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An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

At the heart of the developed world is design. Virtually everything we do - and when and where we do it: eat, sleep, work, or play -- within, under, over, above, or outside of a particular space -- is based on, or dependent on design.

This is a legal text on design law in the European Union and as the subtitle indicates, it is definitely a practitioner's guide - and of special interest of course, to IP practitioners. The focus is on European community design rights and harmonized law across the EU on registered designs.

Author David Stone, an acknowledged expert in this field, points out that such additional rights as trademarks, copyright and unfair competition/passing off are not dealt with in this volume. Language problems and jurisdictional differences notwithstanding, his purpose is `to delve deeply into the law that is available and where it is not, to suggest what the answer might one day be found to be'.

Writing in the foreword, Antonio Campinos, President of the OHIM [Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trademarks and Designs)] refers to the problems created by design law differing from country to country across the EU, adding that as design law has not been harmonized internationally, it has long been the "poor child" of intellectual property protection.

However, he goes on to remark that the absence of international harmonization has its advantages, chief of which is that it allows contracting parties to invent new laws that protect adequately by taking new and emerging realities into account.

The prime example is the adoption by the European Union of the Design Directive, harmonizing the laws of the EU Member States and the Regulation on the Community Design. The Directive therefore acknowledges the importance of design in differentiating products, thereby protecting their commercial value.

Putting all this in historical perspective, while at the same time, placing it in its modern context, the book first of all provides an historic overview of the evolution of the legislation and goes on to provide an authoritative and thorough examination of all aspects of the complex new legislation.

Over twenty-three chapters the book covers all pertinent aspects of this wide-ranging subject, from the aims of the EU-wide legislation to infringement and remedies. The final chapter presents the Design Directive itself and there are two very useful case studies. Bearing in mind the complexity of the subject, the book is easily navigable with numbered paragraphs throughout to which the twenty-six page index handily cross refers. The extensive tables of EU-wide legislation and cases provide ample avenues for further research as does the Comparative Table of the Directive and the Regulation.

In all, the author's scholarly and practical approach to this important subject should establish this volume as an indispensable acquisition for all practitioners, particularly those specializing in intellectual property. The publication date is cited as at July 2012.
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This is an extremely comprehensive and well written publication. It deals in a logical and detailed way with the many aspects of this area of law, with many examples from cases throughout Europe. An essential buy for all those involved in this area of law, regardless of level of experience.
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