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Around 25% of the population of the world is under 15 years of age. With around 7.9 billion people on Earth, that means there are approx. 5.9 billion adults on this Blue Marble. Assuming all these adults are given a 2-shot Covid vaccine around 12 billion doses are required to vaccinate 75% of the World’s population. Although somewhere north of 8.6 billion doses have apparently been ordered there is an obvious imbalance in the distribution of vaccines.
This imbalance in vaccine distribution gave rise back in October last year to a proposal from India and South Africa for a waiver from certain Intellectual Property provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. In recent weeks the clamour for such a waiver to be approved has increased and is often presented as the solution to the problem “we’re not safe until we’re all safe”. In the last week, the US apparently reversed its long standing position against such waivers when Ambassador Katherine Tai announced that the US would support waiving intellectual property provisions for COVID-19 vaccines.
However, will such an IP waiver (also referred to in the press as a “patent waiver”) be the silver bullet solution to vaccine shortages that it’s being portrayed as? (more…)
These days, with the UK and many other countries around the world in lockdown, and much of the news and social media output directed towards reporting updates of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be easy to focus only on the negative, scary and often depressing aspects of the current global situation. However, whilst such aspects are of course important and not to be trivialised, this author has found that taking a step back and looking at some of the positives that have also arisen from this situation has certainly helped to put things in perspective and has been good for her mental wellbeing.
In particular, those stories relating to the largely unprecedented (except perhaps in similar times of global hardship in the past) degree of cooperation and collaboration at many levels of society in an effort to beat the virus do provide some welcome relief. This author would like to share a few examples that, as an ex-astrophysicist and current patent attorney specialising in software inventions, have been of particular interest. (more…)
IP Offices around the world have announced special measures to take account of likely business disruption, not only to their own operations but also to those of their customers, from the Coronavirus outbreak. Here we summarise the measures of the EUIPO, EPO, WIPO, UKIPO and IPOI.
If you feel that your ability to respond to an IP deadline is affected by the Coronavirus situation then please contact your normal IP representative who will be able to advise on the options that may be available. It is important to note that the various IP Offices are applying different special measures and the extent of such special measures may not be immediately be apparent. Please also note that the special measures across the various IP Offices mentioned below are changing constantly so please check with your representative for the latest news.
Dear Friends and Colleagues
With regard to the developing situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to reassure our clients that we remain fully operational and are able to deliver the same quality of service as you would expect under more normal circumstances, including full continuity of our client-specific teams where applicable. Our infrastructure allows all our staff to work seamlessly from home and nearly all our staff are now doing so. Only a handful of volunteer staff remain in each of our offices in London, Cambridge, Galway and Cirencester to oversee the transition to full home working and they are closely observing government advice regarding social distancing. (more…)