05.02.16

Not Just Benoît Battistelli and Willy Minnoye (EPO): Željko Topić Too Thinks He is Above the Law, Avoids the Judges and Courts

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 8:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Arrogance apparently runs deep inside EPO veins

Željko Topić article

Summary: The latest developments regarding some of the criminal complaints and civil lawsuits against Topić (above), who is now a Vice-President at the European Patent Office (EPO)

EPO management vainly disregards judges, it doesn’t just attack them (e.g. dismisses or suspends them if it does not think that they're loyal enough to Battistelli, in spite of complete independence).

More news from Croatia have landed on our lap and it’s quite revealing. It says a lot about Željko Topić as an individual, not just as a ‘professional’. Much like Willy Minnoye proudly proclaiming that he would ignore rulings from the highest Dutch judges, Topić apparently believes that he is above the law. He is not showing up in court (cases which he is losing) and based on additional information we have been given, this unacceptable behaviour continues to date. How can EPO stakeholders take seriously people who don’t believe in the rule of law (except when it suddenly suits them and they can distort the law to silence critics) if they’re trying to be granted patents which presumably would be enforced in a court of law?

“How can EPO stakeholders take seriously people who don’t believe in the rule of law (except when it suddenly suits them and they can distort the law to silence critics) if they’re trying to be granted patents which presumably would be enforced in a court of law?”“The origins of this story go back quite a long way,” told us a source, “as far back as 2007 in fact. This is a symptom of the Croatian legal system which is notoriously slow and where cases take many years to process (especially if there is some kind of political interference). It’s not that different from the EPO which may explain why Topić fitted in so well. He was probably able to give his boss some good tips on how to exploit a dysfunctional legal system to the detriment of EPO staff.

“The story begins back in November 2007 when the Croatian public sector union SDLSN (“Trade Union of State and Local Officials and Employees of the Republic of Croatia) reported on the “Bullying of ‘unwanted’ civil servants” at the State Intellectual Property Office.”

This was mentioned in an older article (with this translated 2007 report and suicide 'collateral damage' therein).

Our source continues: “The affair resurfaced in the Croatian press on 5 March 2012 when the newspaper “Jutarnji List” [shown above] published a short report which explained that SIPO employees who had been targeted by the “bullying” action in 2007 had filed a number of criminal complaints and a civil lawsuit against Topić.”

Here is an English translation of this article:

JUTARNJI LIST

5 March 2012

Team selected for culling: Željko Topić, head of the SIPO for years, pursued in court

He established a special unit with 10 officials selected for dismissal

Željko Topić, Director of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), who has been linked to numerous scandals like buying a luxury Mercedes at the expense of the Institute, is under suspicion of having abused his employees.

An invented and displaced department

The findings of the administrative labour inspectorate from 25 January 2008 confirm that that on 15 October 2007 Topić deliberately selected a group of ten employees at the SIPO for transfer to a professional unit which he had established and called “The extraction and storage of non-administrative mail“. It didn’t bother the Director that none of his ten officials were qualified for the task of archiving as they included among their ranks IT experts, a professor of French, a Master of Engineering, senior economists and administrative lawyers.

Due to the “urgency of the work” ten officials were moved from Vukovara Street [SIPO headquarters] into offices in Sava Street 118 where, confused and outraged, they languished for twenty days without work. It was not until November 13th that the first document arrived but even then they could not do their job because the computer was not connected to the database at the SIPO headquarters.

Realizing that their transfer was actually a downgrading and a prelude to dismissal, in October 2007 the employees reported Topić to the labour inspectorate.

It was determined that Topić was not authorised to set up new departments and that the ten employees were not qualified for archiving. Topić tried to justify his actions in front of the labour inspectorate by claiming that these were employees who had performed their work badly but the inspectorate found that the last assessment of their work from 2003 was “very successful”.

One official committed suicide

The inspectorate ordered Topić to return the officials to their previous jobs which he did. But then one of the transferred officials committed suicide. Three criminal charges were filed against Topić and one civil lawsuit was initiated. The procedures are still ongoing.

“No information is available about the status of the criminal complaints,” we got told, “but the civil lawsuit which was filed some time around 2008 is still pending in 2016! Welcome to the Croatian legal system! EPO employees may have a feeling of dejà-vu…”

“EPO employees may have a feeling of dejà-vu…”
      –Anonymous
We covered one such story only a day ago (this morning we published a Spanish translation).

Our source continues: “One of the lead plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit against Topić is Jadranka Oklobdžija who was the Chairperson of the staff union at the SIPO at the time in question (2007). According to reliable reports from Zagreb, Topić has been summoned to appear before the court in the civil proceedings on four occasions but each time he has failed to turn up.

“The latest hearing in the civil action took place on 1st April 2016. Topić was in Zagreb on the day but despite having been summoned, he didn’t bother to turn up in court for the hearing.

“So it seems that a new summons will now be sent directly to Topić at the EPO in Munich.”
      –Anonymous
“The judge seems to have got wind of the fact that Topić was in town and she questioned a representative of SIPO about his failure to appear. The SIPO representative said that Topić had arrived in Zagreb the previous day (31 March) and was due to return to Munich the following day (2 April). It seems that the judge was not amused at being treated like an “April fool”. She requested SIPO to provide details of Topić’s address at the EPO so that the court could send a summons to him in Munich. The SIPO representative objected to this but the judge overruled the objection and made an order that Topić’s address in Munich should be disclosed to the court. So it seems that a new summons will now be sent directly to Topić at the EPO in Munich.”

It sure looks like the EPO is unable to escape Topić’s past, no matter how hard it attempts to deny it, even punishing those who ‘dare’ or are brave enough to speak about it.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2016/05/02/topic-lawsuits-update/

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 11/4/2021: GnuPG 2.3.0, Linux 5.13 Additions

    Links for the day



  2. All EPO Articles Are Available Over Gemini Protocol

    For lighter and more privacy-preserving access to Techrights use the Gemini capsule instead of the Web site



  3. Judge and JURI

    The Committee on Legal Affairs, a.k.a JURI, meets the EPO tomorrow (in 24 hours); will abuses by António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli be brought up?



  4. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 13: The Failed Promise of a “Good Governance” Guru…

    Before becoming an absent-minded Vice-President of António Campinos Christoph Ernst was posing as the very opposite of what he would become



  5. Gemini Gateways for IPFS

    The World Wide Web is fine for a lot of things, but for controversial publications and publications that invoke the 'wrath' of corporations/states/plutocracy we must look beyond the traditional protocols, choosing decentralised means and self-hosted means of publication (instead or at the very least in conjunction)



  6. Challenging Times for EPO Management

    A discussion of the status quo at Europe's second-largest (but scarcely-understood) institution, subjected to a JURI hearing tomorrow afternoon



  7. “The Fighters of Freedom”

    Some anime fans have made this video about recent events



  8. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 10, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, April 10, 2021



  9. [Meme] Bundestagate Series Spoiler

    The chain of command/s at the EPO typically leads to major tragedy



  10. Breaking News: Campinos to Appear Before the Legals Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on Monday 12 April

    "Some MEPs have been briefed about ongoing governance deficits at the EPO, in particular the lack of GDPR compliance and the sell-out of "digital sovereignty" to Microsoft, but it remains to be seen whether or not they will dare to bring these issues up during the hearing."



  11. Pro-FSF Petition (“An Open Letter in Support of Richard Matthew Stallman Being Reinstated by the Free Software Foundation”) Tops 6,200 Signatures

    Monopolies and their media, along with their NGOs, have spoken and incited based on falsehoods; people now respond so the hate letter has a real crisis



  12. Links 10/4/2021: osbuild 28, KDE Frameworks 5.81.0

    Links for the day



  13. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 12: A Worthy Successor to His Mentor?

    We examine the role of Christoph Ernst in EPO management, both in the Benoît Battistelli era and the António Campinos era (plenty to hide)



  14. USPTO for Monopolies, Keeping GNU/Linux in the Dark

    Growing evidence of gross discrimination against GNU/Linux (or Free software, even BSD/UNIX) users at the USPTO is too hard to ignore; some people out there challenge the Office over this travesty



  15. Accessibility and Availability First

    To make Techrights more widely accessible and more difficult to block/censor we've been making further changes, including self-hosting where possible



  16. Self-Hosting Videos With Free Formats and Animated Previews, Watermarks/Logos and Translucency

    We examine the power of video editing with ffmpeg, chained with command-line scripting and HTML5 features



  17. Links 10/4/2021: Linux on M1, Wine 6.6, ClamAV 0.103.2

    Links for the day



  18. Lunduke: On Mob Justice in the Tech Industry

    A new video from the former Microsofter who fears the phenomenon that’s adopted by companies like IBM



  19. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 09, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, April 09, 2021



  20. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Appendix (Benoît Battistelli's Vichy Syndrome): Georges Henri Léon Battistelli and Charles Robert Battistelli

    Local copies with evidence of or something concrete about Benoît Battistelli’s connection to unsavoury — and by today’s standards outright fascistic — politics



  21. IBM Doubles Down on Masters Being an Acceptable Word in the Context of Technology

    3 days after this post which disproves IBM's stance or shows its double standards it once again says “Masters” in its official blog (won’t that offend and alienate some people as they insist?)



  22. Hate Letter Against Richard Matthew Stallman (RMS) Backfired So Spectacularly That Signers Asked to Revoke Their Own Signatures and the List Was Then Frozen Permanently (Updated)

    "An open letter in support of Richard Matthew Stallman being reinstated by the Free Software Foundation" tops 6,100 signatures (graph generated just moments ago)



  23. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 11: The BMJV's Tweedledee: Dr Christoph Ernst

    The right-hand man of António Campinos plays a role similar to that of Herr Lutz before him



  24. Links 9/4/2021: Tanglet 1.6.0 and HPVM 1.0

    Links for the day



  25. The Libel Against Richard Stallman Did Not Age Well

    Almost 2 years down the line libel about the founder of the FSF remains online, uncorrected (in sites funded by Microsoft and IBM)



  26. The Letter in Support of the FSF and Richard Stallman is Backed by the International Community, Not American Monopolies and Nationalistic Elements

    Free software is for everybody to use, internationally, it is not the asset of a bunch of current and old monopolists (connected to the US military) that also control the media; the nature of the signatures says that out loud



  27. Gemini Over IPFS (Decentralised Web, Accessed Over Gemini Protocol)

    The Gemini protocol (gemini://) can already be used to fetch (at the back end) and present objects from a P2P-like network; we're currently exploring practical use cases and possibilities



  28. News Sites That Talk About Patents Have Become Shameless Self-Promotion 'Plugs' by Law Firms (and Sometimes Outright 'Spam' for Litigation)

    The sources of news about patent affairs have dried up; sites that actually used to investigate and report facts have since then shut down or defected to the Public Relations/marketing industry



  29. Links 9/4/2021: Kubernetes 1.21 and FFmpeg 4.4 Released

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 08, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 08, 2021


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