There are many substantial developments within the field of property and pharmaceuticals are done during the time of pandemic. New means to stop , treat and mitigate Covid-19 are being researched for developing effective medical treatment as fast as possible. Its vaccine is more important to return to hamper the transmission of disease.

Owing to the continual efforts of pharmaceutical companies, there’s a sign that effective treatment for coronavirus may soon emerge, however there still arises an issue that folks are going to be ready to access them at affordable prices or not. Considering this fact, governments of many countries seem to not support patent based medicine.

To combat the present situation the government has begun to adopt alternative measures to tackle things of Covid-19 pandemic. Accordingly various countries are taking pre emptive measures, like compulsory patent licensing, to affect the monopolies for all times saving medical treatments. Although the laws of varied countries differ on how and under what circumstances a compulsory license should be issued, the essential premise of the measure being invoked at a time of great and urgent national need is the same across jurisdictions. Due to the urgency of this crisis, several countries have issued, or are within the process of issuing compulsory licenses (or their equivalent laws).

Israel, issued a compulsory license to import the generic version of AbbVie’s Kaletra, a fixed-dose antiretroviral combination drug i.e. Kaletra (Lopinavir/Ritonavir) from India for treating coronavirus, which is usually prescribed for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. The license is granted under section 104 of the Israeli Patents Law to permit importation of the generic version of the drug. Germany and Canada have amended their patent protection laws to grant compulsory licenses. Germany has passed a replacement legislation, Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases in Humans Act, for issuance of compulsory license under the section 13(1) of the Patent Act of Germany. Similarly, Canada also passed a replacement law, COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, which empowers the govt to issue a license initially without negotiating with the patent holder. Chile and Ecuador have each passed resolutions urging their governments to issue compulsory licenses to form it easier to get patented drugs to combat the Covid-19 crisis.

Brazil, also introduced a bill to permit the government to temporarily suspend the patent monopolies for medical products which can be wont to prevent and treat Covid-19; however, such license shall be valid till the duration of emergency. Contrary to the present , Interfarma, a trade group representing drug makers in Brazil, stated that compulsory license, a tool to override patent holders’ rights to market drug competition, doesn’t foster the immediate transfer of data to hurry up production, rather, an equivalent increases the danger of misallocation and inefficient use of resources or raw materials. Further, Interfarma stated that compromising on the property protections may result in long lasting damage which might affect future innovations in most sectors of the economy and wither the power to revive national health systems in any future crisis.

Moreover, it’s important to notice that each one the WTO members agreed within the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health which affirms that “the TRIPS Agreement doesn’t and will not prevent members from taking measures to guard public health”. this technique allows the exporting country to issue a compulsory license for the aim of exports to an importing country. However, such importing countries have to notify the WTO about its insufficient manufacturing capacity. thanks to the immediate need of a drug/cure for Covid-19, many countries might find themselves insufficient in terms of producing capacities and thus, might seek other countries’ help to supply sufficient supplies.

In view of the grim and urgent situation arising from the pandemic, a resolution for implementation of already inherent flexibilities within the TRIPS agreement was put forth within the World Health Assembly (WHA). India has co-sponsored this resolution, which involves four key measures to be taken to combat the pandemic. These measures include fair distribution of health technologies, preference of the TRIPS flexibilities over any existing IP rights involving health technologies relevant for COVID19, vaccines for COVID19 and increased R&D and global data pool geared towards finding COVID19 health technologies.

Contact BIAT Legal LLP for any Trademark related queries.

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