n South African Law Journal - A Guide to Intellectual Property Law, Peter Ramsden : book review

Volume 128, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



In this modern age intellectual property (IP) law is an area of the law which no lawyer can afford to ignore, even if that lawyer does not actively participate in the field of IP law. It is now almost universally recognised that IP rights are an essential part of any business. Protecting rights is critical to the interests of IP rights-holders because of the value of intellectual assets. During the last two decades IP law has expanded rapidly with regard to objects which are protected and the scope of that protection. Further, the IP system plays a critical role in both the national and international economy. IP law has therefore moved from being a rather dry area of commercial law, practised by relatively few, into the mainstream of legal practice. Every lawyer should at least understand the basics, even if it is just a case of the lawyer recognising that his or her client has a serious problem which requires the services of an expert. The problem with this area of the law is that it encompasses at least six different subjects, each of which warrants a text of its own and on which there are a number of major works, each one dealing with its own specialist subject. IP is protected by both statute and the common law. It is not an easy subject to understand and attempting to get to grips with the main principles can be quite daunting. For those who wish to get an overview of, and an introduction to, the entire topic it is useful to have a single book which covers the main categories of IP law.

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