(2020) 17:1 SCRIPTed 1–193

Issue DOI: 10.2966/scrip.170120

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  • The Allocation of Patent Ownership in R&D Partnerships: Default Rules v. Contractual Practices
    Arina Gorbatyuk, pp. 4-53
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    Due to the increased complexity of new technologies and rapid technological developments, organisations often cannot independently keep up with the technological progress and engage in open innovation activities by setting up R&D partnerships. The allocation of patent ownership of jointly developed inventions is a difficult issue during the negotiations of such partnerships and can be extremely problematic due to the lack of regulation and harmonisation of patent legislation. This entails the need to consult a considerable number of legal systems that may be involved in large-scale international partnerships. The difficulties in allocating ownership can also arise due to non-legal reasons, such as diverging business interests. While many patent systems suggest co-ownership as a default regime, in practice organisations often avoid it due to the complexity related to further joint exploitation. The principle of freedom of contract allows organisations to establish their own applicable rules governing the allocation of ownership and exploitation of jointly developed inventions. Those rules provide more flexibility, but also imply some transaction costs in designing contracts. In this paper I examine why certain default rules are not “sticky” and whether it would be possible to establish a default rule accepted by the majority of the negotiating parties.

    Keywords: Patent ownership, co-ownership, R&D collaboration, open innovation, default rules, contractual freedom

  • No man is an island: A critical analysis of the UK’s implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty
    Jade Kouletakis, pp. 54-82
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    The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled was signed on behalf of the European Union on 30 April 2014. On 13 September 2017, the European Union created a Directive (2017/1564) implementing its obligations under the Marrakesh Treaty. This Directive and corresponding Regulations came into force on 12 October 2018, which was the deadline provided to member states in implementing the Directive. On the 11th of September 2018, the United Kingdom made the Copyright and Related Rights (Marrakesh Treaty etc.) (Amendment) Regulations 2018. The UK’s Marrakesh Regulations came into force the day before the EU deadline, and the lack of in-depth critical debate around this piece of legislation as well as the EU having initiated legal proceedings against the UK underscores the necessity of this paper. This paper seeks to assess the UK’s Marrakesh Regulations in light of both the EU legislation as well as non-EU international obligations to which the UK will remain bound beyond Brexit. This paper will ask: Can it be said that the UK in implementing the Marrakesh Treaty is fulfilling its obligations owed both to the EU as well as its own citizens?

    Keywords: Disability, copyright, Marrakesh Treaty

  • Computational Normative Decision Support Structures of Forensic Interpretation in the Legal Process
    Alex Biedermann, Silvia Bozza, Franco Taroni, and Joëlle Vuille, pp. 83-124
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    A broad range of questions at various instances in the legal process can be stated and analysed in terms of formal decision theoretic models, with results conveyed in graphical terms, such as decision trees. However, the real-world decision problems encountered by the participants of a legal process, including judges, prosecutors and attorneys, present challenging features, such as multiple competing propositions, variable costs and uncertain process outcomes. This complicates decision theoretic computations and the use of diagrammatic devices such as decision trees which mainly provide static views of selected features of a given problem. Yet, the issues are inherently dynamic, and the complexity of strategic planning and assessing legal tactics – given a party’s standpoint – increases even further when considerations are extended to information provided by forensic science services. This is because introducing results of forensic examinations may impact on the probability of various trial outcomes and hence crucially impact on a party’s interests. In this paper, we analyse and discuss examples of decision problems at the interface of the law and forensic science using influence diagrams (i.e., Bayesian decision networks). Such models, hereafter called normative decision support structures, can be operationally implemented through commercially and academically available software systems. These normative decision support structures represent core computational models that can be integrated as part of decision and litigation support systems, to help the participants of a legal process answer a variety of questions regarding complex strategic decisions.

    Keywords: Decision theory, forensic science, dispute resolution, legal negotiation, Bayesian decision networks, normative decision policies, sequential decisions

  • Autonomous cars: A driving force for change in motor liability and insurance
    Katie Atkinson, pp. 125-151
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    In this article, I review the legal and regulatory obstacles to the introduction of autonomous vehicles. I provide an overview of the key legislation which is relevant to the introduction of autonomous vehicles in England and Wales. I discuss the motor liability and insurance implications of the introduction of autonomous cars and the legal framework for the testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads. I conclude that there is likely to be significant volume of emerging legislation that car manufacturers and suppliers will be required to navigate as they launch increasingly autonomous driving systems. It is also likely that we will see an increase in the volume and complexity of litigation involving parties such as vehicle manufacturers, software companies, suppliers and mapping agencies.

    Keywords: OEMs, product liability, insurance law, autonomous vehicles, ACES, automotive, Automated and Electric Vehicle Act

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