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The Management of Intellectual Property

Edited by Derek Bosworth and Elizabeth Webster

This book brings together innovative contributions on the management of intellectual property (IP) and intellectual property rights by an esteemed and multi-disciplinary group of economists, management scientists, accountants and lawyers.
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Chapter 2: A Legal Perspective

Andrew F. Christie


Andrew F. Christie 1 INTRODUCTION Intellectual property could be called the Cinderella of the new economy. A drab but useful servant, consigned to the dusty and uneventful offices of corporate legal departments until the princes of globalisation and technological innovation – revealing her true value – swept her to prominence and gave her an enticing new allure.1 This quote, taken from a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) publication, says much about the state of intellectual property today. After all, it has only been a couple of decades since intellectual property was generally regarded as a rather obscure, but necessary, field of legal regulation. In the last few years, however, intellectual property has become recognized as the driving force of economic growth and cultural development. As a result, the law of intellectual property has entered the consciousness of an ever-widening part of the public, and is increasingly seen as a matter for public policy as well as for private exploitation. Despite its growing importance, intellectual property remains a challenging area of law. This is because, unlike the laws of real property, the laws of intellectual property create rights between individuals that are vested in abstract objects – being objects that, inherently, are difficult to define. Furthermore, intellectual property is an ever-expanding field, and its role in society has become increasingly significant and complex. This is due in part at least to its cultural specificity, as a regime that is founded on the notion of both knowledge and art as...

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