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Intellectual Property in Common Law and Civil Law | by Phillip Taylor MBE
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Intellectual Property in Common Law and Civil Law

BOOK REVIEW

 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN COMMON LAW AND CIVIL LAW

Edited by Toshiko Takenaka

 

ISBN: 978 0 85793 436 9

 

Edward Elgar Publishing limited

 

www.e-elgar.com

 

 

COMMON LAW & CIVIL LAW TRADITIONS WORLDWIDE: SOME ILLUMINATING INSIGHTS

 

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

 

This interesting compendium of learned articles from a team of almost twenty international legal scholars constitutes and certainly promotes a comparative study of intellectual property law in both Asian and European jurisdictions. In any number of ways, this book is a real find for comparative lawyers as well as IP lawyers interested in acquiring a truly international perspective on developments in this field.

 

The book, says the editor, Toshiko Takenaka is the result of collaborations between European and Asian scholars who participated in a ten year project co-sponsored by the Research Center for the Legal System of Intellectual Property (RCLIP) at Waseda Law School in Tokyo and – in addition – its counterpart at the University of Washington in Seattle: the Center For Advanced Study and Research on Intellectual Property (CASRIP).

 

Interestingly this fruitful collaboration resulted in, among other things, the translation of over 1500 cases from France, Germany Italy and Spain and more from India and the UK being translated and eventually incorporated into the RCLIP database --available publicly, you will be pleased to discover -- and therefore a good thing for IP lawyers to know about.

 

To commemorate this important 10 year project, the articles contained in this volume have been especially written for it and are therefore reassuringly up to date. IP lawyers on both sides of the Atlantic will be particularly interested, for example, in the article co-authored by the editor with his colleague Martin J. Adelman on a lengthy patent law debate in America over what is known as the ‘first-to-file-priority’. This chronically controversial matter has now been resolved with the signing by President Obama of the America Invents Act (AIA) of 16 December 2011.

 

We were also taken by the article in the appendix on ‘The patent laws of old,’ by Mario Franzosi who explains that the concept of a patent law was a feature of the ancient world as well as the modern.

 

Franzosi quotes a law from Sybaris in southern Italy circa 510 BC – that often notorious city of luxury and excess as well as innovation. In part, the law states that ‘where one of either the caterers or the cooks invents an original and elaborate dish, no one other than the inventor is allowed to use the recipe therefore, before a year has passed and such that the inventor has the exclusive right to derive a profit there from’.

 

This intriguing insight, as well as the wealth of other information and comment in this book makes it a worthwhile acquisition for IP practitioners everywhere, particularly those making a comparative study of IP in both common law and civil law jurisdictions.

 

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Taken on May 11, 2013