Summary: New resistance to the Unitary Patent amid allegations of misconduct in the European patent authorities
OUR recent coverage of EPO abuses plays a role in derailing the Unitary Patent and 'harminised' court system (bypassing national laws in many nations), which is basically an open door to a lot of software patents and patent trolls. Our sources occasionally remind us that they can feel the impact and see the effect of reporting on the subject. Over at IPCopy we learn about the Unitary Patent’s latest and also take note of Spain’s challenge, which we first covered several years ago, back in 2011 and in 2010. “The Advocate General,” explains IPCopy, “released his opinions on the two Spanish challenges to the unitary patent system in November last year and in December there was much discussion online about the independence of the Boards of Appeal at the EPO.
“Anyone curious about whether the developments at the EPO might be relevant to the Spanish challenges to the unitary patent are encouraged to head over to Dr Ingve Stjerna’s website (link below) and read his latest paper ” Unitary patent and court system – Advocate General’s Statements of Position: Superseded by reality”.”
We are glad to see nations standing up to the EPO, which has corruption at the top. It goes well beyond authorisation of software patenting, which includes FRAND in Europe. OSI President Simon Phipps, writing that “FRAND Is Always Discriminatory”, says that he “participated in a study asking about the fairness, reasonableness and non-discriminatory nature of FRAND licensing in the context of licensing of patents in standards. I was surprised to find people there asserting there was no conflict between FRAND licensing and open source software. Here’s a simple explanation why that’s wrong.”
“Why patent licensing as a precondition of implementation of a standard cannot be non-discriminatory, on any terms,” he wrote in Twitter about his article, which also made it into corporate media.
It sure looks like the insidious side of the EPO, mostly attributed to managers in suits at the top floors (not scientists such as patent examiners), is being exposed for all to see. There is still chance for European democracy to be saved and sovereign laws (intended to preserve some level of justice) to be taken into account, not foolishly (and arrogantly) overridden. █
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Judge Marijan Bertalanič, photo from vecernji.hr
Summary: The legal loss of Željko Topić laid bear for the public to see even outside Croatia
THE DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY we learned that Željko Topić had lost his case in his home country, Croatia (where he is facing many criminal charges). Surely he hopes that nobody outside Croatia will find out, let alone have access to the text in a language like French, German, or English. But thanks to our sources we now have precisely that. It’s a ruling from Judge Bertalanič (pictured above).
Here is the relevant (original) document
[PDF], which is a summary judgement (in Croatian). As promised a couple of days ago we now have this recent judgment of the Municipal Criminal Court of Zagreb relating to the defamation complaint which Mr. Topić filed against Ms. Vesna Stilin (classic gag attempt in our humble assessment because that would be a classic manoeuvre where one sues the messenger to intimidate and create an illusion of equality).
“The full judgement,” says our source, “including a detailed statement of the grounds is expected to become available in February.
“The summary judgment basically states that the accused (i.e. Ms. Stilin) has been “acquitted of the charges” ["OSLOBADJA SE OPTUZBE" in Croatian]. It then goes on to list the charges under items 1. and 2.
“The charges were based on the contents of two letters sent in 2010 by Ms. Stilin to the then Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor (with copies to various Ministries).
“The paragraphs in italics are passages from the letters which were alleged to be defamatory.
“Of particular interest is the accusation that Mr. Topić literally “purchased” his second term of office in 2008 by providing an Audi to the Minister at an estimated cost of 500.000 HRK (ca. EUR 66.000).”
Here is the relevant part:
“Topić Željko kupio je svoj drugi mandat ravnatelja DZIV-a, plativši cca 500.000,00 kuna MZOŠ u razdoblju od preko 2 godine (od svibnja 2007., kada je potpisan navedeni Ugovor, do srpnja 2009., kada je Primorac otišao iz Ministarstva), što spominjem, uz ostalo i u Ustavnoj tužbi br.: U-III 5023/08 koja je još u rješavanju, gdje osporavam Topićevo imenovanje za ravnatelja… …..Naime, podnijela sam kandidaturu za ravnateljicu Zavoda nakon što je isti krajem 2007. potajno… ukinuo moj sector …”
“The court found that the assertions which Ms. Stilin made about Mr. Topić were not defamatory,” said our source for this. “The summary judgment concludes by stating that the plaintiff (i.e. Mr. Topić) is to bear all costs.
“It would be interesting to know whether EPO funds are going to be used for this purpose.”
This last remark alludes to the fact that when Topić travels to Croatia to face justice he labels it business trips or something along those lines. The last thing he wants is informed colleagues who know where he is coming from. Sooner or later we might see this man in prison, not just outside the top floors of the EPO. Battistelli has got quite a liability in his hands. █
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Photo credit: “Finans”
Summary: Last week’s EPO demonstration has been covered by Danish media, raising awareness of the “banana republic” state of the EPO
Yesterday we wrote about Jesper Kongstad’s protection of Benoît Battistelli, recalling one of the earliest type of abuses which we covered here last year. The Techrights article about EPO protest in front of the Danish Consulate in Munich has had an effect (widely cited on the Internet).
“In case you are interested,” wrote a source to us, “a good photograph of the protest march to the Danish Consulate in Munich was published by the Danish newspaper “Finans”.
“The article is in Danish and is “subscription-only” but the photo is openly accessible.”
We are still hoping to receive a scan/full Danish text/English version/human translation of the article. It would be good to have it for our record too, so if any of our Danish-speaking readers can help us, that would be beyond helpful. █
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The Danish Consulate in Munich; Photo by Stauning
Summary: A large protest waged by staff of the EPO targets one of the key facilitators of Battistelli’s terrifying tyranny
THERE IS no denying that the EPO has gone rogue, especially at the top. Despite an expected commitment to serve the public, the EPO is lowering the quality of patents to reach business goals rather than provide public service, then bragging about it. 92% of patent applications in US end up enshrined as patents, so it’s a plague that spreads to Europe right now, especially with allowance of software patents. Our sources tell us that staff of the EPO is not happy about it; this erodes the image of the EPO and alienates some of the principal stakeholders. It’s a short-term ‘gain’ that may only lead to a long-term collapse of this system, due in part to perceived illegitimacy (the correct perception that EPO increasingly serves large corporations, not inventors).
“These protests are aimed at the Dane Kongstad, who helps protect Benoît Battistelli rather than oversee or work independently like he is supposed to.”A couple of weeks ago, months after we had explained the Administrative Council's apparent collusion with the EPO's management in a series of articles, protests were planned and they did materialise. While we covered this at a preparatory level we have not yet properly provided second-hand coverage from those who attended to protests at the Danish Consulate. These protests are aimed at the Dane Kongstad, who helps protect Benoît Battistelli rather than oversee or work independently like he is supposed to.
The protests were covered by Florian Müller in his blog where his latest post on it says:
It’s time for a follow-up on what’s going on at the European Patent Office. The day before yesterday, the EPO staff union, SUEPO, took to the streets of Munich again–this time around, approximately 1,000 EPO employees went to the Danish consulate
“One of the links points to a TechRights article,” he wrote, “and there are a couple of other recent TechRights article I find interesting (which does not mean a wholesale endorsement): this one on the rumor that the EPO’s recently-hired Director of Internal Communications has “resigned” and this one on (so far unproven) allegations against a vice president of the EPO.
“The de facto suspension of a member of a board of appeal (i.e., an EPO-internal judge) that has drawn much criticism from judges and lawyers was, according to French financial daily Les Echos, due to whatever the suspended judge said about that vice president, Mr. Željko Topić.”
We don’t know what he said or wrote, but it reflects rather badly on the atmosphere at the EPO.
“On the one hand,” Müller explains, “I can understand that the EPO leadership is increasingly nervous.”
“The Administrative Council has been part of the problem, not part of the solution,” he added.
That’s for sure.
Müller’s post adds this link that we missed. Merpel refers to herself (as usual) as a third person:
Merpel posted a copy of Sir Robin Jacob’s letter to the Administrative Council of the European Patent Office earlier in January, on his request. The letter protested the treatment of a member of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO, and reiterated the importance of the judicial independence of the Boards of Appeal.
The text of the response letter has little substance:
In relation to the letter sent by Professor Sir Robin Jacob to Mr. Kongstad, VP1 asked to share with you the following remarks:
Sir Jacob 1) is not aware of all facts
2) is not aware of what the decision of the president was (office ban)
3) does not understand that the AC took the decision based on facts!
4) does not understand that this case has nothing to do with the independence of the Boards!
5) and nevertheless writes this letter!
How vague. Basically they just mock the intelligence of Professor Sir Robin Jacob and tell him something along the lines of “keep out!” (notice all the exclamation marks). These are the hallmarks of a secretive and unprofessional management. One would not expect this type of arrogance from a corporation, let alone from so-called ‘public servants’. █
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Judge Marijan Bertalanič, photo from vecernji.hr
Summary: The EPO’s notorious Vice-President, whose appointment at the EPO is still raising some alarming questions, has just lost his case in Croatia (one of many cases), motivating us to accelerate coverage about the persona known as Željko Topić
“BREAKING NEWS FROM ZAGREB,” heralded a source of ours this afternoon (European time). Željko Topić, who faces many criminal charges in Croatia, is failing to silence those who pursue justice against him.
“We just got news from Zagreb,” said our source, “that judgment has been delivered in Topić’s defamation case against Vesna Stilin.” (see background in the many older articles of ours)
“The case was being heard before Judge Marijan Bertalanič of the Municipal Criminal Court of Zagreb. A photo of the judge can be found here” (along with related photographs)
“It seems that Mr. Bertalaničwas not too impressed by Mr. Topić and according to what we have heard he has dismissed the defamation claim against Ms. Stilin.
“This is a first instance judgment so it remains to be seen whether or not Topić will try to appeal it.
“We expect to get a copy of the judgment (in original Croatian) in the next day or two.”
Techrights and its supporters will try to organise an English translation so that people outside Croatia, including EPO staff, are better able to know what Topić is up to. More details are to follow as they become available, but in the mean time, as Topić likes to silence his critics, we wish to add material that needs preserving for future reference. We still have plenty of material to show which relates to the Topić vs. Vesna case, and vice versa, so this is crucial. It’s no secret that Topić is bullying his critics to silence them. Some more documents, other than the famed article from 45lines.com, need to be added to our server now. These documents are currently looking for a new “home”; The old documents, namely the following PDF documents relating to the Topić case at the EPO, were analysed here before. These are currently “housed” on the server of the Croatian NGO Juris Protecta, but they may not stay there for much longer. We request assistance from our readers who are able to mirror these documents in case we too feel pressured to remove these. The documents are as follows:
“We have been told by Juris Protecta,” said sources of ours, “that they are worried that if they publicise the links to these PDFs, their Croatian provider may be pressurised to shut down their website.
“The PDF documents in question are basically those cited in the letters sent to the Administrative Council in December 2013 by Juris Protecta and Vesna Stilin. Those letters have been reproduced in the Techrights article about Battistelli’s “Balkan standards”.
“Juris Protecta is currently planning to circulate something about its earlier letters to the Administrative Council and wants to include links to the PDFs.
However, it is afraid that if it uses the links to its jurpro.hr server, then the Croatian provider might be put under pressure to shut down its website.
“We don’t think that there is any problem with you publicly explaining that Juris Protecta is nervous about the risk of having its server in Croatia shut down.
“You might recall that there was a “hacking”/”cracking” attempt recently on the Croatian new portal dnevno.hr after they published an article with some comments about Topić.”
As a reminder, we too suffered DDOS attacks around the same time we published important articles about Topić, but we could never prove there was a correlation, only a coincidence in timing. There is also a huge amount of cracking attempts (dozens per minute) attempted against us since the DDOS attacks began half a year ago. When it all started (knocking our site offline at times) the only concurrence we could lay a finger at was EPO articles.
“Dnveno.hr was offline for quite a while (we estimate a couple of weeks),” said our sources, “and only seemed to become accessible again after the Croatian Presidential election was finished on 11 January. So the fears expressed by Juris Protecta are understandable and the issue can be mentioned publicly.”
We are going to write a lot more about Topić in the coming weeks if not months. Our multi-layered servers infrastructure is much better protected from DDOS attacks at the moment. █
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Benoît Battistelli meets Siemens
Summary: The neglected (by EPO) Article 4a of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the European Parliament petition/complaint against the EPO’s crooked management
Now that the internal communications person (i.e. PR) is out and things are heating up against the EPO Vice-President (never mind Benoît Battistelli, the EPO President), the corporate takeover of the patent system in Europe can be slowed down. We have just learned from this European patents maximalism blog that “Philips is among the top-10 Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applicants and the top-3 European Patent Convention (EPC) applicants. Owning about 64,000 patents and filing approximately 1,500 patent applications each year (with a strong focus on the growth areas of health and well-being), much is at stake for the company with the introduction of a Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the Unitary Patent (UP). Philips’ principal IP Counsel Leo Steenbeek told Kluwer IP Law in an interview he hopes financial demands of UP member states won´t lead to unrealistic high renewal fees. Philips won’t opt-out patents when the UPC starts functioning.”
This helps remind us who the EPO really serves. It has become a “protection” apparatus for large corporations, largely at the expense of citizens of Europe. The Unified Patent Court would enable huge corporations to sue a lot of rivals or intimidate them. It would also help patent trolls.
Several months ago a source sent us some information about the neglected Article 4a of the European Patent Convention (EPC), which might be of interest. Article 4a of the EPC deals with very fundamental rules. If any rule it is violated, then there is legal basis on which to file complaints.
As our source put it: “Another example of how the current EPO management (meaning Battistelli and the Administrative Council) has managed to avoid political oversight can be seen by consulting Article 4a of the European Patent Convention according to which: “A conference of ministers of the Contracting States responsible for patent matters shall meet at least every five years to discuss issues pertaining to the Organisation and to the European patent system.”
“This Article,” explained our source, “was introduced into the revised version of the EPC (“EPC 2000”) which entered into force on December 13, 2007.
“However, despite the statutory requirement to hold a ministerial conference at least once every five years, no such conference has been convened since the entry into force of the revised EPC in 2007. The first five year period expired on in December 2012, i.e. on Battistelli’s watch. (He was appointed EPO President in 2010.)”
This would not be the first time that Battistelli dodges or eliminates oversight, as we showed numerous times before. “If you can read French,” said our source, “it may be worth having a look at an interview Battistelli gave to a French magazine in 2012.
“In this interview he boasts (in French) of the “independence” that he enjoys as EPO President.” To quote the interview: «Je n’ai jamais été aussi libre, insiste-t-il. Je n’ai pas de ministère de tutelle, de Parlement, de gouvernement. C’est nous qui fixons les règles, les discutons, les négocions.»
In English: “I have never been so free, he insists. I have no supervisory Minister above me, nor any Parliament or government. It is we who discuss, negotiate and decide on the rules.”
In other words, he has got himself a tyranny. He does not even need to obey rules. “The “we” referred to here seems to mean Battistelli himself and the AC,” remarked our source. As we have demonstrated time after time, the Administrative Council is basically in cahoots rather than independent from Battistelli. It’s a banana republic’s status quo.
“However,” he said, “as can be seen from Article 4a EPC, Battistelli’s arrogant boast that he is not subject to any oversight by ministerial or governmental authority betrays a serious misunderstanding of the legal framework established by the revised EPC.
“Obviously, the intention behind article 4a is to provide for some measure of political oversight of the EPO at ministerial level. It is only by ignoring this provision, i.e. by not taking any measures to convene a ministerial conference despite the statutory requirement to do so, that the EPO President and the AC have been able to evade this kind of political oversight.”
“We wish to revive the petition, preferably not just from Croatia.”The rejected complaint (in the form of a petition) to the European Parliament is worth revisiting in this context, given that some European politicians continue to pursue action against the EPO. We wish to revive the petition, preferably not just from Croatia. There is a certain stereotype and a myth that Topić and his ilk exploit; it’s the myth only Croats are upset at Topić, supposedly because of envy. We need more involvement from people outside Croatia and by providing information in English we hopefully make more people aware of the issues and thus more able to communicate them. Any such communication in support of the previous petition from members of the general public could be useful to encourage the Petitions Committee to investigate the abuse as it would indicate to the Committee that there is a public interest in the issues raised by the Petition outside of Croatia (from where the original petition originates).
We have already written several times about the first petition calling for an independent investigation of Topić’s appointment. The petition was submitted to the European Parliament by a Croatian NGO called Juris Protecta. It stated that an independent (outside) investigation was needed, but none ever took place, even two years later. The petition goes back to 2013 and the reference number for the petition was (and still is) 2848/2013. The original petition contained a request for confidential treatment. This request for confidential treatment was subsequently withdrawn which means that the petition is now a public document. In the mean time, Vesna Stilin (another Croat) had submitted an application to join the Petition as a co-petitioner and she was taking other actions to address these matters, as mentioned in several older articles of ours. The previous meeting of the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament was scheduled for 11 November 2014 and the next one is at the end of this month, so there may be time to submit new petitions, something along the lines of the following words of ours (please don’t just copy). Here is some draft text which could be used as a basis for communicating and conveying thoughts to the Petitions Committee:
I/we refer to Petition 2848/2013  which has been filed with the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament and which calls for an independent investigation of the appointment of Mr. Željko Topić as a Vice-President of the European Patent Organisation. In December the petition was rejected not because it lacked merit but because it was claimed to be within the responsibility of other departments. This response is deeply problematic because the nature of the petitioner’s concerns and the core complaint is that those other departments have been gagged, suppressed, or even abolished by those who are supposed to be overseen. That, as some may argue, is how Topić got into his position in the first place. It means that the European Parliament is the last resort and the only body able to engage in a potent investigation. The European Parliament should consider revisiting these issues, among more issues such as the violation of the European Patent Convention (EPC) [see/refer above].
I/we hereby wish to express my/our support for the 2013 Petition and suggest that a new, more extensive investigation into these matters in undertaken. I/we would be grateful if you could acknowledge in due course that my/our support for the Petition has been registered with the Petitions Committee.
 Ref: Petition No. 2848/2013 filed by Juris Protecta (Croatia).
This is just a suggested draft for a letter to the Petitions Committee of the European Parliament to express support for Petition No. 2848/2013 calling for an independent investigation of the appointment of Mr. Željko Topić as a Vice-President of the European Patent Organisation. We urge for expansion of the original complaint/petition, either by citation or by filing of a new petition (clarifying that it is a followup), as a lot more is known now than was known back in 2013. The European Parliament should be able to find plenty of relevant information in French, German, and English. Benoît Battistelli is quickly moving to crush any kind of oversight and if the European Parliament continues to refuse to intervene, it too would lose legitimacy and potentially be seen/perceived as complicit. Members of the European Parliament need to understand that.
For the moment we don’t know whether or not the petition 2848/2013 will ever be the agenda again. It might therefore be worth filing a fresh petition. We would like to point out here that, in principle, any EU citizen who is interested in this matter can write to the Petitions Committee to express support for petitions. Maybe some of our European readers would take leadership on this matter. Other readers would hopefully be interested in expressing their support for the petition or submitting a new one. Some contact details for the Petitions Committee are as follows:
- Ms Cecilia WIKSTRÖM:
- Mr Pál CSÁKY:
- Ms Rosa ESTARÀS FERRAGUT:
- Ms Roberta METSOLA:
- Ms Marlene MIZZI:
Secretariat of the Committee on Petitions
- Mr David LOWE, Head of Unit:
60 rue Wiertz / Wiertzstraat 60
B-1047 – Bruxelles/Brussels
If you do choose to communicate with a petition, please consider sharing some information with us in the comments below, e.g. a reference number. Organising the action would make it more effective. █
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Summary: No blood is spilled, but even the management of the EPO is falling apart as the Director of Internal Communication is said to have just resigned
Battistelli does not have a monopoly on deciding which people must leave the EPO. He does not even need to throw people out because some are leaving on their own volition, at least based on what we can gather from our sources. Perhaps they realise that leaving the scandalous embarrassment that is EPO management would be better for their career.
Latest rumours from the EPO serve to show and at the very least reaffirm that the EPO is “burning”, as some have told us months ago. One source told us: “The latest rumour that we have heard is that the recently recruited Director of Internal Communication has “resigned”. We don’t have any details of the exact circumstances so we can’t say at this point whether he jumped or whether he was pushed.
“The person in question is Vincent Bénard who was formerly Head of Corporate Internal Communications at the Airbus Group. He had been widely tipped to take over from Oswald Schroder who departed under mysterious circumstances in October last year.
“If you look carefully at the recent internal EPO announcement concerning the “Public Apology to Zeljko Topic” you will see that it doesn’t bear any name for the “Author” which just given as “Internal Communication”.”
“Perhaps they realise that leaving the scandalous embarrassment that is EPO management would be better for their career.”For some background, see our recent articles about it. The censorship is backfiring. Mike Masnick dubbed it the “Streisand Effect”.
“The “Internal Communication” department is part of Directorate-General 4 and thus it comes under Topic’s direct control,” told us a source. “We suspect that Bénard had some kind of a “disagreement” with his boss i.e. Topic, over the publication of the “Public Apology” announcement on the EPO Intranet.”
This publication already led to some action that embarrasses Željko Topić and meanwhile, in response, Vesna Stilin is working hard to revoke the apology and restore the article from Zeljko Peratovic's 45lines.com. Imagine the size of the audience after restoration. The article that Topić wants to hide can be read here in English.
“All of this is just speculation on our part,” said our source, “but the rumour of Bénard’s departure at this particular juncture is a clear indication that all is not well on the upper floors of the EPO’s headquarters.”
We welcome sources to come forth with information if they have any that is relevant. We have never — in our history of nearly a decade — let down or got in trouble a source. The goal here is justice; if embarrassing those in positions of unjust power helps restore justice, then so be it. █
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Summary: Željko Topić’s abuses continue to cloud the legitimacy of the European Patent Office, in which he is a Vice-President
SEVERAL days ago we highlighted Željko Topić’s skeletons (in his closet), noting that Vesna Stilin, whom we mentioned in several older articles of ours (she is one of Topić’s victims), was trying to bring light to Topić’s past. In the future we intend to show more of the history of Stilin’s fights and arguments with Topić, but today we would like to focus on her call to retract a retraction.
This Croatian “request for rectification” has been submitted to the Croatian Web site 45lines.com, which is operated by Zeljko Peratovic. After Peratovic had written an expose about Topić it mysteriously got taken down, under circumstances that we explained on Sunday. Our guess is that Peratovic is unlikely to publish his article once again, at least based on our supposition that he was scared into removing it voluntarily.
Our readers sent us an English translation of Stilin’s letter to 45lines.com and it goes as follows:
Submitted by: Vesna Stilin LL.B
Subject: Request for rectification of published information
I refer to the article on the website 45lines.com titled “A wrong man sitting in EPO? – Apology to Željko Topić: Regarding the deleted article regarding EPO”, which was published in Croatian on 16 December 2014 and in English on 19 December 2014 on the aforementioned portal, and which contains some incorrect and incomplete information:
For the purpose of providing the public with objective and complete information, and in accordance with the provisions of the Article 40 of the Croatian Media Act (Official Gazette
59/04), I hereby kindly request you to publish the following rectification.
Motivated by the “Apology” of the journalist Željko Peratović to Željko Topić, former Director of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), I would like to point out the following concerning the text of said “Apology” the accuracy of which is disputed:
The author of the “Apology”, Mr. Peratović, omits to mention the names of the three independent sources who, according to his claims, deceived him when he wrote the article “A wrong man
sitting in EPO” and which moved him to delete the original article and to apologize to Željko Topić by publishing a new article (i.e. the disputed “Apology”). Nevertheless, I consider that the following statement made by Mr. Peratovic in the disputed “Apology” implicitly refers to me:
“I have also wrote [sic] that it is a big corruption affair which grew outside the Croatian borders and that many criminal complaints have been filed and lawsuits led against him in Croatia. Now it is clear that all the criminal complaints that were initiated against Željko Topić are coming from the same source and that the only lawsuit is led for alleged slander. That lawsuit was completely refuted in court and he was completely acquitted of any responsibility.”
The above claim has been persistently and repeatedly made by Željko Topić, but it is untrue. In the disputed “Apology” Mr. Peratović restates this false claim in an apparent attempt to lend
credibility to it.
I am aware that, apart from myself, a number of other persons both from inside and from outside the SIPO have brought criminal charges and/or initiated civil proceedings against Željko Topić. With regard to matters concerning Željko Topić and myself, two private lawsuits are pending (in the first case I am the plaintiff, whereas in second case Mr. Topić is the plaintiff evidently encouraged by the lack of official oversight of the SIPO). With regard to the first private lawsuit which is the one referred to by Mr. Peratović in his “Apology”, following 6 court judgments (as a consequence of repeated remittals to the court of first instance following appeal) and what I consider to have been perjury on the part of Željko Topić’s deputy, the matter is now awaiting resolution before the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia. With regard to the second private lawsuit in which Željko Topić is the plaintiff, I expect the first instance judgment to be delivered by the end of this month (i.e. January 2015).
In addition, I have filed a criminal complaint against Željko Topić in connection with a number of allegedly criminal actions which should be prosecuted ex officio. Following a request which I made in December 2014 to expedite the proceedings, I received a response from the District Public Prosecutor in Zagreb which, in essence, states the following:
“In the criminal case in question ….. we inform you that the complicated process of checking your allegations, as well as allegations from other sources, is in progress in order to determine whether the actions of Željko Topić, in his capacity as the Director of the State Intellectual Property Office and the actions of other responsible persons in that Office or other government bodies comprise the essential features of criminal offences subject to public prosecution.”
“I intend to submit evidence to Mr. Peratović regarding the above statements and expect him to do his job as investigative journalist. I am confident that afterwards he will have to issue a further apology, but this time it will not be to Željko Topić.”In his professional capacity as an investigative journalist, it would be useful for Mr. Peratović to find out what “other criminal proceedings” (as indicated in the Minutes of the Municipal Criminal Court in Zagreb – hereinafter MCC – from 4/5/2010, under No. K-163/09, in the Judgment of 31/5/2010 MCC, under no. K-163/09, and in the Judgment of 23/5/2011 MCC, under no. 34 K-238/10) were in progress against Željko Topić prior to his re-appointment as SIPO Director in early 2012 by the current Prime Minister Zoran Milanović, particularly in view of the fact that the competent supervisory Ministry of Science, Education and Sports does not appear to have reacted in spite of the warnings which it received. At the same time, there is an open question as to whether the Prime Minister Milanović was aware of the fact that the wife of his chef-de-cabinet Tomislav Saucha, i.e. Ms. Ivana Saucha, is a partner in the law firm which represents Željko Topić in court proceedings, and whether these circumstances might have had any influence on the Prime Minister’s decision to re-appoint Mr. Topić as the Director of the SIPO. Another question to be asked is why Mr. Topić reacted by filing a private lawsuit against me in April 2013, claiming inter alia that the Minutes of the MCC erroneously stated that he was “subject to a second criminal proceedings” given that he failed to react to this three years earlier when said allegation was noted in the Minutes of the MCC (4/5/2010) and in the aforementioned court Judgments (31/5/2010 and 23/5/2011). I note that the lawsuit which Mr. Topić filed against me in April 2013 has been decided in my favor in the meantime by both first and second instance courts.
I understand that the original documents reproduced along with the deleted article “A wrong man sitting in EPO?” are in the possession of a former Director of the SIPO, Mr. Hrvoje Junašević, and an official who worked as a representative at the SIPO, and that the aforementioned persons are willing to provide any explanation which may be required concerning the published documents.
I intend to submit evidence to Mr. Peratović regarding the above statements and expect him to do his job as investigative journalist. I am confident that afterwards he will have to issue a further apology, but this time it will not be to Željko Topić.
Pursuant to Article 41 of the Media Act, it is requested that this rectification be published in the same font size as the text and title and in the same section as the article to which it relates and that the rectification be linked to said article by a highlighted link.
VESNA STILIN LL.B
Date: 19 January 2015
This is not the end of it because we have just learned about a resignation, potentially resulting from some of these ugly affairs. We will write about it later this week. █
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