Intellectual Property Sharing in the face of pandemic

April 21, 2020, By

A number of businesses, universities and scientists are changing their approach to the intellectual property rights management in a concerted effort to fight the Coronavirus pandemic.

Traditionally intellectual property rights grant their owners a monopoly over exploitation of their creations (be it patented inventions, designs, software or other copyright protected materials) to incentivise innovation and commercially reward them for their investment in the research and development.

However, the world is currently facing an unprecedented global crisis that affects the majority of the world’s population. And the way the businesses, scientists and other innovators go about their intellectual property has rapidly changed.

There have been recently introduced a number of initiatives aimed at sharing intellectual property in a concerted effort to fight Covid-19. One example would be the ‘Open COVID Pledge’ that invites owners of intellectual property to grant free and temporary licenses to use their patented and copyrighted technologies without the fear of infringement liability and the unnecessary delay in negotiating licence terms. The Open COVID Pledge offers the IP owners the ready-to-use terms of such licence. This licence provides the right to any third party to use the intellectual property ‘for the sole purpose of ending the “COVID-19 Pandemic” and minimizing the impact of the disease’, which will ‘last until one year after WHO declares the COVID-19 Pandemic to have ended’.

It is likely we will see more such initiatives in the coming weeks.

It goes without saying that these are unprecedented times. However, Briffa continues our business as usual, and if you have any intellectual property needs or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or on 020 7288 6003.

Written by Anastasia Troshkova, Solicitor

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