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Journal

Intellectual Property Law

San Diego Law Review

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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Patents As Promoters Of Competition: The Guild Origins Of Patent Law In The Venetian Republic, Ted Sichelman, Sean O'Connor Dec 2012

Patents As Promoters Of Competition: The Guild Origins Of Patent Law In The Venetian Republic, Ted Sichelman, Sean O'Connor

San Diego Law Review

[T]his Article describes the artisan and merchant guild systems of the Venetian Republic. Part III explores the emergence of the patent system as a means for foreigners and Venetian citizens to compete with the guilds, as well as the eventual addition of negative exclusive rights to the basic license form of positive patent privileges. In so doing, contrary to the speculation of some scholars, we reject with near certainty the contention that the first patent law statute granting exclusionary rights for—in modern parlance—technological inventions was a silk-specific directive enacted by the Venetian Grand Council in the late ...