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JILT 1998 (2) - Alistair Kelman (1)

R. Clark and S. Smyth's

Intellectual Property Law in Ireland

Butterworths, 1997, £63
792pp, ISBN: 1-85475-1247

Reviewed by
Alistair Kelman
LSE Computer Security Research Centre

English and Irish systems of law are very similar and consequently a textbook in one jurisdiction can just as well be used in the other. Although the Irish have slightly different statutes they share common drafting and interpretation provisions owing to the common history of the two countries. Both countries have signed up to the same conventions and both are Member States of the European Union. With the national statute to hand a good textbook aids interpretation.

First the principles of patent, copyright and trademark law are expressed in accordance with the view that they are now part of European Community law. It is therefore possible to clearly see how a national intellectual property statute fits (or does not fit) into the development of the European Union. The growing power of the European Commission in these fields is given proper precedence.

Next the authors, turn the lack of Irish authorities into a benefit for everyone else by citing UK and Commonwealth decisions in support of their thoughtful analysis. Reading it one quickly realises that the harmonisation process within the European Union is changing this field at an extraordinary rate.

Finally their fresh approach to the topic leaves their rival UK products standing. Rival UK textbooks cost about £200 each. These contain hardly any discussion on European issues and very little on modern Commonwealth decisions. Some of them read like a collection of out-of-date (and slightly irrelevant) counsel's opinions rather than as works of contemporary scholarship. £63 for a specialist practitioner textbook in this overpriced area is very reasonable.

This is a Book Review published on 30 June 1998.

Citation: Kelman A, 'R. Clark and S. Smyth's, Intellectual Property Law in Ireland', Book Review, 1998 (2) The Journal of Information, Law and Technology (JILT). <>. New citation as at 1/1/04: <>

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