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Research and development in the hospital industry: protection and exploitation of their results

  • 14 May 2014
  • Articles

There are results of R&D in hospitals which are not susceptible to protection through the different options offered by Intellectual Property (patents, trademark or industrial design).

As part of our contact with the different lines of research being carried in hospitals, we have been able to detect a relevant fact which has caused enormous interest.

These results are often clearly identified in the same way as computer software or data bases, for example, but in the majority of cases we come up against a different type of results whose value is not recognized for what it is, given that they cannot be the subject of a patent or utility model.

I refer, for example, to questionnaires, procedure protocols, methodologies, models or the translation of any of the same.

The value of these results is undeniable but, on most occasions, there is a lack of information as regards how to protect this knowledge and, even more so, as how to exploit it for the economic benefits so necessary nowadays.

Well then, here we have results that can be protected via Intellectual Property or Copyrights. There are considerable differences between the manner of protecting them.

Intellectual Property (for example the patents I have already mentioned) are protected by registration, while Copyrights are obtained by the creation of the right in itself. In the latter case registration is not a requisite for obtaining the right. The problem lies in establishing a means of proving that, that result, is of our creation.

To this end, we should prepare some type of proof in advance, always supposing that we are dealing with a result, like those already mentioned, which could constitute Co.

We should also be aware that these Copyrights can be exploited and/or commercialized either directly or indirectly. In the latter case, we can obtain income from royalties by clearly defining the type of license we wish to grant.

We can retain all or only some of these Copyrights and, from this point on, allow third parties to use what we have agreed to, during the period of time we want and in the countries we have indicated.

Infinite possibilities are opened up before us and, if we should waive the right to obtain economic benefits, by signing what are known as creative commons rights we should, in any case, be aware of the fact that we are dealing with Copyrights, where we are allowing their use by third parties, with or without the corresponding payment but always under the conditions we have decided on.

Undoubtedly, in one way or another, what we have detected in the hospital sector can be found in other areas that generate research or innovation.

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Research and development in the hospital industry: protection and exploitation of their resultsResearch and development in the hospital industry: protection and exploitation of their results