Intellectual Property, Human Rights and Competition

Intellectual Property, Human Rights and Competition

Access to Essential Innovation and Technology

Abbe E.L. Brown

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.

Chapter 5: Using human rights

Abbe E.L. Brown

Subjects: development studies, law and development, law - academic, competition and antitrust law, human rights, intellectual property law, law and development, politics and public policy, human rights


Sections 3 and 6 HRA and principles of EU fundamental rights require that decisions are made which are consistent with fundamental and Convention rights. The provisions and principles do not impose limits on the number of rights which might be relevant and also do not limit obligations to those based on the rights of parties in or the subject of a proceeding. Human rights which might be relevant to access to technology questions were seen in Chapter 2 to be the rights of the IP owner, with respect to property; rights of the alleged infringer to life, freedom of expression and information, with respect to property, to food, to health, and to share in the benefits of scientific progress; rights of ultimate beneficiaries of infringing acts, to life and freedom of expression, with respect to food, health and education, and to share in the benefits of scientific progress; and rights with respect to property of other innovators who may wish to benefit, through IP, from their future innovation. The Lisbon Treaty accords fundamental rights equal – but not primary – status with Treaty provisions. In addition to the fundamental rights listed above, the issues explored in this book involve EU Treaty provisions regarding protection of property which is also a fundamental right given its presence in the ECHR and EU Charter, and the prohibition on abuse of a dominant position.

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