Concept Of Intellectual Property In Islam And Western Law

Concept of property is the part and parcel of a structured society in this modern age. How the concept of property is viewed, determines the nature of society. These copy rights are well known phenomena of this age of modernization and of great impotence.

Intellectual property is defined as the specific legal rights over the property with is the result of one’s intellectual effort for example patent, trademark, industrial design and copy rights. It is the property of intangible or incorporeal nature.

In western intellectual law of property has attained significant importance and is a well accepted concept and it comes under the domain of personal property. But in Islamic law the concept of intellectual property is disputed.

In Islamic law this concept of intellectual property is the one on which no extensive work has been done and jurists are at dispute. Some of them consider it as the property and others do not. The main reason for the dispute is the nature of property as intellectual property is intangible, and has no physical existence.

Different Islamic schools of thoughts advocate their opinion of acceptance and non acceptance differently. The Hanfi school of thought do not accept the intellectual property as a property but the Shafi consider it as the property because they consider the usufruct and the benefit too as the property while the Hanifi’s only consider the corporeal property as the property.

The modern jurist has put the intellectual rights of property under the category of Haqooq-e-Urfiya( customary rights) and these are the rights which, according Mulana Taqi Usmani, are of such nature about which there is no proof found in sharia and the only basis of its recognition is the practice of these rights.

This is the time when this very concept of intellectual property is required to be defined and accepted. Importance of this very concept is inexorable at this stage of globalization. It is a challenge for the Muslim world to resolve this dispute of acceptance and non acceptance of intellectual property. Muslim jurists are greatly in need of ijtihad and ijma for the recognition of this concept undisputedly.

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