Point Not in Favor of Patent Holders: Who Will Get the Rights to the Vaccine against COVID-19


Large pharmacological companies, as well as specialists from universities and laboratories around the world, are developing a vaccine against coronavirus infection COVID-19. The process of creating a vaccine is slowed down not only due to technical issues, but also due to the uncertainty regarding the rights to the drug. In addition to the patent for the active substance, there can be a lot of know-how and other aspects of technology transfer in the production process that the donor company will not share that easily. The global technology transfer centers, that were urgently created, can be helpful, as they could deal with the decisions and rights to intellectual property (IP) under the “global” compulsory license, and it is important that companies have the opportunity not to lose their rights to IP forever. Another incentive to stimulate the pharmaceutical industry is paying for creation of vaccines. The international medical humanitarian organization “Doctors Without Borders” urged not to grant patents and capitalize on medications, tests or vaccines used to combat COVID-19, and the United Nations General Assembly proposed to consider the future vaccine as a part of public domain. The Government of Russia came up with a similar initiative sending the draft of the Federal Law “On Amending Chapter 72 of Part Four of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation” to the State Duma. The document proposes to give the Government the right to “authorize the use of the invention in the manufacturing process of a medical product in the Russian Federation in order to export said medical product without the consent of the patent holder, while notifying him as soon as possible and paying him proportional compensation.”


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