Swedish inventor’s patent case retried in US

Swedish inventor's patent case retried in US
After over ten years of legal battles and 30 million kronor ($4.9 million) in legal fees, Swedish inventor Håkan Lans is hopeful that his patent claim may receive the backing of a US court.

“If you have the resources you are obliged to fight these battles. Compliancy does not lead to a better world,” Lans told The Local.

For over a decade Håkan Lans has been pursuing infringement suits in the United States for his inventions in colour graphics technology. Despite being the owner of the patent he has so far been unsuccessful.

Now it seems that he will be given a new opportunity after a US judge last week ruled that he should have his case tried again.

Lans was surprised but happy to hear that he will get another chance to have his case tried – a case that has taken on all the characteristics of a full time job, leaving no time for further inventions.

“It is absurd, there are documents with over 100,000 pages to read. There is no time for anything else. But if you don’t fight these things you may lose everything,” Lans said.

So far the case has cost the inventor millions of kronor. And despite more legal proceedings now in the offing Lans is hoping the process will speed up a little.

According to Lans, there is no point in registering a patent today if you don’t know that you have the resources to defend it.

“I have been contacted by so many devastated people who are in the same situation but can do absolutely nothing,” he said.

He says that registering a patent is like announcing to the world that you have something so new and so good that you are willing to have it registered. And as soon as that is done it becomes public, which makes it possible to steal it.

“What is needed is that Sweden safeguards innovation, not in the least for the employment it generates,” Lans said.

Politicians often speak of the “Swedish paradox” – that Sweden pays a lot of money to research and development but receives little profits back due to the inability of Swedish scientists to commercialize their research on the market. But according to Lans this is not accurate.

“These people know exactly how to go about it, but they have no chance to defend themselves. This is a political question, and politicians would do well in bringing it to the fore of the debate,” Lans said.

According to Lans, the only other option for Sweden to compete would be to be cheaper than the low price producing countries. However, that is not something he would recommend.

“To make it easier to be better and a little ahead of the rest of the world must be the most important question for Sweden, “ Lans told The Local.

Lans’ case will be re-tried in a US court on June 16th.

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