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Intellectual Property, Human Rights And Competition

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Intellectual Property, Human Rights And Competition

Access to Essential Innovation and Technology

Abbe E.L. Brown

Abbe E.L. Brown, Senior Lecturer, University of Aberdeen, UK

2012 272 pp Hardback 978 0 85793 496 3
ebook isbn 978 0 85793 497 0

Hardback £78.00 on-line price £70.20


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‘Abbe Brown’s study starts from the assumption that IP right owners, particularly those of innovative technologies, dispose of a disproportionately strong legal position in relation to that of competitors and customers, which is detrimental to society at large. Brown investigates how the power of the IP right owners can be limited by applying existing human rights law and competition law. To that aim it is suggested to widen the legal landscape and to develop a more tripartite substantive approach to IP law, human rights law and competition law. Brown’s study offers a very welcome new contribution to the literature on the functioning of IP law, by stressing the joint role which competition law and human rights law can play in this respect.’
– F. Willem Grosheide, Utrecht University and Attorney at law, Van Doorne Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Further information

This detailed book explores the relationship between intellectual property, competition and human rights. It considers the extent to which they can and must be combined by decision makers, and how this approach can foster innovation in key areas for society – such as pharmaceutical drugs, communications software and technology to combat climate change.

The author argues that these three legal fields are strongly interrelated and that they can be used to identify essential technologies. She demonstrates that in some cases, combining the fields can deliver new bases for wider access to be provided to technologies. The solutions developed are strongly based on existing laws, with a focus on the UK and the EU and the structures of existing forms of dispute resolution, including the European Court of Human Rights and the dispute settlement bodies of the World Trade Organization. The final chapters also suggest opportunities for further engagement at international policy and activist level, new approaches to IP and its treaties, and wider adoption of the proposals.

This timely book will appeal to academics and practitioners in IP, competition and human rights, as well as innovation-related industry groups and access to knowledge, health and environment activists.

Full table of contents

Contents: Foreword by Charlotte Waelde 1. ‘The Essence of Intellectual Property Rights is the Right to Exclude’ 2. Problem and Solution? Some Introductions 3. Existing Links and Opportunities: Human Rights, Competition and Essential Technologies 4. An Existing Solution? The Judicial and Regulatory Interface between the Three Fields 5. Using Human Rights 6. Market Definition and Abuse: New Arguments for Access 7. Wider Perspectives 8. Conclusions Index

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