Global Patent Solutions

Compulsory Licensing and Healthcare Patents

Legislators in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America are currently focused on regulators, respirators, and masks. These devices are critical in the fight for life that millions are facing at this moment. However, these are not the only devices affected by the crisis. Indeed, the production of everything from MRI machines and bedpans to pharmaceuticals and surgical instruments has ground to a halt around the globe. Thus, all medical patent holders should be aware that legislatures could grant compulsory licenses on their patents for the duration of the crisis.

Article 31 of the original TRIPS agreement allows the production of generic copies of pharmaceuticals and other products so long as they are used within the domestic market. The agreement explicitly prohibits the export of these products. And, it’s that provision that did not foresee problems such as the current pandemic. Presently, as production within one country is able to restart, another country that desperately needs certain products remains shut down.

Source: Global Patent Solution

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