UAEM - Licensing and patenting practices of COVID-19 technologies

Sarai Keestra made this Freedom of Information request to University of Sheffield

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The request was successful.

Dear University of Sheffield,

For the purpose of clarity, please adhere to the following definitions when answering these questions:

Low and middle income country: A country that is defined as ‘low’, ‘lower-middle’ and ‘upper-middle’ income by the World Bank for the year 2018. Income status defined by GNI per capita.
Source: World bank, available online [https://tinyurl.com/y5dwc2qv]

A patent grants an inventor the exclusive rights to his or her invention. A patent holder can stop other people from selling, manufacturing, producing, or using the invention for a certain period of time.
Source: Upcouncil, available online [https://www.upcounsel.com/what-is-a-pate...

Licence: Permission for the licensee to use the intellectual property rights
Source: TaylorWessing, available online [https://www.taylorwessing.com/download/a...

Exclusive Licence: A licence that allows only the named licensee to exploit the relevant IP rights, the licensor is also excluded from exploiting these IP rights.
Non-Exclusive Licence: A licence that grants any number of licensees to exploit the IP.
Source: TaylorWessing, available online [https://www.taylorwessing.com/synapse/co...

Health Technology: ‘Health technology as defined by the WHO: “A health technology is the application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of lives.’
Source: WHO, available online [https://www.who.int/health-technology-as...

START FOI request:
Q1. Can you release your internal strategy regarding licensing and patenting of COVID-19 related health technologies?

Q2. Does the institution have a formal policy on licensing and patenting of COVID-19 related technologies? If yes, please provide a link or PDF to the relevant policy document.

Q3. Has the university considered updating their strategy regarding the licensing and patenting of health technologies since the start of the pandemic?

Q4. Please provide an Excel spreadsheet with headings as displayed below with all the COVID-19 related health technologies LICENSED by the university AND specify which countries they were licensed in AND specify whether they are exclusive or non-exclusive licenses.
Health Technology Licensed | Country of Licensing | Type of License (Exclusive or Non-Exclusive)

Q5. Please provide a list of patents granted to your organization for any COVID-19 related health technologies listed by patent family, indicating countries/regions in which the patent has been granted.

Q6. Does the institution have any plans on signing up to the Open-COVID pledge (https://opencovidpledge.org/) or any similar initiative that seeks to minimise intellectual property rights barriers during the COVID-19 pandemic? If yes, please specify.

Q7. Is the institution considering the licensing of COVID-19 related health technologies to the Covid Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) or the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) during the pandemic? If yes, please specify.

END FOI request.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me by email.

Yours faithfully,

Sarai Keestra

Dear University of Sheffield,

I would kindly like to remind you to respond to the FOI request "UAEM - Licensing and patenting practices of COVID-19 technologies" which is by now overdue. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic other universities have been able to answer our questions within the legal timeframe. We urgently request you to respond as well, by the 7th of December the latest. Thank you and have a nice week.

Yours faithfully,

Sarai Keestra

Dear University of Sheffield,

I would like to request an internal review of my FOI request, if I do not hear from you by January 10th 2021 I will have to file a complaint with the ICO. If you do respond to my request by that date I am happy to retract my request for internal review. Have a good Christmas!

Yours faithfully,

Sarai Keestra

Freedom Of Information, University of Sheffield

1 Attachment

Dear Sarai
Thank you for your email - I can confirm that the University responded to
your request on 20 November.
A copy of our response can be found below:
Q1. Has the university committed to licensing its medical discoveries in
ways that promote access and affordability in Low- and Middle- Income
Countries? If yes, please provide a link or PDF to the relevant policy
document.
We do not have a written policy on this matter, but our licensing
negotiation term sheet includes a provision for this.  Our
commercialisation managers are regularly directed to the Wellcome Trust
guidance on this point.
 

Q2. Please provide an Excel spreadsheet with headings as displayed below
with all the health technologies LICENSED by the university in the
period 19th October 2019 to 19th October 2020 AND specify which
countries they were licensed in AND specify whether they are exclusive
or non-exclusive licenses.
Health Technology Licensed | Country of Licensing | Type of License
(Exclusive or Non-Exclusive)

 General feedback to the requester (since this appears to be an annual
request) - this would be much easier to report if it were aligned to the
HEBCI stats reporting period of 1st August - 1st August.  All
universities have to generate information for this report anyway.
See attached.

Q3. Please provide a list of patents granted to your organization in the
period 19th October 2019 to 19th October 2020, listed by patent family,
indicating countries/regions in which the patent has been granted.

This is publicly available information.
 

Q4. In the period 19th October 2019 to 19th October 2020, has the
university shared its best practices for promoting access to medicines
through non-exclusive licensing by carrying out any of the following
activities?

❏ Contributed sample clauses to the AUTM Global Health Toolkit
❏ Published an article, guidance, or other literature on access
licensing practices
❏ Formally presented on access licensing practices at an academic or
professional event, or at another university
❏ Informally shared or discussed access licensing practices with
administrators at other universities
❏ Other
❏ None
(Tick as appropriate)

None
 

Q5. What actions has the technology transfer office (TTO) undertaken in
the period 19th October 2019 to 19th October 2020 to improve access to
the technologies they license in low-and middle-income settings?
END FOI request.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me by email.

Nothing specific.
Many thanks

show quoted sections

Dear University of Sheffield,

Please note that the response you copied out below is to a different FOI request of a similar title. This request is about COVID-19 health technologies only (as specified in the subject header). For this particular FOI request I asked the following questions:

Q1. Can you release your internal strategy regarding licensing and patenting of COVID-19 related health technologies?

Q2. Does the institution have a formal policy on licensing and patenting of COVID-19 related technologies? If yes, please provide a link or PDF to the relevant policy document.

Q3. Has the university considered updating their strategy regarding the licensing and patenting of health technologies since the start of the pandemic?

Q4. Please provide an Excel spreadsheet with headings as displayed below with all the COVID-19 related health technologies LICENSED by the university AND specify which countries they were licensed in AND specify whether they are exclusive or non-exclusive licenses.
Health Technology Licensed | Country of Licensing | Type of License (Exclusive or Non-Exclusive)

Q5. Please provide a list of patents granted to your organization for any COVID-19 related health technologies listed by patent family, indicating countries/regions in which the patent has been granted.

Q6. Does the institution have any plans on signing up to the Open-COVID pledge (https://opencovidpledge.org/) or any similar initiative that seeks to minimise intellectual property rights barriers during the COVID-19 pandemic? If yes, please specify.

Q7. Is the institution considering the licensing of COVID-19 related health technologies to the Covid Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) or the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) during the pandemic? If yes, please specify.

To the best of my knowledge I have not received a response to this FOI request. You can find the history of this public request here: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...

Yours sincerely,

Sarai Keestra

Freedom Of Information, University of Sheffield

Hi Sarai
Please find a response to your request below:

START FOI request:
Q1. Can you release your internal strategy regarding licensing and
patenting of COVID-19 related health technologies?

Sheffield doesn't have a policy on this matter. 

Q2. Does the institution have a formal policy on licensing and
patenting of COVID-19 related technologies? If yes, please provide a
link or PDF to the relevant policy document.

  Sheffield doesn't have a policy on this matter. 

Q3. Has the university considered updating their strategy regarding
the licensing and patenting of health technologies since the start of
the pandemic?

No 

Q4. Please provide an Excel spreadsheet with headings as displayed
below with all the COVID-19 related health technologies LICENSED by
the university AND specify which countries they were licensed in AND
specify whether they are exclusive or non-exclusive licenses.
Health Technology Licensed | Country of Licensing | Type of License
(Exclusive or Non-Exclusive)

None
 

Q5. Please provide a list of patents granted to your organization for
any COVID-19 related health technologies listed by patent family,
indicating countries/regions in which the patent has been granted.

None 

Q6. Does the institution have any plans on signing up to the
Open-COVID pledge ([1]https://opencovidpledge.org/) or any similar
initiative that seeks to minimise intellectual property rights
barriers during the COVID-19 pandemic? If yes, please specify.

No
 

Q7. Is the institution considering the licensing of COVID-19 related
health technologies to the Covid Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) or the
Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) during the pandemic? If yes, please
specify.

No
 

END FOI request

Many thanks 

show quoted sections

Freedom Of Information, University of Sheffield

Good morning,
Sheffield doesnt have a policy on this matter. 

Q2. Does the institution have a formal policy on licensing and
patenting of COVID-19 related technologies? If yes, please provide a
link or PDF to the relevant policy document.

  Sheffield doesnt have a policy on this matter. 

Q3. Has the university considered updating their strategy regarding
the licensing and patenting of health technologies since the start of
the pandemic?

No 

Q4. Please provide an Excel spreadsheet with headings as displayed
below with all the COVID-19 related health technologies LICENSED by
the university AND specify which countries they were licensed in AND
specify whether they are exclusive or non-exclusive licenses.
Health Technology Licensed | Country of Licensing | Type of License
(Exclusive or Non-Exclusive)

None
 

Q5. Please provide a list of patents granted to your organization for
any COVID-19 related health technologies listed by patent family,
indicating countries/regions in which the patent has been granted.

None 

Q6. Does the institution have any plans on signing up to the
Open-COVID pledge ([1]https://opencovidpledge.org/) or any similar
initiative that seeks to minimise intellectual property rights
barriers during the COVID-19 pandemic? If yes, please specify.

No
 

Q7. Is the institution considering the licensing of COVID-19 related
health technologies to the Covid Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) or the
Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) during the pandemic? If yes, please
specify.

No

show quoted sections

Dear University of Sheffield,

Thank you for the information. Have a good weekend!

Yours sincerely,

Sarai Keestra