Do you have deep pocket to sue?

Mobile clinic inventors drop suit against Mindef

Irony of this case:

  • The inventor, Dr Ting Choon Meng, is a well known serial inventor and his mobile clinic has been granted patent in Singapore and several countries.
  • He sat on the Board of Director of IPOS, the agency that oversees the granting of patents.
  • If a prominent medical doctor, a University lecturer and inventor all roll into one can not afford to defend his patent or legal case in Singapore, what about mere mortals?

[Updated 16 May 2015: Mindef patent case: Dr Ting Choon Meng and TOC website ‘made false claims’. And the most ridiculous part of this law suit? MINDEF’s application for a Court Order under the (newly passed) Protection from Harassment Act (POHA), which was meant to protect the helpless individuals from online harassment. The almighty MINDEF with the 10s of billions dollar budget, one of the world’s most sophisticated fighter planes and war equipment and some of the best minds in Singapore (so-called “Scholars”) amongst its overstaffed generals and high ranking officers certainly does not count as vulnerable individual victim. Read more. ]

Noteable quotes:

  • “We are discontinuing the suit because of financial reasons. Our patent rights in Singapore are revoked because we’re not able to fight the case anymore. Settlement negotiations over the past three months have failed. We are unable to afford this war of attrition.”
  • I’m not a bottomless pit. It’s very intimidating. They have three sets of lawyers. For my case, only Dr Mak and myself are funding MobileStats’ legal costs. If they want to chase us for costs, the company may have to wind up.”
  • “I am completely disheartened,” said Dr Ting. “After this incident, suffice to say that I have lost confidence in Singapore’s ability to be a global IP hub.”

Related links:

  • Inventor forced by Mindef to close company over patent rights

  • Mindef refutes false allegations in patent infringement suit by MobileStats – Askmelah Note: while the arguments presented by Mindef makes a lot of sense, it does not sufficiently address the question of why “the case is a commercial dispute between MobileStats Technologies and the vendor Syntech Engineers ” and yet Mindef is fronting the suit and in particular since it is a relatively straight forward case, why the need to spend precious public monies to hire arguably one of the highest paid lawyers in the country, if not the highest, to defend the Government, isn’t that an overkill for a relatively simple legal defence???