- Alfred Mol vs Technip/ KTI regarding Spyro litigation
Or “Justice delayed is justice denied
” - The litigation in The Hague took some 30 years......
Technip/ KTI BV: Irresponsible conduct -Bribery - Fraud - False claims for litigation- Misleading advertisements - Probably Instigation to perjury
The subject of the litigation is the Spyro-7902 version software for steam cracking. This software has been developed from 1968-1979 by the staff and many graduates of the Politecnico in Milano, Italy.
Technip has taken over KTI BV in 2000-2, and KTI BV is further known as Technip Benelux BV.
Already in 1980
KTI BV and Pyrotec NV
have started proceedings at the District Court in the Netherlands against Alfred Mol claiming abuse of confidential know-how and copyright infringement of/ on the Spyro software for steam cracking. However, as the claimants did not want to participate in comparison
by neutral expert, hence the case has been dismissed. Nevertheless, the claimants have gone to the Appeals Court, but did not undertake any further action. So, the the case has been taken from the role due to lack of action by claimants. BTW Pyrotec NV has been liquidated around 1990, and there has been no transfer of rights to KTI BV
From 1989- 1992 there has been relevant litigation in the USA. KTI Corp. has claimed having acquired the copyright from Pyrotec NV for the USA in August 1989 and sued on this basis. However, the Appeals Court in The Hague has finally (after 18 years of litigation...) ruled that KTI BV/ Pyrotec NV did not have the copyright before 1990. And so no copyright has been transferred to KTI Corp.as claimed. As such there was no copyright basis for this US litigation.
After some 3 years of litigation in Philadelphia and Los Angeles a settlement for the US litigation has been made.
Late December 1992 the Dutch attorney Dommering issued on behalf of KTI an exhortion that the copyright for the Spyro program is held by "either KTI BV OR KTI Group BV or Pyrotec NV, in liquidation". Well that is very weird, because herewith it is acknowledged that these parties don't know yet, which party holds the copyright.
Early 1993 KTI BV has started a Short Proceeding in the Netherlands. Then AM's US attorney has asked the US judge via a Motion to allow the use of the US depositions of Dente and Ranzi for the Dutch litigation. These depositions reveal that there are many makers for this Spyro program, so that the copyright is very difficult to transfer. Needless to say that KTI did not like the idea that AM could use this info. So, KTI has opposed the use of the depositions of Dente and Ranzi. Ultimately, the US judge has not allowed AM to use these depositions for the Dutch case.
Only when it was clear that AM could not use the depositions, then KTI has pursued the Short Proceeding in September 1993. Then AM has been overloaded with 4 boxes of documents only 2 days before the hearing of the Short Proceeding. The judge for the SP does not care so much about the merits, the impression will do. Hence, this preliminary ruling was rather unfavorable.
Thereupon, in March 1994 AM has counter-claimed (started a normal lawsuit) asking for a declaration for right that KTI does NOT have the copyright for the Spyro program. Some weeks later KTI also started a normal lawsuit alleging abuse of secret know-how and infringement of copyright. Initially KTI made reference to the Agreement by Pyrotec NV (liquidated in 1990) with Dente/ Ranzi/ Losco for the period 1980-1990 and another Agreement dated late December 1989. Apparently, later KTI has realized that these agreements were of no use. Hence, in August and November 1994 (so after the date of subpoena !) KTI has produced 2 more agreements with Dente/ Ranzi/ Pierucci, but without co-author Losco. Although AM's attorney has revealed that the essential know-how was easily accessible for anybody taking the trouble of visiting the library of the Politecnico. However, the District Court in The Hague spent no attention to the arguments/ documents produced by AM's attorney. Also AM's attorney has complained that AM would like to use the depositions of Dente and Ranzi to demonstrate that KTI cannot have any copyright. However, initially to no avail...
BTW As KTI has been well known for bribery (at ELF Feyzin-France, OMV-Austria, SIR-Italy, Ina-Yugoslavia, Policolsa-Colombia...), hence AM and its Dutch attorney have been very skeptical regarding KTI 's claim to oral transfer of rights by Fabio Losco. Also no KTI staff was willing (or able) to testify that there has ever been any oral transfer of copyright prior to the date of subpoena. However, the Dutch court has taken the unusual position that AM has to prove that there has been no oral transfer. Needless to say that this is a rather odd (and unfair) position of the court in the Hague, because if KTI staff has not verified such oral transfer, then it is quite unlikely that there has been an oral transfer.
Considering the serious irregularties at various stages of the Dutch litigation and that bribery has been regular business practice at KTI , hence bribery of a.o. judge Numann by KTI (via a part-time judge or so) is plausible. Hence, we have filed this complaint, but the DA has not (yet) taken action.
The Appeals Court
in The Hague has been handling the case since 1996. Already in 1996 AM's attorney has asked permission for hearing Dente/ Ranzi/ Losco and KTI staff. Again Technip/ KTI has opposed
and the court ruled that this was not yet the stage for hearing witnesses......Then gradually it appeared that the Appeals Court was intentionally slowing down the lawsuit. Then as late as 2004-2007 the hearings could take place. As a surprise came the story that Fabio Losco should have transferred his rights orally
(!) to Dente/ Ranzi late 1989 - without any payment
....Well, that is hard to believe....
BTW The 1st publication about Spyro also mentions G(uido) Antolini as co-author. Hence, probably also Guido Antolini has copyrights to the Spyro program.
By interim judgement
the Appeals Court has simply ruled without any explanation that Technip/ KTI has automatically acquired the copyright for the Spyro-7902 version from the liquidated Pyrotec NV. Hence, the Appeals Court has completely overlooked the 5-page report of Prof. Verkade http://preview.tinyurl.com/2uszt83
. Consequently the burden of proof that Technip/ KTI having no copyright was put on AM. BTW In the final judgement by the Appeals Court this (faulty) interim-judgement has without any inducement been reversed
, the Appeals Court has suddenly ruled that Technip/ KTI has not acquired the copyright
from the liquidated Pyrotec NV. Hence, the conclusion is that this Court has only used this trick by interim-judgement to put the burden of proof on AM. That looks like Corporate Fascism.
So, if the Appeals Court should have decided by interim-decision (like the final judgement) that Technip/ KTI cannot have acquired the copyright, then Technip/ KTI's claim to copyright from date of subpoena would be rejected. The case could have been decided in 1998/9......
This trick of putting the burden of proof falsely on a party is called a "Fasseur-trick".
Meanwhile, AM and his attorney were fed up with the deliberate slowing down actions of the Appeals Court. Hence, in 2007 AM has started a proceeding at the European Court to obtain a ruling against these slowing down tactics of the Appeals Court. As the facts were quite clear, hence the State of the Netherlands could not oppose. Consequently, the European Court has via its Decision in June 2009 condemned the State of the Netherlands for this unacceptable procedure. So, a clear victory at the European Court for AM.
Oral Transfer of Copyright ?
In the context of the Appeals Case as late as 1997 we have finally (13 years after start of Dutch litigation) been allowed to interrogate Fabio Losco. We have informed Losco, that his name was not on the contract of Dente/Ranzi/Pierucci and Pyrotec BV regarding the transfer of rights for Spyro. Losco answered explicitly that he had in 1999 or so told Dente and Ranzi "that they could do what they wanted with his contribution". Also not any further evidence has ever been produced on this. Anyway weird enough this was acceptable for the Appeals Court.
Then surprisingly in September 2010 the Hague Appeals Court has come to a "volte face" i.e. a major reversal of its own interim-rulings. Then it has been ruled that:
* Technip/ KTI did NOT have the copyright for the period 1980- 1990, and that
* AM has not abused any secret know-how as misleadingly claimed by Technip for so many years. So, the main subject of the litigation i.e. the kinetic scheme(s) are not covered by a secrecy agreement.
Of course, the Appeals Court could and should have ruled like this already in 1996 or so. Apparently, this court wanted to delay this decision. It is clear that we can speak of an "unfair trial" and unfair, unethical and (rather) criminal business practice of Technip. It looks like a criminal organisation.
So, after many years we have made significant progress, but we still have to solve some basic points. That can be done again via the European Court, this is now underway.
BTW It is clear that it is very satisfying to achieve such a major reversal of the ruling after 15-16 years. This fits AM's device: "Nemo me impune lacessit".
The European Court Overrules the Superior Court on Copyright
In 2006 the Dutch Superior Court has taken the disputed decision that the kinetic scheme is protected via Copyright Law. This decision has been disputed by many legal experts. However, more recently the European Court has overruled the position of the Dutch Superior Court in a somewhat similar case i.e. the "Football Dataco" case. thereupon professors Hugenholtz and Visser explicitly conclude that a kinetic scheme is not copyright-proteced. So, the Dutch Superior Court has made a misstep.
We shall take action accordingly.