Contreras promotes coronavirus IP pledge

University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law Professor Jorge Contreras is among a group of lawyers and scientists who are starting a new intellectual property pledge designed to encourage companies and universities to release their IP in the fight against the coronavirus.

The project, “Open COVID Pledge,” launched on March 30. Its goal is to bolster cooperation and make IP accessible to end the coronavirus pandemic.

Companies and universities who take the pledge would give free licenses to their patents, copyrights and other property rights to people creating technologies for the treatment, prevent and diagnosis of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The licenses would stay in effect until a year after the World Health Organization issues a declaration that the pandemic is over.

“The end goal is to get this IP released and usable by as many people as possible,” Contreras said in an interview with Bloomberg Law announcing the project.

“This is not intended to have companies build a business off of other people’s patents. It’s a “temporary emergency measure,” he said.

Law360 and several other media outlets have covered the efforts.

Contreras is blogging about legal issues related to IP and the coronavirus here.