March 01
2021

European Intellectual Property Law: Text, Cases and Materials (2nd ed)

by Annette Kur, Thomas Dreier, Stefan Luginbuehl

review by

Bernd Justin Jütte

In 2013, Annette Kur and Thomas Dreier published the first edition of ‘European Intellectual Property Law’, which was then the first textbook on the market that comprehensively treated the European dimension of this vast area of law. Six years later, the two initial authors have been joined by Stefan Luginbuehl for the second edition.

Over the six years since the first edition was published, much has changed in Europe, and in European Intellectual Property law. The Court of Justice of the European Union has continuously developed existing rules often through controversial interpretations; the EU legislator has intervened with the politically charged Directive on copyright in the digital single market, a reform of the EU trademark rules, and the unitary patent package, although still in limbo, has been driven forward. Paying justice to all these developments and more is not an easy task, and compressing them into a digestible textbook is even more difficult.The aspiration of ‘European Intellectual Property Law. Text, cases and materials’ is not to be a commentary that comprehensively and exhaustively covers the subject matter in all its depth and theory, and that would indeed be a difficult task for a team of three authors. The volume of around 700 pages provides an accessible introduction to the main areas of intellectual property law. Compared to the first edition, existing chapters that gave a cursory overview of some of the ‘smaller’ intellectual property rights, such as industrial designs, geographic indications and plant varieties have been split up to give more visibility and to ensure a more structured overview of these areas of the law. The addition of Luginbuehl to the team of authors extended the coverage of patent law significantly.

The book is structured and written in an accessible manner, which makes it a useful starting point for those not (yet) very familiar with intellectual property law and a good work of reference for those that work with research or teach the subject areas covered by the book.The book commences with two chapters that give a basic introduction on intellectual property and its development on the international level and in the EU. The main intellectual property rights (trademarks, patents and copyright) receive extensive and thorough coverage, complemented by chapters on other subject matters, and chapters on competition law, unfair competition law, remedies, and jurisdiction and applicable law.

Didactically, the book is convincing, with a focus on the main problems, while providing an excellent systematic overview in every chapter. Regular questions invite the reader to reflect, an aspect of the book that is certainly more useful to the student reader. But practitioners, or those who seek to acquire a good overview of European Intellectual Property law will also find this book useful. The authors have also included a section on recommended literature, which lets one forget that in the text itself reference is made almost exclusively to case law. With the identically named book by Justine Pila and Paul Torremans, ‘European Intellectual Property Law’ is one of only two reasonable choices on the subject.

 

Bernd Justin Jütte is Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham and holds a PhD from the University of Luxembourg. His expertise is in European copyright law, specifically on transformative uses and the conflict between copyright and fundamental rights. He is the author of the book ‘Reconstructing European Copyright Law for the Digital Single Market’ (Nomos, Hart, 2017).

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