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The Early Development of Intellectual Property Institutions in the United States

  • B. Zorina Khan
  • Kenneth L. Sokoloff

The U.S. was a pioneer in establishing the world's first modern intellectual property system. That system was distinguished by the provision of broad access to, and strict enforcement of, property rights in new inventions, coupled with the requirement of public disclosure, and it was effective at stimulating the growth of a market for technology and technical change more generally. Far from being static, fundamental modifications were introduced over time in response to changing circumstances. That such adjustments so often proved to be constructive owes partly to a private market being a central feature of the system, and partly to the democratic structure of U.S. institutions.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.15.3.233
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 15 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 233-246

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:15:y:2001:i:3:p:233-246
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.15.3.233
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  1. McCalman, Phillip, 2001. "Reaping what you sow: an empirical analysis of international patent harmonization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 161-186, October.
  2. Josh Lerner, 2003. "150 Years of Patent Protection," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000587, David K. Levine.
  3. Sokoloff, Kenneth L., 1988. "Inventive Activity in Early Industrial America: Evidence From Patent Records, 1790–1846," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(04), pages 813-850, December.
  4. Naomi R. Lamoreaux & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 1999. "Inventors, Firms, and the Market for Technology in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries," NBER Chapters, in: Learning by Doing in Markets, Firms, and Countries, pages 19-60 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 1992. "Invention, Innovation, and Manufacturing Productivity Growth in the Antebellum Northeast," NBER Chapters, in: American Economic Growth and Standards of Living before the Civil War, pages 345-384 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Innovation, Imitation, and Intellectual Property Rights," NBER Working Papers 4081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1988. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial R&D," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 862, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 287-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Landes, William M & Posner, Richard A, 1989. "An Economic Analysis of Copyright Law," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 325-63, June.
  11. Khan, B. Zorina, 1995. "Property Rights and Patent Litigation in Early Nineteenth-Century America," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(01), pages 58-97, March.
  12. Christine Macleod, 1999. "Negotiating the Rewards of Invention: The Shop-Floor Inventor in Victorian Britain," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(2), pages 17-36.
  13. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Steven Usselman, 1999. "Patents, Engineering Professionals, and the Pipelines of Innovation: The Internalization of Technical Discovery by Nineteenth-Century American Railroads," NBER Chapters, in: Learning by Doing in Markets, Firms, and Countries, pages 61-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Keith E. Maskus, 1993. "Intellectual property rights and the Uruguay Round," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 10-25.
  16. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
  17. Machlup, Fritz & Penrose, Edith, 1950. "The Patent Controversy in the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 1-29, May.
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