Monday, 24 August 2015

Intellectual Property Rights as Foreign Direct Investments: a new book

Intellectual Property Rights as Foreign Direct Investments: From Collision to Collaboration by Lukas Vanhonnaeker (McGill University, Montréal), has just been published by Anglo-American publishing house Edward Elgar in its Elgar International Investment Law series (it's a small series so far, consisting of just three books, of which this is the second of the two so far published).

What is this book about? It's not about whether intellectual property rights are an asset class or about how they can be traded as such internationally, through online or bricks-and-mortar auction houses or in any other way; nor is it about trolls, standard-essential global rights, securitisation or purchasing income streams -- some of the more obvious topics that might be suggested by inhabitants of the intellectual property finance and investment field.  Rather, it looks at the way in which international investment law gets in the way of direct cross-border investment. As the publishers explain:
"What is the level of convergence between the international investment law framework and the international legal regime regulating intellectual property rights? This discerning book examines the interface between intellectual property and foreign direct investments.

Taking a multi-disciplinary approach, the author scrutinizes the circumstances in which, and the extent to which, international investment law’s traditional protective standards apply to intellectual property rights investments. After concluding that the TRIPS agreement has shortcomings in this respect, the author analyses intellectual property rights in the context of international investment law in light of traditional standards of protection including the protection against indirect expropriation, the National Treatment Principle, the Most-Favoured Nation clause, fair and equitable treatment, and the prohibition of performance requirements, while emphasizing the importance of transfers of technology within and to developing countries. These explorations contribute to the debates surrounding the fragmentation of international law arising from its expansion and diversification.
It's quite refreshing to see some body of law other than IP being described as having "traditional protective standards". It's also significant that, while IP law becomes ever-closer through international treaties, regional, bilateral and plurilateral trade agreements and the like, international law is described as undergoing a process of fragmentation.

This is a 320-page hardback which will cost you £80 (online from the publisher £72). The ISBN is 978 1 78471 250 1 or, if you want the e-book option, eISBN: 978 1 78471 251 8. The book's web page is here.

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