Abstract: The R&D industry is the key to mankind’s social and cultural development, and the need to protect its interests cannot be emphasized enough. The present-day health emergency has left everyone helpless and vulnerable to contagion. The only ray of hope has been the pharmaceutical companies and their endless efforts towards developing the treatment for this virus. Still, what if the innovator company decides to hide the process of making the vaccine to exploit its creation fully and be the only manufacturer? Should the human population keep waiting for someone to reverse engineer or find an alternative treatment, or must we let people succumb to the virus? The commercial greed of the companies has the potential to lead us through this path. Trade secrets are such intellectual property that can grant indefinite protection without the requirement of public disclosure. Pharmaceutical companies’ use of trade secrets can lead to disastrous results for the entire world, especially in light of current circumstances.
This article analyses trade secrets, their use and abuse across the world, as well as their position in our country. Towards the end, remedies to the abovementioned and other complications resulting from ignorance of this IP right are presented. Moreover, the efficiencies that are lost while protecting the secret information can be utilized to do away with the pandemic. One such efficiency discussed extensively in the paper relates to the disclosure of test data, even failed ones, to prevent duplicative research and proactively save scientific resources from being wasted.

Authors: Himani Jaruhar is a 4thYear BA LLB student at the National Law University Odisha. The author may be reached at jaruharnluo@gmail.com.

Riya Thawani is a 4thYear BA LLB student at the National Law University Odisha. The author may be reached at riyathawani18@gmail.com.

The full text of the article can be found as a PDF here

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