WHO Endorses Compulsory Licensing Of Anti-Flu Patents

Law360, New York (January 25, 2005, 12:00 AM EST) -- In a compromise deal that industrialized countries say safeguards intellectual property rights, the World Health Organization has agreed to allow governments to issue compulsory licenses to battle future flu epidemics.

Thailand had called for compulsory licensing to offer treatment in the case of a rapidly spreading epidemic, but the U.S. and France fought off a broader change to patent rules to permit compulsory licensing.

The resolution debated during Monday’s session of the 32-nation WHO executive board included ways to strengthen disease surveillance, boost research on a...
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