Print page

Intellectual Property and Access to Im/material Goods

Edited by Jessica C. Lai, Senior Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and Antoinette Maget Dominicé, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany
Traditionally, in order to be protected intellectual property goods have almost always needed to be embodied or materialised (and – to a certain extent – to be used and enjoyed), regardless of whether they were copyrighted works, patented inventions or trademarks. This book examines the relationship between intellectual property and its physical embodiments and materialisations, with a focus on the issue of access and the challenges of new technologies. Expert contributors explore how these problems can re-shape our theoretical notion of the intangible and the tangible and how this can have serious consequences for access to intellectual property goods.
Extent: 360 pp
Hardback Price: $147.00 Web: $132.30
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78471 661 5
Availability: In Stock

Buy the E-Book @ paperback price

Join our mailing list

  • Innovation and Technology
  • Intellectual Property
  • Law - Academic
  • Cultural Heritage and Art Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual property goods are frequently referred to as intangible or abstract. Yet, traditionally, they have almost always needed to be embodied or materialised in order to be protected (and – to a certain extent – to be used and enjoyed), regardless of whether they are copyrighted works, patented inventions or trade marks.

With a focus on the issue of access and the challenges of new technologies such as biotechnology and digital technologies, this unique collection analyses the relationship between intellectual property and its physical embodiments. It contains a mixture of theoretical and practical perspectives and encompasses an interdisciplinary approach, including chapters on the connection between intellectual property and cultural heritage law, cultural property law and international trade law. The book furthermore comprises historical reflections that illuminate how intellectual property has never been purely about the intangible.

Intellectual Property and Access to Im/material Goods will be of interest to scholars, practitioners and law and policy makers. Users of intellectual property goods such as museums, libraries, archives and/or other cultural institutions, as well as users of biomaterials, copyrighted works, patented inventions and/or trademarked goods, will find value in this book.
‘The lines dividing abstract objects, material objects, information and their relationship to digital processes have always been difficult to draw in the context of intellectual property law. This volume is the first to take on this difficult topic in a comprehensive way. It shows the depth of the difficulties, but also provides a theoretical foundation for new approaches to these divides. It is an original and important contribution.’
– Peter Drahos, Australian National University

‘This collection of essays ought to be commended for the comprehensive approach it takes by engaging with a widely known, yet less widely understood, problematic aspect of IP: the requirement of materiality and its limiting effect on access to intellectual creations. While such limiting effect on the digital environment is seen, experienced and discussed in diverse fields, across jurisdictions and many academic texts, this collection brings together discussions of some such issues along with nuanced evaluations of contemporary difficulties surrounding access to immaterial goods. The volume adopts an effective approach to fully educating the reader about the problem of access, while advancing fresh theoretical approaches.’
– Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice
Contributors: C.E. Bell, M. Blakeney, D.L. Burk, S. Corbett, S. Frankel, J.C. Lai, M.J. Madison, A. Maget Dominicé, A. McMahon, L.K. Skorodenski, G. Spedicato, P.K. Yu


Alain Pottage

Introduction: The Relationship Between Intellectual Property and its Physical Embodiments
Jessica C. Lai and Antoinette Maget Dominicé

1. Understanding Access to Things: A Knowledge Commons Perspective
Michael J. Madison

2. Copyright and the New Materialism
Dan L. Burk

3. The Copy in Copyright
Peter K. Yu

4. A Tale of Two Histories: The “Invention” and its Incentive Theory
Jessica C. Lai

5. The Nebulous “Invention”: From “Idea and Embodiment” to “Idea/Embodiment and Observable Physical Effects”?
Jessica C. Lai

6. Digital Lending and Public Access to Knowledge
Giorgio Spedicato

7. Patents, Human Biobanks and Access to Health: Bridging the Public–Private Divide
Aisling Mcmahon

8. Tangible Meets Intangible: International Trade in Intellectual Property
Susy Frankel

9. Negotiations in WIPO for International Conventions on Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions
Michael Blakeney

10. In/Tangible Heritage, Intellectual Property and Museum Policy: Exploring Methods for Respecting Indigenous Legal Traditions
Catherine E. Bell, Jessica C. Lai and Laura K. Skorodenski

11. Digital V Analogue: Reconceptualising the Orphan Works Problem for Cultural Heritage Institutions
Susan Corbett