Website: Comprehensive Intellectual Property Law Book Reviews

James Hawes is an intellectual property attorney with more than 40 years experience in all aspects of IP.  For many years, Hawes has been at the forefront of IP practice — he has been the President of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Assn., and on the Board of the AIPLA. Hawes also has four books published by West (including our Patent Application Practice, 2nd ed.). Now, through HSC Press, Hawes has developed a new website called IP Law Book Reviews. From the Press Release:

IP Law Book Reviews is a compilation of all currently published Intellectual Property books for practicing IP attorneys. At present there are more than 170 IP books cited and reviewed on the website. Each review includes the cost of the book, its updating frequency and update costs, actual or projected, as well as a candid, descriptive review of the book, often comparing it to other similar books and discussing its suitability for use by practicing IP attorneys.

Until now collecting all currently published IP books on a particular topic has been a real challenge. Many, but not all, IP book publishers mail flyers describing some of their books. Some also call IP attorneys from time to time. A Google search on the internet turns up a lot of IP books. But until IP Law Book Reviews there has not been a single compilation of all IP books now being published. In addition, few publishers give complete information about their books. Often they are described in sort of a generic marketing language. IP Law Book Reviews describes the coverage of each book reviewed in a way IP attorneys will welcome, and compares the book to other, similar books. It also gives the basic purchase and update costs for the book, and has a link to the publisher to expedite purchasing the book.

Check out the site – Take a look at your favorite IP books, and submit your own review if you like. The publisher welcomes all user reviews, and says that many will be included to give other IP attorneys a well-rounded description of the books reviewed.

If you are a publisher of IP books, check out the site to make sure your books are there and that what is said about them is accurate. Also, the publisher welcomes advertising and alliances with others in the IP field.

Book Review: Math You Can’t Use

MathMath You Can’t Use
by Ben Klemens

$19 from Amazon

Klemens is a scholar, but doesn’t really write like one — rather he tells a story and wraps the story around his argument.  His bottom line argument is that software should not be patentable. Here are some of his arguments:

1) Software is simply math (Church-Turing thesis) and math is not patentable.  His conclusion — that software should therefore be unpatentable — strikes me as odd.  Klemens leads us down the parade of horribles of granting 15 years of exclusivity to mathematical algorithms.  The bad results are (a) mathematicians being forced to pay royalties when a patent is valuable and (b) the Church-Turing thesis itself being patented.

2) The PTO is bad at granting patents and therefore should not grant software patents.

3) Patents only work well in industries with a few major players.  The software industry is decentralized (with lots of small players) and therefore should not be covered by patents. . .

Of course, Klemens may gain more traction with his explanation of how aggressive patent enforcement could kill the internet as a whole.


Patent Mediation — Patently-O Book Review


Patent Mediation

Edited by Kathleen M. Scanlon and Helena Tavares Erickson
Published by International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR)

38 pages; $50 from CPR [Link].

Wow.  This is a great introduction to mediation in the patent world.  I am a big believer in mediation for patent cases, especially when the amount of damages is less than $10 million.  The book presents a five-step approach to mediation:

  1. Deciding whether and when to mediate;
  2. Selecting a mediator;
  3. Pre-mediation planning;
  4. Mediation sessions; and
  5. Mediation outcome.

The book tip-toes lightly through each step and evaluates the potential decisions and their trade-offs.

You may be thinking $50 for 38 pages????  But didn’t you just send out a $11,000 check for drafting of a 20 page application that probably includes typos? Apparently, if you join CPR, you will receive a 40% discount.

The Generic Challenge: Patently-O Book Review

GenericChallengeThe Generic Challenge: Understanding Patents, FDA & Pharmaceutical Life-Cycle Management
By: Martin Voet

$24.95 from Amazon.

Book Review: I read the Generic Challenge in one evening.  It is easy to read, anecdotal and short (100 pages).  My favorite portions of the book were Chapter 2 (pharmaceutical patenting strategy) and Chapter 7 (drug life-cycle management).  It is hard to believe that so much information and seasoned advice is packed into this little book.

Generic Challenge is not written as a reference for experts.  Rather, the book is written as an introduction for readers who are new to the field and interested in the topic.  Because patents are now so fundamental to the business of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, I would recommend this book to virtually everyone working in those industries regardless of whether you will deal directly with patents.

Introduction to Patent Law Book Review

Introduction to Patent Law An Introduction to Patent Law
by Janice M. Mueller


$50.00 from

Book Review: In this 400 page paperback, Professor Janice Mueller (Pittsburgh) lays out the basics of patent law and explains the requirements for obtaining a patent as well as considerations during litigation.  This is essentially a textbook, and covers the same material as other patent law textbooks.  The main difference is that Mueller’s writing flows and is easy to read.  In addition, she explains the foundations of patent law without getting bogged-down in unnecessary case-law and statutory interpretation.

This is a basic but thorough text covering the legal side of patents.

Who should read An Introduction to Patent Law:

  • Law students (This is a good back-up to understand what your casebook is saying).
  • Anyone entering the area of intellectual property and patent law.


This book is of limited use as a research end-point for an experienced patent attorney.  The book is an introduction and does not cover the topics in enough depth to be serve as a treatise. (That’s why it is called an introduction).

About Book Review Monday: On occasional Monday we review patent law related books.  Let me know if you are interested in writing a book review. (Send your proposal to

Patently-O Tidbits

1. Book Reviews Ok’d: Last week, I started a new series known as “Book Review Monday.”  Although I gave a good review to David Pressman’s book, I am glad to know that negative book reviews published on the internet are not actionable — Hammer v. (“[N]egative reviews could not be construed as anything other than opinion.”).

2. Reader Survey: The Patently-O archives are growing rapidly (900+ articles) but several readers have lamented that would like a better access to the actual cases.  I wonder whether any readers would find it useful if I provided a Westlaw or Lexis (or BNA) link to the case in each case review? Of course, after clicking on the link, you would still have to login and pay the rates.  Please let me know if this would be a beneficial feature? (

3. The Latest Information on the New Patent Bar Exam: PLI is presenting this free audio briefing via either phone (register phn) or web (register web) on Wednesday October 19, at Noon (Central). You can also register via phone by calling (800) 260-4754 and mentioning Priority Code: PRW5-8AEM1.

4. BlawgThink 2005: If you are interested in starting a legal blog, BlawgThink 2005 is the place to be — November 11, 12. A number of IP bloggers will be leading discussions including Stephen Nipper, Matthew Buchanan, Douglas Sorocco, Cathy Kirkman, Brandy Karl, and me.

Patent It Yourself Book Review

PatentItYourself Patent It Yourself
by David Pressman
2005 (11th edition)
Paperback 512 Pages

$32.99 from

Book Review: When I arrived back from two-years of service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa with the naive idea of becoming a patent attorney, the first book that I purchased was Patent It Yourself.  The book is written in a very optimistic tone and is easy to read.  It sharpened my already keen interest in the field and gave me an opportunity to learn basics of patent law terminology and practical patent application practice.  When I wrote my first patent application, this book was there by my side.  I have to say that Patent It Yourself is still the best introductory resource book that I have seen for an inventor or new patent professionals.

Caveat: This book is an introduction and is missing many important details of the patent application process.  Rely on it to become familiar with the field but do not use it as your treatise or reference guide. ** Finally, despite the title, do not take this book as a replacement for an experienced patent attorney **

Who should read Patent It Yourself:

  • Inventors (regardless of whether you are working with a patent attorney).
  • New patent agents or techies thinking about joining the field.
  • Litigators moving into patent litigation.

About Book Review Monday: This is the first review of what I hope will be a successful series of reviews of patent related books.  The current plan is to release a two or three book review each month (each on a Monday).  Let me know if you are interested in writing a book review. (Send your proposal to