09.06.21

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EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XV – Worse Than “a Backward Kolkhoz”…

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series index:

  1. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part I – More Captured Delegates?
  2. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part II – Old Wine in New Bottles…
  3. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part III – Introducing the Finnish “Facilitator”
  4. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part IV – Martti Enäjärvi and His “Good Brother” Networks
  5. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part V – A Man With a Conviction…
  6. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VI – “A Good Friend of Estonia and a Steady Cooperation Partner”
  7. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VII – A Self-Appointed “Select Committee”
  8. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part VIII – Pulling for the Portuguese Pretender?
  9. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part IX – António’s Faithful Acolyte in Alicante
  10. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part X – A Pan-European “Good Brother” Network Celebration?
  11. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XI – With a Little Help From My Friends…
  12. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XII – Battistelli and His Baltic Fiefdoms
  13. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XIII – Out With the Old, in With the New?
  14. EPO Exposé: The Besieged Baltic States – Part XIV – Business as Usual in Tallinn
  15. You are here ☞ Worse Than “a Backward Kolkhoz“…

Rimvydas Naujokas, Matti Päts and Margus Viher
Rimvydas Naujokas [PDF] offering his congratulations to Matti Päts and Margus Viher at the ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the Estonian Patent Office in March 2012.

Summary: The Lithuanian Patent Office has enabled the Benoît Battistelli regime at the EPO and it continues to do the same under António Campinos; we take a closer look at Lithuanian scandals too

Rimvydas Naujokas was in charge of the Lithuanian Patent Office for twenty three years from April 1991 to June 2014.

In terms of job longevity he more or less matched his Estonian counterpart Matti Päts, although he was seventeen years younger [PDF] than the elder statesman of the Baltic “IP” world.

The Lithuanian Patent Office comes under the remit of the Justice Ministry.

Naujokas got on quite well with most of his minsters.

He did particularly well under Gintautas Bužinskas, who was in charge of the Justice Ministry between 14 December 2004 and 18 July 2006.

In 2006, on the occasion of the Lithuanian national holiday to commemorate the coronation of Mindaugus (on 6 July 1253), Bužinskas distributed over LTL 273,000 (approx. EUR 79,000) in bonuses to employees of the Justice Ministry.

Senior officials like Naujokas received a 100% salary bonus.

In the same year, Naujokas also received a salary bonus at Easter and on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the reestablishment of the Lithuanian Patent Office.

At the time in question, Naujokas’ monthly salary as Director-General of the Patent Office was around LTL 6 000 (approx EUR 1750). This was at a time when the average monthly in Lithuania would have been around EUR 400 to 500.

By the standards of the local economy, Naujokas was on a relatively good salary but it doesn’t seem to have been enough for him. To top up his basic salary, he awarded himself a bonus of 5% for representation at the European Patent Organisation, even though this was a direct function of his job as the head of the Latvian Patent Office.

He also didn’t skimp on travel expenses. In 2005, Naujokas spent as many as 84 working days on business trips at a cost of over LTL 38,000 (approx. EUR 11,000). Although he was cautioned by his ministry, he failed to curb his enthusiasm for travelling. In the first half of 2006 he spent 48 days on business trips, costing the Lithuanian tax-payers almost LTL 57,000 thousand (approx. EUR 16,500).

But things started to get uncomfortable for Naujokas when a new minister took over after a change of government in 2006.

Petras Baguška, who took over as Justice Minister on 18 July 2006 was less impressed by Naujokas. In September 2006, the Lithuanian media reported that Naujokas had been at the receiving end of “scathing criticism” from Baguška.

Petras Baguška and Rimvydas Naujokas
In 2006 Minister of Justice Petras Baguška (left) had some harsh words of criticism for the management of the Lithuanian Patent Office under Rimvydas Naujokas (right).

Amongst other things, Baguška was angered by his predecessor’s decision to award a 100% bonus to Naujokas on the occasion of the national holiday despite the fact that the Ministry’s internal audit service had identified numerous shortcomings in the management of the Patent Office.

Baguška was appalled by the findings of the audit which – according to Lithuanian media reports [PDF] – concluded that the management of the Lithuanian Patent Office was “worse than in a backward kolkhoz [collective farm]“.

But, somehow or other, Naujokas managed to survive the new Minister who departed in December 2008.

As a matter of fact, despite his close shave with Baguška in 2006, Naujokas remained in charge of the Lithuanian Patent Office for another eight years until June 2014 when it was announced that the incumbent Justice Minister Juozas Bernatonis had decided not to renew his appointment. [PDF]

No reasons were given for the decision but at that point Naujokas was 64 so the minister had probably decided that it was time to look for someone new to take over.

But even though he was no longer Director-General, Naujokas hung around in the background for another two years as a “Chief Advisor” and continued to head the Lithuanian delegation on the EPO’s Administrative Council until June 2015. He finally retired as “Chief Advisor” in June 2016.

Arūnas Želvys
Arūnas Želvys was appointed as head of the Lithuanian Patent Office in March 2015.

In March 2015, Arūnas Želvys was appointed as Naujokas’ successor at the head of the Lithuanian Patent Office.

In the next part, we will see how the new whizz-kid got off to a promising start but subsequently ran into difficulties because of an administrative cock-up in 2019.

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