The IP waiver would allow countries to choose to neither grant nor enforce patents and other IP related to all Covid-19 drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, and other technologies, including masks and ventilators, for the duration of the pandemic.
South Africa and India’s proposal to temporarily suspend intellectual property rights for Covid-related technologies will be taken up at the council for Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) of the World Trade Organisation on Thursday. The WHO has welcomed the proposal stating that the waiver would help make treatments and tests available and affordable. If no consensus is reached, the negotiations could extend to the next year. Even if it happens in the first part of next year, it could help as patent applications are still in the process of getting published.