A WTO Waiver for Intellectual Property for COVID?

WTO Logo

November 19, 2020
10:00am EST / 4:00pm CET | Registration Required

Co-sponsored by the American Branch of the International Law Association, Committee on International Intellectual Property, PIJIP and the Texas A&M University Center for Law and Intellectual Property

The COVID pandemic has increased global demand for access to a massive range of intellectual property information and medical products, ranging from medical journal subscriptions to medicines, diagnostic kits to medical masks and other personal protective equipment. Many countries are facing shortages in supplies, and some treatments and potential vaccines have had their entire potential stockpiles pre-purchased by the wealthiest countries. At the meeting of the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) on 15-16 October 2020, WTO members discussed a proposal submitted by India and South Africa for a temporary waiver of certain TRIPS obligations on copyright, industrial designs, patents, and the protection of undisclosed information in relation to the “prevention, containment or treatment” of COVID-19. This event will feature presentations on the details of the TRIPS moratorium proposal followed by a roundtable discussion of academic members of the American Branch of the International Law Association.


  • Sean Flynn, Director, Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, American University Washington College of Law
  • Peter Yu, Professor of Law and Director, Center for Law and Intellectual Property, Texas A&M University


  • United States Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Representing the 9th Congressional District of Illinois
  • Mustaqeem de Gama, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of South Africa
  • Burcu Kilic, Research Director, Public Citizen's Access to Medicines Program
  • Simon Lester, Associate Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, CATO

Roundtable Discussion

  • Fred Abbott, Edward Ball Eminent Scholar Professor of International Law at Florida State University College of Law
  • Josh Sarnoff, Professor of Law, DePaul University College of Law
  • Sharon Sandeen, Director, IP Institute and Professor of Law, Mitchell Hamline