Intellectual property has become a dominant feature of our knowledge based economy in recent years, but how has property rights in intangible items developed? This book brings together for the first time exemplary scholarship with diverse approaches to the history of United States intellectual property protection, including trade secrets, trademark, copyright, and patent law. These articles, written by leading experts in the field and often challenging conventional narratives, underscore the importance of historical perspectives for understanding how an extensive, evolving framework for the regulation of knowledge emerged in the modern period. By tracing intellectual property from an historical perspective - not merely providing justifications in philosophy or economics in the abstract - this book draws upon the past to address contemporary debates over such varied topics as: access to knowledge; policing copyright infringement; whether employees should own the products of their minds; the role of national borders in an age of digital information; and the very future of intellectual property as stakeholders and consumers contest the extent of its legal protection.
Contents: Introduction; Alexander Hamilton's alternative: technology piracy and the report on manufactures, Doron Ben-Atar; A tale of two copyrights: literary property in Revolutionary France and America, Jane C. Ginsburg; Toward a theory of copyright: the metamorphoses of 'authorship', Peter Jaszi; Removing the 'fuel of interest' from the 'fire of genius': law and the employee inventor 1830-1930, Catherine L. Fisk; Copyrighting American history: international copyright and the periodization of the 19th century, Claudia Stokes; The transformation of antebellum patent law, Steven Lubar; Property rights and patent litigation in early 19th-century America, B. Zorina Khan; Reform(aliz)ing copyright, Christopher Sprigman; The making of the post-war paradigm in American intellectual property law, Steven Wilf; One hundred years of solicitude: intellectual property law 1900-2000, Robert P. Merges; Name index.