Support for guarantees of affordability and access on a coronavirus vaccine or treatment is gaining steam, and concerns that these measures will “steal” the vaccine are misplaced and ignore important already-existing tools in patent law.
The closure of schools across the nation make eduction more difficult, but some minor changes to copyright law could make educational materials more accessible to students.
Authors and their representatives are up in arms over the National Emergency Library, but there are real benefits to the project with costs that are overblown.
News and Commentary
An article by Justin Hughes and Arti K. Rai goes through the history of the development of remdesivir, and how Gilead has downplayed the government’s role in its development. But despite some hand-wringing against Gilead, it acknowledges the good citizenship the company has been as of lite, and encourages a more measured approach in ensuring production can be scaled up through greater access to any associated patents.
At the same time, Gilead deserves some criticism for downplaying the role of public financing in the development of Remdesivir, as this piece by Ed Silverman argues.
As the U.S. experiences Depression-levels of unemployment, strategies for economic recovery–and the removing of barriers to that recovery–must be considered. Worth considering is the post-2008 recession growth in patent assertions by firms that, looking for an investment opportunity, acquired a number of patents. Future behavior could be a threat to recovery.
At TechDirt, Mike Masnick analyzes how despite Alice‘s decision restricted the patenting of software that performs generic functions, a recent increase in filings for software patents and USPTO guidance that seems to go against the decision has led to another uptick in software patenting activity.
The combination of everyone living on line more than ever and extraordinary harm to performing artists has generated cries for even greater copyright filters. But this would be a mistake due to the technical limitations of this software, argue Katharine Trendacosta and Corynne McSherry of EFF.
While online piracy was increasing before the COVID-19 outbreak, streaming revenue has also increased, and the lesson for providers is to make their prices and offerings more reasonable (when possible).
A new paper from the centre for economic policy research examines the number of “truly” standard essential patents (SEPs) by firm portfolio, finding firm-level differences and a decline in the share of “true” SEPs over time.
A new paper from NBER discusses the demand-side shock to pharmaceuticals created by Medicare Part D. While the paper found no evidence of greater novel R&D activity, there is evidence of investment in products involving novel combinations of traditional scientific approaches.