The US move to suspend patents on corona vaccines is apparently viewed critically in the circle of EU countries.
At a dinner in Porto, many heads of state and government expressed doubts as to whether this would quickly lead to a better supply of the world with vaccines, the German press agency learned from EU circles.
Chancellor Angela Merkel had decided against the release of the patents.
She also put forward the argument that expertise about the novel mRNA vaccines could flow to China.
The People's Republic could use this know-how more easily than developing countries.
The proposal of the government of US President Joe Biden is not very concrete and possibly tactical, reported an EU representative from the talks.
The initiative should possibly hide the fact that Europe is the only democratic region that supplies large quantities of corona vaccines to third countries.
According to the EU, the USA lets very few vaccines out of the country.
The critics say that patents are not the problem
Biden had surprisingly backed the demands of poorer countries and pleaded for a temporary lifting of patent protection for Covid-19 vaccines.
Then manufacturers all over the world could produce the vaccines without license fees.
Critics object that the obstacle is not the patents, but production capacity, knowledge and raw material supplies.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was also skeptical.
In the short and medium term, the release of patents will not bring an additional dose of vaccine, she said before the heads of state and government dinner.
Rather, the vaccines produced would have to be shared and exported.
"We invite everyone involved in the debate on surrendering intellectual property rights, as we are ready to export a large part of what is produced in this region," she said.
Most of the 27 EU heads of state and government are in Porto for the informal social summit.
Chancellor Merkel did not travel to Portugal because of the pandemic situation in Germany, but switched to the dinner by video on Friday evening.