NautaDutilh is assisting the legal team of TU Delft on a pro bono basis with legal advice for OperationAIR.
OperationAIR (Assist In Respiration) is the brainchild of a team of students and staff at TU Delft working on the development of a safe, easy-to-produce ventilator to address the shortage of such equipment caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The first prototypes have already been successfully developed.
In this exceptional situation, and under a specific arrangement of the Dutch government, the devices can be used once they pass the necessary tests even if the usual regulatory procedure is not followed due to time constraints. In this context, our team is advising TU Delft's legal team on liability risks and contractual questions.
The TU Delft does not intend to commercialise this initiative. Once the prototype passes the necessary tests, TU Delft will openly share the design on their website so that it can be freely used by countries experiencing a shortage. Our team is also advising on the liability aspects associated with this type of open-source approach.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minster of Economic Affairs Eric Wiebes recently visited TU Delft's campus and praised the project. You can read more about it here (in Dutch).
Overall, this is a great bottom-up initiative, to which we are proud to be able to make a small contribution.