This article in the Business Times (via Singapore Law Watch) has an innocuous headline (“Mobile clinic inventors to drop suit against Mindef”), but contains what can only be described as a bombshell:

Dr Ting, chief executive officer of HealthStats International and a board member of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore ((IPOS), filed the suit [against] Mindef.

In defending against the company’s claim that Mindef had knowingly copied its emergency mobile vehicle, [defendant’s lawyer] Mr Leck had argued that the concept was not new and “lacked inventive step”.

The government counterclaimed, seeking a declaration that the patent granted to MobileStats had always been invalid and an order for it to be revoked.

But Dr Ting argued: “IPOS had granted the patent to us, but Mindef was trying to revoke it. Are they saying something is wrong with IPOS’s decision?”

Dr Ting said he intends to resign from the IPOS board. “How am I going to be able to carry out the mandate to help make Singapore an IP global hub in clear conscience when our own IP rights cannot be protected?

I’ll leave it to you to draw your own conclusions from this sorry episode. I know what I’m thinking, but I couldn’t possibly comment!

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