The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Research and Innovation

Intellectual Property

What is Intellectual Property (IP)?

Trust employees will, from time to time, develop ideas and concepts which have practical applications and commercial potential. Examples are the development of new techniques, devices, software, pharmaceutical products, formulae and writings. Such ideas and concepts are termed Intellectual Property (IP) and, like other kinds of property, can be owned and protected.

As part of its commitment to delivering the best possible patient care, the NHS in general, and the Trust in particular, wishes to encourage its staff to develop and exploit Intellectual Property in conjunction with the Trust and the Regional NHS IP Hub (Medipex).

All staff are encouraged to solve problems and to develop new ways of working which benefit patients and their care. Many innovations will not be patentable or copyrightable but nevertheless have enormous potential benefits if successfully implemented. Staff should be given opportunities to pursue their ideas and the Trust has a responsibility to ensure that advancements in working practices are disseminated across the Trust and, if appropriate, nationally.

Why is IP important?

Department of Health Guidance 2002 requires all NHS organisations to mange the IP arising from their activities. Ideas arising out of routine work as well as research may result in commercially valuable IP.

The benefits of this are:

  • Improvements in patient care through new innovations.
  • The possibility of significant financial benefits to the Inventor and the NHS.

Examples of IP that may be exploitable:

  • Devices and equipment
  • Diagnostics and therapies
  • Software
  • Guidelines and training materials
  • Pharmaceutical products and processes

What are IP Rights?

These are legal rights that can protect your ideas and inventions. They include copyright and patents.

LTHT IP Policy

The Trust has a policy on the management of Intellectual Property. The policy sets out the rules of ownership of Intellectual Property arising from employees' work, and its protection and exploitation. It aims to maintain a balance between the legitimate needs of the Trust to protect its interests and the provision of a creative working environment for staff.

Policy on Intellectual Property (75 KB)