Title: COVID-19 vaccines and the role of patents

Authors: Kelli Larson

Addresses: School of Business, Law and Entrepreneurship, Swinburne University of Technology, AGSE Building, Hawthorn Campus, John Street, Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122, Australia

Abstract: In a remarkable feat of science and technology, several vaccines have been developed at a rapid pace to combat the global coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. It is a sign of what can be achieved for humankind with sufficient funding and investment in science and technology, accompanied by intellectual property laws that provide incentives to innovate. Patents help provide that incentive. Patents form part of a strong innovation ecosystem and play a significant role in ensuring that there is an incentive for entities to engage in innovation that may benefit society. Patents play a critical role in incentivising innovation, including incentivising the development of new vaccines. The valuable information disclosed in a patent specification allows for the public dissemination of knowledge to occur, allowing others to learn from current inventions and to build from them to create new and potentially life-saving innovations.

Keywords: coronavirus; COVID-19; investment; patents; patent law; pharmaceuticals; vaccines.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIPM.2021.118734

International Journal of Intellectual Property Management, 2021 Vol.11 No.4, pp.486 - 491

Received: 03 Jun 2021
Accepted: 04 Jun 2021

Published online: 03 Nov 2021 *

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