The Implications Of Intellectual Property Rights

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What is 'biopiracy '? Is it a legitimate complaint from developing countries? Prominent environmental activist Vandana Shiva describes it as ‘intellectual and cultural rape’ and ‘the slavery of the new millennium’ (Shiva, 2002). More officially, the term biopiracy is defined as the commercial exploitation of natural occurring and biological products, without offering due compensation to the community from which is originates (Oxford University Press, 2014; Shiva, 1997). This is often done by claiming ‘exclusive ownership’ and exerting control over natural material. It is a branch of Bioprospecting, but specifically refers to the exploitation of indigenous knowledge by commercial firms. As every controversial topic, there are at least…show more content…
Some of the tenets include a desire to liberalise trade, abolish barriers for entry and exit overseas, and quite importantly: promote internationally inclusive property rights (Williamson, 1989). The growing power of centralised management and TNCs makes Globalisation one of the most important issues of modern day. Intellectual property rights are a major part in this, especially due to the move towards a 'knowledge-based economy ' as is key to the neoliberal world view (Oguamanam, 2012). Globalisation is commonly and correctly linked with neoliberal economic strategies and neo-imperialism; a new stage of (re-) conquering foreign markets. Santos (2006, in Oguamanam, 2012) describes the Globalisation process as a series of unequal exchanges, where a foreign economic forces establish dominance and claim a local resource or identity as their own. It is therefore justifiable in saying that Globalisation and biopiracy go hand in hand. Stiglitz (2008) argues that the success of the global economy and the process of Globalisation depends deeply on how the production and rights of knowledge are regulated. In 1995, a large step was taken in securing this free market trade in the global economy through what is known as the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) (WTO, 2014). The TRIPS Agreement was issued by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) after arduous decision making over several years in the 1986-1994 'Uruguay Round ' of
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