Monday, February 11, 2013

MMRGlobal And Its Patents On PHRs Could Turn Out To Be A Big Nuisance. Maybe NEHTA Should Just Buy The Company!

The following appeared a few days ago.

PCEHR faces patent probe

US software firm is investigating a possible infringement of its patents by the National E-Health Transition Authority (Nehta), which is spearheading the rollout of the national personally controlled e-health records system.
In a statement,, a subsidiary of MMRGlobal, said that "both state and federal governments in Australia, through Nehta, appear to be infringing on patents and other intellectual property issued to".

The PCEHR allegedly broadly incorporates numerous portions of the company's intellectual property, MMRGlobal said in a statement.

The company claimed that the infringement included two patents it holds in Australia.
Lots more here:
I have been watching this for a while (since this appeared this time last year). It is cited in this blog:
Feb. 17, 2012, 8:35 a.m. EST

MMRGlobal and VisiInc Sign Agreement to License MMR Australian Patent Portfolio on the Road to HIMSS

LOS ANGELES, CA, Feb 17, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- MMRGlobal, Inc. MMRF 0.00% ("MMR"), a leading provider of Personal Health Records ("PHR"), MyEsafeDepositBox storage solutions and electronic document management and imaging systems for healthcare professionals, today announced that the Company and VisiInc PLC in Australia signed an agreement to license MMR's Australian patents for "Method and System for Providing Online Medical Records" for use in MMR and Visi(TM) consumer and professional health IT products and services, including the MyMedicalRecords Personal Health Record. The Agreement calls for minimum performance royalty guarantees of nearly one million dollars. The Agreement also calls for VisiInc to start selling the services in Australia starting June 1, 2012. In addition, the Agreement contains an understanding allowing the companies to utilize each other's consumer and professional products and services. VisiInc is also seeking rights to sell MMR products in additional territories such as in Eastern Europe where VisiInc already does business.
Personal Health Records are a priority for the Australian government and a significant part of Australia's eHealth technology market, which will serve a population of 22 million and is currently projected to be USD $2.6 billion in 2012. MMR's Australian patent portfolio can give VisiInc a significant competitive advantage in the market by controlling intellectual property rights that are primary to providing PHRs in line with government initiatives. The Medical Software Industry Association in Australia detailed an alternative rollout schedule to the government's Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) that calls for PDFs currently used by clinicians and shared by email or fax to be a solution in electronic online form until at least July 2013 because standardization is not going to occur before at least then. MMR's proprietary health IT solutions align with this strategy.
See here:
Here is a listing from the site of some recent press releases
You can get the flavour of what is on the company’s mind from this selection of press release titles.
9:25 a.m. Feb. 5, 2013
8:35 a.m. Feb. 4, 2013
8:35 a.m. Jan. 31, 2013
8:35 a.m. Jan. 23, 2013
8:02 a.m. Jan. 23, 2013
6:45 a.m. Jan. 7, 2013
11:11 a.m. Jan. 3, 2013
8:35 a.m. Dec. 21, 2012
8:35 a.m. Dec. 20, 2012
8:35 a.m. Dec. 18, 2012
8:35 a.m. Dec. 13, 2012
8:35 a.m. Dec. 10, 2012
8:35 a.m. Nov. 26, 2012
8:35 a.m. Nov. 13, 2012
8:35 a.m. Nov. 5, 2012
7:35 a.m. Oct. 31, 2012
7:35 a.m. Oct. 22, 2012
7:35 a.m. Oct. 15, 2012
8:45 a.m. Oct. 11, 2012
7:36 a.m. Oct. 9, 2012
6:35 a.m. Oct. 2, 2012
6:35 a.m. Oct. 1, 2012
6:35 a.m. Sept. 24, 2012
6:35 a.m. Sept. 19, 2012
6:35 a.m. Sept. 4, 2012
6:31 a.m. Aug. 20, 2012
2:44 p.m. Aug. 14, 2012
6:35 a.m. Aug. 9, 2012
5:35 a.m. Aug. 6, 2012
----- End List
The full quote is found here:
Note here you find this global company has market cap. of less than $US10M and has 9 employees as well as losing over $US8M last year.
This is a company that is financially as wobbly as one can imagine and should either be bought of simply ignored. They don’t have the resources to do anything much.
Many thanks to the commenter who found the Australian Patents.
Here is a link to those patents
2008202401 Method and system for providing online medical records
2006202057 Method and system for providing online medical records, Inc.
There are .pdfs of the applications there dating from a good few years back  (2006 and 2008).
Certainly - at a superficial read - the application has some major similarities to the PCEHR and other PHRs. Taking control of these patents by buying the company might even be a money spinner!
We have seen this sort of thing before of course - with some failing (think Unix and Pharmacy Guild) and some being very profitable (Think what Microsoft has paid out over the years)
Will be interesting to see how this plays out.


Anonymous said...

I wouldnt worry about this companies current market cap; they are represented by the Liner Firm, Lead attorney Ted Ward. You can google them, they are no slouch of a firm. And, they are on complete contingent. These guys just filed a claim against Walgreens. They mean business.

Anonymous said...

Yep - they look pretty mean - they even sue housewives.

Anonymous said...

35Liner Law are sure big business when it comes to IP law, a real specialised industry - should give IP Australia something to worry about. Will take ages to resolve if they go through with it.

Anonymous said...

I just can't see it. How hard is it to circumvent these overly narrow patents which are unlikely to contain an inventive step if they bumped into one? Its bullying behaviour no more and needs to be stood up to. Patents are meant to reward invention not harvest $ through intimidation.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it's the perception that counts.

The lawsuit might have no merit, but it doesn't make DoHA look good to be sued over its software. Especially on top of all the other criticisms of the PCEHR.

K said...

The patent system is so broken that if a big system like this wasn't the subject of patent claims, you'd wonder why the hell not - what had they done so strange and weird that no one had already thought of?

The patent system is seriously flawed. Suing the governments is one of the more likely ways to lead to the system itself to be fixed

Anonymous said...

Is there a conflict here?
Notice any simililarities between the two links? Agent/solicitor?

Anonymous said...

Is there a conflict here?

Notice any simililarities between the two links?


Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

Quick clue. The same legal firm submitted the patent application and working for DoHA.

Very interesting indeed!


Anonymous said...

They might have to buy their brand name before they go much further unless its sold to NEHTA or the Government.

Trade Mark : 1114081
Word: MyMedicalRecords
Lodgement Date: 17-MAY-2006
Registered From: 17-MAY-2006
Date of Acceptance: 03-DEC-2007
Acceptance Advertised: 20-DEC-2007
Registration Advertised: 10-JUL-2008
Entered on Register: 24-JUN-2008
Renewal Due: 17-MAY-2016
Class/es: 9, 35, 44
Status: Registered/Protected

Anonymous said...

Google search for shows this:

personally controlled electronic health records
Probir Dutt, electronic health records, PHR, NETHA, MMR, EPHR, ehealth

Anonymous said...

2/17/2013 06:32:00 PM said They might have to buy their brand name before they go much further ...

Look at it this way.
Unless they own the My Medical Records trademark they will not be able to operate in Australia. So Rambagan Pty Ltd ACN: 124932396 holds the ACE card. If they can't operate in Australia their patent claims may well be considered invalid by the courts. We now learn the domain name which recently pointed to the Government web site now points to MMRGlobal which raises the question has Rambagan Pty Ltd received a financial inducement to redirect their domain name to MMRGlobal and has Rambagan licenced MMRGlobal to use the My Medical records brand in Australia? Every day it gets murkier and muddier. Where will it end?

Anonymous said...

> Unless they own the My Medical Records
> trademark they will not be able
> to operate in Australia.
> So Rambagan Pty Ltd ACN: 124932396
> holds the ACE card. If they can't
> operate in Australia their patent
> claims may well be considered
> invalid by the courts.

What a load of crap.

Trademarks != patents != copyright != domain names

Anonymous said...

What a load of crap said 2/19/2013 04:58:00 PM.

You must have a vested interest. Stay calm, not angry.

Anonymous said...

No vested interest, but an interest in the law.

It hurts my head when I read some of the nonsense on the internet.

There's so much stupid in the post I commented on that I can't go through it all, but let's just look at the first sentence.

"Unless they own the My Medical Records trademark they will not be able to operate in Australia".

Really?? There's no possible way that a US company can operate in Australia if their name is
trademarked? Wow. No possible way that perhaps they could do something like
using a different name? There you go, I won't even charge for that brilliant piece
of legal insight.

(btw look up the history of Hungry Jacks/Burger King if you want an example)

Anonymous said...

More from MMRGlobal. They have Guy Sebastian on board now.

Anonymous said...

Guy Sebastian needs to take the time to talk with some experts in Australia before he lets himself get sucked in much further to this imbroglio.

It's a clever strategy by MMR to ingratiate themselves with Guy in order to use his good name to support their cause.

Hopefully someone knows him well enough to explain how he has been seduced.