BROWN Abbe E.L., Edward Elgar, 2012, 272 p.

Intellectual Property, Human Rights and Competition - Access to Essential Innovation and Technology

This detailed book explores the relationship between intellectual property, competition and human rights. It considers the extent to which they can and must be combined by decision makers, and how this approach can foster innovation in key areas for society – such as pharmaceutical drugs, communications software and technology to combat climate change.

The author argues that these three legal fields are strongly interrelated and that they can be used to identify essential technologies. She demonstrates that in some cases, combining the fields can deliver new bases for wider access to be provided to technologies. The solutions developed are strongly based on existing laws, with a focus on the UK and the EU and the structures of existing forms of dispute resolution, including the European Court of Human Rights and the dispute settlement bodies of the World Trade Organization. The final chapters also suggest opportunities for further engagement at international policy and activist level, new approaches to IP and its treaties, and wider adoption of the proposals.

This timely book will appeal to academics and practitioners in IP, competition and human rights, as well as innovation-related industry groups and access to knowledge, health and environment activists.

— ‘. . . A great resource for courts at all levels, businesses and activists that hopefully by reading it will realize how implementing the Human Rights Emphasis could help courts, nations, and IP owners. – Roxanne A. Stokes, Journal of High Technology Law
‘. . . a book which ought to be taken seriously by practitioners as well as academics. . . Brown’s contribution is timely and important.’ – Christopher Stothers, European Competition Law Review
‘Abbe Brown’s new work provides a welcome and extremely valuable addition of the human rights dimension to the long standing conflict over essential technologies between intellectual property and competition law.’ – Steven Anderman, University of Essex, UK and University of Stockholm, Sweden
‘Much has been written on the flexibilities available within the intellectual property system to address development and social needs. This book goes a step further : it explores how greater access to essential technologies can be ensured through human rights and competition law. Although the analysis is focused on UK and the European Union, the book provides valuable insights for assessing the situation in other jurisdictions. The author suggests an innovative approach for courts and legislators to overcome, in the light of public interest considerations, the limits imposed by intellectual property rights. This book is a much welcomed contribution to academic and policy debates on the subject.’ – Carlos M. Correa, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

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  • Ecole des Avocats Nord Ouest - EDA Lille


Philippe Prevel, Intellectual Property, Human Rights and Competition - Access to Essential Innovation and Technology, mai 2013, Concurrences N° 2-2013, Art. N° 52082, pp. 220-221

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