As the World Trade Organization considers a proposal to waive or otherwise address intellectual property barriers to the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the attention given by scholars and policy makers has been focused on patents. The original proposals by South Africa and India, as well as the groundbreaking support of the United States, however, explicitly applied to all forms of intellectual property. This paper documents many instances where non-patent forms of intellectual property create barriers to the global scale up of access to vaccines, treatments, and the ability to contain the virus through social distancing. Addressing the full scope of such barriers would assist the global efforts to combat COVID-19.
Flynn, Sean; Nkrumah, Erica; and Schirru, Luca. "Non-Patent Intellectual Property Barriers to COVID-19 Vaccines, Treatment and Containment." (2021) PIJIP/TLS Research Paper Series no. 71. https://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/research/71