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Tuesday, 7 February 2006

NEW BORDER PUBLICATION


Border Measures

Even though he is a tiny bit partisan, IPKat co-bloggie Jeremy can't help being impressed by Oxford University Press's latest title, Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights through Border Measures: Law and Practice in the EU, edited by the bustling Belgians Olivier Vrins (Altius, left) and Marius Schneider (Gevers).

This book is a practical guide to the use of border measures against the importation of goods infringing IP rights into the EU. It contains a blow-by-blow account of Regulations 1383/2003 (customs action against goods suspected of infringing certain IP rights) and 1891/2004 (which implements it). Olivier and Marius assembled a team which was primed to tackle the practical aspects of problems involving multi-state abuses of IP rights (including how to contact customs authorities, useful website addresses, and more); it contains a good deal of key information that is not always readily available - and which, several of the chapter authors confessed, they didn't know even existed until Olivier and Marius goaded them into digging it up.

In addition to framework chapters on the Regulations and their backgrouns and international context, the book contains 25 national reports, each written to the same template. This makes it easier to compare different national approaches and, the publisher's blurb suggests, to make strategic decisions (though the IPKat pauses to reflect on a paradox: while a large volume of accurate information makes for better decisions, it makes it more difficult to reach a decision at all). The book concludes with some comments by Jeremy on the unique nature of the problems thrown up by the confluence of shared and conflicting interests at the point at which IP owners seek to stem the tide of counterfeits and infringements.

The publication of this book marks the end of a process in which the two editors, with a mixture of optimism, energy, enthusiasm, good planning and sheer persistence, saw the project through and brought it to fruition. If they are as active in marketing the book as they were in overseeing its production, the IPKat confidently predicts that every household in Europe will possess two or three copies!

Left: a European Commissioner models the smart new uniform for all customs officials who are empowered to detain goods under Regulation 1383/2003

At £175 for the hardback volume (there is no paperback alternative) the price seems steep, but (if you include the prelims and the index) there are more than 1,400 pages to keep you occupied on that long flight to the Moon and back. There's also a special bonus in the form of a website, www.bordermeasures.com, on which the editors pledge to offer and report on the latest post-publication developments, with commentary where appropriate. The ISBN is 10: 0-19-928879-8 (13: 978-0-19-928879-3 from 2007). Will not fit in a pocket. Rupture facture: high.

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