Institutions and Agents of Technological Diffusion in 19th Century Spain
Pretel, David and Sáiz, Patricio (2012): “Patent Agents in the European Periphery: Spain (1826‐1902)”, History of Technology 31: 97‐114
28 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2019
Date Written: 2011
Although some recent studies have provided fresh intellectual insights on the role of patent practitioners during the nineteenth century, they have largely overlooked the activity of these actors in international patenting and peripheral countries. This study will fill a gap in the existing scholarship through an examination of the role and influence of patent agents in Spain from the introduction of the country’s first modern intellectual property law in 1826 to the regulation of agents’ practice in 1902. The study explores the range of activities carried out by those individuals employed by Spanish and foreign patentees to deal with both the patent application process and the commercialisation of property rights. Our argument here is that a focus on patent agents and other forms of agency can provide us with a better understanding of processes of invention, innovation and technology transfer in the European periphery during the nineteenth century. The history of technology in the periphery requires attention not only to the incentives for innovation but also to the social procedure of transmission of knowledge, ideas and information as well as the actors involved in this activity. Our focus cannot be solely on the transfer and communication of knowledge and information from advanced industrial nations to ‘backward’ ones; it must also include the processes of interaction, exchange and appropriation that occurred in both directions.
Keywords: Agency, Agents, Patents, Technology Transfer
JEL Classification: N73, O33, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation