Terms and Conditions of Use

As part of its strategic visioning process, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute ("NHLBI") has created a Strategic Visioning Forum ("Forum") based on the IdeaScale platform ("IdeaScale") to collect ideas for compelling questions and critical challenges.

Acceptable Use Policy

Ideas submitted that are clearly unrelated to the purpose of the Forum will be deleted by moderators. Ideas that are unrelated to the purpose of the Forum include:

  • Publication of phone numbers, email addresses, information related to health and medical conditions, or other sensitive/personally identifiable information
  • Infringement on copyrights and other intellectual property
  • Vulgar, profane, or abusive language; personal attacks of any kind; inappropriate religious, sexual, political, or racial references; unsupported accusations
  • Threats or incitements to violence
  • Information posted in violation of law, including libel, condoning or encouraging illegal activity, revealing classified information, or comments that might affect the outcome of ongoing legal proceedings
  • Endorsement of commercial products, services or entities
  • ‘Spam’ and other direct marketing communication, unsolicited advertising, promotional materials, or any links to such
  • Endorsement of political parties, candidates, or groups
  • Solicitation of funds
  • Executable programming of any kind, including viruses, spyware, Trojan horses, Easter eggs, or any other form of computer programming
  • Duplicate posts
  • User Submissions

    You grant to the NHLBI and its designees a perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, fully-paid up, and royalty free license to use any ideas, expression of ideas or other materials you submit (collectively, "Idea") to the NHLBI without restrictions of any kind and without any payment or other consideration of any kind, or permission or notification, to you or any third party. The submission of your Idea to the NHLBI using the IdeaScale platform is entirely voluntary, non-confidential, gratuitous, and non-committal. In addition to the right to publish, the NHLBI is also granted under said license the following rights, without limitation: (i) the right to reproduce the Idea; (ii) the right to transfer, which includes the distribution via computer and networks, the Idea; (iii) the right to edit, modify, adapt, arrange, improve, correct, alter, and translate the Idea, in all or in part; (iv) the right to update/upgrade the Idea, including by combining the Idea with other Ideas submitted; and (v) the right to display, film, perform or post the Idea in any media. Except as described in our Privacy Policy, the NHLBI will not be required to treat any Submissions as confidential.

    You understand that the NHLBI may be working on the same or a similar Idea, that it may already know of such Idea from other sources, that it may simply wish to develop this (or a similar Idea) on its own or it may have taken/will take some other action. In return for the NHLBI's review and consideration of your Idea, you acknowledge that you have read, understand and agree to the terms enumerated below, and further agree that these terms shall apply to any additional material previously or later submitted, until such time as the NHLBI otherwise agrees in writing:

    1. To the best of your knowledge, the Idea represents your own original work, you have all necessary rights to disclose the Idea to the NHLBI and in doing so or the NHLBI review and/or use of the Idea, will not infringe upon any other individual's or entity's whose rights.
    2. You understand that disclosure of your Idea to the NHLBI does not establish a confidential relationship or obligate the NHLBI to treat the Idea (or any related materials) as secret or confidential.
    3. You understand that the NHLBI has no obligation, either express or implied, to develop or use your idea and that no compensation is due to you or anyone else for any inadvertent or intentional use of that Idea, related Ideas or Ideas derived from your Idea. You understand that the NHLBI assumes no obligation with respect to any Idea unless and until the NHLBI enters into a written contract with you, and then only as expressed in that contract. For your own protection, we assume that you will rely on whatever patent protection you may want to secure, or have already secured, in your idea. In the absence of a separate formal contract, your rights shall be limited to those existing under the patent laws of the United States.
    4. If your Idea is the subject of a pending or issued patent, you have disclosed or will disclose that fact to the NHLBI. To the extent you hold a patent in the Idea, the NHLBI acknowledges that no license under any patent is herein granted to the NHLBI. Any license to use a patented Idea shall be in the form of a written contract, in which event the NHLBI's obligations shall be only those expressed in such contract.
    5. The NHLBI will give your Idea such consideration as is warranted by its sole judgment. The NHLBI's review of your Idea shall not be construed as any recognition of the novelty or originality of the Idea. The NHLBI is not obligated to give reasons for rejecting your Idea or to reveal the NHLBI's activities that are related to the subject matter of the submitted Idea.
    6. Neither the discussion or negotiations between the NHLBI and you relating to the possible purchase or license of the Idea, nor the making of any offer for the purchase or license of the Idea, shall prejudice the NHLBI in any way, or be construed as recognition of the novelty, originality, priority, other rights or value of the submitted Idea. Further, NHLBI consideration or its discussions or negotiations with you will not in any way impair the NHLBI's right to contest the validity or infringement of your rights.
    7. You acknowledge and declare that (a) you have read and fully understand these terms and appreciate the nature, extent and consequences of this Agreement, (b) the submission of my Idea to the NHLBI is entirely voluntary, and (c) the NHLBI, directly or indirectly, may (i) be working on the same Idea or a similar Idea to the Idea, or (ii) already know of such Idea from other sources, or (iii) simply wish to develop this Idea or as similar to the Idea on its own.
    8. You agree that, except to the extent that these terms are superseded by a separate agreement in writing by you and the NHLBI, you hereby irrevocably release and forever discharge the NHLBI and its affiliates and subsidiaries from any and all actions, causes of actions, claims, damages, liabilities and demands, whether absolute or contingent and of any nature whatsoever, which you now have or hereafter can, shall or may have against the NHLBI and its affiliates and subsidiaries or their respecting successors and assigns with respect to the Idea, including without limitation in respect of how the NHLBI and its affiliates and subsidiaries, directly or indirectly, use the Idea, with the sole exception in respect of the foregoing release and discharge being your right to bring a claim of patent infringement.

    Access to Strategic Visioning Forum

    The NHLBI reserves the right to review your Ideas in order to ensure compliance with these Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy. The NHLBI reserves the right to deny or revoke access to the Forum, or any part thereof, at any time in its sole discretion, with or without cause. Your access to this Forum will terminate upon the termination of these Terms and Conditions for any reason. While the NHLBI endeavors to ensure that the Forum is available at all times, it shall not be liable if, for any reason, the Forum is unavailable at any time or for any period.


    The NHLBI uses IdeaScale to engage the scientific community, professional organizations and the public in an online dialogue. While visitors may read the submitted questions and comments without registering for an IdeaScale account, visitors who want to contribute questions or comments, follow questions, receive e-mail alerts, or use other site features must create an account. To create an account, you must provide the following information: name, e-mail address, ZIP code, whether you are registering as part of an organization and password. Your e-mail address will not be visible to the public and we do not collect, maintain, disclose, or share any information about the registered IdeaScale users. Please note: Questions and comments submitted to the Forum are public. As such, please do not include any personal information. If you do not wish to create an account, you can submit your ideas for compelling questions or critical challenges to NHLBI via e-mail or mail. The Privacy Policy for IdeaScale can be found at this link.