“International diversity in patent systems: a historical perspective”, Graeme Gooday, séminaire HSHI


Le séminaire Histoire des sciences, histoire de l’innovation
(Université Paris Sorbonne, UPMC, LabEx EHNE) aura le plaisir d’accueillir

Graeme Gooday,
Professor of the History of Science and Technology,
University of Leeds

qui fera une présentation sur

International diversity in patent systems:
a historical perspective.

le jeudi 9 avril à 17h00

à l’Institut des sciences de la communication (ISCC)
salle de conférence RDC, 20 rue Berbier-du-Mets à Paris (Métro Gobelins).



The emergence of the modern European patent system is conventionally narrated as a history of intellectual property internationally unified by the Convention de Paris pour la protection de la propriété industrielle in 1883. Yet this story cannot be adequately told, I argue, without reference to the alternative political conceptions of les brevets d’invention as forms of monopoly, privilege, protection, taxation or social contract, each configuring the inventor’s relationship to the state in different ways. These non-proprietorial understandings of patents enable us to contrast the chief patent systems of the 19th century – American, British, French and German – that all lingered into the twentieth century. These four distinct systems were adopted differentially around the world not due to any inherent universal logic of intellectual property but via the economic imperatives of colonialism, post-colonial reconstruction and regional trade. Notably, the minimal bureaucratic burdens of the French system led to it being an early-favoured model in the industrialisation of Latin America and Southern Europe.

Lectures préparatoires :

Eda Kranakis, ‘Patents and Power: European Patent-System Integration in the Context of Globalization’, Technology and Culture   48 (2007) pp.689-728

Chapter  1 of Stathis Arapostathis & Graeme Gooday, « Patently Contestable Electrical Technologies and Inventor Identities on Trial in Britain »  (MIT Press, 2013) which will give some background to my paper but it is not essential.


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