EIFL has pledged its support for the Open COVID Pledge that seeks to remove barriers to the use of intellectual property (IP) to help end and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Pledge was developed by the Open COVID Coalition, an international coalition of legal experts, engineers and scientists who are calling on companies, universities and other organizations to make their patents and copyrights temporarily available free of charge to accelerate the rapid development and deployment of diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics, medical equipment and software solutions in this urgent public health crisis.
The Open COVID Pledge aligns fully with EIFL’s mission to promote open science, the adoption of open science policies by institutions and governments, and global copyright laws that enable the right to research.
Major IP rights holders adopt the Pledge
The Pledge has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its ‘Solidarity Call to Action’ in the fight against COVID-19, as a means to advance research and science, and the approach complements other efforts, such as the Wellcome Trust pledge on free sharing of research results and data.
Major holders of IP rights have adopted the Pledge, which has also received public expressions of support by highly regarded organizations around the world. Diane Peters, the General Counsel of Creative Commons, one of these supporters, said “It’s critical that relevant scientific resources are made available to anyone in the world to use and build upon in the fight against COVID-19.”
The urgent need for a global solution to the pandemic has focused attention on the benefits of open data sharing to advance scientific discovery, and the role of the global IP system. EIFL welcomes the Open COVID Pledge, and the complementary Open COVID License which provides legal language allowing organizations to permit the application of their IP to COVID-19 for the duration of the pandemic, for the benefit of people everywhere.