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Intellectual Property (IP) Protection

GENERAL

The EuroQol Research Foundation (hereinafter: “Foundation”) manages the intellectual property rights of all instruments owned by the EuroQol Group Association (hereinafter: “EuroQol Group”). The Foundation is thus entitled to distribute and commercialize these instruments, including, but not limited to, the family of EQ-5D and EQ-HWB instruments. This includes negotiating license agreements. Therefore, as part of the Foundation the EuroQol Office (hereinafter: “EQ Office”) is entitled to protect the IP rights of EuroQol instruments. The IP protection policy can be found on these pages, or downloaded here.

DEFINITIONS

  1. EuroQol instruments are instruments developed or co-developed by the EuroQol Group, of which the IP Rights are held by the EuroQol Group, and which are managed by the Foundation.
  2. EQ-5D is a family of standardized measures of health-related quality of life developed by the EuroQol Group to provide simple, generic questionnaires for use in clinical and economic appraisal or population health status surveys. EQ-5D is available in several versions, including EQ-5D-3L, EQ-5D-5L, and EQ-5D-Y. 
  3. EQ-HWB is a family of standardized instruments measuring aspects of both health outcomes and well-being. The instrument is currently under development by the EuroQol Group. Initial work was done by a team at the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield, in collaboration with researchers from the EuroQol Group. All IP Rights in EQ-HWB were transferred to the Foundation.
  4. Legal Team of the EQ Office is the team responsible for handling requests for use of EuroQol instruments. Furthermore, the Legal Team manages licenses and performs legal research on behalf of the EQ Office. This team consists of a Legal Team Leader, Legal Counsels and a User Support Officer.
  5. Intellectual Property Rights (hereinafter: IP Rights”) means copyrights, neighboring rights, patents, design rights, trademarks, service marks, database rights, know-how, trade or business names, rights in confidential information and all other intellectual property rights and rights of a similar nature, whether registered or unregistered and wherever in the world such rights arise. The Intellectual Property Rights include the aforementioned rights regarding or in connection with EuroQol instruments (any version) and the brand names of EuroQol instruments (any version). The IP Rights do not include data collected with EuroQol instruments, nor value sets estimated for EuroQol instruments.

POLICY

Prior written consent from the EQ Office is required to use, test, reproduce, alter, amend, convert, transfer, translate, publish, or otherwise make EuroQol instruments available, regardless of mode of administration (self-complete, interview, etc.), language, or form (digital, hard-copy, etc.).

The Foundation is the single point of distribution of EuroQol instruments.

WRITTEN PERMISSION/ LICENSE AGREEMENT 

For the use of EuroQol instruments, an online registration is required at the Foundation’s website: https://euroqol.org/eq-5d-registration-form/. Written permission will be provided, or a license agreement will be arranged, in accordance with the applicable User License Policy

The Foundation’s permission and licenses are only provided for use of EuroQol instruments to the parties explicitly accepting the provisions of the applicable documentation, wherein the scope is indicated as well.

REPRODUCTION OF EUROQOL INSTRUMENTS IN A PUBLICATION OR ON A WEBSITE

A request to display (parts of) a EuroQol instrument in a publication (book, article, dissertation, thesis, etc.) or on a website should be submitted via the EuroQol registration page. In general, permission is provided for non-commercial purposes and for the English (UK) sample versions only. Upon acceptance of the Terms of Use Reproduction a sample version of an EuroQol instrument will be provided for use in the publication.

CATEGORIZATION

The IP protection policy is based on five categories described below:

  1. Approved version
  2. Beta version 
  3. Experimental version
  4. Modified version
  5. Disapproved version

USE WITHOUT PERMISSION

Upon a notification of potential use or publication of EuroQol instruments without written consent, the Legal Team will contact the user to request additional information about their use or publication of the EuroQol instrument and their obtained permissions. Based on this information, the Legal Team will take the appropriate action.

The following cases will trigger action by the Legal Team:

  • Use of an EuroQol instrument without written consent of the Foundation;
  • Sharing the EuroQol instrument with parties not covered in an agreement or for which the Foundation did not give written consent;
  • Modifying and using an EuroQol instrument without written consent of the Foundation.

In these cases the Legal Team will request the user(s) to do the following:

  1. Register the EuroQol instrument use via the online EQ registration form.
  2. Forward the used version(s) to the Legal Team.
  3. Provide information about the use (e.g. number of respondents). 

The Legal Team, in consultation with the EQ Office’s Executive Director, will then determine if further legal action is required.

PUBLICATION OF EUROQOL INSTRUMENT WITHOUT PERMISSION

The following cases will trigger action by the Legal Team:

  • Making a EuroQol instrument available to, or accessible by, the public (outside a study) without written permission;  
  • Displaying a EuroQol instrument in a publication (book, article, dissertation, thesis, etc.), partially or in full, without written permission.

The Legal Team will contact the website owners, journal editors or authors to notify them of the infringement of EuroQol IP rights. The Legal Team, in consultation with the EQ Office’s Executive Director will then determine which action is required. In case of illegal distribution of EuroQol instruments, the Legal Team will send a takedown notice to the website owners or journal editors to remove the EQ instruments from the internet.

(Version 07JAN2021)

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