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Owning Ideas
The Intellectual Origins of American Intellectual Property, 1790–1909

$44.00 USD

Part of Cambridge Historical Studies in American Law and Society

  • Date Published: November 2016
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781316876251

$ 44.00 USD
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About the Authors
  • Owning Ideas is a comprehensive account of the emergence of the concept of intellectual property in the United States during the long nineteenth century. In the modern information era, intellectual property has become a central economic and cultural phenomenon and an important lever for allocating wealth and power. This book uncovers the intellectual origins of this modern concept of private property in ideas through a close study of its emergence within the two most important areas of this field: patent and copyright. By placing the development of legal concepts within their social context, this study reconstructs the radical transformation of the idea. Our modern notion of owning ideas, it argues, came into being when the ideals of eighteenth-century possessive individualism at the heart of early patent and copyright were subjected to the forces and ideology of late-nineteenth-century corporate liberalism.

    • Fills a gap in the literature by investigating the ideas of American patent and copyright in their formative period in history
    • The examination of both patent and copyright ideas allows for a comparative dimension to the discussion, exploring elements of divergence and convergence between these two major fields
    • Functions as a legal-intellectual history which is sensitive to social context
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book is a superb study of the transformation of American copyright and patent doctrine in the nineteenth century. Deeply researched, finely nuanced and lucidly presented. Owning Ideas will be read by literary scholars, cultural historians, Americanists generally and scholars in communications and media departments as well as by legal scholars. It will quickly become a classic.' Mark Rose, University of California, Santa Barbara

    'Building on the foundation established by Rose and Deazley in their histories of the invention of copyright in the eighteenth century, Bracha's brilliant intellectual history explains how the fundamental components of patents and copyright - authorship, the object of protection and scope of protection - were transformed over the nineteenth century. With amazing analytical clarity, as well as wonderful depth, Owning Ideas is the first sophisticated account of the development of the constitutive assumptions of modern American intellectual property law.' Lionel Bently, University of Cambridge

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2016
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781316876251
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. The origins of the American intellectual property regime
    2. The rise and fall of authorship based copyright
    3. Objects of property: owning intellectual works
    4. Inventors' rights
    5. Owning inventions

  • Author

    Oren Bracha, University of Texas, Austin
    Oren Bracha is a professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law. He is one of the leading scholars of the history of Anglo-American intellectual property and has published extensively in the fields of intellectual property law and legal history.

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