The IPKat is excited to have received one of the best and brightest IP reads for some time, in the form of David Keeling's Intellectual Property Rights in EU Law Volume I - Free Movement and Competition Law, available from Oxford University Press. David, for the unitiated, is a member of the OHIM Boards of Appeal. Those who are familiar with him and who have heard him speak in public about subjects such as the Community trade mark and the effect of the trade mark decisions of the European Court of Justice will know that he is a man who both formulates his opinions with care and then shapes the opinions of others. A fierce critic of the absurd and the illogical, David is fortunately willing to share his thoughts with others: this book is one result of his willingness to do so.
This book's subject matter is the constructive tension between intellectual property rights, which protect wealth and encourage investment by creating monopolies, and competition law, which demands of competitors that they face each other in a contest which none of them can win. Like sandcastles, IP rights are the fruit of constructive labour that is levelled by the uncomprehending tide of competition law which levels them. David's writing leaves the reader with no doubt that the European Court of Justice is part of that uncomprehending tide: its grasp of competition principles is undoubtedly firmer than its understanding of the principles upon intellectual property law is believed to stand.
The chapter headings of this book, listed below, provide the author's chosen structure for analysing his subject. Dipping into each chapter, especially where he writes on the extensive and often confusing case law of the European Court of Justice, the reader will soon detect the combination of sharp perspective, detailed knowledge and deep understanding that reflects the 17 years during which David Keeling served as an official within that tribunal. The chapters are as follows:
1 The Scope of the Undertaking
2 The Free Movement of Goods and Services: an Overview of the Basic Principles
3 The Conflict between Intellectual Property Rights and the Principle of Free Movement
4 The Applicability of National Laws Governing the Creation of Intellectual Property Rights in the Absence of Harmonization
5 The Dichotomy between the Existence of the Right and its Exercise
6 The Specific Subject Matter of the Right
7 The Exhaustion of Rights
8 Trade Marks: the ECJ Case-law
9 Patents: the ECJ Case-law
10 Copyright: the ECJ Case-law
11 Competition Law
The text is written in a clear, crisp, almost conversational English which prefers short and pointed sentences to the long, rambling variety. This prose floats buoyantly above a sea of footnotes that provide not merely source material to support the author's points but also evidence of his genuine erudition and scholarly commitment.
The IPKat looks forward to the day Volume II sees the light, addressing the various harmonising Directives and pan-European rights Regulations that form the superstructure of IP activity in Europe. When that day comes, we will be able to enjoy and benefit from not merely David's comments but also from his commentaries.
Friday, 26 March 2004
Posted by Jeremy at 12:38:00 a.m.