The Archaeology And History Of Intellectual Property

Richard Nicholas Brown
De Sola Pate & Brown, Partner, Caracas, Venezuela

This review of the archaeology and history of Intellectual Property should be of general interest to LESI members and of use in increasing understanding in our field. An attempt will be made to show how slavery, mystics, primogeniture, social status, anathema, domination, religion, forceps, economics, curses, and Roman Law influenced the development of Intellectual Property Law and licensing.

The concept of placing a mark on an animal or pot to show ownership is ancient. The Torah and The Old Testament both tell the story of Cain and Abel, and how God cursed Cain who had killed his brother Abel: Cain complained to God that the curse would lead all men try to kill him: “Then The Lord replied to him, ‘In that case, whoever touches Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.’ “And he placed a mark on Cain, so that whoever found him would not kill him.”


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