Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Now This Is Getting Really Silly. I Think Someone Is Rather Out Of Their Depth.

This appeared yesterday.

Guy Sebastian caught out by stalled patent probe

SINGER Guy Sebastian has weighed in on allegations of patent infringement by the Gillard government's National E-Health Transition Authority.
MMRGlobal, the US firm investigating NEHTA for alleged patent infringements, was in talks with Sebastian's management team to fund his planned charitable foundation.
However, discussions have hit a roadblock pending the outcome of the probe, which has been delayed by NEHTA's silence.
"As a recording artist I understand the importance of being able to protect my intellectual property from being pirated around the world," Sebastian said.
In reference to the number of patents under MMR's belt, he added: "What kind of example do we set when our own government ignores intellectual property, including a company's patents already on file in 13 other countries?"
Early last month,, a subsidiary of MMRGlobal, claimed that "both state and federal governments in Australia, through NEHTA, appear to be infringing on patents and other intellectual property issued to".
As reported on March 5 in The Australian, MMR's investigation into the matter has been stymied by NEHTA's lack of follow-up communication.
Lots more here:
To me the issue here is that none of these claims have been tested in any Australian tribunal or court and until they are frankly no one is really sure just what rights - if any - the two Australian Patents claimed by MMRGlobal.
Claiming IP ownership on a broad concept such as the Personal Health Record it very different to claiming IP ownership on an original song I believe.
I think intervention in this case by a popular entertainer is really rather sad and ill-informed.
However I do also think that the Government, DoHA and NEHTA need to promptly address these claims. Just letting it all drift on with no public comment seems to indicate they are concerned about these claims. I hope that is not true and believe that our concerns should be promptly and officially allayed.


Anonymous said...

MMR just received a NOA for their patent in Canada:

Anonymous said...

Silly ain't the half of it! is owned by a family trust with the name R Starr in it. The business name is registered in South Australia, Guy's home state. The MMR trade mark is owned by a company who operate on the fringe of Adelaide a stones through from Guy's home! If this wasn't such a potentially serious matter it would make a great soap opera!

This is not the only 'show biz' connection of course. Taylor Armstrong from Beverly Hills Housewives is being sued by MMR for $1.5m for 'breach of a previous agreement' what ever that was. Perhaps NEHTA and Taylor could share legal costs?

Russell Armstrong, husband to Taylor and previous business partner to MMR CEO Robert Lorsch before he was sued by MMR, also opened a Beverly Hills restaurant with actress Eva Longoria.

Robert himself is married to Playboy actress Kira Reed.

So all we're missing is Ringo and perhaps we have the makings of a great musical comedy!

Anonymous said...

NOA means what?

Anonymous said...

Rock Starr Films was founded by Probir Geoffrey Dutt

Mr Dutt, the former CEO of MMRGlobal's Australian subsidiary,
claims to have had a number of meetings with NEHTA staff before Mr Fleming joined the organisation.

Perhaps he plans another film - 'Rocking around the globe with MMR on NEHTA's coattails"

Anonymous said...

ASIC records show:
Probir Chunder DUTT

Former Director, Appointment Date 28/05/2007 Cease Date 27/07/2007, Company Name YMEDICALRECORDS.COM.AU ACN 120 078 622, Address 76 Mt Barker Road Stirling SA 5152

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 3/14/2013 08:57:00 AM
NOA = Notice of Allowance

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

That would seem to suggest they have coverage of all sorts of approaches? Have I got that right?


Anonymous said...

What is a notice of allowance?

In the US - at the point the examiner feels the applicant has possession of novel and useful claims, a notice of allowance will be mailed to the patent attorney, and subsequently copied to ISURF. The patent issue fee and all formal drawings must be timely provided to the USPTO within three months of the notice of allowance. Upon receipt of the fee (and drawings, if applicable), the patent application file is transferred to the publication unit of the USPTO. Upon publication, the original patent grant document is sent to ISURF’s patent attorney, and subsequently forwarded to ISURF. The USPTO also posts the patent document on their website.

I would suggest that MMR has applied for some extensions to its Patents which are already in force to enable it to keep up with or stay ahead of new advances so that its patients remain relevant in order to support whatever claims MMR wants to make regarding patient infringement.

Anonymous said...

Note correction to above....

so that its patents remain relevant in order to support whatever claims MMR wants to make regarding patent infringement.

Anonymous said...

Regards your latest poll. Most certainly will e-Health be election issue. Guess who had a discussion with a rep from the liberal party. From MMRGlobal CEO's Facebook page: "Started the day with a call to Australian Liberal Party asking about MMR." Guess Gillard administration wont be able to ignore these claims until after the election afterall. MMR and Walgreens today also put in a joint request of Court extention to work on potential settlement or early resolution to MMR's suit of Walgreen for patent infringement.

Anonymous said...

MMR and Walgreens at the settlement table. Parties filed a Joint Stipulation for extension of time. "...the parties continue to pursue discussions regarding a potential settlement or early resolution of this matter; and...MMR and Walgreens believe a second extension to respond to the complaint would benefit all parties and conserve judicial resources." Case# 2:13-cv-00631

Anonymous said...

There is significant prior art - none of which is patentable - in electronic medical records.

MMR therefore operates as a patent troll.

To believe that MMR has invented anything new in this space is pure fantasy. These types of business operations are modern day scam arts run by spivs, and they need to treated as such and dealt with accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Guess that says alot about Australia's patent and trademark office considering them (like US PTMO) inventions and granting them legal recognition as such. Nice try, but NEHTA still has explaining to do.

Anonymous said...

If you've spent any time at all in the last 10 years looking at what's going on in IT patents, you'd understand that it is absolutely true that patent offices are granting patents that will never stand up in court. So far as I can tell the patent offices have gone to an approach of approving any old thing, and then only sorting it out when someone actually tries to enforce that patent.

I also thought that the people on this forum who'd had a look didn't even think that the patent covered PCEHR - the patent is something about using phone numbers as identifiers for a record? I thought all eHealth in Australia uses IHIs as the identifier for the record?

I'd guess that if MMR had any actual case, rather than just a hope of being paid of, they'd have hired a lawyer and presented their case.

Anonymous said...

They have a legal team retained. One team can only do so much though (Walgreens, WebMD, SCM, et all). I'd figure NEHTA is on the list thereafter, or else the CEO wouldnt have made his allegations public. I am looking forward to seeing legal action take place. Timing is right too. Abbott's support group could use the ammo, especially when its not a media report, but submitted formally in litigation. We have to presume the parties understand its in the best interest of the current administration to pretend MMR doesnt exist until the election.

Anonymous said...

Surely you'd need an Australian legal team to do anything in Australia? So it wouldn't be a resourcing conflict.

Still feels like prosecuting through the media something that wouldn't stand up in court. Go back to the topic that started this thread, and ask why you'd create that as a media event.

Anonymous said...

Go back to the topic that started this thread, and ask why you'd create that as a media event.....

simple ---- to scare the horses and panic Govt into an out of court settlement in order to defuse the issue and keep it out of the media.

Anonymous said...

Whatever the position is with MMR, as after the election in September, the coalition will dissolve NEHTA, the PCEHR will be mothballed and it will be up to the states to instigate a Health Information Exchange between patients, healthcare providers and Government. Next on the list will be the Medicare Locals.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the Australian Patent Office lacks the necessary skills and expertise it desperately needs to properly examine these ridiculous attempts to patent what is fundamentally un-patentable.

These are patents written solely by inventors - nay authors - of works of complete fiction. And in their puerile efforts at artifice these purveyors of said fiction are not even being particularly inventive. This is by virtue of the fact that there is clearly nothing innovative whatsoever contained in the patent specifications of the majority of IT patents - and in this particular case any skilled IT professional with enough experience in the field of databases and records management could have easily established this. Which sadly only serves to indicate just how low the patent office has sunk in terms of its incompetence and its ability to expose these as baseless attempts by fraudsters to sting legitimate IT companies and developers that have been building these types of system capability for the last 40+ years.

These are fundamental IT capabilities and principles that have been in the public domain since before many of these scammers were even spawned. If only the patent office had the nous to hire those with the right skills and experience, it could have easily discovered the mountains of prior art in online health records and thus swiftly pulled the lever on the hatch in the floor long ago to consign these flimflammers back down into the benthos from whence they had crawled. And our esteemed patent office could have performed that vital public service for which it was actually commissioned and circumvented the legal free-for-all, the resulting industry confusion and the pointless obstructionism that follows the granting of such ultimately unenforceable patents.

The current IP system in Australia and the way it functions with regard to IT patents results in the only beneficiaries of said free for all being the patent attorneys, solicitors and barristers that charge some of the highest fees for legal services in the land - along with the scammers should they manage to frighten legitimate IT developers and users into making out of court settlements in order to avoid ongoing and costly litigation proceedings.

This is an unfortunate but commonplace example of an endemic problem in IP worldwide, which goes beyond IT and includes life sciences, pharmaceuticals, etc.