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Dr Tan Cheng Bock: Use mediation, not courts to settle disputes

Dr Tan Cheng Bock

Former Member of Parliament and candidate for the Presidential Election 2011 , Dr Tan Cheng Bock has commented on the issue between Dr Ting Choon Meng and Mindef involving the infringement of patent rights.

In a status update entitled "Singapore Inventors and Patent Rights", Dr Tan said that he found it sad that the issue has turned sour and legal action was resorted to.

He wrote, "Singapore is aiming to be an IP (Intellectual Property ) Hub and because of our reputation, we can succeed."

However, he noted that this unfortunate dispute will cause damage to what Singapore wants to achieve.

Dr Tan also noted that Dr Ting is a local inventor who is known world-wide especially for his most famous invention which is a watch to monitor 24 -hour blood pressure reading.

"This confrontation between the 2 parties is being watched by Singaporeans and others outside Singapore. It will look like a David vs Goliath battle and whatever the outcome, there will be severe implications for Singapore's future as an IP hub."

Dr Tan pointed out that since Singapore is now an International Mediation Centre, therefore both parties should use mediation to come to an amicable settlement. Such disputes should be settled through mediation without the need to resort to the courts which would save time, cost and face for all parties.

Last month in the Singapore parliament, Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah said that the two cases of patents revoked by government agencies did not affect the confidence that businesses have in Singapore.

This is in response to Non-constituency Member of Parliament,  Gerald Giam’s question on whether the recent cases between the government and entrepreneurs might have affected confidence among local and foreign businesses about Singapore’s position as a good place develop and launch their intellectual property.