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Chapter 5: Intellectual Property Law and Innovation
Patents were introduced as a general means of stimulating innovation in the early modern period: England has had patent laws since 1624, while the US constitution made specific allowance for such laws at its inception (Rosenberg 1975: v).
A description of the function of the patent can be obtained from one of the many accessible national patent office websites and would usually run as follows: intellectual property law is the means society has for creating conditional property rights in several distinct intellectual fields. These rights are called patents, copyright, trademark and registered or unregistered designs. The most relevant to technological innovation is the patent, granted to an applicant for an ...