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European IP Attorneys


04 February 2021

COVID-19 : why the ex officio licensing requests don't really make sense!

With the issues in producing the vaccines against SARS-Cov2, requests for obtaining ex officio licences in the Public Health interest have been brought back to the foreground, with the aim of allowing everyone to produce the much-awaited vaccines. But these requests do not seem to worry about whether patents exist or not.

It is interesting to note that these requests  are usually very vague and don’t mention the patents in question and here’s why.

For the first time, we have to deal with products arriving on the market barely a year after the disease started spreading. The patent applications on anti-SARS-Cov-2 will not be published before a few more months (18 months from their filing date) and we will not know their range for a few more years (after the examination led by the offices).

Today, no one can know the full extent of the intellectual property rights of these produts (and their actual precise range), not even the ones currently producing them!

Stéphane OUDIN

February 2021