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Sunday, 25 May 2008

Recent publications

Here are two recent publications from Oxford University Press that have recently come to the IPKat's attention:

The first is International Copyright Law and Policy, by the internationally-respected German scholar Silke von Lewinski. Professor von Lewinski has an international dimension to her own academic persona, being Head of Department at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property Law, Munich and Adjunct Professor, Franklin Pierce Law Center, Concord.

What the publisher says:

"This book deals comprehensively with the major treaties and conventions covering the law of international copyright and neighbouring rights. It explains the complex legal, economic and political background to the treaties and their contents, and how they interrelate. There is also practical commercial discussion of how copyright and neighbouring rights are treated in international trade measures such as GATT, WTO, NAFTA, and bilateral and unilateral treaties, with a section devoted to how unilateral trade measures are applied by the USA in particular. There is also some discussion of how international copyright law and neighbouring rights may develop in the future.

The book is intended to be a definitive account of the law of international copyright and neighbouring rights, but it is also intended to be accessible to non-specialist practitioners. It is fully cross-referenced to a forthcoming companion volume, European Copyright Law and Policy (expected to publish in 2008), offering readers a comprehensive approach to the subject. The author has been consulted on copyright policy on numerous occasions by various governmental and non-governmental organisations within and outside the EC, and therefore is ideally placed to give an inside view on how policy is formed".
What the IPKat says:

"Words like 'definitive' and 'comprehensive' are proud boasts that are easier to claim than to justify, and the author's subject is a vast one. However, if one starts from the present and works backwards, rather than going back to the beginning in the 19th century and working forwards with an evolutionary approach, the project becomes instantly more manageable because a measure of judicious hindsight provides the tool that distinguishes the relevant from the irrelevant, the major issues from the sidelines. It is difficult now to appreciate the intensity of debate over issues such as how to treat the cross-border footprint of broadcasts and what to do with so-called 'multimedia' products, when the dust of history has settled on them.

The best bit of this book is its effort to provide a basis for the reader to grasp the drift from 'classical' international copyright law to the policy-rich and politically loaded territory of GATT, NAFTA and the World Trade Trade Organization's TRIPs Agreement. Both this and the development of a body of regional or local international copyright law within the European Union are the result of copyright's success--as viewed by its traditional beneficiaries, the rights holders--in acquiring market shares and generating revenues. The need for balance between rights holders, competitors and consumers has increasingly become the focus of international copyright now that early objectives such as the establishment of reciprocal recognition and norms of minimum protection have largely been achieved.

The author is to be congratulated on her endeavours, which provide a thoughtful and well-referenced springboard for all further studies in this field".

Bibliographic details: price £75.00 (Hardback). lx + 618 pages. ISBN-13 978-0-19-920720-6. Further details from OUP's website here. Rupture factor: quite substantial - this book is heavier than it looks.


Intellectual Property, Trade and Development: Strategies to Optimize Economic Development in a TRIPS-Plus Era, edited by Daniel Gervais, was published at the tail-end of 2007. The editor, a professor at the University of Ottawa, is one of the best-known and prolific scholars in the field of TRIPs-related law. The fact that this book is published by OUP seems highly appropriate, given that OUP also publishes Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights: a Commentary on the TRIPs Agreement by that other prolific TRIPs commentator Carlos Correa, who provides this book's analysis of the impact of TRIPs and TRIPs-Plus on Latin America.

What the publisher says:
"There is a fast-growing need in many countries, in particular in the developing world, to come to a greater understanding of the links between intellectual property, trade rules and economic and social development and to find new ways of implementing intellectual property rules and optimizing their effects. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the latest legal, economic, political and social research and advanced current thinking on the relationship between intellectual property and trade and development.

The first part of the book will cover the theoretical basis of the connections between intellectual property, trade and development. It will then go on to provide the reader with options as to how intellectual property rules can be incorporated in the local legal framework and how the positive impact of intellectual property standards can be maximized while minimizing welfare costs. This will include implementation strategies for TRIPS and TRIPS Plus norms, and also the use of measures outside the traditional scope of intellectual property norms. These measures will range from education to the establishment or enhancement of a solid industrial and research base, to fighting pandemics such as HIV/AIDS. Possible economic strategies and proposals are also offered on the protection of traditional knowledge and indigenous resources".
What the IPKat says:

"It is a multi-authored collection of chapters that address the same old problems that have bedevilled intellectual property in the post-colonial era that followed the Second World War. These problems are not difficult to identify: they are essentially these: (i) how to get developing countries to help IP owners from developed countries to enforce their rights; (ii) how to help developing countries get something positive out of their IP systems instead of cultural and scientific dependence, balance of payments deficits and workforces with permanent skill deficits; (iii) how to enable healthcare innovation, communications technologies and other IP-derived benefits to be enjoyed by the vast number of humans unable to pay for them; (iv) how to help developing countries identify things that they too can protect and exploit commercially as IP.

It seems to the IPKat that, while the questions have not changed, the manner and the technique of discussion certainly have. There are now "discourses" and "narratives" where once there were discussions and debates; terms such as "technology transfer" sound old and rusty, with a somewhat patronising air.

What is important, however, is not the terminology with which the problems are analysed but the quality and the sensitivity of the analysis itself. In this, Professor Gervais is to be congratulated for assembling a team that includes some of the most advanced and humanity-oriented authors of this generation. Contributors include such household names as Graeme Dinwoodie, Rochelle Cooper Dreyfuss and Jerome Reichman. The only thing missing is a powerful articulation of laisser-faire and new liberal philosophies that might provide a dramatic counterpoint to the large degree of consensus reflected in this excellent volume".


Bibliographic details: Price £85.00 (Hardback), xlviii + 564 pages. ISBN 13 978-0-19-921675-8. Rupture factor: moderate. Further details from OUP website here.

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