Guest Book Review – Tritton on Intellectual Property in Europe

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Tritton on Intellectual Property in Europe is now in its Sixth Edition. This weighty tome from Sweet & Maxwell is edited by Richard Davis, Thomas St Quintin and Guy Tritton from Hogarth Chambers, London. 

The key change in this new edition is the impact of Brexit which permeates everything but whose impact on IP law is still largely TBC. One of the key changes which is singled out by the book’s thought provoking preface is the more flexible approach to the use of copyright to protect industrial objects which has been developed in recent CJEU cases such as Levola, Cofemel and Brompton. The authors are not fans of this approach and anticipate this being one of the first major sources of divergence between UK and EU law. 

In terms of structure, the book remains in a conventional and easy to follow format. After a short introduction, it undertakes a close examination of the various IP rights from patents to plant varieties. Broadly speaking, each of these chapters starts with a short and accessible introduction into the philosophical basis for the right. It asks why this right is necessary and how protection has evolved in a European context. It then goes on to consider the various international treaties and finishes with a closer look at the particular issues that can arise when obtaining or litigating the relevant right in Europe. The treaty section is particularly clear. The interplay of the various IP treaties is often a challenge to explain in a simple and coherent fashion. Tritton is more than up to this challenge.

The trade marks chapter is very comprehensive at over 300 pages, as noted in the preface, it could almost be a book in its own right! This chapter considers the impact of the various treaties, particularly the harmonising EU Trade Mark Directive and EU Trade Mark Regulation and important European concepts such as exhaustion, online targeting, keywords and other greatest hits from the trade mark world. 

Designs get comparatively little attention which is no doubt due to space limitations (the book has almost 1,500 pages excluding the tables of cases and legislation) but given the many design complexities in Europe, it is the one topic where a bit more detail would have been welcome. 

As a non-plant variety specialist, I enjoyed reading (and perhaps even finally understanding) how plant variety rights work in a European context – including the interplay between patent law, TRIPS, UPOV and the EU Regulation on Plant Rights. 

Once each of the identified IP rights has been examined in detail, the rest of the book is concerned with specific topics which can be relevant to all IP rights from free movement of goods to competition law, technology transfer licences, enforcement, border controls and jurisdiction.

Overall, the book offers an excellent and well written insight into the many complexities of European IP law. It is useful for IP practitioners whether located in Europe or beyond. An excellent addition to any IP lawyer’s bookshelf! 

What does the publisher say?

According to Sweet & Maxwell, in addition to the major changes prompted by Brexit, other new features include: 

Reviews the Supreme Court decisions in Warner Lambert v Generics and Regeneron v Kymab on insufficiency and plausibility

Commentary on the CJEU decision in Santen SAS v DGINPI on SPCs

A new section concerning IPR disputes between employers and employees

Overhaul of the chapter on Article 102 as to when exercising IPRs may amount to an abuse of a dominant position

Updated trade mark decisions of CJEU and General Court including those on “evergreening”, “bad faith”, genuine use and second-hand use, and liability of Online Market Operators

Full analysis of CJEU decisions on “industrial copyright” and “communication to the public”.

Updates on The Digital Single Market Directive and developments at the UPC

Analysis of CJEU decisions in Nintendo v Big Ben and Acacia v BMW on jurisdictional issues on enforcement of EU unitary rights

Publisher: Sweet & Maxwell

ISBN: 9780414089389

Hardback price: £325

Also available as an ebook

Extent: 384 pp

Guest Book Review – Tritton on Intellectual Property in Europe Guest Book Review – Tritton on Intellectual Property in Europe Reviewed by Hayleigh Bosher on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 Rating: 5

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