Saturday, 17 March 2012

Patent History

Fritz Machlup, writing on the development of patent laws in various countries:

Four different legal philosophies about the nature of the inventor’s right were thus expressed in the patent laws of the various countries; the French, recognizing a property right of the inventor in his invention and deriving from it his right to obtain a patent; the American, silent on the property question, but stressing the inventor's legal right to a patent; the English, recognizing the monopoly character of the patent, and regarding it in theory as a grant of royal favor, but in practice regularly allowing the inventor’s claim to receive a patent on his invention; the Austrian, insisting that the inventor has no right to protection, but may, as a matter of policy, be granted a privilege if in the public interest.

Fritz Machlup; An Economic Review of the Patent System; from the introduction, page 3

Thanks to the Mises Institute

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