The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Challenge for Innovation Policy

Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 71(1), 2020

7 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2020 Last revised: 29 Apr 2020

See all articles by Robert Burrell

Robert Burrell

University of Melbourne - Law School

Catherine Kelly

University of Bristol

Date Written: April 15, 2020

Abstract

This brief note considers calls for a Grand Prize to incentivise research into a vaccine for COVID-19. These calls respond to perceived failures of the patent system. We argue that such a prize is probably unnecessary and that the challenge for innovation policy posed by threats like COVID-19 lies elsewhere. In particular, we suggest that the more expansive reward-style approach embraced by Britain in the 18th and 19th Centuries is a more useful starting point for thinking about how to move towards a proactive innovation system.

Keywords: Innovation; COVID-19; Vaccine; Patents; Prizes; Innovation Policy

Suggested Citation

Burrell, Robert and Kelly, Catherine, The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Challenge for Innovation Policy (April 15, 2020). Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 71(1), 2020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3576481 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3576481

Robert Burrell (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

Catherine Kelly

University of Bristol ( email )

University of Bristol,
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue
Bristol, BS8 ITH
United Kingdom

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