Perspectives from Law, Economics and Political Economy
New Horizons in Intellectual Property series
Edited by Meir Perez Pugatch
: debating IPRs Meir Perez Pugatch Aliusque et idem Carmen Saeculare, 10 Horace 1. THE LESSONS OF HISTORY: WAVES OF IP DEBATES If a Martian (or any kind of extraterrestrial for that matter) were to visit earth for the ﬁrst time and be exposed to some of the debates that are currently taking place in the IP domain, he would undoubtedly think that there is something very peculiar with the system. After all, if something as ‘technical’ and ‘legalistic’ as IPRs draws so much attention, then surely there is either more to the system than meets the eye, or the system is relatively new and therefore requires modiﬁcations. If the same Martian were to visit earth sooner – say in the 17th century (1623 to be exact) – when section 6 of the Statute of Monopolies was passed in Britain, then he would have probably understood that the system is far from new and would thus have eliminated the second explanation. After all, the Statute of Monopolies – which at the time revoked all rights to private monopolies under the British dominium and established that the British Crown has the sole authority to grant such monopolies, has made an exception with regard to patented inventions. Any declaration before- mentioned shall not extend to any letters patents (b) and grants of privilege for the term of fourteen years or under, hereafter to be made, of the sole working or making of any manner of new manufactures within this realm (c) to the true and...