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Coronavirus: Research

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 23rd March 2020.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Industrial Strategy)

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.

Photo of Amanda Solloway Amanda Solloway Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

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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