Aren't the old jokes the best ones?
The IPKat has been reading an enjoyable feature in The Scotsman by Michael Blackley entitled "Heard the one about intellectual property?". It's a report on how comedians taking part in this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival are to be offered classes on how to stop their jokes being stolen by rivals. Law firm Hill Dickinson is reportedly travelling to Scotland's capital city in order to dispense advice, following a growing number of disputes between comedians in recent years.
Although there is no judicial precedent in the United Kingdom for the enforcement of copyright in a single joke, the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 protects all original literary works, a category that clearly does not exclude jokes.
The IPKat has his own list of judgments in intellectual property cases that could be considered jokes if they weren't so sad.
Lawyer jokes here, here and here
Stealing and jokes here, here and here
The Innovation Nexus
Intellectual Property and Competition Law: the Innovation Nexus is the latest book by Gustavo Ghidini, Professor of Intellectual Property and Competition Law at the Luiss Guido Carli University, Rome. It has been recently brought out by the Anglo-American publishers Edward Elgar and the IPKat has been giving it some attention.
What the publisher says:
"This rich and challenging book offers a critical appraisal of the relationship between intellectual property law and competition law, from a particularly European perspective.What the IPKat says: Professor Ghidini's thesis is one to which the IPKat has long subscribed: since IP rights help establish the monopolies that competition law regulates and sometimes finds necessary to dismantle, a holistic approach to the area in which they converge is vital. The trouble is that it's often difficult persuading IP specialists that this is the case. Many people who are engaged in patent and trade mark prosecution are engaged in areas of IP that rarely if ever raise serious competition law issues - and most statutory IP rights never cause competition problems, either because they are not used or because, even when used, they make no noticeable impact on the market in which they are exploited. But it's the few IP rights that really do make an impact when exploited that justify Professor Ghidini's stance.
Gustavo Ghidini highlights the deficiencies in studying each of these areas of law independently and argues for a more holistic approach, insisting that it is more useful, and indeed essential, to consider them as interdependent. He does this first by examining how competition and intellectual property (IP) converge, diverge, and inform one another. Secondly, he assesses how IP law can be interpreted through the guiding principles of competition law – antitrust and unfair competition – and within the overarching principle of free competition".
Bibliographic data: Publication date 2006. xii + 164 pages. Hardback. ISBNs 1 84542 135 3 and 978 1 84542 135 9. Price from the publisher's website: £44.96. Rupture factor - no problem. The content is intellectually heavy but the book is light.