Patents to protect IP

Slideshow: Innovation and the COVID-19 Response

On 26 November 2021 the new research report about the role that intellectual property played in the development, manufacturing, and global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics was launched in Geneva. The report was co-authored by Innovation Council’s very own Jennifer Brant, and Prof. Mark Schultz.

The report is available here, along with a slideshow of the research project.

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Unprecedented – The Rapid Innovation Response to COVID-19 and the Role of Intellectual Property

Jennifer Brant, Director of Innovation Council, will present a recent research report that she co-authored about the constructive role played by IP rights in the rapid development and manufacturing of COVID-19 solutions. Jetane Charsley, Head of NIPMO, will host the event and lead a moderated discussion.

Tuesday, May 10 / 01:00 PM Johannesburg (CET)

Click here to register for this event.

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EU launches WTO dispute against China over 5G IP  

On February 18, the European Union launched a legal challenge against China at the World Trade Organization, arguing that Chinese courts were preventing European companies from protecting their cellular technology patents. The EU considers that China is violating the WTO TRIPS Agreement, as Chinese courts continue to issue broad anti-suit injunctions (ASIs), thus deterring owners of cellular standard essential patents (SEPs) from litigating patent licensing disputes outside of China. Alongside the broad ASIs, it has been asserted that the Chinese courts are setting unduly low global licensing rates in their rulings. While the EU case focuses on ASIs, industry experts point out that it is the combination strategy that harms the position of European and other SEP owners. The European Commission filed the challenge on behalf of the 27 EU members, and other WTO members, such as Australia and the UK, have already joined the case. The next step is consultations. 

Read the full story.  

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Unprecedented: The Rapid Innovation Response to COVID-19 and the Role of Intellectual Property

On 26 November the new research report about the role that intellectual property played in the development, manufacturing, and global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics was launched in Geneva. The report was co-authored by Innovation Council’s very own Jennifer Brant, and Prof. Mark Schultz.

The report, along with other materials including an executive summary is available here.

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Considering All Sides of Medicines Patents

For many years, policy experts and others have engaged in wide-ranging debates about patents on pharmaceuticals, particularly in developing countries. On the one hand, it has been argued that IP protection provides crucial incentives to the pharmaceutical industry to undertake more research on tropical diseases. On the other hand, the patenting of pharmaceuticals has been criticised as causing challenges regarding access to medicines. The brief examines in detail the rationale for patenting medicines. The examination includes an investigation into the role of the patent system in relation to the pharmaceutical industry, the moral limits of patents, how the exclusion of a patent can create social costs, the rationale for the patenting of  medicines and the incentive theory and how this can be balanced with access to medicines.

Read the full story.

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Patenting and Covid-19 Vaccines

Patents have had an important role in organising the collaborations that led to the development and commercialization of COVID-19 vaccines. Patenting is a crucial tool in research-based industries like pharmaceuticals and biologics and can be a means to encourage collaboration. Terms can be negotiated to have different types of expertise combined in one project. The virus will likely garner another sort of PIP-type or any other similar program which will encourage contractual licensing of innovative IP in exchange for access to specialized expertise or important biological data. Monopolisation should clearly be avoided, and patent pooling must be the way forward to obtain sufficient vaccines for Covid-19 as early as possible.

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Patent grants up 5.9% at IP5 offices in 2019

Patents played an even more important role in 2019 to protect intellectual property. According to the latest IP5 Statistics Report, the world’s five largest IP offices granted 1.6 million patents in 2019, an increase of 5.9% on the previous year. The total number includes 2.7 million patent applications filed at the IP5 offices in 2019.

The annual patent statistics published by the European Patent Office, the Japan Patent Office, the Korean Intellectual Property Office, the China National Intellectual Property Administration and the United States Patent and Trademark Office were used for this analysis. If you are curious about the 2020 EPO statistics – they will be published in March.

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