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.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Some recent IP titles

Intellectual Property In Common Law And Civil Law, edited by Toshiko Takenaka (University of Washington School of Law, US), is yet another in the seemingly unending sequence of attractive IP titles coming from Anglo-American publishing house Edward Elgar.  The theme of contrasts between the common law and the civil law traditions -- contrasts which this Kat considers to have played an important part in the development of both national and EU IP law in the previous century but to be playing themselves out now -- has already been picked up and elaborated in an earlier tome published by Hart, that being Intellectual Property Overlaps: A European Perspective by Estelle Derclaye and Matthias Leistner (noted here by the IPKat). This collection of essays however treats the civil/common law contrast rather differently by meeting it full-on and asking whether it is destined to survive.  As the publisher records in the book's web-blurb:
"Despite increasing worldwide harmonization of intellectual property, driven by US patent reform [that's interesting, says Merpel, who had thought that US patent reform was driven by increasing worldwide harmonisation, rather than the other way round] and numerous EU Directives, the common law and civil law traditions still exert powerful and divergent influences on certain features of national IP systems.

Drawing together the views and experiences of scholars and lawyers from the United States, Europe and Asia, this book examines how different characteristics embedded in national IP systems stem from differences in the fundamental legal principles of the two traditions. It questions whether these elements are destined to remain diverged, and tries to identify common ground that might facilitate a form of harmonization.

Containing the most current and up-to-date IP issues from a global perspective, this book will be a valuable resource for IP and comparative law academics, law students, policy makers, as well as lawyers and in-house counsels".
The impressive team of scholars contributing to this book has a bit of the "all the usual suspects" feel about it, since many are tried-and-tested contributors to the literature of IP in recent years, and all but one of them are academics. The exception, the ever-original Mario Franzosi, has provided a curious little appendix on "The Patent Laws of Old" which looks like a chapter from another book that has somehow sneaked into this one. Never mind this, each of the chapters stands alone as a worthwhile read in itself.

Bibliographic data. x + 464 pp. Hardback ISBN 978 0 85793 436 9; ebook ISBN 978 0 85793 437 6. Hardback price £100; online price from the publisher's website £90. Rupture factor: small. Web page here.

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Fundamentals of United States Intellectual Property Law. Copyright, Patent, Trademark (4th edition) by Katfriend Sheldon W. Halpern together with Sean B. Seymore and Kenneth L. Port, is remarkable for its authors' skills in rendering down some of the world's longest, fullest and most complicated principles of IP into a single manageable volume while still taking a little time and space to frame US IP law within wider historical and legal contexts. It is also quite handsomely produced and is therefore quite easy on the reader's eye -- although many readers will wish that the US law, so often idiosyncratic to the non-US reader, was as easy on the brain. As the publishers' web blurb indicates:
"This completely revised and up to date Fourth Edition of this well received work offers in one volume a comprehensive review of United States copyright, patent, and trademark laws. The material has been completely updated and includes detailed discussion of the 2011 America Invents Act, as well as other pertinent developments in U.S. law It provides thorough and sophisticated treatment of this complex material in a form both less cumbersome than a treatise and considerably deeper and more sophisticated than a study outline or "nutshell." [This is indeed so] With its detailed citations, and readily accessible and complete subject coverage, this book will be a useful quick reference or deskbook for intellectual property practitioners, students, law professors, and librarians, as well as for anyone interested in understanding American intellectual property law".
This book is really quite useful for any non-American who needs to gain a solid general overview of the guts of US IP law. Try it and see!

Bibliographic data. xxiv + 351 pp. Hardback, ISBN 9041145672 and 13: 9789041145673. Price $175. Rupture factor: mild. Book's web page here.

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Intellectual Property Law and Policy, Volume 12, edited by another Katfriend, the formidable Hugh C Hansen, and published by Hart Publishing, contains a full collection of papers and discussions from the annual Fordham IP Conference when it migrated from New York's West Side to Cambridge, England, back in April 2009. It's disappointing that Fordham addicts have had to wait so long for this book, since a good deal of water has passed under Cambridge's many beautiful bridges since then -- in intellectual property terms, at any rate.

Apart from the obvious question as to why it has taken so long to get this excellent content into the marketplace, there's another unexplained mystery.  According to the book's web blurb:
"This is the 17th Annual volume in the series collecting the presentations and discussion from the Annual Fordham IP Conference. The contributions, by leading world experts, analyse the most pressing issues in copyright, trademark and patent law as seen from the perspectives of the USA, the EU, Asia and WIPO. This volume, in common with its predecessors, makes a valuable and lasting contribution to the discourse in IP law, as well as trade and competition law. The contents, while always informative, are also critical and questioning of new developments and policy concerns".
If this is the 17th annual volume, how come it's only volume 12? Readers who enjoy the cut-and-thrust of Fordham debate so much that, having consumed this volume, they want to buy the entire back catalogue, will definitely be perplexed by this strange numerology. It would in any case be useful if one page of this volume was dedicated to listing the whereabouts of the earlier volumes so that they could more easily be tracked down.

For those who have never attended a Fordham IP conference and wonder why its regulars rave about it so much, this is a must-read book. You will get a sense of the urgency, the clash of restless and talented intellects, the fusion of academic, practical and judicial strands of thought, which characterise this remarkable event, a veritable Glastonbury among IP festivals.

Bibliographic data: xvi + 738 pp. Hardback ISBN 9781849460576 (price £125). Adobe PDF ebook ISBN 9781782251170 (price £112.50); ePub 9781782251187 (price £112.50). Rupture factor: medium. Book's web page here.

1 comment:

MaxDrei said...

I was expecting to see in the book that compares common law and civil law a bit about the tension between hard "evidence" and the "mere" attorney argument that is so effective at the EPO.

In that context, can I, with the Link below, draw attention to the K's Law blog where a thread is just starting:

http://k-slaw.blogspot.de/2013/07/t-97709-excessive-speed.html




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