The patent waiver debate
In view of the debate on a patent waiver for vaccines, the Working Group on Licences and Technical Contracts prepared an assessment of the issue. The assessment summarizes the arguments against a suspension of patent protection for COVID-19 vaccines from the perspective of the German biotechnology industry.
The assessment was translated into several languages and sent to the members of the European Parliament Committees on International Trade (INTA) and Development (DEVE) as well as selected members of the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI). It was also delivered to the President of the European Commission and the Commissioners for Innovation, Research, Health, and Justice. At the national level, the assessment was distributed to the Division for Patent Law at the Federal Ministry of Justice, to the members of the Parliamentary Monitoring Committee for the Covid-19 Pandemic, and to other members of the Bundestag who work on matters related to EU affairs, legal affairs, and health policy. The assessment was met with approval in many quarters or was at least rated as “very helpful” for further discussion.
In addition, more than 300 CEOs from around the world signed an open letter on equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines and therapies and the role of intellectual property. The statement was distributed at the initiative of the U.S. Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) within the International Council of Biotech Associations (ICBA) and is supported by BIO Deutschland and numerous other biotechnology organisations worldwide.
The full text of the letter and BIO Deutschland’s assessments can be found in our Biothek under “Verschiedenes”.