HUMAN RIGHTS APPROACH IN GLOBAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY REGIME: WITH CASE STUDIES ON THE US-KOREA FTA AND THE EUKOREA FTA
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From its emergence to its expansion, intellectual property (IP) has not been isolated from trade. However, in the late 1970s, business interests in the United States (US) exerted powerful pressure, leading to IP norms becoming increasingly trade-centric. Hypothesis of this thesis is that such trade-centric IP norms, encouraged and formed by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), and subsequent TRIPS-plus rules pursued by the two most active actors, the US and the European Union (EU), fail to achieve the intended purposes of IP protection. This normalization of tradecentric regulation also creates conflict with a range of economic, social and cultural values that have significant human rights implications. The goal of this thesis is to: (a) critically examine this predominance of trade in contemporary IP norms; and (b) provide a counter framework for IP policy reform. It seeks to do this by juxtaposing the theoretical and empirical aspects of IP norms against human rights. This study will pursue to prove the hypothesis by conducting case studies on two free trade agreements (FTAs) enacted by South Korea with the US and the EU. The thesis concludes that, on the whole, the context of human rights provides a just counter framework that can unify the diverse range of issues. This is more so given that human rights are strengthened by international consensual norms institutionalised by intergovernmental organisations and supported by transnational advocacy networks. Nevertheless, this thesis advocates that an overemphasis on state and individuals in the human rights discourse needs to be challenged by taking into account the dominance of global economic regulations, the prevailing role of non-state actors, and the culturally relative nature of IP.
- Theses