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

09.03.17

EPO Silencers of the Media – Part IV: Response to SLAPP Tactics From EPO Vice-President Željko Topić

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MoU signed by Bergot
From left to right: Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and Elodie Bergot

Summary: Point-by-point rebuttal to a strategic lawsuit filed by Željko Topić to chill and silence media that covers scandals associated with him

THE ABOVE IMAGE demonstrates a lot of what’s wrong at the EPO, especially the management. It’s cliquish and resistant to any form of dissent/criticism. It’s intolerant of truth itself. As we explained a couple of days ago, Mrs. Bergot’s husband has just been promoted by Battistelli (both pictured above) to a top position (‘succession’) and Topić (also pictured) continues to be their ‘bulldog’. In part 1, part 2 and part 3 we explained the role these three people have played in attacking the media or bribing the media. In Croatia, as we showed in the previous part, the EPO was willing too use that liar, Mrs. Bergot, as a witness. What a rogue institution. It’s just trying to protect its image in the face of serious abuses.

Today we deal with a reply to the SLAPP action, initiated by Mr. Topić a couple of years ago. Here is the cover page.

Tjedno reply

Here is our explanation in English.


The respondent in the Zagreb SLAPP case Pn-195/15 is Udruga Pisac i Novinar (“Association of Writers and Journalists“) which is the publisher of the news portal Tjedno.hr.

The respondent is represented by the Zagreb law firm Farčić & Šarušić and its reply to the complaint of 19 January 2015 was submitted to the Municipal Civil Court of Zagreb in May 2016.

In the reply the respondent stated that it opposed the lawsuit and the plaintiff’s claims in their entirety and it contested the factual allegations on which the lawsuit is based.

The respondent started off by pointing out that the disputed article of 18 October 2014 entitled Laži Željka Topića u Munchenu” (“The Lies of Željko Topić in Munich”) referred to an article previously published on 15 May 2014 by the international Geneva-based journal Intellectual Property Watch (IPW) and to the associated “Right of Reply” by Vesna Stilin published on 6 October 2014.

It was noted that the IPW article raised questions about the suitability of the plaintiff (Topić) for his current position at the European Patent Organisation and also raised questions about his previous position as Director of the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office (DZIV).

Concerning the claim that Topić had appeared before the Municipal Criminal Court of Zagreb at a hearing held on 29 September 2014 “solely as a prosecutor” it was noted that at the same court, Topić had also been the defendant in a prosecution initiated by the former Assistant Director of the DZIV responsible for copyright and related rights in a previously filed procedure under no. K‑163/09. An attempt to merge the lawsuit against Topić with the later-filed counter-suit in which Topić unsuccessfully attempted to prosecute the former Assistant Director (K-26/11) was rejected because the procedures were at different stages due the gap in the filing dates. If the article created an impression that the plaintiff was subject to a criminal proceedings then the respondent considered this to correspond to the truth.

With respect to the allegations about the bribery of the former Minister (Dragan Primorac), the respondent referred to the Judgment of 26.01.2015 of the Municipal Criminal Court of Zagreb (no. 7 K-26/11) from which it is evident that there was a discussion of the alleged bribery during the court proceedings. Nothing in the published articles went beyond what had been discussed in the context of the court proceedings. Further evidence was submitted to support the claim of unlawful conduct on the part of the plaintiff (Topić), including two responses from the Croatian Government to the former Assistant Director of the DZIV in which the Croatian Government took the position that the plaintiff did not have authorisation for his actions (i.e. the procurement of an official vehicle for the use of the Minister).

Concerning Topić’s claim that he had privately acquired an official Mercedes in a lawful manner, the respondent referred to correspondence between the former Assistant Director of the DZIV and the Head of the Croatian Government and the Office of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, from which it is apparent that the allegation of misconduct on the part of Topić was a matter of interest for the Public Prosecutor.

Referring to Topić’s claim that a statement in the disputed article of 18 October 2014 relating to criminal charges for “unlawful changes in the structure of the state administration” was unfounded and solely intended to harm him, the respondent noted that the phrase in question had been used in correspondence with the County Public Prosecutor’s Office in which criticism had been expressed of the protracted and ineffective manner in which criminal investigations against the plaintiff were being conducted. It was pointed out that Topić himself had stated that the authority to decide on the structure of the state administration bodies lies with the Croatian Government and the respondent submitted a letter of the Croatian Government to the state administration bodies along with other evidence related to the initiation of official investigations relating to Topić and his conduct during his time as Director of the DZIV.

Concerning the allegations about Topić’s masters degree certificate, the respondent noted that the matter had been the subject of discussion after the supervisory Ministry of Science, Education and Sports received an anonymous letter claiming to be from former student colleagues at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Banja Luka, Republic of Srpska. The matter was subsequently investigated in more detail by a research journalist, who carried out a detailed analysis of the disputed master’s degree certificate. The journalist observed an unusual disproportion in the 12-year gap between the defence of the master thesis titled “Place and role of marketing research in the process of making investment decisions” and the award of the diploma itself. It was also noted that the plaintiff’s Curriculum Vitae described the degree as “Master of Business Administration” and it was claimed to have been awarded as a result of “Inter-University Postgraduate Study, Banjaluka-Zagreb-Belgrade-Sarajevo-Maribor 1989″.

http://www.mie.org.hu/aippi/topiccv.htm (we have made a local copy [PDF])

Despite its efforts the respondent could not find any record of such an inter-university postgraduate study program.

The respondent emphatically rejected the plaintiff’s allegation that it had systematically conducted a campaign against him. It was submitted that it had to be presumed that persons in certain positions such as the plaintiff, whether as Director of the DZIV or as Vice-President of the EPO, are under public scrutiny. Judicial proceedings, whether civil or criminal, conducted against the plaintiff by a number of people inside and outside the DZIV give rise to legitimate public interest.

Not only the respondent but also a number of other media both domestic and foreign had reported on the “Topić Affair”. The respondent is not the only journalist against which Željko Topič has tried to bring private prosecution charges for defamation.

The respondent rejected the claims that the disputed article of 18 October 2014 was conceived as sensationalist and contained untrue, defamatory and offensive allegations. The information in the article was obtained from official documents of state administration bodies, international institutions and other sources close to the DZIV and the EPO. The respondent noted that despite his allegations of defamation over a lengthy period, the plaintiff had not previously challenged other articles listed in the complaint.

The respondent disclaimed all responsibility for the translation and publication of its articles on other portals and stated that it had never sent or targeted distribution of its material to other portals. According to the terms of the Media Act anybody is free to refer to an article published online by citing the source and providing a link to the original article.

Referring to Topić’s claim that his appointment as Vice-President of EPO by the EPO Administrative Council was an international recognition for his work, the respondent pointed out that during the procedure leading to his appointment the plaintiff had apparently withheld information about criminal proceedings against him from the EPO Administrative Council as well as from the President of the EPO who proposed his appointment.

It was also noted that in a secret ballot held in March 2014 at the Hague branch of the EPO there had been thousands of “no” votes expressing a lack of confidence in the plaintiff (Topić), as well as the President of the EPO Benoît Battistelli and the Principal Director of Human Resources, Elodie Bergot, who has been proposed by the plaintiff as a witness. EPO employees had been striking for months to show dissatisfaction with the EPO management including the plaintiff.

The respondent disclaimed any responsibility for alleged problems relating to the private and family life of the plaintiff.

The respondent concluded its written submission by repeating that it contested the plaintiff’s claims in their entirety and it requested the court to dismiss the case with an award of costs against the plaintiff.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Video: LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman

    LinuxWorld 1999, Torvalds and Stallman



  2. GNU World Order is a Personal Sacrifice, LinuxWorld Just Business

    As the Linux Foundation shows, Linux is just business (and proprietary software) as usual, software patents included, whereas it’s GNU that continues the Free Software Movement’s battles



  3. Links 20/2/2020: Oracle Solaris 11.4 SRU18, Mesa 20, VirtualBox 6.1.4

    Links for the day



  4. Open Source Did Not Win, It Was Assimilated to and by Proprietary Software

    Don’t fall for the whole “Open Source has won!” spiel; You know we’ve lost the battle (and were in effect gradually conquered) at OSI and elsewhere when those who speak for the OSI are Michael Cheng (Facebook), Max Sills (Google), and Chris Aniszczyk (Linux Foundation); they say “Open Source Under Attack” (FOSDEM talk) but their employers are the ones attacking and they downplay openwashing



  5. Former Microsoft Employees Don't Like Talking About Past and Present Microsoft Back Doors (Designed for Spy Agencies)

    In a typical Microsoftian fashion, once they cannot defend the illusion/delusion that Microsoft values security the 'Softers' run away and block any further debate



  6. Techrights Warns Against Impending Extradition Efforts (Passage of Julian Assange to His Death in the United States)

    Imprisonment of journalists who are effective at exposing crimes (of the powerful, not petty crimes) must never be condoned



  7. Team UPC: Many Mouths and No Ears

    The mental condition of Team UPC gets more worrisome by the week



  8. Team UPC Insults Judges Because the UPC is Dead and UPC Lobbyists Have Nothing Left to Lose

    More judge-shaming tactics are in the mix; Team UPC seems to feel like there's nothing left to lose as the UPC is already dead (hope itself is next to die)



  9. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 19, 2020



  10. China Bashing is Grounded in Fear (That They Can Simply Do Better Than the West)

    The atmosphere of hate towards China — fuelled partly by a white supremacist in the White House — is unhelpful and insulting; dignity and understanding is the way to go



  11. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 18, 2020



  12. FFII Press Release: Germany Can No Longer Ratify the Unitary Patent Due to Brexit and the Established AETR Case-law, says FFII

    Germany cannot ratify the current Unitary Patent due to Brexit and the established AETR case-law. The ratification of the UPC (Unified Patent Court) by Germany would constitute a violation of the AETR case-law, which was used during the EPLA negotiations in 2006 to consider a deal with non-EU countries, such as Switzerland.



  13. DRM (Proprietary Software) Already Makes Mozilla Firefox Broken, Unreliable, Undependable (Dependent on Binary Blobs)

    More people are beginning to realise that Mozilla resorted to self-harming DRM and self-inflicted damage that impacts Firefox; can Mozilla (re)join the anti-DRM coalitions?



  14. EPO and Other Patent Updates Over RSS

    Site syndication (over RSS feeds or XML/Atom) is vastly better than what became popular in recent years (censored, centralised, discriminatory "Social Control Media"); here are some feeds of interest



  15. When It Comes to a Unitary Patent System, Bad (or Intentionally Dishonest) Legal Advice Has Become the Norm

    The Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent (UPC and UP, respectively) reinforce the old saying about lawyers being liars, doing anything to attract clients (to take their money); the UPC is basically dead, but fiction, falsehoods and outrageous fantasies still find their way into Web sites of law firms



  16. Links 19/2/2020: KDE Plasma 5.18.1, GNOME 3.36 Beta 2 and WordPress 5.4 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  17. Is Linux Foundation a Microsoft Branch Now?

    The so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation (LF) nowadays helps Microsoft cement its monopoly — the very opposite of what ages ago it said the LF would do



  18. Are Songs Property? And Maths Also Property? Artificial Monopolies Are Not Property...

    Patent maximalists continue to face stronger arguments from their sceptics, who rightly allege that words are being intentionally misused and numbers fabricated so as to distort underlying facts



  19. Battistelli Blocked Techrights at EPO (Banned for More Than 5 Years), So CEIPI Won't Respect Access to Information Either

    The use of censorship to confront people who talk about (not even expose) corruption isn't novel; but the adoption of this approach in Europe (not just places like Russia and China) is definitely noteworthy



  20. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 17, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, February 17, 2020



  21. Links 18/2/2020: Linux 5.6 RC2, Wine 5.2, GNU Social Contract and Sparky 2020.02 Special Editions

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 16, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 16, 2020



  23. Links 16/2/2020: MX Linux 19.1 and MyPaint 2.0

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 15, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 15, 2020



  25. Guest Article: Au Revoir, GNU/Linux

    "Funny how OSI just ended up being another vehicle for their takeover of the computing world..."



  26. Former Microsoft Employee: ZDNet is Owned by Microsoft (and Others) in Some Senses

    A noteworthy message we've received from someone who knows Microsoft from the inside



  27. Links 15/2/2020: Blender 2.82, Qt 5.15 Alpha and NetBSD 9.0 Released

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft Views 'Open Source' as a Zero-Cost Heist Opportunity (Making Proprietary Software/Spyware Using Other People's Free Labour)

    Making GPL-licensed (copyleft) software and hosting it outside Microsoft’s jaws is the best way to counter the abusive monopolist, which still says it “loves” what it is actually attacking



  29. Did Microsoft 'Buy' ZDNet?

    A look at what ZDNet tells its readers (screenshot from this morning) and a rare look at how its writers are censored/suppressed



  30. Anatomy of a Crime and Protection From Prosecution

    It’s hard to forget what António Campinos hides for his friend


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