From 1-click and the ActionAid Chip to zwart maken, Peter Groves’ Dictionary of Intellectual Property Law (Edward Elgar, 28 February 2011, £70) provides IP professionals and other interested parties with over 1,000 definitions covering most of the expressions that they might encounter.
Dubbed by one lawyer ‘the Dr Johnson of intellectual property’, Groves’ work is not merely informative but also entertaining, erudite and occasionally acerbic. ‘Compulsively readable’, wrote another reviewer, in an email headed ‘Darn you, Peter Groves’, complaining that he was supposed to be studying a patent specification. Law books don’t have to be dry-as-dust, nor do they have to be for lawyers only.
You may not believe this, but patent law just got sexy,’ wrote The Lawyer back in 2004, commenting on a couple of cases in what we then called the House of Lords. To lawyers working in this area, what was hard to believe was that the rest of the world hadn’t already noticed. Compared to most other areas of law, intellectual property law as a whole – copyright and trade marks as well as patents – has been sexy for a long, long time.
One reason for its sexiness is the way government and business have embraced the idea that IP is valuable and important. In our everyday lives we engage with IP every day, downloading copyright material from the Internet legally (or not), going for the branded goods in the supermarket (or not) and doing thousands of other little things that involve it.
Yet to say that there is widespread ignorance about intellectual property is a massive understatement. What is said and written on the subject is more urban myth than solid legal understanding. Ordinary people – those who aren’t IP professionals – often have a hard time telling patents from trademarks from copyright. Many lawyers don’t know the difference, either. There’s no dictionary of intellectual property law to tell them what the words and expressions mean… until now. Peter Groves, a solicitor with 30 years’ experience of intellectual property, several books and many articles to his credit, and hundreds of hours of lecturing under his belt, has spent much of the last few years putting one together.
Intellectual property has a vast, perplexing and diverse vocabulary, and this enriching Dictionary provides a starting point for understanding new concepts and crafting precise definitions to meet the needs of a particular case. Not only are new words and phrases being coined as technology changes and the law follows, but also the international scope of intellectual property means that IP lawyers will encounter foreign words and phrases.
With over 1000 expressions defined clearly and entertainingly, this book should be the first reference point to understanding intellectual property terminology. It will be particularly helpful to practitioners when they encounter expressions they have not seen before which they need to understand the true meaning and definition of. Students finding unfamiliar terminology and concepts will also appreciate the instant explanation available from this essential resource.
Feb 2011 c 288 pp Hardback 978 1 84980 777 7c £70.00 • e978 1 84980 778 4
ELGAR ORIGINAL REFERENCE
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