Copyright in training materials: interpreting the assignment clause

On reflection, IP Draughts wonders whether the drafter of this assignment clause was making a distinction between IP and IPR – a distinction that he dislikes but sees in some contracts. If so, this probably supports the judge’s interpretation.

IP Draughts

Dr Susie Wilkinson

Picture the scene.  You have been conducting research on communications skills for medical professionals for several decades.  You have trained nurses in communication skills and written training materials for them.  You own the copyright in these materials, some of which are based on the contents of your PhD.  You are also a published co-author of an Oxford University Press book for healthcare professionals, and are or were an honorary senior lecturer at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

You are asked to participate in a joint bid to write training materials on the subject of communication skills in relation to the treatment of cancer patients.  These materials are to be used nationally by the UK National Health Service (“NHS”).  You are happy for the copyright in these materials to belong to the NHS, provided you do not lose ownership to your pre-existing intellectual property (“IP”).


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