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Avoiding Intellectual Property issues in contract?

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  • Avoiding Intellectual Property issues in contract?

    Hey all,

    I have recently started working on a business idea and putting together the basics of a curriculum.  However, after reading my resident contract I realized that there was a whole section about how my institution owns any IP I generate while training in residency there.  That seems rather broad, as this has nothing to do with what I am being taught and I'm not using department time or resources to get it started.  Before I go any further does anyone have suggestions for how to deal with any possible issues that might arise?

     

    Thanks!

    -Futuredoc

  • #2




    Hey all,

    I have recently started working on a business idea and putting together the basics of a curriculum.  However, after reading my resident contract I realized that there was a whole section about how my institution owns any IP I generate while training in residency there.  That seems rather broad, as this has nothing to do with what I am being taught and I’m not using department time or resources to get it started.  Before I go any further does anyone have suggestions for how to deal with any possible issues that might arise?

     

    Thanks!

    -Futuredoc
    Click to expand...


    Yes, dont incorporate or launch until residency is completed.

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    • #3
      Sometimes the contract specifically refers to time spent while you are "clocked in". First step is to clarify with your employer (anonymously, if possible). You might also want to consult with an attorney that specializes in intellectual property law.
      Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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      • #4
        Makes sense.  I'll see if I can curbside some of the staff docs, I know at least one of them has a side business they started.

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        • #5
          Hi Futuredoc,

          I'm a patent attorney so i see these issues from time to time.  Not to be taken as legal advice (I don't know your exact situation), but here are some high-level generic thoughts:

          If you have a separate business idea, try to make the distinction between your residency and your separate business idea clear.  Don't use equipment (including generic PCs) provided by your residency to work on your project.  Don't work on your project during the time you are clocked in.  Best to launch the business after you are done with residency.

          Remember, the IP clause may be a throw-in to your residency contract and its possible it isn't wholly enforceable or will not generally be pursued by the Institution.  If you the institution is a university, they likely have a whole department dedicated to this.  If the institution is just a single hospital, maybe not so much.

          If you are really worried about separating your business, you could approach the General Counsel or COO of the Institution to get a simple 1-paragraph "right to practice" letter acknowledging that your business idea is separate and any IP generated while you are in residency and any claims to the IP will not be pursued by the Institution when you exit residency.  If you go this route, it will be helpful to narrowly define what the IP is directed toward, e.g. a curriculum for....  Of course raising the issue to the Execs could be a double edged sword.

          Hope this helps, all the usual disclaimers about not being your lawyer and I don't know your specific situation.

           

           

           

           

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