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To offer a core concept of intellectual property, to consider various justifications for the recognition of intellectual property rights and to expound their operation in particular areas of activity is the purpose of this book.
It is essential to examine both the concept of intellectual property and the reasons why a legal system might incorporate such a concept. We are increasingly told that the wealth of nations, consists in 'intangible assets'. These are the intangible products of human creativity, ingenuity and effort. It is frequently argued that these assets represent the future of the developed economies and that their adequate protection by the intellectual property regimes is essential to national, regional, and even global, prosperity. We are also told that the creators of such assets have a strong moral claim to them, and that developed legal systems should recognise this claim.
This text examines the ethical issues and debates surrounding intellectual property law and focuses on three aspects of the major intellectual property regimes: subject matter; the allocation of the first ownership of rights; and the scope of protection. These three aspects of the major regimes provide readers with a strong sense of the shape and purpose of the most important intellectual property systems.