For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Friday, 30 December 2011

More books for review

The International Free and Open Source Software Law Book describes itself as "a new type of lawbook", which indeed it is.  The publishers explain: as legal systems differ throughout the world there are significant differences in how Free and Open Source Software licences are treated in different countries, and it can be difficult to obtain reliable information on national interpretations. The International Free and Open Source Software Law Book engages with this by providing a clear yet thorough analysis of Free and Open Source legal matters written and maintained by local experts [in 13 jurisdictions -- 10 in Europe plus the United States, China and Israel], and by inviting everyone to assist in improving or expanding the content [employing the principles of open innovation, Merpel imagines].

The publication is targeted towards lawyers, jurists and academics, and positioned as an international benchmark reference work. It provides an introduction to software protection, a general analysis of FOSS under local legislation and an overview of local FOSS cases (if any) for each country covered. While it would be invidious to pluck out any one chapter for particular praise, it should be placed on record that the chapter on Poland is authored by the IPKat's friend and fellow blogger (here and here), the talented Tomasz Rychlicki.

Further details of this book, together with its complete text and the facility to post comments on the individual chapters, can be harvested from its website here.


EU Electronic Communications Law: Competition & Regulation in the European Telecommunications Market, by Paul Nihoul and Peter Rodford, is now in its second edition.  It's not exactly laugh-a-minute stuff, being a very serious account of a notoriously difficult and professionally demanding subject. Paul Nihoul is an academic who hails from the "other" UCL -- the Université Catholique de Louvain -- and his co-author Peter Rodford, formerly Head of the European Commission unit responsible for regulatory policy in electronic communications and took part on behalf of the Commission in the recent negotiation with the European Parliament and Council on the amendments to the EU regulatory framework, is now a visiting professor at the College of Europe.

So what does the publisher, Oxford University Press, have to say about this work, which appears seven years -- a very long time in European Union law -- after the first edition?
"An established authority in the field, this is the core reference work for practitioners on electronic communications in the European Union. Giving insight into the regulations, the work provides a thorough analysis of the [large number of] competition rules and [hugely complex] regulatory framework applicable to electronic communications networks and services within the European Union. Electronic communications encompass all forms of electronic transmission of information, including telecommunications, broadcasting, and the internet. This second edition is updated to reflect the new regulatory package which has made changes to some of the fundamental mechanisms. A brand new section on data protection also features, giving an authoritative account of the legislation in the important new area of privacy protection in electronic networks [an area in which, once the legislators have done their job, the judges are now doing theirs: see for example Case C- Scarlet, noted here by the IPKat]. 
Detailed coverage of the recent case law of the Europan courts is provided including the European Commission's cases on the coordination mechanism for the relations between national regulatory authorities [this is one area in which the relationship of regulatory laws to IP laws tends might be a good PhD subject for some enthusiastic researcher ...]".
Bibliographic data: hardback, 536 pages. ISBN 978-0-19-960186-8. Price: £195. Rupture factor: medium. Book's web page here.


Trademark and Copyright Litigation is the title of a fascinating work by Mark V.B. Partridge and Phillip Barengolts. Subtitled 'Forms and Analysis--Volume 1: Cease-and-Desist Demands through Electronic Discovery', this is a book that looks set for a sequel, or more likely to several. The first-named author, when he's not serving as an adjunct professor at the John Marshall Law School, heads the eponymous law firm of Partridge IP Law P.C.; the second, a senior associate with Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP, is also a highly capable blogger on Pattishall's domesticated IP blogwhich makes this reviewer think that he could do an excellent job as a free-range blogger if ever the opportunity materialised.

Anyway, what is this book about, apart from an attempt to wrap the heterogenous legal phenomena of copyright and trade mark litigation within the same covers?  The publishers, Oxford University Press, kindly explain:
"Trademark and copyright litigation has become increasingly complex reflecting the ever increasing share of value represented by brands and creative works [and, in the US, the rapid development of new media in which infringement may occur and the creativity of lawyers in responding to new factual scenarios as well as new laws, says the IPKat]. As a result, there is a growing demand for practice-tested advice and related to winning strategies. Trademark and Copyright Litigation: Forms and Practice ... is designed to satisfy that demand by offering the actual and recommended sample documents for federal court trademark and copyright litigation. Presented in chronological order, the forms proceed from the inception of a case through trial and appeal, (i.e., complaint, answer, discovery requests, motions and supporting memoranda, preparation outlines, pretrial orders, witness outlines, appeal documents and briefs)".
The information contained in this lengthy but surprisingly readable volume has been created and collected by the authors from existing materials obtained from their own practice, as well as from other attorneys and court records. Unusually, the book features actual documents from well-known trade mark and copyright cases, garnished with commentary on the strengths, and, in some instances, the weaknesses of these real-world examples.

This is an accessible book which everyone from students through to seasoned practitioners can enjoy and benefit from, whether in terms of learning what to do or admiring/criticising how colleagues have done it.

Bibliographic data: soft covers, 572 pages. ISBN 978-0-19-973493-1. Price: £295. Rupture factor: small. Book's web page here.


Entertainment Litigation, edited by Charles J. Harder, is a larger-than-life book which is the consequence of some larger-than-life litigation involving some larger-than-life celebrity egos. The author, a litigation partner at Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro, Schulman & Rabkin LLP, Los Angeles, has represented Sandra Bullock, Cameron Diaz, Clint Eastwood, Kate Hudson, Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Michelle Pfeiffer, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, and the rights holders of Marlon Brando and Humphrey Bogart, so he can at least claim some familiarity with the subject matter of this weighty, somewhat ungainly tome. The text covers a broad swathe of entertainment litigation, including not just mainstream IP and related issues but some state law topics with which non-US readers are likely to be unfamilar. These include California's Anti-SLAPP law. In short, this book looks very instructive and this reviewer looks forward to reading it when the time and the opportunity arise.

Bibliographic data: paperback, 1184 pages. ISBN 978-0-19-973343-9. Price: £295. Rupture factor: quite high for a paperback. Book's web page here.

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