The Subject Matter of Intellectual Property

ISBN : 9780199688616

Justine Pila
300 ページ
156 x 234 mm

Despite a rich academic literature in the field of intellectual property (IP), little attention has been paid to the meaning of the terms used to denote the subject matter that IP rights protect-such as 'invention', 'authorial work', 'trade mark', and 'design'-or the nature of those subject matter themselves. This book, the first of its kind, offers such a study with the aim of furthering understanding and analysis of each IP regime and of IP in general. It defines the terms in question with reference to their recent use by IP legal officials, and seeks to clarify the understanding of the terms reflected by such use. The analysis proceeds in three main stages. At the first stage, the context in which the relevant terms fall to be defined is considered, with a particular focus on the nature, aims, and values of IP rights and systems. At the second stage, a theoretical framework for thinking about the subject matter protectable by IP in general is proposed, and certain focal questions for understanding such subject matter are derived. And finally, at the third stage, officials' use of the legislative terms that denote the subject matter protectable by IP regimes are considered in detail, and the results of that consideration used to answer the focal questions. The result is a definition of each of the terms with reference to the objects that they denote, with a particular focus on the categories and properties of the subject matter protectable by each IP regime, the methods by which those subject matter are individuated within each regime, the relationship between each subject matter and its concrete instances, and the manner in which each subject matter and its instances is known.


1 Definitions and Intellectual Property Subject Matter
2 An Overview of Intellectual Property Rights and Systems
3 A Framework for Thinking About Intellectual Property Subject Matter
4 The Invention and Plant Variety
5 The Authorial (Original Literary, Dramatic, Musical, and Artistic) Work
6 The Trade Mark, Other Product Designations, and Goodwil
7 The Registered and Unregistered Design


Justine Pila, Fellow and Tutor in Law, St Catherine's College, and Research Fellow at the Institute of European and Comparative Law, University of Oxford.