Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Today in history
From Wired, today in history, 1474: Venice passes the first-known written law to grant and protect patents. England followed in 1623. The Constitution gave the US Congress authority to "promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries," and it used that power in 1790 to pass the Patents Act. Then France, then next thing you know, states are conspiring to enforce, spread, and harmonize patent law.