02 August, 2021

Whose Vaccine Is It, Anyway

The race to find effective vaccines for the novel Coronavirus has thrown up age-old questions on propreitary rights over the immunisation shots

Whose Vaccine Is It, Anyway

On March 11, 2020, the world woke up to the declaration of pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) due to the virus outbreak in Wuhan. The race commenced to find a cure or vaccine for the virus called Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2, the genetic sequence of which was disclosed on January 10, 2020.  While the race to develop covid cures, vaccines and diagnostic technologies are on, so are the murmurs of invoking compulsory licensing (CL) under Patents Act which is now before the  Supreme Court of India.  But is CL feasible?

Patents are territorial intellectual property rights.  The Indian Patent Law mandates 5 forms of compulsory licensing (CL) under the following 3 trigger situations :

  • ‘March in’ rights by Indian government to access the pending or granted patents :

– on notification by government in circumstances of national emergency under S. 92,

– use by government under S.100,

– Acquisition by government under S.102 for public...

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