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Patrick Keane, executive shareholder in the firm's Intellectual Property section, provides insight to CNN Business on intellectual property concerns surrounding automakers' efforts to supply ventilators for healthcare workers to help manage the coronavirus crisis.

Patrick Keane, an IP attorney that works with hospitals and ventilator manufacturers, agreed that intellectual property concerns could make traditional manufacturers hesitant to work with third-party manufacturers.

The Defense Production Act is the most powerful tool the government has to ensure that doesn't happen. Invoking it would allow the White House to direct production. President Trump's approach so far has been to encourage automakers to help with ventilator manufacturing, but he has stopped short of issuing directives under the DPA.
 
If Trump takes that step, it would be up to the companies who are given ventilator manufacturer directives to ensure they aren't liable for patent infringement after the crisis passes, according to Keane.
 
The president is under growing pressure to use his DPA powers in order to better coordinate the production and distribution of badly needed ventilators. It could alleviate the concerns of state governors, such as New York's Cuomo, who are desperate for new ventilators.
 
But the issue will continue to come back to a major supply gap and a race against the clock. Current ventilator production levels fall far short of demand — and setting up new production lines is no simple task.
 
"You don't want people who are producing air conditioning units for cars to all of a sudden start producing entire ventilators," he said.