State Agency and the Patenting of Life in International Law: Merchants and Missionaries in a Global Society, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

State Agency and the Patenting of Life in International Law

Merchants and Missionaries in a Global Society, 1st Edition

By Bita Amani


400 pages

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Paperback: 9781138254206
pub: 2016-11-28
Hardback: 9780754674382
pub: 2009-07-28
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How should a state respond to competing international obligations where the patenting of life is concerned? Following the institutionalization of Intellectual Property in the world trading system under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), states face differing challenges and restraints on their freedom to develop biopatenting programmes. Through a comparative review of patenting in two key but diverging jurisdictions, Canada and the US, this book considers how states might exercise the right of self-determination in their domestic law and policy over biopatenting to promote objectives of human welfare and fair competition. Departing from existing studies, this timely and important volume offers a pragmatic two-step approach to state agency to resolve apparent conflicts between the regulatory options afforded by economic globalization and the need to forge domestic laws that reflect community values. In this approach, rich and poor countries alike are invited to assert the primacy of human rights in their industrial and cultural policies.


'Dr Amani's book is a fine work of scholarship. It mounts a powerful, original and sophisticated critique of the trade-related intellectual property regime. However, it does not just criticise; indeed, its prescription, based on the elaboration of an equitable conduct defence consistent with universal human rights norms, demands serious consideration.' Graham Dutfield, University of Leeds, UK 'Amani persuades readers through her extensive political and legal analysis that states not only have significant legal agency when it comes to responding to the patenting of life forms, but that they must deploy it responsibly to exercise sovereignty under globalizing conditions. This is an important and timely intervention. Rosemary J. Coombe, Canada Research Chair, York University, Canada

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword; Preface; Regulatory diversity and the patenting of life; The promise and perfidy of patents; Origins of the patented species: of mice and men, and the sincerity of 'invention'; The global governance of trade: trading in political ethics; TRIP'ing over human rights: a legitimacy crisis at the WTO; The sovereign right to self-determination: from agency to development and dignity; Reconciling competing international obligations: the equitable conduct defence and the stewardship of the WTO; Conclusion: Selected bibliographic sources; Index.

About the Author

Bita Amani is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law, Queen's University, Canada. Her research interests are in the areas of Intellectual Property Law (domestic and International), Regulating Genetics and New Technologies, Biopiracy and Protection of Traditional and Cultural Knowledge, Regulatory and Ethical Issues of Medical/Scientic Research and its commercialization, Globalization and Social Justice, International Law, Regulatory Diversity, and Torts.

About the Series

Globalization and Law

Globalization and Law
Globalization is a key focus of study in the social sciences. Globalization processes have a fundamental impact on the sovereignty of states and their citizens. Law forms part of the regulatory dialogue of globalization and is centrally implicated in these processes, while the rule of law itself is globalizing as a value. This series is devoted to an exploration of the role of law in globalization and providing cross-disciplinary understanding of the ways in which law and globalization are inter-linked. It will be an international resource for scholars, policy-makers and regulators working on globalization in the fields of law, international economics, political economy, international relations, political science and sociology.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / International