Tuesday, February 26, 2013

This Really Might Be An Interesting Ride. Will Be Interesting To See What Happens Next.

This appeared a day or so ago.

HIStalk Interviews Robert Lorsch, CEO, MMRGlobal

February 25, 2013 Interviews  
Robert H. “Bob” Lorsch is president, CEO, and chairman of MMRGlobal of  Los Angeles, CA.

Tell me about yourself and the company.
I sold my business in 1998 for several hundred million dollars to AT&T. After the company was sold, I have spent many years focused on philanthropic activities – California Science Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, St. John’s Hospital, and a variety of other organizations.
In 2000, I myself was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer. Despite the fact that I was extremely connected to doctors, hospitals — both as someone who’s been in the Los Angeles community for many, many years and as somebody who had supported these organizations — I was personally subjected to the task of selecting the guy that was going to be the surgeon who was going to go into my neck and deal with my cancer.
Lots more here:
Here are a few selected quotes regarding Australia from the interview:
“Have you ever taken someone to court for infringement?
We currently have four matters that are of interest. Approximately two or three weeks ago, we filed a lawsuit against Walgreens. Last week, we filed a lawsuit against WebMD. We currently have identified in Australia that the Australian government actually built a $1.1 billion personal health record system that blatantly, we believe – and I would appreciate it if you would always qualify it with “we believe” – infringes on our patents almost totally. The irony of the whole thing is that the government actually appears – and I want to say “appears” – to have used our attorneys who got us the patents in Australia to review and give them an opinion on the intellectual property.
We have found the same thing in Singapore, where the health department in Singapore and other companies — including a very, very large company out of China — are infringing on our patents there. 
We have begun the process of pursuing Australia. We would hope to settle it very, very quickly, because they have a billion-dollar system that is basically given away to everybody who lives in Australia, which completely, completely destroys the ability for us to sell our product.  We would hope that they will be objective in entering to some type of licensing agreement with us. Our patents go far back before they ever actually looked at the system that they built subsequent to the issuance of the patents, which we believe they were aware of.”
And here:
“In our case, we don’t care if somebody licenses or somebody buys. They win and we win either way. The objective here is to not do something that makes it impossible to make a deal, but also do something that is fair to our shareholders in the sense that we’re not denied access to the marketplace just because somebody said, “The heck with them. We don’t care about their patents,” which is what is happening in Australia. I mean the Australian government in a macro example — macro being huge, but one country — they basically said, “We’re going to make a personal health record. We’re going to give it away to 20 million people free and we’re going to infringe on IP and we don’t care.”
Reading the article it seems clear this company is expecting a real payout. The seems rather annoyed that all those people are being given a free Government PHR in competition with what they provide.
It will be interesting to see just how the meeting at HIMSS goes with NEHTA if it actually happens.
The full - very long - interview is well worth a read.
David.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a patent owner and knowing how software and process patents work, it would be in NEHTA's and DoHA's interests to review the claims of the patents as detailed by MMR and then change the function(s)or processes in question by 10 or 15% using known published prior art and this will overcome the issues with MMR.

I am sure that AG's will be doing their research as we speak... simple way to overcome this is use, two factor authentication and a Medicare Number as the key identifiers...

Anonymous said...

"simple way to overcome this is use, two factor authentication and a Medicare Number as the key identifiers...'

Agreed - but that might make it a bit harder to "give away to 20 million people free" - the two factor authentication on top of the convoluted logon process now, probably would not endear it to too many of those 20 million.

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

Try 'aggressively user hostile'. That would be an understatement I suspect. The present access is shockingly user unfriendly to say the least!

David.

Anonymous said...

I thought I saw a couple of people on here suggest that they'd read the patents and they covered things like using phone numbers as primary identifiers.

If there is actual infringement, I'd agree that settling is a good idea. But if it's someone just seeking a payout because it's cheaper/more politically palatable than going to court, then I'd rather my tax dollars weren't spent on that.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the two factor authentication would replace the current login process (and obviously be more secure).

Although it may not suit all Australians, especially the older generation, it is now common standard and in use by all in the financial services industry for many years.

Internet Banking as an example

Anonymous said...

How about we tell them that their patent is bogus because it is trivial and they can go pound sand?

Anonymous said...

MMRGlobal (MMRF) released a statement on February 28, 2013 on their Company FB page as follows: "MMR and Walgreens have agreed to a 30 day extension of time for Walgreens to respond to the MMR Patent infringement Complaint while the both sides work on a meaningful resolution to the matter in order to conserve judicial resources, among other things. Further information about this case can be found on the United States District Court Central District of California website– Pacer."

Anonymous said...

MMR's big hope is that if one of their victims folds it will set a precedent for the others to follow. Saddle bags at the ready - tally ho.

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

Apparently some in the US have already paid. See my earlier blog with list of links to press releases.

David.

Anonymous said...

Looks like it's time to liquidate NEHTA and leave an empty shell for MMR to kick around. They could target the Directors but as a NFP they would probably only be liable for 1 dollar damages each. The Agencies are Members and Shareholders but they are not liable. What do others think?

Anonymous said...

From CEO MMRGlobals FB page: "In the air to HIMSS 2013 in http://www.himss.org/ in New Orleans. The MMR dance card is overwhelmingly full due to all the patent implication opportunities. Looking forward to meetings with Accenture. Meeting them regarding Australia, Singapore and other PHR matters."