Should COVID-19 Suspend IP Protection?

Should COVID-19 Suspend IP Protection?

There continues to be an ongoing debate regarding whether to suspend patent protection for COVID-19 vaccine creators.  This is not an easy question to answer.  At least not for many.  Balancing short-term societal needs with the foundational elements that support ongoing technology development that advances society is complex. It should not have to be a binary decision.  But to many it is.  Let us look briefly at the two sides of the debate.

Suspend Patent Protection for COVID-19 Vaccine Creators

Some individuals fear that the monopoly status that the patent enables could prohibit or delay access to the vaccine for many less fortunate that are in need.  It can be a legitimate concern.  Entire nations, such as South Africa and India, are making such arguments based out of fear.  But also based on historical precedent.  Back in the 1990s the South African government was sued for trying to import cheap alternatives to anti-AIDs drugs to help stem an epidemic they were facing.  The suit was eventually dropped, but the pharmaceutical companies lost the public’s trust that they cared for the people most in need of their solution. Those governments fear history will repeat itself. 

Source: Global Patent Solutions

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