NYIPLA Annual Meeting & Presidents' Forum To Waive or Not to Waive, Is that Really the Question? COVID-19 Waivers in the Global Community

Event Date
  • 5/18/2021   3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
    Please arrive early for registration
  • Zoom


On October 2, 2020, WTO members from India and South Africa proposed a “Waiver from Certain Provisions of the TRIPS Agreement for the Prevention, Containment and Treatment of COVID-19” (click HERE to view).

The proposal notes that COVID-19 is a global health emergency and that is imperative for WTO Members to ensure that IP rights “do not create barriers” to medical products such as vaccines and medicines, as well as other medical products, and points to reports about IP rights “hindering or potentially hindering timely provisioning of affordable medical products to the patients.”  The proposal suggests a waiver of enforcement of sections of the TRIPS Agreement “in relation to the prevention, containment, or treatment of COVID-19.”

The result has been a firestorm between developed countries and developing nations.  Many have weighed in on both sides of the issue.  For example, the NYIPLA joined the IPO, AIPLA, and LES organizations in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai dated March 30, 2021 (click HERE to view).  

The letter supports the equitable distribution of “vaccines, medicines, diagnostics… and other measures” to address COVID-19, but notes the lack of “data to suggest that patents and other IP rights are hindering vaccine development or delivery.”  The letter points to examples of innovator companies “partner[ing] and shar[ing] IP to create tools to address this pandemic” and urges the U.S. to oppose the TRIPS waiver proposal, warning that an IP framework is necessary to mitigate risk and provide confidence.

This discussion will include participants on both sides of the issue, discussing whether IP protections are necessary guardrails protecting the quality and sharing of pandemic resources, or unnecessary hindrances that are costing human lives. The President's Forum will be followed by the NYIPLA Annual Meeting, your registration will include the NYIPLA Annual Meeting. 


  • Larry Coury, Vice President, Associate General Counsel, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.   
  • Robert DeBerardine, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Johnson & Johnson 
  • Andrei Iancu, Former Director, United States Patent & Trademark Office
  • Srividhya Ragavan, Professor of Law & Director of India Program, Texas A&M School of Law
  • Moderator Robert Isackson, NYIPLA President-Elect
  • Moderator Colman Ragan, NYIPLA President


Project Team:
Colman Ragan, Robert Isackson, Lynn Russo, and Jeanna Wacker

 NYIPLA Annual Meeting


Program Schedule & Materials

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
President's Forum To Waive or Not to Waive, Is that Really the Question?
COVID-19 Waivers in the Global Community

Click HERE to Register

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
*Annual Meeting of Members

Meeting Minutes for May 12, 2020  |  Financial Report  | Annual Meeting Presentation

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Board Meeting

2021 Honorees


Dr. George D. Yancopoulos

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.


Dr. Christos Kyratsous

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Click HERE to view acceptance video


Charlotte Geaghan-Breiner, 1st Place Winner
Columbia Law School
Click HERE to view Charlotte's acceptance video

Ron Eniclerico, 2nd Place Winner
St. John's University School of Law
Click HERE to view Ron's acceptance video.



Kevin Kuate Fodouop
New York University School of Law
Click HERE to view Kevin's acceptance video.

NYIPLEF 2021 Diversity Scholarship

Ananya Pillutla
New York University School of Law
Click HERE to view Ananya's acceptance video.

Annual Meeting Journal