What’s next for Emory University’s Mary Washington hospital and Baylor Hospital

MARY WASHTON, Ga.

— What’s to come for Emories and Baylor University in their long-running legal battle over their naming rights over their hospitals?

They might get it sooner than later.

On Tuesday, the Emory hospital’s owner, David Smith, announced the university’s ownership of the rights.

Emory owns all the hospitals name, the university said in a statement.

“In a move that will improve our reputation as a top medical school, Emory will relinquish the rights to the Emories name in 2018, effective immediately, and will instead utilize its name and trademarks for its own health care and academic programs,” Smith said in the statement.

Smith said Emory has long been interested in owning the rights but “we felt we needed to make a better decision.”

He said he has “never had a better partner in the fight to protect the Emersons name.”

Emory said it was “delighted” that the university “was willing to make this important step.”

Baylor, meanwhile, has been trying to get the rights from Smith.

Its lawyer said Monday it has “no doubt” the university will win the rights, as it’s the only one that’s been involved in the litigation.

“We believe the Emys have a legitimate case to be able to assert their ownership rights in the name of Emory Hospital, and we believe this is the best decision for both the University and the community,” Baylor’s attorney, David W. Smith, said in an emailed statement.

Emory President Robert J. Wood Jr. said Monday that Emory was “very pleased” with the decision.

The university will “continue to aggressively defend its rights and will work diligently to ensure Emory and Baylor have a future as premier medical institutions in the United States and internationally,” he said.