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Form in Intellectual Property Law

David Booton

This book sets out to expose, analyse and evaluate the conflicting conceptions of legal judgment that operate in intellectual property law. Its central theme is the opposition between law-making by way of the creation of generally applicable rules and law-making done at the point of application through case-by- case decisions tailored to the particulars of individual circumstances. Through an exploration of form, the analysis sets out to provide insights into how intellectual property law achieves a balance between various competing interests.
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Chapter 5: Form and the interpersonal/social dimension

David Booton


The intellectual property system, in allowing individuals to appropriate ideas using the force of law, provokes a debate in which will feature the opposed attitudes of individualism and altruism. Showing how the form of legal directions relates to these opposing paradigms goes some way to render the contribution of ‘policy’ in decision making more intelligible in this area of the law. How far the rule form is associated with securing claims and strengthening the position of right holders and the standard form associated with limiting scope and facilitating public access reveals important aspects of how the law regulates the relations between rights owners and users and how the law gives effect to the notion of the public interest. Keywords: individualism; altrusim; rules; standards

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