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In a 2017 decision, theUS Supreme Court held that constitutional commitments to free expression barred the Patent and Trademark Office from rejecting the registration of 'The Slants' for an Asian rock band, even though the term is understood to disparage Asians. Because we do not agree with the Court’s view that true speech can always correct false speech, we argue that the US can learn from the ways in which New Zealand trade mark jurisprudence protects cultural integrity while ensuring free speech. In so doing, we follow Sam Ricketson’s admonition that common law jurisdictions learn from one another.
As knowledge production has become a more salient part of the economy, intellectual property laws have expanded. From a backwater of specialists in patent, copyright, and trademark law, intellectual property has become linked to trade through successive international agreements, and appreciated as key to both economic and cultural development. Furthermore, law has begun to engage the interest of economists, political theorists, and human rights advocates. However, because each discipline sees intellectual property in its own way, legal scholarship and practice have diverged, and the debate over intellectual property law has become fragmented. This book is aimed at bringing this diverse scholarship and practice together. It examines intellectual property through successive lenses (incentive theory, trade, development, culture, and human rights) and ends with a discussion of whether and how these fragmented views can be reconciled and integrated.