Bharat Biotech International Ltd (BBIL) will include the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) as the “co-owner” of the patent for Covaxin, its Covid-19 vaccine.

“Bharat Biotech was working on developing the covid-19 vaccine as a top priority to ensure product availability at the earliest. The Covid vaccine development of BBIL was faced with multiple challenges and all organizations were in a rush to develop vaccines and file the appropriate patents, prior to any other entity or prior to any data being published in journals,” the Hyderabad-based vaccine maker said in a statement released late night on Saturday.

Bharat Biotech’s covid vaccine application was filed in the above circumstances, and since the BBIL-ICMR agreement copy, being a confidential document, was not accessible, it said, adding: “Hence ICMR was not included in the original application. Though this was purely unintentional, such mistakes are not uncommon for the Patent office therefore, Patent Law provides provisions to rectify such mistakes.”

BBIL has `great’ respect for ICMR and is thankful to ICMR for their continuous support on various projects; therefore, as soon as this inadvertent mistake was noticed, 

BBIL has already started the process to rectify it by including ICMR as co-owner of the patent applications for Covid-19 vaccine. “Necessary legal documents are being prepared for it, and BBIL will file those documents in the Patent office as soon as they are ready and signed,” it added. 

According to the release, these actions are in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between ICMR-NIV Pune and BBIL in April 2020 for the joint development of the Covid-19 vaccine.