The Big Red Book Review

Red is obviously the fashionable colour for this summer's intellectual property titles. Here the IPKat welcomes three new tomes on to his increasingly colourful bookshelf, in the order in which he received them.

EU Intellectual Property Law, by Bird & Bird partner, author, lecturer and major contributor to the IP community Trevor Cook, is an outgrowth of his contribution to another work from the stable of the same publisher, Vaughan and Robertson's Laws of European Union (here). It is very much an "IP in EU law as viewed through EU institutional eyeballs" sort of book, since it introduces and explains the increasing body of Regulations and Directives governing pan-EU and national law by reference to the decisions of the Court of Justice and General Court. Given this approach, it is not surprising that there's an awful lot on trade marks, contrasted with some lean pickings in the field of patents. The Court of Justice has, since this text was concluded in October 2009, been rather more preoccupied with patents thanks to the controversial Monsanto ruling. Coupled with the keenly-awaited ruling in Medeva, this should ensure that the next edition of this book tastes more of patents than this one does.

According to publisher Oxford University Press:
"European Union law affects the law of intellectual property in two main ways. The first is under EC Treaty provisions on non-discrimination, free movement of goods (in relation to parallel imports) and principles of competition law (in relation to licensing of IPRs or refusal to grant such licences). A significant part of this book deals with those aspects of Community law that are common to most intellectual property rights across the EC, including the effect of the EC treaty on national intellectual property rights, limited harmonisation of those rights in some areas, and how EU law impacts on enforcement.

The second way in which EU law affects intellectual property is in those areas where the substantive national intellectual property laws of the member states have been harmonised, or supplemented, by the establishment of Community-wide unitary intellectual property protection.

The rest of the book looks in detail at the effect of Community law and of harmonisation on specific intellectual property rights, including copyright and related rights, trade marks, geographical indications, designs, database rights, patents and plant variety rights".
Some may feel that, however successful he may be in private practice, Trevor has been a great loss to the academic community. He identifies relevant issues and explains them cleanly and crisply, often in what seems to this reviewer to be the smallest number of words in which it is possible to do without sacrificing good style on the altar of brevity. Letting the law tell its own story, he has provided an extremely useful means of approaching the subject.

Bibliographic data: xliv + 788 pages. ISBN 978-1-90-450152-7. Hardback. Price £145. Web page here. Rupture factor: medium to high.

Technology Transfer, by Mark Anderson and Victor Warner (Anderson & Co.), with some assistance from their colleagues, is the third edition of a book which seems to change both title and publisher each time it comes out.

This new edition, Bloomsbury Professional assures us, follows the structure of the second edition, but with revisions to the content in order to incorporate recent developments such as Regulation 772/2004 on technology transfer agreements, various changes to the UK's Competition Act 1998, the regulation of research and industry sectors in light of the Human Tissue Act 2004, the release of information held by many organisations involved in technology transfer following the coming into force of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and sundry shifts in the IP scenery following the enactment of the Patents Act 2004 and our increased consciousness of the impact of the Information Society Directive.

The IPKat found both of the earlier editions very much to his liking. Since technology transfer is part heavily-regulated law, part contract which the parties make up as they go along, any book on this topic that is worth its salt must be able to face both ways: clear, dispassionate descriptions of the law, which are really a large number of obstacles for businesses to negotiate when dealing with one another, and sensible, experience-based judgement when it comes to the contractual agreement side of things. This book does just that.

Bibliographic data: lxvii +885 pages. Price: £185. Hardback. ISBN: 978 1 84766 479 2. Web page here. Rupture factor: a tiny bit more than Trevor's book (above).

Who but Sweet & Maxwell -- displaying once again what a less kind reviewer than this Kat might term chronic ineptitude when it comes to getting their printed products on to any meaningful web presence -- would publish and sell a book which is red [even though the IPKat is notoriously colour-blind, he does occasionally recognise that colour], but display online a book which is, without any shade of doubt, black? The IPKat's friend Spyros Maniatis, author of the first edition of Trade Marks in Europe: a Practical Jurisprudence and co-author with OHIM's Dimitris Botis, deserves better than that!

What, then, does the publisher say about this book? According to the web-blurb, it:
"* Provides a practical and critical overview of the state of trade mark law in Europe
* Takes the perspective of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice
* [provides] Authoritative case commentary including the recent Adwords and Budweiser decisions
* Follows the protection system from its early days to its current fully-developed multi-tier European system
* Makes comparisons with the jurisprudence of the US Supreme Court
* Examines recent key ECJ judgments, noting in particular areas of controversy including their distinctiveness, functionality and dilution
* Looks at the cross-over between trade mark law and other practice areas, including unfair competition and international trade".
The IPKat says, this edition is more than merely an updating of its predecessor. The analysis of the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice and the General Court, particularly on issues such as registrability, has matured along with the case law itself. Also, since so many of the cases since the first edition reflect on the challenges faced by brand-owners and their competitors in the marketplace, the authors' contributions are less self-conscious pronouncements of what the courts have said and are more directed towards the real world from which the constant flow of European trade mark disputes comes. This book is very welcome. And here's a personal message for the evil soul who borrowed this reviewer's first edition and never troubled to return it: you can keep it now, I've got something much better to be going on with ...

Bibliographic data: lxx + 1,013 pages. Hardback. ISBN 978-1-847-03904-0. Web page here. Rupture factor: medium to high.
The Big Red Book Review The Big Red Book Review Reviewed by Jeremy on Thursday, August 19, 2010 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks, Jeremy, for your very kind review of our book. And I agree with your comments about Trevor.



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