Mr Håkan Lans (M.Sc. Engineering, Ph.D. hc) is an internationally well known electronics hardware and software engineer who has been leading the development of many products such as the computer mouse (known as the Houston Instruments HIpad), the computer colour graphics (US patent 4,303,986) etc. After a degree in Engineering 1968 he continued for 10 years with research and development at the Swedish Defence Research Institute (FOA) and University of Stockholm. (GP&C Systems International, 02/14/05.)
Here is an excerpt from Erik Moberg's essay, The Judgment against Hakan Lans - A Planned Judicial Crime?
The Judgment Reconsidered
Early in the year 2002 Hakan Lans and Uniboard AB filed a motion requiring that the judgment of September 6th, 2001, should be reconsidered. On December 23rd, 2004, Judge John Garrett Penn ordered that the case should be taken up anew. On March 24th of 2005 there should be an evidentiary hearing in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and this hearing should be preceded by sworn depositions of both Hakan Lans and his former attorney Louis Mastriani. (MobergPublications.se, 03/24/05.)
Still no news in English about the court case. I hope that The Local will translate an article in next week. It is a bit strange that none of the Swedish newspapers have a section in English, like Aftenposten in Norway. I am sending out a request to you law bloggers out there. If you find any news on this story, please comment on this post or send me an e-mail.
Here is an excerpt from Managing Intellectual Property.
With respect to notice, where a patented product is not marked, notice of an infringement claim must come from the patentee and not from another party (Hakan Lans v Digital Equipment Corporation, et al 252 F 3d 1320 (Fed Cir 2001)). In this case, the inventor, Hakan Lans, agreed to licence his patent to IBM, but for tax reasons assigned the licence to a company, Uniboard, of which he was managing director and sole shareholder.
Several years later when Lans discovered what he believed was infringement of his invention by a number of computer companies, he sent them notice of infringement letters stating that he was the inventor without reference to Uniboard. Lans offered the companies licences. Subsequently, he sued them for infringement.
Section 287(a) of 35 USC demands notice of the patentee's identity as well as notice of infringement. The Court reasoned that notice from someone closely associated with the patentee failed to satisfy Section 287(a) because only the patentee has authority to grant licences or accept design changes to facilitate the purposes of the notification requirement. (ManagingIP.com, November 2001.)
For a background on Håkan Lans, read Simon Grönlund's Reflections from Sweden.
Go the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and read about the patents:
- Data processing system and apparatus for color graphics display (#4,303,986, 12/01/81).
- Arrangement for producing a pattern on a light-sensitive surface (#4,717,928, 01/05/88).
- Position indicating system (#5,506,587, 04/09/96).
For my Swedish readers, here are some links that could be of interest:
- Interview with Håkan Lans in Slitz magazine. (2003-06).
- Patentlösningen som bromsade utvecklingen by Erik Moberg (SvD, 02/09/05). The writer recommends the book, Innovation and Its Discontents: How Our Broken Patent System is Endangering Innovation and Progress, and What to Do About It.
- "Jag har inte kunnat jobba sedan 1999" (NyTeknik, 02/02/05).
- Nya bevis i Lans-rättegången (Östgöta Correspondenten, 03/26/05).