• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This Handbook brings together scholars from around the world in addressing the global significance of, controversies over and alternatives to intellectual property (IP) today. It brings together over fifty of the leading authors in this field across the spectrum of academic disciplines, from law, economics, geography, sociology, politics and anthropology. This volume addresses the full spectrum of IP issues including copyright, patent, trademarks and trade secrets, as well as parallel rights and novel applications. In addition to addressing the role of IP in an increasingly information based and globalized economy and culture, it also challenges the utility and viability of IP today and addresses a range of alternative futures.

Creative Origins and Limitations
Creative Origins and Limitations

Core to the notion of intellectual property rights is the ability to assign them to a specified holder and for the form of such rights (whether copyright, patent or other) to be clearly specified. A number of difficulties with classification of both creative origin and form are explored in the three chapters of this section. It is a longstanding question as to whether or not computer software should be classified as a patentable invention or copyrightable creation. The consequence of whether something is covered by patent or by copyright has very significant implications for disclosure and for duration of protection. Whether certain types of code are eligible for any kind of protection at all is also significant ...

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