Patent Issues Regarding COVID-19 Vaccines
With the novel coronavirus threatening the lives of many Americans, as well as the crisis causing widespread economic damage, medical researchers across the country – and the world – are racing to develop a successful vaccine. When a company succeeds, how will they protect their formula?
The patent process can take nearly two years to complete, and it requires no public disclosure of the development. However, it is imperative that various companies are able to mass-produce a vaccine so we can distribute it as soon as possible. Even the prioritized examination process takes up to 12 months.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a new pilot program in regard to COVID-19 developments that waives fees and aims to shorten the time period to six months. Only smaller entities will qualify, but it can help more people protect the progress they make regarding coronavirus protections.
Most of the world will want a COVID-19 vaccine, and this will require a team effort by many medical manufacturers. There is the possibility that the U.S. government will compel vaccine patent-holders to license the vaccine. The government also has the right to use patented formulas without permission from the patent-holder, as long as the government provides reasonable compensation for the use. The government has additional rights if a company developed the vaccine using federal funds. Developers should be prepared to share the vaccine with other companies, as it is likely necessary to widely distribute the vaccine.
Discuss Your Options with a Patent Lawyer in Orlando
If you have any questions about patents or licensing, you should speak with an Orlando patent attorney at Daniel Law Office, P.A. Call 866.377.2836 or contact us online to schedule an appointment to discuss our services and how we can help.