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  • Cited by 4
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
April 2018
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Book description

In economic sectors crucial to human welfare – agriculture, education, and medicine – a small number of firms control global markets, primarily by enforcing intellectual property (IP) rights incorporated into trade agreements made in the 1980s onward. Such rights include patents on seeds and medicines, copyrights for educational texts, and trademarks in consumer products. According to conventional wisdom, these agreements likewise ended hopes for a 'New International Economic Order,' under which wealth would be redistributed from rich countries to poor. Sam F. Halabi turns this conventional wisdom on its head by demonstrating that the New International Economic Order never faded, but rather was redirected by other treaties, formed outside the nominally economic sphere, that protected poor countries' interests in education, health, and nutrition and resulted in redistribution and regulation. This illuminating work should be read by anyone seeking a nuanced view of how IP is shaping the global knowledge economy.


‘Professor Halabi breathes new life into the foundations of intellectual property in this insightful and important book. Part history, part economics, and part political science, Halabi's analytical tools force us to address the important issues at the heart of intellectual property law: how to design global legal institutions that promote equitable distribution and a vibrant international economic system that responds to the needs of all citizens. In a revanchist age where ugly nationalism and irresponsible globalism sometimes appear to be the only choices, Halabi offers a clear and rigorously defined vision that should inform scholars and policy makers who care about intellectual property law and its potential for promoting the good life.'

Shubha Ghosh - Crandall Melvin Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law

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