10 Feb
Super Bowl: Brand Protection and Advertising

In March of 2021, the NFL announced a new television deal, with networks paying $105 billion to broadcast games through 2033. Traditional networks such as NBC, CBS, and FOX will continue to air games but for the first time a streaming platform- Amazon Prime – will join the fray.

The NFL remains king in an era of virtually unlimited content catering to every imaginable taste. Since its initial broadcast in 1939, which reached roughly 1,000 to 2022, when the average viewership is over 20 million for each game, football and television in America have been in a symbiotic relationship, each helping the other to prosper. Of the top 100 television broadcasts in 2022, 82 of them were NFL games. This massive fanbase allows NFL to charge astronomical sums from networks eager to broadcast the games. Data gleaned from Amazon shows that the key demographic of age group 18-34 has shown an average increase of 12 percent for Thursday night football from 2021. The 2021 Super Bowl, which saw the Los Angeles Rams defeat the Cincinnati Bengals, witnessed close to 100 million people watching the game in the US alone.

With such a captive audience comes a long list of companies seeking a chance to leverage their trademarks and place advertisements for their products during the games. The price tag is not for everyone though, as 30-second ads during the 2022 Super Bowl were selling for $6.5 million.

Is it Worth ?

Super Bowl advertisements and their ability to influence buying decisions have been a subject of research for premier institutions. A paper published by Stanford observed that advertising during the Super Bowl helped in fostering positive associations between a brand and viewers. Mc Granaghan (2016) provided an even more valuable insight who documented that both the number of viewers in a room and their attention increased during the commercial breaks. This is not surprising as the ads surrounding the Super Bowl have become an industry in itself, with many reports indicating that over 40% of Super Bowl viewers tune in to the commercials instead of the game. Of course, the emotional bond an ad can create between a consumer and a company influences decision-making more than anything. The real benefit of placing advertisements in the Super Bowl is generating Brand awareness.

As noted in an article by Nielsen, “After airing, Super Bowl ads typically reap the benefit of social media chatter and people engaging with the advertised brand. Many consumers also seek out ads they missed during the game, further increasing viewership.”

This highlights the cost-to-benefit ratio for advertisers regarding buying spots for their products during the Super Bowl. Large conglomerates such as NFL’s official sponsors Pepsi and alcohol giant Anheuser-Busch can easily afford the million-dollar price tags and continue spending through the year to reinforce product awareness.

Smaller companies and start-ups must find other ways to tap into the football craze and catch fans’ attention. Sly efforts to use the term “Super Bowl”, over which the NFL holds intellectual property rights, has brought swift Cease and Desist letters and lawsuits. The NFL is so zealous in protecting its IP rights that even large social gatherings are prohibited from using the term “Super Bowl”; thus consumers often encounter ads referring to “The Big Game”.

Challenges with Brand Management

While the Super Bowl remains the number one event of the year in terms of sheer viewership, the fact remains that it’s a once-a-year event. Whether your company invests millions in Super Bowl ads or wouldn’t begin to consider such an investment, there are still several common challenges that Intellectual Property attorneys must face when protecting the IP of their company or their firm’s clients.

With restricted budgets, the challenge becomes to strike a balance between investing in brand creation, advertising, and protection of Intellectual Property rights. The situation gets further complicated as the avenues for possible infringements are vast, and manpower costs in a highly specialized field are high.

Companies and law firms struggle to manage a growing portfolio of trademarks, prosecution and renewals. With economic uncertainty ahead, some organizations are going through the painful process of layoffs, whereas others are keeping their headcount flat. In either case, it is rare that the volume of trademark filings is decreasing. This is forcing in-house counsel and law firms to identify innovative ways to address the age-old cliché of “do more with less.”

Due to the lingering effects of the Great Resignation, finding qualified IP professional resources such as paralegals & docketers continues to be challenging. Now that there is pressure from the finance group to more tightly control costs, this creates an even bigger headache for IP executives – how do you manage a growing IP portfolio when you can’t find experienced IP resources to fill open roles or your finance business partners will not approve new headcount? This is where qualified third party Intellectual Property outsourcing companies come into play. By partnering with an outsourcing vendor, companies & law firms can scale resources up and down quickly, and access a wider pool of skill sets, all while reducing costs. Outsourcing mundane IP tasks also have the benefit of improving in-house employee’s morale, as they can send less-desirable tasks to the vendor, thus allowing them to focus on higher-value work tasks.

Jerry Rice, widely considered to be one of the best wide receivers in football history, said “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow, I will accomplish what others can’t”. While his quote was related to his accomplishments on the gridiron, the message also holds true for companies & law firms looking at innovative ways to manage their Intellectual Property.

As the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles prepare to line up on February 12th at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, numerous companies will hand over a small fortune to be a part of the event with the hope to catch their buyer’s eye. Innumerable smaller companies will try to tiptoe around the legal minefields and try to cash in the craze as well. The challenges that professionals face today will continue after the game ends, and companies that “will do what others won’t” will be able to “accomplish what others can’t”. The question is, which companies will win?

28 Nov
The Great Resignation: Why are Legal Professionals quitting?

The fact that COVID-19 has affected all industries is old news. Since last year, it has come to light that many lawyers & administrative staff are contributing to “The Great Resignation” and leaving their current law firm in shockingly high numbers.

The Great Resignation has been highlighted as an economic trend where employees in droves have been handing in their resignations. This is no longer seen as a fad that started in 2021; as 2022 draws a close, it has impacted not only sectors and services where physical presence is a must –such as food, hospitality, or the healthcare industry – but also other professional jobs, whether employers offer in-office, work from home, or hybrid working options. This challenge is exacerbated for Intellectual Property (IP) practice groups since that field remains to be in high demand, and thus there are more competing opportunities for job seekers. At the same time, IP requires a unique skill set that does not easily transfer from other practices of law. Therefore the volume of job openings often outpaces the number of qualified candidates. At times finding experienced IP staff & lawyers can seem akin to searching for a unicorn.

Legal professionals, especially the younger ones, are switching to other law firms and different careers altogether. The source of this information is not limited to the grapevine. One only has to look at LinkedIn to figure out that The Great Resignation has hit law firms in the US. A search on in October 2022 for IP administrative roles in the US such as paralegal, docketer, etc., brings up over 300 job openings. Firms are reporting extensive challenges in hiring IP administrative staff, ranging from increasing salaries to the inability to find qualified candidates to interview. Some firms have even reported extending job offers, and the candidates simply don’t show up for their first day of work as they secured a better offer from another firm during the interview process!.

Additionally, an article on Youconnect states that over the last year, there has been an increase from 38% to 47% in job changes with lawyers who have one to two years of work experience. Resignation levels for legal professionals with three to five years of work experience have risen from 27% to 32%. (1).

Why is the Great Resignation Happening?

The question arises as to why The Great Resignation is happening. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the world to pause and introduced a break from the hectic pace that characterises any company, especially law firms. Many people took this time to reflect, rethink, and reimagine their options. There was a mass realization that there was more to life than poring over files, courtrooms, battles, judgements, and awards. Combined with relief from work-induced stress, a relook at unfulfilling jobs and a renewed focus on me-time & family life led to the Great Resignation.

Legal professionals in the US who have left their firms give an array of reasons for doing so. These range from ‘needing a new challenge’ to ‘the management does not have a clear vision’, ‘bad bosses’ to ‘want a better work-life balance’ to ‘increased earning potential.’ The younger lawyers & staff, in particular, want to be able to give back more to their community and be active participants in a firm where CSR and pro-bono are not empty terms. They want an inclusive work culture where their voice can be heard and heeded.

Given that opportunities abound for legal professionals, whether experienced or not, it is not surprising that many lawyers and staff in the US are heading for the exit door.

Impact of The Great Resignation

The impact of experienced legal professionals quitting is felt at multiple levels. If a Senior Partner quits, either to join another law firm or to start their own firm, there is a direct client and revenue impact on the incumbent law firm. They typically take with them the clients they have been managing. Similarly, when a junior attorney or a paralegal quits, this directly impacts the firm’s revenue. Such attrition directly reduces the partners’ effectiveness in serving their direct clients, as the partners must spend more time & effort on internal training tasks and bringing up-to-speed new hires with their own way of working. This time could have been easily used towards higher billable work and expanding their client base.

Further, when junior IP lawyers or staff leave a firm, it can have a detrimental snowball effect on the morale of the remaining employees as well. The volume of work does not decrease, but with fewer colleagues to manage the same workload, it leads to more work put on the shoulders of the remaining team. This, in turn, increases frustration with existing staff, and in turn, leads to even more departures … a vicious cycle! Additionally, several firms have reported challenges related to pay scales for new hires compared to established employees. When employees with many years of tenure at the same firm see new hires earning 20-30% more than their salaries, it leads to further dissatisfaction among existing personnel. Unfortunately, the answer is either costly raises across the board for existing staff or keeping salaries at their current level and risk further alienating the tenured team.

The Great Resignation

According to a report from McKinsey, the key to keeping employees from exiting is a good retention policy (3). A recent article on Reworked says that every employee likes to feel important and that they matter. Recognition and showing appreciation are significant (4). A McKinsey blog puts it perfectly: “To retain employees, organizations need to evolve their approach to building community, cohesion, and a sense of belonging at work” (5)

In a recent podcast on “How Law Firms Combat the Great Resignation”, Margeaux Roush, Director of Talent Acquisition at McGlinchey Stafford PLLC, discusses one of the primary strategies when it comes to attrition is to treat everyone at the firm as equal. “From the first day you enter as a paralegal or a law clerk all the way up to our rainmakers and professional staff, every single one of those people is being treated the same when it comes to physical, emotional, and mental well-being.” (6)

While many employees appreciate that their organization supports them in long-term goals such as continuing education and skill enhancement courses, it is vital that legal firms support their staff to retain them.

Firms should consider alternative staffing models – such as outsourcing routine IP administrative work to a third party – to complement and support their existing in-house team. Such an approach allows firms to have their valued employees focus on higher-value, billable, and client-facing work. Additionally, firms can avoid the jealousy of new hires making more than their established counterparts by having a third party fulfil open roles.

In addition to having adequate staffing levels, Forbes Magazine wrote that assuring a healthy work-life balance and presenting flexibility is more necessary than ever (7). Having a flexible work schedule that allows partial continuance of WFH or WFA is something that many prospective job candidates require.

Many law firms now offer customized programs that focus on personal coaching, fitness and yoga, breaks and mental health support, and healthy food at the office. Some firms are continuing with flexible and remote working. Extended maternal and paternal leave is also on the table.

The Great Resignation – How to Handle Inevitable Staff Departures

Unfortunately, avoiding attrition entirely is not realistic or possible. Firms must prepare for the eventual need to backfill open roles. As discussed, not finding suitable replacements for open roles leads to an increased workload on existing employees and further increases the risk that they too will resign.

Many firms have adopted an outsourcing solution to fill open roles when they arise. In addition to the benefits listed above related to having valued in-house staff spend more time on higher level work, there are several additional benefits. By outsourcing open roles to a qualified third party, firms can not only focus on the highest value tasks but also increase scalability, manage peaks & valleys of work more effectively, reduce operating costs, and even better manage risk.

At times staff members’ initial reaction to outsourcing can be negative, thinking it could introduce competition for their job. However, the opposite has been proven to be true. Staff can offload the least desirable tasks they perform on a given day. With additional capacity at the firm, they can increase the likelihood of having dinner with their family in the evening.

However, not all IP outsourcing vendors are created equally. Firms should thoroughly understand the credentials of the leadership team & staff of the vendor. Are they IP experts that understand the nuances of IP law? Are they focused on IP, or is their strategy and focus spread among various practice groups and offerings? What specific quality-control measures do they put in place to reduce the risk of errors being made? Does the vendor provide dedicated personnel to your firm, or are you assigned a pool of people – meaning your firm could have an outsourced paralegal working for you in the morning and a competitive law firm in the afternoon? How much tenure does their team of IP administrative staff have? As an example, firms should avoid vendors that hire their staff right out of school. Doing so leads to the vendor training their staff on the law firm’s dime. Qualified vendors should require all IP professionals to come with several years’ of experience, so the firm has confidence that their staff is already well-trained in the nuances of IP. Vendors must be able to adequately answer questions such as these to be seen as a viable alternative to hiring in-house staff.

If nothing else, part with a smile!

Accept that times are changing. Priorities are changing. Needs and wants are changing. People are introspecting and evolving.

Departures may still happen despite the best efforts, and as per the article, US legal firms should look back at the tenure with gratitude and celebrate the achievements (8). Do not end things on a bitter note or with anger and displeasure. A good leader encourages their staff even when they want to strike out on their own or look at greener pastures. After all, one never knows how things will turn out for the firm and the employee who left. It has been seen that when the departure happens on a positive note, lawyers and staff often return to the same firm. Keep the door unlocked for a warm welcome.


06 Sep
Intellectual Property (IP) professionals realize the critical nature of maintaining an accurate docket to track statutory deadlines

Intellectual Property (IP) professionals realize the critical nature of maintaining an accurate docket to track statutory deadlines. In-house counsel must ensure they protect their company’s assets, while law firms must keep their client’s IP enforceable. IP prosecution is a very date-intensive practice, with PTOs often having little leniency for blown deadlines. Missed due dates can invalidate IP rights and could present malpractice issues for law firms.

For decades, many reputable vendors have been providing IP Management Systems (IPMS). When your firm’s docketing team enters a mailing date from the PTO, most viable systems will calculate not only when the next step in the prosecution lifecycle is coming due but also provide customized “tickler” reminders so attorneys can stay on top of their workload. Despite organizations spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on these systems, errors persist.

According to the Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of North Carolina, “the most frequent cause of a malpractice claim continues to be a missed statute of limitation or other deadline.” USI Affinity says that “20% of legal malpractice claims in the United States are attributable to administrative errors, including a law firm’s failure to calendar filing deadlines.” A study of global docketing groups indicated that at least 1% of the cases touched during the docketing process have a critical error which has the potential for missed deadlines.

The costs of errors can be astronomical in terms of reputation, risk, liability, and pure dollars. A 2022 report by insurance broker Ames & Gough stated, “It’s clear that the number of claims resulting in multimillion-dollar payouts has continued to increase on a year-over-year basis.” A lawsuit was filed several years ago when a law firm was alleged to have missed – by one day – a Patent Term Extension (PTE) filing on behalf of a pharmaceutical client. The company in question alleged that by missing the deadline for PTE, it lost $2 billion (yes, with a “B”) in sales. While eventually, the company won its argument that the PTO was too inflexible and was awarded four years of PTE, it took the company a decade to reverse the legal effects of that missed deadline. The firm faced a lawsuit for an unspecified amount of damages, but it was undoubtedly costly in terms of dollars, future insurance premiums, and reputation.

All of this said, despite knowing the risks, how costly they can be, and investing in tools, why do docketing errors continue? Ultimately it comes down to five main points:

Training – IP docketing is so much more than “data entry”. Great docketing teams must understand what they are entering into the IPMS, why, and the downstream impacts of their actions. Staff must be proficient in the US and Foreign IP rules as well as understand the nuances of how their IPMS works. Organizations should work with their vendors to conduct ongoing training sessions and implement best practice recommendations.

  • Staff turnover and the need for training are highly correlated. The “Great Resignation” has led to significant turnover in IP administrative staff. Every time you hire a new employee, risk can be introduced while they acclimate to your firm’s processes, procedures, and systems.
    • Law firms and corporations may consider using a third-party company to assist with administrative tasks. Good outsourcing vendors must specialize in and understand the nuances of IP, can recommend best practices in docketing, help your organization develop or tweak its docketing manual, and remove the burden of finding, hiring, training, and retaining administrative staff. Competent outsourcing companies should have a generous compensation model and culture to retain top talent. Any company looking to outsource administrative work should question the vendor on their work culture, staff turnover, what steps they put in place to retain staff, and what process recommendations they can provide to their customers to streamline their operation.

Lack of robust systems – Your organization’s IPMS should have an IP-specific rules engine that automatically creates due dates when staff enters certain information. Using either a generic legal docketing system that does not include IP laws or another software that is not designed for docketing (such as a CRM) is akin to playing with fire – you are eventually bound to get burned. There are several options for viable IPMS with various modules, features, benefits, and pricing models that should meet any organization’s requirements.

Bad data – The computer science term “Garbage In Garbage Out”, or the GIGO effect, is certainly true in IP docketing. Data inaccuracy can creep into any sound docketing system. A variety of reasons causes this – ranging from ill-trained staff to bringing files into your system from M&A activity (and thus no certainty the other organization’s data is accurate), to staff turnover, to the simple reason humans are doing this task and mistakes occur. Having clean data is imperative to reducing the risk of lapsing cases. There are a few solutions available to address this problem.

  • Some IPMS systems offer “data verification” to compare your and PTO records. Unfortunately, most of these features are underwhelming as they simply look to see if field A in the IPMS equals Field A at the PTO. Thus, Patent Application 123.4 and Patent Application 123-4 will come across as an error, when in fact, it is not. This leads to hundreds or thousands of “errors” showing up in your IPMS data verification module. It becomes challenging, if not impossible, to sort through all the false errors in search of actual data problems. Additionally, if cases are accidentally marked as “unfiled”, they may never even go through the data verification engine.
  • The most effective way to reduce risk is to use third-party solutions that can proactively identify actual statutory errors in your data while eliminating the white noise that most companies find by using their IPMS capabilities. These tools should understand IP logic and identify procedural mistakes – for example, if a filing receipt is docketed, there should always be a filing number and date. Robust systems can identify issues like these; “free” modules that come with an IPMS may not.
  • Audit – Many organizations realize they have legacy data issues and errors but rarely have the bandwidth to go back and identify every possible issue. This problem can be compounded by the false-positive errors mentioned above with some IPMS docketing systems. To solve this problem, companies and law firms may consider hiring a third party to conduct a comprehensive audit of the entire docket. This is a manual process, but the cost of such a project pales compared to the costs of missed filing deadlines.
Process – There are myriad philosophies on how to best staff an IP organization – for example, should one person specialize in each specific task? Or should everyone be a generalist with overall knowledge of all process aspects? Each has pros and cons, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Most organizations have documented docketing processes that have been in place for years, if not decades. The challenge is that these processes are rarely revisited to ensure they are aligned with reducing risk in the changing IP landscape while doing so as efficiently as possible to help the company or firm save money. Organizations should thoroughly review their docketing manual and processes every 5-10 years. We highly recommend bringing in a third-party IP consultancy to provide objective industry experience and advice.

Lack of Thorough Double Docket – Most insurers require a “2nd eye” or “double docket” – an extra team dockets the same information into a separate system such as Outlook, Excel, or even paper. Information is compared between the two data sources, so quality checks are in place to further reduce the risk of a missed deadline. Many firms are forced to cut corners in their double docketing process – they struggle to stay fully staffed even to update their primary docket (see point 1a), or it is viewed as less critical and thus falls in the “I’ll take care of it tomorrow” category. Commercially available tools can be leveraged to properly audit the data that is docketed into your organization’s IPMS.

As outlined above, the risk is inherent in running an IP docketing operation. The potential for costly errors is found throughout the entire IP lifecycle. It is one of many reasons IP departments typically need more people, systems, and budgets than other areas of law. Companies and law firms that address the five points above are those who are likely to avoid those costly errors. Proper investment in technology, people, process, and data is required to ensure your IP department eliminates as much risk as possible.

Trexo Global is a modern company focused on solving real-world problems for IP professionals. Founded by a team of senior executives with 50+ years of combined experience servicing IP law firms and corporate IP departments, our state-of-the-art products and services help IP professionals maximize their time. We endeavour to provide solutions that fit our customers’ needs using the right balance of People, Process and Technology. If you’d like to learn more about our company or how to reduce docketing risk in your organization, please get in touch with

01 Sep

By: admin

How the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted IP rights across the globe.

The debate over how to maximize global access to COVID-19 treatments while compensating companies for their R&D efforts continues to evolve. Most countries have considered pressing one of three significant provisions throughout the pandemic to increase treatment access – IP waivers, compulsory licensing, and voluntary licensing.

Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

To increase global access to COVID treatments, in October 2020, a group of developing countries, led by South Africa and India, put forward a patent waiver proposal before the World Trade Organization (WTO) for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). This waiver would apply to pandemic-related vaccines, diagnostics, PPE, and therapeutics. Initially, many jurisdictions, including the USA, UK, and EU, were against the idea of suspending patent protections. However, in May 2021, the US changed its stance and announced its support for temporarily waiving patent rights. In June 2022, the WTO agreed on TRIPS waivers. The waiver proposal was backed by over 100 countries, including Russia and China, and international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations AIDS charity, UNAIDS.

Compulsory Licensing: Compulsory Licenses are standard globally, although minimally used in the United States*. The Central Government can issue Compulsory Licenses in cases of a “national emergency”, “extreme urgency”, or in cases of “public non-commercial use” by following the provisions of the Patents Act. This enables the Central Government to grant a Compulsory License to any applicant, i.e. manufacture and sell the product, to ensure that products are available to the public at the lowest prices

The Central Government can invoke its powers and acquire patent rights granted to a private entity, i.e. what the government gives; it can take away for the good of citizens. In such a scenario, the patentee would be left with no alternative but to accept whatever price/royalty that is given for the patent by the government.

* Laws exist in the United States related to Compulsory Licensing – specifically 28 US Code, section 1498 – yet they are rarely used. Additionally, the Bayh-Dole Act provides the US government with a “nonexclusive, non-transferable, irrevocable, paid-up license to practice or have practised for or on behalf of the United States any subject invention throughout the world” for any government-funded technology. Section 1498 is not a Compulsory Licensing agreement per se but could significantly reduce potential infringement claims that arise during the pandemic.

Generic manufacture without a license: This is the most aggressive and risky act, but when a generic manufacturer proceeds to manufacture a patented drug without any license from the patentee, the natural result would be an enforcement/infringement action on the part of the IP holder. Under this approach, the patentee would likely approach the court to seek a permanent injunction against the alleged infringer.

The most suitable option remains that the patentee considers Voluntary Licensing at reasonable terms. By this, a patentee would protect its patent from the above risks. Actions such as challenges, requests for Compulsory Licenses, or patent acquisition would be unlikely. In addition, this ensures that the patentee can negotiate a better deal and guarantees that the drug is available to the public at affordable prices.

Voluntary Licensing
Many vaccine manufacturers are exploring voluntary licensing agreements to improve access to treatment for the global population. Such an approach allows the company, as opposed to local
governments, to negotiate the terms of the agreement.

One of the earliest voluntary licensing agreements in the fight against COVID-19 came between Merck and Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), an UN-backed public health organization. Under this agreement, MPP can diversify the manufacturing base for molnupiravir, an investigational oral COVID-19 antiviral medicine. Merck has agreed to waive all royalties for the sales of molnupiravir for as long as COVID-19 remains classified as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the WHO.

MPP also entered into a voluntary licensing agreement with Pfizer, which allows MPP to increase the production & distribution of antiviral treatments. As part of this agreement, Pfizer has agreed not to receive royalties on selling these treatments in low-income countries.

Remdesivir is a direct-acting antiviral drug that inhibits viral RNA synthesis and was one of the first treatments for COVID-19. The drug was evaluated as a possible treatment protocol for the SARS- Cov2 virus. The US FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Remdesivir is a classic case of examining existing drugs for new indications. The drug was initially developed as a cure for Filo virus infections and has been patented by Gilead Life sciences in many countries. Gilead entered into non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements with multiple genericdrug makers to allow them to manufacture the drug for distribution in 127 countries. In 2021 Gilead announced that “In response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in India, the company is providing its voluntary licensing partners with technical assistance, support for the addition of new local manufacturing facilities and the donation of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) to scale up production of remdesivir rapidly.”  Therefore, Remdesivir was approved in India for restricted emergency use to treat suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in adults and children hospitalized with severe disease.

By taking the Voluntary Licensing path, Merck, Pfizer, and Gilead were likely successful in diluting most (if not all) reasons that may give the Central Government an occasion to push these companies to license their drugs since they made voluntary attempts to increase global access to treatments.

Recent development in COVID-19 drugs:
Remdesivir is now the first COVID-19 treatment fully approved for kids younger than 12 years old

  • In May 2022, the FDA approved Olumiant (Baricitinib) to treat certain adults hospitalized with COVID-19. It is the second medication that’s fully approved for COVID-19.
  • In June 2022, Pfizer stated that it plans to submit an application for Paxlovid’s full FDA approval in people at high risk for developing severe COVID-19. It is currently only authorized for emergency use.
  • Bebtelovimab is another option that can treat certain non-hospitalized people ages 12 and older with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 at high risk for severe COVID-19.
  • Early data suggests that Sabizabulin can lower the risk of death by about 55% in people hospitalized with moderate-to-severe COVID-19.
  • A critical study suggests that Ensovibep can lower the risk of hospitalization, ER visits, or death from COVID-19 by almost 80%.

To conclude, the COVID-19 circumstances were dire enough to consider all legislative provisions that could have improved the supply of medical devices such as masks, ventilators, PPE, and medicinal treatments. As the science surrounding treating & preventing COVID remains fluid, so do relevant IP laws & regulations. Proactive Voluntary Licensing appears to be the most effective approach for patent owners to ensure they are fairly compensated for their R&D efforts while still serving the best interests of the global population.