Discussion on the Proposed TRIPS Waiver for IP Rights Associated with COVID Vaccines and Treatments

15 July 2021 | Webinar | Online


Date: Thursday, July 15, 2021

Time: 14:00 – 15:00 (CEST)


The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges that many of us never imagined. It also has created opportunities for some life-saving and preventive medicine technologies, including COVID vaccines and treatments. Since late last year, some countries, including India and South Africa, have been seeking a waiver from the World Trade Organization (WTO) for the implementation, application and enforcement of certain provisions of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. A number of other countries oppose the requested waiver and the European Union has presented a separate proposal to the WTO. This expert panel will provide an overview of the proposed waiver and requests to the WTO and discuss some of their implications from intellectual property, economic and world health perspectives.

Please join us for this informative and timely discussion.

This AIPPI webinar was organized by AIPPI’s Standing Committees on Free Trade Agreements and on TRIPS.




Professor Sapna Kumar
Law Foundation Professor of Law, University of Houston Law Center


Professor Kumar is a Law Foundation Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center. She has written extensively about administrative law and international law issues relating to patents. Professor Kumar is a 2018–2019 Fulbright-Schuman Innovation Grant recipient and researched the use of technically-trained patent judges at the University of Strasbourg’s Center for International Intellectual Property Studies in France and at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in Germany. Professor Kumar received her J.D. at the University of Chicago, where she served as a staff member of the University of Chicago Law Review. From 2003 to 2006, she practiced intellectual property litigation in Chicago at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and at Pattishall McAuliffe. She then spent two years at Duke University Law School, where she was a Faculty Fellow and part of the Center for Genome Ethics Law & Policy. After completing her fellowship, Professor Kumar clerked for the Honorable Judge Kenneth F. Ripple on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.





Dean Baker
Senior Economist, Centre for Economic and Policy Research

Dean Baker is a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. He was a co-founder and co-director from 2000 to 2018, and previously served as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and as an assistant professor at Bucknell University. His most recent book was Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer.


Hans Sauer

Deputy General Counsel and Vice President for Intellectual Property, Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)


Hans Sauer is Deputy General Counsel and Vice President for Intellectual Property for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), a major trade association representing more than 1,000 biotechnology companies from the medical, agricultural, environmental, and industrial sectors. At BIO, he advises the organization’s board of directors, amicus committee, and various staff committees on patent and other intellectual-property-related matters. Before taking his current position at BIO in 2006, he was chief patent counsel for MGI Pharma Inc. in Bloomington, MN, and senior patent counsel for Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Baltimore, MD. Mr. Sauer holds a M.S. degree in biology from the University of Ulm in his native Germany, a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Lund, Sweden, and a J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center, where he serves as adjunct professor.



Antony Taubman

Director, Intellectual Property Division, World Trade Organization

Antony Taubman is currently Director, Intellectual Property Division of the World Trade Organization, with responsibility for the WTO’s programs on intellectual property, competition policy and government procurement.  From 2002 to 2009, he was Director, Global Intellectual Property Issues Division of WIPO (including the Traditional Knowledge Division and Life Sciences Program), covering a wide range of programs on intellectual property and genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore, the life sciences, and related global issues including the environment, climate change, human rights, food security, bioethics and indigenous issues.  After a diplomatic career, he left the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in 2001 to join the newly-formed Australian Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture, at the Australian National University, teaching and researching on international IP law.



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Useful information and links:


  • The webinar is open to all AIPPI members. Please feel free to forward the invitation to your office colleagues.
  • If you would like to submit a question in advance, please send it to events@aippi.org.
  • Please note, we cannot guarantee that your question will be answered during the webinar.