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The Democratization of Invention

The Democratization of Invention
Patents and Copyrights in American Economic Development, 1790–1920


  • Date Published: December 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521811354

£ 57.00

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About the Authors
  • This book, first published in 2005, examines the evolution and impact of American intellectual property rights during the 'long nineteenth century'. The American experience is compared to Britain and France, countries whose institutions reflected their oligarchic origins. Instead, US patent and copyright institutions were carefully calibrated to 'promote the general welfare'. The United States created the first modern patent system and its politics were the most liberal in the world toward inventors. When markets expanded, these inventors contributed to the proliferation of new technologies and improvements, many of which proved to be valuable both in economic and technical terms. American patent and copyright institutions not only furthered economic and technological progress but also provided a conduit for the creativity and achievements of disadvantaged groups.

    • Compares patent and copyright institutions to better understand the rationale behind intellectual property rights policies
    • Comparative international perspective - looks at experience of France, Britain, and the US, and to a lesser extent Japan, Germany and Switzerland
    • Broad perspective including law, economics, history, women, and technology
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2005
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521811354
    • length: 342 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.67kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The patent system in Europe and America
    3. Patent laws and litigation
    4. Democratization and patented inventions
    5. Women inventors in America
    6. Patentees and married women's property rights
    7. Great inventors and democratic invention
    8. Copyright in Europe and America
    9. American copyright law
    10. Intellectual property and economic development.

  • Author

    B. Zorina Khan, Bowdoin College, Maine
    B. Zorina Khan is Professor of Economics at Bowdoin College. Her research focuses on the economic history of law, technology, and institutions. She has written articles for journals such as the Journal of Economic History and the American Economic Review. She is on the Editorial board of the Journal of Economic History and is a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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