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Intellectual Property (IP) Protection For Covid-19 Vaccines

Support For Waiving Intellectual Property (IP) Protection For Covid-19 Vaccines:

The United States has announced the support for waiving Intellectual Property (IP) protection for Covid-19 vaccines.

  • The decision is a breakthrough in India and South Africa’s attempts to get World Trade Organisation (WTO) member countries to agree to such a waiver to fight the pandemic equitably.
  • The 1995 agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) requires ratifying countries to adopt a minimum standard of intellectual property rights to protect creators and promote innovation.
  • India and South Africa have proposed a waiver from the implementation and application of certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement (waiving IP rights like patents, copyright, and trademarks) for prevention, containment or treatment of Covid-19.
  • If the waiver is granted, WTO member countries will not be under an obligation, for a temporary period, to either grant or enforce patents and other IP-related rights to Covid-19 drugs, vaccines, and other treatments.
  • This will immunize the measures adopted by countries to vaccinate their populations from claims of illegality under WTO law.