French Patent Cases in English

Véron & Associés, a French patent litigation firm, maintains a database of  French patent court opinions translated into English. The judgments are from Parisian district courts, court of appeals, and the Cour de Cassation.  Years of coverage are 2001 through 2012. The quality of the translations is excellent, preserving the substance of the legal holdings without sacrificing readability. They also provide copies of the original French language opinions.

French Patent Case Law in English:
http://www.frenchpatentcaselaw.info/
http://www.veron.com/en/FPCL.asp

Hat tip to Jean Gasnault

French Law 2012-287: Database of Digitized 20th Century Books

Law 2012-287 was published in the Official Journal of France on March 2, 2012. The law, which amended France’s Intellectual Property Code, proposes building a free, public database of digitized books that were published in the 20th Century and are no longer in commercial distribution. The Bibliothèque national de France (BNF) would be in charge of creating and administering the database.

Publishers and rights holders will have 6 months to challenge inclusion of a book in the database. It also appears that after raising a challenge, publishers have three years to demonstrate a market for the book, or that they have created their own digitized version.

I did not see a specific appropriation of funds in the bill, so it is unclear to me how the BNF will finance the project.

Reaction on French law librarian mailing lists and blogs has been positive, but muted. Wait and see seems to be the prevailing sentiment.

Whether this bill leads to a free database or not, let’s hope that it spurs debate in France, Europe, and across the Atlantic, about the role of digitized books in society.

Law 2012-287 relative à l’exploitation numérique des livres indisponibles du XXe siècle.
http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/jopdf/common/jo_pdf.jsp?numJO=0&dateJO=20120302&numTexte=1&pageDebut=03986&pageFin=03988

Full-text of the bill and links to legislative history materials are available at
http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr/13/ta/ta0865.asp

Some authors’ groups have already criticized the bill for ignoring copyright law. For example, see the petition circulated by writer Yal Ayerdhal:
http://www.petitionpublique.fr/?pi=P2012N21047

Additional commentary on the bill from the Rue89 blog
http://www.rue89.com/rue89-culture/2012/03/03/numerisation-des-livres-quon-nedite-plus-qui-y-gagne-229855

Italian Society for the Study of Comparative Law

The latest issue of the “European Journal of Private Law” reports on the establishment in September 2010 of the Società Italiana per la Ricerca nel Diritto Comparato (SIRD)

Conference Report: The First Conference of the Società Italiana per la Ricerca nel Diritto Comparato (SIRD) on “The New Frontiers of Comparative Law” held in Milano
Nadia Coggiola
15 European Review of Private Law 687 (2011)

From the article:
Founded by several distinguised Italian scholars, among them to cite a few, Rodolfo Sacco, Antonio Gambaro, Guido Alpa, Giovanni Conso, Michele Graziadei, Alessandro Pizzorusso and Gustavo Zagrebelsky, SIRD now counts more than 200 members.

The role of comparative law in Italian universities is remarkable: Italian universities are the home of around 200 chairs in comparative law, and the subject is compulsory in every law degree programme.

Società Italiana per la Ricerca nel Diritto Comparato
Italian Society for the Study of Comparative Law
http://www.sirdcomp.it/

Top Employers for Energy Law in Germany

Azur magazine’s latest issue profiles the top law firms, corporations, and government agencies in Germany working on energy law. This issue also includes an article on energy project planning in Germany and the EU. All materials are in German.

Azur JUVE Karrieremagazin für junge Juristen
01/2011
Top-Arbeitgeber im Energiewirtschaftsrecht (Best Employers in Energy Law)
Parissa Kerkhoff
pages 57-61.

The article is not online, but Azur’s homepage is available at:
http://www.azur-online.de/nachrichten/

 

 

Festival Justice et Cinema

La Rochelle, France offers an annual justice and film festival – Festival Justice et Cinema. Now in its third year, the 2011 edition was held June 10th and11th.

Each year’s festival offers a different theme, with this year’s films focusing on  screen portrayals of investigating magistrates (juge d’instruction)

 In addition to screening  films, the festival also offers discussions by legal practitioners, film critics, journalists, and academics.

http://www.festivaljusticeetcinema.fr/

The Web site also includes a biblioghraphy.

Law, Justice and Film

Looks like the University Jean Moulin and the Bar Association of Lyon’s conference on law and narrative cinema is turning into an annual event. The 2nd annual meeting was held in late March in Lyon. In addition to panels, the conference also screened films. Participants included screenwriters, directors, attorneys, professors, and administrative judges.

Les Rencontres Droit, Justice & Cinema 2011
Les questions de Droit et de Justice abordées par le prisme du cinéma de fiction
Lyon, France. March 21-25, 2011
http://lesmistons.typepad.com/files/dp-comoedia—rencontres-djc-20115.pdf

2010 Conference
http://www.barreaulyon.com/Le-Barreau-de-Lyon/Actualites/Rencontres-Droit-Justice-et-Cinema

Hat tip to the Law and Cinema Blog (Le Blog Droit et Cinéma)
http://lesmistons.typepad.com/blog/

Documentary on Jean Monnet

Professor Don Smith of the University of Denver Strum College of Law has produced and posted a 90 minute documentary  on the life of Jean Monnet, one of the architects of the European Community. The film provides an interesting look into the genesis of the institutions that produced the European Union and the remarkable life of Jean Monnet.

Jean Monnet Father of Europe

http://www.law.du.edu/index.php/jean-monnet-father-of-europe

From the project description:

Jean Monnet has been called “The Father of Europe” by those who see his innovative and pioneering efforts in the 1950s as the key to establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, the predecessor of today’s European Union.

Jean Monnet’s concept of “European community” was aimed at ending the ceaseless wars on the European continent and enhancing prosperity. And yet today in Europe – to say nothing of the rest of the world – Monnet is often a forgotten historical figure, his contributions to peace and prosperity in Europe largely overlooked.

In commemoration of this 20th century giant, 18 months ago Don C. Smith, who teaches “European Union Law & Policy” and “European Union Environmental Law & Policy” at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, embarked on an effort to produce a video documentary explaining who Monnet was and what his legacy is.

Mr. Smith’s interviews capture the observations and insight of those who worked with Monnet in the key years of the 1950s as well as individuals who have been influenced by Monnet’s contributions to European integration.

hat tip to Joan Policastri

Legal Research Methods in a Modern World: A Coursebook

Together with my Stanford Law School colleague George D. Wilson and our friend and Danish legal scholar Henrik Spang-Hanssen, we have just published the third edition of our legal research book, a revision of Legal Research Methods in the U.S. and Europe, 2nd Edition.  But with the inclusion of short but good (in my opinion) chapters on legal research in China and Russia and some other materials, we have changed the title to Legal Research Methods in a Modern World: A Coursebook.

The book, now weighing in at 453 pages (and bargain priced at $ 55.00), is rich with illustrations and peppered with legal research tips.  My contribution is mainly Chapter 5, about legal research methods in the United States, and it is based upon and follows the advanced legal research class that I co-teach here at Stanford.  New to this edition, in addition to other updates, is the inclusion of research exercises that we have found most useful from the class.  I did not include the answers — because I hope to continue to use these exercises — but I would be very happy to share the answers and my thoughts on approaches with other instructors of legal research.

The legal world is certainly getting smaller, and it is our shared belief that this would be handy book for any attorney to have as he or she deals with lawyers from other countries and their legal cultures.

The book should be available from Amazon.com; but if not, or if you want to order copies in mass quantities, the U.S. distributor is International Specialized Book Services.  For other countries, the distributor is Marston Book Services.

We also have a corresponding website here.

Book Review: Revue Bibliographique – Le Blog Droit Administratif

The Droit Adminsitratif blog publishes every two month a very handy compilation of new French language titles called “Revue bibliographique.”  The revue includes cover images, summaries, and table of contents.  Book includes various legal topics, not just administrative law. Highly recommended for collection management and acquisition librarians.  The blog also has an interesting “droit et cinema” category.

Le Blog Droit Administratif

http://www.blogdroitadministratif.net/index.php/

Revue Bibliographique Nov/Dec 2010

http://www.blogdroitadministratif.net/index.php/2011/01/01/262-revue-bibliographique-novembre-decembre-2010

Curious footnote: Legal Research at French Law Firms

Prof. Pierre-Yves Gautier’s book chapter ” The Influence of Scholarly Writing Upon the Courts in Europe” includes this curious endnote:

“It is the author’s understanding that in some of the major law firms in France partners prohibit junior solicitors from doing research mostly on the internet or databases. Research must always start on paper.”

See Pierre -Yves Gautier. The Influence of Scholarly Writing Upon the Courts in Europe in Mary Hiscock and William van Canegem (eds.). The Internationalisation of Law: Legislating ,  Decision-Making, Practice and Education. Edward Elgar, 2010. page 210.

Perhaps some  of our readers in France or those with experience in Parisian firms could confirm this. If true, I wonder if cost or research methodology is the primary motivation for restricting online resources?