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Trade SecretsIntellectual Piracy and the Origins of American Industrial Power$
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Doron S. Ben-Atar

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300100068

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300100068.001.0001

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Constructing the American Understanding of Intellectual Property

Constructing the American Understanding of Intellectual Property

(p.142) Chapter 6 Constructing the American Understanding of Intellectual Property
Trade Secrets

Doron S. Ben-Atar

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the American understanding of intellectual property. American industrial development did not follow the mercantilist European model whereby the central government took the lead in subsidizing, regulating, and protecting industries. Early attempts to orchestrate an aggressive federal sponsorship of technology piracy, exemplified by Hamilton's Report on Manufactures, failed to take into account the powerfully dynamic impact of the rising market capitalism on the form and pace of American industrialization. The chapter discusses that the governmental direction of the economy made sense in an era when periodic economic disasters required that societies prepare for such emergencies, and was made possible by a stable social and economic hierarchy. It also reveals that the requirements of novelty and originality in American patent law emerged in the 1790s as the official American position regarding the problem of international technology piracy.

Keywords:   intellectual property, European model, technology piracy, capitalism, industrialization, economic hierarchy

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