A Canadian bill would make it easier to issue compulsory licenses for Covid-19 products

In response to the pandemic, Canadian lawmakers have passed a bill that would speed the process of issuing compulsory licenses for medical products, adding to a list of countries seeking to ensure access to medicines and devices, among other items.

A country may grant such a license to a public agency or a generic drug maker, allowing it to copy a patented medicine without the consent of the brand-name company that owns the patent. This right was memorialized in a section of a World Trade Organization agreement known as the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, or TRIPS.

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