Duty, Consequences, & Intellectual Property

Shubha Ghosh

University of Wisconsin Law School

April 30, 2013

University of St. Thomas Law Journal, Vol. 10, No. 3, 2013
Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1225

Drawing on Amartya Sen's discussion of The Bhagavad Gita and Hindu concepts of justice (niti and nyaya), this paper examines ethical issues related to the construction of intellectual property policy. The author analyzes deontic, or duty based, and consequentialist theories of law within the context of the debate between Arjuna and Krishna in The Gita. With respect to intellectual property, the author proposes a consequentialist theory of intellectual property based on the duties owed by an owner to other persons. This ethical theory is illustrated through the legal treatment of patents on medical diagnostics (Prometheus v Mayo) as well as on through the doctrines of fair use and first sale. This paper was prepared for a symposium on IP & Religious Thought at University of St Thomas Law School (Minnesota), held April 5, 2013.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: Intellectual Property, Ethics, Consequentialism, Hindu Religious Thought

JEL Classification: K11

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Date posted: May 2, 2013 ; Last revised: May 22, 2014

Suggested Citation

Ghosh, Shubha, Duty, Consequences, & Intellectual Property (April 30, 2013). University of St. Thomas Law Journal, Vol. 10, No. 3, 2013; Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1225. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2258480

Contact Information

Shubha Ghosh (Contact Author)
University of Wisconsin Law School ( email )
975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States
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