Scare tactics

Diagnostic Medical Systems (DMS) has been promoting 3D-DXA throughout the world, but I was particularly upset to see this happen in the UK. The distributor selling DMS devices in the UK is Med Imaging Ltd. They even placed a tweet offering 3D-DXA for free if your purchase a DMS device:

I could not believe they were valuing it for a whopping 10,000 GBP. Guys, I can give it to you for free! Anyway. Hoping a British company would be sensible, correct and keen to do anything but sell fraudulent software, I proceeded to contact them. But, I decided to have a little fun with it first. I called them, pretending to be interested in the 3D-DXA software and proceeded to ask what it does and how it works. Ahhh, such twists and turns Peter Kent Baldwin made to try to explain it. It has been a while and I don’t remember exactly what he said, but he even mentioned something about it being able to tell you what exercises to do to strengthen your bone. All jokes aside, this constitutes false advertisement. Citing Wikipedia:

“False advertising is the use of misleading, false, or unproven information to advertise products to consumers. One form of false advertising is to claim that a product has a health benefit or contains vitamins or minerals that it in fact does not. Many governments use regulations to control false advertising. A false advertisement can further be classified as deceptive if the advertiser deliberately misleads the consumer, as opposed to making an honest mistake.”

Let’s hope in this case it was an honest mistake. Indeed, it did not take long for him to admit that he had no clue what he was selling. I explained some of the misinformation regarding 3D-DXA and emailed him the letter from my lawyer, which outlines my claims and provides supporting evidence. He would contact DMS to get a clarification, but I would never hear from him again. Instead, I was contacted by a delightful fellow from DMS going by the name of Jean Ringot. This was his email:

Mr. Whitmarsh,

I’m Jean Ringot, R&D manager of the DMS group. I’ve tried to call you this afternoon.

I have been informed that you tried to contact our distributors in UK and in Germany. You have contact them to explain that YOU are the owner of this technology and did contact them in the name of “University of Cambridge, Department of Engineering”. So we assume that you are conducting this type of action for the university.

Please, find below some points that you should take into account:
– We have a contract that establish the relationship between DMS and UPF
– 3D-DXA technology is owned by UPF, not DMS
– We know that UPF tried to contact you about 3D-DXA, but you did not respond at this time

I would like to clarify definitly this matter:
– DMS doesn’t want any contact with you
– DMS is a group that works with many distributors in the world that involved MONEY AND TIME from our team
– You are not allowded to contact any person from DMS
– You are not allowded to contact any person from DMS’s ditributors
– You are note allowded to contact any client of DMS

DMS gives the right to consider legal action against you as well as _Cambridge, Department of Engineering_.

Today we seek to assess the financial damage caused by your actions on our marketing efforts and investments made on the project. We will also assess the damage caused to the image of our company and the loss of confidence of many of our distributors.

Accordingly, kindly send us the coordinates of your lawyers, and stop immediately your harmful actions to our company. We will also contact the University of Cambridge to know their position.

No response from you within 8 days, we will assume that you acknowledge the facts described above.

Best regards,

Jean RINGOT – PhD

Jean Ringot (Scientific Director – DMS) 2014-04-08
Cc: Oscar Camara Rey (PhySense – UPF), Ana Sagardoy (UPF)

Oh dear, I certainly would not want DMS to loos any MONEY AND TIME on my account. As I mentioned before, I own the copyrights to my software and I did not release it to UPF. I would also like you to note the involvement of two members of UPF who were in Cc: Oscar Camara Rey and Ana Sagardoy. Neither of them distanced themselves from this email and, I assume, had some involvement in its formulation. In any case, this email was identified by my lawyers, as well as the lawyers from the University of Cambridge, as a scare tactic with no legal basis, and frankly rather rude. We sent him the following reply:

Dear Jean Ringot,

After a legal consult with my lawyers I am writing you with the following information in reply to your email of 8 April 2014.

I was very surprised to receive your email. I am afraid that it appears that there might have been a misunderstanding regarding my communications with Med Imaging and Degen Medizin Technik and I wish to correct this.

A conflict has arisen between me and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) whereby I believe I own the rights to the software being commercialized as “3D-DXA” by DMS. I am fully in my rights to alert distributors of the “3D-DXA” software [and] about this conflict. This was the purpose of my correspondence with Med Imaging.

Regarding my contact with Degen Medizin Technik I filled out an online form requesting for more information about the 3D-DXA software. I did not make any reference to the dispute with UPF (although, as noted above, I am fully in my rights to do so).

There is therefore no basis for legal action against me.

I must also clarify that I at no time contacted the distributors in the name of the University of Cambridge, and contacted them only in my personal capacity. Consequently, there is no basis for legal action against the University of Cambridge.

I have no intention to contact the distributors of DMS further. I am, however, still concerned about the use of an illustration taken from my thesis on the Degen Medizin Technik website on behalf of DMS for which I have not given my approval. UPF has previously asked DMS to remove this illustration and I am concerned that DMS is still using this illustration for promotional purposes. Please ensure that this illustration is removed from this website and that it is not used in the future.

I apologize for the misunderstanding caused and sincerely hope that this can be resolved as soon as possible.

Best regards,
Tristan Whitmarsh

Tristan Whitmarsh 2014-04-28

Of course this situation would not be resolved. I mean, how could it when I am not allowed to contact DMS?