The world’s initial response to COVID-19 has focused on racing to adapt and deploy existing technology for use against the novel coronavirus. Examples abound, from volunteers 3D printing ventilator components, to automotive manufacturers retooling production lines to produce ventilators, to the United States president recommending administration of the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine. While some of these early measures will inevitably backfire, others will succeed. As is the pattern in the industry, intellectual property protection will be needed so that profits from the winners can offset losses from the losers. This article uses Remdesivir – a promising COVID-19 treatment – as a concrete example of innovation surrounding COVID-19 and what can be expected for patents on such innovations.
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