Patent Issues Related to Influenza Viruses and Their Genes. An Overview (with Annexes)
(2007; 66 pages)


The World Health Assembly (WHA) has requested the WHO Director-General to commission an expert report on the patent issues related to influenza viruses and its genes in the context of a broad Resolution on pandemic influenza preparedness and the sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits. (WHA 60.28)

The present paper reviews certain technical patent issues relating to influenza viruses and their genes, with a particular focus on the avian flu or H5N1 subtype. The paper does not directly address such questions as the role of patents in benefit-sharing, the impact of patents on virus surveillance arrangements and vaccine production and distribution, or the management of patents and other IP for the promotion of public health, instead it aims only to provide a neutral technical background for discussion of these broader public policy issues.

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