Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal
In December 2019, COVID-19, a novel strain of the SARS-2 Virus, appeared in Wuhan, China. Within a year, over ninety million people had been infected, and two million had died. Amid all the death and desolation, humanity's ingenuity and willpower emerged in history's greatest vaccine race. The global community sought to find novel ways to protect innovation and intellectual property while still collaborating to roll out a vaccine in record time. Despite the presence of compulsory licensing provisions like 28 U.S.C. § 1498 and the Bayh-Dole Act in the U.S., and the TRIPS Agreement at the international level, the journey has been difficult. Thousands died while international players protected proprietary information and ensured that their countries' citizens are first in line for the vaccine. Although dubbed a “once in a lifetime pandemic,” the COVID-19 outbreak provides a unique opportunity to contemplate ways to unify the world through intellectual property during a time of crisis, as well as a grim portent of what will become the new norm if we do not. This Article examines the impact and effectiveness of intellectual property licensing provisions worldwide to suggest improvements that might result in a quicker and more efficient response to future global health crises. By examining and learning from the plagues of the present, we might preserve the health of our future.
University of Texas School of Law
Coronavirus, Compulsory Licensing, and Collaboration: Analyzing the 2020 Global Vaccine Response with 20/20 Hindsight,
Tex. Intell. Prop. L.J.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.tamu.edu/student-scholarship/26