On Monday afternoon, 6 November 2023, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) delivered the following oral statement (in person) at the 7th meeting of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB).
Oral statement by Knowledge Ecology International
6 November 2023
The current 30 page draft of the pandemic accord includes provisions on limitations and exceptions to intellectual property rights that while well intentioned, are problematic.
Parties do not need to refer to the WTO TRIPS Agreement or a waiver.
Global rules on exceptions are broad enough. What’s needed is the implementation of laws and use of exceptions at the national level.
To address IP issues in a way that is useful, consider a more general approach, modeled after the WIPO Marrakesh Treaty for the Blind, that the Parties:
will review and modify domestic laws to ensure that there are sufficient exceptions to exclusive rights in intellectual property in order to respond to a pandemic, and
In the event of a pandemic,
will apply the use of exceptions in domestic laws relating to intellectual property that are necessary to enable the necessary research activities, scaling of manufacturing, sharing of manufacturing technology, and distribution of countermeasures in a manner consistent with the objectives of this agreement,
including those relating to the transfer of technology and equitable access to affordable products.
Useful models for national rules include the current proposals in the European Union, and the United States authorization and consent system under FAR 52.227-1, which was used extensively in 2020 and 2021 to address the COVID 19 pandemic.