Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Human Rights and Intellectual Property

Research Handbook on Human Rights and Intellectual Property

Research Handbooks in Intellectual Property series

Edited by Christophe Geiger

Research Handbook on Human Rights and Intellectual Property is a comprehensive reference work on the intersection of human rights and intellectual property law. Resulting from a field-specific expertise of over 40 scholars and professionals of world renown, the book explores the practical and doctrinal implications of human rights on intellectual property law and jurisprudence. In particular, the chapters scrutinize issues related to interactions among and between norms of different legal families, the role of human rights in development of the balanced intellectual property legal framework, standing case-law of national and regional courts and intellectual property offices reconciling overlapping rights and obligations, and identify the practical significance of different human rights for the exercise of intellectual property rights.

Chapter 32: The right to development: What implications for the multilateral intellectual property framework?

Ahmed Abdel-Latif

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, intellectual property law


The human rights and intellectual property (IP) interface has been the subject of increased attention in recent years. Numerous scholarly works have sought to map it and deepen our understanding of it. Advocacy groups have invoked human rights in their drive to achieve a more balanced IP regime that is more supportive of public policy and development objectives in areas such as public health, access to knowledge and food security. However, the right to development (RTD) has been conspicuously absent from this growing interest in the human rights and IP interface. This can be, in part, explained by the contested nature of the RTD at its inception and the persistent disagreements about how to implement it. At the same time, narratives about the implementation of the RTD have also not given sufficient attention to IP as a self-standing issue and to recent developments, particularly at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). For example, a seminal collection of essays recently published by the Office of the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights, in commemoration of 25 Years of the UN Declaration on the RTD, omits a separate examination of IP and WIPO while devoting specific analysis to the realization of the RTD in relation to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as thematic issues such as aid, climate change and debt relief.

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