Patent office funds remain out of reach

  • 2011-10-19
  • From wire reports

RIGA - The Patent Office has received confirmation from German and Swiss banks that they have received the necessary information to grant the office’s director, Reinis Berzins, access to two of their accounts holding more than 1 million lats (1.4 million euros) in deposits, reports LETA. Berzins said that the confirmation was received last week, therefore it is still not clear how much time it will require for the banks to allow him to access the accounts, which were previously opened by the office’s former director, Zigrids Aumeisters.
Berzins expressed hope that it will be done “as soon as possible.”

It was on Sept. 27 that the State Police launched a criminal process against Aumeisters who, possibly, conducted double accounting and hid more than 1 million lats in German and Swiss bank accounts.
State Police spokesperson Andis Rinkevics said that the criminal process against Aumeisters was launched on intentionally exceeding the limits of rights and authority granted to a state official by law if substantial harm is caused to the state, administrative order or rights and interests protected by law of a person.
If convicted, Aumeisters could be sentenced to up to three years in prison, community service, or a fine in the amount of up to 100 minimum monthly wages.

Only Aumeisters knew about the secret accounts. When Berzins became the office’s new director, he found out that he does not have access to these accounts. At the same time, Aumeisters, who has been retired for a year, can still operate with them, the TV3 broadcast Neka personiga (Nothing Personal) reported on Sept. 25.
For nearly ten years, the World Intellectual Property Organization and the European Patent Organization have been transferring the funding for international brand and patent servicing to two German and Swiss bank accounts, instead of to the State Treasury.

The Swiss account was opened in 1999, the German in 2005. The secret accounts contain more than 1 million lats - CHF 1,382,912 and 614,273 euros.