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Record identifier : 568679
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Maestrejuan, Andrea Rene
Title and statement of responsibility : Inventors, firms, and the market for technology during the Kaiserreich, 1877--1914 [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : University of California, Los Angeles, 2009
Language of the Item : eng
Body granting the degree : University of California, Los Angeles
Summary or Abstract : This dissertation is an economic history of technology during the Kaiserreich that highlights the role of a group of highly skilled and highly educated class of workers, German inventors. The 1877 German patent law created a complex framework for individual inventors who sought returns on their innovative ideas and for firms who had the resources to commercialize and exploit the new technology. Based on the contrast between my quantitative findings and the existing literature, I argue that changing patterns of inventive activity, within the context of national intellectual property rights institutions have been poorly understood in the case of imperial Germany. My analysis of the impact of the first national patent law in Germany and its effects on the development of a domestic market for technology during a period of rapid and intense industrialization contributes to the historical and economic study of national patent systems and how well they promote inventive activity using monopolistic practices in a free market economy while fostering the dissemination of technological knowledge for broad public consumption. I use patent statistics to provide quantitative evidence for understanding inventive activity in Germany between 1880 and 1910 to challenge the traditional interpretation of German industrialization that has focused on its "peculiar" path. My analysis shows that independent inventors were a significant source of new technology. Analyzing patterns in patent applications, grants, and renewals, I argue that independent inventors used unique features of the patent system to developing strategies of inexpensive short-term protection that enabled them to pursue independent careers in invention alongside firms with much greater resources to devote to such activity. I also use archival records of chemists working at a large chemical firm to reveal how firms developed strategies of incentives and restrictions to reward and encourage employee-inventors while reserving exclusive rights to the commercial exploitation of this work. One measure of success of the German patent system to raise the potential returns to inventive activity among all inventors, individuals and firms alike, was reflected in the management strategies to negotiate the proprietary boundaries of the inventive activity conducted by their employees.
Topical Name Used as Subject : European history, Economic history, Science history
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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