It's not uncommon for researchers and others at academic hospitals or universities to grant intellectual property rights to their employers. For any discoveries, methods or other ideas they are responsible for, the university becomes the patent holder. However, hospitals not associated with medical schools are now requiring new employees to sign similar agreements, according to MedCityNews.com.
This has proven especially true for hospitals that are part of larger systems. Should a group of physicians collaborate on a project that yields a new capability previously unseen on the market, converting it to intellectual property can be lucrative for the hospital.
For employees of these hospitals, this can be problematic if employment agreements and contracts are not analyzed properly. Prior to signing the document, the news provider suggests having an attorney read it to ensure that the language is acceptable or allows employees to pursue their own patents should they invent something unrelated to a hospital project.
MedCityNews.com reports that the growing medical device market has forced a number of hospitals to develop new prototypes. Aside from the devices themselves, the embedded software required to run these devices can be equally valuable for software companies.