“The emphasis on university patenting is an example of a policy that was developed for the right reasons but fails in practice. Unfortunately, rather than abandoning the policy, universities and governments are doubling down on it. The results aren’t surprising: Canadians are paying more to get less. It turns out that university patenting represents a cost that hinders Canada’s — already lagging — innovation performance. It lessens investments in innovation, lowers innovation outputs for Canadian firms and delays or kills promising innovation. It is past time to fix this policy, and open science collaborations are an emerging tool that may be right for the job….”
“Oxford University surprised and pleased advocates of overhauling the vaccine business in April by promising to donate the rights to its promising coronavirus vaccine to any drugmaker.
The idea was to provide medicines preventing or treating COVID-19 at a low cost or free of charge, the British university said. That made sense to people seeking change. The coronavirus was raging. Many agreed that traditional vaccine development, characterized by long lead times, manufacturing monopolies and weak investment, was broken….
A few weeks later, Oxford—urged on by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—reversed course. It signed an exclusive vaccine deal with AstraZeneca that gave the pharmaceutical giant sole rights and no guarantee of low prices—with the less-publicized potential for Oxford to eventually make millions from the deal and win plenty of prestige….”
“South Africa and India argued in favour of a waiver of intellectual property rights on COVID-19 drugs and vaccines at a closed-door meeting of the World Trade Organization on Tuesday but opponents showed little sign of budging, trade sources said….”
“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.” …”