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SHIL celebrates and supports World Intellectual Property Day 2021

SHIL is proud to be supporting World Intellectual Property Day, taking place this year on Monday 26th April.

SHIL celebrates and supports World Intellectual Property Day 2021 image

The annual day celebrates the role which intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity, while empowering entrepreneurs by protecting their ideas.

This year, World Intellectual Property Day is shining a light on “the critical role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the economy and how they can use intellectual property (IP) rights to build stronger, more competitive and resilient businesses.”

This same principle applies to NHS Scotland. All modern healthcare is founded on past innovation and the development of new ideas is essential to create an innovative and sustainable NHS. But without ownership over the IP of what has been created or invented, anyone, regardless of permission, can use and adapt that idea.

Protecting IP is therefore crucial to ideas originating from NHS Scotland. It secures the interests of both the health professional/ inventor, and the health board. It is one of the key services SHIL offers to health boards across Scotland, and ensures the NHS is protected in commercial negotiations, with skilled, experienced individuals able to advise and support through this process.

Over the years SHIL has protected the Intellectual Property, Trademark, Copyright and Design Rights for over 250 NHS inventions.  

Against the backdrop of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and NHS Scotland recovery aims, this strong framework will continue to support the NHS as it adapts and evolves in response to the pandemic, emerges stronger and accelerates the development of the leading healthcare innovations of tomorrow.

“Intellectual property is an essential lynchpin of innovation, holding the ability to protect ideas right from the grassroots level and then helping to support the commercialisation process if they become a tangible reality.

“Strong IP remains a vital consideration for health and social care professionals as part of the entrepreneurial journey to innovation that has taken on so much fresh importance during the pandemic.

“More than ever, we need to develop and collaborate on those ideas, find solutions to complex health challenges, and innovate our way out of the pandemic - but look beyond it too.

“Incredible knowledge and talent resides within our NHS, and coupled with the experience and expertise within SHIL we can fully harness the potential of the NHS and accelerate innovative health ideas that positively support health, economic and social outcomes”

Graham Watson, Executive Chairman, SHIL

WIPO Director General Daren Tang paid tribute to the “unsung heroes” of the global economy who are a vehicle for growth in a post-pandemic world.

SHIL continues to support initiatives with a series of COVID-19 innovation calls designed to inspire and harness the knowledge and expertise of health and social care professionals across Scotland to develop innovative solutions in response to the crisis.

These have offered initial seed funding of up to £25k, project management, innovation expertise, and regulatory support including access to detailed intellectual property advice. The current call has closed but innovative ideas to any health challenges can be submitted through our online portal available at

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has made a number of useful resources available for World Intellectual Property Day, which can be accessed on their website.

These include suggested virtual activities, an IP diagnostics tool that helps entrepreneurs to identify and manage assets that can be protected, as well as general advice and guides that take the COVID-19 pandemic into account.

Intellectual property advice is part of a range of services and support offered by SHIL with a short guide to IP detailing the different types of IP including copyright, patents, trademarks and trade secrets.

If you have questions or are interested in finding out more get in touch via and follow #WorldIPDay for useful insight.

You can also follow @ScottishHealthInno for daily news or sign up to INSIGHT our regular e-newsletter.

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