Open Lecture Series on Intellectual Property for Commoning Medical Technologies and Tackling Present and Future Pandemic Outbreaks

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought us an unprecedented impact in all dimensions of our lives. To tackle this situation, scientists and civil activists around the globe worked hard to bring an eventual cure to this pandemic – vaccines. Although the global community, along with the WHO, has fought for public production and equitable distribution of vaccines, we are at a dire situation. The rich and healthy will be vaccinated earlier than the poor and unhealthy and the people in real need. While high-income countries securing 4 times as many vaccines as to vaccinate their own people, many lower income countries might have none at all.

Civil activists, patient groups, as well as international organizations and national governments have advocated for an alternative pharmaceutical R&D, production, and procurement systems for a long time, especially since the HIV/AIDS epidemic at the turn of the century. In July 2020, WHO launched a landmark COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) aiming at overcoming COIVD-19 by global solidarity and cooperation rather than monopolistic reward model under the intellectual property rights system. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now at the pivotal moment when we should come up with the real solution this time.

To this end, we have organized a special lecture series of major thinkers and actors in this area, to discuss major challenges in achieving life-saving medicines for all.

– Registration:

– This lecture series is a part of the open lectures on IP for commoning medical technologies




Heesob Nam is a chief researcher of Knowledge Commune, a non-for-profit, civil society organization that pursues both research and campaign aiming at an open and shared knowledge. He is an advisor of the Presidential Commission on Policy Planning. Before founding Knowledge Commune in 2010, he worked as a sub-committee member for the National Human Rights Committee. Heesob Nam’s professional include intellectual property and human rights, on which topic he earned his PhD in law at the Queen Mary, University of London.

Haejoo Chung is Director of BK21FOUR R&E Center for Learning Health Systems at Korea University. She was one of the first advocates of “access to essential medicines” advocacy in South Korea, working closely with Heesob Nam on the compulsory licensing issue of Gleevec. She received her Master’s in Clinical Pharmacy (Seoul National University) and PhD in Health & Social Policy (Johns Hopkins University). Her research is on welfare state regimes, labour markets and other policies’ impact on health. She is currently member of the Presidential Commission on Policy Planning.



James Love is Director of Knowledge Ecology International. His training is in economics and finance, and work focuses on the production, management and access to knowledge resources, as well as aspects of competition policy. The current focus is on the financing of research and development, intellectual property rights, prices for and access to new drugs, vaccines and other medical technologies, as well as related topics for other knowledge goods, including data, software, other information protected by copyright or related rights, and proposals to expand the production of knowledge as a public good. James Love holds a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Susan Sell is a Professor at the Australian National University’s School of Regulation and Global Governance, and Emeritus Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University. She conducts research on the international politics of intellectual property and has published books, including Private Power Public Law, translated into Korean and Chinese, and Who Governs the Globe? She has published numerous articles and chapters on access to medicines and was a founding Board Member of Intellectual Property Watch and a member of the UN Secretary General’s expert advisory group to the High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines.

Thomas Pogge: Having received his PhD in philosophy from Harvard, Thomas Pogge is Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs and founding Director of the Global Justice Program at Yale. He co-founded Academics Stand Against Poverty, an international network aiming to enhance the impact of scholars, teachers and students on global poverty (, and Incentives for Global Health, a team effort toward creating new incentives that would improve access to advanced pharmaceuticals worldwide ( More information at