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The British Patent System during the Industrial Revolution 1700–1852
From Privilege to Property


Part of Cambridge Intellectual Property and Information Law

  • Date Published: October 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107058293

£ 84.99

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About the Authors
  • The British Patent System during the Industrial Revolution 1700–1852 presents a fundamental reassessment of the contribution of patenting to British industrialisation during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It shows that despite the absence of legislative reform, the British patent system was continually evolving and responding to the needs of an industrialising economy. Inventors were able to obtain and enforce patent rights with relative ease. This placed Britain in an exceptional position. Until other countries began to enact patent laws in the 1790s, it was the only country where inventors were frequently able to appropriate returns from obtaining intellectual property rights, thus encouraging them to develop the new technology industrialisation required.

    • Argues that the British patent system incentivised both the development and the diffusion of new technology during the Industrial Revolution
    • Includes new materials relating to the development and commercialisation of the steam engine during the eighteenth century which will interest both historians of technology and economic historians
    • Thorough analysis of patent law between 1700 and 1852 clarifies and illustrates the changes happening in other areas of intellectual property law over the same period, such as copyright
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2014
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107058293
    • length: 336 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus. 7 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    Part I. The Patent 'System':
    2. The administration of patents: a poor man's tale?
    3. The jurisprudence of patents: the specification requirement
    4. Of patents and pirates: the adjudication of patent disputes
    5. The substantive development of patent law
    Conclusion to Part I
    Part II. Patents and Technology:
    6. Patents and the Industrial Enlightenment
    7. The market in patent rights
    8. Patents and the Newcomen and Watt steam engines
    9. Capital, patents and the joint-stock company
    Conclusion to Part II.

  • Author

    Sean Bottomley, Université de Toulouse 1 Capitole
    Sean Bottomley is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Toulouse School of Economics, Université Toulouse 1. His research interests are the British industrial revolution and the relationship between technological change and economic development.

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