10.09.16

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Danish Stories – Part IV: Jesper Kongstad and FJORDBLINK MEDICAL ApS

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chairman of the Administrative Council Jesper Kongstad
Photo credit: DKPTO at Flickr

Summary: The next installment of the Danish saga, this time dealing with the connections between Jesper Kongstad and a private company known as FJORDBLINK MEDICAL ApS

THE END of last week culminated in part 3 about the business ventures of Jesper Kongstad, Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (EPO). In the previous article we provided an overview of the Kongstad family business conglomerate which to seems to be mainly controlled via the holding company BREMELAND HOLDING ApS whose shareholders are Jesper and Majbritt Kongstad and their three sons.

“During the time when the Jørgensens were living in Horsens Ms. Jahn Jørgensen was active in local politics as a elected councilor for the Venstre party which forms the current minority government in Denmark.”In this contribution we will take a closer look at FJORDBLINK MEDICAL ApS (CVR number 25942507) which is a private limited company 100% owned by BREMELAND HOLDING Aps. The main business of FJORDBLINK is “to develop, produce, sell and trade with medical devices”.

It should be recalled that the registered address of both BREMELAND HOLDING ApS and FJORDBLINK MEDICAL ApS is Vibelandsvej 8, Valby, 3200 Helsinge which coincidentally corresponds to that of the current Kongstad family home “Bremelandsgård” (Danish for “Bremelands farm”).

“As far as can be determined, the original priority filing for protection was filed with the DKPTO on 19 November 2014.”The English language Web site of FJORDBLINK MEDICAL ApS can be found at en.fjordblink.com.

According to the FJORDBLINK Web site, the CEO and Administrative Director is Ms. Helle Jahn who according to the Danish Central Business Register (CVR) also goes by the name of Helle Jahn Jørgensen. Not a lot is known about Ms. Jahn Jørgensen apart from the fact that she used to operate a number of small businesses including a driving school and a trading company involved in “port-related activities” in the harbour town of Horsens on the eastern coast of Denmark’s Jutland peninsula. According to available information she is married to Michael Junk Jørgensen.

“The proprietor of the utility model is registered as FJORDBLINK MEDICAL ApS of Vibelandsvej 8, Valby, 3200 Helsinge. As noted above this corresponds to the address of the current Kongstad family home.”From the CVR it appears that Michael Jørgensen is a director of TELKO DENMARK A/S which is a wholly owned subsidiary of TELKO OY a Helsinki-based company (Finland) which according to its Web site, Telko.com, is “a distributor of chemicals and polymers with local offices and warehouses in Nordic, Baltic Eastern European countries and Central Asia”.

During the time when the Jørgensens were living in Horsens Ms. Jahn Jørgensen was active in local politics as a elected councilor for the Venstre party which forms the current minority government in Denmark. As noted in an earlier article, the Minister in charge of the DKPTO is Troels Lund Poulsen, a prominent member of Venstre. It seems that the Jørgensens moved to Randers further north on the Jutland peninsula around 2013 or 2014 and it is not known if Ms. Jahn Jørgensen is still an active member of Venstre.

Returning now to FJORDBLINK MEDICAL ApS, according to information published on its Web site it has a wide-ranging network of distributors both in Europe (Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania) and globally (China, India and Iran).

“Helle Jahn Jørgensen, the CEO of the company is named as the inventor.”Its main product is a device called the “Medical Birth Pool” which, according to its Web site was developed in collaboration with leading midwives at Danish hospitals for pain relieving water birth: “Fjordblink ® Medical’s product concept combines maximum comfort and safety for women in labor with professional requirements for functionality, ergonomics, and hygiene. Fjordblink ® Medical birth pools are therefore developed as a medical device and FJORDBLINK Medical is certified in accordance with the DS/EN ISO 13485 ISO standard.”

An interesting detail concerning the “Medical Birth Pool” is that intellectual property rights protection has been secured for it in the form of a so-called “utility model” which is also known as a “Gebrauchsmuster” in Germany.

As far as can be determined, the original priority filing for protection was filed with the DKPTO on 19 November 2014. The publication number of the Danish Utility Model Publication (“Brugsmodelskrift”) is DK 2014 00163 U3.

“The previous company name STRANDHØJ HOLDING ApS is understood to refer to the previous Kongstad family…”The proprietor of the utility model is registered as FJORDBLINK MEDICAL ApS of Vibelandsvej 8, Valby, 3200 Helsinge. As noted above this corresponds to the address of the current Kongstad family home. Helle Jahn Jørgensen, the CEO of the company is named as the inventor.

The corresponding German “Gebrauchsmuster” has the publication number DE 20 2014 105 549 U1. In line with the company’s global marketing ambitions the utility model protection has also been registered in China under the publication number CN 204337017 U [PDF].

According to data in the CVR, FJORDBLINK MEDICAL ApS was originally founded on 1 March 2001. From 28 December 2001 until 6 July 2006 it appears to have operated under the name KONGSTAD HOLDING ApS and from 7 July 2006 until 11 April 2013 under the name STRANDHØJ HOLDING ApS. The name FJORDBLINK MEDICAL ApS was adopted in 2013.

“Prior to 2013 it seems that Majbritt Kongstad acted as CEO and that Jesper Kongstad was the Chairperson of the Board of Directors.”The previous company name STRANDHØJ HOLDING ApS is understood to refer to the previous Kongstad family residence “Strandhøj” located at Højagervej 6, 2960 Rungsted (Google Street View).

Prior to 2013 it seems that Majbritt Kongstad acted as CEO and that Jesper Kongstad was the Chairperson of the Board of Directors. The annual accounts for the company for the period 01.01.2011 – 31.12.2011 when it was operating under the name STRANDHØJ HOLDING ApS were signed off by Jesper Kongstad on 31 May 2012. Details are in this PDF.

“In fact, during the years 2011 to 2015 significant losses were continuously registered.”In April 2013 the company underwent some internal restructuring. Majbritt Kongstad resigned her position as CEO and was replaced in this role by Helle Jahn Jørgensen. At the same time Ms. Kongstad was appointed as Chair of the Board of Directors. The other member of the Board of Directors is a Danish lawyer Ernst Ulrik Bayer who is associated with the prominent Copenhagen law firm Molke Leth.

A perusal of the company’s financial statements also reveals some interesting information. It seems that the company has not been a commercial success so far. In fact, during the years 2011 to 2015 significant losses were continuously registered. Based on CVR figures, the operating result for 2015 was a deficit of 2,412,563 DKK (approx – 323,400 EUR). In 2014 the deficit was 1,447,343 DKK (approx. – 194.014 EUR). The operating losses for the years 2013, 2012 and 2011 were respectively 928.393 DKK (approx. – 124.449 EUR), -3,842,877 DKK (approx. – 515.131 EUR) and 109.388 DKR (approx. – 14.663 EUR).

“The certificate of registration is dated 14 September 2011 and signed by the Director General of the DKPTO, Mr. Jesper Kongstad.”The annual report for 2015 contains a statement to the effect that the company has used important resources on development and quality assurance, and that 2016 again is expected to generate an operating loss (due to product development, documentation, quality assurance and marketing) while 2017 should yield an operating profit. BREMELAND HOLDING Aps, the owner of the company and the main holding company of the Kongstad family conglomerate is named as the guarantor for the deficit in 2016 while an unidentified third party has apparently given a guarantee for the company’s liabilities. See this PDF.

A further interesting detail in this saga concerns the registration of the name “FJORDBLINK” as a trademark in the Danish Register of Trade Marks under the number VR 2011 02145.

The official DKPTO correspondence concerning the registration of the trademark can be found online here.

The certificate of registration is dated 14 September 2011 and signed by the Director General of the DKPTO, Mr. Jesper Kongstad. According to the certificate the registration is valid for a period of ten years. See this PDF.

“The trademark registration application on behalf of FJORDBLINK MEDICAL P/S was apparently filed by Ms. Helle Jahn (Jørgensen) who was subsequently appointed as CEO of FJORDBLINK MEDICAL ApS in 2013.”What is striking here is the fact that the application for the trademark registration was filed in the name of FJORDBLINK MEDICAL P/S (CVR number 33392737) rather than by FJORDBLINK MEDICAL ApS (CVR number 25942507). The trademark registration application on behalf of FJORDBLINK MEDICAL P/S was apparently filed by Ms. Helle Jahn (Jørgensen) who was subsequently appointed as CEO of FJORDBLINK MEDICAL ApS in 2013. PDF here.

The CVR number 33392737 leads to a defunct limited partnership company by the name of FOME P/S with an address at Vibelandsvej 8, Valby, 3200 Helsinge.

It appears that between 31 December 2010 and 11 April 2013 the company operated under the name FJORDBLINK MEDICAL P/S and that its registered address during that period was in Randers where Helle Jahn Jørgensen resides.

According to the CVR, Majbritt Kongstad was appointed as CEO of this company on 12 April 2013 and the address was changed to Vibelandsvej 8, Valby, 3200 Helsinge. At around the same time, the lawyer Ernst Ulrik Bayer and Asger Kongstad, apparently a son of Jesper and Majbritt Kongstad, were appointed to the Board of Directors.

“The case of FJORDBLINK MEDICAL seems to throw up a lot of unanswered questions about potential conflicts of interest and there are a number of as yet unsolved riddles about its operations.”Some time thereafter on 10 October 2013 the company appears to have ceased trading. In view of the dissolution of FJORDBLINK MEDICAL P/S is unclear what has happened to the “FJORDBLINK” trademark and who, if anybody is the current assignee.

The case of FJORDBLINK MEDICAL seems to throw up a lot of unanswered questions about potential conflicts of interest and there are a number of as yet unsolved riddles about its operations. Perhaps somebody will be able to carry out further investigation in order to clarify these matters.

In case of link erosion or critical material going offline we have decided to make local copies of some documents. Included are the following items:

  • Copies of utility model certificates referred to in the text for China [PDF], Germany [PDF], and Denmark [PDF].
  • Copies of documents relating [PDF] to the “FJORDLAND” trademark registration [PDF] (in Danish).
  • Copy of “Strandhoj” annual accounts [TIF] for 2011 signed off by Jesper Kongstad on 31 May 2012.
  • One further interesting detail concerning FJORDBLINK MEDICAL ApS which has come to light is worth highlighting. The official correspondence relating to the utility model application in Denmark is available online via the DKPTO’s Web site. One of the documents submitted with the application is a power of attorney which is co-signed by Majbritt Kongstad and Helle Jahn (Jørgensen). A copy of the power of attorney is now on our server [PDF], in order to assure/ensure it remains available/accessible to all.

Addendum/addenda, containing more visual items, will be published separately.

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