Dr. Ting Choon Meng, local inventor and entrepreneur who was embroiled in the patent case between his company, MobileStats Technologies Pte Ltd and Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) speaks out against comments posted on TOC's comment thread about his letter from MINDEF/Attorney General's Chamber.
I have read enough of Joe Tan's posting and I have to stand up to clarify. You have absolutely no idea what has been invented. To compare it with the field hospital is pathetic.
Field hospitals are situated far away from the front line of disaster and take at least half a day to set up. With a long chain of convoy.
What the SWIFT vehicle has done is to bring the whole Accident & Emergency (A&E) to the site of disaster.
Within 5 minutes, with a press of a button, it transforms itself to an 8 bedded Emergency Room (ER) that can handle up to 240 patients a day.
The key word is speed because time equals life in the frontline.
What it does is that it changes the whole doctrine of rescue whereby countries even up to now uses the scoop and run method. Ambulance just take and bring the casualties to hospital.
Many died because they were not properly triage and not stabilised. Bleeding was not stopped and air way was not made patent. Etc...
The vehicle allows the ER to be organised into 3 different sections to treat and stablise the light, medium and severe ones. And even dead ones.
After the initial stablisation the priority of evacuation is then assigned and to the appropriate hospitals. E.g. burns victims to burn unit and the head injury to neurosurgical hospitals.
The vehicle also packs up in less than 5 mins with a press of the buttons.
In fact the impact of the invention is so significant that a new doctrine and manual has been developed for mass casualty disaster by Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). And NSMEN were trained on that doctrine.
We even had the Commander of USA army come over to view the vehicle. Brought by Singapore Technologies. And they respected the Intellectual Property and not go ahead until a licensed vendor is appointed.
Perhaps the best point to remember is this: If the vehicle is not a new invention, why would the army organise a huge publicity event and announce to the world that THIS IS THEIR INVENTION AND INNOVATION. The news was carried in all mainstream media and Channel News Asia.
And now they (and you) can claim that it is not inventive.
And the terms of settlement demanded by them, amongst other things is that we assign all the patent rights in all the other countries to them. Not to revoke but to assign! !!
Why do you need that If in the first place you claim that patent is not valid and strong?
I am asking for your conscience. I stood up even though I know it's David vs Goliath case.
But I chose to stood up so that this will stop the gahmen from doing it to another fellow son of Singapore. And you very well could be the next one. PERIOD
Below is the comment thread which Dr. Ting had replied to.
The law has spoken, in a fair manner. It's therefore wrong for this Dr Ting to try to mislead the public and continue to tarnish reputation of mindef.
For people familiar with intellectual property laws, and also defence technologies, they will agree that whatever Dr Ting "invented" is not new and his patent application should not be even approved in the first place.
Then mindef definitely didn't infringe on his ip rights. And therefore Dr Ting should not continue to portray himself as the victim.
He then added,
"Patents can be overturned by courts. Not granted by courts.
While it is true that mindef produced that vehicle before patent was revoked, I guess they were confident that it would be revoked. Many overseas armies already have something similar."
"Wikipedia easily has all the info we need." said Joe Tan
Another commenter, Tan Tee Seng wrote,
"On the question of law, no need a lawyer to tell us that this threat (Harassment Act) is a very inappropriate use of law."
While, Soong Yu Juan Joe, also another commenter on the facebook comment thread wrote to Joe Tan,
"You are totally clueless about design and patents. Invention and good design are quite different. For example, vacuum cleaners are invented long ago before dyson designed and patented the cyclon vacuum cleaners."
Joe Tan's response to the two,
"Well, the problem is one individual who kept talking nonsense can generate significant unhappiness towards mindef and it's officials. Before I did my research, I almost believed the story too.
It didn't help that all our favourite "alternative news websites" publicized it further without checking the facts.
If someone kept using various media to talk shit about me, or any one of u, I'm sure we will be very irritated and take necessary steps to protect our own reputation. Right?"
"Yu Juan, only the original design can be patented. Unless the "good design" is significantly better and a vast improvementSoong Yu Juan Yeah, that's why patents were granted in multiple counties for the good doc's design"
Soong Yu Juan replied, "Your opening statement is wrong too. The law has spoken but not in a fair manner."
Another commenter, Eric Chang added,
"Patent systems are not perfect, locally or internationally. go patent a monkey sitting on an ipad tomorrow in Australia, see whether you'll get it approved. chances are you will. if you wanna defend your patent, better have the money"
Joe Tan said in agreement,
" I agree with Eric. It's not a perfect system. And u have to be prepared to defend it.
If it's so easy to defend, I'm sure there will be big corporations willing to sponsor dr ting.
The fact is his case is not strong. Quite weak in fact."
Watch this video
Was Dr ting right to patent his "invention" or was it copied from the Americans?
An interesting fact. MINDEF's lawyer was using the MASH field hospital as their defence to assert that Dr. Ting's patent is not innovative.
TOC will be publishing the transcripts of Dr. Ting's hearing on this coming week.