UAEM - Licensing and patenting practices of COVID-19 technologies - CLARIFIED

Sarai Keestra made this Freedom of Information request to King's College London

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The request was successful.

Dear King's College London,

We would like to refer to the request filed by my colleague Ms Vinayan on the 24th of October 2020. At the time this request was denied under the Section 8 (1) (b) of the FOIA (2000). As you noted in your response, this request was filed to several universities on the same day. This is because we believe it is of uttermost importance to understand UK universities' patenting and licensing practices during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure timely and affordable access to novel health technologies. For this purpose, transparency is key. We would also like to draw your attention that all other HEI have responded to this request in a timely manner, KCL is so far the only institution that has denied the FOI request on the grounds listed. Considering the urgent nature of the pandemic, we would therefore like to ask you to reconsider your decision not to respond to Ms Vinayan's request. If possible, please respond to the request below, which is a copy of the request sent by my colleague in October.

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 []
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 [
Licence: Permission for the licensee to use the intellectual property rights
Source: TaylorWessing, available online [

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 [

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 [

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 ( 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

Information Compliance, King's College London

Please note that due to resources being directed to dealing with the
impact of Covid-19 on the university community, there might be a delay
with completing your request. 
Thank you for your patience.
Kind regards
Information Compliance

Information Compliance, King's College London

Dear Sarai,

Thank you for your email. We will treat your request for information as a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, received by the university on 19 November 2020. We will endeavour to respond to your request within the statutory 20 working day time frame.

Please note that the university has adopted the Model Publication Scheme and also publishes FOI responses on our Disclosure Log.

Kind regards,

Senior Information Compliance Officer
Department of Business Assurance
King’s College London

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Cogias, Olenka, King's College London

1 Attachment

Dear Sarai,

Please find attached your response.

Kind regards,

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