Thursday 6 November 2014

Licences and Insolvency: a new book on the block

Licences and Insolvency: A Practical Global Guide to the Effects of Insolvency on IP Licence Agreements, put together by consulting editors Matthias Nordmann, Ulrich Reber and Marcel Willems on behalf of the International Bar Association, was published last month by Globe Law and Business.

The publishers describe this volume as follows:
"The number of insolvencies is increasing by the day, while insolvencies are becoming more and more complex and international. Licences represent an increasingly important part of a company’s assets - be they technology licences, name or trademark licences or licences with regard to text, photo or audiovisual material or software. While insolvency proceedings of licensors or licensees can pose material threats to the prospects of the business concerned, there are still many uncertainties as to the fate of a licence, applicable law, place of jurisdiction in such proceedings and so on.

This practical handbook provides an overview of the most relevant legal issues in over 25 [I counted 26] of the most important business nations around the globe. It provides guidance to licensors, licensees, insolvency practitioners and their attorneys to promote a better understanding of the insolvency mechanisms in these countries and the effect that such proceedings may have upon licence agreements with an insolvent entity".
This blogger is not normally enamoured with titles compiled to this template, which he has often found unhelpfully rigid. They are often of little use when seeking to ascertain the law in any given country, presumably on account of length restrictions in order to prevent imbalance between national contributions, and not much use when seeking to compare the law of the different jurisdictions since the problems encountered by him have never matched the data available.  This volume is however a pleasant and welcome exception, since the subject is one on which there is little in the way of accessible information that is conveniently presented for the IP practitioner who is more comfortable with licensing than with insolvency. This title has the potential to become rather more than a fancy calling card for its contributors and to make itself generally useful in those sad situations in which licensor, licensee or both find themselves without resources -- not just for the parties concerned but for creditors and other adversely affected third parties.  Well done!

Bibliographical data: Hardback, 328 pages. Price: £125. ISBN: 9781909416253. Book's web page here.

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