Council for Innovation Promotion Urges Biden Admin to Oppose IP Waiver

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Yesterday, the Council for Innovation Promotion (C4IP) and nearly 50 former government officials and intellectual property experts sent a letter to President Biden urging his administration to oppose the World Trade Organization’s proposed IP waiver for Covid-19 therapeutics and diagnostics.

Notable letter signatories include former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Michelle Lee, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre, Deputy Director General of the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization James Pooley, Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Walter G. Copan, and Governor Howard Dean.

“The WTO’s proposal to suspend IP rights for certain Covid-19 technologies would jeopardize the development of these critically important technologies and harm the ability to diagnose and treat Covid-19 patients,” said Andrei Iancu, C4IP co-chair and former director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. “The proposal would also decrease investment in all other lifesaving American medical R&D and will harm U.S. economic competitiveness. For the United States to maintain its technological edge, the administration should oppose this measure.”

In October, the U.S. International Trade Commission published a report on the proposed IP waiver and found no evidence that intellectual property protections impeded access to Covid-19 therapeutics and diagnostics.

“IP rights have played a pivotal role in the record-breaking development of Covid-19 vaccines, tests, and therapies from the outset of the pandemic,” said David Kappos, C4IP co-chair and former director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. “Suspending IP protections for these products would make it impossible to duplicate this success going forward and undermine our ability to respond to future global health crises.”

The World Trade Organization will likely decide whether to approve the proposed IP waiver for Covid-19 diagnostics and therapeutics in February 2024 at the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference.

“The Council for Innovation Promotion is honored to lead this distinguished group in advocating for the preservation of global IP rights,” said Frank Cullen, C4IP executive director. “IP drives creativity and innovation worldwide, and the bipartisan solidarity of this group sends a clear message about the importance of maintaining these safeguards. We hope the Biden administration strongly considers these experts’ voices when evaluating the WTO’s proposed IP waiver.”

About the Council for Innovation Promotion: The Council for Innovation Promotion is a bipartisan coalition dedicated to promoting strong and effective intellectual property rights that drive innovation, boost economic competitiveness, and improve lives everywhere.

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SOURCE Council for Innovation Promotion