Intellectual Property Law 2004
The present collection of articles is number 15 in the Molengrafica Series under the aegis of the Molengraaff Institute for Private Law, a series which has been published since 1988. This volume is the second in a row that has been prepared by the Institute's Centre for Intellectual Property Law (CIER) and is therefore completely dedicated to intellectual property law. In fact, the issue contains the elaborated papers which were presented during the 2004 Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP), organised in that same year by the CIER. As indicated by the title of this issue the conference's main theme can adequately be described as an exploration of the many crossroads which present themselves in and between the various domains of today's intellectual property law as well as beyond that domain in its true sense. A crossroads, first, in those instances in which reference is made to the simultaneous application of different intellectual property law regimes. Part I, Concurrence and Convergence of IPRs, is dedicated to that particular issue. A crossroads, second, since societal and paradigmatic developments require a reassessment of how to define and to delineate the public domain. Part II explores this issue particularly in the light of the dissemination of knowledge and culture. A crossroads, third, and in a rather different perspective, relating to the relationship between intellectual property law and human rights law. Adopting that perspective, Part III relates intellectual property law to the legal status of cultural property, a relationship which merits attention due to the growing importance of the protection, promotion and preservation of cultural diversity and cultural heritage. Part IV deals with trademark law and its rather intriguing application as a legal instrument to commercialise one's persona. A crossroads here connecting commercial law with personality rights. Part V comes to terms with what is called by some a paradigm shift in patent law: the diminishing importance, as it were, of the traditional requirement that patentable subject matter should be of a technical nature. A crossroads indeed present in this respect as to how to accommodate traditional pigeon-hole-based intellectual property law as regards this development. Finally, a crossroads in Part VI, raising the question whether the digital and networking technologies which enable copyright right owners to control the use of their works to the detriment of users, is a blessing or a curse.
Publication Date: 12/20/2005