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Doctor wins claim over patent ownership

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7015.1248 (Published 11 November 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1248
  1. CLARE DYER, legal correspondent,
  2. CHRIS HUGHES, head
  1. BMJ
  2. BMA legal department

    A hospital doctor in Britain has successfully fought off his employers' claim to the patent for a device he invented while studying for his fellowship examinations. A High Court judge has ruled that Dr Donald Montgomery, not Greater Glasgow Health Board, owns the patent for an ophthalmoscopic instrument he devised to keep the eye stationary during examination.

    Mr Michael Fysh, Dr Montgomery's QC, said that the case was an important test of the rights of hospital doctors, particularly those working in university hospitals, to claim ownership of their own inventions. The health board's counsel, Mr George Hamer, told the judge, Mr Justice Jacob: “It is a matter of great importance….It is important to my clients and to health authorities everywhere.” The board is considering an …

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