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About the event 

The pivotal role intellectual property plays in the development and distribution of healthcare, pharmaceutical therapies, and vaccines was thrown into stark relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the exact nature of what this role is and how it should best be managed remains hotly contested resulting in a widespread call to modify international intellectual property laws. At the heart of these calls is tension in how to re-balance the need to encourage timely innovation of new therapies, while at the same time ensuring equitable access to vaccines – something that is particularly significant during a public health crisis. Despite this, most of these discussions, to date, have proven largely unsuccessful in stimulating any real change.

This panel will attempt to move beyond these unsuccessful debates that pit innovation against equitable access to medicine. In doing so, speakers will draw on their own experiences in relation to re-thinking vaccine creation, production, and distribution. They will also consider what is needed to revise intellectual property to support the creation and delivery of new therapies, both in times of crisis and times of calm.

This event is organised through the IP Biosciences Research Cluster in the TC Beirne School of Law and the Centre for Policy Futures at The University of Queensland.

About the speakers 


Paul Barclay 
Walkley Award-winning Journalist and Broadcaster

Paul Barclay is a Walkley Award-winning journalist and broadcaster who spent over 30 years at the ABC. Most recently he was presenter and producer of Big Ideas on ABC Radio National.




Antony Taubman
Director, Intellectual Property Division of the World Trade Organization
Solidarity as a practical craft: applying the lessons from the pandemic

Antony Taubman is Director, Intellectual Property Division of the World Trade Organization, with responsibility for the WTO’s programs on intellectual property, competition policy and government procurement. From 2002 to 2009, he was Director, Global Intellectual Property Issues Division of WIPO (including the Traditional Knowledge Division and Life Sciences Program), covering a wide range of programs on intellectual property and genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore, the life sciences, and related global issues including the environment, climate change, human rights, food security, bioethics and indigenous issues.

Professor Ian Frazer
Emeritus Professor, University of Queensland & Chair, TRI Foundation Board
Patent lessons from the HPV vaccine

Professor Ian Frazer works to raise awareness and funds for medical research through his role with The University of Queensland (UQ) and as Chair of the Traditional Research Institute (TRI) Foundation Board. He is recognised as a co-inventor of the technology enabling the HPV vaccines, currently used worldwide to help prevent cervical cancer. At UQ, Professor Frazer works with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) as an advisor on medical research. He also leads a research program at TRI on skin cancer immunology to work with Amedus Vaccines on a herpes vaccine and new vaccine technologies. He is also a member of the Commonwealth Science Council and President of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science.

Dr Hyo Yoon Kang
Reader in Law, Warwick Law School, University of Warwick, UK
The uses of ‘innovation’ in debates about intellectual property rights in COVID-19 vaccines

Dr Hyo Yoon Kang is a Reader (Associate Professor) in Law at Warwick Law School, University of Warwick, UK. She holds a B.Sc. and LL.M. (Distinction) from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Ph.D. in Law from the European University Institute. She has published extensively on law and science, legal theory, and intellectual property law, especially on its interdisciplinary dimensions relating to its place within humanities, political economy, and their historical and theoretical underpinnings. She serves on the Governing Board of the International Society for the History, Theory and Philosophy of Intellectual Property and on the Organizing Committee of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Economy and Society and Journal of Cultural Economy.

Dr Tolulope Adekola 
Research Fellow, TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland
Vaccines for the future: alternative models for development and distribution

Dr Tolulope Adekola is a Research Fellow at the TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland. His research focuses on the role of IP law in vaccine development and distribution. More generally, he is interested in issues pertaining to facilitating access to vaccines on equitable and affordable terms. Prior to joining the University of Queensland, he held research positions at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Germany, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.


QBI Auditorium, Level 7, Queensland Brain Institute (Building 79), Uplands Rd, The University of Queensland, St Lucia