Inventor claims €2.2 million compensation from State in e-factura programme rip-off
The Intellectual Property Tribunal in Lisbon will determine whether or not an inventor has been ripped-off by the government.
Manuel Londreira claims the State copied his fiscal control system for receipts and launched it as the ‘e-factura’ programme.
Londreira is after compensation and damages totalling €2.2 million, claiming the State violated his copyright by simply pinching his system.
The prosecuting lawyer, André Heitor, said his client’s Equidade Fiscal system prototype, registered in 2010, was awarded the Bronze Medal from the International Salon of Inventions of Geneva in 2011, not long before the Portuguese Tax Authority launched its web-based ‘e-factura’ system in 2013.
The lawyer said, “The Government copied the invention of Manuel Londreira and, despite contacting the Ministry of Finance and other entities, there was never any official response from the Government or readiness for any dialogue.”
Heitor said that the amount of compensation “may be adjusted according to the court’s assessment,” but expects a favourable decision by the Court as, even though parts of the ‘Equidade Fiscal’ system had been revealed, the similarities with ‘e-factura’ are obvious.”
Londreira first accused the State in 2015 and his lawyer said the case is complex but should be concluded within a month.
The inventor presented his receipts programme to the Prime Minister, José Sócrates, in 2011. João Durão, Deputy General Director of Taxes, assessed the system and in 2012 the project was handed over to Pedro Passos Coelho, as he took over the premiership from Sócrates.
The Ministry of Finance today acknowledged that the dispute had dragged on for years, but claims it had never been asked to clarify the matter, until the current court case.
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