Book reviews

Apart from the light-bulb symbolism
on the cover, this book has much
to commend it to the busy reader
The IPKat has been perusing the second edition of Essentials of Intellectual Property, by Alexander I. Poltorak and Paul J. Lerner (both of General Patent Corporation).  Given the versatility and indeed the enthusiasm of the pair, it is unsurprising that the book's cover bears the subtitle 'Law, Economics and Strategy', these being but three of the many disciplines which the authors illuminate for the business reader (they can do algebra too, but 'Law, Economics, Strategy and Algebra' might be a bit too off-putting for the target readership).

Since this book has emerged nearly a decade after the first edition, it has been treated to a major update. Considering that the years since 2002 have seen such momentous activity -- the death or obsolescence of many classic business models, the rise of trollism, the combined opportunities and threats of the internet, the Doha dilution of pharma patent expectations, direction-changing Supreme Court rulings like eBay v MercExchange as well as shifts in legal and commercial perspectives resulting from Bilski and the current raft of litigation over false patent marking, to name but a few -- it would have been impossible to avoid a big rethink.

But whatever the changes, the things that remain the same have to be rammed into the reader's consciousness and it is the virtue of this book that it does just that.  Go where the money is, be prepared to share in order to grow, check how much protection you need in order to fulfill your objectives, watch out for your own liability as well as that of others -- these are among the messages that the author transmit.  For the record, this new edition includes
• Latest changes to patent law and IP best practices;
• Two all-new chapters, one on recent patent reform legislation and a second on precedent-setting lawsuits;
• Basics of patents, trade marks, copyrights, trade dress and trade secrets, specifically written for busy executives
• Methodologies of patent valuation;
• DOs and DON’Ts of patent enforcement;
• Samples of useful documents, eg a non-disclosure agreement, invention assignment form, invention disclosure form and IP audit questionnaire.
It's not a law textbook -- but it is a fun read and a very informative one. In the olden days this Kat would have taken it to read cover-to-cover on a long flight, but nowadays it takes so long to get through security that he could probably read most of it then.  The algebra is near the end, so you can pretend it isn't there ...

Bibliographic data.  Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Paperback. xxviii + 292 pages. Price: US$ 45. ISBN 978 0 470 88850 6. Available also via in Kindle format and via Barnes & Noble as a NOOKbook. Rupture factor: no problems.

From Bloom to Bloomsbury -- it's IP in Ireland
Not a second edition this time but a third, and also not a moment too soon, is Intellectual Property Law in Ireland, crafted by a talented trio of the IPKat's friends -- distinguished academic Bob Clark, plus that amiable pair of practitioners from FRKelly, Shane Smyth & Niamh Hall.

Only six years after its predecessor, this edition has had to run very fast to keep up with events.  The rapid unfolding of developments in the European Union and its Court of Justice, the Irish version of the "three stripes" saga and some bonny battles over fashion design have provided some of the reasons for this need. Anyway, according to the publisher's blurb, 

"This is your single-source expert guide to intellectual property law. fully updated to the key changes that have taken place in this area of law since the publication of the 2nd Ed in 2005, together with all relevant case claw. 
This unique book deals with intellectual property law in its entirety, providing a single, practical and all-embracing information source covering the main aspects of intellectual property law. The expert coverage includes copyright, trade marks, patents and design law".
The IPKat feels that the publishers could have done a bit better than this.  They could have pointed out that there is an increasingly significant body of reported Irish IP law these days. They could have added that, while much of the past tense of Irish is made up of British precedents, and an even larger proportion of its future tense is European, Ireland is very much its own country with its own style and tempo of dispute resolution, its own approach to administration and official procedures, its own interpretative nuances, its own professions and its own domestic market.  The authors have worked hard to provide a reference work which is readable, accessible and -- for the reader who frets over whether European norms of protection and enforcement are adequately implemented -- increasingly reassuring.

Bibliographic data:  Hardback.clvii + 1080 pages. Price  €180/£150. ISBN 978 1 847 66366 5. Book's web page here. Rupture factor: severe (particularly for leprechauns ...)
Book reviews Book reviews Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. Re: Essentials of Intellectual Property - What? Not a word of complaint about the light bulb cover design?

  2. @Anonymous -- you didn't read the caption under the cover illustration! "Apart from the lightbulb symbolism on the cover, this book has much to commend it to the busy reader"

  3. Whew! - the world makes sense again...


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