Growing trend towards physician-inventors assigning IP rights to employing hospitals

Valuation analysts in healthcare need to look for technology transfer arrangements between physicians and hospitals.  Just as researchers at labs and universities assign their invention rights to their employing institutions, there is a growing trend in non-academic hospitals to include the assignment of IP rights in physician employment contracts.

On their website, the Edwards County Hospital in Kinsley, KS publishes their policy:

Standard 6.5 – Intellectual Property Rights and Obligations

          Any work of authorship or invention created by an employee during the scope of his or her employment with Edwards County Hospital shall be considered the property of Edwards County Hospital, including any patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, or other intellectual property right in such work of authorship or invention.  Employees shall assist Edwards County Hospital in obtaining and enforcing intellectual property rights in their works of authorship and inventions, while employed by Edwards County Hospital and thereafter.

It’s not unusual for a physician or doctors group to have invented a medical device, for example. Analyst due diligence should include a look at all contracts between doctors, doctors groups and hospitals, confirming and clarifying IP rights ownership. BVR offers a complete webinar series on healthcare valuation.