"Given the widespread appeal to history in modern judicial opinions, academic articles, and public policy debates, such empirical work is important. Historians and economists may dispute some of her methods or conclusions, but such debates about the historical facts will be a welcome change to the ascendancy of rhetoric on such subjects. Khan's work is an important contribution to our discourse about American patent law and its historical development." - Adam Mossoff, Michigan State University
"In an era when human genes are patentable and 'digital rights management' precludes fair-use copying of MP3s, Khan's historical analysis of American IP institutions provides an important long-term perspective on current issues."
Eric S. Hintz, Technology and Culture
This book examines the evolution and impact of American intellectual property rights during the "long nineteenth century," and also compares the American system to development in France and Britain. The United States created the first modern patent system and its politics were the most liberal in the world toward inventors. In contrast, the US copyright regime was among the weakest in the world, and the it profited from international copyright piracy for a century. American patent and copyright institutions promoted a process of democratization that not only furthered economic and technological progress but also provided a conduit for the creativity and achievements of disadvantaged groups.