"The suspension of so much business activity to facilitate social distancing does not mean that intellectual property is no longer a priority. On the contrary, it is now more important than ever."
The European Patent Office has magnified that point with a series of videos called Inventors against Coronavirus. It features inventors whose work has already facilitated the world response to the pandemic. Each of those inventors is a winner or finalist of the EPO's European Inventor Award.
The inventors include Rino Rappuoli whose reverse vaccinology 2.0 enables pathogens' genomes to be studied by teams working on vaccines instead of samples of the pathogen itself. Not only is that safer for the researchers but it is faster and more effective. Dr Rappuoli's work is featured in the above YouTube video which has just appeared in the EPO's YouTube channel.
Other inventors featured include Helen Lee whose point of care diagnostic device which was originally developed for HIV can deliver test results in 20 minutes, Thomas Tuschi who has pioneered treatments for COVID-19 and José Ángel Ávila Rodríguez whose work on communications technology has facilitated contact tracing and infection mapping.
As I said in my article
"It will not be just inventors, product designers and engineers who will contribute to this effort. Software developers who will track the spread of infection and the deployment of resources. Artists and communicators will be needed to convey public health information to the public."
Over the last few months, I have advised and assisted on many of those issues as I anticipated when I wrote those words.Anyone wanting to discuss this article can call me on 020 7494 5252 or message me through my contact page. If you want a chat I shall be glad to call you back by phone, Zoom or Skype.