Intellectual Property Law Aspects of Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development: Where Is the Line Between Public and Private Interests?

  • Sanja Savcic dr. jur., associate professor, University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Law
Keywords: intellectual property law, environmental protection, sustainable development, public interest, private interest


Protection of the environment is regulated by numerous laws and bylaws, within legal areas. As regards regulations of an imperative nature, there is no doubt that these provisions represent the public interest and responsibility of the state to preserve and improve the environment. The paper examines the potential of private law rights to contribute to environmental protection and improvement, because the action of entities depends on the choice of whether to act or not in certain circumstances. To illustrate a possible contribution of private law in environmental protection matters, patent and indications of geographical origin have attracted attention. While trying to determine a particular connection between rights and environmental matters, it has become clear that significant improvement of environmental protection can be provided in a circular flow through different areas of law. Protecting and supporting private law rights is not detached from guarding the public interest. An examination of patent law potential should demonstrate that cooperation between scientific research institutions and industry is of primary concern in modern society. In practice, a number of issues obstruct successful cooperation; however, this is an opportunity for the state to encourage collaboration. A similar approach should be suggested in relation to indications of geographical origin. State and local governments should encourage recognition of indicators of geographical origin, attracted to localities of high environmental quality.


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