Monday 4 October 2010

IP law and business .. or is it economics?

Intellectual Property And Business, edited by Stephen E. Margolis, Professor of Economics and Craig M. Newmark, Associate Professor of Economics, North Carolina State University, is another attractive and star-studded two-volume compendium of "greatest hits" covering that ever-appealing topic of IP law/business.  As the publisher's blurb states:
"The law and economics of intellectual property is attracting increased attention as technological innovation continues to have a major impact on economic growth [and vice versa?].

This authoritative two-volume set brings together the most significant [American -- is there any other?] scholarship on intellectual property. It provides comprehensive coverage, with a mix of theory, empirics and institutional details. The emphasis is on more recent writings, although it also includes some early work that continues to provide the platform for contemporary scholarship [there are a couple of Demsetz classics -- dating back to the days when Tony Sheridan was still playing with The Beatles -- and which, this reviewer, suspects, he probably has several copies of, to be found in other sets of "greatest hits"].

This book will be an essential source of reference for both academics, students and practitioners concerned with this exciting new [!] field of research".
It is conceded without argument that (i) business and economics have plenty to do with one and other and that (ii) these collections are popular both with those who teach law and economics and with those who enrol for their classes -- but it would be good to see a few changes.  Separate compendiums for IP law and economics and IP law and business would be fun, and some materials dealing with non-US scholarship and non-US markets would be good for a comparison with these rock-solid pillars of standard scholarship.

Bibliographic data: published 2010. Two vols, 1,072 pages. Hardback. ISBN 978 1 84720 911 5. Price  £295 (with the publisher's online discount this comes down to £265.50).  Web page here.

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