Kritika: Essays on Intellectual Property
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Kritika: Essays on Intellectual Property

Volume 3

Edited by Hanns Ullrich, Peter Drahos and Gustavo Ghidini

The fields of intellectual property have broadened and deepened in so many ways that commentators struggle to keep up with the ceaseless rush of developments and hot topics. Kritika: Essays on Intellectual Property is a series that is designed to help authors escape this rush. It creates a forum for authors who wish to more deeply question, investigate and reflect upon the evolving themes and principles of the discipline.
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Chapter 5: Rethinking the foundations of intellectual property: applying Islamic principles on selected contemporary IP challenges

Mohammed El Said


The current global regime governing intellectual property protection is no longer able to achieve its objectives. It is exclusive, stifles innovation and largely lacks wide social and economic representation. This chapter calls for the initiation of a process for rethinking the foundations of the current global intellectual property regime with the objective of reorienting its goals towards serving the public interest and common good of all members of society. This process of rethinking draws on various established Islamic principles. The chapter further provides an analysis of the compatibility of modern intellectual property rules with Islamic values and sheds lights on the treatment of a number of contemporary intellectual property challenges – such as access to medicines, climate change, cloning and gene patenting – from an Islamic perspective. It concludes by highlighting the need to correct the current imbalance in the global intellectual property regime by taking into consideration established local learning and knowledge creation regimes and values.

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