Collective Management of IPR & Patent Pools

KEI has been researching and advocating for the collective management of Intellectual Property Rights and the use of patent pools to promote both new innovation and access to medicines.

The collective management of intellectual property rights is a name given to systems for aggregating and managing intellectual property rights, such as copyrights or patents. By pooling together assets, collective management systems can overcome market inefficiencies, offering lower transaction costs, and ensuring a more effective access to multiple rights. These systems facilitate the legitimate use of works and features to their users, by granting licenses and authorizations. Such arrangements can be made voluntarily or non-voluntarily, and involve a variety of different policy objectives, as well as legal and management regimes.

In June 2008, agreeing with MSF and KEI initial proposal, the UNITAID Board decided on the principle of establishing a patent pool for medicines. UNITAID is currently working on its establishment. For more information visit KEI website on UNITAID Patent Pool.

Selected KEI Research on Patent Pools

UNITAID cost benefit analysis

June 2008. Cost Benefit Analysis for UNITAID Patent Pool

EMILA Draft Patent Pool Licenses

June 2008. Working Plan and Draft Licenses for the Essential Medical Innovation Licensing Agency (EMILA). As pdf

(Many) Examples of Patent Pools

June 2007. David Serafino, Survey of Patent Pools, in html format. KEI Research Note 2007:6.


Patents Pools & the WHO IGWG negotiation

On May 2008, the WHO adopted a Global Strategy on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property to help increase access to medicines (Resolution WHA 61.21) and Patent Pools were part of the historical consensus:

(4.3) developing possible new mechanisms to promote transfer of and access to key health-related technologies
(a) examine the feasibility of voluntary patent pools of upstream and downstream technologies to promote innovation of and access to health products and medical devices

KEI Briefing Papers during the WHO negotiation:

September 30, 2007. The Use of Patent Pools to Expand Access to Needed Medical Technologies.   KEI Comment to the World Health Organization (WHO) Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights.

January 23, 2007. IGWG Briefing Paper on Patent Pools , KEI Research Note 2007:3


Earlier proposals on patent pools for medicines

July 8, 2002. Proposal for An Essential Health Care Patent Pool , XIV International AIDS Conference, Barcelona, Spain.

January 2005.  An Essential Patent Pool for AIDS (EPPA), various proposals by Essential Inventions

September 2007. Judit Rius Sanjuan, "Propuesta para facilitar el acceso a los tratamientos contra el cáncer: Pools de patentes para tecnologías médicas," Boletines Fármacos, Ventana Abierta, Volumen 10, número 4. 


Other Patent Pools

KEI comments on GSK announcement about the creation of a patent pool for neglected diseases.