Statute of Monopolies

The English patent law of 1624 that first curbed the Crown’s power to grant monopolies at its discretion, while excepting (in section 6) fourteen-year grants for “the sole working or making of any manner of new manufactures within this realm.” This statute and the Venetian Patent Law of 1474 are treated as progenitors of modern patent laws. Even today, Australia’s patent law, entirely revamped in 1990, continues to define invention as “any manner of new manufacture . . . within section 6 of the Statute of Monopolies“.

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