Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Are Intellectual Property Rights Evolving Towards the Enclosure of the ‘Intangible Commons’?

Escalona Reynoso, Rafael (2010): Are Intellectual Property Rights Evolving Towards the Enclosure of the ‘Intangible Commons’? Published in: The Current, The Public Policy Journal of the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs , Vol. 14, No. 1 (2010): pp. 29-42.

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Abstract

Advancements in the areas of Information Technologies (IT) and the New Life Sciences (NLS) are helping redefine the boundaries of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). Although the fast growth of these technological areas may very well be fueled by the existence of the IPR system itself, in recent years there has been a shift in the IPR system moving "upstream" in the research cycle, a movement which may actually discourage future research innovation. This document addresses some of the most recent public policy issues surrounding IPRs and delves into the case of biotechnology (biotech) to provide examples of how advancements in this area are helping redefine concepts like ownership, property, and rights over things and ideas. Lastly, it presents arguments to suggest that in an era where information has become the most valuable asset, alternative forms of IPR protection in which numerous proprietors share rights simultaneously could help better promote a steady expansion of scientific activity and artistic expression.

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