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The Development AgendaGlobal Intellectual Property and Developing Countries$
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Neil Weinstock Netanel

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195342109

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342109.001.0001

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Historical Perspectives on Patent Systems in Economic Development

Historical Perspectives on Patent Systems in Economic Development

(p.215) 10 Historical Perspectives on Patent Systems in Economic Development
The Development Agenda

B. Zorina Khan

Kenneth L. Sokoloff

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the structures of patent systems in countries around the world and how they evolved over the course of the 19th century. It focuses on the sources of innovation in the design of intellectual property institutions and the systematic variation in the specifications of intellectual property institutions across countries and over time. The chapter analyzes the effects of the respective systems on patterns of patenting, the composition of inventors, and the direction of inventive activity. It discusses how and why there was a marked tendency towards convergence in international patent laws over the 19th century. Finally, the chapter highlights the lessons that history offers for today's developing countries, concluding that intellectual property institutions function best when their rules and standards are flexible and adjust to individual circumstances.

Keywords:   intellectual property, innovation, developing countries, inventors, nineteenth century

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