Of Viruses and Licenses: Learning from COVID-19 Patent Debates

16 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2022

See all articles by Mario Biagioli

Mario Biagioli

University of California -- Los Angeles

Date Written: February 7, 2022


From the White House to the World Trade Organization (WTO), heated debates have flared up around the compulsory licensing of COVID-19 vaccine technologies, producing a flurry of op-eds in all of the major US newspapers. Should patent protections, these op-eds ask, be temporarily relaxed to enable developing countries to produce and distribute cheaper shots to ensure timely global immunization? Can compulsory licenses actually achieve that goal, or would the efforts of developing countries be thwarted by other constraints, like limited production capacity, equipment, and skills? Conversely, would the granting of such licenses stymie medical innovation?

Suggested Citation

Biagioli, Mario, Of Viruses and Licenses: Learning from COVID-19 Patent Debates (February 7, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4028429 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4028429

Mario Biagioli (Contact Author)

University of California -- Los Angeles ( email )

UCLA School of Law
385 Charles Young Dr. East
Los Angeles, CA CA 90095
United States

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