This policy brief documents how trade secrets have played a key role in enabling the innovation, investment and collaboration that has delivered Covid-19 vaccines in record time.
Professor Mark F. Schultz is the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Endowed Chair in Intellectual Property Law and the Director of the Intellectual Property and Technology Law Program at the University of Akron School of Law. He teaches and writes primarily in the area of intellectual property. Prior to coming to Akron, he was a professor at Southern Illinois University School of Law for 16 years and was co-founder and a leader of the Center for Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) at George Mason University in Washington, D.C., where he remains a non-resident Senior Scholar. He also serves as a Senior Fellow of the Geneva Network, a UK-based think tank focused on international IP, trade, and public health.
His research concerns the law and economics of the global intellectual property system. Among other projects, he worked with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to co-author a groundbreaking global trade secret protection index (the TSPI). The TSPI is being used to frame policy discussions on this cutting-edge topic in capitals around the world. Through the Akron Law IP Center’s Global Trade Secret Institute, he co-chairs and organizes an ongoing public-private multilateral diplomatic dialogue on best practices in drafting and implementing national trade secret laws.
As an influential voice in public policy debates regarding intellectual property, he speaks frequently around the world about the connection between secure and effective intellectual property rights and flourishing national economies and individual lives. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on intellectual property issues at the invitation of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. He has spoken at programs hosted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. Copyright Office, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the World Trade Organization, as well as numerous academic institutions, think tanks, and industry groups.
The EU should use the forthcoming Digital Services Act to correct the safety imbalance between online and offline businesses.
The intellectual property system has continually confounded its critics in the Covid crisis, providing a framework for vaccine innovation and rapid manufacturing scale-up.
The IP system has been crucial in underpinning the research, development and manufacture of vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19, proving critics of IP wrong at every step of this crisis.
Creative industries hold the key for Asian countries looking to unlock new sources of economic growth as the Covid pandemic recedes. Movies, television and other video content employ hundreds of thousands and contribute billions – USD108.4bn per year in China alone.
With its human resources, connected location and economic reform ambitions, Saudi Arabia could yet emerge from the Covid crisis as a global competitor in knowledge-based industries.
90% of medicines on the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines are off-patent, while many low-income countries have no essential medicine patents at all, according to this Geneva Network research paper.
Never mind chlorinated chicken and NHS contracts – rules around social media companies are increasingly a sticking point for Britain’s pursuit of an ambitious trade agreement with the US.
With around a third of the world’s population in lockdown, humanity desperately needs new treatments to turn the tide against COVID-19.