Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the global intellectual property (IP) environment continued its positive trajectory, biotechnology company CapeBio CEO Daniel Ndima said on July 7.
Speaking during a webinar hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research on IP and industry, he said trade agreements continued to substantively improve national IP frameworks, including in China and Mexico, both of which stood out as being noteworthy.
However, to harness the full potential of the agreements, the provisions must be effectively implemented and enforced, he stressed.
He also noted that IP could enable the development of a pipeline of therapeutic solutions to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. In this regard, in the US and in other countries, vaccines and therapeutics are being developed at an unprecedented rate because of the scale of public-private sector collaboration made possible by effective IP protection.
However, despite the positive role IP played in response to the pandemic, some countries implemented measures that served to undermine IP-enabled innovation, Ndima suggested.
These measures were in the form of compulsory licensing legislation to the World Trade Organisation Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights waiver, whereby some global markets and multilateral institutions failed to recognise IP’s critical role in the discovery and delivery of effective therapeutics and vaccines.
Nonetheless, he said, as global citizens strive to attain their pre-pandemic lives, effective IP systems would be critical to rebuilding healthy communities, getting citizens back to work and reinvigorating the global economy.