What is 'intellectual property'? This book examines the way in which this important area of law is constructed by the legal system. It argues that intellectual property is a body of rules, created by the legal system, that regulate the documented forms of abstract objects, which are also defined into existence by the legal system. Intellectual property law thus constructs its own objects of regulation and it does so through the application of a collection of core concepts. By analyzing the metaphysical structure of intellectual property law and the concepts the legal system uses to construct 'intellectual property', the book sheds new light on the nature of this fascinating area of law. It explains anomalies between social and intellectual property uses of concepts such as authorship - here dubbed 'creatorship' - and originality and it helps to explain the role of intellectual property from a structural (rather than the traditional normative) perspective.
Dr Alexandra George joined the University of New South Wales Law Faculty in 2007, having had earlier academic appointments at Queen Mary, University of London, the University of Wales, Swansea and the University of Exeter in the UK. She has also worked at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy and at the University of Sydney, has practised as an intellectual property and media lawyer, was Associate to Justice M. F. Moore in the Federal Court of Australia and the Industrial Relations Court of Australia, and worked in journalism at Reuters. Dr George's research focuses on the philosophy of intellectual property law, particularly with respect to the notion of 'property' in intangible objects and the communicative effects of trade mark and copyright law. Her publications examine issues such as commodification and intellectual propertisation, the role of intellectual property in the globalisation process, hot issues in intellectual property (such as access to essential medicines, ownership of the genome, and bioprospecting/biopiracy), and practical problems of intellectual property enforcement.
1. Introduction; 2. The difficulty of defining 'intellectual property'; 3. The metaphysics of intellectual property; 4. Intellectual property's core criteria; 5. 'Family resemblance' and intellectual property; 6. Concluding remarks.