Global Health Centre

Trade secrets: implications for pharmaceutical innovation and access

David Levine
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Webinar | Knowledge Network for Innovation and Access to Medicines


4pm - 5pm CET  /  10am-11am EDT

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The implications of intellectual property rights for innovation and access to medicines is a highly debated topic. While most of the discussion focuses on patents and other kinds of exclusive rights, much less attention is paid to trade secrets (namely IPRs on confidential information that may be sold or licensed). Trade secrets can restrict access to critical information relevant to product R&D, manufacturing and commercialisation, acting as potential barriers hampering the development and widespread use of health technologies. Professor David Levine will explore how the current Covid-19 pandemic provides a unique opportunity to apply exceptions and limitations foreseen in international trade laws in the public interest to advance equitable access to life saving diagnostics, treatments, medicines, and vaccines that may hinge on robust information access.



  • David Levine, Professor, Elon University School of Law; Affiliate Scholar, Center for Internet and Society, Stanford Law School
  • Moderated by Suerie Moon, Co-Director, Global Health Centre



Event Materials

Knowledge Network for Innovation and Access to Medicines