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IP, technology, human rights

Articles

LAW REVIEW ARTICLES & BOOK CHAPTERS

Illuminating Innovation: From Patent Racing to Patent War (in progress). [SSRN]

This Article argues that historical case studies can be particularly helpful in providing an empirical foundation for patent scholarship. The Article then develops such a case study, looking at the impact of Thomas Edison’s lightbulb patents on the early electric industry. The case of the lightbulb is used to test and refine recently articulated theories of patent racing, and propose a new theory of patent warfare.

Access to Knowledge in India: New Research on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development (ed. Ramesh Subramanian & Lea Shaver) (Bloomsbury Academic, December 2011).  [SSRN]

The conventional wisdom in Egypt, as in many developing countries, examines the issue of intellectual property solely as a question of policing and enforcement.  Yet a more critical examination is urgently needed, whereby IP law, policy, and practice are viewed from a development perspective, rather than from an enforcement perspective.

The Right to Science and Culture, 2010 Wisconsin Law Review 121 (2010). Reprinted in the Anuario Andino de Derechos Intellectuals (Andean Intellectual Property Yearly) 2011. [SSRN]

Today, economists and legal scholars widely agree that patent and copyright protections are higher than ideal. International IP law, however, poses a significant barrier to reform. One possible route out of this dilemma may be found at Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which specifies that “Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.” This article suggests how to the right to science and culture, properly understood, may offer a philosophical and legal basis to advance sensible IP reform.

The Inter-American Human Rights System: An Effective Institution for Regional Rights Protection? (Forthcoming 2010, Washington University Global Studies Law Review). [SSRN]

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights are charged with protecting human rights in the Western hemisphere. This article explains the workings of this regional human rights system, examining its history, composition, functions, jurisdiction, jurisprudence, and enforcement. The article also evaluates the system’s historical effectiveness and considers various suggested institutional reforms to improve future outcomes. Particular attention is given to the problems of improving human rights compliance in Cuba, and addressing growing dissatisfaction among the Caribbean countries.

The Right to Take Part in Cultural Life, 27 Wisconsin International Law Journal 637 (2009). With Caterina Sganga. [SSRN]

This short essay suggests how the law might give meaning to “the right to take part in cultural life,” with particular attention to issues arising in an age of digital culture. The authors conclude that the right should be understood in terms of the ability to access, enjoy, engage, and extend upon a common cultural inheritance; and that realizing this right will require significant reforms in international intellectual property law.

Access to Knowledge: Economic, global and local perspectives, in Access to Knowledge in Egypt: New Research on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development (ed. Nagla Rizk & Lea Shaver) (Bloomsbury Academic, February 2010). With Nagla Rizk. [SSRN]

The conventional wisdom in Egypt, as in many developing countries, examines the issue of intellectual property solely as a question of policing and enforcement.  Yet a more critical examination is urgently needed, whereby IP law, policy, and practice are viewed from a development perspective, rather than from an enforcement perspective.

Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development: The Access to Knowledge Approach, in Access to Knowledge in Brazil: New Research on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development (ed. Lea Shaver) (Bloomsbury Academic, February 2010). [SSRN]

Public discourse on IP often fails to ask the fundamental question: What is the purpose of intellectual property? The premise of this volume is that intellectual property law exists to promote innovation and human development. First and foremost, IP policy must be judged by how well it advances—or frustrates—these goals.

Defining and Measuring A2K: A Blueprint for an Index of Access to Knowledge, I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society, Vol 4. Issue 2 (2008) [SSRN]

This article  provides a blueprint for the development of a robust and reliable Index of Access to Knowledge. For those new to the Access to Knowledge framework, this article also serves as a concrete and concise orientation to the new perspective rapidly reshaping the fields of international development, communications, technology, education, and intellectual property.

Over the past three decades, protections for intellectual property have dramatically expanded, both domestically and internationally. Today, economists and legal scholars widely agree that patent and copyright protections are higher than ideal. Excessive protectionism constrains individual liberty, limits the diffusion of innovation, impedes economic growth, and results in higher prices for consumers. International IP law, however, poses a significant barrier to reform. A network of multilateral and bilateral trade treaties operates as a one-way ratchet, promoting ever-higher protections and constraining the ability of domestic policymakers to impose sensible limits.
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