The availability and distribution of vaccines have re-ignited a decades-long discussion about the impact of intellectual property rights and global public health. This heightened attention may either lead to significant changes in IP laws (recalling the Doha Declaration) or, perhaps more likely, the distribution of vaccines will happen too fast for legislators to keep interested in the topic. Even without major changes in the law, WIT has been closely watching the impact of recent events, the increasing globalization of patent fights, and how the interplay of these factors will influence domestic drug litigation.
WIT has a long history in both Hatch-Waxman and SEP litigation. SEP litigation in the telecommunications and wireless space (4G, 5G, WiFi, etc.) has been global for years, with fights concurrently erupting in multiple jurisdictions. Increasingly, parties are asking courts in the US for rulings with global impact – with varying success. In the last few months, Texas judges have been asked to estop litigation in China, and Indian courts are considering setting global licensing rates.
WIT expects this attempted globalization of litigation to continue and bleed into new areas such as drug development and medical device disputes. This has led to the need for cross-border litigation teams, including experts. WIT is fielding increasing inquiries from foreign clients for our experts because of their experience with US litigation. This has included biochemists, biomedical engineers, and drug marketing executives. WIT expects this global trend to continue, with foreign counsel continuing to look to the US for experts.
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