Book review: Global Governance of Intellectual Property in the 21st Century

Navigating through intellectual property law and policy on the global stage can at times feel like being an apocryphal blind man trying to describe an elephant. The aspects and impressions are so different that without a broad outlook and a sharing of experiences, it is quite impossible to see the full picture. As Francis Gurry put it at the CIPA Congress 2016 earlier this month, the world is just too complex for a single global IP strategy.

This principle is highlighted by Mark Perry's (ed.) Global Governance of Intellectual Property in the 21st Century, available from Springer here.

This book offers some fresh and contemporary perspectives on IP governance. By way of introduction, it promises a wide selection of intellectual property topics and invites readers with expertise relating to one aspect of IP or one geographic location to discover more about the wider governance framework.

The content really does deliver on this promise, being a selection of chapters by various authors from around the world. On the whole, they provide consolidatory, useful comparisons between IP rights and between countries which generally make the subject matter both accessible and engaging.

Probably for reasons of space rather than style, once or twice some important new issues seemed to appear in chapter conclusions which had not been mentioned in the main body of text. Still, given the range of topics covered it remains a suprisingly concise and slim volume - shoulder bag and toe-friendly. This Kat also considered the topics were very well selected.

The chapter on Chinese prior art provides a clear introduction to a specific matter of policy which initially feels familiar to western students of IP, but with some distinctly Chinese twists which are clearly laid out by the author, Lijuan Liu.

A later chapter deals with CJEU-made law relating to originality in copyright. Here, Thomas Margoni presents some original analysis of the CJEU standard against the backdrop of civil and common law incarnations.

Particular highlights for this Kat were two fascinating chapters on trade marks, in a row: one on trade marks and domain names, and the other on "non-conventional" marks. The background to the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy is rich, and Heather Ann Forest explains the topic and the legal tensions extremely well.  The chapter on non-conventional marks offers a fresh perspective, which feels very current and resonates with contemporary ideas about branding. This is brought to life by Llewellyn Joseph Gibbons' colourful use of examples.

So much more ground is covered  - including the ASEAN market, Foreign Direct Investment Agreements, intermediary liability in Australia and a thoughtful reflection on the Marrakesh Treaty. On the whole, a fine balance is struck between different legal systems and IP rights.

The final chapter is co-authored by the editor, Mark Perry, and Kylie Lingard. It explains the importance of patent mapping in areas such as crop innovation in order to avoid the "tragedy of the anticommons", and also showcases Perry's modelling tool, Patentomics. Mapping the relationships between patents may feel intuitive, but it is clearly easier said than done to present the spidery web of relationships visually. Patentomics is a stylish, easy to use tool which clearly has massive potential for innovators to navigate around the patent landscape.

The book neatly captures the challenges faced in global governance of IP and makes up an interesting mosaic through each snapshot. It is well worth a read for anybody with an interest in international policy.

Perry, Mark (ed). Global Governance of Intellectual Property in the 21st Century. Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016. ISBN: 978-3-319-31176-0 (Print) 978-3-319-31177-7 (Online). Available here.
Book review: Global Governance of Intellectual Property in the 21st Century Book review: Global Governance of Intellectual Property in the 21st Century Reviewed by Ellie Wilson on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 Rating: 5

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