Proposal at WTO to Waive Intellectual Property Would Set Harmful Precedent


Won’t help with vaccination but could undermine the ability to respond to the next global crisis.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center Senior Vice President Patrick Kilbride issued the following statement today regarding developments on intellectual property (IP) rights at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (“MC12”):

“Misguided proposals to undermine intellectual property rights would set a harmful precedent without solving any of the actual problems preventing more widespread vaccination.

“Waiving intellectual property rights would only hobble the innovation that is critical to improving lives and raising living standards globally. If enacted, this move would set an unfortunate precedent and may limit innovative companies’ ability to devote unprecedented resources to quickly discover and deliver solutions for the next global crisis, be it pandemic, food security, or climate-related.

“The proposed TRIPS waiver —which appears to clarify and extend existing, unused TRIPS flexibilities— would not get any more vaccines into arms. Instead of addressing genuine last-mile challenges, the two years spent discussing IP waivers has been a waste of valuable time and a missed opportunity to tackle the real problems.”

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