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As the world scrambles to address an ever-expanding wave of COVID-19 infections, new and urgent needs for medical supplies, diagnostics and treatments arise. Shortages of such supplies are plaguing hospitals and care-givers, while doctors and nurses put their lives at risk in their desperate efforts to save COVID-19 patients. Many of these vital supplies, however, are protected by valuable patent rights. The essence behind patents rights is to exclude others from making, using, or selling a patented invention, except by authorization of the patent holder in carefully negotiated license agreements to ensure proper compensation for the efforts and costs invested in developing the patented invention. On the other hand, the U.S. government has rights to forcibly license a patented invention during times of need, in particular when there is a threat to public safety.