Some Recently Released Intellectual Property Resources

Michel-Adrien Sheppard, Reference Librarian at the Supreme Court of Canada, alerted us over on sLaw this week to a couple of newly released intellectual property resources.

The first is WIPO Lex a "a one-stop search facility for national laws and treaties on intellectual property (IP) of WIPO, WTO and UN Members." Searches on the texts of IP laws can be done by: national law (Member combined with subject); browsing Member profile pages; treaty (by organization in combination with the type of treaty and/or subject); or a full text keyword search.

The lists of resources found on the Member's Profile pages are for legislation that is currently in force, however "the Details page of each text includes information concerning any historical version or related legislation (including their texts). For example, information concerning related texts which amend, repeal or consolidates may be found on the Details page." The listing for Canada currently provides access to 52 texts including the national laws, implementing rules/regulations, treaty membership information and related links. A directory of IP Offices is also provided.

The second is the historical resource Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) "a digital archive of primary sources on copyright from the invention of the printing press (c. 1450) to the Berne Convention (1886) and beyond". Development was funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) focusing on key materials from Renaissance Italy (Venice, Rome), France, the German speaking countries, Britain and the United States. National editors for each jurisdiction have selected a core set of documents for there areas providing many additional contextual documents which are linked back to the core materials. An international advisory board also reviewed the selections.

Resources can be accessed by date, place and language with browsing by person on both documents and commentaries. There's also a static list of key words that is a bit too large to be entirely useful. Fortunately, although not immediately apparent, there is a keyword search (powered by Google) that lets you drill down a little easier. There's also a very interesting 'Interactive Timeline Navigation' feature that let's you mouse over the time period and see the number of documents produced for each of the geographical regions.

Accessing individual documents in the database is not entirely intuitive. Clicking on Britain under the Core documents yields a chronological list of resources. Clicking on a date next to the title in this list takes you to the database record (which includes a useful abstract and brief bibliography). To see the document you then click on 'Images' which takes you to a document reader with the scanned image along side a transcription (if available). You can then open a larger PDF version of the scanned image for the best view of the original document. Here's a page from Day's The Cosmographical Glass, London (1559) for example. Translations are provided for many documents and well researched commentaries with thorough bibliographies are available for the core documents.

As Michel-Adrien says in his post "A Great Month for Online IP Resources".