TRIPS' protection of IPRs as private rights: implications on the right to health

Mohammad Towhidul Islam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intellectual property rights (IPRs) are privatised in the TRIPS Agreement. In such premise, these private rights get protection in the form of positive obligations, and public interest issues are protected by way of negative or exceptional rights. This has long been a subject of human rights debate between IPRs-owning developed countries and IPRs-using developing countries. In making their case, the points of human rights and public interests in the sense of economic and other utilitarian standards have been brought into play to defend and discard the privatisation of IPRs since the beginning of international IPRs systems. This article argues that through protectionist regulations, the TRIPS recognition of IPRs as private and exclusive rights leads to monopolisation, makes IPRs inaccessible to the people and causes human rights concerns, in particular the right to public health in developing and least developed countries is affected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-79
Number of pages25
JournalMediterranean Journal of Human Rights
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • IPRs
  • private rights
  • right to health


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