It has been a little while since this Kat has taken much of a look at fresh titles in the general area of intellectual property, so here's a chance for him to do so and to assuage those pangs of conscience that strike him whenever there's no room on his desk for his beloved coffee-cup because all the best spaces have been poached by unreviewed books. So, here we go!
"This management text, written by Michael Jewess and published by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, seeks to help intellectual property law practitioners relate law and legal practice to their clients’ business objectives. It is written for insiders by an insider who believes that the devil is often in the detail of which an outsider is unaware. Effecting a grand strategy may often depend on the details of a law, on the details of claim and agreement drafting, and even on what boxes (“fields”) are available on computer screens. A consequence of this perspective is, it is hoped, that the book will be of immediate practical value to practitioners, building on what they already know rather than imposing some external philosophy with unnecessary novel concepts".The term "management text" is a veiled message, meaning "this isn't a book about filing UK, European or PCT patents and it contains stuff that lies beyond our normal professional competence as patent attorneys -- but we're going to publish it anyway because it shows that we are interested in what people do with their IP both before and after they've got it and, in any event, the author is one of our lads and he wouldn't drop us into it". And it's the fact that it's a "management text" that makes the text so very engaging. The author's lively personality and his very considerable personal experience shine through the text on an ongoing basis, often to the point at which you can virtually hear Michael speaking the written word. Some of the advice it contains would be as good for IP practitioners as it is for its target audience, if they would only take it, such as (in the context of advice on lobbying) "avoid specious arguments". As with other books of this genre, only more so, the busy IP practitioner who likes doing the technical side of his job but who sometimes gets frustrated and impatient with clients who ask "what-if?" questions that veer towards business and management issues, should negotiate a bulk deal with the publisher and buy a dozen of these -- then send them as presents to those clients who most frequently phone him up to ask him about things that require the sort of judgement calls which this book helps them make.
Bibliographic details: xxviii + 516 pages. Hardback,£40, £35 for CIPA members. ISBN 978-0-903932-53-0. Rupture factor: low to medium. Book's web page here.
The title reflects that this is an ambitious book, but the editors have wisely reined in what might, if left unchecked, have become a vast and unruly project by limiting to a focus on four developing nations with their own distinctive cultures, profiles, aspirations and capacities: Brazil, China, India and Thailand. That the four chosen do have something in common too, in terms of their relatively advanced developing status, their split between urban/educated and rural economies and their willingness to expose themselves to the ways of the developed world in order to learn from and trade with them, makes their choice all the more interesting. As the publishers explain:
"With respect to intellectual property regimes, a significant change in international governance rules is mandated by the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) [trivial point: how many people visiting this book's website will not be so familiar with the acronym TRIPS that they would be disadvantaged if it were not also spelled out in full?].The way the book works, the comparison is not really a four-way exercise since two of the focal chapters (those on Brazil and Thailand) concentrate on a single sector (pharma and automobiles respectively), while the China and India contributions look more widely at the operation of their national patent systems.
This topical volume deals with the processes through which TRIPS compliance was achieved in four developing country jurisdictions: Brazil, China, India and Thailand. More importantly, it analyses the macro and micro implications of TRIPS compliance for innovative activity in industry in general, but focuses specifically on the agrochemical, automotive and pharmaceutical sectors".
This blogger recognises that TRIPS compliance is a complex and nuanced process, before, during and after the event, having served a term some years ago on an INTA subcommittee on TRIPS compliance and trade mark law, and he appreciates the hard work and careful thought that have gone into the preparation of this book.
Bibliographic data: viii + 243 pages. Hardback ISBN 978 1 78254 946 8; eBook ISBN 978 1 78254 947 5. Price £75 (online from the publisher, £67.50. Rupture factor: none. Book's web page here.
So what does this book offer the prospective reader? After all, the words "digital creative economy" can be a coded reference to originators of works made available digitally, to those who seek to adapt and (re)exploit them, or both in aggregate. The publishers tell us this:
"Digital technologies have transformed the way many creative works are generated, disseminated and used. They have made cultural products more accessible, challenged established business models and the copyright system, and blurred the boundary between producers and consumers. This unique resource presents an up-to-date overview of academic research on the impact of digitization in the creative sector of the economy.This blogger was quite prepared not to like this book, both because he suspected it of being top-heavy with economics [and, says Merpel, because it wasn't his idea in the first place]. However, he can say that he is genuinely impressed with it. The book works as a handbook because it is packed full of references and therefore guidance on further reading, from contributors who have shown sound judgement and who have either been coerced or motived by admirable altruism to write short contributions when, for some of them who are known to this blogger, he knows that they would have found it easier to write a longer one. Also, this is a book about the digital economy but it is not a book about economics. IP lawyers will not only find legal issues well represented; they will find them succinctly expressed and contextualised. Well done!
In 37 chapters, this coherent volume brings together contributions by experts on many aspects of digitization in the creative industries. With its interdisciplinary approach and detailed studies of digitization in the arts, media and cultural industries, the Handbook provides accessible material for a range of courses ..".
Bibliographic data: xiii + 441 pages. Hardback ISBN 978 1 78100 486 9 2013; paperback ISBN 978 1 78100 488 3; eBook ISBN 978 1 78100 487 6. Price: hardback £150 (online from the publisher, £135); paperback £35 (online from the publisher £28) [why not buy a paperback and get it bound yourself? It's "bound" to be cheaper ...]. Rupture factor: very low. Book's web page here.