Intellectual Property Cause of Death, Genocide

By Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Anis ChowdhuryKUALA LUMPUR and SYDNEY, Feb 9 2021 (IPS) Refusal to temporarily suspend several World Trade Organization (WTO) intellectual property (IP) provisions to enable much faster and broader progress in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic should be grounds for International Criminal Court prosecution for genocide. Jomo Kwame SundaramMaking life-saving vaccines, medicines and equipment available, freely or affordably, has been crucial for containing the spread of many infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS, polio and smallpox. Jonas Salk, who developed the polio vaccine, insisted that it remain patent free. Asked who owned the patent 65 years ago, he replied, “The people I would say. There is no patent. You might as well ask, could you patent the sun?” Intellectual property induced scarcity However, cross-border enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRs) is relatively recent. The 1994 WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) greatly strengthened and extended IP transnationally. IPRs have effectively denied access to patented formulas and processes except to the highest bidders. Recognising the extent of the pandemic threat, vaccine developers expect to be very profitable, thanks to national and transnational IP laws. Thus, IP has distorted research priorities and discouraged cooperation and knowledge sharing, so essential to progress. As COVID-19 infections and deaths conti...
Source: IPS Inter Press Service - Health - Category: International Medicine & Public Health Authors: Tags: Crime & Justice Development & Aid Economy & Trade Global Headlines Health Human Rights Humanitarian Emergencies TerraViva United Nations Source Type: news

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