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02.16.16

How the European Patent Office (EPO) is Crushing Staff Unions and Why EPO Staff Has a Moral Duty to Protest

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO Three Stooges

Summary: The attacks on staff unions at the EPO are explained with broader context, highlighting the severe abuses which come from above, so to speak, from people who shamelessly disregard the rule of law

TECHRIGHTS has written a great deal about the EPO‘s management, more so as a result of its unprecedented crushing of well-educated (and at times opinionated) staff. Critical or sceptical thinking should be a job requirement at the EPO, but apparently not under Battistelli. People are reduced to obedient peons who work like machines and never fall ill. Standards or procedures typically applicable to examination are out the door, depending on the size of the applicant (or “client”/”customer”). This is just wrong.

Instead of going after truly dangerous people such as Željko Topić (see our latest report about him), the EPO’s managers, who hired this incredible liability, is stubbornly fighting more aggressively, convinced that it should only be going after — ever more relentlessly and at growing doses — those whom management believes can lead to a revolt and perhaps a mass exodus, mass resignation/dismissal at the management level, or European raids at the Office (some members there, Topić included, already face many criminal charges). The last thing Battistelli et al want right now is Europol or Interpol showing up at the gate (Munich).

“I still have some hope for tomorrow,” wrote one particular reader to us regarding the Board 28 meeting (tomorrow in Germany). SUEPO said that “The Board 28 is the ultra-secretive think-tank of the Administrative Council.”

“You probably know about the rumours,” added this reader, “that they are negotiating his [Battistelli's] departure; but the rumour is not confirmed.”

While we generally have a good understanding of what happened, how, when and so on (too early to take all of this public), we cannot ever sympathise with what Battistelli and his goons have been doing. It’s them who should be facing a trial/s (or face the music as the saying goes), not mere messengers (the voice of the staff) like SUEPO. Topić is himself already embroiled in legal battles, but Battistelli and his clique try pretty hard to hide this from the staff. They even actively mislead the staff regarding the status of Topić’s court battles.

Ahead of tomorrow’s protest in Munich let’s just remind readers or explain once again (with additional details) what has been going on at the EPO.

“Read about cleansing of staff representatives and union leaders at EPO,” urged one person in a message to us. We have a lot of this documented with an index of articles in the Wiki. They not only went after staff representatives and union leaders. They even went after a judge. His alleged ‘crime’ is that he anonymously (for his own safety) spoke about the behaviour of Željko Topić. People who cannot understand the importance of such an (alleged) act surely don’t know what Željko Topić has done. There’s a reason why people in Croatia hate Topić so much. They’re up in arm and they cannot quite grasp the EPO’s decision to recruit him. Maybe a language barrier prevented the H.R. folks from doing their homework.

“There’s a reason why people in Croatia hate Topić so much. They’re up in arm and they cannot quite grasp the EPO’s decision to recruit him.”“The EPO conducts secretive investigations against them [staff representatives],” told us a person, “in which they cannot bring a lawyer, do not know the charges in advance, lack the right to remain silent, and cannot even disclose that they are being investigated. During the investigations, they are bullied into confessions about themselves and others. If they are not cooperative, charges are trumped up against them, followed by mock trials in a disciplinary committee. EPO confiscates their personal belongings like cell phones and PCs, so that evidence can later be “found” on them, in the absence of the accused.”

Go ahead and hypothesise/theorise about what may be on a USB drive (or stick) of someone who wants to access the Web anonymously. Such drives swap/change hands (different people sharing the same media). They may, among other things, include anonymity software, and some people who desperately require such software may wish to disseminate material which the State deems hateful. All we are trying to say is, when you seize vast troves of data (like complete PCs) you can spend months constructing a false story about a person (or scapegoat). The same goes for mass surveillance in general and as Edward Snowden once put it (to paraphrase from memory), given enough data one can frame it (by omission or ambiguity) to support some imaginary story about one’s life. It wouldn’t be hard, in retrospect (with access to extensive piles of personal data), to smear a person or even justify a lethal drone strike against a person. This is one of the many known dangers (to a democratic society) that mass surveillance poses. Just look what the Stasi did in Germany.

“If they are not cooperative, charges are trumped up against them, followed by mock trials in a disciplinary committee. EPO confiscates their personal belongings like cell phones and PCs, so that evidence can later be “found” on them, in the absence of the accused.”
      –Anonymous
“No wonder they get ill,” wrote a person to us, alluding to staff representatives. “Find below some staff representatives who got punished recently. This list is not complete.”

  • Annete K exposed human right breaches of EPO. She is a lawyer. As soon as she left the staff committee, and thus lost protection, she was expelled into early retirement against her will.
  • Also Aurélien P and Mikael L got suspended and downgraded as their mandate with the appeals committee ended. This happened after years of loyal service in the appeals committee.
  • Els H is SUEPO’s chairperson. She was first downgraded and then fired based on false charges. Against the advice of the disciplinary committee, her pension was cut by 20%, a pension for which she paid for 30 years.
  • Ion B is SUEPO’s former chair. In the same week, also he was fired based on false charges. The disciplinary committee explicitly advised against his dismissal. Ion B has 5 children. His colleagues now support him financially.
  • Still in the same week, Malika W got downgraded. Coincidence, huh?
  • Laurent P occupies leading positions for staff representation and SUEPO. After being pressurized and summoned by the investigative unit on 13 November 2015, he is on sick leave as certified by his doctor. The EPO refuses to pay his salary, and pressurizes him even while ill. His colleagues now support him financially.

“Other staff representatives are targeted,” we’ve learned, but we already knew that. We named some of them earlier today and we are aware of even more. It’s clearly a witch-hunt. The pattern cannot be mistaken for a “coincidence”. Willy Minnoye was lying on national television.

“This intimidation must stop,” the person told us, “and Battistelli should be told to leave.”

“Just for the record,” I responded, “I am aware of more people who have been targeted. This situation must be addressed as a matter of urgency to prevent more suicides and other irreparable damages.”

Speaking to another person we learned that Battistelli “is creating transparency” not by means of intentional transparency but rather by upsetting everyone and thus creating whistleblowers. By alienating everyone he himself made a lot more enemies. Even Directors now attend protests. The damage is irreversible for Battistelli. His days are probably numbered now. “It seems that you are becoming an expert even for EPO-internal matters,” this one person told us, but that’s probably because the EPO never figured out who we speak to (based on internal documents we saw). They’re clueless. In a sense, Minnoye’s nightmare is becoming a reality. Months ago Minnoye complained that documents had been leaking to blogs (he must have meant Techrights) and now it’s him who’s receiving a lot of unwanted attention. This is a sort of nonviolent blowback that they experience after viciously attacking their staff. They also targeted yours truly, as if suddenly the courts suit them.

By going to the protest tomorrow (or joining the imminent strike) staff will hit Battistelli, Topić, and Minnoye where it hurts. It helps demonstrate how terrible they are as managers, in spite of the high salaries. No doubt EPO management will continue to exercise what’s wrongly perceived as omnipotence, but without standing up to these machinations European society is assured to descend onto further oppressions. A German guy called Adolf once famously said, “demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabotage, assassination.” The suicides epidemic isn’t assassination per se, but it serves a similar role, alongside union decapitation.

“Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today…”

Mahatma Gandhi quotes (Indian Philosopher, internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest, 1869-1948)

The European Patent Office (EPO) Openly Advocates Software Patents Despite the Rules

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent maximalism under the Battistelli regime has become a cancer (and it negatively affects even cancer patients)

EPO for software patents

Summary: The EPO has reached a level of shamelessness so high that openly promoting monopolies on algorithms (software patents) is now generally regarded to be permissible and viewed as acceptable too

THE EPO is a hungry monster totally out of control. It serves large corporations and runs over anything which stands in its way. The EPO is probably the biggest embarrassment of the European Union, but the EPO is neither part of the European Union nor is it European. It often seems more like a conspiracy of large corporations and rich people, misleadingly disguised under the name “European” and a .org domain. The interests of European citizens just don’t matter at all and European SMEs barely count.

“The sheer arrogance of EPO managers seemingly lets them be all shameless about ignoring the rules and expanding patent scope to just about anything, in mindless pursuit of more patents (where quantity matters more than quality or collective economic value).”The EPO is promoting software patents again (the tweet above is only hours old). It doesn’t shock anyone among the campaigners against software patents because the EPO doesn’t mind the law (it blatantly admits this) and it does not follow the rules of the EPC, either.

“Don’t miss our workshop on patentable software in Europe on Wednesday 16 March at CeBIT,” wrote the above person in an official account (thus official statement), alluding to something which we covered here earlier this month.

What a nerve they have…

Over in the US, contrary to Europe, software patents are dying. Right now patent lawyers try to “Save Software Patents,” to use their own words (see today’s article titled “How Structural Claim Limitations Can Save Software Patents” — albeit it’s behind a paywall).

It’s no secret that Techrights was all along against software patents, but it was never in principle against the EPO until becoming aware of human rights abuses. The sheer arrogance of EPO managers seemingly lets them be all shameless about ignoring the rules and expanding patent scope to just about anything, in mindless pursuit of more patents (where quantity matters more than quality or collective economic value).

Transcript of EPO Official Admitting on Television (Nieuwsuur Interview) That Courts Are of No Interest to Him

Posted in Site News at 1:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Courts are only of interest to the EPO’s management whenever it tries to intimidate and bully its critics

Willy Minnoye in interview

Summary: Permanent record of a report about the European Patent Office reaffirming its (perceived) status as effectively above the law

EARLIER today we made copies of videos about the EPO, having made copies of similar videos in the past (just in case). This site isn’t optimised for video streaming (in fact, streaming is very problematic to it), but it’s all about long-term preservation of reliable information. With EPO lawyers running amok (making threats), information tends to decay (i.e. get removed) over time. Any such deleltionism serves the oppressor with its legion of lawyers (who targeted me too at one point).

Videos (or multimedia in general) are hard to search, so we asked around for some help transcribing the video or sharing a translation. Here are the links to the subtitled videos, as promised here a while back:

Video with English subtitles: YouTube | Vimeo

Video with French subtitles: YouTube | Vimeo

Video with German subtitles: YouTube | Vimeo

Below we add a summary of the TV report and a transcript of the English subtitles (with comments). We start with the summary:

“How far does the immunity of the European Patent Office reach?”

Videos with subtitles in English, German and French are available for the Dutch TV report “NOS Nieuwsuur“ (NPO 2 TV, 28 January 2016, 22:00 h)

“Hoe ver gaat de immuniteit van het Europees Octrooibureau?”
NOS “Nieuwsuur” http://nos.nl/nieuwsuur
NPO 2 (TV) 28.01.2016 22:00 h

Summary of the NOS report

The President of the European Patent Office (EPO) is, according to EPO employees, a “tyrant”. The question is whether Dutch judges can protect the rights of EPO employees. Because the EPO has the status of an International Organisation, it enjoys diplomatic immunity. In 2015, a Dutch Appeal Court ruled that the internal judicial procedures are “substandard”, and that that the Organisation’s immunity does not cover violations of fundamental rights. But the EPO refuses to accept the Court’s verdict. The Dutch government tries to protect the immunity of the Office, and decided that the EPO is not obliged to carry out the verdict of the Dutch judge.

The worksphere in the EPO is described with terms like “terror rule”, “intimidation”, and “culture of fear”. Trade union representatives are being submitted to intimidating investigations, without the assistance of a lawyer. Two union representatives were dismissed after disciplinary measures which followed such investigations. At the same time, more union representatives are under investigation. According to EPO Vice president Guillaume Minnoye, this is pure coincidence.

There were massive demonstrations of EPO staff at the two biggest EPO branches in Munich (Germany) on 20 January, with between 1.100 and 1.300 protesters, and in The Hague (The Netherlands) on 28 January 2016, with 900 protesters.

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands (“Hoge Raad”) should take a final decision in the second half of 2016.

In an interview, EPO Vice president Guillaume Minnoye said that the EPO will not accept the verdict of the highest Judge of the Netherlands. The staff union’s lawyer is now considering to take the Dutch State to court for insufficiently protecting the rights of employees.

Here is the full English transcript:

Here is a transcript of the English translation (subtitles) of the NOS TV report:

NOS Presenter Mariëlle Tweebeeke:

The President of the European Patent Office in Rijswijk is, according to Patent Office employees, a “tyrant”. The question is whether Dutch judges can protect the rights of Patent Office employees. Because the Patent Office has the status of an International Organisation it enjoys diplomatic immunity, legal sanctity. The “Hoge Raad” [Supreme Court of the Netherlands] will deliberate on the case from tomorrow [29.01.2016].

NOS Commentator [the camera showing the EPO building in Rijswijk]:

This is the European Patent Office (EPO). This International Organisation was founded to protect the rights of inventors. Whether it protects the rights of its employees adequatly, is now the issue at stake in a unique legal battle.

NOS Interviewer Marijn Duintjer Tebbens [asking EPO Vice-President VP1 Guillaume Minnoye]:

“Terror rule, intimidation, culture of fear…”

EPO Vice-President VP1 Guillaume Minnoye:

Well, yes, these are, I believe, “expressions” used in the press,… Errr… the fact is however, that if one does the job as it should be done, none of all this is applicable.

Prof. Liesbeth Zegveld, legal representative of the EPO Staff Union:

The Law does not apply here. I have never experienced anything like this. The Law does not function here. There is no Law here.

FNV Trade Union Confederation Chairman Ton Heerts:

I believe Prime Minister Rutte and his cabinet should act, in order at least to bring on social dialogue.

NOS Commentator:

Last year [2015] the Court of The Hague ruled that the EPO violates Human Rights. The Office hinders the work of the Trade Union to such an extent that it violates the fundamental Human Rights of its approximately 2500 employees. The fact that the Court has ruled in this case is noteworthy, because as an International Organisation, the Office enjoys immunity. This means that it is actually not within the reach of a Dutch judge.

Prof. Liesbeth Zegveld, legal representative of the EPO Staff Union:

The Court has weighed the immunity and said: “You do not have immunity”, which means: “You must listen to us.” That´s what it means. “I am the Judge for this case.” This is what the Court’s verdict means.

NOS Commentator [to EPO Vice-President VP1 Guillaume Minnoye]:

The Court rules that the judicial procedures internal to the Office are “substandard”. The Office thinks nothing of it and refuses to accept the Courts verdict.

EPO Vice-President VP1 Guillaume Minnoye:

Our statutes conform to Human Rights, and we also comply with them.

NOS Interviewer:

And the Dutch Judge doesn´t think so?”

EPO Vice-President VP1 Guillaume Minnoye:

Yes, the Dutch Judge doesn´t think so, and we disagree with this.

NOS Commentator [the camera showing the former Dutch Minister of Justice, Ivo Opstelten]:

The Office is not alone in this. The Dutch State believes that the immunity of the Office should be protected. In the Security and Justice Ministry, the then minister Opstelten [who resigned on 09.03.2015. He had wrongly informed the Dutch Parliament about payments worth 2M € to a drug baron in 2001] decided that the Office is not under the obligation of carrying out the verdict of the Dutch judge.

Prof. Liesbeth Zegveld, legal representative of the EPO Staff Union:

I find this to be nearly an insult to our judicial power.

NOS Interviewer:

What do you want to do now?

Prof. Liesbeth Zegveld:

Now, the Court has ruled. And how can the Government now say: “We disagree with the Courts verdict”? The verdict is so well grounded, so clearly outlined.

NOS Interviewer:

But the Government has said that the Organisation enjoys immunity?

Prof. Liesbeth Zegveld:

Yes, but not in all cases. Not when no access to a tribunal is guaranteed. That´s a fundamental right: anybody can call upon a judge at any time.

NOS Commentator:

Management and trade union have been in conflict since Frenchman Benoît Battistelli has taken over the reins. Battistelli – here with [Dutch] Prime Minister Rutte at the laying of the foundation stone of the new Office building in Rijswijk – … is carrying out reforms which encounter strong resistance.

NOS Interviewer [to EPO VP1 Guillaume Minnoye]:

Is Mr. Battistelli the victim of a hate campaign originating from the trade union?

EPO Vice-President VP1 Guillaume Minnoye:

Yes, clearly. Battistelli received the mandate from the Administrative Council, and he is carrying it out. He is a strong man in that respect. And there are certain individuals who cannot respect that.

NOS Commentator:

The Trade Union – represented by Lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld – believes that the boss is going too far in tackling the Trade Union. And that he is misusing his immunity in that respect.

Prof. Liesbeth Zegveld:

The Trade Union representatives are being submitted to investigations, intimidating investigations, where they must answer accusations, the substance of which they are not informed in advance, without the assistance of a lawyer, and with far reaching consequences, possibly as far as dismissal, and that has already happened twice [2 dismissals].

Ion Brumme [one of the two staff representatives dismissed in January 2016; making a speech at a demo in Munich on 20 January 2016]:

“The majority of staff is ashamed to work for an organisation led by you, Mr. Battistelli!”

NOS Commentator:

Last week in Munich, the EPO head office, personnel showed massive support for two Union representatives who were dismissed with immediate effect. They supposedly intimidated colleagues.

One of them also had her pension reduced by 20% [the camera being on Elizabeth Hardon making a speech at the demo in Munich on 20 January 2016 (Elizabeth was dismissed in January and saw her acquired pension cut by 20%)]. The other, father of 5 children, asked for financial support from his colleagues [the camera being again on Ion Brumme, the other dismissed Trade Union representative].

Ion Brumme [making a speech on 20 January 2016 in front of protesters]:

“I know and I’ve seen that I am in good hands, that you won’t let me down. That you won’t let me land with my family under a bridge.”

NOS Interviewer [to EPO VP1 Guillaume Minnoye]:

Have they been fired because they were trade union representatives?

EPO VP1 Guillaume Minnoye:

No. Absolutely not. They have been fired because they undertook individual actions, very serious actions.

NOS Commentator [the camera showing protesters at a demo in The Hague on 28 January 2016]:

Today [28.01.2016] there is also a demonstration in The Hague. In the meantime, two union representatives have been reported sick at home here [at the EPO branch in Rijswijk, close to The Hague], because they were the object of an internal investigation.

NOS Interviewer [to EPO VP1 Guillaume Minnoye]:

They are also Union representatives. Is that also a coincidence?

EPO VP1 Guillaume Minnoye:

This is a coincidence. Yes. Individual actions were undertaken by these members of personnel which made an investigation necessary, whether all [the accusations] or none [of them] are grounded.

NOS Commentator:

35 international Organisations in our country enjoy immunity. In a letter to Premier Rutte, FNV [the biggest Dutch trade union confederation] expresses its concerns over the rights of the nearly 9000 people who work there.

FNV Trade Union Confederation Chairman Ton Heerts:

There is of course a certain level of immunity, but that does not mean that everything is allowed. And that you can live above the law when you lead an organisation on Dutch territory, where thousands of people work daily.

NOS Commentator:

It is now up to the “Hoge Raad” [Supreme Court of the Netherlands] to decide how far the immunity of the European Patent Office goes. The Dutch State stands on the side of the Patent Office. The Government is concerned about the situation at the office. It says however: “Concerning the question of whether an international organisation enjoys immunity or not, it is irrelevant whether the organisation is accused of Human Rights violations or other international law violations.”

Prof. Liesbeth Zegveld, legal representative of the EPO Staff Union:

Then I think, Human Rights are maybe not that important for the Dutch State, and economic interests have probably weighed more heavily in this matter. Because this Patent Office brings in a lot of money and jobs. So the scale probably tilted this way [more importance given to economic interests], but I find it to be a weird way [of the Dutch Government] of handling the matter.

NOS Interviewer [to EPO VP1 Guillaume Minnoye]:

What will happen if the “Hoge Raad” [Supreme Court of the Netherlands] ends up confirming the ruling of the court in The Hague that you cannot hide behind immunity?

EPO VP1 Guillaume Minnoye:

Ah…, yes…, well…, then, most probably, a consultation will take place between the President and the Administrative Council – well, the Administrative Council are the delegates of the member States – to see what should be done in that case. The result will most probably be that it [the verdict of the Supreme Court] will be ignored.

NOS Interviewer [to EPO VP1 Guillaume Minnoye]:

You will therefore not accept the verdict of the highest Judge of the Netherlands?

EPO VP1 Guillaume Minnoye:

Yes.

NOS Commentator:

Lawyer Zegveld is now considering to take the Dutch State to court for insufficiently protecting the rights of employees.

Stay tuned as ahead of tomorrow’s protest in Munich we wish to show and reveal yet more details about the EPO’s abuses.

Caricature of the Day: Willy Minnoye (EPO) Above the Law

Posted in Europe, Humour, Patents at 12:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Some humour about the man who insists that the European Patent Office will simply refuse to obey orders from the highest court at The Hague

THE caricature below refers to the EPO‘s belief that the law does not apply to it (see context in this recent video).

Willy Minnoye caricature

More articles about the EPO are on their way tonight and tomorrow.

A New MUST-READ Article From Croatia About EPO Vice-President Željko Topić, Condemning His Behaviour Even Inside the EPO

Posted in Site News at 10:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Now available in English

Dnevno article

Summary: This month’s explosive report from Dnevno, which reveals what Željko Topić has been up to, what criminal charges he faces, and what he is now doing inside the European Patent Office (EPO)

The EPO Vice-President who has become known (if not notorious) for crushing protests at the EPO and elsewhere is dangerous territory to write about because he bullies his critics (more like whistleblowers) despite repeatedly losing his cases in the courts. He is likely to have also attacked Croatian journalists, based on what seems like self-censorship from some.

Željko Topić acts more like a thug than an official. Everywhere one looks around Željko Topić there’s some scandal, like alleged briberies, forgeries, and so on. This new article, written in Croatian, has just been translated for us. It also covers the EPO and it is a MUST-READ article to anyone who works for the EPO (please ensure that people who work for the EPO see it). We present the English translation below:

Original Croatian article: “Ministarstvo znanosti nadzire Topićev DZIV, a DZIV nadzire Josipovićev ZAMP…”

Author: Tomislav Kovač / 7Dnevno / 5 February 2016

Croatian intellectual corruption at the European level

The Ministry of Science oversees Topic’s SIPO while the SIPO monitors Josipovic’s ZAMP…

Although it is not known who paid the costs of participation of the judges of the High Commercial Court (HCC) in a seminar at the European Patent Organization (EPO) in Munich, a small but important background detail concerning the invitation sent to the HCC through the Ministry of Justice needs to be mentioned. In fact, the official EPO invitation was initiated by EPO Vice President Željko Topić, against whom a number of serious criminal proceedings are under way in Croatia, as well as proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and OLAF.

“In fact, the official EPO invitation was initiated by EPO Vice President Željko Topić, against whom a number of serious criminal proceedings are under way in Croatia, as well as proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and OLAF.”The Governor of the National Bank was eating out of the hand of Croatian creditors

The last comparable event of this kind occurred in connection with the participation of Mr. Boris Vujčić, Governor of the Croatian National Bank and music afficionado from the Pepermint Nightclub in Zagreb, at the Emerging Europe Winter Conference in the Austrian ski resort Kitzbühel which was organized by UniCredit and held on 13 to 15 January 2016. Consequently, three days after his return, the Franak Association which represents holders of loans pegged to the Swiss franc submitted a complaint against him to the Commission for the Prevention of Conflict of Interest.

The complaint was based on the opinion of the Association that the Governor, as the head of the supervisory body of all banks operating in Croatia, was an active participant in a private conference organized by the business entity UniCredit Bank, the owner of Zagrebacka Bank. In its submission, the Franak Association raised the following question: how can the work of the CNB Governor be regarded as impartial and independent if he participates in a private conference organized by a commercial bank whose operations he is responsible for supervising?

Trying to justify its actions, the CNB, headed by the Governor, replied to the public accusations by referring to the roll call of the others travelling in pursuit of the “bacon” to attend above-mentioned conference in the hometown of Arnold Schwarzenegger, such as: representatives of finance ministries and central banks from the transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including Turkey and Russia, as well as global investors and members of the financial institutions that operate in these markets. It should also be kept in mind that the CNB Governor went to Kitzbühel together with the Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic, who met up with Croatia’s biggest creditors there.

The High Commercial Court in a Bavarian pub

Inspired by the recent example involving the CNB, we would like to explain the details of the case related to the High Commercial Court (HCC) in Zagreb which was the focus of attention of the Croatian and international professional public after the seminar at the European Patent Organization (EPO) in Munich attended by employees of this judicial institution, as well as several other persons from the Croatian judiciary. The official working title of the EPO event was ” Study visit of Croatian Judges to the EPO”. It is not known who paid for the travel and accommodation costs and per diems for participation at the conference and other indirect costs of participation of Croatian judges in this study tour.

“It is not known who paid for the travel and accommodation costs and per diems for participation at the conference and other indirect costs of participation of Croatian judges in this study tour.”However, one small but important detail concerning the background to the invitation addressed to the High Commercial Court through the Ministry of Justice has remained unknown thus far. The official invitation from the EPO was initiated by its Vice President, Mr. Željko Topić, a person against whom a number of serious criminal proceedings are pending in Croatia, as well as proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and OLAF.

How Željko Topić found a job with EPO is a story of its own. The EPO, which is based in Munich with offices in The Hague, Berlin and Vienna and employs about seven thousand persons, is one of the institutions of special importance for the EU. The main role of the EPO is to regulate and strengthen the cooperation in the field of protection of patent rights and patent interests between the EU Member States and 11 other European countries outside the EU.

“The official invitation from the EPO was initiated by its Vice President, Mr. Željko Topić, a person against whom a number of serious criminal proceedings are pending in Croatia, as well as proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and OLAF.”Sending letters of intent to himself

Many previous international media reports about Mr. Topić reflect on his work and conduct at the EPO and the Croatian SIPO which display the characteristics of a sophisticated conflict of interest. As a matter of fact, in 2002 while Mr. Topić was employed at the Croatian SIPO working in an office two doors down from the Director-General, he founded the Adepta associatian – the Croatian Society for Intellectual Property – which offered its cooperation to the SIPO by sending letters to his superior, the SIPO Director-General, with proposals for cooperation and requests for financial support for its projects.

“As a matter of fact, in 2002 while Mr. Topić was employed at the Croatian SIPO working in an office two doors down from the Director-General, he founded the Adepta associatian – the Croatian Society for Intellectual Property – which offered its cooperation to the SIPO by sending letters to his superior, the SIPO Director-General, with proposals for cooperation and requests for financial support for its projects.”He incorrectly claimed that the Association was the first national association of its kind in Croatia, despite the fact that copyright protection was already covered by the activities of the of the Croatian Copyright Association (HDAP) and intellectual property activities were the purview of the Croatian branch of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI Croatia). Attached to this article is a letter from Adepta stamped and signed by Mr. Željko Topić. Our sources indicated that Mr. Topić was hoping to obtain access to the SIPO’s national database via Adepta and then use it for his own private purposes.

“Our sources indicated that Mr. Topić was hoping to obtain access to the SIPO’s national database via Adepta and then use it for his own private purposes.”The former Chief State Attorney Mladen Bajić has been referred in connection with the obstruction of the criminal prosecution of Mr. Topić as a reliable lever and distant cousin of Mr. Josipović in the State Attorney’s Office. The conclusion might be drawn here that Mr. Topić holds the keys to a possible prosecution of Mr. Ivo Josipović, especially if we take into account the public views expressed by the former County Prosecutor, Mr. Vladimir Terešak, who indicated that the State Attorney’s Office was in effect ZAMP’s state debt collection company.

“The former Chief State Attorney Mladen Bajić has been referred in connection with the obstruction of the criminal prosecution of Mr. Topić as a reliable lever and distant cousin of Mr. Josipović in the State Attorney’s Office.”Apart from the Adepta Association, in 2003, together with the law firm Korper & Haramija from Zagreb, Mr. Topić founded a company called Korper, Haramija & Topić Ltd. which was, among other things, registered to act as a representative before the SIPO.

In addition to this, in his official resumé, Mr. Topić stated that he worked on the establishment of Croatia’s national system of intellectual property, i.e. the legislative framework for SIPO operations. This is incorrect, because that was the task of the lawyers who worked in the SIPO, and not his task because he was employed there as an economist. His resumé also falsely states that he was the national coordinator for intellectual property matters in the process of Croatian accession to the EU. However, the person charged with this task was in fact Prof. Siniša Petrović from the Law School of the University of Zagreb.

“His resumé also falsely states that he was the national coordinator for intellectual property matters in the process of Croatian accession to the EU. However, the person charged with this task was in fact Prof. Siniša Petrović from the Law School of the University of Zagreb.”According to Mr. Topić’s official resumé, he began his career in the position of a salesman in the Yugoslavian Federal Railways, based in Banja Luka in the early 1980s, that is after graduating from the University of Banja Luka. Before that, he unsuccessfully tried to get a position at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia in Belgrade. Attached to this article is a copy of Mr. Topić’s master’s degree, which was the subject of an internal review by the Ministry of Science, and which indicates the interesting fact that the gentleman in question has been known to sign business documents in Cyrillic.

“Prior to joining the EPO, Mr. Topić tried on several occasions without success to obtain a position at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva. Here he also fabricated personal data to embellish his resumé, based on unsubstantiated and inaccurate information.”As we found out unofficially, based on media reports, but also systematic complaints received by its Munich headquarters, the EPO launched an official investigation in the Republic of Srpska and the University of Banja Luka, trying to verify the authenticity of Mr. Topic’s academic degrees. Prior to joining the EPO, Mr. Topić tried on several occasions without success to obtain a position at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva. Here he also fabricated personal data to embellish his resumé, based on unsubstantiated and inaccurate information.

Political corruption affecting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?

Among the criminal charges against Mr. Topić filed in Croatia are two submissions to the State Attorney’s Office, USKOK and the National Council for Monitoring and Combating Corruption of the Republic of Croatia, dating back to 2010, which are co-signed by the former Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Ms. Vesna Vuković.

“Among the criminal charges against Mr. Topić filed in Croatia are two submissions to the State Attorney’s Office, USKOK and the National Council for Monitoring and Combating Corruption of the Republic of Croatia, dating back to 2010, which are co-signed by the former Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Ms. Vesna Vuković.”However, following the public disclosure of these documents, the person in question phoned Mr. Topić from the Croatian Embassy in Geneva and for fear of political reprisals apologized to Mr. Topić, “M.A.”. This interesting phone conversation between Geneva and Munich was apparently intercepted by the Security and Intelligence Agency of the Republic of Croatia (SOA).

It seems that Ambassador Vuković was not appointed to Geneva solely for the purpose of diplomatic business on behalf of the Republic of Croatia but rather as the extended arm of the former Croatian President, Mr. Ivo Josipović, at the WIPO because Geneva is the world center of copyright and all other intellectual property rights. It is no secret that the former President, Ivo Josipović, is the camouflaged owner of the Croatian Composers’ Society (HDS/ZAMP) which is financed from non-transparent parafiscal charges and which most likely contributed to his defeat during the last presidential election. After all, it is the SIPO and not the Tax Office which is the supervisory body of ZAMP.

“In other words, the corruption network in this case extends beyond Željko Topić and his current position in the EPO and takes on a wider scale, including the WIPO in Geneva and relies on elements of the Croatian diplomatic corps.”It seems that Ms. Vuković, along with the corrupt Željko Topić, forms a part of a network systematically built by former President Josipović. In other words, the corruption network in this case extends beyond Željko Topić and his current position in the EPO and takes on a wider scale, including the WIPO in Geneva and relies on elements of the Croatian diplomatic corps.

Dalija Orešković becomes involved in the oversight of the SIPO

As can be seen from the official websites of the SIPO and the EPO, Mr. Topić has gradually begun to systematically recruit people who are close to him and set up his own network within the ranks of the EPO in such a way that, for example, the current director of the Croatian SIPO, Ms. Ljiljana Kuterovac was appointed as the member of the Supervisory Board of the EPO Academy in Munich for a term of three years.

“As can be seen from the official websites of the SIPO and the EPO, Mr. Topić has gradually begun to systematically recruit people who are close to him and set up his own network within the ranks of the EPO…”Apart from the District Attorney’s Office and the Zagreb County Court which are responsible for conducting the criminal proceedings against Željko Topić, Transparency International Croatia and before that the Conflict of Interest Commission launched a systematic inquiry into the operations of the SIPO as well as the SIPO’s Boards of Appeal. It also needs to be mentioned that legal services to Mr. Željko Topić are provided by the law firm Gajski, Grlić, Prka, Saucha & Partners, one of whose partners is the wife of the chef de cabinet of former Prime Minister Milanović.

In the course of investigating the SIPO’s activities, the only person so far who has got caught in the mesh of Dalija Orešković’s [Conflict of Interest] Commission is the former Minister of Science under ex-Prime Minister Milanović, Mr. Vedran Mornar. The Commission found that former Minister Mornar violated the principles of public office because he did not act in a timely manner to prevent his trip to Korea in 2014 from being paid for by a commercial company. Specifically, it was found that the trip to Korea was not paid for by the State, but by a private company which cooperates very intensively with Croatian schools.

“Apart from the District Attorney’s Office and the Zagreb County Court which are responsible for conducting the criminal proceedings against Željko Topić, Transparency International Croatia and before that the Conflict of Interest Commission launched a systematic inquiry into the operations of the SIPO as well as the SIPO’s Boards of Appeal.”The Ministry of Science is the national regulatory body tasked with the supervision of the SIPO. Thus, the Ministry of Science oversees the SIPO, while the SIPO monitors ZAMP and so the magic circle is closed.

In view of the foregoing, it is not surprising that, according to available research, Croatia has a prominent place in the relevant international corruption rankings and that one of the main Croatian export products which we offer is deviant social behavior in the form of intellectual corruption.

Topić has become a huge liability for the EPO. Some refer to Topić as "Sanader’s Protégé" (Sanader is in prison). Adding to the latter parts from the above, among the connections of Topić one might want to consider Transparency International's Jana Mittermaier (now in EPO) and recall our older articles about Topić circles which extend as far as the UN, e.g. [1, 2]. Under Battistelli the EPO descended to the standards of Croatia, whereby circles can be formed not only around Battistelli but also around Topić. Those are additional legitimate reasons to protest tomorrow in Munich, where Topić’s office is located.

EPO VP1 Willy Minnoye and His Bizarre Claims About Systematic Crackdown on the EPO Unions (More Than Half a Dozen People Targeted is Clearly Not a Coincidence)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Incredible claims face backlash from incredulous staff

Willy Minnoye speaks

Summary: For the English-speaking audience there is finally a video with subtitles about the EPO’s abuses, as covered by Dutch television last month

“NOS Nieuwsuur (NPO 2 TV 28 January 2016 22:00),” which is a sort of BBC of the Netherlands, “stands out for the interview with Vice-President (DG 1) Willy Minnoye, who stated that the fact that only personnel guilty of misconduct is targeted, and that the fact that five (5) of the latest targets are all SUEPO officials is a pure coincidence.”

“His “offense” was to conduct a recurrent survey that would have revealed Battistelli’s lack of popularity with staff.”
      –Anonymous
That’s just a straight-faced lie from Minnoye. There are more than 5 people and this is no coincidence; it’s well coordinated, and it’s helped by union-busting experts such as Control Risks. There is also no justification. It’s nothing but a union-busting process by EPO management, which has truly gone off the rails.

Based on information we received, “Battistelli’s private militia evicted José S from his office. He got suspended and interrogated by the investigation unit. His “offense” was to conduct a recurrent survey that would have revealed Battistelli’s lack of popularity with staff.”

“[Minnoye] announced that the EPO does not agree with learned judges of the Dutch Court of Appeal that violations of fundamental rights trump the Organisation’s immunity, and that if in cessation the Dutch Supreme Court (who held a hearing on 29 January 2016) were to agree with the Court of Appeal, the EPO would not obey the Supreme Court, either.”
      –SUEPO
As we showed here last year, Battistelli has a happiness propaganda in the making. It’s reality distortion, just like that event which took place 2 weeks ago [1, 2, 3]. José’s work is seen as disruptive to the PR agenda, even if it’s factual and scientific. The EPO doesn’t care about science anymore; the management is all about deception and institutional harassment if not outright violence.

Returning to SUEPO’s disclosure of the videos (posted to YouTube in three languages by SUEPO Munich), the anonymous (for his/her own protection) messenger says about Minnoye that “He also announced that the EPO does not agree with learned judges of the Dutch Court of Appeal that violations of fundamental rights trump the Organisation’s immunity, and that if in cessation the Dutch Supreme Court (who held a hearing on 29 January 2016) were to agree with the Court of Appeal, the EPO would not obey the Supreme Court, either. See the whole reportage on nos.nl by clicking here (from 32’57’’). Subtitles are now provided in English, German and French.”

Here is the version with English subtitles as a locally-hosted WebM video (to reduce surveillance by Google and patent tax on widely-used multimedia formats):


Even if EPO lawyers/management somehow managed to force SUEPO to take down the videos (the EPO did threaten SUEPO before, causing takedowns), we would keep our own copy here. We shall see if the EPO finally got to grips with the Streisand effect. Use of force and mental torture by the EPO does not stop at EPOnia's boundaries, but sooner or later the EPO will lose its immunity and thus the impunity. We seem to be close to that already.

“Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach.”

Joseph Stalin

The Abuses of the EPO’s Management Against Staff Extend to Their Families

Posted in Patents, Site News at 7:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And why it’s imperative for EPO staff to protest this Wednesday in Munich

Collective punishment
Announcement of execution of 100 Polish roundup hostages, as revenge for the assassination of 5 German policemen and 1 SS member by Armia Krajowa resistance fighters in Nazi-occupied Poland. Background about such practices.

Summary: It is reported that the European Patent Office not only grossly abuses the human rights of staff but also threatens family members of this staff

“More union busting at [the] European Patent Office” was reported to us last night. Team Battistelli is scarring people for life and goes further by punishing their families, too. It’s collective punishment (a war crime in another context). The EPO is totally out of control; no wonder suicides are said to have increased tenfold under Battistelli.

While it remains unclear what Jesus is accused of doing (he would be punished by the Battistelli-led ‘gestapo’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] for merely speaking about it), what we did discover is that Jesus, who is a Netherlands-based union leader at the EPO, “got several seizures after the investigative unit ousted him from his office, also on 13 November 2015. He was hospitalized and is on sick leave. The EPO even threatened his wife.”

“It’s collective punishment (a war crime in another context).”We have not gotten any details regarding these threats, but they wouldn’t be so unbelievable given how the EPO threatened SUEPO's lawyers (intimidation, saying they would get disbarred), the way that Battistelli threatened delegates, and the way he also treats politicians who are rightly sceptical of his actions. Battistelli and his goons even threatened me, a blogger, with a lawsuit.

Anything other than a police raid in Battistelli’s office in Munich would probably be too soft an action. One day from now there will be a protest in Munich and we hope that nearly all staff will be in attendance. Their employer has truly gone bonkers. Silence and inaction are a form of complicity or obedience at this stage. People are being harmed. Battistelli is clearly out of control.

Microsoft Certified Partner Immersion Sues Apple Using Software Patents While Microsoft Hoards Similar Patents

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 7:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent aggression as seen in the news so far this week

ImmersionSummary: The patents rat race and software patents which are shrewdly being disguised as pertaining to hardware in order to fool examiners and enable de facto patent trolling

DAYS ago we mentioned patents from Immersion (the translation into Spanish was published this morning) because the EPO had been granting software patents to them (how to trigger vibrations and when).

Coincidentally, the following report (from the British technology press) has just been brought to our attention. It says:

Haptic outfit Immersion, once rumoured to be in talks with Apple, has fired off a lawsuit against Cupertino, AT&T and AT&T Mobility over alleged patent infringements.

Immersion’s sueballs have landed in the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and the US District Court in Delaware.

The 2008 talks between Apple and Immersion never amounted to anything, but later that year, the latter company settled a six-year-old lawsuit against Microsoft over its “rumble” technology and became a Microsoft Certified Partner.

Who’s next? Android distributors? We saw Microsoft and Nokia doing that before.

“Microsoft too likes to patent software at the EPO (Microsoft is a VIP at the EPO).”Immersion is a ‘licensing’ company which the EPO feeds with a lot of software patents. We didn’t know that it was a Microsoft Certified Partner. Microsoft too likes to patent software at the EPO (Microsoft is a VIP at the EPO). It makes one wonder what the EPO is doing here, never mind the ITC.

In other news about patents, Microsoft is now patenting system upgrades. As the British technology press put it: “The upshot of all this, basically, is a Lego-style snap-together PC, taking the existing concepts of computers that can be upgraded by a user but doing away with the need to open anything up.

“Such a move isn’t new, to say the least. Intel has worked on a similar line with its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) mini-PC range for several years. The NUC is not stackable with single, enclosed units like Microsoft’s concept, but features small, laptop-style components that simply snap onto the main board with minimal use of screwdrivers or transferable skills.”

“If I had developed software like Vista 10 (as an indie developer), the media would call it malware and I’d risk arrest. Not Microsoft…”Who is granting these patents anyway? Haptic in mind, also see this news report titled “Why did Microsoft buy SwiftKey? Hint: It’s not about keyboards” (it’s about patents and spying). Microsoft wants to increasingly spy on keyboards’ use in real-time, not just in Vista 10, which is effectively a keylogger cleverly masked as an operating system that people cannot avoid (it is silently being installed, just like malware). If I had developed software like Vista 10 (as an indie developer), the media would call it malware and I’d risk arrest. Not Microsoft…

Well, Microsoft is ‘special’… too government-connected and NSA-connected.

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