Access to IPRs

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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If poor countries go unvaccinated, rich ones will pay, a study shows.

Ensuring that every country gets enough vaccines against COVID-19 should not only be done for humanitarian reasons: It is also of economic interest, says a study commissioned by the International Chamber of Commerce. If less prosperous countries do not receive sufficient vaccinations, the rich countries will have to bear the (economic) costs.

In the worst-case scenario: If wealthy countries are fully vaccinated by the middle of this year and poor countries are largely excluded – the global economy would suffer losses of more than $9 trillion, a sum greater than the annual output of Japan and Germany combined.

Even if researchers do not expect the worst and assume that developing countries vaccinate half the population by the end of 2021, the global economy would take a hit of between $1.8 trillion and $3.8 trillion.

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Nations Sign First Agreement to Unlock Potential of Emerging Tech

Speaking at a panel organized by the World Economic Forum and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), ministers from Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom announced their plan to lead the world in fostering responsible innovation and entrepreneurship. The Agile Nations Charter sets out each country’s commitment to creating a regulatory environment in which new ideas can thrive. Read full article here.

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E-commerce Story Pitch Contest

In this online pitch competition, three e-commerce companies from developing and least developed countries will pitch their story and will be asked a series of questions, with online participants deciding who wins.

In their pitch, finalists will have to provide practical e-commerce insights, actionable tips and innovative approaches. The aim is to share specific learnings, get inspired, and learn useful tips and tools to boost online sales. The winning e-commerce entrepreneur will receive a prize package worth 1,000 USD for digital marketing services.

The three companies are MYANiture from Myanmar, Booksie from Ghana, and Nanjala from Kenya.

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Analysis of patent “evergreening”

In this article, Professor Erika Leitzen argues that critics of so-called “evergreening” of healthcare patents have an ulterior motive: to deny drug innovators the right to enjoy the exclusivity, and the resulting pricing advantages, their patents afford them. She says understanding this requires unpacking the regulatory landscape and market more carefully, and paying closer attention to word choice.

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EU Commission adopts action plan on intellectual property

In late November 2020, the EU Commission published a new Action Plan on Intellectual Property to help companies, especially small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), to make the most of their inventions and creations and ensure they can benefit our economy and society.

Intellectual property (IP) is a key driver for economic growth as it helps companies to valorize their intangible assets. The Action Plan aims at enabling the European creative and innovative industry to remain a global leader and at speeding up Europe’s green and digital transitions. In particular, the Action Plan sets out key steps to improve the protection of IP; to boost the uptake of IP by SMEs; to facilitate the sharing of IP to increase the technological uptake in the industry; to fight counterfeiting and improve the enforcement of IP rights; and to promote a global level playing field.

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VIDEO: Why Researchers Need an IP Strategy

On October 8, 2020, 4iP Council held a webinar to explore the relevance of IP for research for both public and private spheres. The speakers, Dr. Peter Oksen, Senior Program Officer of WIPO GREEN, and Prof. Koenraad Debackere, Executive Director of KU Leuven Research and Development, discussed the role of IP in technology transfer, the related legal context and its variations across Europe.

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