Together with Dr Siva Thambisetty (London School of Economics), Dr Hyo Yoon Kang (Kent Law School), Dr Luke McDonagh (London School of Economics) and Professor Graham Dutfield (Leeds University), Professor Aisling McMahon has co-authored a paper entitled “The COVID-19 TRIPS Waiver Process in Critical Review: An Appraisal of the WTO DG Text (IP/C/W/688) and Recommendations for Minimum Modifications”.
This paper examines the compromise text put forward in May 2022 by the World Trade Organisation Director General (DG), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in response to calls for a temporary TRIPS waiver of certain intellectual property obligations at the TRIPS level for COVID-19 health technologies to ameliorate global inequity in access to COVID-19 vaccines, medicines and other health technologies.
In this paper, the authors demonstrate how this May WTO DG text differs from the original waiver proposal put forward by India and South Africa in October 2020 which was a broad temporary package of measures related to the suspension of certain intellectual property obligations under the TRIPS Agreement for COVID-19 health technologies. In contrast, the WTO DG text is a much narrower proposal which the authors highlight has several key shortcomings. They argue that the WTO DG text is not a workable alternative to the original COVID-19 TRIPS waiver proposal if the aim is to increase global access to vaccines and other COVID-19 health technologies. The authors detail the minimum modifications necessary for a meaningful workable text for use in the COVID-19 context.
This paper is available online and can be accessed on SSRN here.