If the U.S. Leaving intellectual property rights harms innovation and productivity and results in fewer people being vaccinated, 12 influential congressmen said in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Catherine Tai on Tuesday. The letter is in response to a proposal made in this regard by 60 developing countries led by India and South Africa.
The United States should continue to oppose requests from India, South Africa and other countries to waive certain parts of the agreement on trade-related intellectual property rights (TRIPS) for all members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), “the letter said.
Legislators led by Congressmen Jim Jordan and Darrell Isa said the request waiver was extraordinarily comprehensive and unnecessary to meet the goal of vaccinating as many people as possible and admitting as many people as possible to the treatment of Covid-19. They claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a phone call in early May, pressed US President George W. Biden to support the amnesty.
Other signatories to the letter include Steve Chabot, Louis Gohmert, Matt Gates, Mike Johnson, Tom Tiffany, Thomas Auntie, Dan Bishop, Michelle Fishbach, Scott Fitzgerald and Cliff Bentz. The letter states that “the tiff of the waiver is based on the misconception that IP rights are a significant obstacle to the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.”
“The sponsors of the waiver have not presented any convincing evidence to support these statements. Instead, the sponsors primarily simply point out that the relevant IP rights exist and speculate that those rights may act as a barrier to access to the COVID-19 vaccine and treatment. Is – not IP rights have actually blocked or significantly blocked their availability, “he added.
If anything, examples of IP ‘controversies’ cited by waiver sponsors generally show that IP rights parties are not prevented from providing vaccines and other drugs.
Republicans in Congress say respect for intellectual property rights has been a part of the U.S. economy for decades. Is the cornerstone of trade policy.
“While some relief may be guaranteed in emergencies, trips requested by India, South Africa and other countries will do little to improve public health during this critical period of IP-defense pardon in civil-epidemic epidemics. The loss and the negligible benefit it provided are unreasonable, they said in the letter.
“Current aspects of trips and global public health initiatives, along with the current actions of key IP rights holders and innovators, make the waiver unnecessary. While significant work can be done to improve access to Covid-11 drugs and other innovations, that work,” he said. This can be done without drastic measures to suspend rights, and significant progress has been made in removing the real barriers to global COVID-19 response.
The legislators argued that the relevant intellectual property rights have been successfully licensed to expand the scope of CIVID-19 innovations while maintaining IP protection. For example, the Serum Institute of India has been licensed to produce a number of vaccines, including the Astrageneca and Novavax vaccines.
Aspen Pharmacare of South Africa is licensed to produce the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Many vaccine manufacturers have licensed real competitors to increase vaccine production capacity.
Moderna has announced that it will not seek to apply any of its covid-related patents against other vaccine manufacturers for the rest of the epidemic and has promised to license the COVID-19 vaccine patent.
Gilead has licensed nine generic pharmaceutical manufacturers (including India) to manufacture its Covid-19 therapeutic drug remedesivir for 127 countries, most of which are developing countries.
Furthermore, Trips already allows countries to impose mandatory licenses to meet essential IP rights, and no country has taken advantage of today’s capacity for the COVID-19 vaccine or treatment, legislators noted.
The proposed waiver is not limited to vaccine or treatment patents for Covid-1 CO – the waiver will also protect the gut for copy pyrite, industrial design (easy, textile pattern or other decorative design) and trade secrets. Proponents of the waiver have offered only vague, unsupported explanations for how waivering IP protections for copyright or industrial design could lead to improved vaccines or therapeutic availability.
How will forgiving Trips ’obligations lead to greater use of trade secrets and proprietary techniques, which are hidden by definition and are particularly closely guarded, they said.
“At a time when the U.S. economy is weak, it will be irresponsible to take away our technological leadership and competitive advantage and send the wrong message to millions of American taxpayers. That, these IP rights and the jobs and economic growth promised by the advanced technologies they offer will be jeopardized.