WHO Recognizes the Open COVID Pledge as a Means to Advance Research and Science in the Fight Against COVID-19

Today, under the leadership of the World Health Organization, more than three dozen member countries and other organizations announced their support of the WHO’s Solidarity Call to Action. We are pleased that within this statement of principles, the Open COVID Pledge is featured as a mechanism that allows holders of valuable COVID intellectual property to meet the WHO’s call to action by immediately and freely making IP available to anyone for purposes of combating the disease. Through the generosity and vision of pledgors, this intellectual property can be used to develop and rapidly innovate medicines, test kits, vaccines, equipment, software and other technology to mitigate the pandemic’s impact. We count among our current Pledgors many technology giants, as well as research projects and institutes.

This is the design principle of the Open COVID Pledge, and why it stands apart as a unique solution for those wishing to quickly share their intellectual property. The Pledge and its implementation are immediately self-executing; no permissions or legal forms are required to grant permissions to the public to use pledged IP for the duration of the Pandemic plus one year (or until January 1, 2023).

 The WHO’s Solidarity Call to Action is one of many noteworthy efforts announced recently by international and private organizations responding to the pandemic. Recently, a coalition of public and private partners, including the WHO, announced the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, designed to “accelerate equitable global access to safe, quality, effective and affordable COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines” to ensure no one is left behind. Additionally, the United Nations Technology Bank, together with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the WHO, launched the Tech Access Partnership (TAP). That project calls for the creation of a digital warehouse of product information such as manufacturing and design specifications, and plans to provide technical support for manufacturers and promote partnerships between companies and public and private sector innovators.

The Open COVID Pledge is an actionable, legally robust and tangible way for governments, researchers, and private and public organizations to easily and successfully implement and assist in achieving the goals of these international efforts. Please join our Pledge and help make the Solidarity Call to Action a reality.

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