Public Rewards and Innovation Policy: Lessons from the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries

30 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2014

See all articles by Robert Burrell

Robert Burrell

University of Melbourne - Law School

Catherine Kelly

The University of Western Australia

Date Written: November 2014

Abstract

There has been renewed interest in recent years in using prizes and rewards to promote innovation. History has played a central role in public debates in the UK about the merits of such interventions, with the Longitude Prize 2014 being self‐consciously modelled on its eighteenth century precursor. Similarly, historical case studies have been used extensively in the scholarly literature in this area. However, it is striking that there has been little engagement with parliament's role generally in rewarding inventors in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and how this formed part of a broader system of rewards. The article explores how this system operated and demonstrates that it formed an established part of the legal landscape for many decades. It considers the extent to which a more complete understanding of the historical use of prizes and rewards during the key period of Britain's industrialisation might inform current debates.

Keywords: Patent history, Innovation prizes, British Parliamentary History – Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries

Suggested Citation

Burrell, Robert and Kelly, Catherine, Public Rewards and Innovation Policy: Lessons from the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries (November 2014). The Modern Law Review, Vol. 77, Issue 6, pp. 858-887, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2518818 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-2230.12095

Robert Burrell (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

Catherine Kelly

The University of Western Australia ( email )

35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, Western Australia 6009
AUSTRALIA

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