The Object and Purpose of Intellectual Property
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The Object and Purpose of Intellectual Property

Edited by Susy Frankel

Much of the debate around the parameters of intellectual property (IP) protection relates to differing views about what IP law is supposed to achieve. This book analyses the object and purpose of international intellectual property law, examining how international agreements have been interpreted in different jurisdictions and how this has led to diversity in IP regimes at a national level.
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Chapter 11: Intellectual property rights in a digital environment: an EU-widemapping of available legislative enforcement measures

Ana Nordberg and Knud Wallberg


This chapter focuses on legal interpretation, reflecting on policy options between pluralism and harmonisation at two separate levels: (1) the desirability of establishing, or not, further harmonisation of interpretative rules, criteria and praxis in IP law; (2) whether internal harmonisation or systemic coherence between different areas of law and regulation that affect the same object or legal fact is a desirable interpretative objective in IP law. The point of departure for the analysis is biomedical innovation and digitalisation, using as examples technologies such as synthetic biology, 3D printing, and gene editing that present a multitude of horizontal challenges and consequently an opportunity for debating policy choices between ‘functional pluralism’ or ‘systemic coherence’. It is argued that emerging technologies do not necessarily require legal coherence, but systemic coherence can play an important role in legal responses to global technology-induced business models and social phenomena.

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