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Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 15 No. 3 (Summer 2001)

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The Early Development of Intellectual Property Institutions in the United States

Article Citation

Khan, B. Zorina, and Kenneth L. Sokoloff. 2001. "The Early Development of Intellectual Property Institutions in the United States." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 15(3): 233-246.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.15.3.233

Abstract

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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Authors

Khan, B. Zorina (Bowdoin College and NBER)
Sokoloff, Kenneth L. (UCLA and NBER)

JEL Classifications

O34: Intellectual Property Rights
N42: Economic History: Government, War, Law, and Regulation: U.S.; Canada: 1913-
N41: Economic History: Government, War, Law, and Regulation: U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

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