04.21.16

Gemini version available ♊︎

EPO Integrity on the Line: The Story of Željko Topić’s Controversial Diploma – Part IV

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: More press reports about the controversial background of EPO Vice-President Topić, which in spite of his letter of response (neglecting to refute key allegations) continued to be published in the Croatian media

IN part one and in part two we looked at accusations that Topić, the Vice-President from the EPO, had forged his degree certificate (some still believe he never completed his degree). In part three presented a letter from Topić himself (bearing the name of SIPO even after he had left SIPO), but that letter said nothing to refute or deny accusations relating to this certificate. This isn’t like somewhat of a “Birther” movement; there are legitimate questions which need to be answered and documents that need to be seen.

“It can’t have been positive for Topić because if it had cleared him then it’s likely that Battistelli would have been the first to trumpet it to the world.”
      –Anonymous
“On the 20th of June 2012,” our source told us, “Tjedno.hr published a follow-up article about the controversy surrounding Topić’s disputed claim to have obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Banja Luka. Tjedno.hr published a further article about this matter on 30 March 2013.” (to be covered in part 5 of this series).

“The final outcome of the official enquiry attempting to verify Topić’s academic qualifications which was announced by the Croatian Ministry of Science in March 2012 has never been revealed. It can’t have been positive for Topić because if it had cleared him then it’s likely that Battistelli would have been the first to trumpet it to the world.

“Readers should bear in mind that the Croatian Ministry of Science never conclusively remarked on the matter.”“The only other investigation into the matter was the “internal investigation” carried out at the EPO in 2013 as previously reported by Techrights. Hoping that this information is of some interest.”

Readers should bear in mind that the Croatian Ministry of Science never conclusively remarked on the matter. There is the possibility of political suppression of the findings.

Below is an English translation of the article about it. Original Croatian text can be found here and for the sake of brevity we have added to the English translation some highlights in yellow.

LEAD STORIES

DOES ŽELJKO TOPIĆ HAVE A FAKE MASTER’S DEGREE?

A new scandal concerning the long-time Director of the State Intellectual Property Office

Date: 20 June 2012

Croatian letter

Željko Topić departed from the SIPO at his own request on 30 April 2012 while the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports was in the process of conducting a supervisory investigation into the operations of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) and in the midst of checking whether he has legal documents supporting his claim to have a masters’ degree in economics. His master’s thesis was reportedly defended in Banja Luka. In addition to an increasing number of pending criminal charges against him in Croatia, the story of Mr. Topić’s as yet unverified master’s degree is a special chapter in the murky biography of the long-time SIPO Director.

After his arrival in Zagreb, Željko Topić always claimed to have a postgraduate qualification as a Master of Economic Science and, based on that claimed qualification, he has for many years been drawing legally prescribed salary supplements although, as now seems to be the case, there is no evidence that he has truly earned the right to add this title to his name. After an anonymous letter of denunciation was sent to the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, the Ministry requested the Faculty of Economics in Banja Luka to send official confirmation concerning the validity of Topić’s postgraduate qualifications but to date the requested information has not been received. The letter of denunciation pointing to the possibility of false claims concerning the master’s studies and the postgraduate diploma is published exclusively as an attachment to this article.

THE RIGHT TO FEES FROM LENDING BOOKS WAS IGNORED

Portal Tjedno has previously written on two separate occasions about numerous questionable actions on the part of Željko Topić. In the context of his various dubious activities it is interesting to note that so far no one appears to have bothered to ask who in the state administration is responsible for the fact that writers in Croatia still do not benefit from the legal right to fees from the public lending of books?

Following the adoption of the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2003, in 2005 the SIPO and its, now former, Director of Željko Topić, produced a document entitled “National Strategy for the Development of the Intellectual Property of the Republic of Croatia 2005-2010″ in which the implementation of the public lending right (PLR) was foreseen for the period 2006-2007. That document was approved by the Croatian Government in October 2005. The SIPO was supposed to coordinate the implementation of the measures set out in the document, including the introduction of the above mentioned PLR, in collaboration with the Croatian Writers’ Association and the Ministry of Culture, which funds libraries including the National and University Library, as well as the central library facility in the Republic of Croatia.

In addition, under the CARDS 2001 project relating to strengthening intellectual property rights in Croatia entitled “Strategy and Action Plan for the Implementation and Realization of Intellectual Property Rights” which was funded by the European Union and completed in 2005, one of the measures planned by the SIPO related to the implementation of the PLR in Croatia: identification and distribution of financial compensation to writers.

Based on the details about the PLR contained in the above documents and the planned schedule for its introduction in Croatia, a proposal was presented at the European and World Congresses on Public Lending Rights in Budapest and Paris in 2007 to organize the next European PLR Congress, i.e. for 2008, in Croatia with the aim of assisting Croatian writers to obtain a faster and better implementation of the new right.

OFFICIAL MERCEDES PURCHASED AT A BARGAIN PRICE

However, despite being designated as the official coordinators for the aforementioned “National Strategy”, the SIPO and its former director Željko Topić completely ignored their obligations in the area of public lending rights and failed to respond in an appropriate manner to the offer of foreign aid. In April 2008, Topić rejected the proposal of the organizers of the PLR Congress on the grounds that Croatia, as the prospective host state, lacked the necessary funds for co-financing the cost of the Congress (i.e. approximately 15,000 EUR). The organizers reacted with disappointment and skepticism to Topić’s rejection and decided to re-direct their offer of co-funding towards Bulgarian writers with the result that in September 2008 the European PLR Congress was held in Sofia, rather than in Croatia as originally planned.

At the same time as he rejected the proposal of the PLR Congress organizers due to an alleged lack of funds, Topić was busy approving the use of six vehicles by the SIPO (a Mercedes, three Audis and two Skodas), three of which were brand new vehicles that mainly served to satisfy his personal vanity. In this connection it is worth noting that the costs incurred for of one of these vehicles over a period of six months would have been sufficient to cover the co-financing of the Congress which was of such significance because of the support that it would have provided to Croatian writers. Topić also financed the costs of a new Audi 6 which was placed at the disposal of the supervisory Minister of Science (who was responsible for proposing the appointment and dismissal of the SIPO Director to the Government) thereby coming under suspicion of having “bought” his second term of office as SIPO Director for some HRK 500,000, a matter which is the subject of proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. As for the new Mercedes, Topic saved this for himself (as he was normally driving in the Audi). After three years of leasing payments from the State budget, he became the owner of the aforementioned vehicle in mid-2010 after paying only a nominal price for it.

That last sentence serves to reinforce allegations or rumours that Topić now drives this Mercedes, originally purchased for SIPO. Some say that they saw this vehicle parked in Munich and photos were circulating among EPO employees. This can’t be good for Topić’s (and by extension the EPO’s) credibility, can it?

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 17/1/2022: digiKam 7.5.0 and GhostBSD 22.01.12 Released

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 16, 2022



  3. Links 17/1/2022: postmarketOS 21.12 Service Pack 1 and Mumble 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  4. [Meme] Gemini Space (or Geminispace): From 441 Working Capsules to 1,600 Working Capsules in Just 12 Months

    Gemini space now boasts 1,600 working capsules, a massive growth compared to last January, as we noted the other day (1,600 is now official)



  5. [Meme] European Patent Office Space

    The EPO maintains a culture of illegal surveillance, inherited from Benoît Battistelli and taken to a whole new level by António Campinos



  6. Gemini Rings (Like Webrings) and Shared Spaces in Geminspace

    Much like the Web of 20+ years ago, Gemini lets online communities — real communities (not abused tenants, groomed to be ‘monetised’ like in Facebook or Flickr) — form networks, guilds, and rings



  7. Links 16/1/2022: Latte Dock 0.11 and librest 0.9.0

    Links for the day



  8. The Corporate Cabal (and Spy Agencies-Enabled Monopolies) Engages in Raiding of the Free Software Community and Hacker Culture

    In an overt attack on the people who actually did all the work — the geeks who built excellent software to be gradually privatised through the Linux Foundation (a sort of price-fixing and openwashing cartel for shared interests of proprietary software firms) — is receiving more widespread condemnation; even the OSI has been bribed to become a part-time Microsoft outsourcer as organisations are easier to corrupt than communities



  9. EPO's Web Site Constantly Spammed by Lies About Privacy While EPO Breaks the Law and Outsources Data to the United States

    The António Campinos-led EPO works for imperialism, it not only protects the rich; sadly, António’s father isn’t alive anymore and surely he would blast his son for doing what he does to progress his career while lying to staff and European citizens



  10. Links 16/1/2022: Tsunami and Patents

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 15, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 15, 2022



  12. Links 16/1/2022: Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop and Catch-up With Patent Misinformation

    Links for the day



  13. Patrick Breyer, Unlike Most German Politicians, Highlights the Fact That Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent Are Incompatible With EU Law

    A longtime critic of EPO abuses (under both Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos leadership), as well as a vocal critic of software patents, steps in to point out the very obvious



  14. Links 15/1/2022: Flameshot 11.0 and Libvirt 8.0

    Links for the day



  15. Blogging and Microblogging in Geminispace With Gemini Protocol

    Writing one’s thoughts and other things in Geminispace — even without setting up a Gemini server — is totally possible; gateways and services do exist for this purpose



  16. Links 15/1/2022: Raspberry Pi in Business

    Links for the day



  17. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 14, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 14, 2022



  18. Gemini Clients: Comparing Moonlander, Telescope, Amfora, Kristall, and Lagrange (Newer and Older)

    There are many independent implementations of clients (similar to Web browsers) that deal with Gemini protocol and today we compare them visually, using Techrights as a test case/capsule



  19. 2022 Starts With Censorship of Christmas and Other Greetings at the EPO

    The nihilists who run the EPO want a monopoly on holiday greetings; to make matters worse, they’re censoring staff representatives in their intranet whilst inconsistently applying said policies



  20. Links 14/1/2022: FFmpeg 5.0 and Wine 7.0 RC6

    Links for the day



  21. White House Asking Proprietary Software Companies That Add NSA Back Doors About Their Views on 'Open Source' Security

    The US government wants us to think that in order to tackle security issues we need to reach out to the collective 'wisdom' of the very culprits who created the security mess in the first place (even by intention, for imperialistic objectives)



  22. Links 14/1/2022: EasyOS 3.2.1 and Qt 6.3 Alpha

    Links for the day



  23. Scientific Excellence and the Debian Social Contract

    The Debian Project turns 30 next year; in spite of it being so ubiquitous (most of the important distros of GNU/Linux are based on Debian) it is suffering growing pains and some of that boils down to corporate cash and toxic, deeply divisive politics



  24. Links 14/1/2022: openSUSE Leap 15.2 EoL, VFX Designers Are Using GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 13, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 13, 2022



  26. 2022 Commences With Microsoft-Themed (and Microsoft-Connected) FUD Against GNU/Linux

    A psychopathic Microsoft, aided by operatives inside the mainstream and so-called 'tech' media, keeps spreading old and invalid stigma about "Linux" and Free software; few people still bother responding to these fact-free FUD campaigns, which boil down to ‘perception management’ PR/propaganda



  27. Between January 2021 and January 2022 the Number of Active Gemini Capsules Nearly Quadrupled Based on Publicly-Available Catalogue of Capsules

    Geminispace has grown to about 2,000 known capsules and 1,600 of them are active, permanently online, fully accessible; in January last year these numbers were about 4 times smaller



  28. Links 13/1/2022: NetworkManager 1.34 and Everett 3.0.0

    Links for the day



  29. Links 13/1/2022: Sparky 5.16, Fwupd 1.7.4, and KDE Plasma 5.24 Beta Released

    Links for the day



  30. Call a Spade a Spade (Microsoft 'Contributions' to Linux)

    Call a spade a spade; Microsoft does not love Linux and doesn’t try to help Linux, as it’s still all about Windows and proprietary software with surveillance, back doors, and worse things


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