Friday, 7 August 2015

Innovation, Competition And Collaboration: can we handle it?

Innovation, Competition And Collaboration, is a new title from the Anglo-US firm of Edward Elgar Publishing.  Edited by Dana Beldiman (Professor, Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, and Professor-in-Residence, UC Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco), both its title and its pedigree suggest that it should be of interest to Aistemos blog readers.  As the publishers' web-blurb states:
As innovation processes become increasingly collaborative, new relationships among players in the innovation space emerge. These developments demand new legal structures that allow horizontally integrated, open and shared use of IP. 
In this book, expert contributors review fundamental issues surrounding the collaborative use of IP and discuss emerging trends. The topics discussed include: the interpretation of FRAND terms in the context of standard essential patents; secondary liability of technology providers; contractual arrangements in trademark law, and the treatment of IP issues in specific emerging industries.
As it happens, this short volume (214 pages) is both written by and addressed to academics and practitioners. Curiously, when reviewing its introduction and nine substantive chapters, one senses a sort of cross-over in that the academics appear to be making some effort to open their thoughts to practitioners, while the one practitioner appears to make no less of an effort to address a level of principle and policy that will appeal to academics.  

Among the topics included are chapters on FRAND licensing, standardisation and standard-essential patents, open innovation, and a positive role for the public domain. Other rights are discussed, but the predominant flavour of the IP is that of patents. It's good to see text in which IPR still stands for "Intellectual Property Rights" rather than "Inter Partes Review". Contributors are drawn from the US and Europe.  If this reviewer had to pick one chapter that stood out in this excellent collection, he would go for Jacques de Werra's piece, "Managing the risks of intellectual property interdependence in the age of open innovation" with its sobering message that our sophistication in slicing and dicing intangible assets in an era of cooperation and collaboration requires not just better management skills but also dispute resolution mechanisms that are better able to address their users' commercial needs.

You can check out this little book here.

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