“With a fast-moving pandemic, no one is safe, unless everyone is safe”

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed

The virus has now spread over the globe, causing tremendous physical, financial and social breakdown on every continent, nation, state, province and individual. This terrible predicament has come from the spread of the catastrophic and disastrous corona virus disease.

As future and current apparatus, medications, treatments, and science must be made available to the medical community, intellectual property regimes have become a concern not only in India but around the world. Normally, IPR holders are afforded exemption from third-party use of their intellectual property (‘IP’); however, the pandemic has created an unanticipated circumstance in which IPR holders may be forced even if temporarily, to allow third parties to use their IPRs, such as patents or designs, for the public good.

The 1995 Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement is a major legal instrument that harmonizes intellectual property (IP) protection by putting binding responsibilities on member countries to provide a minimum level of IP protection and enforcement in their territories.

Developed countries, particularly the United States (US), campaigned hard for the TRIPS agreement, backed by their pharmaceutical trans-national businesses. Larger cross-border IP protection, which could be efficiently managed by a multilateral agreement, was thought to bring in higher rents for pharmaceutical companies in these nations. Developing countries, on the other hand, were not enthusiastic about a WTO deal on intellectual property.

The discussion over TRIPS’ effects on people’s right to health has continued since then. IP protection, according to proponents, encourages innovation and, as a result, should be strengthened through a network of national and international rules. Meanwhile, detractors contend that intellectual property rights, particularly patents, obstruct the introduction of affordable vaccinations and treatments in underdeveloped nations and deprive people of access to healthcare.

Through this article we will try to understand the contemporary issue and why developing and under-developed nations are pushing for trips waivers. Further we will analyze the legal backing in the TRIPS agreement which provides flexibility in exceptional circumstances and if there already exists why at all a need for a TRIPS waiver?

As the globe grapples with Covid-19 today, the topic takes center stage. The vaccines and other medicines developed to combat Covid-19 are subject to patent protection under the TRIPS agreement, presenting an unmistakable silver lining to the catastrophe. For the duration of the patent, the patent holders have the exclusive right to produce, market, and use the vaccine or medication for the entire term of patent protection of 20 years from the date of the filing of the patent.

The epidemic will be ended by the complete vaccination process, not by the vaccinations themselves, and the key is to ensure that it is universalized. The work is difficult because of rising concerns over vaccine nationalism, in which richer countries purchase vaccines for their populations ahead of others, thereby jeopardizing the goal of giving two billion vaccine doses to poorer and less developed countries.

In this perspective, it’s important to understand India and South Africa’s combined WTO petition for a temporary relaxation of IP rights on Covid-19 vaccines and medications. IP rights, according to the idea, might stymie the inexpensive supply of vaccines and medications.

As a result, India and South Africa have proposed that the WTO’s TRIPS Council recommend to the General Council “a waiver from the implementation, application, and enforcement of” certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement (waiving IP rights such as patents, copyright, and trademarks) for the prevention, containment, or treatment of COVID-19. For a limited period, WTO member nations will be relieved of their obligation to grant or enforce patents and other IP-related privileges for Covid-19 medications, vaccines, and other treatments if the waiver is approved. This will shield governments’ efforts to immunize their citizens from WTO claims of illegality.

According to Article IX.3 of the Marrakesh Agreement establishing the WTO (or the WTO Agreement) the Ministerial Conference may waive an obligation imposed on a WTO member nation by the WTO Agreement or any other multilateral trade agreement in “exceptional circumstances.” The same clause stipulates that three-quarters of the members must agree to such a waiver. According to Article IX.3 (b) if the request for a waiver relates to the multilateral trade agreements listed in Annexes 1A, 1B, or 1C, the request shall be made to the Council for Trade in Goods, Council for Trade in Services, and the Council for TRIPS, respectively,

Furthermore, according to Article IX.4 of the WTO Agreement while issuing the waiver, the Ministerial Conference must identify the “exceptional circumstances” that support the decision, as well as the terms and conditions that will govern the waiver’s operation.

Patent holders’ rights may be evaded in specific instances under Article 31 of the TRIPS agreement. Member countries are given the authority to provide a license to a party willing to commercialize a patent-protected invention without the approval of the patent holder. The proposed licensee must get a voluntary license in a reasonable amount of time unless there is a “public emergency.” The government may provide a non-exclusive license if the patent holder refuses to provide one. As a result, compulsory licensing, subject to other provisions of the TRIPS Agreement, allows generic drug companies to manufacture and market licensed products at a fraction of the price that patent holders would charge, because only the costs of manufacturing the drug must be recovered, not the costs of marketing it. Article 5 of the Doha Declaration confirms that WTO Member States have the authority to determine the grounds for compulsory licensing, and that public health emergencies, such as those related to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other diseases, may constitute a national emergency or other situations of extreme urgency.

The Covid-19 global pandemic—the largest global health catastrophe in the last 100 years, killing millions of lives and wreaking an unprecedented economic and social havoc—clearly qualifies as an “exceptional case” under Articles IX.3 and IX.4 of the WTO agreement. If the pandemic spreads, countries will need to develop new strategies to not only enhance vaccine production but also assure timely and cost-effective delivery. In this instance, adhering to the TRIPS Agreement’s stringent IP standards may not be a practical option. A mutual waiver, similar to the one granted to the Kimberley Process, has a solid legal case to be presented.

The waivers and current TRIPS flexibilities are not mutually exclusive. The proposal for a waiver of some IP standards provides a fast, transparent, and automatic global solution that allows for continued collaboration in product development and scale-up, and that, when considered together, addresses the global dilemma that all countries face. TRIPS flexibilities, such as providing compulsory licenses and reducing or abolishing exclusive privileges, should be used to defend public health in the future.

Those who oppose India and South Africa’s petition for a TRIPS waiver argue that the demand to suspend IP responsibilities is unnecessary because the TRIPS Agreement has many flexibilities that can be utilized to solve public health emergencies. However, assuming that this flexibility would be sufficient to manage all public health concerns, particularly one as massive as the present pandemic, would be erroneous. The utility of the same TRIPS versatility, such as compulsory licensing, is not the same for many nations. And underdeveloped countries that have the ability to employ compulsory licenses to manufacture patented drugs are continually pressured not to do so by developed countries.

The compulsory license, as previously indicated, is not a beneficial flexibility for countries lacking industrial capabilities. According to Article 31(f) of the TRIPS Agreement, a compulsory license may be provided primarily for the domestic market of the nation providing the license. As a result, generic pharmaceuticals made under a mandatory license cannot be exported. As a result, nations with limited pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity will be unable to profit from the compulsory licensing provision of Article 31 of the TRIPS Agreement.

The General Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO) decided in August 2003 to suspend the obligations imposed by Articles 31(f) and 31(h) to allow countries to export medications made under a compulsory license to nations that lack manufacturing capability. Finally, in 2005, the TRIPS agreement was revised to include Article 31 bis, which made the 2003 ruling permanent, and it went into effect on January 23, 2017. The fact that a waiver was required first, followed by a TRIPS Agreement change, demonstrated that the TRIPS flexibilities were insufficient to address all medicine shortage situations. As a result, TRIPS versatility is ruled out owing to the magnitude of the problem and the great demand for vaccines from all around the world.

The international community went out this year with a single purpose in mind: to put an end to the Covid-19 pandemic. This would only be conceivable if as many people as possible were vaccinated as quickly as possible over the world. Given the enormous demand, vaccine production must be considerably enhanced, as well as distribution to be more extensive and equitable. Given the magnitude of the problem, volunteer programs like COVAX, which aim to speed up vaccine development and production, may not be sufficient. Although nations with manufacturing capacities may benefit from TRIPS flexibility like as compulsory licenses, this is not the case for countries without manufacturing capabilities, particularly LDCs in Africa and Asia.

Prasun Tripathi: Law circa

Prasun Tripathi


Prasun hails from Gujarat National Law University and he spends most of his time in researching and writing. His Interest areas are IPR, M&A and Competition Law. For any clarifications, feedback, and advice, you can reach us at [email protected]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
slot korea slot princess slot thailand rtp slot ladangtoto 888slot slot zeus slot thailand slot kamboja mahjong ways 2 slot deposit pulsa 888slot sv388 ladangtoto slot luar negeri slot deposit qris slot thailand slot deposit dana slot jepang rtp slot joker123 slot kamboja slot gatot kaca slot thailand slot dana 888slot slot zeus ladangtoto sv388 slot server kamboja slot server jepang slot deposit pulsa joker123 pg soft mahjong ways 2 888slot gb777 joker123 slot zeus slot rusia slot jepang slot zeus slot77 pg soft rtp slot slot thailand slot thailand slot88 nolimit city slot jepang slot kamboja slot777 rtp slot slot zeus slot server luar negeri sv388 mahjong ways 2 slot deposit dana slot deposit ovo pg soft sweet bonanza wild bandito thor megaways mahjong ways 2 slot deposit pulsa meong77 spaceman slot gopay slot ovo slot dana slot server kamboja slot server thailand slot server jepang slot thailand slot88 slot zeus slot server kamboja slot thailand slot kamboja slot jepang slot zeus rtp slot slot mahjong ways slot thailand slot zeus slot777 slot pulsa slot dana slot thailand slot88 ladangtoto slot mahjong ways slot thailand slot kamboja slot qris slot zeus pg soft slot88 mahjong ways 2 slot zeus slot server kamboja slot deposit dana slot deposit ovo slot deposit gopay slot dana nolimit city slot princess slot kamboja slot777 slot88 mahjong ways 2 slot thailand slot dana slot kamboja slot77 slot zeus slot luar negeri ASIA GAMING SLOT SEABANK SLOT SAKUKU slot dewa x500 sv388 starlight princess slot thailand slot kamboja slot jepang slot luar negeri slot777 slot zeus mahjong ways 2 slot888 rtp slot slot zeus slot88 slot zeus slot princess pg soft slot777 slot kamboja slot jepang slot rusia slot malaysia slot korea slot myanmar SLOT NEOBANK SLOT LINKAJA AKUN PRO PLATINUM CHEAT SLOT slot maxwin Slot Thailand Slot Zeus Slot Thailand Starlight Princess Mahjong Ways 2 Slot Maxwin Slot Thailand Sv388 Joker123 Starlight Princess Mahjong Ways 2 Slot Maxwin SLOT MEGAWAYS SLOT TRIOFUS CHEAT SLOT SLOT MANDIRI SLOT GANAS SLOT LINKAJA ladangtoto SLOT DEWA ZEUS SLOT BANTENG SLOT MANTAP SLOT X500 Slot Thailand Slot Zeus Slot Thailand Slot Zeus Sv388 Pg Soft Starlight Princess Slot Thailand Slot Zeus slot thailand slot server luar negeri slot qris slot thailand akun pro kamboja akun pro jepang slot filipina slot rusia slot kamboja joker123 slot zeus slot88 888slot slot deposit pulsa mahjong ways 2 slot jepang slot dana slot luar negeri koi gate nolimit city slot thailand slot princess slot zeus slot77 ladangtoto slot thailand slot kamboja slot mahjong slot777 slot thailand slot megaways slot ikan slot mania NEW SLOT POLA GACOR Joker123 Slot Thailand Slot Gacor Slot Zeus Slot Princess Slot Maxwin Pg Soft RTP Live Slot Pulsa Slot Server Luar Slot Thailand Mahjong Ways 2 Pg Soft Slot Zeus Sv388 Starlight Princess Joker123 Slot Maxwin Slot Ovo Slot Gopay Slot Bank BSI Gates Of Gatotkaca Twilight Princess Idn Slot Slot Toto Slot Anti Rungkad Slot Receh Slot Hoki Slot Asia Dewa Slot Depo Slot Raja Slot Nexus Slot Slot X500 Slot Dana Slot Server Luar Starlight Princess Slot Thailand Slot Hongkong Joker123 Slot Zeus Starlight Princess Sv388 Slot Thailand Slot Zeus Joker123 Sv388 Starlight Princess Mahjong Ways 2 Slot Hongkong Pg Soft Slot Zeus Sv388 Joker123 Slot Princess Slot Thailand Slot Thailand Slot Zeus Mahjong Ways 2 Slot Thailand Slot Zeus jp slot slot ganas crazy time live slot qris slot akurat slot bca slot bni nolimit city slot thailand qris nolimit city slot korea slot zeus nolimit city SLOT777 slot new terbaru slot gatot kaca slot sugar rush server thailand sv388 joker123 zeus slot princess 1000 mahjong ways rtp slot slot88 server thailand sabung ayam online slot zeus pgsoft mahjong ways digmaan slot ovo joker123 server thailand ladangtoto slot zeus mahjong ways rtp slot slot princess sv388 joker123 digmaan powergaming88 powergaming88 powergaming88 server jepang server kamboja slot dana server thailand server hongkong slot ovo slot gopay slot linkaja joker123 nolimit city sv388 starlight princess mahjong ways pg slot slot zeus server thailand joker123 nolimit city slot dana sv388 server thailand joker123 sv388 mahjong ways zeusslot powergaming88 starlight princess idn slot 888 slot ladangtoto slot server thailand slot dubai slot malaysia slot kamboja sbobet sabung ayam online slot pragmatic zeus slot slot pg soft mahjong ways slot dana slot thailand 888 slot gacor88 gb777 ying77 66kbet ladangtoto2 slot thailand ladangtoto slot thailand nolimit city koi gate zeus slot slot malaysia slot china slot rusia slot jepang slot amerika slot filipina slot dana sicbo online roulette online lice casino joker slot slot gacor maxwin slot mahjong slot303 live22 baccarat online slot hongkong slot303 slot88 nolimit city slot ovo slot gopay slot77 pragmati play starlight princess slot pg soft slot mahjong slot zeus slot thailand slot zeus starlight princess mahjong ways joker123 sv388 rtp slot slot dana slot ovo slot gopay nolimit city digmaan sabung ayam online powergaming88 powergaming88 slot kamboja slot dana pgsoft sabung ayam online slot princess slot777 slot jepang slot korea slot kamboja slot dana slot ovo joker123 rtp slot slot thailand slot zeus starlight princess mahjong ways joker123 sv388 rtp slot joker123 sabung ayam online slot pragmatic slot dana slot mahjong zeus slot slot thailand starlight princess slot pragmatic slot thailand sv388 joker123 slot zeus mahjong ways server thailand slot123 slot gacor slot dana slot mahjong slot maxwin slot pg soft gaming88 slot kamboja sabung ayam online slot mania slot zeus joker123 slot gacor slot jepang slot zeus akun vip slot pragmatic slot bet 100 sv388 mahjong ways pg soft slot maxwin zeus slot slot88 sv388 slot zeus slot princess sv388 pg soft mahjong ways slot zeus starlight princess joker123 slot thailand sv388 slot dana slot kamboja slot88 slot kamboja slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot dana slot thailand fafaslot sv388 slot zeus joker123 sv388 slot thailand pg soft mahjong ways slot zeus starlight princess rtp slot sv388 sabung ayam online 66kbet ying77 dewaslot ladangtoto gaming88 slot thailand slot maxwin gaming88 slot123 mahjong ways starlight princess joker123 slot pg zseus slot servee thailand 66kbet gaming88 ying77 ladangtoto dewaslot sabung ayam online slot thailand slot77 slot thailand server thailand slot88 slot maxwin slot thailand server thailand slot88 slot thailand slot mahjong slot88 slot zeus pg soft slot gacor maxwin sv388 joker123 ladangtoto 66kbet ying77 slot thailand server thailand slot maxwin slot88 pragmatic play judi bola live casino sv388 sbobet mahjong ways pragmaticplay sv388 sv388 pragmatic play slot gacor maxwin pg soft gates of olympus joker123 sv388 pg soft slot mahjong slot dana sv388 fafaslot idn poker joker123 mahjong ways sabung ayam online pg soft pragmatic slot petir slot olympus slot mania fafaslot slot mania fafaslot habanero ladangtoto ying77 66kbet gaming88 slot thailand server thailand sabung ayam online slot mania slot mahjong slot bet 200 slot dana slot hoki slot x500 slot pgsoft slot thailand slot kamboja slot jepang slot amerika slot mahjong slot gacor 2023 slot x500 ladangtoto slot server kamboja nolimit city digmaan slot thailand dewaslot digmaan sv388 slot joker123 mahjong ways 2 slot zeus starlight princess slot88 pg soft slot olympus 66kbet ladang toto ying77 gaming88 dewaslot pg soft 66kbet ying77 ladangtoto dewaslot scv388 sabung ayam online slot sabung ayam online live casino 66k ladangtoto digmaan slot pragmatic slot jepang slot china slot kamboja slot rusia slot malaysia slot amerika slot thailand slot zeus slot ovo slot dana slot gopay sicbo online roulette online joker123 slot mahjong tembak ikan online joker123 live casino slot123 66k ying77 ladangtoto sabung ayam online 66k ying77 ladangtoto live casino online sabung ayam online 66k ying77 ladangtoto slot thailand ladangtoto ladangtoto sv388 ladangtoto ladangtoto ladangtoto sv388 ladangtoto sv388 66kbet ying77 gaming88 dewaslot ladangtoto slot thailand slot thailand ladangtoto 66k bet ying77bet sv388 66kbet ying77 ladangtoto 66k one ladangtoto ying77 slot maxwin 66k bet ying77bet ladangtoto slot zeus slot thailand slot thailand server thailand slot thailand slot thailand server thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot thailand slot gacor ladangtoto2 slot thailand server thailand ying77 bet ying77 ladangtoto 66k bet slot gacor server thailand slot88 slot gacor slot thailand slot88 slot thailand ying77 ying77 powergaming88 slot88 ladangtoto ladangtoto sabung ayam online slot thailand slot maxwin sv388 pg soft mahjong ways sv388 mahjong ways 2 sv388 slot thailand 66k bet slot sv388 ladangtoto slot zeus slot gacor dewaslot ladangtoto 66k bet slot dana sabung ayam online sabung ayam inline slot thailand slot thailand slot88 slot thailand slot pgsoft slot slot mahjong slot thailand fafaslot slot princess slot gopay slot toto slot server thailand slot thailand slot gacor slot server thailand slot thailand slot gacor slot kakek zeus Joker123 Mahjong Ways 2 Sv388 Sbobet Slot Dana Slot Thailand slot thailand situs slot wwg slot slot daftar judi slot online indonesia slot mahjong ways slot gacor slot mawin slot gacor slot thailand slot thailand slot gacor slot gacor slot gacor demo slot pragmatic sv388 slot88 pgsoft slot thailand slot gacor slot ovo Daftar Judi Slot Online Indonesia Paling Gacor di Indonesia Daftar Situs Judi Slot Online SLOT88 lucky neko slot gacor slot88 slot kakek slot dana slot maxwin slot server luar negeri slot thailand Slot Mahjong Ways 2 Mudah Jackpot Paus di PG Soft Hari ini 2023 Lucky Neko Situs Slot Gacor Pgsoft Hari Ini SITUS SABUNG AYAM SV388 ONLINE DAFTAR LINK LOGIN APK AGEN SV388 Daftar Judi Slot Online Indonesia Paling Gacor di Indonesia powergaming88