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Coronavirus: Research

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 30767, tabled on 17 March 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has in place to ensure that coronavirus research patents are available to the NHS.

Answered on

23 March 2020

It is a fundamental principle of the patent system in the UK that inventions are made public. This benefits society as it allows everyone to learn of new technical advances which, critically at this time, includes developments in the area of coronavirus research. The NHS in England and other relevant health bodies across the four nations have established procurement procedures for accessing patented inventions, whether stemming from coronavirus research or not.

The UK’s patent system provides a number of checks and balances to the grant of exclusive patent rights, including powers for government departments to use a patented invention in a period of emergency.

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