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the history of patents what are the origins of the patent system the existence of patent like incentives date all the way back to antiquity in 500 BC in the ancient Greek city of Cyprus encouragement was held out to all who should discover any new refinement in luxury the profits arising from which were secured to the inventor by patent for the space of a year the first formal legal institutions were developed in the Republic of Venice in the mid 1400s the venetian statute of 1474 decreed that the inventors of new and useful devices would be protected from infringers and copiers for ten years so long as they disclose the details of their inventions during this time most venetian patents were granted in the field of glass making and when a large number of these glass makers emigrated to other countries in europe they sought similar protections from the local authorities as they emigrated the notion of patent rights and their expression in patent legal systems began to spread and gain acceptance throughout Europe during the 1500s to the 1700s English and French monarchs use patents not only to stimulate invention but also to grant exclusive trade monopolies to those favored by the court in the late 1500s during the reign of Elizabeth the first some 50 patent monopolies were granted over the trade in such staples as salt soap starch iron and paper critics pointed out that these enriched the monopolist and robbed the community while doing absolutely nothing to stimulate new technology or industry ultimately the growing public outcry forced Elizabeth's successor James the first to revoke these grants of trade monopolies in 1610 in 1624 the statute of monopolies formally repealed the practice and henceforth restricted patent rights solely to new adventures throughout Europe several other important innovations emerged in early patent systems in the mid 1500s France became the first to publish patent descriptions from inventors who chose to submit them and England under the reign Queen Anne from 1702 to 1714 was the first to require inventors to submit a written description of their patents in order to describe and ascertain the nature of the invention and the manner in which it is to be performed in 1729 France began to publish abbreviated digest of patent descriptions but these were intermittent and subject to delays of up to sixty years after the patents were originally granted as might be expected this lack of regularity limited the technological knowledge sharing that is one of the great benefits of a patent system where did these early systems fall short as innovative as these efforts were most of these old-world patent systems still suffered from other common weaknesses for example patents for inventions imported from other countries were regularly granted increasing the incentive for would-be patent EES to copy the creative work of others rather than invent for themselves additionally there was generally no systematic examination of patents by technical experts in part because this was viewed as an intrusion upon the prerogatives of the crown but the biggest problem with these early patent systems was their tendency to reinforce the wealth and prerogatives of elites not the welfare and productive capacity of the whole of society for example in Britain patents were largely favors granted by grace of the crown and were often only secured through court connections what's more patent application fees were prohibitively high more than 11 times the per capita annual income of the average British citizen which put the system out of reach of all but the wealthy British patent law also required patent ease to manufacture products based on their patents which limited innovation activity mainly to those who already owned factories or had the ready capital to build factories these rules had two significant effects upon the British economy first they restricted innovation to only a small sector of the population rather than unleashing the creativity and productivity of the whole people and second they created a bias toward inventions that enhance the market dominance of incumbent capital intensive industries rather than opening up new markets for disruptive new into trees that generally drive economic progress as historian B's arena con noted European societies were organized in ways that concentrated power in the hands of elites and facilitated parasitic rent-seeking by favorite producers the organization of invention was no exception a society there restricts invention to elites can generate exceptional gains early on but the initial spurt is unlikely to be maintained while the elitist nature of early patent systems reflected the feudal economic relations that dominated that era changes were on the horizon by the late 18th century capitalist economies were beginning to emerge across Europe and in Britain nationwide lobbies of manufacturers and patent EES called for an overhaul of the patent system to bring it in line with this new economy surprisingly the much-needed reinvention did not come from Britain or even from France but rather it took place in the newly liberated United States where vibrant capitalism unburdened by centuries of entrenched feudalism was developing you
Thanks for your comment Dani Domenice, have a nice day.
- Art Atanacio, Staff Member
Thanks for this interesting article
Thanks FeliarthH your participation is very much appreciated
- Art Atanacio
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I've studied legal anthropology at University of Houston in Houston and I am an expert in physical cosmology. I usually feel apathetic. My previous job was rail yard engineers I held this position for 12 years, I love talking about distro hopping and landboarding. Huge fan of Harry Styles I practice pilates and collect minerals.
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