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A History of Intellectual Property in 50 Objects
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Book description

What do the Mona Lisa, the light bulb, and a Lego brick have in common? The answer - intellectual property (IP) - may be surprising, because IP laws are all about us, but go mostly unrecognized. They are complicated and arcane, and few people understand why they should care about copyright, patents, and trademarks. In this lustrous collection, Claudy Op den Kamp and Dan Hunter have brought together a group of contributors - drawn from around the globe in fields including law, history, sociology, science and technology, media, and even horticulture - to tell a history of IP in 50 objects. These objects not only demonstrate the significance of the IP system, but also show how IP has developed and how it has influenced history. Each object is at the core of a story that will be appreciated by anyone interested in how great innovations offer a unique window into our past, present, and future.


'If you gave someone just a list of the eclectic objects in this book and asked ‘what have these got in common?’ they would be utterly stumped. But not if you gave them also this delicious book. What an original idea to show how intellectual property ideas and laws have been the bedrock upon which so much human creativity has been built over the centuries and around the world. And how well that idea has been executed here.'

Robin Jacob - former judge in the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and author of IP and Other Things

'Wow, what a book …! This is a brilliantly conceived trick to teach a deep understanding of a complex idea through the most tangible and compelling collection of things. The things pull you through; the ideas carry you away. IP shown, not told.'

Lawrence Lessig - Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership, Harvard University, Massachusetts and author of Free Culture, The Future of Ideas and Remix

'Finally, a history of this expanding and increasingly technical body of law that is accessible - inviting - not just to legal scholars but to the curious general reader, including the growing number of faculty across the arts and sciences eager to include intellectual property theory in their courses. The collection’s novel approach, which is to tell the life stories of 50 objects from the mundane to the extraordinary, fosters attention to the rich social and commercial as well as more narrowly legal milieus in which the objects were born, developed and, in some cases, ‘died’.'

Martha Woodmansee - Case Western Reserve University, Ohio and author of The Author, Art, and the Market and The Construction of Authorship

'… this appealing volume makes this essential knowledge comprehensible for students and lay readers.'

M. Herr Source: Choice

'Overall, then, this is a well-written, thought-provoking and authoritative book, supported by helpful references. Above all, it is a fun read. It would be the perfect present for an IP specialist or for anyone with an interest in society, business or the law. Unreservedly recommended.'

Charles Oppenheim Source: European Intellectual Property Review

'There are numerous 'History in 50/100 Objects' books out there, but this is the most engaging, intriguing, and expansive I’ve seen yet.'

Glenn Dallas Source: Tulsa Book Review

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Page 1 of 3

  • Introduction: Of People, Places, and Parlance
    pp 1-7
    • By Claudy Op den Kamp, Claudy Op den Kamp is Senior Lecturer in Film and faculty member at the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM) at Bournemouth University, and Adjunct Research Fellow at Swinburne Law School., Dan Hunter, Dan Hunter is the founding dean of Swinburne University Law School, and has previously held positions at QUT Law School, New York Law School, the University of Melbourne Law School, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and Cambridge University.
  • 1 - Goryeo Celadon
    pp 8-15
    • By Hee-Kyoung Spiritas Cho, Spiritas Cho is Professor at Hongik University College of Law in Korea, where she teaches intellectual property law, competition law, and arts and law, and where she helped to establish a Masters of IP program in the graduate school. Spiritas obtained a degree in international relations from Cambridge University, and she is admitted as an attorney in Australia, England, and New York.
  • 2 - Murano Glass Vase
    pp 16-23
    • By Stefanie Fusco, Stefania Fusco is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Notre Dame Law School, where she teaches International Intellectual Property and Corporate Finance. She earned a J.S.D. from Stanford Law School, where she was a Kaufmann Fellow and a Transatlantic Technology Law Forum Fellow.
  • 3 - Mona Lisa
    pp 24-39
    • By Andrea Wallace, Andrea Wallace is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Exeter. She earned her PhD in Cultural Heritage Law at CREATe / The University of Glasgow in partnership with the National Library of Scotland, focusing on the intersections of copyright, cultural institutions, and the public domain.
  • 4 - Tempesta Map of Rome
    pp 40-47
    • By Jane C. Ginsburg, Jane C. Ginsburg is the Morton L. Janklow Professor of Literary and Artistic Property Law at Columbia Law School, and faculty director of its Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts. She teaches legal methods, copyright law, international copyright law, and trademarks law, and is the author or co-author of casebooks in all four subjects, as well as of many articles and book chapters on domestic and international copyright and trademark law.
  • 5 - Hogarth Engraving
    pp 48-55
    • By Michael Punt, Michael Punt is Professor of Art and Technology at the University of Plymouth, where he is the founding convenor of the Transtechnology Research group. He is an international co- editor for Leo nardo, Editor-in-Chief of Leonardo Reviews, and founder of Leonardo Quarterly Reviews, an experimental publishing platform published through MIT Press and UT Dallas.
  • 8 - Singer Sewing Machine
    pp 72-79
    • By Lionel Bently, Lionel Bently is the Herchel Smith Professor of Intellectual Property Law, Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law, and Professorial Fellow of Emmanuel College at the University of Cambridge. He has been the Yong Shook Lin Visiting Professor of Intellectual Property law at the National University of Singapore and the BNL Professor of European Law at Columbia University.
  • 12 - Light Bulb
    pp 104-111
    • By Stet van Gompel, Stef van Gompel is senior researcher and lecturer in intellectual property law at the Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam, where he also received his doctorate. His dissertation, titled Formalities in Copyright Law: An Analysis of their History, Rationales and Possible Future, was published by Kluwer Law International in 2011.
  • 13 - Oscar Wilde Portrait
    pp 112-119
    • By Megan Richardson, Megan Richardson is Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne. Her research and publication interests include intellectual property, privacy and personality rights, law reform and legal theory. She is currently Co- Director of the Melbourne Law School's Centre for Media and Communications Law (CMCL) and the Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia (IPRIA).
  • 14 - Kodak Camera
    pp 120-127
    • By Jessica Lake, Jessica Lake is a Lecturer in Law at Swinburne University, and researches at the intersection of law, technology and gender. She is the author of The Face that Launched a Thousand Lawsuits (2016, Yale University Press), demonstrating that women forged a “right to privacy” in the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries by bringing cases protesting the unauthorized use and abuse of images of their faces and bodies.
  • 15 - Kinetoscope
    pp 128-135
    • By Peter Decherney, Peter Decherney is Professor of Cinema & Media Studies and English at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a secondary appointment at the Annenberg School for Communication and an affiliation with the Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition at Penn Law School.
  • 19 - Champagne
    pp 160-167
    • By Dev S. Gangjee, Dev Gangjee is an Associate Professor in Law and Director of the Oxford IP Research Centre at the University of Oxford. Dev's research focuses on intellectual property, with a special emphasis on branding and trademarks, geographical indications and copyright law.
  • 21 - PH-Lamp
    pp 176-183
    • By Stina Teilmann-Lock, Stina Teilmann-Lock is Associate Professor in the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy at Copenhagen Business School. She was formerly a patent manager, a Carlsberg Research Fellow at the Danish Design School, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Information and Innovation Law at the University of Copenhagen.
  • 22 - Climbing Rose
    pp 184-191
    • By Brad Sherman, Brad Sherman is Professor of Law at The University of Queensland. His previous academic positions include posts at the London School of Economics, and the University of Cambridge. His research expertise encompasses many aspects of intellectual property law, with a particular emphasis on its historical, doctrinal and conceptual development.

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