No Patents, No Monopolies in a Pandemic

Monopolies are often an obstacle between people and the lifesaving health tools they need. Patents and other exclusivities limit supply and keep prices high.

In this unprecedented global emergency, governments have taken an incredibly strong stance at the World Trade Organization (WTO), proposing to allow countries to temporarily waive the obligations of enforcing patents, trade secrets and other types of Intellectual Property (IP) during the COVID-19 pandemic so that everyone, everywhere has access to lifesaving treatments, vaccines, tests and medical tools needed to beat back this pandemic.

Support this action by urging your government to also put lives over profit.

In a landmark move in early October, India and South Africa made a formal request to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to allow countries to choose to suspend or not to enforce all patents, trade secrets and other types of IP during the pandemic on any COVID-19 related medicines, vaccines, and other health tools, until global herd immunity is reached.

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This request for an IP waiver could be a gamechanger in the COVID-19 response and we need you to help us put our voices behind it, to encourage more governments to make it a reality.

We have until the end of 2020 to ensure that this IP waiver proposal gains enough government backing to move forward. Supporting this initiative is so important because it would put people's lives over profit and provide governments with the necessary legal basis to ensure access to COVID-19 medical tools for their people throughout this pandemic.

We need to act NOW because the decision on suspending patents and other types of IP in this pandemic will happen soon.

"Governments need to ask themselves which side of history they want to be on when the books on this pandemic are written."

[Last updated: 17 December 2020 - Sources: Knowledge Ecology International, TWN & WTO]  Note: The discussions at the WTO are taking place behind closed doors. As such, we strive to update the map as soon as we have confirmation of each country’s evolving positions.

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