Tue. Sep 27th, 2022

10 February 2022 –

Innovation and patenting activities of COVID-19 vaccines in WTO members: Analytical review of Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) COVID-19 Vaccines Patent Landscape (VaxPaL):

This working paper provides a statistical analysis of 74 patent families which cover subject matter relevant to ten COVID-19 vaccines.  These vaccines have accounted for 99% of the global COVID‑19 vaccine production as of 31 December 2021, comprising over ten billion doses.

Eight of them, namely BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech), AZD1222 (AstraZeneca/Oxford), Ad26.COV2-S (J&J), mRNA-1273 (Moderna), BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm/Beijing), Coronavac (Sinovac), Covaxin (Bharat/ICMR), and NVX-CoV2373 (Novavax), have been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for inclusion in its Emergency Use Listing (EUL).  The analysis is based on VaxPaL, a COVID-19 vaccines patent database developed by the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP).  Through the detailed examination of patent applicants, filing dates, and offices of first and subsequent filing, the paper identifies patterns and trends of innovation and patenting activities of COVID-19 vaccines in WTO Members, and presents the legal status of the 74 patent families in 105 jurisdictions.  This information may provide useful background for policymakers on the significance and potential impact of these patent families with relevance to the access to and production of these vaccines in their individual countries.  This, in turn, may help support practical assessments as to potential options within and beyond the current TRIPS framework to promote equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Authors: Ting-Wei (Alex) Chiang and Xiaoping Wu

Manuscript date: January 2022


This is a working paper, and hence it represents research in progress. The opinions expressed in this paper are those of its author. They are not intended to represent the positions or opinions of the WTO or its members and are without prejudice to members’ rights and obligations under the WTO. Any errors are attributable to the author.


Source – WHO: Download paper in pdf format (41 pages, 921 ko; opens in a new window)