Intellectual Property Laws in Lebanon: Legitimacy and Implementation

PhD Thesis

Abdallah, Suzanne 2008. Intellectual Property Laws in Lebanon: Legitimacy and Implementation. PhD Thesis University of East London School of Law
AuthorsAbdallah, Suzanne
TypePhD Thesis

Lebanon, in keeping with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) accession requirements, has committed itself to enforcing intellectual property laws (IPL) domestically in relation to patent, trademark and copyright. At the level of formal law, there have recently been a spate of legislation in Lebanon but, in practice, IPR (intellectual property rights) remain difficult to enforce. This thesis explores the dual obstacles to effective IPR protection in Lebanon, which are rooted in its legal cultures (LC) and economic nationalism (EN).

This dissertation argues that the basic universalist assumptions and rationalizations governing enforcement of IPL in Lebanon have to be revisited and interrogated. In order to better enforce IPR, their legitimacy through Lebanese traditional values, their pragmatism through political validation of establishing economic national self interest or economic nationalism (EN) and their
transformability into enforceable strategies through Lebanese legal cultures (LC) will have to be negotiated.

To test and sustain the hypothesis, this dissertation will employ legal, historical and socioeconomic forms of analyses. It will explore why the challenges facing Lebanon in the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) domestically cannot be adequately explained as merely a lack of political will, resources, capacity or the ignorance or contempt of law by the Lebanese people. Though the reasons behind Lebanese reluctance to enforce IPR have not been fully aired publicly, it is manifest that the enforcement of IPR raise several questions that go to
the root of Lebanese identities and attitudes. This thesis moots a larger conundrum - Can Lebanon fully realise IPR even if it fully committed to it, given the multiple fault lines of culture, identity and law underlining the debate.

In offering a critique of the modern formal IPL in Lebanon, the drivers of LC and EN, which correspond to the following questions arising out of the hypothesis. First, are the IPL in Lebanon considered legitimate and culturally valid? Second, in the context of LC, what are the impediments for enforcement of IPL including the ethical arguments and the practical incentives impacting on the receptivity of Lebanese people in accepting IPL? Third, in considering EN, to what extent is IPL seen as supporting Lebanese interests and thereby creating ownership for Lebanese people? It also queries how cultural divergence with the West and assertive economic nationalism impact on the political will to implement IPR.

The dissertation finds that international Intellectual Property Laws (IPL) require to be reviewed in the context of Lebanese culture, alongside social and economic needs. Further, EPL ought to be brought in line with realism recognizing Lebanon's stages of development and the perceived interests of the Lebanese people. Otherwise, the laws will inevitably continue to be ignored by the Lebanese people. Rather than assume that the case for IPR has already been made and won, the international framework for IPR needs to be articulated and realised through reference to the social and economic realities and cultural values of the Lebanese society.

KeywordsLebanon; World Trade Organisation; Intellectual property rights
Publication dates
PrintJun 2008
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Jan 2014
Additional information

This thesis supplied via ROAR to UEL-registered users is protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights, and duplication of any part of the material is not permitted, except for your personal use for the purposes of non-commercial research and private study in electronic or print form. You must obtain permission from the copyright-holder for any other use. Electronic or print copies may not be offered, for sale or otherwise, to anyone. No quotation from the thesis may be published without proper acknowledgement.

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