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Intellektuelle Eigentumsmonopole und die Erzielung von Renten in der globalen Enteignungsökonomie

Christian Zeller

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Intellectual Property Monopolies and the Extraction of Rents in the global Economy of Dispossession.

The emergence of a finance-dominated accumulation is accompanied by an extension of processes of commodification and procedures of dispossession similar to forms of original accumulation. This is an answer of capital to the problem of over-accumulation. As an expression of dispossessing accumulation, the implementation and extension of intellectual property monopolies is of particular importance. In the context of an increasing socialization of labor, in particular of innovative activities, the private appropriation of knowledge in the shape of intellectual property monopolies and its commercial valorization has become a strategic goal of firms. Income based on such property titles has developed into a central form of the appropriation of resources in the finance-dominated accumulation regime. The article applies the Marxian rent theory to the intellectual property monopolies. Findings from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries reveal the growing importance of appropriation mechanisms of knowledge by firms and the contradictory effects of intellectual property monopolies. Based on specific power relations the owners of property titles can appropriate resources and values. Rent extraction processes take place on different scales: they reach from the enforcement of property monopolies over gene sequences up to the role of the USA as a rentier state on a global scale. Hence, the global configuration of this regime of intellectual property monopolies is highly hierarchical.