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Expounding Practical Implications


Kabir Dixit

OVERLAPPING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
Edited by Neil Wilkof and Shamnad Basheer
Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2012, pp. 536, Rs. 1995.00

VOLUME XXXVIII NUMBER 5 May 2014

The book under review examines intel- lectual property overlaps in the legal contexts of the UK, the US and, where necessary, the EU. The editors have brought together a formidable scale of collective experience and expertise ‘from those primarily engaged in academic scholarship to those who combine scholarly publishing with practice of intellectual property.’   The book comprises 17 chapters, each of which covers a separate and distinct pair of intellectual property rights. Chapters 1 to 6 form one cluster where ‘patents’ are coupled with other rights (copyright, design rights, trade secrets, plant variety protection, utility models, data exclusivity). The next four focus on ‘copyright’ coupled with other rights (trademarks, design rights, database, and economic copyright and moral rights). Similarly, chapters 11 to 14 focus on trademarks (registered and unregistered and coupled with designs, geographical indicators, and domain names). Pairs of non-traditional forms of intellectual property are clustered under trademarks and unfair competition, right of publicity/ privacy and trademarks and IPR and competition/ antitrust.   The 2013 India edition of this book has Professor Shamnad Basheer’s ‘Introduction to the Indian Edition’ and a ‘Comparison Table’. Together, these two sections while offering a reasonable introduction to India specific content on overlapping intellectual property rights (IPR), they do not sufficiently cover the Indian context. Detailed India specific supplements accompanying each chapter would have increased the relevance of the book.   Yet this insufficiency does not detract from the relevance and significance of the book in India.The Indian IPR regime while having its unique or context specific aspects is nevertheless firmly rooted in the international IPR framework. The Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), 1994, remains a central international convention for IPR in India. Most other international conventions discussed in the book, whether specific to particular IPRs or pertaining generally to the overall IPR framework, have direct or indirect implications for IPR law and practice in India. The case law discussed, whether from the US, the UK or the EU also triggers instant recall of Indian parallels. The facts, propositions of law, the findings and the debates around them, as discussed, are also relevant for Indian practitioners and scholars. At first sight, a lay reader may be overwhelmed by the level of detail in the book. Almost all of the 17 contributions are high quality discussions by super specialists. For example, if you don’t know very much about either utility patents or copyrights then the chapter on ‘...


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