Tag: enforce

Posted in technology

Moderna Doesn’t Plan To Enforce Coronavirus Vaccine Patents During Pandemic

Drugmakers live and die by the exclusivity provided by patents on their medications. Generic competition or even a branded competitor can substantially cut a company’s market share. But Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) is putting society ahead of its bottom line. The biotech announced on Thursday that it won’t enforce patents for its coronavirus vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company noted: “We feel a special obligation under the current circumstances to use our resources to bring this pandemic to an end as quickly as possible. Accordingly, while the pandemic continues, Moderna will not enforce our COVID-19 related patents against those making vaccines intended to combat the pandemic.”

Moderna has patents on its base technology, which allows for the expression of protein-based vaccines in patients’ cells through the use of mRNA. The company also has patents on the delivery of mRNA-based vaccines using its lipid nanoparticles technology.

Investors shrugged off the announcement, with shares closing up 0.8% for the day. That might be because Moderna is in a no-win situation. If it did actually try to enforce patents to keep other drugmakers from launching competing vaccines, the biotech would be seen as a bully given the unprecedented need. At least by saying it won’t enforce the patents, Moderna gets a public relations boost.

The company could even make a little money off the situation. Moderna said it’s willing to license its intellectual property for coronavirus vaccines in the post-pandemic period. Competitors worried about a patent fight might agree to pay for a license to reduce their risk.

This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool.

Brian Orelli, PhD and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Nine vaccine candidates are in last-stage trials Nine vaccine candidates are in last-stage trials Photo: Russian Direct Investment Fund / Handout


Posted in technology

A new social-media platform wants to enforce “kindness.” Can that ever work?

It’s also extremely vague and subjective, though, especially when protecting some people can mean criticizing others. Questioning a certain point of view—even in a way that seems critical or unkind—can sometimes be necessary. Those who commit microaggressions should be told what’s wrong with their actions. Someone repeating a slur should be confronted and educated. In a volatile US election year that has seen a racial reckoning unlike anything since the 1970s and a once-in-a-generation pandemic made worse by misinformation, perhaps being kind is no longer enough.

How will Telepath thread this needle? That will be down to the in-house content moderating team, whose job it will be to police “kindness” on the platform.

It won’t necessarily be easy. We’ve only recently begun understanding how traumatic content moderation can be thanks to a series of articles from Casey Newton, formerly at The Verge, which exposed the sweatshop-like conditions confronting moderators who work on contract at minimum wage. Even if these workers were paid better, the content many deal with is undeniably devastating. “Society is still figuring out how to make content moderation manageable for humans,” Matias says. 

When asked about these issues, Estévez emphasizes that at Telepath content moderation will be “holistic” and the work is meant to be a career. “We’re not looking to have people do this for a few months and go,” she says. “I don’t have big concerns.”

Telepath’s organizers believe that the invite-only model will help in this regard (the platform currently supports approximately 3,000 people). “By stifling growth to some extent, we’re going to make it better for ourselves,” says Estévez. 

But the model presents another issue. “One of the pervasive problems that many social platforms that have launched in the US have had is a problem with diversity,” Matias says. “If they start with