A Handbook of Contemporary Research
- Research Handbooks in Intellectual Property series
Edited by Toshiko Takenka
Chapter 3: History of the Patent System
3 History of the patent system John N. Adams Introduction Unlike trademarks, which can develop even in comparatively primitive societies in which particular makers’ marks can acquire goodwill as people come to rely on them,1 or copyright, which seems to represent a fairly basic instinct about the relationship of an author to his or her works,2 patents seem to be a creation of advanced societies. Although it has sometimes been asserted that the earliest form of patents might have existed in 500 BC in Sybaris, Greece, where monopolies were granted to new dishes for a period of one year, and that the patents may also have existed in the Roman Empire where guilds existed, the only reliable historical evidence is that the system originated in Venice in the fifteenth century. A few patents had already been granted prior to 1474 when Venice promulgated its patent statute, probably the first modern patent law. We have among us men of great genius, apt to invent and discover ingenious devices; and in view of the grandeur and virtue of our city, more such men come to us every day from divers parts. Now, if provision were made for the works and devices discovered by such persons, so that others who may see them could not build them and take the inventor’s honour away, more men would then apply their genius, would discover, and would build devices of great utility and benefit to our commonwealth. Therefore: Be it enacted that, by the...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.