The intellectual property policies of IHE International, Inc. are described in the IHE Principles of Governance. These policies include a patent disclosure obligation for IHE member
organizations. This page describes the process used by IHE Domain Committees
and their secretaries to ensure adherence to IHE's patent disclosure policy.
IHE's Principles of Governance include an intellectual property policy that
defines a duty to disclose certain known patents or patent applications owned,
controlled or that can be sublicensed by the Member Organization. This obligation
applies to patents or applications that involve "Necessary Claims,"
meaning that in developing a system compliant with some IHE Technical Framework document (including Supplements), an implementer would necessarily infringe upon that patent.
Every domain committee member serves as a representative of an IHE Member
Organization. In applying for membership, these organizations have all agreed
to abide by the Principles of Governance, including specifically the intellectual
property policy and the patent disclosure obligation. It is the duty of the
domain Secretary to maintain committee rosters for that domain and to ensure
that all committee members are in fact representatives of IHE Member Organizations.
The domain committee Secretary is responsible for reminding committee members
of the patent disclosure policy in writing (via email) and at face-to-face
meetings (using the presentation slides provided below) at key milestones
throughout the development process of Technical Framework documents, including:
The duty to
disclose applies both to Profiles under development and to those already
published. In the case of new Profiles, the mandated timing for disclosure is
prior to their publication for Public Comment. Committee members are
responsible for promptly disclosing patent claims relating to already published
Profiles whenever they become aware of such claims.
In cases where an IHE Member Organization asserts a patent claim as being
necessarily infringed by implementers of systems compliant with an IHE
Technical Framework document, its committee representatives shall be
responsible for formally disclosing any such patent claim. If allegations
regarding assertion of claims pertaining to previously undisclosed patents by
an IHE Member Organization reach the Secretary of an IHE Domain or the Secretary
of the IHE International Board, the Domain Secretary will request that the
Member Organization in question make a formal patent claim disclosure by
submitting a letter of assurance using the form linked below. The letter of
assurance will specify the scope of the asserted claim and associated licensing
terms. Refusal to formally disclose a patent claim, while asserting claims of
necessary infringement by implementers of systems compliant with IHE Technical
Framework documents, may be grounds for the IHE International Board to expel
the offending IHE Member Organization.
The Principles of Governance stipulate that disclosed patents must be made
available by license to other IHE Member Organizations under reasonable and
non-discriminatory terms, including a condition of reciprocity. These
provisions are described fully in Appendix A, section A.3 of the IHE Principles of Governance.
Committee secretaries and domain planning and technical committee co-chairs are
instructed to regularly consult the posted table of disclosed patent
information and to make their committees aware of any disclosed patents that
may be relevant to planned development activities in the domain.Related Materials
For further information about the IHE patent disclosure process, contact:
IHE International Board Secretary/Director of Informatics, RSNAsecretary@ihe.net
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