In a Law360 article, IP litigation partner Matt Rizzolo and associate Brendan McLaughlin (both of Washington, D.C.) examine COVID-19, drug manufacturing and U.S. patent infringement laws.
The authors explain that given the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public health and the economy, there is a possibility that U.S. government may use whatever tools necessary to bypass any perceived hurdles — IP-related or otherwise — that the government believes may stand in the way of the public’s access to a treatment or vaccine.
Bayh-Dole “march-in rights” and Section 1498, an eminent domain law related to patents, provide the federal government broad powers it could use when dealing with this national emergency. But the authors explain that while the government may in good faith view these actions as necessary in the fight to combat COVID-19, using these tools could deter future pharmaceutical innovation.
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