The fields of IP and investment law have indeed felt the effects of COVID-19. The pandemic highlighted the ability of states to exercise sovereign regulatory power affecting foreign direct investment, and the public at large, when national interests were considered at risk. In particular, this became evident in the context of the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic, which in some cases has put entire economic sectors at risk. However, the pandemic has also seen proposals and efforts to shape IP law to meet the health crisis, including licensing certain IP rights free of charge and model licenses. An example of these efforts was the Biden administration’s support for the suspension of patent rights for COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic. In the words of the U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Katherine Tai, “The [Biden] administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines.”
Klopschinski, Gibson, and Grosse Ruse-Khan’s book could not have been published at a more appropriate moment. In times during which IP and investment law are being influenced and shaped by the pandemic, this book addresses in significant detail the protection of IP rights under investment law. Most of the work on this book was done prior to the pandemic—much of the scholarly writing and case law included is from April 2020 or before. However, developments and references to the COVID-19 pandemic occurring after this date were included and prove to be extremely valuable.