Research and reports

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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Charting leadership in the 5G race

In this article, Matthew Noble, Jane Mutimear and Richard Vary examine the difficulties in charting the leadership of companies in the 5G Standard Essential Patent (“SEP”) industry, and demonstrate how different assumptions can drastically affect the results. Our article investigates: the difficulties in making such an assessment; how variable the results are to the underlying assumptions; and, the importance of being transparent when publishing patent portfolio analytics, especially with regard to 5G SEPs.

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Analysis of patent prosecution in China

This paper by Gaetan de Rassenfosse looks for traces of discrimination against foreigners in the patent prosecution process, building on earlier work. It focuses on the case of China, looking in particular at patent applications declared as essential to a technological standard, so called standard-essential patents (SEPs). It finds there is discrimination in the treatment of such patent applications, which are less likely to be granted and/or to take longer to grant.

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Analysis of patent prosecution in the United States

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WTO report on COVID-19

The WTO Secretariat published this new information note warning of possible increases to trade costs due to COVID-19 disruptions. The note examines the pandemic’s impact on key components of trade costs, particularly those relating to travel and transport, trade policy, uncertainty, and identifies areas where higher costs may persist even after the pandemic is contained.

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“Progress and Potential: 2020 update on U.S. women inventor-patentees

This report updates the USPTO’s 2019 report on U.S. women inventor-patentees, “Progress and Potential,” using three years of new data, covering 2017 through 2019. It provides new information on women’s participation in the U.S. patent system, finding, among other things, that women make up an increasing share of all new entrants to the patent system, rising from about 5% of new inventor-patentees in 1980 to 17.3% by 2019. Innovation Council supports efforts to collect data on participation by minorities in IP systems. Data collection is the first step towards policymaking to support better access for minorities, including but not only women, to IP tools they can use to grow their businesses.

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