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
Date Written: April 15, 2020
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
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