Countries Are Adapting Intellectual Property Laws to Prioritise Health During COVID-19

“Intellectual property (IP) rights can potentially impede mass production of existing health products, as well as innovation and research and development of new products. IP rights can be exercised by their owners to grant or withhold from licensing the technology required for manufacturing or further developing a product. If a license is denied, the technology will not be available for other firms to manufacture or supply.

Usually, a bundle of several IP rights can exist around a particular technology. It is very common patenting strategy in the pharmaceutical industry to take separate patents on the main compound of a drug and a large number of secondary patents on different formulations and combinations, dosage, as well as other possible therapeutic use of a drug. This can make it difficult for follow on innovators to invent around the thicket of IP rights….

Through a resolution of the World Health Assembly on COVID-19, member states of the WHO have recognised the possible need for countries to adopt measures to ensure that IP rights do not constrain global equitable access to health technologies for COVID-19 through the full use of the flexibilities of the agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) as well as voluntary pooling of patented technologies, data and know-how….

A number of flexibilities available under the TRIPS Agreement can be applied by governments to ensure that IP rights do not constrain innovation and availability of health technologies required for responding to COVID-19….

It is time for developing countries to review the extent to which such measures can be adopted, or what changes, if any, need to be introduced into their legal regimes so as to be able to act effectively and timely to address the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic….”

2,500 rare texts from Islamic world to go online for free | Books | The Guardian

“More than 2,500 rare manuscripts and books from the Islamic world covering a period of more than a thousand years are to be made freely available online.

The National Library of Israel (NLI) in Jerusalem is digitising its world-class collection of items in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, dating from the ninth to the 20th centuries, including spectacularly beautiful Qur’ans and literary works decorated with gold leaf and lapis lazuli….”

On the way towards Open Science: first Israeli national workshop – OpenAIRE Blog

“The event was organized by the Iseraeli OpenAIRE NOAD Dr. Simcha Meir along with the libraries and information system department of BIU. With around 180 attendees, mainly librarians and researchers from all universities, and also a large number of colleges, representatives from various funding organizations: the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC), who is responsible for funding the Israeli system of higher education, was along with the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), the largest funding agency in Israel, and the Ministry of Science, with whom discussions on how to create an open science policy are ongoing, were some of the funding organizations that attended….”

Judaica Division Receives $1 Million Grant for Digitization | Harvard Library Portal

“The Lucius N. Littauer Foundation of New York has awarded the Judaica Division of the Harvard College Library a grant of $1 million. The grant is for the digitization of the Division’s recently acquired photo archive of Israel Sun Ltd., a photo news agency in Israel. This archive consists of well over a million negatives covering the years 1968 to 2003….Sarah Thomas, vice president for the Harvard Library, said, ‘The Israel Sun photo archive is a wonderful addition to the Library’s collections and expands the already rich resources the Judaica Division provides to scholars. I am so pleased, as well, that these images will be accessible to anyone, anywhere thanks to the Division’s digitization efforts.’ …”

Anthropology group votes to boycott Israel despite major donors’ – including Intel and Yahoo – thick Israeli ties – The Washington Post

“The annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association has approved a resolution to boycott Israel, which must now be voted on by the group’s membership….The resolution seeks to enlist a major academic publisher in excluding Israeli institutions from access to scholarly publications….”