Intellectual Property Rights

Richard T. De George

in The Oxford Handbook of Business Ethics

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780195307955
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Intellectual Property Rights

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This article examines the complex notion of intellectual property rights and describes the crucial features of trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. It evaluates three different justifications of intellectual property rights and discusses the relations of legal and ethical considerations regarding intellectual property. It concludes that although there is general moral justification for the legal protection of intellectual property rights, ethics alone does not decide the issue in many disputes about intellectual property. Ethics can only be of use whether some legislation goes so far as to be unethical but most legislation concerning copyright and patent falls into the range of the morally acceptable.

Keywords: intellectual property rights; trademarks; patents; copyrights; trade secrets; moral justification; legislation

Article.  16243 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Social and Political Philosophy

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