Companies in Pursuit of Patents on Nature, Life, and Essential/Basic Drugs

    The never-ending insanity which is patents on DNA/genome/genetics and all sorts of basic things that are put together like a recipe in a restaurant; patents are no longer covering actual machinery that accomplishes unique tasks in complicated ways, typically assembled from scratch by humans; some supposed 'inventions' are merely born into existence by the natural splitting of organisms or conception (e.g. pregnancy)



  12. The EPO Has Quit Pretending That It Cares About Patent Quality, All It Cares About is Quantity of Lawsuits

    A new interview with Roberta Romano-Götsch, as well as the EPO's promotion of software patents alongside CIPA (Team UPC), is an indication that the EPO has ceased caring about quality and hardly even pretends to care anymore



  13. Qualcomm's Escalating Patent Wars Have Already Caused Massive Buybacks (Loss of Reserves) and Loss of Massive Clients

    Qualcomm's multi-continental patent battles are an effort to 'shock and awe' everyone into its protection racket; but the unintended effect seems to be a move further and further away from 'Qualcomm territories'



  14. Links 17/9/2018: Torvalds Takes a Break, SQLite 3.25.0 Released

    Links for the day



  15. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Helps Prevent Frivolous Software Patent Lawsuits

    PTAB with its quality-improving inter partes reviews (IPRs) is enraging patent maximalists; but by looking to work around it or weaken it they will simply reduce the confidence associated with US patents



  16. Abstract Patents (Things One Can Do With Pen and Paper, Sometimes an Abacus) Are a Waste of Money as Courts Disregard Them

    A quick roundup of patents and lawsuits at the heart of which there's little or no substance; 35 U.S.C. § 101 renders these moot



  17. “Blockchain” Hype and “FinTech”-Like Buzzwords Usher in Software Patents Everywhere, Even Where Such Patents Are Obviously Bunk

    Not only the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) embraces the "blockchain" hype; business methods and algorithms are being granted patent 'protection' (exclusivity) which would likely be disputed by the courts (if that ever reaches the courts)



  18. Qualcomm's Patent Aggression Threatens Rationality of Patent Scope in Europe and Elsewhere

    Qualcomm's dependence on patent taxes (so-called 'royalties' associated with physical devices which it doesn't even make) highlights the dangers now known; the patent thicket has grown too "thick"



  19. Months After Oil States the Patent Maximalists Are Still Desperate to Crush PTAB in the Courts, Not Just in Congress and the Office

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) improve patent quality and are therefore a threat to those who profit from spurious feuding and litigation; they try anything they can to turn things around



  20. IAM, Watchtroll and the EPO Still Spread the Mentality of Patent Maximalism

    The misguided idea that the objective (overall) should be to grant as many monopolies as possible (to spur a lot of litigation) isn't being challenged in echo chamber 'events', set up and sponsored by think tanks and pressure groups of the litigation 'industry'



  21. Watchtroll and Other Proponents of Patent Trolls Are Trying to Change the Law Outside the Courts in Order to Bypass Patent Justice

    35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101) voids almost every software patent — a reality that even the most zealous patent professionals have come to grips with and their way of tackling this ‘problem’ is legislative, albeit nowhere near successful (so far)



  22. Links 16/9/2018: Windows Plays 'Nice' Again, Elisa Music Player 0.3 Beta and Latte Dock 0.8.1

    Links for the day



  23. Slamming Courts and Judges Won't Help the Patent Maximalists; It Can Only Make Things Worse

    Acorda Therapeutics sees its stock price dropping 25% after finding out that its patent portfolio isn't solid, as affirmed by the Federal Circuitn(CAFC); the only way out of this mess is a pursuit of a vastly improved patent quality, thorough patent examination which then offers legal certainty



  24. Patent Trolls Are Still Active and Microsoft is Closely Connected to Many of Them

    A roundup of patent trolls' actions in the United States; Microsoft is connected to a notably high number of these



  25. Advancements in Automobile Technology Won't be Possible With Patent Maximalism

    Advancements in the development of vehicles are being discouraged by a thicket of patents as dumb (and likely invalid) as claims on algorithms and mere shapes



  26. Battistelli “Has Deeply Hurt the Whole Patent Profession, Examiners as Well as Agents” and Also the Image of France

    A French perspective regarding Battistelli's reign at the EPO, which has not really ended but manifests itself or 'metastasises' through colleagues of Battistelli (whom he chose) and another French President (whom he also chose)



  27. António Campinos Needs to Listen to Doctors Without Borders (MSF) et al to Salvage What's Left of Public Consent for the EPO

    Groups including Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Médecins du Monde (MdM) have attempted to explain to the EPO, with notoriously French-dominated leadership, that it’s a mistake to work for Gilead at the expense of the public; but António Campinos is just another patent maximalist



  28. The Max Planck Institute's Determination on UPC's (Unitary Patent) Demise is Only “Controversial” in the Eyes of Rabid Members of Team UPC

    Bristows keeps lying like Battistelli; that it calls a new paper "controversial" without providing any evidence of a controversy says a lot about Bristows LLP, both as a firm and the individuals who make up the firm (they would not be honest with their clients, either)



  29. Links 15/9/2018: Wine 3.16, Overwatch's GNU/Linux (Wine) 'Ban', New Fedora 28 Build, and Fedora 29 Beta Delay

    Links for the day



  30. Max Planck Institute Pours More Water on the Dying Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The Max Planck Institute gives another sobering reality check for Team UPC to chew on; there's still no sign of any progress whatsoever for the UPC because even Team UPC appears to have given up and moved on


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts