Access to IPRs

Waiving IP Rights During Times of COVID: A ‘False Good Idea’

For Hans Sauers, it is clear that the COVID pandemic is being used as a cover narrative to argue for a quantum leap in the debate over IP and public health. In other words, taking away or denying patent rights is, according to some, no longer enough. Affirmative expropriation and the forced transfer of industrial property is taking its place on the NGO agenda – at least with respect to vaccine originator companies from North America and Western Europe. It is unclear why, but no nongovernmental group is demanding similar access to Russian, Chinese, or Indian COVID vaccine technology, even though there is no convincing reason to be dismissive of these products. Expectations that manufacturers around the world could, due to reduced IP protections, “freely” and independently make versions of existing COVID-19 vaccines within months are simply unrealistic. Indeed, there is no such thing as a “generic vaccine,” as some IP waiver proponents expect. Any resulting products would inevitably differ in quality, safety, and efficacy, and would not be approvable without running new rounds of expensive and time-consuming clinical trials. This inefficiency would be exacerbated by the diversion of scarce raw materials away from up-and-running manufacturers to inexperienced, first-time producers, who would produce at lower efficiency (at least initially) and, indeed, often in regions that lack biologics-manufacturing infrastructure. Such supply diversions, and the resulting inefficiencies, would only make it harder to maintain current global vaccine production, and worldwide COVID vaccine output would decline, not grow.

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Closing the Gender Gap in Intellectual Property (IP)

Jennifer Brant, Executive Director of Innovation Council, Co-author of “Policy Approaches to Close the Intellectual Property Gender Gap – Practices to Support Access to the Intellectual Property System for Female Innovators, Creators and Entrepreneurs”, spoke in a sharing session on “Women and IP” organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

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Watch the webinar.

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Enhancing Intellectual Property Management and Appropriation by Innovative SMEs

This one-pager by the Innovation Council explains the importance of sound IP management for SMEs, including complementary and hybrid strategies and recommendations for governments. To read more about innovative SMEs, click through the Innovation Council gallery for World IP Day 2021 here.

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International Women’s Day: Actions to help women entrepreneurs

This infographic from the Innovation Council highlights five strategies to address the gender gap in IP and encourage innovation. Among the strategies identified are better data collection, projects to connect girls and women to IP, and targeted programs to encourage women to pursue careers in IP law.

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Challenges for women entrepreneurs & strategies to address the gender IP gap

Innovation Council prepared these slides to raise awareness regarding five challenges that contribute to the IP gender gap. You can read about actions to address the IP gender gap here.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has commissioned a study, which is to be released shortly, for the purpose of identifying policies that enhance access to the intellectual property (IP) system by women inventors, creators, and entrepreneurs. While stating that it is not yet possible to identify a list of “best practices” in this area—due simply to a low level of research on the subject to date—the authors pinpoint a number of promising programs for the advancement of women in the IP system. They distill both a short list of barriers to women’s success in this arena and a lineup of possible next steps towards surmounting each of them.

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International Women’s day: Women in Innovation event

On 8 March, join a panel discussion on “Women in Innovation: Providing leadership, creating solutions, and driving change,” at the Africa Health International Agenda Conference. The session is co-organized by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC), and the Innovation Council.

Many of the speakers will have made an impact in their communities, or regionally and/or globally, by thinking differently and driving change through innovation and creativity.

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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.

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The Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab

The Innovation Council member Qualcomm launched the 5G Academy, a resource designed to educate the public and policymakers on 5G – from how it works to how it’s changing the way the world connects and communicates, and why standards and patents in wireless technology matter.

You can learn more why 5G will redefine the ways we connect to the world around us—making possible a connectivity fabric that weaves everything, and everyone, together.

Here’s a look at our future with 5G.

Test your knowledge on wireless technology – from wireless voice calls to autonomous cars? Test here your 5G knowledge by playing the 5G Game!

The health pandemic has shown the need for faster wireless networks to boost remote learning. Watch here how 5G can take e-learning to the next level.

5G networks will broaden the ways we interact with doctors, manage our own health, and improve access to treatment. Watch here how 5G will transform healthcare.

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A review of SDO IPR Policies: Do they require component level licensing?

This paper by Richard Vary (Bird & Bird) sets out a detailed analysis of the intellectual property rights policies (IPR policies) of standard development organizations (SDOs) in the mobile technology sector. SDOs’ IPR policies enable innovators to contribute their best technologies to standardization processes, in the knowledge they will achieve a fair return on their R&D investments through licensing at the end product level.

The result is a virtuous cycle of innovation whereby earnings from licensing standardized technology are re-invested in R&D, contributing to evolution of the technology. He shows that none of the IPR policies requires the IPR holder to offer licenses of its essential IPR to component makers.

All of the policies would appear to permit holders of essential IPR to adopt a policy of licensing to the end-user product manufacturer. Many of the policies contain wording that could only be relevant or applicable when licensing to parties who buy in components from component makers, such as end-user product manufacturers.

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