Access to Medicines: Patent Information and Freedom to Operate

Finding out whether a medicine, vaccine, diagnostic kit or other medical product is patented in various countries is a complex challenge for organizations trying to develop new products and to manufacture and supply them at affordable prices, a joint WHO-WIPO-WTO technical symposium heard on 18 February 2011. Below are the programme and presentations:

Updated: 22 February 2011

See also:

> TRIPS and health
> WTO and other organizations






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Programme and presentations  

09h00–09h30 — Opening Remarks:

  • Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO): remarks
  • Francis Gurry, Director General, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
  • Pascal Lamy, Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO): remarks

> Video on WHO website: DG opening speeches

09h30–10h45 — Session 1: Access to medicines, patent information and freedom to operate — the context

  • Access and information needs from a public health perspective
    Speaker: Zafar Mirza, WHO
    > Presentation

  • Linking empirical data to policy processes: strengthening the base for policymaking on access to medicines
    Speaker: Antony Taubman, WTO
    > Presentation

  • Managing intellectual property for access
    Speaker: Anatole Krattiger, WIPO
    > Presentation

    Moderator: Hans Hogerzeil, WHO

> Video on WHO website: Session 1

10h45–11h15 Break

11h15–13h00 — Session 2: Patent information and freedom to operate:
Methodologies and sources of information — case studies

  • The patent status of medicines on the WHO model list for essential medicines
    Speaker: Stanley Kowalski University of New Hampshire — School of Law
    > Presentation

    Comments: Richard Laing, WHO
    > Presentation

  • Understanding the patent status of Antiretroviral Drugs — a Medicines Patent Pool/WIPO collaboration
    Speaker: Ellen 't Hoen, Medicines Patent Pool
    > Presentation

  • Global patent landscape on patenting activities in the field of vaccines
    Martin Friede, WHO
    > Presentation

  • A freedom to operate analysis of dengue vaccines
    The comparative role of IP in achieving access
    Speaker: Richard Mahoney, International Vaccines Institute
    > Presentation

    Moderator: Konji Sebati, WIPO

> Video on WHO website: Session 2

13h00–14h30 Lunch Break

14h30–16h00 — Session 3: Practicalities of patent information use — gaps and needs

  • Overview of patent information resources: WIPO experiences on legal status information
    Speaker: Lutz Mailńnder, WIPO
    > Presentation

  • Access to medicines: patent information in pharmaceutical procurement
    Speaker: Sophie Logez, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS,
    Tuberculosis and Malaria
    > Presentation

  • Using patent information in managing practical access scenarios
    Speaker: Tahir Amin, Intellectual Property Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK)
    > Presentation

  • Discussion
    Moderator: Mathias Schaeli, Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual

> Video on WHO website: Session 3

16h00–16h30 Break

16h30–17h45 — Session 4: Panel Discussion: Strengthening the information base for access to medicine strategies — taking stock of experience and charting future directions


  • Rajiv I. Modi, Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  • Eric Notegen, IFPMA / F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

  • Gitanjali Sakhuja, UNICEF

  • John Kabare, African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO)

    Moderators: Anatole Krattiger, WIPO, and Antony Taubman, WTO

> Video on WHO website: Session 4

17h45–18h00 — Closing Session

  • Speaker: Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO
    Moderator: Johannes Christian Wichard, WIPO

> Video on WHO website: Closing session