Waiver from certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement for the Prevention, Containment and Treatment of COVID-19

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Waiver from certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement for the Prevention, Containment and Treatment of COVID-19
Presented2 October 2020
Signatories Flag of South Africa.svg Flag of India.svg

Official co-sponsors
Flag of Kenya.svg Flag of Eswatini.svg (15-16 October 2020)

62 countries by May 2021
PurposeWTO TRIPS waiver proposal
Wikisource-logo.svg Waiver from certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement for the Prevention, Containment and Treatment of COVID-19 at Wikisource

Waiver from certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement for the Prevention, Containment and Treatment of COVID-19 [1] is a joint intervention communication by South Africa and India to the TRIPS council of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 2 October 2020. [2] [3]

The two countries are suggesting a temporary patent waiver for COVID-19 drugs, COVID-19 vaccines and related equipment and technologies in four categories of intellectual property under the TRIPS agreement. [4] [5] [6] The four categories, as enunciated in sections of the TRIPS agreement, cover– copyright, industrial designs, patents and protection of undisclosed information. [7] The duration of the waiver is based on the timeframe in which the world can develop an immunity against COVID-19. [6]

On 15-16 October 2020, at the WTO TRIPS Council meeting Kenya and Eswatini became official co-sponsors while 100 countries welcomed or fully supported the proposal; a number of countries did not support the proposal. [8] [7] By 18 June 2021 the number of co-sponsors grew to 62. [9] [10] Precedents include an African Union communication to the World Health Organization, urging it to ensure universal access to vaccines, in June 2020. [2] [11] Challenges other than patents would still remain such as access to raw materials. [12]

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  1. "Waiver from certain provisions of the TRIPS Agreement for the Prevention, Containment and Treatment of COVID-19". World Trade Organization. 2 October 2020. Archived from the original on 11 June 2021. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
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  7. 1 2 "Members discuss intellectual property response to the COVID-19 pandemic". World Trade Organization. 20 October 2020. Retrieved 2021-06-18.
  8. Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign (18 November 2020). "India and South Africa proposal for WTO waiver from intellectual property protections for COVID-19-related medical technologies (Briefing Document)" (PDF). Médecins Sans Frontières. Retrieved 18 June 2021.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  9. Mathew, Joe C (18 May 2021). "COVID-19 crisis: 62 WTO members say TRIPS waiver proposal to be amended". Business Today. Retrieved 2021-06-18.
  10. Basu, Nayanima (5 May 2021). "WTO meet today could take up India-South Africa proposal to waive IP rights on Covid vaccines". ThePrint. Retrieved 18 June 2021. But the proposal has found a number of co-sponsors in Kenya, Eswatini, Mozambique, Pakistan, Bolivia, Venezuela, Mongolia, Zimbabwe, Egypt, the African Group, Maldives, Fiji and Namibia, among others.
  11. Achal Prabhala, Benny Kuruvilla, Burcu Kilic and Dana Brown (2020-10-15). "We can't let the WTO get in the way of a 'people's vaccine'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2021-06-18.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  12. Aanchal Magazine, Prabha Raghavan (2021-05-11). "Explained: Intellectual property waiver for Covid-19 vaccines". The Indian Express. Retrieved 2021-06-18.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)