20 January 2021

IP Theory

'Intellectual Property for Humanity: A Manifesto' by Phoebe Li in Daniel Gervais (ed) ATRIP Research Handbook in Intellectual Property (Elgar, 2021) comments 

This chapter considers the challenge posed by Peter Drahos’ work on the ‘duties of privilege’, and provides a normative analysis of an intellectual property (IP) regime by articulating IP duties as a lens for defining the optimal scope of IP monopolies. It builds on a correlative duty-based approach as a parameter to better approximating dignitarian thoughts in IP. A paradigm shift to a balanced framework incorporating the duty approach would reconfigure the imbalance and redress the undesirable consequences of inequality. 

A duty-based approach is not advocating a dichotomy regime separating rights from duties or replacing rights with duties, but a binary one taking full advantage of the extant IP flexibilities by embedding a sense of belonging, connectedness, honour and respect in a community of IP rights. A duty-based approach will work towards a collaborative humanitarian discourse and serve as a nuanced underpinning to the interface of IP power and competition where impacts will benefit society. Internal and external forces are identified for regulating IP following a comprehensive study on the philosophies of ownership. It concludes by proposing the primary waves of IP duties: a duty to self-moderation; a duty to benefit sharing; a duty to open innovation, and a duty to dissemination.