Once Upon a Time: The Patent

I’m finally getting to Pascal Attali’s wonderful 2022 book titled Once Upon a Time: The Patent. The book’s 300 pages is divided into 50+ short chapters written as vignettes on the global patent system.  Every vignette typically begins with a fictionalized historical narrative and then a more detailed explanation of the historical context and its importance.  Attali is a European patent attorney and so the focus is more European and global stories.  That has been wonderful for me since I already know lots of U.S. stories. I’m only half way through the book, but my favorite so far is reading about the abolition and later reinstitution of Dutch patent law 1869-1912.  Big thumbs up. Don’t take my word for it, read the review from Anastasiia Kyrylenko.  IPKat found it to be the BEST PATENT BOOK OF 2022.


11 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time: The Patent

  1. 5

    How was the autobiography by Judge Dyk?

  2. 4

    Thank you, Dennis, for the recommendation.

    I promptly ordered a copy and am enjoying Pascal Attali’s charming delve back into the early European history of intellectual property.

    This immensely readable book is deserving of IPKat’s Best Patent Book of 2022!

  3. 3

    Laser!, Empires of Light, the bicentennial of the patent system. Ok denis, i will read it. And you read mine.

    1. 3.1

      Hot Property by Pat Choate

  4. 2

    Best patent book of 2022? How many patent books were published in 2022? I mean, besides this one… 🤷

  5. 1

    That’s where we are going in the USA. Once upon a time there were patents and innovation.

    1. 1.1

      Wait a minute—are you under the impression that we have no innovation any more? Were you alive in the last three years? We went from a brand new, never-seen-before viral pandemic arriving on the scene in late 2019 to having a highly effective, fully rolled out vaccine in early 2021 (late 2020, really).

      I never thought that I would see anything like this. I have long been a believer in the power of humans working together, but I was nevertheless flabbergasted to see exactly how much we can achieve when we focus on a goal and really work at it. It requires a staggering degree of willful blindness to live and work in today’s reality and form the impression that we no longer have innovation.

      1. 1.1.1

        Incidentally, the vaccine is a testament not only to the ongoing strength of technological innovation in our society, but also to the productive power of capitalism in the context of liberal democracies. China’s vaccines were duds. Russia’s vaccine was effective, but they were never able to produce it in quantities sufficient to make a difference. Almost all of the people worldwide (several billion, by this point) who have benefited from a COVID19 vaccine have benefited from a vaccine manufactured in one of five factories worldwide run by three companies, all of whom are headquartered in the U.S. or western Europe. Francis Fukuyama, eat your heart out.

      2. 1.1.2

        Nice hidden link in the open parentheses of the last sentence in the first paragraph….

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