Facilitating access to patent information
The Global Strategy and Plan of Action identified the need to improve access to patent information to facilitate the determination of the patent status of health products. It urges stakeholders to:
- facilitate access to user-friendly global databases which contain public information on the administrative status of health-related patents. This includes supporting existing efforts for determining the patent status of health products, and to
- promote further development of such global databases including, if necessary, compiling, maintaining and updating such global databases.
WHO, in close collaboration with other relevant organizations and partners has set up a number of activities in this context.
Step-by-step guide on patent searches for medicines
The WHO South East Asia Region and Western Pacific Region have published a guide on how to conduct patent searches for medicines to introduce non-experts to the science of patent searches to facilitate the procurement of the most cost-effective quality medicines.
Global patent landscape on vaccines
To date, no comprehensive overview on the patent trends in the field of vaccines exists. Under the WHO Initiative for Vaccine Research and the WIPO Development Agenda, WHO and WIPO are jointly developing a patent landscape report that will provide an overview on what is being patented in terms of disease targets, who is doing the patenting, where patents are filed and on how patent policies change over time.
WIPO has produced a number of patent landscapes, including on the two essential medicines Ritonavir and Atanazavir, and prepared a compilation of links to other health related reports.
Joint Technical Symposium
Together with WIPO and WTO, WHO has organized a Joint Technical Symposium on Access to Medicines, Patent Information and Freedom to Operate.
Patent search reports on H1N1 and H5N1
In the framework of the negotiations of a Framework for the sharing of influenza viruses and benefits, WIPO has, on request of WHO, contributed two patent search reports:
- Patent Search Report on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP)-Related Patents and Patent Applications, prepared on request of WHO, 2011
- Working Paper: Patent issues related to influenza viruses and their genes, commissioned by WHO, WIPO 2007
Identifying the patent status of specific health products
In collaboration with WIPO and other partners, WHO is assisting national health authorities and international organizations working in the field of health to identify, on request, the patent status of specific health products in specific jurisdictions.