The EPO’s VIP ‘inventor’ seems to be nothing but a scam
So proud of Theranos…
Summary: Battistelli’s introduction of a weirdly-covered (by French media partners) ceremony is revisited in light of a truly embarrassing revelation with criminal elements to it
Battistelli is doing a lot of what FIFA’s Blatter was doing in order to distract the media and create a positive image of the organisation. The EPO is supposed to be neutral about patents/applications it deals with, but neutrality was thrown out the window under Battistelli's regime (large corporations receive special treatment).
There is also this thing called “Inventor Award”, which the EPO keeps promoting in Twitter every week or so (sometimes several times per week), neglecting to say anything about corruptible media organisations that play along.
“Here is a new ego trip by President Battistelli,” told us a source this week, taking note of this news about a “scandal”. To quote:
The wheels are coming off the cart at Theranos, the $9 billion startup founded by Stanford dropout Elizabeth Holmes when she was 19. Its proprietary blood testing technology is the subject of a scathing report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), but that’s just the latest in a growing list of woes for the troubled unicorn.
First, the FDA declared the company’s nanotube container for collecting blood from a finger prick to be an unapproved medical device. Then, CMS found serious deficiencies that forced a shutdown of Theranos’ Northern California lab. And while the company’s deal with Safeway never got off the ground, Walgreens is reportedly looking for a way to get out of its agreement.
But the one thing that the secretive Silicon Valley startup has managed to avoid is peer-reviewed, independent testing that compares the results of its proprietary diagnostic testing to that of other labs like Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp. Last week, that changed, and the results were devastating.
What does this have to do with the EPO? Theranos was somewhat of a VIP at the EPO, owing to the whole “Inventor Award” publicity stunt of Battistelli.
“The European Inventor of the year is a huge waste of applicants’ money (over 1 million EUR/exercise),” told us our source, “besides the ethical questions related to the mission of the EPO.”
“Unlike former presidents, Battistelli is no scientist but a well-connected politician from École nationale d’administration.”“It is a mere ego exercise for the sole satisfaction of the pathetic president with some real risks. And now here we are.” (warning:
So, in short, it seems to link Battistelli’s inane “Inventor Award” to potentially fraudulent pseudo-science. Not that Battistelli himself would be able to discern/distinguish between science and pseudo-science. Unlike former presidents, Battistelli is no scientist but a well-connected politician from École nationale d’administration. █
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Microsoft gleefully watched from afar as young children in Romania got Microsoft’s indoctrination after corrupt contracts
Children were made prisoners of Microsoft
and those responsible for it are sent to prison
Summary: An update from Romania regarding a corrupt contract for Microsoft software
THE SITUATION with regards to corruption in Romania is grimmer than in most of Europe and Microsoft’s role in it was covered here before, e.g. in:
Last month we took note of Microsoft licences in the midst of high-profile corruption and a former Romanian minister is finally going to prison over it. To quote one article about this (in English, not Romanian): “Romania’s high court of cassation and justice on Thursday jailed the former telecommunications minister, Gabriel Sandu, for two years for money laundering, abuse of office and bribery involving the lease of Microsoft IT licenses for schools.
“The ex-mayor of the eastern town of Piatra Neamt, Gheorghe Stefan, and two other businessmen who acted as middlemen also got jail terms of up to three years.
“The four defendants have also to pay a total of almost 10 million euros in compensation. The Supreme Court’s sentence is not final.”
It is worth noting that owing to such corruption it is Microsoft — not GNU/Linux and Free software — that makes it into Romanian schools. Recent reports serve to indicate Microsoft corruption in other countries; this is still the subject of a US-led probe which maybe some more corruption can somehow scuttle. Recall Microsoft’s influence in the United States government, its tax evasion (which only recently became an issue) and big payments to the current US President. “Prosecutors said there was manifest corruption in the contract worth 105 million US dollars,” says the above article, “which was to supply Microsoft Office licenses to schools and other public institutions between 2004 and 2009.”
The article pretends that Microsoft has nothing to do with this corruption/bribery, even though Microsoft clearly benefited from it. How convenient. █
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Summary: Investigative journalism from Croatia and this week’s probe into WIPO misconduct (and subsequent attack on the whistleblowers, including legal threats against bloggers) help put together a broader picture
Having spent some time separating facts from rumours (there are plenty which we still investigate) about the EPO, we are now ready to proceed to something new, or rather a new kind of scandal that nobody seems to have paid attention to.
Based on what we are hearing (and that’s not just a rumour), there is immense pressure on managers at the EPO to pretend that they support the President, even if deep inside they don’t. As one anonymous comment put it yesterday: “Certainly the letter will be signed by the various Minnoye, Topić, Casado, Lutz, Bergot, Hannard, McGinley, Requena et al. and by a bunch of fearful PDs and directors. But the letter will not help them. On the contrary, it will prove that the staff was right in their protest. If Kongstad’s letter is not a joke, the crisis is unavoidable and BB must either give in or go. Of course, with cooperation money and with secret deals BB convince some delegations to vote against the draft letter and create new obstacles. But the conflict will remain unsolved and explode again after few weeks. A good advice to BB: Monsieur, pack your luggages and go back to Saint-Germain-en-Laye.”
This mirrors something that we saw before with Željko Topić (letters of intent and perhaps forced ‘apologies’ under threats). One reader told us: “I am hearing interesting rumblings about the senior management “petition” to the AC. Some PDs are giving the Directors a “free vote” as to whether they sign or not, others are telling them that if they don’t sign it there will be grave consequences.”
Yet another comment said: “It should also be investigated whether Mr Kongstad received monthly payments from a secret budget of department 4.3 if proven, it would be scandalous! Mr Del Pozo, PD Finances, should finally come out with the truth about all that he had to sign. Soon or later all the dirty tricks and manoeuvres will be uncovered!”
This is not yet known to us, so it should be classified as a rumour. There is definitely some kind of an H.R. crisis at the EPO right now. There’s no denying that [1, 2]. Tomorrow we are going to show a leaked message from Topić, relating to H.R. Today, however, we wish to share something different, also relating to Topić.
As vigilant readers may have already noticed (it’s everywhere in the news right now), WIPO is in big trouble. As EPO-funded media put it: “The long saga that has unfolded since then WIPO deputy director general James Pooley made a number of serious allegations against the organisation’s director-general Francis Gurry in a report of misconduct filed in April 2014 may be drawing to an end. News stories from several sources – including the Fox News website and The Register – state that a report into the claims undertaken by the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) has been submitted to Gabriel Duque, the chair of WIPO’s General Assemblies.”
Here is how WIPR put it
A joint subcommittee at the US Congress will hold a hearing this week on whistle-blowers and accountability at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The hearing, scheduled for tomorrow, February 24, is expected to reference the results of a pending UN investigation into WIPO and hear from ex-employees at the organisation.
James Pooley, a former WIPO deputy director, Moncef Kateb, ex-president of the staff association, and Miranda Brown, an adviser to WIPO’s director general Francis Gurry, will be witnesses.
So what does it have to do with EPO? Glad you asked. Apart from the fact that Battistelli may be the next Gurry, there is something interesting about Topić. A reader sent us the details. Another newly-translated Croatian article from 2012 helps support this reader’s claims.
“Referring to the recent Techrights posting,” wrote this reader, the “Dnevno article from 5 February 2016 includes a mention of the role of the former Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Ms. Vesna Vuković, as part of the “diplomatic network” of the former Croatian President Ivo Josipović who failed to secure re-election in 2015.
“The English translation of another older article from 2012 which describes the role of Ms. Vuković in more detail. In view of the recent speculation about a link between Battistelli and the “Bygmalion affair” in France, it would be interesting to know whether any EPO funds got diverted to Croatia to support Josipovic’s re-election campaign in Croatia during 2014/2015.”
Here is the Dnevno article in English with our emphasis in yellow:
A DIPLOMATIC CHAMELEON
Vesna Vuković hosts Mr. Topić in Geneva despite having systematically reported him to the State Attorney’s Office and the USKOK*
[*The Croatian State Prosecutor’s Office for the Suppression of Organized Crime and Corruption]
Author: Darko Petričić
Wednesday, 4th April 2012 – 11:19
The new government is persistent in its strange attempts to bolster Mr. Željko Topić, against whom a dozen serious criminal charges have been filed. These charges not only appear to tally with each other but are dispersed over a broad timeline and encompass many diverse sections and articles of the Criminal Code. Neither the State Attorney’s Office (DORH) nor the Croatian State Prosecutor’s Office for the Suppression of Organized Crime and Corruption (USKOK), have taken any action so far for reasons known to only to themselves.
During the last month, we witnessed the attempts of the new government to make bizarre appointments starting with the cases of Mr. Ferenčak at JANAF and Mr. Kovačević at HEP and culminating in the notorious case of Željko Topić at the State Intellectual Property Office (DZIV).
The DZIV – identified but not yet fully explored as an international epicenter of corruption in Croatia
There would be nothing strange about all this, if it wasn’t for the small but interesting detail that a dozen serious criminal charges have been filed against Željko Topić which not only appear to tally with each other but are dispersed over a broad timeline and encompass many diverse sections and articles of the Criminal Code. For reasons known only to themselves neither the State Attorney’s Office nor the Croatian State Prosecutor’s Office for the Suppression of Organized Crime and Corruption (USKOK) have taken any action so far, although many insiders who are familiar with the affairs of the DZIV and its operations as well as with the activities of Željko Topić believe that the USKOK urgently needs to move into that state institution with their best agents in order to carry out a thorough investigation of the allegedly serious wrongdoings.
Among the criminal charges filed against Mr. Topić, and in this case also the representative of the international company Lufthansa in Croatia, are two complaints filed by the owner of the international AirPlus trademark. It is interesting to note that the current Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to the UN in Geneva is the co-signatory of these criminal charges against the Director of the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office, and the representative of Lufthansa in Croatia, the attorney Andrew Matijević. In addition, over the phone, she advised some legal representatives of the owner of the Airplus trademark about what needed to be done. It might have been concluded that her main concern was to have these charges relating to the most prominent unlawful activities at the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office dealt with.
Furthermore, in the summer of 2010, Mrs. Vesna Vuković personally contacted the Deputy Attorney General, Mr. Dubravko Palijaš with urgent requests to accelerate the processing of the previously reported criminal acts. So it is patently obvious that Ms. Vesna Vuković was involved in the pressing of charges against of Mr. Topić and that she was personally motivated to do so. But that’s not the end of the story. Together with the owner of the Airplus trademark, in the summer of 2010 she co- signed the letters addressed to the USKOK and the National Council for Monitoring and Combating Corruption in Croatia and provided the legal framework of the complaint which requested the dismissal of the Director of Croatia Airlines, Mr. Ivan Mišetić, based on the published news that he simultaneously occupied two positions of control – one of which was in Buzin [near Zagreb], and the other on the Lufthansa Supervisory Board in Frankfurt am Main. The story about this case was first covered by the journalist Joseph Bohutinski in the weekly magazine “Business” and was later republished in several other media.
Following that complaint, Mr. Ivan Mišetić was dismissed in the autumn of 2010 and everything else, especially his public statement concerning the termination of his employment relationship with Croatia Airlines, is a trite and fabricated story for public consumption. However, nothing has happened since then in the competent institutions of the Republic of Croatia regarding the issue of criminal liability for damage to the national airline and there is still no information as to whether the person in question paid taxes in Croatia for the unlawful supervisory position which he held for many years in the German Lufthansa or whether his income from that source has remained “invisible” to our tax administration. To this day there is still no answer to the following scandalous question with its manifold implications for issues relating to politics, corruption and privatization: Is Lufthansa the hidden owner of Croatia Airlines and, if so, who facilitated this?
Vesna Vuković – moral and professional diplomatic ‘chameleon’ of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MVEP)
What is particularly striking is the highly unusual behavior of our Ambassador in Geneva and her official position in relation to the above matters. As a matter of fact, from the date of her appointment until now, she has received the above mentioned Director of the State Intellectual Property Office, Mr. Željko Topić, as her guest on at least two occasions because her job description and activities include following the activities of an international institution called the “World Intellectual Property Organization” (WIPO) whose headquarters are located in Geneva and of which the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office is a member. The evidence of this can easily be found on the official websites the of the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office and the WIPO.
She knew – or at least she must have known – who Mr. Željko Topić was immediately after his first visit to Geneva. In accordance with the structure of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MVEP) as well as from the point of view of security and information exchange with Zagreb headquarters, she should have been obliged at that point to write an official note and officially send it to the competent minister, with a copy to the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MVEP) Sector VII in charge of information and safety.
According to the Croatian Foreign Affairs Act, the general regulations of the MVEP and the professional obligations of any ambassador, they have to function as State Attorneys. For example if, when traveling by public transportation, they accidentally overhear a conversation describing actions which threaten the security of the Republic of Croatia or learn of a criminal offence and the names of persons associated with it, immediately upon arriving at their office or embassy, they must report this in writing to the competent state bodies according to their internal organization. The proof of this can be found in the thousands of diplomatic dispatches which are currently being published by Wikileaks in a manner which illustrates the aforementioned problem by means of the publication of confidential emails between the embassies of various countries around the world and the capitals of their countries of origin and vice versa.
Why did Ambassador Vuković failed to act in the appropriate manner? Considering that a key role in her irregular and unlawful appointment to the position of the Croatian Ambassador in Geneva at the beginning of last year was played by one of the advisors to President Josipović to the detriment of other candidates and considering that, according to the information available to us, the President of the Republic of Croatia is one of the main patrons of the incriminated DZIV Director, Ms. Vuković may very well have concluded that she should be at the disposal of her new “boss” even though he is only one of the shapers of Croatian foreign policy. This supposition is supported by the fact that the legal representative of the Director of the DZIV, Mr. Željko Topić, in one of the aforementioned criminal proceedings is Silvio Hraste from the Zagreb law firm on whose premises part of election headquarters of Ivo Josipović during his Presidential campaign was located, according to some unofficial sources.
For the moment it remains unclear as to how Minister Željko Jovanović was dragged into this dirty game and why, for more than a month now, there have been no official reports of the inspection of the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office by the competent ministries which was conducted more than a month ago on 2 February 2012. It took only one day to complete the inspection of the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office which was conducted under the control of Mr. Saša Zelenika, Deputy Minister to Mr. Jovanović. We do not know whether or not the leaders of the WIPO in Geneva are familiar with this first-class corruption scandal and its epicenter in Croatia. However, according to our sources this case may soon acquire an international dimension.
Before his election as President, Ivo Josipović was a frequent guest at the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office and in the office of the Director, Mr. Topić. Since he relied on the staff of the Croatian Composers’ Society (ZAMP) to fill the most important positions in the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office, he was certainly very interested in making sure that the international component responsible for intellectual property in Geneva was “covered” by a reliable person in the ambassadorial “network” as he himself likes to call it. All of this is the obvious proof of the operation of a parallel system of government inside our country and on an international level.
One has the impression that the current relations between the Pantovčak [the President's Office] and Geneva are based on the same pattern as the already famous “Čačić’s axiom” [attributed to the former Deputy Prime Minister Radimir Čačić]: “No Government, from now on you talk only to me! – and involve bypassing the official protocol at the Zrinjevac [the Ministry of Foreign Affairs]. There’s nothing new about this. As the first President of the Republic of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, used to say: “Tie the horse where I tell you.” This sentence usually referred to Croatian foreign policy actions and the inter-Governmental appearances of the then Foreign Minister Mate Granić who was never completely trusted by Tudjman.
EPO H.R. must have been utterly poor for quite a while if it actually hired a man with dozens of criminal cases against him, according to the above article. On numerous occasions we already covered the UN and the Lufthansa aspects, though not WIPO. Readers can find coverage on these in older articles.
Our reader has remarked on the above article as follows:
As the article about Ms. Vukovic refers to the WIPO in Geneva, the links about the shenanigans in that organisation which are appended below might also be of interest:
There should be a live webcast here for anybody interested starting at 14:00 Washington time on 24 Feb (that’s later today):
Congress to quiz WIPO whistle-blowers
Where is the Report on the Allegations From WIPO Whistleblowers?
Secret UN report finds against controversial WIPO chief
Pressure grows on WIPO DG Gurry after submission of UN report and further explosive Pooley claims
Pooley’s written testimony can be found here:
“Based on my experience I can report to you that the vast majority of the people at WIPO are competent, dedicated and deliver as required, many of them well beyond that. But this belies a profoundly serious problem with governance. The agency, in my opinion, is run by a single person who is not accountable for his behavior. He is able to rule as he does only with the tacit cooperation of member countries who are supposed to act as WIPO’s board of directors. And he is ultimately protected by an anachronistic shield of diplomatic immunity.”
Miranda Brown’s testimony is here:
Interestingly enough, we found two of the above reports ourselves (IAM and WIPR), but didn’t quite imagine that other people also noticed them. There is now another interesting dimension to explore; if there a connection (even if slight/meager) between what happens in WIPO and what happens inside the EPO (except the legal threats sent to bloggers in order to silence them)? Željko Topić might be just one link among several more that we just don’t know about (yet). █
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Publicado in Fraude, Microsoft at 1:53 pm por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz
Pero no esperen que alguien de Microsoft sea sentenciado a pasar unos años en prisión (alas, es notorio)
Sumario: La epidemia de CORRUPCIÓN DE Microsoft es resaltada en una corte de leyes, pero ya que Microsoft es un moustrou bien conectado políticamente no esperamos castigo por tal comportamiento CRIMINAL
EL año pasado Microsoft fue atrapado chantajeando políticos Británicos [1, 2] y días atras escribimos acerca de su extorsión y chantaje (con patentes) contra Android OEMs.
El último fin de semana un lector nos hizo enterar de un viejo artículo que sobrepasamos al momento. Después de reportajes acerca de muchos casos de SOBORNO por parte de Microsoft (lo que lo trajo bajo una prueba en los Estados Unidos) escuchamos muy poco, como sí la investigación no era más investigada. Recuerden que el Presidente Obama fue ya pagado (algunos dicen sobornado) por Microsoft, which rápidamente uno de sus más altos contribuyentes antes de las elecciónes, como bien dijo Bill Gates, su esposa, Steve Ballmer y su esposa también. Haciéndo su influencia en le gobierno estadounidense pegajosa (vea nuestra página Wiki titulada ¨La influencia de Microsoft sobre el gobierno Estadounidense¨) seguramente que vale la pena.
Aquí esta el reporte de noticias titulado ¨Antiguo Ministro Rumano admite haber recibido un soborno de €4mn bribe in un caso de Microsoft” (recordándonos que Microsoft todavía es una COMPAÑÍA CRIMINAL). Dice:
El previo Ministro de Comunicaciones Rumano Gabriel Sandu admitió en una audiencia ante una corte el pasado Octubre 12 que recibió un soborno de €4mn en el llamado caso de Microsoft. Otros ocho previos ministros también estan bajo investigación en el caso, pero Sandu es el único en haber sido acusado por el momento.
Las implicaciones del caso permanecen inpredecibles, ya que envuelve ministros de tres gobiernos de varias orientaciones políticas. Fue instigada por el Primer Ministro Victor Ponta del Partido de Centro-Izquierda de Social Demócratas (PSD) quienes desearon una investigación sobre los contratos firmados bajo su predecesor y rival político Emil Boc durante el 2009-2012. Pero abrió la puerta a una más ancho escándalo que ha arrastrado a políticos de ambos partidos.
El Directorado Nacional Anticorrupción (DNA) empezó investigaciones sobre la venta de licensias de software para las escuelas Rumanas en Septiembre del 2014. Los nueve antiguos ministros son sospechosos de RECIBIR SOBORNOS A CAMBIO DE FIRMAR Y LUEGO EXTENDER CONTRATOS PARA LICENCIAR SOFTWARE DE mICROSOFT A PRECIOS MÁS ALTOS QUE EN EL MERCADO.
Sandu fué el primer previos ministro en dar su testimonio delante de la corte. Afirmó haber contribuído los €4mn de soborno que recibió al Partido de Centro-Derecha Demócratico Liberal (PNL) para su campaña electoral y la de Traian Basescu, el exitóso candidateo de las elecciones presidenciales del 2009.
“Eso es Rumania,” nos dijo un lector, ¨¿qué acerca de Rusia y los otros? ¿Cuál es el status?¨ Bueno, previamente escribimos acerca de Rumania en:
Todavía esperamos por el resultado de las investigación de los Estados Unidos contra Microsoft (por corrupcción), pero permanecemos escépticos hasta que veamos la luz del dia. Microsoft tiene a MUCHOS CABILDEADORES E INCLUSOS POLÍTICOS EN SUS BOLSILLOS, como hemos cubierto a traves de los años extensivamente.
Rumania es simplemente uno de varios países donde Microsoft debería someterse a una extensiva examinación, incluso la EVASION DE IMPUESTOS que esperamos que el IRS finalmente lo tome más seriamente. En algunos de los articulos de arriba ya hemos discutido los trucos de contabilidad de Microsoft en Rumania.
Cuando leemos algo de lo de arriba se hace más evidente que Microsoft está básicamente ARRIBA DE LA LEY, rodeado de POLÍTICOS CORRUPTOS quienes están muy asustados (or envaselinados) para realmente hacer algo al respecto, sin mencionar sus socios que hacen mucho de su trabajo sucio (como fue el caso en los días de OOXML con elecciones ARREGLADAS). ¿Cuál es el ruido acerca de este ´nuevo´ Microsoft de todas maneras? Nada más que una sobreusada campaña de mercadeo y relaciones públicas, alrededor de las lineas: ¨Microsoft ama a Linux.¨
A la gente no le gusta Microsoft porque es bueno. A la gente típicamente le disgusta Microsoft por que ellos entienden la historia y saben que Microsoft es… bien, especial. █
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But don’t expect anyone from Microsoft to be sentenced to serve years in prison (alas, it’s noteworthy)
Summary: The epidemic which is Microsoft corruption is highlighted in a court of law, but since Microsoft is a very politically-connected monster we expect no punishment for such criminal behaviour
LAST year Microsoft got caught blackmailing British politicians [1, 2] and days ago we wrote about extortion and blackmail (with patents) against Android OEMs.
Over the weekend a reader made us aware of an older article that we overlooked at the time. After reports about many cases of bribery by Microsoft (which came under a US probe for them) we heard very little, as if the investigation was no longer pursued. Remember that President Obama was already paid (some might say bribed) by Microsoft, which quickly one of his top funders before the elections, as well as by Bill Gates, his wife, Steve Ballmer, and his wife. Making one’s influence in the US government stick (see our Wiki page titled “Microsoft influence in the United States government“) surely pays off.
Here is the news report which is titled “Former Romanian minister admits taking €4mn bribe in Microsoft case” (reminding us that Microsoft is still a criminal company). It says:
Romania’s former communications minister Gabriel Sandu admitted at a court hearing on October 12 that he received a €4mn bribe in the so-called Microsoft case. Eight other former ministers are under investigation in the case, but Sandu is the only one to be indicted so far.
The implications of the case remain unpredictable, as it involves ministers from three governments of various political orientations. It was instigated by Prime Minister Victor Ponta of the centre-left Party of Social Democrats (PSD) who wanted an investigation into contracts signed under his predecessor and political rival Emil Boc in 2009-2012. But he opened the door into a much broader political scandal that has dragged in politicians of both parties.
The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) started investigations into the sales of educational software licences for Romanian schools in September 2014. The nine former ministers are suspected of receiving bribes in exchange for signing and later extending contracts to license Microsoft software at above market prices.
Sandu was the first former minister to give testimony in court. He claimed to have contributed the entire €4mn bribe he received to the centre-right Liberal Democrat Party (PNL) electoral campaign and to that of Traian Basescu, the party’s successful candidate in the 2009 presidential election.
“That’s Romania,” told us a reader, “what about Russia and the others? What’s the status?” Well, we previously wrote about Romania in:
We still wait for the outcome of the US probe against Microsoft (for corruption), but we remain sceptical it will ever see the light of day. Microsoft has many lobbyists and even politicians in its pocket, as covered here extensively over the years.
Romania is just one of several countries where Microsoft should come under a very extensive probe, including into Microsoft tax evasion which the IRS finally takes more seriously. In some of the above articles we already discussed the accounting tricks of Microsoft in Romania.
When reading some of the above it becomes more evident that Microsoft is basically above the law, surrounded by corrupt politicians who are too afraid (or greased up) to actually do something about it, not to mention partners that do a lot of the dirty work (as was the case in the OOXML days with rigged elections). What’s this buzz about ‘new’ Microsoft anyway? Nothing but a tired old PR/marketing campaign, along the lines of “Microsoft loves Linux.”
People do not dislike Microsoft because it’s hip. People typically dislike Microsoft because they understand history and know that Microsoft is… well, special. █
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Summary: The criminal enterprise known as Microsoft finds itself embarrassingly exposed in the courtroom, for the IRS belatedly (decades too late) targets the company in an effort to tackle massive tax evasions
AT the end of last year we wrote about the IRS setting its sight on Microsoft, in spite of Microsoft’s influence in the United States government. Microsoft then attacked the IRS using its lawyers, for merely investigating Microsoft (i.e. doing its job), thus wasting taxpayers money in the courts. Can anyone not see the sheer arrogance of Microsoft? Having already been caught engaging in serious financial fraud (reported to the authorities by an insider) and despite being notorious for taxation/tax violations, Microsoft thinks it has moral ground and believes it can sue the IRS for merely investigating a criminal. Criminal companies with the “God complex” apparently believe that they don’t need to pay tax (because they are very politically-connected) and if you say that they do, they threaten you and bully you. It’s a form of SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation). Microsoft already loses billions of dollars and it sued the IRS for alleging that Microsoft owes billions of dollars to US citizens (easily provable).
This new article from The Register, based on legal documents, reveals the latest in this saga:
The ongoing squabble between Microsoft and the US Internal Revenue Service is heading to court, beginning with a hearing to take place in a Seattle federal court on Tuesday.
The case is gearing up to become one of the largest-ever legal battles between tax authorities and a US corporation over the practice of shifting assets to overseas subsidiaries as a way of avoiding US tax.
The IRS has alleged that deals Microsoft struck with subsidiaries in Bermuda and Puerto Rico between the years of 2004 and 2009 have potentially cost the US Treasury billions in tax revenue. But Redmond thinks the top tax agency’s snooping has gone on long enough and it should either produce a hard figure or drop the whole matter.
Microsoft also claims the IRS acted improperly when it hired two outside law firms to help it in its investigation, which the software giant describes as improperly delegating a government function to a private firm.
Microsoft has filed two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to see documents exchanged between the IRS and the law firms it contracted, including Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Boies Schiller & Flexner. The IRS has provided some such documents but Microsoft thinks it should be compelled to produce more.
Even if Microsoft goes bankrupt (it suffers losses already), people like Bill Gates, who became rich owing to the company’s criminal activities, should be able to (if not forced to) pay what was looted from the public. More of the corporate media should have the courage to cover the above news, but seeing how Microsoft uses SLAPP against the messengers, maybe the media chooses to stay silence and let only official documents (buried behind paywalls) speak. █
“We’ve got to put a lot of money into changing behavior.”
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Military- and mercenaries-connected company contracted by Battistelli to attack perceived ‘risk’
Summary: As German authorities express eagerness to crack down on corruption calls emerge for action against the Munich-based EPO, where Battistelli acts like an out-of-control autocrat who tries to silence the media and conceal information about Topić’s and his own abuses
The EPO tried to reassure staff that it was obeying the law whilst attacking the media after it had hired a military-connected company to spy on critics (we are still under heavy DDOS attacks at this very moment and many of the offending addresses have historically come from within Lockheed Martin). It’s not going to help the EPO because they are merely sinking deeper in a scandal which they themselves started. The EPO is now cracking down on sources of information (about abuse) rather than crack down on sources of abuse at the EPO. It’s symptomatic of the last, miserable effort by an abusive autocracy to defend itself from the public. The days of the EPO (in its current shape and roster) ought to be numbered, but only if governments actually do their job and intervene. The EPO is structured like a lawless state within a state, but surely it is not entirely immune to outside scrutiny. An thorough (and independent) investigation is long overdue. The German authorities are best equipped to do so.
Read this new comparison from football and software lobbyist Florian Müller. He compares the abuses at FIFA to the abuses at the EPO, naming for example the corruption. To quote one portion: “FIFA officials have been linked to bribery for many years. If you’re interested in the longstanding history of corruption in soccer, I recommend this book: “FOUL! The secret world of FIFA: Bribes, vote rigging and ticket scandals” by Andrew Jennings. One of the officials arrested last month, Jack Warner, also features prominently in that masterpiece of investigative journalism. However, as far as criminal charges (whether they will ultimately be proven is another question in all those cases) are concerned, the EPO also has its Jack Warner and his name is Željko Topić. You can read about the related allegations and accusations on Wikipedia, TechRights, IP-Watch and other sites.
“So, Battistelli is visiting the place where alleged corruption from his right-hand man (many criminal charges with a court’s ruling serving to reinforce this) has truly become a headache. How telling…”“If the Administrative Council of the EPOrg was as concerned about the reputation of the EPO as the supervisory bodies of honorable organizations are, they would have ousted a vice president at the latest after he lost a Croatian court case trying to prevent a journalist from making certain claims. But with little attention in mass media (at least outside of Croatia), he can stay in office, which says a lot about the mentality of the decision-makers there. Do you believe the European Central Bank would let a vice president stay in office after being accused of counterfeiting? What this EPO vice president is accused of is the IP equivalent of what counterfeiting would mean for a banker.”
Here is the EPO calendar. The next meeting of the Administrative Council (the President’s guardian rather than independent overseer) is on the 24th and 25th of June — a meeting to take place in Munich, Germany. We have incidentally heard from our sources in Zagreb that Battistelli is planning a visit to the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office (together with Željko Topić) in July.
So, Battistelli is visiting the place where alleged corruption from his right-hand man (many criminal charges with a court's ruling serving to reinforce this) has truly become a headache? How telling…
Going back to Müller’s comparison, there is a part in it which alludes to paid (planted) articles and extravagant awards which we last covered a few days ago. He writes: “When “non-profits” like FIFA and the EPO control billions of dollars/euros, they inevitably look for ways to spend them in ways that could be characterized as self-aggrandizement. They hire famous architects to design new buildings for them, and they throw expensive parties. Here, again, FIFA’s Ballon d’Or award ceremony at least serves an obvious and legitimate commercial purpose, while the EPO’s European Inventor Award is a major disgrace in ethical terms. I agree with the criticism voiced in this IPKat post. This is indeed a “dangerous compromise of principle.” The EPO must be neutral, but it is not. Instead of taking measures that would really contribute to patent quality, it compromises the process as a whole. It crosses the line all the time between what is appropriate for a governmental organization and behavior that would only be acceptable for a private enterprise.”
In Germany, tells us a reader, action is now needed. “The Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas calls for more resources for the parliamentary oversight of intelligence services,” to quote directly. “Federal Minister of Justice Heiko Maas (SPD) has called for a more comprehensive monitoring of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND). ’We need the whole activity of the BND subject to democratic control’, Maas said the ’Welt am Sonntag’.’ There must be no lawless areas for secret services.’”
What about the EPO and the bullies it hired to assault the rights of staff? Not to mention an attack on journalists and news sites…
Christoph Ernst is brought up as well. A reader told us that this “German Ministry of Justice is also responsible for oversight of the EPO through its national delegate on the EPO’s Administrative Council, Dr. Christoph Ernst.”
There is a lot of interest in cracking down on FIFA corruption (timing chosen for arguably political and partisan reasons), but what about the EPO?
“What a pity Heiko Maas doesn’t seems to show the same level of interest in the oversight of the EPO,” tells us a reader. “At least he has “tweeted” his intention to combat corruption in the world of football” (“Korruption darf im Fußball keinen Platz haben. Vorwürfe gg #FIFA müssen endlich umfassend aufgeklärt werden. Fußball kein rechtsfreier Raum.”), leading to press coverage such as “German justice minister urges new start at FIFA without Blatter”.
FIFA has had a reputation for corruption for quite some time (probably decades if not just years), but the EPO is going down the same route and a crackdown on it shouldn’t take as long as it took to tackle FIFA. █
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Summary: Battistelli faces yet another embarrassment as the man who defended his assaults on EPO staff, Ivo Opstelten, turns out to be little more than a thug in a suit
WHY does Battistelli tend to find himself surrounded by thugs and corrupt officials? Željko Topić, EPO Vice-President and Battistelli's right-hand man, faces many criminal charges. And that’s just one of several men. Perhaps it takes thugs to defend a thug, but the reasons could go deeper than this when exploring the networks and power of influence, especially in Europe. Battistelli is strongly connected to ENA (Ecole Nationale d’Administration) and there seems to be a link between Topić and Ivan Šimonović, both of whom are strongly linked to Ivo Sanader, who is in prison.
The Dutch Justice Minister, Ivo Opstelten (not to be mixed with Ivo Sanader), who intervened to prevent execution of the judgment in favour of EPO staff, fits a pattern.
“Newsflash from the Netherlands,” told us a reader nearly a month ago, “Dutch ministers Opstelten and Teeven quit over payment to drug-trafficker” (quitting under such circumstances can help evade legal action).
Links to some news reports (British and Dutch media):
To quote the BBC, “Dutch Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten and his state secretary, Fred Teeven, have resigned after misleading parliament over a 2001 compensation payment to a convicted drug trafficker.”
So here, once again, Battistelli is basically defended by a bunch of opportunistic corrupt/crooked people in positions of power. █
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