Although letters patent had originally been conceived of as a way to strengthen England's economy, they had been used by successive monarchs as an easy way to raise funds for the crowns without asking Parliament for taxation. Elizabeth I, for example, issued monopolies on everyday items including salt. When James VI and I came to the English throne in 1603, there was a hope that he would eschew the practice of granting monopolies, but if anything his abuses were even worse. In 1624, therefore, Parliament forced through a 'Statute of Monopolies', which cancelled all previously existing patents and monopolies, and only allowed them to be granted in the future for brand new inventions. This statute became the basis of intellectual property …
Patents Law to protect inventors (127 words)
Historical Context Note
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