Research and reports

Call for Applications for 2022-2023 Thomas Edison Innovation Law and Policy Fellowships

The Center for Intellectual Property x Innovation Policy (C-IP2) at George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School invites applications for a non-resident fellowship program designed to develop rigorous scholarship on intellectual property (IP), creativity, and innovation law and policy. The Thomas Edison Innovation Law and Policy Fellowship promotes excellent academic research about IP and related rights in the innovative and creative communities. The program consists of a series of three (3) invitation-only roundtables over the course of a year, which fellows are required to attend. Over the course of these meetings, Edison Fellows work under the guidance of distinguished senior commentators, and with each other, to turn paper ideas into polished manuscripts publishable in law reviews or other academic journals.

Deadline for submissions: 24 November 2021, 05pm EST.

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Biotechnology applications poised for multi-sector growth across APAC

Biotechnology has fundamental applications across multiple sectors that are critical to the growth of economies around the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. The key factors driving this growth include favourable government initiatives, plummeting sequencing prices, growing market demand for synthetic biology, and increasing R&D investments by the public and private sectors. Asia Pacific’s biotech market is expected to expand even faster in the future, with a CAGR of 16.8% from now until 2028. This speed can be attributed to improvements in healthcare infrastructure, supportive government policies, clinical trial services, and epidemiological factors.

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Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine: A global assessment of demand and supply balance

Over the past decade, several countries–representing all regions, income groups, and procurement methods—have been unable to secure sufficient BCG vaccine supply. While the frequency of stock-outs has remained rather stable, their duration increased in 2014–2015 due to manufacturing issues, attracting the attention of national, regional and global immunization stakeholders. This prompted an in-depth analysis of supply and demand dynamics which aimed to characterize supply risks. This analysis is unique, as it provides a global picture where previous analyses have focused only on a portion of the market that procures vaccines through UN entities. Through a literature review, supplier interviews, and the appraisal of shortages, stock-outs, and historical procurement data, as well as through demand forecasting, this analysis shows an important increase in global capacity in 2017: supply is sufficient to meet forecasted BCG vaccine demand and possibly buffer market shocks. Nevertheless, risks remain, mainly due to supply concentration, limited investment in production process improvements, and inflexibility of demand.

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After a gene from algae was added to his eye, a blind man can perceive objects

Botond Roska, professor at the University of Basel, led the research for a gene therapy to add light-sensing molecules to a patient’s retina, which has improved the patient’s sight significantly. In the journal Nature Medicine, the authors describe how their patient lost his vision after being diagnosed 40 years ago with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disease that destroys photoreceptors (the light-sensing cells in the retina). The doctors employed gene therapy to add a light-sensing molecule to one of the man’s eyes. The gene they added, called chrimson, comes from a single-celled algae species that is able to sense sunlight and move toward it. The idea behind adding the gene, says Roska, is to engineer retina cells called ganglions so that they become able to respond to light, sending visual signals to the brain.

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Ten Ways IP Has Enabled Innovations That Have Helped Sustain the World Through the Pandemic

Jaci McDole and Stephen Ezell explain how intellectual property has played an indispensable role in facilitating the development of a range of inventive products, including some that have helped address the healthcare, work, and social challenges brought on by the pandemic. IP is just as important for start-ups as it is for established R&D-intensive industries, because it generates capital and revenue, enabling companies large and small to invest in researching, developing, manufacturing, and marketing their products. Voluntary licensing agreements enabled by IP have allowed the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics to be scaled up globally.

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Recent Trends in the WHO’s Essential Medicines List

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.

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Semiconductors & the WTO

This report by the Semiconductor Industry Association argues that the steady opening of markets and leveling of the global playing field spearheaded by the WTO over the past 25 years has been critical to the success of the global semiconductor industry. Given the sheer volume and complexity of global semiconductor trade, along with high capital costs and short product life-cycles, the ability to move semiconductor goods and materials freely, fairly, and efficiently across borders has been critical to the industry’s success and technological progress.

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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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USG Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property

The U.S. Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property provides an overview of the Trump Administration’s intellectual property enforcement strategy and policy efforts.

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