Monday, September 25, 2006

Lans v. Gateway/Dell at CAFC

The Inquirer notes that a patent case of inventor Hakan Lans against Gateway and Dell is now at the CAFC. IBM, HP and Apple apparently took a license.

The Inquirer stated: Gateway argues that Lans was not the patent owner, but the one-man company Lans owned was. Quite why this made a difference is not clear. But in 2001 the District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that Lans had intentionally deceived his lawyers regarding the ownership of the patent. He was ordered to pay Dell and Gateway's court expenses.

Lans thinks that his lawyers ruined the case for him by not making changes to his lawsuit when he asked them to. He says the matter of whether or not Dell and Gateway have been using his technology or not has never been discussed.

MacWorld writes the following:

According to Lans, the responsibility for any mistake lies with his previous lawyers. An archived fax message suggests that he sent instructions to his lawyers concerning ownership of the patent, authorising them to make any required changes before they filed the lawsuit. This was not done.

“I can’t understand why Dell and Gateway are acting like this,” Lans said, "because I certainly do not have the kind of money that they’re expecting to collect.”

Dell disputes this description, saying that other PC vendors had settled with Lans before discovering that he had never held proper ownership of the patent, according to Dell spokeswoman Jess Blackburn.

The judge will not reconsider the facts of that case, but merely determine the share of attorneys' fees Dell may collect from Lans in punishment for his egregious actions, Blackburn said. Asked to predict the outcome, she declined to comment on matters involving pending litigation.

[IPBiz 2010]


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