US companies' COVID patents: Will "the saints go marching in"?

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

Publication Date


Document Type



Immunology and Infectious Disease | Infectious Disease | Microbiology | Technology and Innovation | Virus Diseases


Many pandemic issues have been swirling around in our country, and most have received extensive media coverage, most notably vaccine hesitancy/resistance, the Delta variant, and the continuing extreme importance of masking. Another is the collective angst over the time it is taking the FDA to issue full approvals of the earliest vaccines to apply for it. (It is anticipated that at least one vaccine will have received this by the time this editorial appears.)

In the background, not exactly sotto voce but receiving less print, is the question of whether the US government might exercise its so-called march-in authority on the relevant patents. Its statutory footing and operative domain are often misunderstood, and here I seek to clarify this for our readers. I am motivated to do so because I did not initially understand it either.

DOI of Published Version



Pederson T. US companies' COVID patents: Will "the saints go marching in"? FASEB J. 2021 Oct;35(10):e21879. doi: 10.1096/fj.202101282. PMID: 34486747. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID