At the beginning of October, I posted a blog post on the Mills & Reeve health commissioning portal on transferring intellectual property out of primary care trusts (PCTs) which are due to be dissolved on 1 April 2013. The Department of Health has since then issued guidance for PCTs and SHAs which can be accessed here.
The guidance documents set out information for the transfer of intellectual property to new and existing NHS organisations (“Receivers”) prior to 1 April. They will not be applicable to those assets that will not transfer nor to organisations which will not be part of the Department of Health or NHS from 1 April 2013.
In summary the guidance states that IP will be transferred in the following ways depending on which body will receive the functions supported by the transferred IP:
- IP owned by SHAs will either transfer to the NHS Commissioning Board or other appropriate Receiver;
- IP owned by PCTs will transfer to a nominated Receiver; and
- if more than one body requires the IP for the performance of its functions, the nominated Receiver should grant a non-exclusive perpetual licence for a nominal fee to such other Receiver(s) and the Receivers will need to agree who the nominated Receiver should be in this instance.
Intellectual property currently being utilised by PCTs is likely to include intellectual property in medical equipment, software and databases.
The guidance recommends that PCTs should consider whether there are any third parties may have any rights or interests in the intellectual property they are transferring as part of the NHS Transition. Businesses involved in supplying goods or services to PCTs should however consider taking stock themselves of whether they have any intellectual property rights which might be affected by the transition and seeking appropriate legal advice.