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Take care of your money-spinners

Doctors in private practice and private healthcare operators are often innovators, developing software, equipment and treatments, and building a ‘brand.’ Using these more widely, both in British healthcare and further afield, could bring benefits to patients – and private practitioners are often keen to help this happen.

However, they need to consider what happens to their intellectual property in their innovations. Intellectual property is a valuable asset – as is being increasingly realised by the NHS – and needs protecting. Gill Hall and Nabil Asaad report.

BrainThe term ‘intellectual property’ is used to describe a specific set of intangible assets that are generated through intellectual effort and creative activity. It typically covers patents, trademarks, copyright, designs and databases.

It is often used as a broader term to include ‘know-how’ and confidential information as well, although these are not, strictly speaking, intellectual property.

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