IPRs and Human Rights: An Arduous Relationship

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and human rights are two laws that never infringed on the domains of each other before the 90s. In the beginning, they grew separately and hardly interrupted one another. However, later, it has been found that they are interrelated in several ways. One, human rights and IPRs can conflict with each other. Second, these two laws may co-exist with one another. Such factors usually raise a concerning confusion whether IP and their rights are compatible with human rights or harmful to them.

IPRs and Human Rights Complement Each Other

IP rights of authors and creators should not restrict the cultural participation and scientific access, rather expedite them. Since IPRs try to create a balance between incentives on one side and access on another, the human rights and IPRs in this sense are compatible with each other. Assuredly, we can view the compatibility between these two laws by balancing positions and interests.

IPRs and Human Rights are Different

By turning the pages of the past of these two laws, we can conclude that IP rights were not a priority for human rights professionals and vice-versa. Moreover, IPRs professionals were and are focused on broadening the scope of IP protection by incentivizing and rewarding the innovative activity, while human rights experts focus on the establishment of norms that can prevent human rights abuses. As the IP’s economic aspect emphasizes rewarding individuals for their efforts, protecting their products, and considering inventions as extensions of their personalities, it promotes individualism.

In contrast, human rights are different and ensure that not only an individual rather large groups or communities can also be the authors or inventors. This law recognizes the value of IP products as an expression of human creativity and dignity and thus, mainly considers the protection of these expressions and common goods. That’s why it focuses on the interest of the entire society instead of only the individuals. On the contrary, IPRs stay limited only to the titular’s interests.

IPRs and Human Rights are Conflicting

Researchers often delay the publication of their inventions to defend their IP. It means IPRs in the scientific domain lead to more privatization and lessening of scientific publications, thus acting as a barrier in scientific progress. The continuously growing range of such people who want to protect their intellectual property in this way can result in a threatening situation where everyone obstructs the other, thus ultimately leading to reduced innovations.

Not only this, but IPRs are obstacles to another human right, i.e., right to health also. For instance, taking undue advantage of Intellectual Property Protection, the patent owners usually set their costs much higher than generics. Due to this, many people turn unable to access useful and apt medicine.

Finally, we can see that IPRs usually put negative impacts on the essence of human rights. Besides, the administrators who are responsible for the deliverance of IPRs often found neglecting their duty in the perspective of morality. These officials estimate that taking moral and ethical preoccupations into consideration are neither useful nor imperative, despite that these preoccupations are lifelines of human rights.

Conflict Resolution

Are you looking for ways to resolve the conflict between human rights and IPRs? Well, the appropriate solution will be the result of many efforts. Firstly, human rights authorities must create some specific interpretations of cultural, economic, and social aspects so that they can work with policies of the TRIPs agreement. Secondly, all administrators, whether IPRs or others, should focus on the human rights perspective that demands to keep both the owners as well as consumers of IP products at an equal level. Thirdly, the government must consider imposing maximum standards for Intellectual Property Protection instead of just supporting minimum standards. Last but not the least, the international forums, such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) should analyze the new laws and doctrines with human rights viewpoint. It is the only approach by which human rights and IP Rights will co-exist with each other. For more visit: https://www.trademarkmaldives.com

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