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How COVID-19 Could Shake Up Patent Strategies

By Ryan Davis
April 6, 2020
Law360

photo of attorney Patrick Gallagher

Patrick Gallagher

The coronavirus pandemic may spur new thinking about patent issues, as owners of relevant patents face the risk of backlash for asserting them, and companies developing equipment or treatments consider ways to limit potential liability. […]

There has already been public outcry over patents related to COVID-19, and such responses will likely grow in intensity if an effective treatment is seen as being hindered by patents. So companies may have to think about using their patents differently than they normally would, attorneys say. […]

"Most companies are thinking differently right now than they were six months ago," Patrick Gallagher of Duane Morris LLP said. "I would think there would definitely be hesitancy around pursuing [an infringement case] right now." […]

In addition, the U.S. government has issued an emergency declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, providing immunity from liability for claims of loss related to medical treatment for COVID-19.

"Traditionally, that's thought of in the context of product liability, but that immunity may apply to IP liability," Gallagher said. […]

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