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Intellectual Property: Justification Through Various Theories

The process of well-being of a human depend on the capacity of com up with new and different creation. Technological process requires the development and application of new invention and application, while a vibrant culture will always seek a new way to seek itself.

This paper goes through various thoughts of legal scholars given on the nature and working of the intellectual property rights. This pare has tried draw out its own conclusion after reading various articles and books written by the various writer on intellectual property.

In the process of research and reading through the article and books. It was found that intellectual property right is broadly classified through various theory but in this research i have found that its usage is necessary to determine which theory is best to tell the nature of the right that is natural right, utilitarian and so on.

Intellectual property also called as IP has become the most talked topic everywhere with the rise of technology and science. Thu, this topic is need to be understand very precisely. In simple terms IP is an outcome of human intellect and its creativity is promised to be under the protection of the laws, IP laws.1

There are laws which protect intangible assets which are product of human creativity, which gets rights of protection through patents copyrights and trademark2. it works similarly as someone�s physical property is protected by the government.

The basic objective of the research is to elucidate about the theories behind IP rights. Before the conclusion we will go through various theories of law which is made for betterment of the social legal issues by different legal scholars and philosophers.

Problem of this research is to find out which theory has explained the intellectual property law with a complete correct form of it. In the end this article will provide you with a clear conclusion about the topic according to the study done in various parts of this article

Theories on IP

For a better understanding of the nature and the validity if the rights which prevails under the intellectual property right, we have to look into the philosophical background of the intellectual property right. To do so we have to look into few numbers of theorist like, Jhon Stuart Mills, Hegel and John Locke. These theorists are those who came with different theorist in a different era, these are not directly related to intellectual property. But here we can use their theories to justify intellectual property rights.

First, we will begin with utilitarian theory of intellectual property rights. John Stuart mill said in his utilitarian theory � an act is said to be good if it results in �the greatest good for greatest number�. Now how will be known an act is good or bad, for this john said, if the happiness outweighs the harm, then it is said that act is good 4.

If we look into intellectual property with a utilitarian view to it then, we can say that, for instance of patent, patent is a system which provide monopoly to the inventor and the inventor enjoys his monopoly right for 20 years.

Now, according to the utilitarian theory, the end result of granting patent would be beneficial for society, if the new invention does not get certain kind of protection by the law, then anyone who has certain kind of idea which could be proved to be better for the society, won�t come forward to show up hi creation.

Mills has also agreed to the fact that patent monopiles are appropriate compared to earlier award system given by the government.

The natural theory says about intellectual property rights, according to the John Lock a book is a result of writer�s intellectual labour. Using of one�s idea or creativity is an individual�s natural right. In basic terms natural right is something5, what we have born with it is the supreme rights. These rights are given by the god and is available to all men and it is subject to benefit of whole society.

John lock, believed that what is given by the god shall be available to everyone and should not be restricted to only one human being6. According to Lock if anyone is adding value by his labour in process of using is labour on the resources then the derived objective could be claimed by the individual.


each theory has its own speciality or we can say each theory which are made by scholars has its own pros and cons. Each theory has derived from thought given by some great legal theorist in a different era. Now through, based on those thought given by them we tend to interpret then intellectual property law. Thus, according to me it is very difficult to conclude with any one theory which suits the topic perfectly. Citation:
  1. Mitchel B. Wallerstein, Global Dimensions of Intellectual Property Rights in Science and Technology, 43
  2. Peter Drahos, A philosophy of Intellectual Property Rights, 17
  3. Oxford handbook of intellectual property right
  4. Harlan B. Miller, The Limits of Utilitarianism, JSTOR
  5. Balew Mersha, Theories of Intellectual Property

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