IP Management in WA Health

Procedures for the protection and commercialisation of WA Health IP

The research administration office or equivalent at your site should be the first point of contact in the protection and commercialisation of IP in WA Health.

If work has a potentially patentable outcome, expert advice should be sought at the earliest stage for the establishment of very strict recording, reporting and non-disclosure procedures. The Research Development Unit (RDU) can be of assistance in this.

A number of stages of IP commercialisation require executive authorisation to proceed. Therefore, when any commercial potential of IP is first recognised, the RDU should be informed so that the appropriate procedures can be facilitated.

The Department of Health (the Department) currently has funds allocated for the limited support of very early stage commercial development of IP. Some examples of eligible costs include:

  • establishment of a business case
  • assessment of commercial value
  • assistance in reaching the ‘proof of concept’ stage
  • initial patent attorney costs
  • provisional patent application costs.

External advice should only be sought for these matters after consultation with the RDU.

For materials protected by copyright and which have potential commercial value (for example, software, training manuals, patient or business management tools), the establishment of licence agreements is usually the first option.

Agreements must be prepared/approved by either the Department’s Legal and Legislative Services (LLS) or the State Solicitors Office (SSO). The RDU can provide assistance with this.

IP clauses should be included in contracts with external parties whenever appropriate. Template IP clauses are available from the RDU. Any modifications to standard IP clauses should be prepared/approved by LLS or SSO.

IP reporting procedures in Department of Health

WA Health employees must follow departmental procedures for reporting IP in order to ensure that IP in the health system is:

  • identified
  • captured
  • suitably protected
  • responsibly managed.

The RDU has designed a Registration and Commercialisation Checklist (Word 172KB) to assist employees within the state health system who have developed IP with commercial potential to:

  • comply with the Department’s reporting requirements
  • obtain executive authorisation for commercialisation
  • apply for early-phase seed funding for commercialisation, if required
  • seek advice regarding IP protection and commercialisation.

Once completed, the checklist should be returned to the RDU for evaluation by the Department’s IP coordinator.

Projects may be eligible for limited early-stage funding for future development (for example, business case establishment, market appraisal, patent protection) depending on availability of funding and the merits of the initiative.

New initiatives will be assessed against the following criteria to determine suitability for funding:

  • novelty
  • demand
  • competition
  • commercial potential
  • expected health benefits
  • feasibility
  • associated risks.

More information

  • Research Development Unit
    Department of Health
    Neil Lynch, Senior Policy Officer RDU
    Phone: 9222 4053
    Post: PO Box 8172 Perth Business Centre, Perth 6849
    Address: Level 2, Block C, 189 Royal Street, East Perth 6004
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Research Development Unit