From Swords to Ploughshares
- Elgar Law and Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Lateef Mtima
Chapter 8: Intellectual property social justice in action: Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors
The 21st century is witnessing a transition from tangible goods to intangible assets having the highest economic value1 and this has naturally pushed intellectual property (IP) laws and systems to the forefront of social change debates. The discussion has historically been polarized, between developed countries and big business interests positioned on one side, against developing countries, small business and social justice advocates for the poor. The former are depicted as seeking to maintain their economic dominance through the establishment of strong global IP law regimes, while the latter are typically portrayed as seeking to resist such efforts, following the rationale that IP tends to impede poor countries’ development and keep their populations in poverty. But such binary thinking obscures the potential of intellectual property law and frameworks as social change mechanisms under a simplistic prejudice that IP necessarily serves only big business’ purposes and helps the expansion of monopolistic powers. A better view is that intellectual property law can serve as a powerful tool for social change, as part of the evolutionary shift of human activity and national economic output from tangible property to intangible property production and exchange. Furthermore, technological advances have accelerated those processes, pushing unknown boundaries in the domain of IP, making it harder for legal frameworks to catch up with, let alone anticipate, what IP’s next form and appropriate management might be.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.