'Nature' editorial on Covid-19 patent waiver cites LSE Law Working Paper

27 May 2021


'A Covid Patent waiver is just and fair': Nature Editorial supporting TRIPS waiver at the WTO refers to LSE Law Working Paper

A proposal to waive intellectual property rights relating to the production of Covid-19 treatment, prevention and vaccines has received ringing support from the world's leading scientific journal Nature, which has acknowledged that everyone benefits if vaccine manufacturing is distributed evenly around the world, and that every country should have the right to make its own vaccines during a pandemic. The proposal has received the support of over 60 nations, the Biden administration, Nobel prize winning economists, leading scientists and civil society figures. 

Luke McDonagh and Siva Thambisetty, along with other IP academics, Prof Graham Dutfield (Leeds), Hyo Yoon Kang (Kent) and Aisling McMahon (Maynooth), provide strong analysis of the need for a broad IP waiver, locating arguments in the historic, economic and social context of intellectual property law, rather than just patent law. They argue that the TRIPS waiver is a necessary and proportionate legal measure for clearing IP barriers to end the Covid-19 pandemic. The waiver is presented in  the paper as an important political, moral and economic lever towards incentivising and mandating solutions aimed at global equitable production and access to vaccines. 

Beyond the compelling need for robust analysis of the legal and political basis for the waiver, the paper calls on IP scholars to eschew narrow legal formalistic approaches and to interpret and understand IP law in its original broader public purpose, says Luke McDonagh. This paper was the product of an intensely collaborative few weeks amongst co-authors and we hope it will move the political and legal negotiations further along, says Siva Thambisetty.

Read the Nature Editorial here: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01242-1

Read the LSE Working Paper Series here:

Siva Thambisetty, Aisling  McMahon, Luke McDonagh, Hyo Yoon Kang  and Graham Dutfield The TRIPS Intellectual Property Waiver Proposal: Creating the Right Incentives in Patent Law and Politics to end the COVID-19 Pandemic LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 06/2021