Book review: "seasoned and enduring" page-turner

Intellectual Property Operations and Implementation in the 21st Century Corporation is the title of a handsomely-produced tome edited by the triumvirate of Lanning G. Bryer, Scott J. Lebson and Matthew D. Asbell.  From the all-pervasive middle initials of the threesome, the reader will instantly guess that this work is of United States provenance, which leads the IPKat to make the one complaint he's going to make. While there is little on the book's cover to indicate its US thrust (there's a reference to the Federal Acquisition Regulations n the back cover), the contents scream out "US of A". This is not a book about the rest of the world. Message for publisher: next time, ask the editors to add some useful clues and bolt-on material on IP operations and implementation outside the US. We live in a global marketplace these days and few successful businesses can comfortably rest at their nation's borders and say, "well, that's it!"  The editors can easily manage to deliver it: they hail from Ladas & Parry, which had offices in Europe before most of today's leading international IP practices were founded evolved into their present state -- and the firm has them there still.

It's always a good guide to the character of a book to see what the publisher says about it. In this instance:
"Intellectual Property Operations and Implementation helps executives, attorneys, accountants, managers, and owners understand the legal, technological, economic, and cultural changes that have affected corporate IP ownership and management.

Page by page [now that's a neat trick for a book!], it provides practical examples and advice from seasoned and enduring professionals [this Kat notices that, while corporations come and corporations go, IP attorneys in private practice are "seasoned and enduring". Remember this next time you're giving a youngster any career advice] who have adopted new and streamlined methods and practices whether as in-house or outside counsel, or service providers.
  • Timely and relevant in view of the substantially global economic recession amidst rampant technological development and the resulting changes in law, practice, and culture  
  • Examines the decision making processes, activities, and changes of significant corporate intellectual property owners in today's new economy 
Important and timely [repetition: see first bullet :-)], this book provides a global approach to corporate IP management".
Well, it does. And despite -- or possibly because of -- its US bias it reads well and does what it says on the web-blurb. While the book is cunningly disguised as the work of three authors (the word "editor" does not appear in relation to the editors on the web page or covers: you first encounter it at p.xix), it is the product of a team of nearly 20 contributors whose words and thoughts are sufficiently well integrated into the text as a whole as to make the book flow well from topic to topic.  Although this volume is a sequel to the authors' (editors'?) earlier IP Strategies for the 21st Century Corporation and is clearly intended to be read along with it, this collection stands by itself and this reviewer did not feel deprived by the fact that his long-promised review copy is still presumably in transit [or worse, Merpel moans, it might be held at Customs ...].

What about the US bias? Given that so many of the world's major corporations (i) are American, (ii) trade extensively in America or (iii) conduct themselves as if they were Americans, it's a good idea to read this and see what advice they're given. While some bits -- for example the very good, if depressing, chapter on dealing with the government -- are inevitably specific to the US, others carry general advice, guidance and insights that are either of global value or can easily be exported and translated from one jurisdiction to another. The chapters on branding, valuation, internships and outsourcing are cases in point.

This is not a business-card book or a speculative volume that makes things up as it goes along. The chapters are on the whole very well researched and sources are footnoted. There's a lot to be gained by reading it. But if you read it, read it soon: its topicality in a fast-changing world suggests that, if it sells well, we won't have long to wait for the next edition.

Bibliographic data: ISBN: 978-1-1180-7587-6. Hardcover. xix + 316 pages. Published November 2011. Price: £65 or 76 euro. Rupture factor: moderate. Website here.
Book review: "seasoned and enduring" page-turner Book review: "seasoned and enduring" page-turner Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. " provides practical examples and advice from seasoned and enduring professionals .."
    So that's what 'enduring power of attorney' means!


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