Year Of IP: From The TRIPS Waiver Proposal To The Moderna-NIH Patent Tussle
Intellectual property became front page news in 2021 as the pandemic ignited a debate on the role of patents in accessing COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics. 2022 will see a decision on the TRIPS waiver, a new USPTO director, and action on a pending march-in petition.
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Big events from the year included the Biden Administration throwing its support behind the TRIPS waiver proposal, companies inking a slew of licensing deals, and the FDA asking the USPTO how it was addressing patent thickets.
Merck and Lilly tackle some early challenges before striking voluntary licensing deals for COVID-19 therapies with Indian firms. Data around the use of these drugs in low- and middle-income countries could also potentially make them ‘more acceptable’ elsewhere, experts say.
Prostate cancer patients press HHS for administrative hearing on march-in rights for patents covering Astellas’ Xtandi. While previous efforts have failed, petitioners believe they may have a shot this time around given Biden Administration and HHS Secretary Becerra’s views on the issue.