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les Nouvelles - December 2008


Review: Modern Licensing Law 2008-2009 Edition

John T. Ramsay

Q.C., Partner, Gowling, LaFleur, Henderson, LLP Barristers & Solicitors, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

The stated objects of this comprehensive book (with 1,051 pages of text plus appendices and an index) are to offer an “integrated analysis” of the licensing not only of patents, copyright, trademarks and trade secrets, but also of information not covered by intellectual property rights law. The authors state that they are dealing “with a vibrant field of law whose contours are shifting in the face of changing economics and business practices.” They intend to “create the framework for understanding the complex and changing body of licensing law and the various influences that shape it” (¶1:1, p.2). They aim to “provide an integrated coverage of all areas of licensing law so that practitioners would have a comprehensive source for dealing with licensing questions that arise in the press of modern practice” (Preface, p.vii). This book is distinctive from other books on licensing on account of integration as well as the recognition that the licensing information is now the “most common transactional form for trafficking in commercial informational assets that now serve as the foundation of our modern economy” (Preface, p.vii).

The integration of traditional intellectual property and information, especially computer information not covered by intellectual property is not new to the authors. Raymond Nimmer, the Leonard Childs Chair of Law at the University of Houston Law Center and co-director of the Houston Intellectual Property and Information Law Institute, was a member (and reporter) of the Committee that acted for the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in preparing the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act “ UCITA” in 2000. Jeff C. Dodd, a licensing lawyer who is a partner in the Austin and Houston offices of Andrews and Kurth LLP, represented companies and industry groups in the UCITA drafting.

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