Intellectual Property in a Pandemic: The Proposed COVID-19 WTO Waiver

In October 2020, India and South Africa filed a request at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to create an exemption from an international treaty known as TRIPS (Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) for technologies, drugs, and vaccines used to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the WTO adopts the waiver, countries could refuse to issue and protect IP rights for those technologies.

Some argue that the waiver is a necessary measure that would give a boost to the global fight against COVID-19, but others contend it would do little to help defeat the current pandemic and could hinder future innovation. An expert panel joined us to discuss the proposed waiver and weigh the arguments on each side of the debate.

In October, members of RTP’s Intellectual Property Working Group published a white paper on the same topic, which you can read here.

Andrei Iancu

Partner

Irell & Manella LLP


David Kappos

Partner

Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP


Arti Rai

Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law

Duke University School of Law


Saurabh Vishnubhakat

Professor of Law

Texas A&M University School of Law


Intellectual Property

The Federalist Society and Regulatory Transparency Project take no position on particular legal or public policy matters. All expressions of opinion are those of the speaker(s). To join the debate, please email us at rtp@regproject.org.

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