AIPLA Statement on the US Administration’s Decision on Waiver of IP Protections

Written May 6, 2021

The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) echoes the significant concerns shared by many other intellectual property entities about the US Administration’s decision to support the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s proposed waiver of IP protections for COVID-19 vaccines.

AIPLA continues to support  the widespread distribution of vaccines, medicines, and other measures necessary to meet the challenges of COVID-19. However, AIPLA is concerned that the waiver approach is unlikely to lead to the desired result of widespread access to high-quality vaccines produced by qualified manufacturers and will negatively impact further innovation.

In March 2021, AIPLA joined with the Intellectual Property Owners Association, the Licensing Executives Society USA and Canada, and the New York Intellectual Property Law Association to express support for the United States’ opposition to the TRIPS waiver proposal, where it was made clear that intellectual property is not the problem. The letter expresses that this has not been the case and, on the contrary, IP protection enhances these developments.

AIPLA believes this decision has the potential to set an unfortunate precedent going forward. “As we have seen this past year, innovation and R&D collaboration are powerful forces to improve the human condition.  Our members’ experience is that IP protection incentivizes innovation and collaboration.  Implementation of the proposed TRIPS waiver would have a chilling effect on research and development to address future health threats, including COVID-19 variants.” stated AIPLA President, Joseph R. Re