1The Rationale of the System and the Diversity of the Forms of Protection

Before going back to the fundamental reasons that account for how intellectual property rights have been established, we need to outline a few reminders of the origins of the intellectual property system.

1.1. Going back to the origins and goals of intellectual property law

When were intellectual property rights established and which fundamental need does intellectual property meet in terms of innovation?

1.1.1. Some historical points of reference

The need to adopt an intellectual property system has been felt for a long time, as a short historical contextualization focused on a few key stages can illustrate. The history of patent systems started in Europe during the period between the Renaissance and the end of the 18th Century. The first law on patents as exclusive right conferred to an inventor dates back to 1474 in the Republic of Venice and provided protection for a period of up to ten years [GUE 07]. The actual turning point was in England in 1623-4, when the Parliament passed a “Statute of Monopolies” that limited the royal power to create monopoly rights to patents. Over the following two centuries, this text was also a model both for British colonies and other countries. As for France, Louis XV’s edict of 1762 provided protection to inventors for a period of 15 years through patents. Most other European countries only established this type of rule in the 18th – or even in the 19th – Century, ...

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