Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I Wonder How Realistic NEHTA and DoHA Are About The NEHRS Patent Claims. The News Keeps Coming.

News on the MMRGlobal patent keeps coming. Early in the week we had these.

NEHTA shrugs off health records patent threat

John Hilvert

Low take-up of health records more concerning.

The body responsible for the Australian Government's electronic health records system has paid little attention to threats made by a US firm claiming that the PCEHR violates its patents.
The chief executive of the National E-Health Transmission Authority (NEHTA), Peter Fleming said he had not contacted the Health Department over the patent claim, hearing about it first via a newspaper article.
US-based MMRGlobal issued a news release last week claiming that NEHTA was infringing on its patents (including Australian patent numbers 2006202057 and 2008202401) and other Intellectual Property (collectively, the "MMRIP") issued to MyMedicalRecords.com, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of MMRGlobal.
MMRGlobal claimed PCEHR "appeared to incorporate numerous portions" of the MMR intellectual property.
Fleming informed the Senate Estimates Committee that MMRGlobal had never contacted NEHTA and had “nothing solid”.
“We have looked at their patents from an architectural and legal perspective and briefed our lawyers to investigate,” Fleming said. “They are working with NEHTA’s architects at the moment."
In late November 2012 ,MMRG had reportedly signed license agreements worth more than $USD30 million, disputing it was a “patent troll”.
Lots more details are provided here as well as on adoption.

MyMedicalRrecords.com to reveal result of patent breach probe

A US software firm hopes to conclude investigations into a possible infringement of its patents by the National E-Health Transition Authority in less than three weeks.
MyMedicalRecords.com, a subsidiary of MMRGlobal, flagged the investigation last week, claiming that "both state and federal governments in Australia, through Nehta, appear to be infringing on patents and other intellectual property issued to MyMedicalRecords.com".
The Gillard government has developed a personally controlled e-health records system, an online, opt-in platform that stores an individual's health information. Nehta manages the PCEHR implementation process.
MMR claims that the PCEHR broadly incorporates numerous portions of the company's intellectual property, which includes two patents in Australia.
The patents cover a method for providing a consumer with the ability to access and collect health records.
MMR chief executive Robert Lorsch, who is based in Los Angeles, said the company hopes to conclude its investigations "no later than the end of this month".
According to patent documents filed by Melbourne's Davies Collison Cove patent and trademark lawyers several years ago, the method includes assigning a destination address individually associated with a consumer account for receiving communications from at least one healthcare provider.
The patents also cover "associating access information with the consumer account for the consumer to use to access a secure website".
Lots more here:
Since then Fran Foo at The Australian has come out with even more.

Twist in e-health patent claim

MELBOURNE law firm Davies Collison Cave has dropped MMRGlobal as a client just days after the latter said it was investigating alleged patent infringements by the National E-Health Transition Authority.
Robert Lorsch, the Los Angeles-based MMRGlobal chief executive, claims Davies Collison Cave told him that his company would have to be dropped from the client roster due to a "conflict".
"We used Davies Collison Cove (for patents) and one of the reasons that they're not involved right now is they have a conflict because they're also representing the government," Mr Lorsch told The Australian.
MyMedicalRecords.com, 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 MyMedicalRecords.com".
More here:
and even more interesting.

NEHTA contacts US firm over patent breach allegations

THE National E-Health Transition Authority has reached out to the US e-health software firm investigating it over patent infringement allegations.
According to MMRGlobal chief executive Robert Lorsch, lawyers from NEHTA had contacted the firm to discuss the matter.
"The company has spoken with an attorney for NEHTA," Mr Lorsch told The Australian.
"MMR suggested entering into an agreement to exchange documents to facilitate an informal resolution to this matter for the benefit of all parties. 
"MMR also suggested that all relevant parties schedule a meeting at the HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) conference on March 3 in New Orleans in a good faith effort to get this resolved," he said.
More here:
So we now know NEHTA is taking all this seriously and we also know that my earlier prediction that this might have a way to go seems to be playing out.
I still have the feeling we have not heard the last of all this at all.


Anonymous said...

Any company that goes public with regard a patent breach generally has good grounds, otherwise they would not have gone public. By doing this in the public domain and against a government entity means that they are seeking substantial damages. In instances like this the government of the day just want things to go away (like KR) and I am sure that they will settle, especially in an election year. Others may have different thoughts. As a patent owner over two factor authentication processes since 2000, most of us are just waiting in the wings before we commence action against government and corporate entities alike. Consultants and solutions architects just do not do enough patent research, as most think that there will always be a backup called prior art.... Privacy Paul

Anonymous said...

Does anyone think Davies Collison Cave, being the very agents for MMR's Australian patents were some how involved in this preliminary research in support of NEHTA/DoHA? Wouldnt that reflect negatively on them if that was the case?

Deryck said...

Nothing but a patent troll. IP Australia should never have accepted the patent in the first place.

Looking at 2006202057 : Method and system for providing online medical records, it looks as though they have simply patented the entire idea of the PCEHR. There is no product or invention as such that I can see from my brief look.

To me it's like patenting an idea to have a network appliance that sits between a company and the internet that can control the traffic that comes in and out of the private network and then suing anyone who actually produces a firewall.

But since these are registered patents with IP Australia I don't think the government will have a choice except to settle or license.

A link to the PDF of the patent - http://pericles.ipaustralia.gov.au/ols/auspat/pdfSource.do?fileQuery=%95%A1%AC%A4z%A7%B2%AA%AD%A2%A1c%A3%A6%A9%A2%AB%9E%AA%A2z%7E%92ommsomomrt%7Foommumonqk%AD%A1%A3c%B1%A5%A2z%B1%A5%A2

Anonymous said...

Does this remind you of anyone?


Anonymous said...

> Does anyone think Davies Collison Cave,
> being the very agents for MMR's Australian
> patents were some how involved in this
> preliminary research in support of NEHTA/DoHA?


They are a big IP law firm. It is perfectly possible for them to both be patent agents for
a patent application 5 years ago (they would handle thousands of patents each year) - and also do legal work in some unrelated area of IP for the department of health (they are a big department that probably generates lots of legal work).

> Davies Collison Cave partner John Hannebery
> said it was not acting for MMRGlobal or
> MyMedicalRecords.com, or NEHTA or the
> Health Department "in relation to the
> alleged dispute between these parties".

Lawyers tend not to blatantly lie in public for no reason. Perhaps we can just take them at their word and dial down the conspiracy shit.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Attributing this sort of thing to conspiracy is not useful. Much can be learned from Sir Bernard Ingham:

Many journalists have fallen for the conspiracy theory of government. I do assure you that they would produce more accurate work if they adhered to the cock-up theory.

Unknown said...

NOTE: This is not legal advice....!

If you look at Claim#1 of the two patents, then you can see why the PCEHR is not worried.....

It includes "assigning a phone number individually associated with the consumer for fax and voice communications from a healthcare provider"
(most of the claim is about phone/fax communication between the consumer and the provider)

Since the PCEHR does not do this (it uses Healthcare Identifiers) then the claim (and hence the whole patent) does not apply

The other patent Claim#1 includes: "the user interface providing for organizing the files into separate file folders with functionality for the user to name the file folders and add file folders and individually assign password protection to each of the file folders"

Again, the PCEHR does not support this functionality.

NOTE: This is not legal advice....!

Anonymous said...

I have today registered my own patent described as

when govt uses taxpayer funding for any program, project, service, etcetera those funds shall be deemed as to be similar to monopoly money and not treated as real money that may as example come from ones own pocket


as it is not deemed real money no proof is needed that it was spent in the best interests of those who provided the funds

Patent No Govt 101

I will now announce this to the media which will provide all the credibility I need to obtain my just financial compensation

Anonymous said...

MMRGlobal isn't going away. They now have attorneys in Australia retained. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/australian-it/government/nehta-wins-a-472m-injection/story-fn4htb9o-1226665211001

Anonymous said...

MMR Global retaining Guy Sebastian on payroll I am sure will increase their credibility in any patent discussions ;)
This really just an indication of their desire to run a PR attack to scare NEHTA/government into settling.