This winter issue of SCRIPTed marks the first issue of the seventeenth volume of our journal. In this issue we are delighted to present four fully peer reviewed articles ranging from current issues in Intellectual Property Law to Forensic Interpretation in the Legal Process and Motor Liability and Insurance in the case of Autonomous Vehicles.
The first paper of this issue by Arina Gorbatyuk examines the allocation of patent ownership for jointly developed inventions in an era of rapid technological developments. Arina, explores whether and if so, under which circumstances organisations follow existing default rules for the allocation of patent ownership. In other words, the aim of this paper is to assess whether the existing default rules are what Arina refers to as “sticky”. Arina sets out to do so by answering three research questions and each of this paper’s sections corresponds to each of the research questions. Arina concludes that national default rules are in fact not “sticky” since collaborating parties tend to heavily rely on their right to contract out of them and establish the rules applicable to their relationship.
The second paper of this issue by Jade Kouletakis critically analyses the UK’s implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty which aims to facilitate access for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled through a set of limitations and exceptions to copyright law. Jade seeks to assess the UK’s Marrakesh Regulations in light of both the EU legislation as well as non-EU international obligations and whether the UK in implementing the Marrakesh Treaty is fulfilling its obligations owed both to the EU as well as its own citizens. Jade’s also analyses the UK’s implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty in light of Brexit making this paper extremely topical. Jade concludes that the UK’s Marrakesh Regulations violate the EU Directive, potentially violates the human rights of its own citizens, leaves disabled individuals and authorised entities in a paralytic state of legal flux, and undermines the spirit and purport of the Marrakesh Treaty. Jade recommends that revoking Regulation 20 of the UK’s Marrakesh Regulations would largely resolve these issues.
The third paper of this issue by Alex Biederman et. al. explores the interplay between law and forensic science using influence diagrams (i.e. Bayesian decision networks) that can help participants of a legal process answer a variety of questions regarding complex strategic decisions. Namely this paper provides an analysis and discussion of examples that pose 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.
The fourth and final paper of this issue by Katie Atkinson examines the regulatory obstacles to the introduction of autonomous vehicles in England and Wales. Katie provides a discussion of 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 and concludes 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.
Also included is an equally diverse set of six book reviews that will provide our readers with lots of ideas on what to add to their reading lists ranging from Data Protection, Privacy, IT contracts, Cryptocurrencies, Bioethics and Global Heath Law.