Duty, Consequences, & Intellectual Property

17 Pages Posted: 2 May 2013 Last revised: 22 May 2014

See all articles by Shubha Ghosh

Shubha Ghosh

Syracuse University College of Law

Date Written: April 30, 2013


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.

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

JEL Classification: K11

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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2258480

Shubha Ghosh (Contact Author)

Syracuse University College of Law ( email )

900 S. Crouse Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2130
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