[Ip-health] Legislative Committee in Ecuador approves resolution on compulsory licensing of patents relating to the coronavirus

Luis Gil Abinader luis.gil.abinader at keionline.org
Fri Mar 20 14:54:29 PDT 2020

Link: https://www.keionline.org/32429

Legislative Committee in Ecuador approves resolution on compulsory
licensing of patents relating to the coronavirus

Posted on March 20, 2020 by Luis Gil Abinader

Today, the Education, Culture, Science and Technology Commission of the
National Assembly in Ecuador approved a resolution asking the Minister of
Health to issue compulsory licenses over patents related to coronavirus
technologies. The resolution also asks the Minister of Health to use
article 510 of the Código Ingenios, a provision that allows the competent
authorities to authorize third parties to access undisclosed information,
including clinical test data.

There is also a strong article on transparency:

Article 5.- Urge the Ministry of Public Health of Ecuador to request the
World Observatory for Health Research and Development of the World Health
Organization (WHO) to collect information on the costs of research and
development directly associated with vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, devices,
supplies, and other useful technologies for COVID-19 surveillance,
prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment, including investments made
by public sector institutions, private sector institutions, and charities.

The National Assembly is the legislative branch of the government of
Ecuador. The Education, Culture, Science and Technology Commission,
integrated by 12 lawmakers, is a permanent body of the National Assembly.
The resolution was proposed by legislator Jimmy Candell Soto and approved
unanimously by the Commission. Hernán Núñez Rocha, former director of the
patent office who led the agency during the approval of the Código Ingenios
in 2016; and Ecuadorian lawyer Diego Morales Oñate, testified in favor of
the resolution during a hearing held online today.

A PDF version of the resolution approved today is available here:

An English version of the resolution translated by KEI is available here:

Commentary from Ecuador

Hernán Núñez Rocha

“International intellectual property treaties, as well as the norm of the
Andean community, empower Ecuador to take exceptional measures in cases of
emergency and public interest. In this regard, the Código Ingenios has
several rules that allow the use of the intellectual property system for
the benefit of fundamental rights.

“The Commission has promulgated a landmark resolution, as it requests the
government to implement measures that allow access to proprietary
technology, as well as all undisclosed information related to the
Coronavirus, including test data.

“This resolution is a clear example of the provisions of the Código
Ingenios, which establishes the need to weigh intellectual property rights
with fundamental rights, to guarantee an adequate balance between owners
and users. In addition, it contemplates additional measures in cases of
national emergency, as effectively provided in the cited resolution.

“If in situations like the current one, the intellectual property system
cannot provide solutions for the benefit of the population, we should
necessarily rethink the model.”

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