Coronavirus : Between Info and Intox

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. The name coronavirus is derived from the Latin corona, meaning “crown”, which refers to the characteristic appearance of a crown or a solar corona around the virus particles, due to the surface being covered in club-shaped protein spikes.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

As practitioners in the patent field, we witness numerous claims that the virus has been patented and that a vaccine is already available. This information is not true. The cited patents pertain to different Coronaviruses. There is no vaccine for the COVID-19 patented yet, neither.

Following the outbreak of the newly discovered coronavirus, several individuals circulated false rumors about the mystery pathogen, claiming that the virus has been patented as posted on Twitter by one person discussing the subject “Funny enough, there was a patent for the coronavirus was filed in 2015 and granted in 2018 and that the virus was made in a lab and a vaccine already exists” and many others claimed the same and went on explaining their findings and the patents.

The truth is that the claimed posts relates in majority to patents that are related to two different viruses in the coronavirus family. One of the cited patents relates to a genetic sequence of the virus that caused SARS, a disease that spread to many countries back in 2003, making more than 8,000 people ill and killing 774; noting that under the U.S. patent, law no longer allows for patents on viral sequences as they exist in nature.

The other patent is for a mutated form of infectious bronchitis virus, which infects poultry, not people. The patent was filed by the Pirbright Institute, a research institute in the U.K. The mutations were created to attenuate the virus, so that it could be used as a vaccine to protect chickens from the disease.

Neither of the above patents has anything to do with the new 2019-nCoV virus. Thus, this virus neither was created in a lab, patented nor has a vaccine already made to it.

Researchers are still working to understand the origin, spread and severity of the latest coronavirus. Currently, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. But there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments.

We at Baianat-Intellectual Property, have a major role as experts on patents in spreading awareness among our societies especially in these times to help our people understanding the danger of fake news, besides encouraging and emphasizing the importance of patenting invention.

Needless to mention that we have since day one ensured that all our employees around the Middle East and North Africa are following the safety measures put by the World Health Organization and are thoroughly monitoring all developments and guidelines of the relevant Government Authorities.

We reiterate that our offices are working remotely and do welcome any questions relevant to patents.


For more information, please contact our patent experts at: Patent-dep@baianat-ip.com


Written by: Shadya Awad

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