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Friday, 9 April 2004

OMNIPRESENT, DISTRACTING, IRRELEVANT?


Professor William Cornish’s three 2002 Clarendon Law Lectures (Intellectual Property: Omnipresent, Distracting, Irrelevant?) have now been published by Oxford University Press.

The background to Professor Cornish’s lectures is as follows. Intellectual property rights are increasingly significant elements of economic policy and, in an age of global trade, they are vital to developed countries. Today's new technologies, derived both from the digital and the biotechnological revolutions, are creating new problems. The three lectures focus on some of the major issues that are the subject of public debate: (i) the omnipresent spread of IPRs across some recent technologies, (ii) the distraction caused by rights that achieve little of their intended purpose and (iii) the apparent irrelevance of intellectual property rights as viewed by users of new technologies such as the internet. Taking these three themes, Professor Cornish surveys current arguments over legal policy in this field. In doing so he touches on issues surrounding the patenting of biotechnological and genetic innovations; the threat posed to copyrights in publishing, computer programs and record and film production by the internet and the tension between legal protection of brands, the freedom to compete and the drive for 'fair trading'.

More on the Omnipresent, the Distracting and the Irrelevant

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