From March to September 2016 the team is joined by Guest Kats Emma Perot and Mike Mireles.

From April to September 2016 the team is also joined by InternKats Eleanor Wilson and Nick Smallwood.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Two Book Reviews: European Law Design and The Changing European Patent

From Kat David, we have a look at a design book:

The first edition of David Stone's European Design Law: A Practitioner's Guide quickly became an indispensable reference work for this Kat. He was surprised to realise that it was only published a little over three years ago and that a new edition has been published by OUP (details here; ISBN: 9780198719298).

Writing an authoritative overview of a field of law, particularly for a harmonised EU right which generates decisions in many languages from Community Design courts across Europe, is a tall enough order. Doing so in a manner that is entertaining to read, opinionated and passionate is rare indeed. Since receiving the second edition, this Kat has found himself referring to the book to look up a specific point, and then quite some time later, realising he has read on far beyond the section of interest as he followed the author's development of a topic.

What emerges particularly is a consistent view of the Design Regulation and Directive. Where a court's decision might consider the concept of the informed user or of design freedom in the narrow context of a particular dispute, David Stone relates the same concepts back to the underlying scheme of protection and considers whether a given decision is consistent with the larger jurisprudence both on infringement and validity. When he finds that consistency is lacking, or that the approaches taken by the courts are unsatisfactory, he says so unequivocally.

Where a work like this becomes crucial then, is in the subsequent development of the law. If practitioners, advocates and judges are informed that consistency is lacking on a given topic, and if the reference work points out how greater harmonisation and consistency might be achieved, then the impetus for more predictable and sensible decisions increases. As a practical reference work, to discover which areas of law are settled and incontrovertible, which are uncertain, and which are wrongly decided, this book is unequalled. As a serious and yet entertaining read on IP law, it is up there with the best.

Relative to the first edition, the case law is brought up to date as of 1 September 2015, which has increased what Jeremy called the rupture factor from around 500 pages to over 700. Still reasonably svelte, then, but gaining in weight and authority as the years pass.

From Kat Mark, we have a review of a text in German:

Sebastian Fuchs' dissertation "Das Europäische Patent im Wandel - Ein Rechtsvergleich des EP-Systems und des EU-Patentsystems" ("The Changing European Patent - A comparison of the EP system and the EU patent package", 292 pages, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2016), written under the supervision of Prof. Thomas Klicka at the University of Munster, looks at the shortcomings of the European "bundle" patent, namely the lack of efficient cross-border enforcement, and compares them with the solutions of the EU Patent Package. Since the manuscript was submitted in late 2014, the author could not take into account the very latest developments of the EU patent System, such as the CJEU's rejection of Spain's challenge to the Unitary Patent Package, and the (final - subject to amendments re court fees) 18th draft of the Rules of Procedure of the Unified Patent Court adopted by the Preparatory Committee on 19 October 2015.

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