Neo-Colonial Aspects of Global Intellectual Property Protection

The Journal of World Intellectual Property, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 40-74, 2010

41 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2010

See all articles by Andreas Rahmatian

Andreas Rahmatian

University of Glasgow - School of Law

Date Written: June 23, 2010

Abstract

An essential instrument in the process of neo-colonialism by economic means is the establishment of a legal framework of international trade which confers legally enforceable rights that support and safeguard economic penetration and control. This includes, in a similar way as in colonial times, the guarantee of protection of foreign property rights in dependent regions. Today, intellectual property rights fulfil this colonising role to a large extent. It will be shown that the implementation of TRIPs is one major device which drives such an economic neo-colonialism forward. This is reflected in the history of the making of this treaty, as well as in the methods of enforcement of intellectual property rights, which will be demonstrated on the example of China. Besides this international expansion of Western-style intellectual property rights, there is another, seemingly contrasting and alternative non-proprietarian, legislative project, which nevertheless has neo-colonial effects: the protection of traditional cultural expressions in the context of “traditional” arts. The article discusses that, despite presumably good intentions, this measure reflects colonial features, such as the concept of indirect rule, and invites segregationist legislation.

Keywords: Post-Colonialism, TRIPS, Traditional Cultural Expressions, Intellectual Property, Property Theory

JEL Classification: K11, K20, K33

Suggested Citation

Rahmatian, Andreas, Neo-Colonial Aspects of Global Intellectual Property Protection (June 23, 2010). The Journal of World Intellectual Property, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 40-74, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1629228

Andreas Rahmatian (Contact Author)

University of Glasgow - School of Law ( email )

School of Law, Stair Building
5-8 The Square
Glasgow, G12 8QQ
United Kingdom

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