Darren Smyth rejoins JIPLP editorial board

We are delighted to announce that patent attorney Darren Smyth, a partner in the London office of the IP practice EIP, is rejoining the JIPLP editorial board, of which he was a founder member. 

Darren has been a regular contributor to the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice and a valued peer reviewer.  He is a member of the IPKat team and a blogger in his own right, on the IP Alchemist.  The holder of a DPhil in synthetic organic chemistry, Darren is a regular participant in conferences and seminars; more details of his professional background can be found here.

JIPLP starts a LinkedIn Group

With the hope of bringing our readers and contributors closer together, JIPLP has just opened a LinkedIn Group. The idea behind it is that, if JIPLP is to be more than just another IP law journal, it must embrace the opportunities which the social media offer in order to establish an interactive community in which readers can discuss and suggest prospective topics for publication in the journal and authors can test out some of their thoughts and ideas before submitting their ideas.

This LinkedIn Group is admittedly a bit experimental, in that the publisher and the editorial team are keeping an open mind as to how readers' suggestions and comments might shape contributors' ideas as to what short of articles and current intelligence notes they should be writing. If you'd like to participate in this process, do join us: you can access this Group here.

More titles to review

Following our post last Thursday offering books for review, here's another list of books for which JIPLP seeks reviewers.  If you think that you are the right person to review one of these titles, please email Sarah Harris at sarah.harris@oup.com and tell her, by not later than close of play on Wednesday 27 November. If you are not yet known to us, please let us have sight of your CV or some other explanation as to why you feel that the book should be reviewed by you rather than anyone else.

The books on offer are as follows:

Title: Knowledge Management and Intellectual Property: Concepts, Actors and Practices from Past to Present
Editors: Stathis Arapostathis and Graham Dutfield
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
"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.".
Further information is available from the book's web page here

Title: Holyoak & Torremans Intellectual Property Law (7th edition)
Author: Paul Torremans
Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • A concise and thoroughly readable introduction to intellectual property law in the UK; the European and increasingly international dimensions are also explored
  • Places the recent developments in intellectual property law in their economic and social contexts, ensuring students are able to understand the fundamental underpinnings of intellectual property law
  • Flow diagrams and charts help illustrate key principles and processes
  • Chapter introductions and concluding overviews set the scene and provide a succinct summary of the topics, as well as prompting areas for further thought
Further information is available from the book's web page here

Title: Intellectual Property and Digital Content (two volumes)
Editor: Richard S Gruner
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
"Few changes in the world of intellectual property (IP) have been as transformative as the advent and proliferation of digital content works. The high value of these works in modern society has prompted calls for new IP standards to promote the protection – and the sharing – of such valuable assets. 
Assembling some of the best analyses by legal scholars, these volumes explore the implications both of applying older IP standards to the new digital technologies and of devising new enhanced IP standards for the digital age. In covering the influences of patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret and other intellectual property laws, this wide-ranging collection reflects the sweeping impacts of IP standards and controversies on digital content works."
Further information is available from the book's web page here

Books for review

Here's a list of books for which JIPLP seeks reviewers.  If you think that you are the right person to review one of these titles, please email Sarah Harris at sarah.harris@oup.com and tell her, by not later than close of play on Monday 25 November.  If you are not yet known to us, please let us have sight of your CV or some other explanation as to why you feel that the book should be reviewed by you rather than anyone else.

Title: Freedom of Artistic Expression

Author: Dr Paul Kearns
Publisher: Hart Publishing Co.
"This book presents a unique and comprehensive examination of the human and moral rights of artists. In what is arguably the first exhaustive book-length account of artists' rights, Paul Kearns explores the problems associated with censorship, both from philosophical and legal perspectives, and focuses on the various ways in which the morality of art is legally regulated in different jurisdictions. In relation to human rights, English, French and American law, the law of the European Convention on Human Rights, European Union law and public international law are all closely scrutinised to discover the extent to which they offer protection for artistic freedom. The author also examines domestic and international law in respect of artists' moral rights, the law of copyright and related laws. In short, the book provides an original, and sometimes controversial, analysis of persistent concerns regarding the legal regulation of the arts universally, doctrinally and theoretically, and seeks to offer an holistic treatment which will appeal to art lawyers, artists and those interested in the future of the arts".
Further details can be accessed on this book's web page here.

Title: Guidebook to Intellectual Property (6th edition)
Authors: Sir Robin Jacob, Daniel Alexander QC and Matt Fisher
Publisher: Hart Publishing Co.
"This is a unique book about Intellectual Property. It is aimed not only at law students studying the subject but also at interested users of IP - business people, inventors, scientists, designers and the like. It provides an outline of the basic legal principles which underpin and reguilate the subject, educatuing the reader as to the shape of the law. However, critically, it also gives insight into how the system actually works. You cannot understand chess by merely learning the rules - you also have to know how the game is played: so too with Intellectual Property".
Further details can be accessed on this book's web page here


Title: Patent Misuse and Antitrust law
Author: Daryl Lim
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
"This unique book provides a comprehensive account of the patent misuse doctrine and its relationship with antitrust law. Created to remedy and discourage misconduct by patent owners a century ago, its proper role today is debated more than ever before. Innovation and competition take place in increasingly complex environments that demand a clear understanding of where illegality ends and legitimate corporate strategy begins. 
The book is an essential resource for the curious, the expert and all those engaged in deciding what patent misuse means and should mean today. In addition to in-depth doctrinal and policy perspectives, it looks at patent misuse through the eyes of today’s leading practitioners, judges, government officials and academics. It also presents a qualitative analysis of modern misuse case law spanning 1953 to 2012. The result is a compelling account that lays out an important doctrinal, policy and empirical framework for future cases and scholarship."
Further details can be accessed on this book's web page here


Title: Intellectual Property Law
Authors: Tina Hart, Simon Clark and Lisa Fazzani
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
The authors combine backgrounds in academic teaching and top level private practice to produce an intellectually stimulating yet practical introduction to the world of copyright, designs, patents and trade mark law". 
Further details can be accessed on this book's web page here

Living With Uncertainty: a JIPLP Editorial

Here's the Editorial for the December 2013 issue of JIPLP, which was published online yesterday (click here for contents).
Living with uncertainty

Some years ago, commenting on the state of reform of European trade mark law, Sir Robin Jacob observed that, while there was now the appearance of a substantial revision and clarification of the law, the truth of the matter was that all the biggest and most basic issues remained unresolved: questions like “what can you actually register as a trade mark?” Although the best part of two decades have passed since Sir Robin made this point, a host of cases referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union and a further bout of European trade mark reform do not appear to have lessened the truth of his words. While this editorial is being written, lawyers are still arguing over how to register colours, shapes, three-dimensional objects and even words as trade marks, while debate continues over whether the registration of a mark for goods described by their Nice Class headings retroactively gifts the applicant all the goods in that Class or not. The extent, if any, to which trade mark coexistence agreements bind their parties or are accepted by the courts remains uncertain, with wide variations between countries whose businesses trade extensively with one another. And as for jurisdiction where brand-bearing websites are pointed to, or accessible from, other countries, the permutation of possibilities remains complex.

But trade marks are not the only area of intellectual property in which uncertainty is king. Who would be so wise as to predict the latest nuances of patentability and patent-eligibility in the United States, where the toss of a coin has been replaced by an appeal to the Supreme Court as the closest thing to a random call, and this in a field of law in which the availability and validity of patents underpins billions of dollars invested in ICT software, business methods and genetics, to name but three disciplines. At present, the situation in Europe is more stable, since there is no random appeal court of equivalent influence, but in consequence of the adoption of a new unified court system the European Union will have created its own patents appeal court: it is hoped that the constraints of the old continent's new patent system will leave that new appeal court less free than its transatlantic cousins to exercise the sort of judicial creativity that law students love and businesses dread.

It need hardly be added that the law of copyright remains in flux as the constant flow of new information storing and transmitting technologies continues to produce fresh factual situations that legislators cannot have foreseen or which, if they had foreseen them, they would not have known how best to rule for them. Even apart from that, the ever-changing battle-lines in the war between freedom of expression, protection of property, respect for privacy and transformative use make it difficult to give firm advice in all but the most clear-cut situations.

But uncertainty is not necessarily a bad thing. Where an intellectual property right may or may not exist, or equally where it exists but may or may not be enforced with the desired effect, both the IP owner and his commercial adversaries must make some big, risk-driven calculations. One need hardly be an expert in such situations to know that, on a simple application of game theory, where the likelihood of success is far from guaranteed and the cost of failure is greater than can be borne, cooperation brings its own reward. Such cooperation is part of the fabric of IP today in many sectors in which the principles underpinning fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licence pools are reflection of fear, rational anxiety and the conscious desire to replace risk with something more reliably bankable.

December JIPLP now online: here are the contents

The December 2013 issue of JIPLP is now available online.  As usual, subscribers to the online version of the journal can access all these items immediately.  Non-subscribers can gain short-term access to the items below by visiting the JIPLP website and paying the access fee.

The Editorial for this issue will be posted on this weblog tomorrow morning, so watch this space!


Current Intelligence

Festive Feature


From GRUR Int.

IP in Review