The Svea Court of Appeal has in a recent case (T 8086-11) awarded DeLaval damages of more than 30 million SEK (plus interest calculated from 2008) from its competitor Lely for infringements of DeLaval’s Swedish patent relating to milking robots. The infringements consisted of the sale of several of Lely’s milking robots on the Swedish market. Because of Lely’s actions, DeLaval was considered to have suffered economic losses in the form of lost revenues from sales it would otherwise have gained.

The Court considered that Lely had acted negligently by offering its milking robots on the Swedish market. Therefore, it was liable to pay DeLaval reasonable compensation for the use of the patented technology and compensation for the further damage which the infringements had caused. The assessment was partly hypothetical; it included determining whether the farmers that had bought Lely’s milking robots several years earlier would instead have purchased the products of DeLaval had no other options been available. Still, the Court considered that sufficient evidence was presented to conclude that the patent infringements had caused DeLaval economic losses pursuant to lost sales. Although the effects of each infringement were not specifically verified, it was found that altogether DeLaval had suffered significant damage for of the sale of several milking robots by Lely.

The calculation of the damages included the sale of 57 milking robots. Some of the testimonies of farmers that had purchased the relevant robots implied that they would not have chosen to purchase a robot from DeLaval even if Lely’s products had not been an option. Lost revenues for some of the sales were thus excluded when calculating the final damages, even though it was considered to have been sufficiently shown that the lost revenues had been caused by most of the sales. The final damages of more than 30 million SEK correspond to the lost revenues for 40 robots, which ensures a clear margin for the uncertainties inherent in applying a hypothetical scenario. The judgment has not been appealed to the Supreme Court within the set time, and is thus final.