Human Rights and Intellectual Property: Mapping the Global Interface

Human Rights and Intellectual Property: Mapping the Global Interface

By: Laurence R. Helfer (author), Graeme W. Austin (author)Paperback

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This book explores the interface between intellectual property and human rights law and policy. The relationship between these two fields has captured the attention of governments, policymakers, and activist communities in a diverse array of international and domestic political and judicial venues. These actors often raise human rights arguments as counterweights to the expansion of intellectual property in areas including freedom of expression, public health, education, privacy, agriculture, and the rights of indigenous peoples. At the same time, creators and owners of intellectual property are asserting a human rights justification for the expansion of legal protections. This book explores the legal, institutional, and political implications of these competing claims: by offering a framework for exploring the connections and divergences between these subjects; by identifying the pathways along which jurisprudence, policy, and political discourse are likely to evolve; and by serving as an educational resource for scholars, activists, and students.

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About Author

Laurence R. Helfer is the Harry R. Chadwick, Sr Professor of Law at Duke University School of Law, where he co-directs the Center for International and Comparative Law and is a member of the faculty steering committee of the Duke Center on Human Rights. He has authored more than fifty publications and has lectured widely on his diverse research interests, which include interdisciplinary analysis of international law and institutions, human rights, and international intellectual property law and policy. He is the co-author of Human Rights, 2nd edition (2009), and the author of Intellectual Property Rights in Plant Varieties: International Legal Regimes and Policy Options for National Governments (2004). Graeme W. Austin is a Professor of Law at the University of Arizona, holds a Professorial Fellowship at Melbourne University and is an Honorary Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington. He has lectured on intellectual property law in a variety of institutions and is an elected member of the American Law Institute. He has published widely on the topic of intellectual property, including in the Law Quarterly Review and the International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law.


1. Mapping the interface of human rights and intellectual property: a conceptual and institutional framework for analysis; 2. The human right to health, access to patented medicines, and the restructuring of global innovation policy; 3. Creators' rights as human rights and the human right of property; 4. Rights to freedom of expression, cultural participation and to benefit from scientific advancements; 5. The right to education and copyright in learning materials; 6. The human right to food, plant genetic resources, and intellectual property; 7. Indigenous peoples' rights and intellectual property; 8. Conclusion.

Product Details

  • publication date: 07/03/2011
  • ISBN13: 9780521711258
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 568
  • ID: 9780521711258
  • weight: 750
  • ISBN10: 0521711258

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