At the World Trade Organization discussions are continuing about temporarily waiving patents rights in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Late April, rich members of the WTO blocked a proposal backed by over 80 developing countries to waive these rights in an effort to boost production of COVID-19 vaccines. Co-sponsors of the proposal announced they will…

The ‘new normal’ at the EPO and more particularly plans to allow oral proceedings by videoconference even if parties don’t want it, have been leading to extensive debate over the last weeks. No less than 47 amicus curiae briefs were filed with the Enlarged Board of Appeal in case G 1/21, where the crucial referral question…

The EPO has launched a public consultation on the first draft of its ‘Towards a new normal’ orientation document, discussing the post-covid organisation of the EPO. The document “is designed to complement the EPO’s Strategic Plan 2023, which was adopted in 2019, before the current pandemic. The orientation document represents the EPO’s current assessment of…

As of February 2021, it is still too early to have a clear and complete view of how the COVID-19 health, economic, and social crisis has affected patent filing trends and how innovation specifically dedicated to cope with the present “new normal” situation is the object of patent protection. This pandemic has prompted patent offices…

The Odyssey, which became synonymous for an eventful journey, originally refers to the perilous return of Odysseus to his homeland of Ithaca after the Trojan War. After the year 2020, marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 also announces numerous challenges for the world, and patentees will undoubtedly have their lot. Without trying to take the…

As Bob Hudec explained in his legendary The GATT Legal System and World Trade Diplomacy, GATT’s (since 1995, WTO) long-standing practice of seeking to adopt decisions by consensus finds its roots in 1947, when the then 23 parties to GATT were a small club of good friends. The proposition that a friend might impose a…

The reasoning to develop a strong patent regime is an old and straightforward one. Research and development (R&D) requires incentive and strong intellectual property regime provides that incentive. It is estimated that the total cost of developing a new drug, including the costs of capital and failed R&D efforts, amounts to billions of dollars. Without…