INVENTOR CHALLENGES HDB IN COURT ENDED UP $160,000 POORER

Inventor loses patent suit against HDB over external clothes-drying racks

BY SELINA LUM, Straits Times

SINGAPORE – A local inventor who alleged that the Housing Board had infringed his patent for an external clothes drying rack has lost his lawsuit.

The High Court on Wednesday found that the HDB has not infringed the patent of Mr Yiap Hang Boon, 54. In particular, the court found that HDB’s rack does not act as a safety rail to prevent a person from falling when drying clothes, which is one of the main elements of Mr Yiap’s patent.

The court also allowed HDB’s countersuit to revoke Mr Yiap’s patent on the ground that it was not an invention that can be patented.

Mr Yiap was ordered to pay $160,000 in legal costs and expenses to HDB.

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