European Plant Intellectual Property

European Plant Intellectual Property, by Margaret Llewelyn and Mike Adcock, was published by Hart Publishing earlier this year. Both authors are grafted on to the University of Sheffield: Margaret is Reader in Intellectual Property Law and Deputy Director of SIBLE, the Sheffield Institute for Biotechnology Law and Ethics, while Mike Adcock is a Research Fellow in intellectual property and agrobiotechnology at the same institute.

What the publisher's blurb says:
"This authoritative new work analyses European plant intellectual property rights. Whilst the focus of the work is on Europe, and in particular the European Patent Convention, the Council Regulation on Community Plant Variety Rights and the EU Directive on the Legal Protection of Biotechnological Inventions, these provisions are discussed within the context of international legislation, including the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) and the Convention on Biological Diversity. It is the first book to look at the impact of plant intellectual property rights on the European plant breeding industry and assess whether recent developments, such as the Novartis decision, will assist plant breeders, from all sectors of plant breeding activities, in the production of new plant products. In addition to a thorough discussion of the legislation, the book includes unique empirical research results obtained by the authors as part of a two-year research project funded by the European Union, which surveyed attitudes towards, and use of, plant intellectual property rights within the European plant breeding community".
What the IPKat says: This book bears witness not only to the authors' erudition within this specialist field of IP but also to their cheerful enthusiasm for all things plant-related. They have not simply reviewed the protection of plant-related innovations within the European Union but have instead adopted a holistic approach in which the European legal provisions have been contextualised within an international arena in which legal norms, commercial imperatives, market forces and consumer preferences interact through a cultural continuum. For this reason, anyone who wants to get a good grasp of the subject matter in general will find this book tremendously useful even if (s)he is not specifically interested in Europe.

Bibliographical details: ISBNs 1-84113-322-1 and 9781841133225. Hardback, xxvi + 551 pages. Price £90. Full list of contents here. Rupture factor: mild to average.

PCT Procedures and Passage into the European Phase

Written by Dutch patent expert Peter Watchorn and his German colleague Andrea Veronese, PCT Procedures and Passage into the European Phase is aptly subtitled "A practical guide for patent professionals and candidates for the European qualifying examination". The work is published by PCT-Compass but printed and distributed by Kastner, from whom it may be purchased. Both authors are examiners in the European Patent Office's branch in The Hague, from which vantage point they must have seen some extraordinary misapplications of PCT procedures by ill-informed, untrained or overimaginative applicants.

What it says on the back cover:
"To say that the Patent Co-operation Treaty is a complex piece of legislation is like saying that the centre of the sun is hot, or that plumbing a toaster into your bath is a bad idea. Whilst true, it is something of an understatement. However, in spite of its complexity, this treaty has increased almost exponentially in popularity over the last ten years.

The PCT is also of increasing importance in the training of patent agents worldwide. Most patent agents will have to deal with the PCT for a significant part of their working life. Consequently the PCT takes on an ever increasing importance in the training of patent professionals. This is particularly true for the training of European patent agents, where knowledge of PCT procedures is essential for success in the European Qualifying Examination (EQE).

The book "PCT Procedures and Passage into the European Phase“ is designed to help the expert reader find the information he needs to process his application via the PCT into the European regional phase and to overcome any difficulties he may encounter on the way. Consequently, for those interested in navigating the many pitfalls and bear traps which it is possible for the hapless user to blunder into or, having blundered into one, for those interested in escape, read on ...".
What the IPKat says: Initially this book is quite daunting, but that is more a reflection on the subject-matter itself than on the manner in which the authors approach it. Anticipating these initial reactions from their readers, the authors take as their motto the simple yet effective mantra of Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy: DON'T PANIC. This is not the only sage piece advice you will glean from reading this book, but it is at least of wider application than most of the rest of the book which is, inevitably, quite PCT-specific. A second edition is proposed once the next batch of PCT changes are implemented and the 2000 revision of the European Patent Convention comes into force on 13 December 2007.

This book is surprisingly readable once the reader has mastered the acronyms and abbreviations which are necessary if the text is to be kept to manageable size. The authors have done the patent community a great service by producing this work and deserve our thanks.

Bibliographical details: ISBNs 10 3-937082-56-5 and 13-978-3-937082-56-1. Length: 308 regular A4 pages, plus 8 jolly useful fold-out tables. Price 50 euro, plus postage. Rupture factor: not too serious, since this book's in paperback format.
SOME RECENT PUBLICATIONS SOME RECENT PUBLICATIONS Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, November 03, 2006 Rating: 5


  1. Acronyms - PCT + Pretty Complicated Treaty

  2. PCT = Pathetically Convoluted Twaddle


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