Geneva – Today, the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (the JRC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will lay the foundation for cooperation between the two organisations in the field of intellectual property (IP) (patents, technologies and know-how) in health sector.

“Research and innovation is where our hopes lie in the fight against COVID-19,” said Charles Gore, the Executive Director of MPP. “The European Commission has played a very strong leadership role in the global response to COVID-19 and the JRC, as European Commission’s IP wing, will be a key partner for MPP in exploring together how management of IP can bring about access and contribute to ending this pandemic.”

“The JRC is exploring models of voluntary licensing and patent pooling to facilitate global and equitable access to health technologies to prevent, treat and cure COVID-19,” said Stephen Quest, Director General, the JRC. “MPP with its 10 years of proven experience in voluntary licensing is the most relevant public health organisation in this regard and we look forward to the impact that our collaboration will bring”.

Through the newly signed MoU, the two organisations will work together to (i) identify mechanisms and incentives to encourage the beneficiaries of EU funding to make available their IP through MPP, (ii) find synergies on common public health initiatives such as the ACT accelerator, and (iii) collaborate beyond COVID-19 on access to essential medicines, among other aims.

EU Commission recently reaffirmed its commitment to universal, equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 technologies and expressed support for rapid pooling of critical IP in times of crisis, for instance through a novel licensing system.

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About the JRC

The JRC, which is the science and knowledge service of the European Commission, consists of an array of Competence Centres including the European Commission’s Central Intellectual Property Service (CIPS) and the Centre of Competence for Technology Transfer (CCTT). CIPS manages the European Commission’s intellectual property rights (IPR), such as patents, copyrights, trademark, and provides legal advice on IP to the Commission services including on in/out licensing of IPR to third parties. CCTT provides technology transfer policy related expertise and services to the European Commission and other institutions of the Union and operational support services to a broader range of stakeholders facing technology transfer related challenges and issues.