"Sebastian Haunss and Kenneth C. Shadlen, along with a collection of eminent contributors, focus on how business organizations, farmers, social movements, legal communities, state officials, transnational enterprises, and international organizations shape IP policies in areas such as health, information-communication technologies, indigenous knowledge, genetic resources, and many others. The innovative and original chapters examine conflicts over the rules governing various dimensions of IP, including patents, copyrights, traditional knowledge, and biosafety regulations.The IPKat is pleased with the timely appearance of this book. There's a great deal of IP-kicking going on at the moment, much of it coming from economists -- whose discipline is inherently uncomfortable with the notion of the monopoly -- and plenty of it coming from "political scientists, sociologists and anthropologists who study IP and conflicts over property" too. This book provides a valuable one-stop-shop for anyone who wants to get a better appreciation of the grounds on which IP is understood, analysed, criticised and tested out by those who are not always as favourably disposed towards IP as the Kats may be but whose critical comments are (at least in theory) shaped by their scholarship, not by their self-interest.
Written from a political perspective, this book is a must-read for political scientists, sociologists and anthropologists who study IP and conflicts over property. It is also an essential read for stakeholders in institutions, NGOs and industry interested in knowledge governance and IP politics".
The contents are tilted more towards patents than towards other IP rights (trade marks have rarely hogged the political limelight, and these essays were compiled a little too early to catch the current political debate over copyright), and they visit destinations as far afield as Kerala, Thailand, Australia and Latin America. This reviewer especially liked Lars Bretthauer's essay, "Intellectual Property Rights in the Digital Movie Industry: Contemporary Political Conflicts in Germany", but all the chapters offer much food for thought.