Sunday, February 10, 2013

MMRGlobal And Its Patents On PHRs Could Turn Out To Be A Big Nuisance. Maybe NEHTA Should Just Buy The Company!

The following appeared a few days ago.

PCEHR faces patent probe

US software firm is investigating a possible infringement of its patents by the National E-Health Transition Authority (Nehta), which is spearheading the rollout of the national personally controlled e-health records system.
In a statement,, a subsidiary of MMRGlobal, said that "both state and federal governments in Australia, through Nehta, appear to be infringing on patents and other intellectual property issued to".

The PCEHR allegedly broadly incorporates numerous portions of the company's intellectual property, MMRGlobal said in a statement.

The company claimed that the infringement included two patents it holds in Australia.
Lots more here:
I have been watching this for a while (since this appeared this time last year). It is cited in this blog:
Feb. 17, 2012, 8:35 a.m. EST

MMRGlobal and VisiInc Sign Agreement to License MMR Australian Patent Portfolio on the Road to HIMSS

LOS ANGELES, CA, Feb 17, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- MMRGlobal, Inc. MMRF 0.00% ("MMR"), a leading provider of Personal Health Records ("PHR"), MyEsafeDepositBox storage solutions and electronic document management and imaging systems for healthcare professionals, today announced that the Company and VisiInc PLC in Australia signed an agreement to license MMR's Australian patents for "Method and System for Providing Online Medical Records" for use in MMR and Visi(TM) consumer and professional health IT products and services, including the MyMedicalRecords Personal Health Record. The Agreement calls for minimum performance royalty guarantees of nearly one million dollars. The Agreement also calls for VisiInc to start selling the services in Australia starting June 1, 2012. In addition, the Agreement contains an understanding allowing the companies to utilize each other's consumer and professional products and services. VisiInc is also seeking rights to sell MMR products in additional territories such as in Eastern Europe where VisiInc already does business.
Personal Health Records are a priority for the Australian government and a significant part of Australia's eHealth technology market, which will serve a population of 22 million and is currently projected to be USD $2.6 billion in 2012. MMR's Australian patent portfolio can give VisiInc a significant competitive advantage in the market by controlling intellectual property rights that are primary to providing PHRs in line with government initiatives. The Medical Software Industry Association in Australia detailed an alternative rollout schedule to the government's Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) that calls for PDFs currently used by clinicians and shared by email or fax to be a solution in electronic online form until at least July 2013 because standardization is not going to occur before at least then. MMR's proprietary health IT solutions align with this strategy.
See here:
Here is a listing from the site of some recent press releases
You can get the flavour of what is on the company’s mind from this selection of press release titles.
9:25 a.m. Feb. 5, 2013
8:35 a.m. Feb. 4, 2013
8:35 a.m. Jan. 31, 2013
8:35 a.m. Jan. 23, 2013
8:02 a.m. Jan. 23, 2013
6:45 a.m. Jan. 7, 2013
11:11 a.m. Jan. 3, 2013
8:35 a.m. Dec. 21, 2012
8:35 a.m. Dec. 20, 2012
8:35 a.m. Dec. 18, 2012
8:35 a.m. Dec. 13, 2012
8:35 a.m. Dec. 10, 2012
8:35 a.m. Nov. 26, 2012
8:35 a.m. Nov. 13, 2012
8:35 a.m. Nov. 5, 2012
7:35 a.m. Oct. 31, 2012
7:35 a.m. Oct. 22, 2012
7:35 a.m. Oct. 15, 2012
8:45 a.m. Oct. 11, 2012
7:36 a.m. Oct. 9, 2012
6:35 a.m. Oct. 2, 2012
6:35 a.m. Oct. 1, 2012
6:35 a.m. Sept. 24, 2012
6:35 a.m. Sept. 19, 2012
6:35 a.m. Sept. 4, 2012
6:31 a.m. Aug. 20, 2012
2:44 p.m. Aug. 14, 2012
6:35 a.m. Aug. 9, 2012
5:35 a.m. Aug. 6, 2012
----- End List
The full quote is found here:
Note here you find this global company has market cap. of less than $US10M and has 9 employees as well as losing over $US8M last year.
This is a company that is financially as wobbly as one can imagine and should either be bought of simply ignored. They don’t have the resources to do anything much.
Many thanks to the commenter who found the Australian Patents.
Here is a link to those patents
2008202401 Method and system for providing online medical records
2006202057 Method and system for providing online medical records, Inc.
There are .pdfs of the applications there dating from a good few years back  (2006 and 2008).
Certainly - at a superficial read - the application has some major similarities to the PCEHR and other PHRs. Taking control of these patents by buying the company might even be a money spinner!
We have seen this sort of thing before of course - with some failing (think Unix and Pharmacy Guild) and some being very profitable (Think what Microsoft has paid out over the years)
Will be interesting to see how this plays out.