Coronavirus, Innovation, and Patents: Essential Reading Roundup

July 23, 2020

The current global pandemic has created an urgent need for innovation in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology that can help combat, even eradicate, COVID-19. While there is no shortage of articles about COVID-19, you won’t find many that call out the connection between the coronavirus, innovation, and patents.

We’ve rounded up four noteworthy articles — and one video panel discussion — that show why it’s more important than ever to have a strong patent system.

Charles Sauer - “Good news: Coronavirus is causing an innovation renaissance” via Washington Examiner

Charles Sauer, Founder of the Market Institute and Co-Director of the Inventor’s Project explains in the Washington Examiner how the coronavirus has shone a light on America’s ability to innovate through seemingly insurmountable problems. “I am talking about entrepreneurs retooling their businesses, restaurateurs finding ways to keep their business going and their employees working, … most of all, the inventors that are trying to find a way to fight this pandemic and overcome it.” Read the full article here.

John T. Preston - “Thank obscure law, Bayh-Dole Act, for potential coronavirus vaccine” via Mass Live

John T. Preston is the former Director of Technology Licensing at MIT and a founder of TEM Capital. In his op-ed on Mass Live, Preston outlines how the Bayh-Dole Act, “has allowed university and non-profit researchers to retain ownership of patents that result from federally funded research, and then license those patents to private-sector companies that have the know-how and resources to turn good ideas into viable products.” Read the full article here.

Adam Mossoff - “Congress Plans to Steal the Coronavirus Vaccine” via Real Clear Policy

Adam Mossoff is a law professor at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law where he teaches intellectual property, property, and internet law. In Real Clear Policy, Mossoff explains how certain politicians plan to use the Bayh-Dole Act, albeit incorrectly, to seize coronavirus vaccines and how this misinterpretation of the law can have devastating consequences. Read the full article here.

Hon. Judge Paul Michel, “Conquering Coronavirus and Future Epidemics” via Morning Consult

The Honorable Paul R. Michel served as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In this column in Morning Consult, Michel shares how his experiences have given him unique insight into how Congress and the courts hold the power to make or break American innovation. Read the full article here.

Innovation Alliance, [VIDEO] “The Patent System's Role in Promoting American Innovation & Job Creation in the Time of Coronavirus”

The Innovation Alliance held a 60-minute virtual briefing for congressional staff with five IP experts to explore how COVID-19 has affected innovation, the role Congress plays in empowering inventors, the Bayh-Dole Act’s impact and much more. Watch the video here.

To learn more about what you can do to help strengthen our patent system, subscribe to the Save The Inventor YouTube channel here.