A little December reading

True Patent Value is not just a book: it's author Larry M. Goldstein's manifesto, his credo, his unique message, his rallying cry to the value-sensitive sector of the intellectual property world. As Larry, who has not only written this work but has taken upon his shoulders the responsibility of publishing it, explains:
"Patent owners are constantly asking, “How do I know if my patent’s any good?” The author, a U.S. registered patent lawyer specializing in the technical areas known as Information & Communication Technologies, has been asked this question dozens of times. He wrote this book specifically to answer the questions, “What is a high-quality patent?”, and “What is a valuable patent?” 
The book includes three main sections.  The first of these is a review of basic patent concepts, and of techniques used by professional patent evaluators to review and rate patent quality. This is followed by twenty case studies of more than fifty patents, in which specific patent claims are shown to be good or bad, resulting in patent sales for millions of dollars, court decisions for hundreds of millions of dollars or, in some cases, complete loss. This same section also includes an analysis of the patent portfolios of three high-tech companies, reviewed by quality, by geographic balance, and by balance over time. For the benefit of readers, each case study or portfolio analysis concludes with a short and pointed list of “lessons learned”. The third section is a summary, in an easy-to-understand Question & Answer format, organized by main topic, followed by a glossary of more than 80 terms used in patent analysis.

Larry doesn't like to leave anything to chance. Accordingly he identifies four separate categories of reader: (i) entrepreneurs and engineers who until now had no way of judging how good their patents are; (ii) patent lawyers and agents looking for a concentration of live cases where specific drafting created (or failed to create) valuable patents; (iii) corporate executives, corporate board members and patent brokers, contemplating the purchase or sale of patent portfolios, and finally (iv) investment advisers, equity analysts, and investment bankers working with high-tech companies, all of whom need to understand whether a patent portfolio truly adds value. Each of these four groups of readers is steered towards the parts of the book which are of most relevance to them.

Having had the benefit of a long conversation with the author, this Kat is convinced that he really knows what he's talking about, within the ICT sector at any rate. Whether you fancy a go at valuing your own patents or, more likely, want to get a genuine feel of the subject so that you can better assess the advice received from professionals, you won't be disappointed by this readable, lucid tome.

The book's web page can be accessed here. It's a paperback, quite ample, but there's no rupture threat.


Intellectual Property and Human Rights, edited by Laurence R. Helfer (Harry R. Chadwick Sr Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law, United States), is another in publisher Edward Elgar's Critical Concepts in Intellectual Property Law series.  Unlike some of the other omnibus collections of published essays and articles that emanate from this stable, Intellectual Property and Human Rights, actually features some material from outside the United States -- in particular Christophe Geiger, whose classic piece on the impact of fundamental rights on IP in Europe is deservedly included. Not only that, but editor Laurence Helfer turns author of another item that focuses on the Old Continent, with "The New Innovation Frontier? Intellectual Property and the European Court of Human Rights".

According to the publisher's web-blurb:
"There is a growing body of scholarship analysing the many international organizations, government agencies and civil society groups whose activities define the relationship between human rights and intellectual property. This timely and engaging volume illustrates the richness and diversity of this literature. It explores the wider historical and institutional context of these topics; the meaning of key international instruments; writings that clarify ambiguous legal norms; works that advocate the recognition of new legal norms; institutional and strategic issues and critical or cautionary perspectives.

Including an original introduction [it's strange, thinks Merpel, that an eight and a half side description of topics are included in which Section of the book should be flagged as a potential selling point] by Professor Helfer, a leading scholar in the field, this is a must-have volume that will be of use to lawyers, judges, legal scholars and researchers interested in the areas of intellectual property and human rights and their intersection".
While there is much to commend both the individual contributions and the compendium as a whole, so far as this Kat is concerned there is no such thing as a "must-have volume that will be of use to lawyers, judges, legal scholars and researchers" if it lacks an index and tables of cited cases, treaties, statutes and the like.  Publisher: please take note. In a book that costs not much less than $400, this is surely not too much to ask.

Bibliographic data: xvii + 815 pages. ISBN 978 1 78195 384 6. Hardback US$390, online price from the publisher US$351. Rupture factor: serious.  Web page here.

Knowledge Management And Intellectual Property Concepts, Actors and Practices from the Past to the Present, edited by Stathis Arapostathis (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece) and Graham Dutfield (University of Leeds), welcomes some new (so far as this Kat is concerned) names and provides some enjoyably thought-provoking reading. This book is the fruit of not one but two collaborative projects -- the intriguingly-titled Owning and Disowning Invention and the IPBio Network.

What do the publishers, Edward Elgar Publishing, have to say about this tome?
"This diverse and insightful volume investigates changing patterns of knowledge management practices and intellectual property regimes across a range of different techno-scientific disciplines and cultures.

The book links the practices and regimes of the past with those of contemporary and emerging forms, covering the mid-19th century to the present. The contributors are noted scholars from various disciplines including history of science and technology, intellectual property law, and innovation studies. The chapters offer original perspectives on how proprietary regimes in knowledge production processes have developed as a socio-political phenomenon of modernity, as well as providing an analysis of the way individuals, institutions and techno-sciences interact within this culture.

With in-depth analysis, this book will appeal to academics and students of STS (Science, Technology and Society), history of science and technology, business history, innovation studies, law, science and technology policy as well as business studies. Historians of science and technology and business will also find much to interest them in this book".
This Kat liked the history bits best, not just because he's old enough to remember some of them but, more significantly, because the IP debates of bygone times are in many ways more accessible to us, possibly on account of the relatively late arrival in the debating chamber of the economists who now seem to have colonised the policy aspects of IP so completely.

Bibliographic data: xii + 306 pages. Hardback ISBN 978 0 85793 438 3 ebook ISBN 978 0 85793 439 0. Price: hardback £85 (online from the publisher £76.50). Rupture factor: low.  Web page here.
A little December reading A little December reading Reviewed by Jeremy on Sunday, December 01, 2013 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Books about patents seem to be getting better. I wonder though whether they have to be so long. They all seem to start at the basics and then get to the new bit, and I'm sure the 'new' bit can't be very long. I suppose though books are meant to be freestanding and people expect them to be 200 pages plus.

    I also wonder how we get from books to legislation. I hope legislators do a lot of reading.


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