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.
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.
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.
Slideshow: Extending Bio-manufacturing Networks in Africa and IP and Covid
This slideshow presents key messages from the recent Innovation Council – Bobab online discussion about extending bio-manufacturing networks in emerging regions, notably Africa. The discussion on February 8th featured Prof. Mark Schultz of the University of Akron School of Law, Anissa Boumlic of Merck Life Science, and Simon Agwale of the African Vaccine Manufacturing Initiative. Click here for the video of the event, and click here to review a transcript of the event.
BioNTech to supply modular vaccine plants to African countries
The German company BioNTech announced on February 16th its plans to supply modular plants to make mRNA vaccines to Rwanda, Senegal and, potentially, South Africa. This announcement came ahead of a Europe-Africa summit at which increasing vaccine production in Africa is expected to be a vital topic of discussion. Not only would BioNTech be responsible for the delivery and installation of the modules, but the company said it was prepared to transfer know-how to local partners to enable them to operate independently.
While it had been previously stated that voluntary technology transfers had so far been limited during the pandemic, this was contradicted by research published end-2021, which can be found in an online report.
Bobab discussion about bio-manufacturing in emerging regions
The Innovation Council and Bobab organised a discussion on expanding BioManufacturing production capacity in emerging regions. Biologics, a category of pharmaceuticals which includes products such as vaccines and monoclonal antibody treatments, are quickly becoming among the most important medical products in the world. By combining enabling government policies and technology transfer between innovators and their global partners, it will be possible to improve availability of biologics, increase health security, and enhance scientific and industrial capacity in developing countries.
Click here to see the transcript.
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’s at stake in COVID-19 jab patent waiver row
Over a year into global COVID-19 vaccination efforts, the question of whether jab formulas ought to be freely available is still unresolved—and undersupplied countries are turning to workarounds.
Here’s a look at the waiver row, with arguments for and against as well as workarounds that have sprung up in the meantime.