Aydin Harston Quoted in Bloomberg Law Article on Vaccine IP Enforcement in Global Immunization Fight
Partner Aydin Harston is quoted in a Bloomberg Law article titled "Vaccine IP Enforcement Takes Stage in Global Immunization Fight" on April 27, 2021.
The potential need for coronavirus vaccine booster shots is reigniting the discussion surrounding the sharing of intellectual property and manufacturing information by early vaccine makers in order to speed up global immunization. Some, including world leaders and drug companies, are in favor of lowering restrictions surrounding IP rights around vaccine production, while others argue that this IP serves as the foundation for these companies, and that sharing could potentially slow down production efforts.
Aydin believes the debate surrounding IP's role in global vaccine distribution may have a "sinister aspect."
Countries that compete with the U.S. in every industry want "the companies that have successfully developed these products for decades" to "give all of their know-how and trade secrets and essentially teach them how to make the products for free immediately," he said.
Sharing IP expertise would require vaccine producers to further strain their own efforts by sending key people to teach other companies how to make the vaccines, Aydin said.
“I assume that, for example, Pfizer is out there expending every employee and every resource, and everyone has all hands on deck, working overtime stressed out trying to do everything, just to be able to produce the drug that actually works and give it to people,” he said. The idea that vaccinations will be sped up by taking these experts away from their critical responsibilities and sending them overseas to “teach you and build facilities” is “ridiculous.”
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