Wednesday Whimsies II

Top Brass: the Kat duets with Bird & Bird ...
What do IPKats do in their summer holidays? This Kat goes back to school -- the 12th annual IBC Intellectual Property Summer School -- or at any rate for a little bit of it.  The school's setting is the congenially idyllic Downing College, Cambridge, where generations of students have done what, er, generations of students tend to do -- but between 13 and 17 August, when the IP Top Brass come marching in, there aren't many indigenous students around so one has to use one's imagination.  The Kat's visit takes place on Thursday 16 August when he will be generally buzzing around the coffee machine, engaging registrants in his usual philosophical dialectic and pitching in to David Keeling's Break-out Interactive Workshop and trade mark mock arbitration [or should that be 'mock trade mark arbitration', Merpel ponders].

Every trade mark owner's worst
nightmare -- a sponsor's mark
that can't be clearly read ...
The faculty for the week is formidable and could easily take on the Cambridge University Law Faculty at beach volleyball.  Well known IP personalities who are participating this year include Sir Robin Jacob, who is at least as Professorial as anyone Cambridge has to offer, being one himself. Much the same can be said of the evergreen Adrian Sterling. Former academics who have gone on to greater things include the Secret Scholar John Hull and -- if blogging can be considered a greater thing -- the author of this blog post.  And let's not forget the encyclopaedic Trevor Cook and the wise Morag Macdonald from Bird & Bird (and there are plenty more besides). It's not actually true to say that the Summer School is an unmissable event, since every year most people do in fact miss it and live to tell the tale. However, the combination of the camaraderie, the courses and the Cam confer upon the Summer School the status of a catalyst.  You will start the week and finish it a changed IP person ...

To take a long, cool look at the programme for this year's summer school, click here.  Using the same link, as an IPKat reader you can secure a generous 25% discount by quoting the IPKat's very own VIP code FKW82284IPK.  PS The course is residential, which means that you can sleep there overnight and not during the lecture sessions ...

As a matter of information ... The third edition of Paul Pedley's ever-so-useful Essential Law for Information Professionals, published by Facet, came out not so long ago but the IPKat has only just begun to catch up with himself and get something posted about this useful UK-with-a-somewhat-European-flavoured tome. Let's start with what the publisher says:
"A brand new edition of this best-selling text offering up-to-date and easy-to-follow practical advice on the law as it affects information management and the fundamental principles underlying practice. Using individual cases to illustrate underlying principles and contextualize regulations it manages to cut through the legalese and provide exactly what’s needed in an easily digestible format [the style helps here; lucid English, helpful boxes and tables and positively no footnotes]. This gives you the tools to quickly assess legal hazards and identify solutions. New and up-to-date coverage includes: 
• the Digital Economy Act 2010 and its implications for libraries 
• the Open Government License and the re-use of public sector information 
• patents and trade marks 
CILIP’s guidelines on user privacy in libraries [bet that's a new one for many readers of this weblog!]
• the move to extend legal deposit to electronic content 
• recent changes in libel law 
• the Data Protection Act and new penalties for infringement 
• digital content and platforms 
• open access and social networking.
This is an essential guide for anyone working in the information professions. It is also the ideal legal textbook for students of information studies and librarianship.
The book's website is here.  Incidentally, the range of publications on the publisher's website which relate to information-related subjects with significant legal angles is quite remarkable. While law books which are written for lawyers will generally tell you what the law is, and are invaluable when litigating or deciding how to respond to commercial developments, books like Paul Pedley's are invaluable for another reason: they help you predict how information managers will behave when, by training and habit of thought they are risk-averse and not generally armed with a purse with which to bring test cases.  In other words, there's plenty of food for thought here ...

Institutional embeddedness.  Slightly off-blog since it doesn't have a huge amount to do with intellectual property, but nonetheless fascinating, is a book which, this Kat frankly admits, he wouldn't even have bothered to open if publishers Edward Elgar hadn't sent him a free copy -- it's called Innovation and Institutional Embeddedness of Multinational Companies, a collection of essays edited by Martin Heidenreich. It's part of a series called New Horizons in International Business, a series which does embrace innovation and competition issues though it does so in a context with which most readers of this weblog, together with this blogger, may not be particularly familiar.  So what does the publisher have to say about this work? According to the web-blurb:
"Multinational companies are crucial actors in a global knowledge-based economy, combining the advantages of global and locally coordinated production and innovation strategies with specific regional and national factors. This book questions how MNCs can best exploit institutionally embedded knowledge, explores the utilization of external institutionally embedded knowledge in corporate innovation processes, and addresses the challenges of embeddedness.

The expert contributors draw on managerial, economic, geographic and sociological perspectives to explore the essential roles of regional and national knowledge infrastructures and the cultural and political environment of MNCs. They build upon, update, and extend the discussion on the regional and national embeddedness of MNCs with new country case studies and comparative analyses, focusing on the relationship between innovation in companies and regional studies. Significantly, the book also establishes a link between two important debates that have hitherto been largely disconnected: regional studies and international business studies separately address issues that fall within the scope of the book, but do not provide an integrated analysis of the embeddedness of MNCs.

This pathbreaking [whatever happened to the much-loved cliche 'groundbreaking'?] book goes some way to fill this gap in the literature and as such, will prove invaluable to academics, R&D managers, regional policy makers and students with an interest in international business, business economics, regional studies and organization studies".
This blogger was half-hoping to read more about open innovation, a subject which is mentioned on several occasions within the work and which struck him as an excellent antidote to institutional embeddedness  -- and a far more effective one than outsourcing, which is given more space. To be fair, though, there is now the best part of two decades-worth of solid writing and data concerning outsourcing, while much of the literature on open innovation, if not persuasive or polemic, is still short of serious empirical data which will endear it to scholars.

The book's web page is here.

A touch of Class heading your way ... Followers of @IPKat on Twitter will have spotted his excited Tweet that the Court of Justice of the European Union is handing down its ruling on the legal statius of trade mark registry class heading in Case C-307/10 Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (better known as 'IP TRANSLATOR') on Tuesday 19 June at the estimated time of 9.30am.  Regular readers of this blog will now have correctly guessed that the IPKat is going to recommend that they read and indeed re-read Richard Ashmead's outstanding trilogy of posts (herehere and here) on the important issues which this ruling raises, not just for the administration of the Community and national trade mark systems but for businesses too.
Wednesday Whimsies II Wednesday Whimsies II Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for drawing my attention to Paul Pedley’s new book. I will get a copy to go with his book on copyright compliance.

    You will be amused to learn that I didn’t know about CILIP’s guidelines on user privacy in libraries (and I’m a member).

    I think it’s fair to say that we are risk-averse on copyright issues, the problem is that “Chris Torrero said it was OK” when it isn’t has worse consequences than “Chris Torrero thought there might be problems”, when there are in fact none. It is also difficult for those without legal training and experience to evaluate the consequences of (alleged) infringement both in terms of damages and in time for lawyers.


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