Almost two years after initial proposals for a COVID-19 waiver of TRIPS obligations, a Ministerial decision adopted at the 12th Ministerial Conference in June 2022 waived obligations under Article 31(f) and the System for pharmaceutical export under the TRIPS Annex, and clarified existing options under TRIPS for increasing access to COVID-19 vaccines. As support for a more expansive pandemic waiver continues and WTO waivers remain legitimate mechanisms under WTO law, further waivers may be contemplated as viable options to address obstacles identified in the current pandemic or future health crises. This article explores what additional options are or may be open to Members under a COVID-19 waiver in its current or proposed forms, and the practical considerations for implementing them. To guide practical choices in selecting appropriate and adapted responses to public health and other crises, this article also investigates more theoretical questions about the nature of a waiver, its legal character and effect, and its interaction with other international agreements.
Andrew D. Mitchell, Antony Taubman, and Theodore Samlidis,
The Legal Character and Practical Implementation of a TRIPS Waiver for COVID-19 Vaccines,
33 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 100
Available at: https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/iplj/vol33/iss1/3