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03.14.16

Old Article About Battistelli’s Right-hand Man, Željko Topić, Highlights Severity of the Whole Situation

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No room for free speech about Željko Topić at the EPO…

Željko Topić Hebdo

…because it’s embarrassing to Team Battistelli

Summary: The highly controversial person who initiated a lot of the union-busting chaos has quite an extraordinary past back in Croatia

THIS morning we wrote about a possible successor (replacement rather) of Battistelli, the current EPO President. Both MIP* and IAM’s editor in chief nodded in a possible agreement over at Twitter (relaying the article to their followers) and as promised, here is an English translation of this article which we said would be published at a later date (well, it’s almost 5 AM now on a Tuesday, so technically it’s another date).

The following text includes possible evidence that Battistelli should drag Topić along with him as he leaves the Office. We highlight in yellow some noteworthy bits because the article is fairly long.

Criminal proceedings pending against Topić in six cases

Non-certified translation from the original Croatian.

Wednesday 11th, April 2012, 07:00
Author: Franjo Dobrovic

Picture caption: Croatia is faced with an international scandal

The announcement on the official website of the State Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia that Željko Topić has been appointed as of 1 May 2012 to a post at the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich, could lead to a disgrace and a scandal – not only for Mr. Topić himself, but also for the Republic of Croatia. In such a law-abiding country as Germany it may prove difficult to conceal the criminal proceedings already pending against Mr. Topić – although he himself appears to have managed to conceal details of these affairs from the EPO and from the international professional public so far.

According to our information, there is also an appeal pending before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which includes mention of Mr. Topic’s alleged bribery of the former education minister in the government of the corrupt Ivo Sanader. Currently there are criminal proceedings pending against Željko Topić in six cases that are in various stages of processing to which a number of civil lawsuits against him must also be added.

Intellectual criminal

In the documentation, which accompanies the file before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, it is alleged that Željko Topić literally “purchased” his position as director of the State Office of Intellectual Property [in Croatian: DZIV] in 2008, paying the then Minister of Education Dragan Primorac nearly 500,000 kuna. This is also well known to the current government. In January 2009, the then government of the Republic of Croatia requested an explanation and a review on the part of the former Ministry of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship [Croatian: MGRP] concerning the allegations of bribery and other illegal acts by Mr. Topić. However, the MGRP never complied with the request. Had the then government and monitoring system been functioning properly, Željko Topić should already have been replaced in 2008 – following the exposure as a result of the state inspection of his violations of financial and labor laws, the cover-up of criminal offences by the previous Director-General of the DZIV, the payment of bribes and other matters, reflected in numerous criminal complaints. According to our information, even the Bishop of Banja Luka, Franjo Komarić, lobbied the Cabinet of Ivo Sanader in 2008 on behalf of this esteemed “intellectual criminal” for a renewal of his mandate as Director-General of the DZIV.

Interesting spicy stories

We are further informed that a confidential urgent memorandum with all the juicy details on the “Topić Case” including the risk of a possible international scandal at the expense of the Republic of Croatia has been lying for a number of days now on the desks of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, the first deputy prime minister, the deputy prime minister Mimica and other members of the Government of the Republic of Croatia. However, there has been no official response so far, either from this quarter or from the government department responsible for the DZIV headed by Minister Željko Jovanović. The only information issued by the Croatian government so far has been a brief notification referring to the appointment of the Deputy Director, Liljana Kuterovac as acting Director-General of the DZIV for a period of six months. This appointment has proven to be questionable, as the newly appointed Director-General is a graduate in electrical engineering, whereas the post actually requires a person with legal qualifications. Additionally, in 2008 the then Director-General, Mr. Topić, carried out a restructuring of the DZIV, against the recommendations of the EU and contrary to official undertakings given by the DZIV to the EU in the framework of the CARDS-programme, by effectively abolishing the department dealing with authors’ and similar rights. Intellectual property is divided into two sectors: industrial property, an area in which over a hundred people work in the DZIV, while only a single official is now responsible for the other fundamental area – authors’ and related rights. In view of various criminal complaints and other proceedings against Željko Topić there is reason to suspect that this matter constitutes a joint offence in the form of abuse of office and power under Article 333 of the Croatian Criminal Code*. There are at least three persons who appear to be involved here, namely the Director-General of the DZIV, Željko Topić, his former deputy Romana Matanovac Vuckovic (who was previously active in the Association of Composers ZAMP which she failed to publicly disclose) and her best friend Tajana Tomic.

On 14 March 2012, the “Intelektiv” Conference on Intellectual Property organized by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmChamCroatia) took place in the Forum Convention Centre Zagreb. The main sponsor of the “Intelektiv” Conference on Intellectual Property was the Croatian Composers’ Union (Croatian HDS ZAMP). Additional information about this “interesting” case can be accessed on the official website: www.intelektiv.com

Although it had been announced in the official programme of the conference that the Director-General of DZIV, Željko Topić, would give a talk, to the general astonishment of those present he failed to appear as scheduled. Instead – whether by coincidence or not – Mr. Ivan Mijatovic, Mag. Iur., who was presented as a Chief Police Inspector, appeared as a speaker and representative of the Ministry of the Interior. Ivan Mijatovic has been working at the Ministry since 1993, initially assigned to the Police Headquarters in Zagreb where he was
responsible for dealing with the infringement of intellectual property rights. From 2008 onwards he has held the post of Chief Police Inspector of the police department which deals with white-collar criminality and corruption, where his tasks include monitoring the violation of intellectual property rights and computer criminality. Perhaps Mr. Mijatovic from the Ministry of the Interior could have explained to the Prime Minister in a few words who Željko Topić really is and what his appointment to an international organization like the EPO means at a time when Croatia is subject to EU monitoring in relation to its legal system – with the aim of determining how and by whom his appointment was facilitated, particularly in view of the series of very dangerous and serious criminal charges tailing him from behind and of which the law enforcement agencies do not yet appear to be aware.

In view of the fact that the EU, as well as the international media, are following the matter with great attention, it is to be expected that Mr. Topić will be subject to particular scrutiny by the media upon his arrival at the EPO in Munich as the European and the German public learn at first-hand who exactly their new guest is.

* Article 333: Associating for the Purpose of Committing a Criminal Offense
(1) Whoever organizes a group of people or in some other way associates in joint action three or more persons, the objectives of whom are directed toward the perpetration of a serious criminal offense for which, according to the law, imprisonment for five years or a more severe punishment may be imposed shall be punished by imprisonment for three months to three years.
(2) Whoever organizes a criminal organization or manages it shall be punished by imprisonment for six months to five years.
(3) A member of the group referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be punished by a fine or by imprisonment not exceeding one year.
(4) A member of the group referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article, shall be punished by imprisonment for three months to three years.
(5) If the member of a group or a criminal organization uncovers such a group or criminal organization prior to committing a criminal offense as a member of it or for it, the court may remit his/her punishment.

It is important to remember that a lot of the union-busting chaos began when Topić’s reputation was at stake. Everywhere Topić goes chaos follows, or so it seems…
____
* MIP (Managing IP) also pointed out that Antonio Campinos has his existing term until 2020, but then again Battistelli has got his for another couple of years and given the state of emergency at the EPO he can be fired once he accepts his golden parachute (superfluous severance).

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