UIC Review of Intellectual Property Law


This article questions the privileging of disaster, or imminent threat, over more distant threats to public health. In many cases, this privileging makes sense as we do not have time to evaluate the threat under traditional frameworks. But in some cases, we privilege disaster in ways that may be ethically and legally unsound. Here, I am interested in a particular type of public health threat—the negative consequences that stem from climate change. In this article, I view the climate change discussion through the lens of distributive justice. I analyze the ethical as well as legal arguments in support of encouraging clean technology patent-holders to share their know-how and devices at a discounted rate with people in the developing world.