During the COVID-19 pandemic it became widely recognized that speedier access to patent rights should be enabled to speed global scale-up of vaccine production. This understanding was expressed in a proposal by India and South Africa that the World Trade Organization suspend multilateral intellectual property rules on COVID vaccines, treatment and containment. The original waiver proposal proposed a suspension of WTO rules on all forms of intellectual property needed for a broad range of COVID-19 response measures, including “vaccination,” “treatment,” and “containment.” The final “TRIPS Waiver,” however, was ultimately limited to a minor provision of TRIPS permitting greater use of compulsory licenses on patents for vaccine production. Other intellectual property issues, such as the many copyright barriers to responding to COVID, were left unaddressed in the waiver and also largely unexamined in the academic literature.
Flynn, Sean, "Copyright and COVID" (2024). Joint PIJIP/TLS Research Paper Series. 120.