The Battle for Repairability: Navigating Intellectual Property Rights

Main Article Content

Ms. Namrata Sahu


The “right to repair” movement allows consumers freedom to choose how they repair their product, either by themselves or choosing any third party repair service provider, instead of being obligated to return to the original manufacturer for repairs. When a product becomes non-functional or obsolete, consumers may decide whether to repair or replace it. But this choice is influenced by different factors taking into account cost, quality of repair services, convenience of repair services, as well as consumer preferences for newer and better products. The movement aims to pressure manufacturers to make spare parts, tools, and repair guides available for their products, extending their lifespan with the goal of reducing electronic waste. Replacement with a new product and throwing away the old ones is the growing concern as it leads to generation of electronic-waste. Manufacturer’s opposition to the movement stems from concerns about intellectual property and proprietary information theft. This has sparked debates around protecting intellectual property while ensuring consumer rights and safety, promoting sustainability, and competition.  The paper aims to explore the relationship between “Right to Repair” movement and intellectual property rights, and to find a harmonious construct between these competing interests. It posits that a collaborative effort is necessary to find a solution that strikes the right balance, and enables a sustainable future for generations to come.

Article Details