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The Intellectual Property Debate

The Intellectual Property Debate

Perspectives from Law, Economics and Political Economy

New Horizons in Intellectual Property series

Edited by Meir Perez Pugatch

Intellectual property (IP) has become one of the most influential and controversial issues in today’s knowledge-based society. This challenging book exposes the reader to key issues at the heart of the public debate now taking place in the field of IP. It considers IP at the macro level where it affects many issues. These include: international trade policy, ownership of breakthrough technologies, foreign direct investment, innovation climates, public–private partnerships, competition rules and public health where it is strongly embedded in contemporary business decision making.


Meir Perez Pugatch

Subjects: economics and finance, cultural economics, intellectual property, law - academic, intellectual property law


: 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...