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Reps. Hudson, Burchett introduce bill protecting medical innovation intellectual property

June 11, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08) and U.S. Representative Tim Burchett (TN-02) introduced the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Protection (TRIPP) Act, legislation focused on protecting intellectual property (IP) for medical innovations like coronavirus vaccines.

"American taxpayers and private businesses invested unprecedented resources into developing COVID-19 vaccines," Rep. Hudson said. "This legislation will ensure U.S. intellectual property for vaccines and other medical breakthroughs is protected from waivers by the World Trade Organization, which could allow countries including China to cash in on American innovation. I look forward to working with Rep. Burchett and my colleagues to advance this commonsense legislation."

"Waiving IP rights for vaccine manufacturers is dangerous and unfair," Rep. Burchett said. "It would allow our geopolitical adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party to use American medical breakthroughs to their own advantage. The United States can be a leader in global vaccine distribution without sacrificing the IP of private companies that have invested a lot of resources to develop new treatments and cures."

The TRIPP Act would direct current and future presidents to oppose any waiver of obligations under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement within the World Trade Organization unless specifically directed by Congress. Such a waiver would bypass the minimum standards for the protection of intellectual property.

The full text of the TRIPP Act is available here.

Last month, Rep. Hudson was an original cosponsor of H.R. 3035, the Preventing Foreign Attempts to Erode Healthcare Innovation Act, introduced by Rep. Byron Donalds (FL-19), another bill focused on protecting American IP and innovation. Specifically, this legislation will defund any attempt by the Biden administration to support IP waivers from the WTO.