On 30th June 2023, Professor Aisling McMahon delivered an invited lecture at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Summer School on Intellectual Property Law organised by the WIPO in co-operation with the partner institution Zhongnan University of Economics and Law (ZUEL). This international WIPO Summer School took place from 26th June to 7th July in hybrid format. Speakers included leading international industry experts, academics and public sector officials to discuss cutting edge issues in contemporary intellectual property law, exploring themes including the relationship between intellectual property law and policy, technology, and socio-economic development.
Professor McMahon’s lecture was delivered virtually and was attended by over 100 participants. It examined ‘Patents and Access to Health’ focusing on the Agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the extent to which patent rights as prescribed under the TRIPS framework impact access and development of health-technologies. In the first half of the lecture, Professor McMahon examined how the TRIPS framework developed, the flexibilities within TRIPS to allow States to tailor national frameworks where access to health issues arises, challenges with using such flexibilities in practice, and the development of the Doha Declaration. The second half of the lecture examined access to health issues posed by how intellectual property rights were used over health-technologies in the COVID-19 context, focusing on access to COVID-19 vaccines globally and the vaccine inequity between high- and low-income countries. It examined the role of the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool, the role of TRIPS flexibilities and the TRIPS waiver proposal in the COVID-19 context, and the lessons and failings from the COVID-19 context.
Professor Aisling McMahon is a Professor of Law at the School of Law & Criminology, Maynooth University and is the Principal Investigator on the European Research Council funded PatentsInHumans project. You can find out more about the PatentsInHumans project by visiting the project website: www.patentsinhumans.eu or by watching this short video.