While the number of patented medicines on the EML has increased in recent editions, the portion of the list currently under patent remains a small portion of all drugs on the EML, currently about 10%. A deeper dive into the data shows that many drugs are only patented in a fraction of lower income countries. Thus, 80% of lower income countries have 50 or fewer active patent filings on that ten percent. Moreover, many of these patented drugs are subject to institutionalized programs to provide access at lower cost. This paper provides an update to previous efforts to understand the nature of the EML, while expanding previous information thanks in part to the existence of new freely accessible online databases showing patent status and participation in programs to provide access.
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.
Invent Together advocacy in favor of the IDEA Act
Invent Together is a coalition of organizations, universities, companies, and other stakeholders dedicated to understanding the diversity gaps in invention and patenting. It aims to support public policy and private initiatives working to close the diversity gap. They have been supporting the adoption of the Inventor Diversity for Economic Advancement (IDEA) Act, which would require the USPTO to collect data on inventors’ demographic data on a voluntary basis and make this information available in the aggregate for research.
The IDEA Act has recently passed the House as part of the America COMPETES Act. As the House and Senate negotiate a compromise, Invent Together is calling for Congress to keep the IDEA Act in the final version sent to President Biden’s office.
Invent Together has written a sign-on letter urging congressional leadership to keep the IDEA Act in the final innovation and competition bill which can be found here.
How female inventors can fix STEM’s gender gap
While not specifically addressed by studies on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, its impact on women in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce is likely to manifest in a greater gender gap than was documented pre-pandemic. Just as a gender gap exists in the STEM workforce, a gender gap also exists in patenting activity. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Intellectual Property (IP) Statistics Data Center, the share of female inventors out of all inventors named on Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications filed in 2020 was 16%. While the share of PCT applications filed in 2020 that included at least one female inventor was higher at 32%, this number still indicates that over two-thirds of the PCT applications did not include any female inventors.
What You Need to Know About Seeking Patent Protection Overseas
There was a time when inventors did not have to worry about protecting intellectual property outside their country, largely because products were typically conceived, manufactured and purchased within a circumscribed territory. However, the rise of globalization has changed this. Now, a product produced in one corner of the globe can easily be sold and manufactured all over the world. This new economy presents challenges for patent applicants and/or inventors, one of them being how to ensure that an invention is protected in countries that have easy access to your product or process. The solution lies in filing a patent application in any market-target country — expanding your rights there and making it difficult for competitors to use your products or technology without due authorization.
Harnessing Public Research for Innovation in the 21st Century
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), together with Cambridge University press, has published a book to propose a framework to evaluate knowledge transfer practices, improve knowledge transfer metrics and evaluation frameworks, generate findings on what does and does not work regarding knowledge transfer, and offer relevant policy lessons. It does so based on studies and insights from three developed and three emerging economies: the United Kingdom, Germany, the Republic of Korea, Brazil, China, and South Africa. The book reflects WIPO’s larger program of support for universities and research institutions in the use of IP for advancing knowledge transfer to support economic growth and sustainable futures.
The rise and fall of the first American patent thicket: The sewing machine war of the 1850s
The patent war of the 1850s may have been a long time ago, but it is still relevant. Adam Mossoff shows how the invention and incredible commercial success of the sewing machine is a powerful display of early American technological, commercial and legal ingenuity that heralds important empirical lessons for understanding and applying patent thievery theory today.
The Sewing Machine War demonstrated all these phenomena, including the effects of patent trolls, and proves that this is an age-old problem in patent law. The untangling of this patent thicket in the sewing machine combination of 1856, led to the first privately established patent pool. This also challenges the conventional wisdom that patent thickets are best resolved by public law rules limiting ownership of patents.
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.
LeadershIP Seminar on IP and Wireless Technology
This September 2020 LeadershIP webinar features senior officials from the United States DOJ, PTO, and NIST discussing intellectual property protection and enforcement, and the relevance of competition rules to IP licensing, in the wireless technology sector. Among other topics, the speakers discuss the challenge of patent hold-out, whereby standard essential patent (SEP) owners face unwilling licensees engaged in ongoing infringement of their IPRs, and confirm their shared view that injunctive relief should be available without restrictions for SEPs.