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Synopsis: Other alternatives available to boost Vaccine supply are less effective. But Voluntary licensing Mechanism for Covid 19 vaccines will lead to affordable and accessible vaccines. Background Affordable vaccination is the key to achieve global herd immunity and to prevent new strains of COVID-19. To make vaccines affordable there are multiple arrangements globally. Such as… Continue reading Voluntary Licensing Mechanism for Vaccines Will Ensure Social Justice
What is the News?
Kerala High Court has asked the Centre to respond to a plea for invoking the compulsory licensing. Other capable vaccine manufacturers will also be able to produce Covid-19 vaccines by the use of the compulsory license.
About Compulsory Licensing:
- Compulsory licensing(CL) is a process that allows governments to license third parties (that is, parties other than the patent holders) to produce, use and sell a patented product or process. By that, producers can manufacture patented drugs without the requirement of consent of patent owners.
- The WTO’s agreement on intellectual property –TRIPS allows countries to issue compulsory licenses to domestic producers.
- In India, Compulsory licensing is allowed and regulated under the Indian Patent Act, 1970.
Section 84 of the (Indian) Patent Act,1970: It provides that after three years from the date of the grant of a patent, any person can apply for the compulsory license, on certain grounds:
- the reasonable requirements of the public with respect to the patented invention have not been satisfied
- the patented invention is not available to the public at a reasonably affordable price
- Lastly, the patented invention is not used in the territory of India.
However, compulsory licenses can also be granted under exceptional circumstances.
Section 92 of the (Indian) Patent Act,1970: It authorizes the central government to issue a compulsory license at any time after the grant of the patent, in the case of:
- National emergency; or
- Extreme urgency; or
- Case of public non-commercial use.
After the government issues a notification under Section 92 the companies can approach the government for a license. They can start manufacturing the patented drug by reverse-engineering the product.
Section 100 of the (Indian) Patent Act,1970:
- It gives the central government the power to authorize anyone to use the invention for the purposes of the government.
- Basically, this provision enables the government to license patents of the vaccine to specific companies. This is done to speed up manufacturing and ensure equitable pricing.
What is a Patent?
- Firstly, a patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention. In other words, a patent is an exclusive right to a product or a process that generally provides a new way of doing something or offers a new technical solution to a problem.
- Secondly, is a patent valid in every country? Patents are territorial rights. In general, the exclusive rights are only applicable in the country or region in which a patent has been filed and granted in accordance with the law of that country or region.
- Thirdly, how long does a patent last? The protection is granted for a limited period, generally 20 years from the filing date of the application.
Source: Hindu Business line
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