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

03.17.15

Rikard Frgačić Explains Željko Topić’s Behaviour and the Lufthansa Case

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Patents at 2:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Rikard Frgačić submits his comments regarding the misdeeds of SIPO, the Croatian intellectual monopolies offices which was headed by Željko Topić

We very recently published a video segment (extracted from a programme of one Croatian TV network) about a man called Rikard Frgačić, whose case against EPO Vice-President Željko Topić we had previously covered in the following three posts:

  1. The Case of Rikard Frgacic Versus the Croatian SIPO: Allegation of Corruption in Relation to Trademark Reassignment Under Željko Topić’s Watch: Part XVI
  2. Just in: Fresh Call From Croatia to Arrest EPO Vice-President Željko Topić
  3. Željko Topić’s History in SIPO Leaves a Legacy of Alleged DZIV Vehicles (Bribes), Authorship Abuses, and Intimidation Against Reporters

Today we wish to expand and to explain what the case is about. We have been in contact with the plaintiff and interviewed him over the telephone. We also received additional documents that help explain his case. The following additional programme segment helps explain it primarily from the Lufthansa angle.


Mr. Frgačić kindly provided us with detailed information about his case and in particular, especially towards the end, the special role of Željko Topić. Below is his explanation, unaltered so as to preserve his narrative.


In accordance with the article entitled “The Case of Rikard Frgacic Versus the Croatian SIPO: Allegation of Corruption in Relation to Trademark Reassignment Under Željko Topić’s Watch”, posted on the Internet portal http://techrights.org on 15th February 2015, under the programme section “Europe/Patents”, and with an aim of providing objective and thorough information to the international public, I kindly ask you to publish my comment on the article as follows:

Air Plus vs. Lufthansa_photo

My legal dispute with the subsidiary of the big German corporation Lufthansa AG – Lufthansa Airplus Servicekarten G.m.b.H. is not benign at all. All the more so when one lives in a banana republic called Croatia, very similar by its judicial system and public administration system to some underdeveloped African countries in terms of the level of corruption.

One of the reasons why I mention this hides in the fact of the name of a person holding a master’s degree title – Mister Željko Topić involved with the former State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of the Republic of Croatia. As a citizen, I could accept the fact of being conned by an individual, but unfortunately, I cannot accept it being done by the state system. Nevertheless, given the involvement in corruption of the above-mentioned airline company registered in an EU Member State, since recently this case has also been tackled by the EU institutions based in Brussels, entrusted with its in-depth monitoring.

But, let us start from the very beginning. With reference to the facts written in your article, which are accurate: Lufthansa did offer me a value of the second-hand mountain bike to buy ownership over my internationally protected brand Air Plus. What is extremely important to highlight here is the fact that Lufthansa’s offer would not have been given had there not been any abuse of my trademark/brand. A proof of my international ownership over the Air Plus brand was issued by the OMPI/WIPO in Geneva.

Air Plus WIPO certifikat

Why do I mention this? On my return flight with a four-member family from a business and tourist trip in the USA, that is, from New York to Zagreb in 2007, at the JFK Airport Lufthansa gave us a flyer with an interesting offer to postpone our flight for a couple of hours and receive EUR 700.00 compensation per person. In other words, EUR 2,800.00 for the four of us to delay our flight to Europe for a couple of hours. Lufthansa’s offer was rejected, and the return flight from New York to Zagreb was partially made by another airline company. My guess is that due to malfunctioning IT booking system and ongoing overbooking, as well as due to a fear of potential claims, Lufthansa provides interesting compensation to the passengers stalking them at airport counters prior to their flights and offering them cash vouchers. In the attachment, you can find the proof of such farce taking place at the JFK Airport in New York, the original Lufthansa flyer.

Lufthansa,overbooking,N.York-small

[Click to enlarge]

Based on the above-mentioned, I think any further comment is superfluous.

Under such circumstances and failed negotiations between me and Lufthansa, which have been carried out by my attorney in Munich (the letter is a PDF) to date, in 2010 the court proceedings were initiated for indemnification at the Commercial Court in Zagreb under number P-710/2010.

Simultaneously, the German Stock Exchange, German Patent Office in Munich, the President of the Lufthansa Supervisory Board and Assembly were notified accordingly. The document enclosed (2 pages below), and which document was submitted to the German Patent Office in Munich, indicates a very high value of the dispute amounting to EUR 30 million.

DPUM_1

DPUM_2

Unfortunately, the Attorneys-at-Law who represented me initially in Zagreb represent me no longer as it turned out that at the same time they also represented Mister Željko Topić, former SIPO Director General, current EPO Vice-President in Munich. The proof (power of attorney of Željko Topić) of the above-mentioned allegations is also enclosed in the attachment. For the time being I have not brought any action for indemnification and criminal action against the Attorneys-at-Law who knowingly found themselves in the conflict of interest.

Power of attorney-Topic_Hraste

In the forthcoming period the instigation of court proceedings against Lufthansa in Germany is expected (due to the statute of limitation the deadline for the claim in Germany is May 2016), after completion of the case with the SIPO in Zagreb initiated based on fictitious charges of Lufthansa claiming that my Air Plus brand had not been in use, which, naturally, was not true. The charade at the SIPO of the Republic of Croatia was organised by Lufthansa Attorney in the Republic of Croatia and above-mentioned corrupt Željko Topić, former SIPO Director General who used a well-established scheme to settle the Lufthansa’s charges within a record time of a single day. Of course, in favour of Lufthansa. The criminal charges were pressed against both actors with the State Attorney’s Office of the Republic of Croatia (DORH in Croatian), which were subsequently taken over by the Croatian Office for the Prevention of Corruption and Organised Crime (USKOK in Croatian) on account of severe qualifications of a criminal offence. On its own initiative, the SIPO, then headed by Željko Topić, without any legal grounds made a reassignment of my protected brand in the official registry and posted such reassignment on its official website, which is one of the reasons for criminal charges as it has nothing to do with violation of my personal rights, but violation of Croatian law and international law and violation of the principle of trust in credible records in a public registry. After my appeal and media coverage of the entire case, the SIPO quashed its first instance decision and pronounced Lufthansa’s charges as unfounded. However, six years after such event, which was settled for Lufthansa within a remarkable single day, I still have not received the final decision of Topić’s ex-SIPO with the accompanying documentation. My total legal costs of the dispute with Lufthansa exceed EUR 50.000.-. At the moment there are five attorneys representing me in the proceedings against Lufthansa. One in each of the respective cities: Munich, Ljubljana and Paris and two attorneys in Zagreb specialised in commercial law and intellectual property law. It should be highlighted here that the letter of Lufthansa’s representatives of 24th July 2009 addressed at my attorney in Munich evidently shows the outcome of the proceedings with the SIPO in Zagreb a couple of months in advance. This letter is crucial evidence which takes Mister Željko Topić, and Lufthansa’s representative in Croatia and all others involved in this case directly to prison with a request for precise answers regarding operation of the “high-level corrupt octopus” in practice.

The project under the Air Plus trademark was a big tourist vision as shown in the letter for the Airbus consortium in France way back in 1998 with the graphical design of the Air Plus brand on the Airbus plane model A-319, also below.

Letter_Airbus

airplus photo

Throughout the last couple of years I gave a number of interviews laying stress on the issue of intellectual property in the case with Lufthansa, but also more broadly speaking. In particular, I would like to single out two TV shows for the Croatian public broadcasting company (HRT), also shown above as video-clips with English subtitles.
According to some unofficial information there is a closed circle of indications that Lufthansa is a secret owner of the Croatian airline company Croatia Airlines, and thus my case crosses the borders of judiciary and becomes a political “burning issue” in the currently unresolved relations between Germany and Croatia. That was the basic reason why I addressed Chancellor of the Republic of Germany, Madam Angela Merkel (the letter is below).

Frau Merkel

By leaving the Croatian SIPO and coming to the EPO, whether by accident or not, Master of Science Željko Topić appointed Ms. Ljiljana Kuterovac, allegedly his longtime mistress, as the SIPO Director General in Zagreb. But he did not stop there as can be seen from a bizarre detail that very soon he also brought the foregoing lady that is his mistress to the EPO in Munich (information here) and turned this reputable international institution into a Balkan tavern equal to the one he had in a coffee bar “Valeatis” in Zagreb, close to his official office in the SIPO, and which is very precisely described and documented in a website article “A wrong man sitting at the EPO?”. To use the police investigation lingo, a very simple and logical question is raised here – Who made it all possible to him?

VV_pass

I would also like to emphasise that the corrupt network in this case surpasses Željko Topić and his current EPO position and assumes bigger proportions, including the WIPO in Geneva and leaning onto segments of the Croatian diplomacy. More specifically, after publication of the newspaper article “Vesna Vuković welcomes Topić in Geneva whom she ardently reported to DORH and USKOK” (see this) the foregoing lady fearing political retaliation apologised to “Master of Science” Željko Topić by phone from the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Geneva. This interesting telephone conversation on the Geneva – Munich line was intercepted by the Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA in Croatian) of the Republic of Croatia. Specifically, Ambassador Vuković (diplomatic passport is above) was not appointed to go to Geneva on behalf of the Republic of Croatia for diplomacy but as an extended hand of the former President of the Republic of Croatia – Ivo Josipović with the WIPO, since Geneva is an international bureau for the protection of author’s rights but also any other intellectual property rights (information here). It is no secret that the former President of the Republic of Croatia – Josipović is a covert owner that is the most influential person of the Croatian Composers’ Society (HDS/ZAMP in Croatian) with non-transparent parafiscal levies on account of which he probably lost the last presidential elections in the Republic of Croatia less than a month ago. Miss Vesna Vuković, together with corrupt Željko Topić, is a part of the systematically built “network” of former President of the Republic of Croatia, Ivo Josipović. Finally, former Minister of Science of the Republic of Croatia, Željko Jovanović, himself publicly admitted to a DW journalist the pressure of President of the Republic of Croatia Ivo Josipović in case of protection of Željko Topić against criminal prosecution, which was published in her article entitled “Croatian Patent for Author’s Rights” (see this).

According to the latest news from the Croatian independent media, the DORH system also constitutes a part of this sophisticated corrupt network, the head of which, the first man of that institution, Mladen Bajić, was recently removed from office. After Bajić’s deposition, the first attorney – Željka Pokupec of the County State Attorney’s Office (ŽDO in Croatian) based in the capital of the Republic of Croatia was removed from office and sacked. The Croatian public is anxious to see further clarification of matters in this state institution in the upcoming days. The role of the DORH in this fascinatingly built corrupt network at the high political level was regular collection of fees for Josipović’s HDS/ZAMP. In other words, the use of public resources of the Republic of Croatia for private purposes, as well as a potential cover-up of criminal offences of Željko Topić and obstruction of investigations by the very same persons at the top of the pyramid of the Republic of Croatia over former Chief State Attorney Mladen Bajić and his right hand Željka Pokupec, and over former President of the Republic of Croatia – Ivo Josipović. However, the way things are at the moment it seems that the former Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia – Ivo Sanader convicted on account of crimes of corruption as a high ranking politician will soon get some company in the most famous prison in Croatia. Publicly pronounced word is said to be stronger than a baton, but this history folk saying is yet to be verified in this specific case.

In Zagreb, 20th February 2015

Written by: Rikard Frgacic, M.Sc. Geo.


It should be in the interest of EPO staff to know this, irrespective of the relevance of this trademark case to the patent system.

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. Links 7/4/2020: Firefox 75, Python 2.7.1 RC1

    Links for the day



  2. The Fall of the UPC - Part XIV: Media Owned and Controlled by Law Firms Did Not Properly Cover the Decision of the German Constitutional Court (FCC)

    We take another look at the shallow if not deliberately misleading coverage in sites that are literally owned and run by law firms, for the benefit of law firms rather than informing the public



  3. The Media Paints Bill Gates as the Man Who Will Save the World While Seattle's Police Department Obstructs Access to Documents About Pedophilia Arrest at His Home

    We're still unable to receive even one single page of the police report about arrest for pedophilia at the home of Bill and Melinda Gates; the media says nothing about this and instead it paints Gates as a national or international hero



  4. IRC Proceedings: Monday, April 06, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, April 06, 2020



  5. Software Patents Remain Junk Patents in the United States (Not Enforceable), Whereas the EPO Keeps Granting Them and Promoting Them

    We take note of the positive outcomes in the US, where courts continue to reject software patents, but in Europe the largest patent office, which sought to replace all the courts, still acts as if patent law does not exist and patents can be endlessly printed irrespective of their merit (or validity as judged by actual courts)



  6. The Fall of the UPC - Part XIII: A Death Worth Celebrating and Many Lies Worth Debunking

    We take stock of positive responses to the decision made by the German constitutional court (FCC) 2.5 weeks ago; we also explain why it has taken so long to piece together firm-by-firm scoresheet for UPC lies



  7. GitHub is Moving the Free Software Movement Into “Check”

    GitHub's growing levels of control over Free software projects (GitHub itself is proprietary and Microsoft-controlled) ought to alarm the community; it's a lot worse than most people care to acknowledge, based on weeks of detailed analysis of GNU/Linux distros



  8. Links 6/4/2020: New Red Hat CEO, elementary OS Hera Updates

    Links for the day



  9. When the Decision is OK and the Judge's Motivations Are Also OK

    Justice Huber made the right call; but the bullies and charlatans who conspired to undermine laws and constitutions will never be satisfied



  10. The Fall of the UPC - Part XII: Doing the Unthinkable by Blaming the Judge's (Justice's) Wife?

    Team UPC and its media partners never cease to amaze us; anybody who stands in their way is either portrayed as a Russian stooge or too ignorant to be worth talking to



  11. The Fall of the UPC - Part XI: Lies Told by Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI) in Süddeutsche Zeitung

    Today we look at misleading claims (or lies) published by Süddeutsche Zeitung after the Germans' constitutional court (FCC) had pointed out the obvious, namely that UPC ratification would be in violation of the German constitution



  12. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 05, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, April 05, 2020



  13. Links 5/4/2020: MindSpore, Covid-19 Projects and More

    Links for the day



  14. EPO is Just Like Some Cruel Political Party and Not a Patent Office

    The "cabal" which runs today's EPO (even the word "Mafia" seems suitable here) isn't acting -- not even remotely -- like a patent office; it's a patent-printing operation ("protection money" as income) that uses shallow political stunts to manufacture consent with the EU's 'generous' assistance



  15. Digitalisation and Digital Technologies as a Ploy to Justify Illegal Software Patents

    Say "hello" to the next weasel word/s; from the "hey hi" hype wave we've now moved to something "digital" (which can mean just about anything, including algorithms of all sorts)



  16. The Fall of the UPC - Part X: How We Shall Catalogue UPC Lies

    The cult that Team UPC became (one member lying to another member, maintaining a false version of reality) will be judged based on underlying facts, not lying about facts; we start with a token of contempt for IP Kat and Bristows LLP (there are overlaps)



  17. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 04, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, April 04, 2020



  18. Major Revelation: Microsoft Blackmail Against LAMP (GNU/Linux and Free Stacks for Servers) Goes At Least 16 Years Back, Predating the Novell Patent Deal

    (Techno-)Anthropological analyses of Microsoft's patent war on Free/libre software must take into account what Microsoft did to MySQL, a Swedish company at the time



  19. Links 4/4/2020: Sparky 5.11, Firefox 74.0.1, POCL 1.5

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 03, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, April 03, 2020



  21. Links 3/4/2020: Ubuntu Beta, GNOME 3.36.1, ExTiX LXQt Mini, NetBSD 8.2 Released

    Links for the day



  22. Digital Communication, Digitalisation and Videogaming Among the EPO's Latest Smokescreens for Illegal and Abstract Patents on Algorithms

    The EPO keeps liaising with the EU to promote patents which EU officials have themselves said were illegal; to make matters worse, the EPO's violations of its own laws inspire the United States to do the same



  23. Emotional Blackmail for Illegal Software Patents

    Semantic tactics the European Patent Office (EPO) uses to promote software patents in Europe and may theoretically use in the future (satire)



  24. Clear Linux is to GNU/Linux What Clearly Defined is to Open Source

    The idea that we need Intel to take GNU/Linux ‘mainstream’ is ludicrous; as OSDL co-founder (now succeeded in the flesh of the Corporate Linux Foundation), Intel is more about Linux (with DRM, “secure boot” and everything that lets it be remotely controlled) than about GNU and it’s not too keen on GPL (copyleft), either



  25. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 02, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 02, 2020



  26. Links 2/4/2020: Linux 5.6.2, Qt Creator 4.11.2, LineageOS ROM Based on Android 10

    Links for the day



  27. OIN in 2020 Resembles Linux Foundation in 2020 (Corporate Front Group Piggybacking the Linux Brand)

    We regret to say that the Open Invention Network seems not to care at all about Software Freedom; to make matters worse, it is a proponent of software patents and a voice for companies like IBM and Microsoft, not the "Community" it fancies misrepresenting



  28. Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) - Part IX: Semi-Happy Ending

    Richard Stallman is here to stay and the FSF will let him stay (as chief of GNU); we want to close the series on a positive note



  29. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 01, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 01, 2020



  30. Upcoming Articles and Research Areas

    Although we've failed to write as much as usual, we're still preparing some in-depth articles and maintaining Daily Links (in spite of unforeseen ordeals like a forced laptop migration)


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

Recent Posts