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02.16.16

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.

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