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An Essay Collection on Patent Politics

Just out from Oxford University Press: The Battle over Patents: History and Politics of Innovation, edited by Stephen H. Haber and Naomi R. Lamoreaux:

Do patents facilitate or frustrate innovation? Lawyers, economists, and politicians who have staked out strong positions in this debate often attempt to validate their claims by invoking the historical record--but they frequently get the history wrong.

The Battle over Patents
gets it right. Bringing together thoroughly researched essays from prominent historians and social scientists, this volume traces the long and contentious history of patents and examines how they have worked in practice. Editors Stephen H. Haber and Naomi R. Lamoreaux show that patent systems are the result of contending interests at different points in production chains battling over economic surplus. The larger the potential surplus, the more extreme are the efforts of contending parties-now and in the past-to search out, generate, and exploit any and all sources of friction. Patent systems, as human creations, are therefore necessarily ridden with imperfections. This volume explores these shortcomings and explains why, despite all the debate, historically US-style patent systems still dominate all other methods of encouraging inventive activity.
–Dan Ernst.  Table of Contents after the jump.

 Preface Stephen Haber and Naomi R. Lamoreaux

Introduction Stephen Haber and Naomi R. Lamoreaux

Chapter 1. Patents in the History of the Semiconductor Industry: The Ricardian Hypothesis
Alexander Galetovic

Chapter 2. Do Patents Foster International Technology Transfer? Evidence from Spanish Steelmaking, 1850-1930
Victor Menaldo

Chapter 3. Did James Watt's Patent(s) Really Delay the Industrial Revolution?
Sean Bottomley

Chapter 4. Dousing the Fires of Patent Litigation
Christopher Beauchamp

Chapter 5. Ninth Circuit Nursery: Patent Litigation and Industrial Development on the Pacific Coast, 1891-1925
Steven W. Usselman

Chapter 6. The Great Patent Grab
Jonathan M. Barnett

Chapter 7. The Long History of Software Patenting in the United States
Gerardo Con Diaz

Chapter 8. History Matters: National Innovation Systems and Innovation Policies in Nations
B. Zorina Khan

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