Today, the Biden administration announced it will support a proposal at the World Trade Organization to waive patent protections for coronavirus vaccines, potentially enabling the production of generic options. Public Knowledge commends the administration for balancing its intellectual property policy with the health care needs of people seeking the vaccine.

The following can be attributed to Meredith Rose, Senior Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“We applaud Ambassador Tai and the Biden administration for supporting the waiver of intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines at the WTO. This represents a balanced approach to public health which has long been missing from our intellectual property policy.

“In addition to vaccine patents, we urge the administration to support waivers for all IP rights that might stand in the way of COVID-19 responses around the world. As we have said elsewhere, allowing users and health care professionals to repair medical devices, and ensuring flexible access to relevant copyrighted works, is critical to preserving the continuity of work for hospitals, researchers, schools, libraries, and other key institutions as they adapt to the ongoing pandemic.

“We hope to see this balanced approach to intellectual property protections in other IP-related efforts and appointments, such as the head of United States Patent and Trademark Office.