IP, Media & Technology

Intellectual Property

Innovation is key within the health and social care sector to achieve new effective and efficient solutions for service users, adding years to life and life to years, in addition to being a potential source of revenue.  Intellectual Property created through such innovation is a valuable asset to be protected and exploited, and seeking expert professional advice at any early stage can help to protect your position and ensure maximum benefit from such innovation and knowledge.

Within the NHS this is a key area of development and the generation of intellectual property is encouraged and controlled through a series of specific duties, policies and sets of guidance, which need to be applied in addition to specialist legal expertise.

In order to ensure that the results of innovation achieve fruition, new technologies are often developed in collaboration between the public and private sector, both sharing the rewards of matured intellectual property development.  We regularly act for clients in both sectors.


Smooth service delivery in this sector is technology led.  Helping our clients achieve a successful outcome requires not only the relevant specialist legal knowledge, but a firm grasp of the technical aspects, an understanding of the market place, and good project management skills.  We have substantial knowledge and skills in these areas acting for both providers and purchasers of IT and technology, both sector specific and more widely in the general marketplace.

Publishing and Media

The sharing and publication of specialist knowledge, know-how and training by health and social care organisations in print and online requires specialist publishing and media law advice, as does the leasing of institutional premises for filming, the provision of staff for film and television documentaries and the commissioning of new creative media work. We regularly advise on such matters.

The Team

Our team have first hand experience of working in-house ‘at the coal face’ in the public and private sectors, as well as substantial experience advising a wide range of health and social care sector clients as private practice lawyers. Members of our team also regularly write for practitioner IP journals. This combination of detailed technical knowledge coupled with first-hand commercial experience gives us an effective and pragmatic approach, and brings us repeat and retainer instructions from a variety of leaders in the sector. We are also frequently asked to advise on cutting edge public-private collaborations in the research arena.

Who We Work With

Hempsons regularly advises well over 100 clients of substance in relation to intellectual property, media and technology matters. We advise large sections of the NHS, many nationally renowned and substantial charities, academic institutions and social enterprise clients; software houses; design agencies; and pharmaceutical, life science and medical technology companies.

Key Services and Issues

  • Collaborations for research and development: advice, joint venture structuring, and contractual arrangements.
  • Protection and exploitation of inventions, documentation, knowledge and data.
  • Employment, consultancy, service agreements and IP policies for the NHS and other bodies.
  • Intellectual Property audits.
  • Patent, trade mark, design right and breach of confidence dispute resolution, including advice on contentious matters and misuse of intellectual property.
  • Brand protection including trade mark registration and enforcement, similar name problems, dealing with ‘passing off’ and brand copying.
  • Advice on data protection, data gathering and exploitation, with particular expertise in a medical context.
  • Clinical trials and medical research agreements and regulatory advice.
  • Pharma and life sciences issues.
  • Medical device innovation and regulation.
  • Advice on filming, performance, publication and image rights issues.
  • Contractual advice on the purchasing of IT systems, software and website development, support and maintenance, outsourcing and hosting.
  • Networking, infrastructure, and other technical IT agreements.
  • Online legality and defamation advice and disputes, e-commerce and website documentation.
  • Advice and contracts for the development and exploitation of multi-media and e-learning products.

Our Work

  • TrusTECH: We are retained legal advisors to TrusTECH, the NHS’ in-house IP managers for the North West of England, advising on IP protection and exploitation matters.
  • NHS Hull: We recently advised Hull Teaching PCT on the implementation of innovative new healthcare technology in the form of biometric condom machines.
  • North West Strategic Health Authority: We have advised on the purchase of IT solution and multi-million pound software licensing transactions. We have also given advice on a contentious matter involving ownership of domain names and website materials, and advised on film production and documentary issues.