As the global death toll from the coronavirus reached nearly three million, countries around the world raced to vaccinate their populations. The severity of the coronavirus crisis has led some to argue that products for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19 should be global public goods: unrestricted by intellectual property rights and free for all to use.

Citing the need for a more equitable distribution of vaccine doses, several countries have called on the World Trade Organization (WTO) tosuspend or otherwise attenuate IP rights for the duration of the pandemic.

But will tolling vaccine manufacturers’ IP rights adequately address issues of access? Are there other solutions that might alleviate the same concerns but balance the interestsof IP holders? This article endeavors to answer these questions.

This piece was originally published by Bloomberg Law on May 6, 2021. It was reproduced with permission from Copyright 2020 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.

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