An economic review of the patent system by Fritz Machlup

By Fritz Machlup

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Almost 3 million of these have issued in the course of United States industrial history. This inconsistency has been rationalized in various ways. It is pointed out that the patent monopoly is limited both in scope and time; that this monopoly is more than balanced by the inventive contribution; that patented inventions are not actually monopolistic in fact because they are subject to competing alternatives and substitutes; that such monopoly as does result is unobjectionable because the public is deprived of nothing it had previously possessed; and so on.

Rept. No-72, 85th, 1st, 1957). Report, Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights (S. Rept. No. 1430, 85th, 2d, 1958). AN ECONOMIC REVIEW OF THE PATENT SYSTEM By Fritz Machlup I. ” Letters patent are official documents by which certain rights, privileges, ranks, or titles are conferred. Among the better known of such “open letters” are patents of appointment (of officers, military, judicial, colonial), patents of nobility, patents of precedence, patents of land conveyance, patents of monopoly, patents of invention.

Walton Hamilton, The Politics of Industry (New York; Knopf, 1957), pp. 71-72. 33 Many countries, particularly less developed ones, were chiefly interested In the establishment of new Industries and, therefore, granted “patents of importation” or “patents of introduction” even though the inventions in question had elsewhere been patented to others. ” 34 The “right of priority” provided in the International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property is in part designed to prevent the original filing of a patent application in one country from destroying the patentability of the invention in other countries.

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