Intellectual Property Scenario under COVID-19

by SGT University Best University in Gurgaon

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated in numerous ways as to how collaborative research benefits in a pandemic situation. As data is being produced, released freely every day on pre-print servers and scientific journals which is proving to be crucial to understand the biology of the virus which will further lead to search and development of possible vaccines and drugs. Moreover, by one estimate COVID-19 literature produced and published since January 2020 has reached more than 23,000 papers and is doubling every 20 days. Promoting unprecedented collaborative research is the first step towards endorsing of voluntary patent pools, as discovery and research being publicly shared with open-access resources which was earlier limited to only private institutions which used to help researchers and scientist to work more efficiently with more innovative ideas.

Patent Pooling

A patent pool is basically an agreement between parties who are patent holders to license their patented products and technology to each other or third parties for the purpose of sharing their intellectual property rights. Patent pools generally operate when there is a need to share mature and complex technologies that require the use of patents which are held by the other parties and cannot be successfully worked without infringing them. Although, it is beneficial for having patent pools as they have an effect on innovation and competitive behavior. It will also make the manufacturing of the drugs/vaccines easy for the treatment of the virus. An example of a patent pool, Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) which is a United Nations-backed organization that was founded in 2010 based in Geneva. It seeks voluntary licenses from the patent holders of antiretroviral drugs to create a pooled resource of patent innovations. Moreover, it plays a double role in benefiting pharmaceutical innovators and taking care of public health.

Healthcare patent pools generally involve setting up system which will facilitate sharing of Intellectual Property and data for various intellectual property owners. The power to grant the license to the third parties will be vested with the patent pool administrator in accordance with the license terms. Moreover, the patent pool will give an additional benefit of significant efficiency gain as it will allow third parties to obtain a single license from the group of patents in the pool.


With innovative minds of researchers, industry leaders and scientist have led to the development of several novel coronavirus disease 2019 health technologies such as vaccines, drugs and diagnostic testing devices which are currently undergoing clinical trials. Patent pool similar to the ones made for HIV and SARS, COVID-19 patent pool could serve to improve accessibility to essential vaccines or medicines and may also improve diagnostic testing. The implementation of the patent pool if done properly will encourage innovation and improve accessibility to future vaccines as well as the adoption of diagnostic standards.

Abhilasha Semwal
Deputy Manager- Research & Events

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Created on Jul 3rd 2020 06:01. Viewed 92 times.


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