Local inventor left hung out to dry after losing court battle with HDB

54-year-old Yiap Hang Boon took the Housing and Development Board (HDB) to court for infringing his clothes-drying rack patent, but ended up on the losing side. 

The inventor first sued HDB in March last year, claiming that the external clothes-drying racks of some HDB flats in Toa Payoh Central, Queenstown and Sengkang were infringing his patent, which was granted in 2004. 

TODAY reports that Justice Chan Seng Onn decreed that HDB was not in the wrong and their racks do not constitute infringement, citing the reason that not all essential integers were taken from Yiap’s invention. 

Justice Chan also ordered Yiap’s patent to be revoked, following HDB’s counter claim. The inventor will have to pay $160,000 in legal fees and disbursements. 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Read Also: HDB apologetic over controversial ‘debarking’ advice, retracts notice

Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!

Reader Interactions

Leave A Reply


Support local news and join a community of like-minded
“Coconauts” across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Join Now
Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on

5 cool benefits for Hilton Honors members that you didn’t know about