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    23/05/2012 - Richard Milchior reviews the "Concise European trade mark and design law"

    A book to use

    Concise European Trade Mark and Design Law
    Charles Gielen and Verena von Bomhard (Eds) Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2011
    ISBN : 9789041124074, Hard cover, 616 pp. Price : £136

    This is not a book to read but, rather, it is a book to use. This is what I discovered when I tried to read it in order to prepare this review. You cannot start at page one and read through to the end. I tried. However, I could not make it—and found that it was not as interesting to read as a normal book. Yet I came to understand the full intent and significance of the book when I started to use it while I was working on cases.

    The editors and/or general editors of this collection felt the need for a new type of book in the trade mark and design law field. Instead of presenting a thesis or studying a particular area of the law, this book is based on a specific German or Dutch book model which pre- sents a comment and the list of cases classified on an article-by-article basis. This work, under the direction of the editors, has been conducted by a group of skilled practitioners who shared the work between them and who have provided a set of comments concerning the Community Trade Mark Regulation, the Trade Mark Directive as well as the Community Design Regulation and Directive.

    Obviously, since this is a concise guide, there is a very short presentation of each topic and only a short discus- sion of the relevant cases. At times, it appears that some cases have been forgotten and some comments could have been more developed but, as usual, it is easier to be a critic than to determine the contents.

    I would like to suggest a piece of advice which any reader should bear in mind before starting to use this guide. You should read the introduction and the editors’ practical notes. I would also like to suggest two pieces of advice for the publishers and editors as to how this work can be improved.

    First, the list of cases is difficult to use, even if they are classified alphabetically. You first have the Board of Appeal cases and then, starting again with the letter A, the General Court cases ; then you go back to A for the Court of Justice cases, then finally we get to some cases from the national/regional courts which are classified by country—and for which it is not always clear why one case has been chosen over the others for inclusion in the comments. In any event, including national and regional cases in the commentary raises the risk of opening a Pandora’s box. Secondly, the choices made for the index are also difficult to understand. The use of the various typefaces could be useful to distinguish more easily the various classifications and sub-classifications which are used in the index.

    One should finally mention the fact that this publica- tion came out in February 2011 but was obviously com- pleted earlier, which is why you will not find the latest cases. However, the editors plan to publish a new edition every two to three years.

    You should plan to include this work as one of the sources of reference at the ready and replace it with the new and certainly improved edition as soon as it is on the shelves.

    I now keep this book on my desk and close by me. It will not, like so many others, collect dust in the library !

    Richard Milchior

    Source : Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice 2012


Richard Milchior