Worth the wait, worth its weight

It's not often that the IPKat describes a book as being cheap when it weighs in at £295 and feels like it weighs 295 pounds, but Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Chemical Inventions: World Protection and Exploitation, edited by his good friend and enthusiastic IP strategist Duncan Bucknell, comes as close as any book ever will to achieving that accolade. In the IP bibliophile's menagerie this work -- bulky, heavy and grey -- is the equivalent of the elephant. However, unlike the elephant, which has a gestation period of just 22 months, this work appears to have been in the process of hatching for several years. This may account for both its maturity of content and its magnitude.

So what does the publisher have to say about this book?
  • "Major new title giving comprehensive coverage of intellectual property and patent law issues in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemical industries [there's not much that can be described as having been left out, that's for sure];
  • Unique topic-by-topic approach allows for a truly comparative analysis of the law in these sectors across 12 key jurisdictions [while it's not strictly unique, the topic-by-topic approach works best, as here, when there is a sufficient basis upon which to compare issues or legal functions as between jurisdictions];
  • Practical information on patent procedure in the different regimes enables patent owners, licensors, licensees, and those acting on behalf of them to make fully informed decisions regarding protection and exploitation of patent rights;
  • Jurisdictions covered include the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia, India, China, a European overview, as well as separate sections for the UK, Germany, Netherlands, France and Italy [if Italy persists in holding itself aloof from the EU's not-quite-unitary patent system, the inclusion of this jurisdiction may be quite far-sighted];
  • Written by a handpicked team of expert practitioners from each territory covered [can't argue with that!].
This book highlights the special issues arising in obtaining, commercialising, enforcing or attacking intellectual property rights (including protection of regulatory data) in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemical industries across the world's key jurisdictions. It is unique in presenting topic matter horizontally by subject to facilitate comparison between country practices. The first two chapters give a general introduction to the differences between the jurisdictions and an overview of some of the key concepts in patent law. The remainder of the book is dedicated to a detailed analysis of the major legal issues arising in these areas of technology. Each component chapter has a comparative introduction, looking at the variances in the laws of different domains, followed by side-by-side analysis of the relevant regimes, including tables and flow-charts which summarise and explain the key legal concepts. The jurisdictions covered are the United States, Europe (UK, Germany, Netherlands, France and Italy), Japan, Canada, Australia, India and China".
The Kat hasn't had a chance to read the book from cover-to-cover-to-cover-to-cover, and probably -- given its vast extent -- would be finishing it just in time for the second edition. However, he likes the bits he has dabbled in.  It is plain that a great deal of careful planning has gone into this work and that its execution has been accordingly meticulous.  The Kat congratulates Duncan, the book's contributors and the Oxford University Press folk who have combined to make this not only a truly useful reference work but the best argument to date for (i) reinforced workdesks or (ii) abandoning the printed page in favour of Nooks, Kindles and other electronic reading devices.

Bibliographical data. Two volumes of solid hardback, totalling some 2,536 pages. ISBN 978-0-19-928901-1. Price £295 [Merpel notes that prices are always expressed in the form of £295.00 or $490.00 -- but since the ".00" is superfluous, she agrees with the IPKat that there's no point in reproducing it]. Rupture factor: don't even think of lifting this title without going into training first. Hire a porter if necessary. Book's web page here. Opportunity to win a copy of this book here.
Worth the wait, worth its weight Worth the wait, worth its weight Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 Rating: 5

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