Two new books have recently been released by Edward Elgar Publishing, each of which might be imagined to offer something to readers who work in the field of investment and innovation analytics. One is International Investment Law and Development: Bridging the Gap, edited by Stephan W. Schill, Christian J. Tams and Rainer Hofmann. The other is a Research Handbook, Entrepreneurial Finance, edited by Javed G. Hussain and Jonathan M. Scott.
Both books are handsomely produced, well written and feature carefully-researched and authoritative content. But in one of them -- despite its virtues -- there is arguably something missing. That this is so is not the fault of the editors or the publisher, but is rather a consequence of the fact that intellectual property and innovation have for too long been allowed to persist as blind spots in mainstream investment and finance literature.
One might have hoped for more from International Investment Law and Development: Bridging the Gap, but the bridge referred to in the title does not extend to IP. Given that intellectual property is something of a magnet for investment in both free and controlled economies, and that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has been driven in recent years by its controversial Development Agenda, something on the IP-innovation-investment axis might have been confidently predicted. However, while the World Trade Organization features in its index, neither WIPO nor the WTO's TRIPS Agreement do. UNCITRAL is there, but not its work in the field of securitisation of intangibles. Technologies are mentioned, but not technology transfer; and so on. To be fair, it was never the intention of this book to address innovation issues as a subject in their own right. Nonetheless, given the extreme and growing importance of IP in the international investment environment, it would be good if this could be reflected in a book of this nature.
In terms of its IP relevance Entrepreneurial Finance scores rather higher. Intellectual property, intangible assets, business angels, SMEs, R&D funding, innovation, technology transfer and other promising topics abound. This is a highly eclectic set of essays, almost a set of highly-focused snapshots of entrepreneurial finance in all its different contexts: rural and industrial, advanced and developing, informal and institutional. While it is in no sense a "how-to-do-it" manual, it provides a wide selection of contexts in which not just IP but its currently fashionable handmaid, IP analytics, can be profitably deployed.
Further details of International Investment Law and Development: Bridging the Gap, edited by Stephan W. Schill, Christian J. Tams and Rainer Hofmann, can be accessed here.
Entrepreneurial Finance, edited by Javed G. Hussain and Jonathan M. Scott, can be accessed here.