Patent saga: Mindef issues response to 'false allegations'
The Ministry of Defence issued a statement on Wednesday (Feb 11) following a doctor’s refusal to stop making what it claims are "false allegations of patent infringement".
It said that the allegations were still being made against Mindef even though the patent – for a mobile medical station – was not valid and had been revoked by the court in January 2014.
"When false allegations are made that impinge on our integrity, they can dent public confidence in Mindef and the government," said the statement.
It added that it has referred the matter to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
A timeline of the events.
2002: Co-founder of medical devices firm MobileStats Technologies Dr Ting Choon Meng and Dr Mak Koon Hou file for a patent for a mobile medical station. It is essentially a truck that opens up to become a resuscitation area with surgical equipment, a built-in suction system for removing blood, fluids and debris, and emergency life-saving devices.
2005: They obtain local and international patents.
2011 - 2012: The duo sue the Government, claiming that Mindef knowingly infringed their intellectual property. Mindef contests the case and files a counterclaim.
July 2013: The trial begins.
Jan 2014: MobileStats drops its suit against Mindef for patent infringement, citing a lack of funds. The company also abandons its defence to Mindef’s counterclaim that the patent is invalid. The patent is declared invalid and revoked by the court. MobileStats is ordered to bear the legal costs of the defendant, a sum of $580,000.
Jan 15, 2015: The Online Citizen publishes an article, in which it claims Dr Ting was forced by Mindef to close MobileStats over the patent rights.
Late Jan: The Attorney-General’s Chambers writes to Dr Ting and The Online Citizen, asking them to stop repeating claims that Mindef had copied Dr Ting’s patented concept for an emergency mobile clinic.
Feb 10: Dr Ting and The Online Citizen reject the Attorney-General's Chambers' demands.
Feb 11: Mindef issues a statement "to defend against baseless allegations impinging on its integrity".