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Tukulov Review of Rubins-Kinsella International Law Book

Latest comments on of my book International Investment, Political Risk, and Dispute Resolution: A Practitioner’s Guide published in late 2005, by Kazakh attorney Bakhyt Tukulov (Legal Department, (K’Cell) “GSM Kazakhstan OJSC “Kazakhtelecom” LLP) (from an email by Tukulov to my co-author Noah Rubins):

I’d like to again thank you for the book, as now, upon completion, I understand the real value it has. I’d advise it to anybody, who has basic understanding of and interested in arbitration, I’d definitely advise it to foreign businessmen; moreover, valuable citations and references to sources found in the book can help if deeper research of certain aspect is necessary.

The book is also very useful for its annexes as a reader can easily locate certain provisions in relevant convention and to grasp it easily. I’d say this book may easily serve as a handbook to practicing lawyers.

Another fact is that by means of this book I got considerably familiar with basics of customary international law (mainly of ICSID framework). International law has always seemed to me like vacuum to some extent as in University we have studied conventional international law only.


Dundas Review of Rubins-Kinsella International Law Book

Latest review of my book International Investment, Political Risk, and Dispute Resolution: A Practitioner’s Guide published in late 2005, by the well-known Scottish practitioner/arbitrator Hew R. Dundas, in Arbitration: The International Journal of Arbitration, Mediation and Dispute Management, the journal of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators:

“Oh No – not another book on investment arbitration!” might be one’s first response but, if so, a wrong one; while “I couldn’t put it down” is a time-honoured publisher’s cliché, it genuinely applies to this book. The book is a collaboration between a well-known international arbitration lawyer (Rubins) and the General Counsel (Kinsella) of [AOI, a laser manufacturer], and therefore avoids the tendency dryness that can infect some over-specialist academic tomes. It is in three parts (i) Assessment and Pre-Investment Management of Political Risk (ii) The International Law Framework of Investment Protection and Political Risk and (iii) Dispute Resolution – these three parts total 442 pages; there are also extensive (300 pages) appendices (see below) and a reasonably-comprehensive index Your reviewer has approached this book wearing two main alternating hats: first, that of an international arbitrator closely involved with the investment arbitration world and, secondly, that of the former Head of Legal and Group Insurance Manager (including Political Risk) of a large oil company. So far as this book is concerned, both hats are very comfortable. Part I is, perhaps for the specialist, sometimes a little too general but this is reflected in the wide range of matters covered, typically in a succinct and clear style so that even in specialist areas your reviewer welcomed the authors’ analysis since, as a minimum, it helps the reader reassess his/her thoughts and priorities; for example, the list of definitions (at page 34ff) of BT/BOT/BLT/BOO/BOOT/BTO is useful clarification. The authors’ analysis (page 53ff) of stabilisation clauses proved most welcomely succinct with a clarity and precision sadly lacking in a recent (and turgid) PhD thesis on this topic for which your reviewer was External Examiner.

Part II changes up a gear and includes some excellent material e.g. a thorough yet succinct section on the nationality of claims (135ff), and an interesting analysis of arbitral decisions (250ff). Part III is, so far as arbitration and dispute resolution are concerned, and quite properly in context, focussed wholly on investment and other international arbitration issues including 56 pages on procedure forming a compact and useful summary. There is also a useful 40-page chapter on conciliation including even a section on Med-Arb. Part III continues in that higher gear with interesting sections on “Preliminary Treaty Concerns” (272ff), “Problem Areas” (297ff) and “Challenge of Awards” (353ff); these were a pleasure to read. Throughout the book, the materials are well-integrated and very much up-to-date as subscribers to OGEMID will recognise (but note that the authors’ preface is dated August 2005 and the book published in 2005) Too many arbitration textbooks reproduce the same materials leading to much unnecessary duplication (the Arbitration Act 1996, ICC Rules, LCIA Rules etc etc appear far too often). This book includes materials I do not otherwise possess including the OPIC Contract of Insurance, the MIGA Contract of Guarantee, even a private insurance contract and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (USA). The Washington Convention (1965), the UNCITRAL Model Law (1985) and the UNCITRAL Rules (1976) reappear as in so many texts. Most of these are easily available on the ICSID and UNCITRAL websites so a single page of URLs would be a more constructive approach. Importantly, there is an extensive and valuable list of book/article sources, such list not being otherwise readily available; you reviewer notes for the record that he discovered he had been cited only after completing this review ! The book reads well as regards literary style, generally easy on the eye and not overusing jargon; key issues are generally well-explained and, perhaps, we see the benefits of the collaboration between in-house Counsel and a practising lawyer at the sharp edge of modern developments. In conclusion, this book is valuable in its own right but, at a mere £90, must be considered a bargain.

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Kinsella Oxford University Press Books

Since the purchase of my publisher, Oceana Publications, by Oxford University Press in late 2005, Oxford has assumed various Oceana titles I authored or edit, and seems to have finally added them to its print and online catalogs, e.g.:


Kinsella, Block, Tinsley on Exclusionary Rule

Just uploaded: my article In Defense of Evidence and Against the Exclusionary Rule: A Libertarian Approach, co-authored with Pat Tinsley and Walter Block, published in the Southern University Law Review.


de Gramont Blurb on Rubins-Kinsella International Law Book

Latest blurb on my book International Investment, Political Risk, and Dispute Resolution: A Practitioner’s Guide published last year:

I’ve been reading through your book International Investment, Political Risk and Dispute Resolution. It is a remarkably helpful, well-written, and well-researched work. It is quite scholarly and at the same time a thoroughly practical and useful guide.”
Alexandre de Gramont, Crowell & Moring LLP


Reengineering the Patent Examination Process: Two Suggestions

Re my previous post about suggestions to eliminate substantive patent examination, I was just made aware of D.C. Toedt, “Reengineering the Patent Examination Process: Two Suggestions,” 81 J. Pat. & Trademark Off. Soc’y 462 (1999). This is based on Toedt’s suggestion in 1994 “that the PTO steal two ideas from the SEC:

  • Suggestion 1: create a convertible “low end” patent (CLEP)
  • Suggestion 2: conduct examinations as administrative trials.

Check it out. Email me with any comments.



Interesting article in a Malaysian/Singaporean IP firm newsletter (it appears in the Q1/2006 issue of Henry Goh Intellectual Property Updates:

by Dave A. Wyatt

In recent years, there has been talk of a crisis in the patenting system worldwide. This reflects a concern over growth in the numbers of patent applications being filed and lengthening delays by patent offices in processing the applications through to grant.

Even the patent offices of countries that have traditionally been seen as relatively fast are slowing down under the sheer volume of work. A 2005 survey by the US-based Intellectual Property Owners Association showed that two-thirds of respondents expected the patent granting process in the United States to take longer over the next three years.

People unfamiliar with the world of patents are always surprised that it takes a period of years for a patent to be granted. The principal reason for this delay is the process of substantive examination under which the patentability of the invention is checked by a technicallyqualified examiner.

The reaction of the major patent offices of the world has been to recruit and train ever more examiners, increase sharing and recognition of each other’s work, as well as to impose fees that penalize lengthy applications.

Malaysia has not escaped criticism for its delay in examining patent applications, either. It has been proposed that a further 500 patent examiners be recruited to add to the existing 42. However, the author submits that this will not solve the problem locally because of the way examination is currently done in Malaysia for most applications.

Instead, a more radical proposal is made. Do we need substantive examination as a pre-condition for grant of every patent? There are already countries such as France and South Africa whose patent systems do not provide for it. Instead, substantive examination could be made compulsory only prior to starting an infringement action or even sending a preliminary warning letter. A provision under which the Registrar of Patents and third parties could require an application to be examined may also be included.

The grant of an examined patent is never a guarantee of its validity. However, many patented inventions are not commercially exploited and even less are litigated. So, is it not logical that the expense and time of substantive examination be reserved for those that really matter?


Mozy.com Free Online Backup Service

Just an FYI–for anyone who does not have a good backup service for their computer documents and files: there’s a great service i’ve been using –I have struggled with good backup solutions for a long time. I have tried several. A few months back I stumbled across Mozy.com which I tried and love. It’s an online backup service, and does 2GB of storage FREE. It is very cool; seems to work seemlessly, and without error. I set it to backup a few times a day. The first time it backs up, it might take a day or more; but after that, each backup is incremental so it’s pretty fast. I use it at home, and also at work. For work I purchased the $4.95/month version which gives you like 30GB or something like that. For home I just use the free version. Actually you get an extra 250MB (a quarter of a GB) of space for every person you refer–I have done this and now have over 5GB of space. In fact if you sign up using someone else’s referral link, you start out with 2.25GB instead of 2GB. If you want to try it for backup purposes, click on my referral link (https://mozy.com/?code=P52E8G) to get 2.25GB (instead of just 2.0GB) free space. I’ve done a few sample backups just to test it (and one time to recover a file I had accidentally deleted), and it worked great. Highly recommended.


IP and Patent Law Guide – WIki

As some of you may know, I have for some time maintained a web page with Intellectual Property, Patent, and Law Resources.

I have moved the content of these resources to a wiki so that other members of the patent community can help collaborate to improve this list of resources. Members may join and participate in editing the wiki, add links, fix links, upload files, and join our discussions.

Instructions are provided below (also available here).

If you forget the link, I have registered www.PatentLawPractice.info and www.PatentLawPractice.us which both point to the page above.


The Intellectual Property, Patent, and Law Resources previously shown below has been moved to a PatentLawPractice wiki at Wikispaces.

Members of the patent and IP law community are encouraged to help improve it. To do this, first, join Wikispaces then join the PatentLawPractice Wiki.

The wiki is designed for the patent bar and IP law community–practicing IP attorneys or patent agents, and, on a limited basis, others with special familiarity with IP law practice.

(IP practitioners who have not yet members are also encouraged to join the PatentLawPractice Yahoo Group listserv.)

Contact me with any questions.

N. Stephan Kinsella
General Counsel
Applied Optoelectronics, Inc.

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“Go Left, he said”: How Jeff Tucker Saved My Life

Or at least, my arm. I’ve noted before his nuggets of wisdom–his Rules of Thumb for Living. The lates

t concerns mouse usage.

I’ve always had a bit of skepticism about people who whined about “carpal tunnel” syndrome. But over the last year my right arm has gotten worse and

worse, from typing and mouse manipulation. Jeff told me to switch to my left arm for mouse usage. I briefly tried it, about 6 months ago, and gave up. But the problem got worse; Jeff told me again recently to switch to the left hand, and that his switch was one of the best things he’s ever done. So the last few days I’ve tried it, and have largely switched. At first I would give up and switch to the “good” hand when I got frustrated. But now I’m almost exclusively left-hand mouse. Still slower, and it’s frustrating, but already I’m feeling better. And one advantage: your right hand can do the arrow keys while left can do mouse at same time. Jeff: I love you, man!!!

Update: Jeff also highly recommends this task chair.

Followup: some replies:

If you ever get tired of using the mouse with your left hand, I would suggest a different solution that worked for me. Try a wireless optical or laser mouse, and use it on a book or other surface that you can put on your lap. This way you can keep your arm at your side and your hand resting comfortably on your lap. I used to get pain in my right arm, and this solution made it go away in about a week. Just a suggestion.


Use two mice, and make your right-hand one a rollerball.