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date: 31 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter surveys the emergence and development of Intellectual Property (IP) law in Continental Europe and Britain. The story begins largely in the middle ages with the grant of territorially-confined inventors’ and printers’ privileges, and traces the development of these privileges into the four main species of IP rights recognized throughout the world today. A key theme is the varied national histories that underpin the development of each IP right even within the geographical confines and relative social and political homogeneity of Western Europe, and the extent of modern IP law’s embeddedness in the industrial and cultural development of individual states. The chapter ends with an account of the emergence of a European perspective on IP, as expressed in the nineteenth-century Paris and Berne Conventions, and its development by general and IP-specific European communities, including the EU, which has established unitary patent, trademark, and design rights for its Member States.

Keywords: Intellectual property law, patents, copyright, trademarks, designs, history, Europe

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