Published last year by Ridinghouse (Karsten Schubert), The Trials of Art, edited by Withers lawyer Daniel McClean, is one of the loveliest, most enjoyable books the IPKat has had the pleasure to peruse in a long while. Says the publisher's blurb:
Contributors to these essays include some intellectual property notables, including (but not limited to) Christina Michalos and Michael Spence, plus an intro from Lord Hoffmann himself -- the only contributor to make reference to the fascinating and unresolvable House of Lords ruling in Hensher v Restawile Upholstery on the meaning (if it has a meaning) of the phrase "work of artistic craftsmanship".
"Who should have the authority to determine what is art: artists, critics and curators, or lawyers, judges and juries? Should artistic expression always be immune from legal and ethical constraints? Should the law always protect artists and art works? Since the Renaissance, artists have been involved in trials both as claimants and defendants. Artists have appeared in trials in order to assert their rights (from Albrecht Dürer to Constantin Brancusi, to Richard Serra) and as violators of the law (from Michaelangelo to Honoré Daumier, to Jeff Koons).
Inspired by important trials during the modern period in which artists and art works have acted as protagonists, this anthology of essays from fourteen leading academics and lawyers examines the ambivalent encounter between art and the law. In considering these issues, the book illuminates how the art trial has been instrumental in the development of art and the shaping of the law, and reflects upon wider issues; including the position of the artist in relation to society, the power to determine how images are created and viewed and the struggle between individual expression and collective beliefs".
The IPKat says, this is a book which really delivers on what it promises. What's more, it leads the reader to draw the conclusion that art is simultaneously subject to the rigours of the law while also being a force that, by drawing attention to the relationships between the tangible and the conceptual it somehow transcends it. It is in no sense a legal textbook, yet it owes its existence to the follies and the foresight of those who believe that law, like art itself, can made to run along predictable, logical lines. At £25 it is not so much a bargain as a gift. BUY IT!
Bibliographical details. Price £25.00. Softback, 380 thick pages. 30 b&w illustrations. ISBN 978-1-905464-03-6. Rupture factor: quite substantial for a paperback. Publisher's web page for this volume here
A Practical Guide to Intellectual Property Issues in the Pharmaceutical Industry, written by Jane Steinberg, Kelly Gill and Adrienne M Blanchard (all partners in Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP), is another in the EIPR Practice Series published by Thomson Sweet & Maxwell. It came out at the tail end of 2007 and is thus still pretty fresh. According to the publishers' blurb:
"This book is a practical guide to the major IP issues pharmaceutical companies encounter when bringing new products to the market as well as issues they need to deal with post-commercialization.The IPKat says, given that the IP issues involving the pharmaceutical industry are many and complex, one cannot realistically hope to scratch the surface in a book of this length. This makes the book look thin and inadequate when compared with two other recent additions to the same series: Phillip Johnson's book on ambush marketing, a niche subject compared with pharma IP, weighed in at 243 pages, while Patricia Akester's work on digital copyright -- not a niche topic but a narrower one than pharma IP -- came to 220 pages.
Giving you an overview of the regulatory environment from a national and international perspective this title provides you with an understanding of this area of law and all it involves. It explains how patents and other IP protection can be used for new and innovative products enabling you to see what can be done to protect your new products.
Included are discussions on branding issues, including the inter-relationship of trade marks and brand regulation allowing you to see what branding issues you will need to deal with when introducing a new product. ..."
If the reader however chooses not to compare this book with others in the same series but to take it on its own merits, it will immediately be found to possess a very substantial degree of utility. Covering the US, European Union, UK, Canada and Japan and picking out key issues which the authors explain with clarity, the text provides excellent briefing material for the lawyer who has a good IP background but has to get to grips with the pharma industry in a few hours' time and can only take one piece of literature in his ungenerous hand-luggage allowance.
How to pitch a book of this nature is always a problem. Both the publisher's blurb and the authors' introduction show that this work is pitched at the reader who works for a company that is launching a new pharma product. There is however a large, growing, lucrative and entirely lawful segment of the pharma industry that does nothing of the sort: the generics sector and parallel traders can read this book and reverse-engineer bits of it to suit their tastes however and (and Merpel cynically adds) both publishers and authors are likely to derive more profits from the original products sector than the rest.
One thing that can do with improvement is the index. For example, if you're looking for content relating to pharma trade marks, you won't find anything under "t" for "trade marks", "b" for "brands", "m" for "marks" or "n" for "names", "g" for "generic", "E" for "European" or "C" for "Community". If you say that a book this small doesn't need an Index when it's got a perfectly good Contents (which is actually the case), then you may as well dispense with the index entirely.
Bibliographical details: paperback, £79. ISBN 9781847033956. xxi + 166 pages. Rupture factor: none. Publisher's web page for this book here.