John Conley Discusses Potential COVID-19 Drug Treatment Patents with Law360



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April 2, 2020

Robinson Bradshaw attorney John Conley was quoted in a recent Law360 article about patent rights surrounding potential treatments for COVID-19. Activists and lawmakers have raised concerns to the government about drug patents causing treatment to be expensive and difficult. While treatment options and costs are still unknown, the government may face pressure to override patents should it become a problem.

Conley provides insight into the matter saying, "Even in a public health emergency, for it to make sense for the government to override patents, another company would have to be able to step in to manufacture the product at issue, which may or may not be the case for a potential COVID-19 treatment."

While he believes the pandemic could be an exception to the rule, Conley states that government intervention is only necessary if a company with a patent effectively sits on it to restrict access to the treatment. Conley said that seems "highly unlikely," given the potential to make money by selling the treatment that almost everyone will need.

The Law360 article, "How COVID-19 Could Spur The Gov't To Seize Patents," is available here.

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