Briefing Note: The Need for a Global Patent Database for Pharmaceuticals

The WHO’s Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property is considering a proposal to develop a global patent database for important medical inventions.

Adoption and implementation of such a global patent database on health-related inventions would advance important public health objectives. Although there are technical challenges in compiling such a database, these can be overcome. As a policy matter, it is very hard to imagine a legitimate basis for opposing such a proposal.

This briefing note provides background on the need for and potential benefits of a global patent database.

An .rtf version is available here: patentdatabase.igwg.rtf. A .pdf version is available here: patentdatabase.igwg.pdf.