This is a short yet very readable book which is intended primarily for the digital website entrepreneur who is new to the key principles of intellectual property that govern this area of business. It attempts to achieve two things: first, to teach the basics of IP law to the unwary entrant to the digital world, and second to warn them against using the wrong IP practitioner, of whom there are now many after the ‘big bang’ created by the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990.

This book directs readers to solicitors (rather than any of the rest) and, of course, Azrights, Ms Smith’s own firm. However, the words of Robin Jacob LJ, a retired lord justice of appeal and now professor of IP law at University College London, are pertinent here when discussing the relative roles of the IP practitioner: ‘It’s a question of horses for courses.’

Author: Shireen Smith

£12.99, Rethink Press Limited

When not warning about using the wrong type of IP specialist, the book explains the pitfalls of proceeding into the digital world through short references to case law. Some cases might be thought too complex for an IP innocent to follow – for example, SAS Institute Inc v World Programming Ltd – but the gist of the dangers is amply demonstrated to any uninformed IP entrepreneur.

Mark Engelman is head of intellectual property at Hardwicke chambers, London