“Online preprint servers such as arXiv and bioRxiv allow researchers to share their findings with the scientific community before peer review. They are also a goldmine for journalists looking for their next big story. Here are some tips to navigate a potential media minefield….”
“There aren’t enough vaccines to go around in the richest countries on earth, let alone the poorest ones.
That’s why it makes little sense that the United States, Britain and the European Union, among others, are blocking a proposal at the World Trade Organization that would allow them, and the rest of the world, to get more of the vaccines and treatments we all need.
The proposal, put forward by India and South Africa in October, calls on the W.T.O. to exempt member countries from enforcing some patents, trade secrets or pharmaceutical monopolies under the organization’s agreement on trade-related intellectual property rights, known as TRIPs….”
Open source – All software required to run the infrastructure should be available under an open source license. This does not include other software that may be involved with running the organisation.
Open data (within constraints of privacy laws) – For an infrastructure to be forked it will be necessary to replicate all relevant data. The CC0 waiver is best practice in making data legally available. Privacy and data protection laws will limit the extent to which this is possible
Available data (within constraints of privacy laws) – It is not enough that the data be made “open” if there is not a practical way to actually obtain it. Underlying data should be made easily available via periodic data dumps.
Patent non-assertion – The organisation should commit to a patent non-assertion covenant. The organisation may obtain patents to protect its own operations, but not use them to prevent the community from replicating the infrastructure….”
“As with every scientific institute, CERN recognises that there is both an obligation and willingness for knowledge transfer, so that the discoveries and knowledge gained by its scientists can be disseminated to, and applied in, the real world to the benefit of the public. CERN is therefore no exception in trying to make its technologies available for both scientific and commercial purposes. An open science policy, however, requires there to be a ‘full and timely disclosure of findings and methods’ and in this regard there is often seen to be a conflict between open science and intellectual property (IP).
Two notable cases are evident from CERN’s history. In the 1970s, CERN pioneered the use of touch screens and trackballs in their computerised control systems. However, researchers were unable to progress this technology further as industrial partners were unwilling to invest, in the event that CERN would disclose this technology under the remit of their open science model. Thus, without the kinds of assurance provided by IP, touch screens and trackballs remained in house, without further development. In contrast, whilst working with Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, CERN agreed to release the World Wide Web software into the public domain in 1993 and followed the next release with an open licence. The subsequent global dissemination and use of the World Wide Web speaks for itself….”
“A company put an end user license agreement (EULA) on a bag of grapes: “The recipient of the produce contained in this package agrees not to propagate or reproduce any portion of this produce, including ‘but not limited to’ seeds, stems, tissue, and fruit,” read the EULA on a bag of Carnival brand grapes….”
“A week or so ago, the head of the US Patent and Trademark Office, Andrei Iancu, who has been an extreme patent maximalist over the years, insisted that there was simply no evidence that patents hold back COVID treatments. This is a debate we’ve been having over the past few months. We’ve seen some aggressive actions by patent holders, and the usual crew of patent system supporters claiming, without evidence that no one would create a vaccine without much longer patent terms….
But just to highlight how ridiculous Iancu’s statements were, just days later, Pfizer, Regeneron, and BioNTech — all working on COVID treatments (including the antibody cocktail that President Trump took from Regeneron) — were all sued for patent infringement for their COVID treatments….
So, it certainly appears that patents are getting in the way of some COVID-19 treatments….”
“Moderna’s statement on intellectual property matters during the COVID-19 pandemic is very good, and should be matched by every manufacturer of a therapeutic, vaccine or diagnostic test. We also encourage Moderna to engage with the WHO COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) and the Medicines Patent Pool. Every manufacturer of a vaccine, drug or diagnostic should follow suit and publish the patents relevant to the technology, waive or license rights in those patents, and provide constructive transfer of manufacturing know-how and access to cell lines and data when necessary.
It is notable that Moderna has addressed both the pandemic and the post pandemic period, stating “to eliminate any perceived IP barriers to vaccine development during the pandemic period, upon request we are also willing to license our intellectual property for COVID-19 vaccines to others for the post pandemic period.” …”
“The WHO secretariat should request in writing that the funders of COVID-19 R&D including in particular governments and philanthropies include language in contracts and use their financial leverage to enable sharing of know-how, cell lines and rights in data and patents, for COVID-19 related technologies.
The WHO secretariat should request in writing that the funders of COVID-19 R&D including in particular governments and philanthropies include language in contracts and use their financial leverage to enable sharing of know-how, cell lines and rights in data and patents, for COVID-19 related technologies.
There should be no monopolies on patents, regulatory exclusivities, data or know-how in this pandemic. All relevant technology for COVID-19 products should be available either free or openly licensed with non-discriminatory, reasonable and affordable royalties….”
“On Friday, September 18, 2020, KEI received a letter from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) confirming that the agency was investigating Moderna for failure to report government funding in patent applications. The Financial Times and other outlets had previously reported this investigation (see: https://www.keionline.org/moderna), but this letter is the first official notice we have received from DARPA.
The letter from DARPA is signed by D. Peter Donaghue, who is the Division Director for Contracts at DARPA.
The letter is short, and confirms that DARPA is conducting an investigation. I would expect Moderna to report this to shareholders at some point….”