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If 'intellectual property rights' is the answer, what is the question? Revisiting the patent controversies

By Birgitte Andersen

Abstract

A typology on the rationales for intellectual property rights (IPRs), primarily in relation to patents, is developed. The focus is on natural rights and moral rationales, economic incentive rationales, increased competition and 'market protection of entrepreneurial talent' rationales, and the economic rationales of organising science, technology and creativity. Whilst reviewing the controversies surrounding IPR legislation, the importance of this typology is justified. It will provide a good conceptual underpinning and analytical framework for achieving a finer empirical understanding of the social and economic effects of IPRs, and this understanding is urgently needed when designing policy fostering the knowledge-driven techno-economic paradigm in the twenty-first century.Intellectual property rights (IPRs), Patents, Rationales, Typology, Policy,

DOI identifier: 10.1080/1043859042000188692
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