Chris Dent, Murdoch University School of Law, has published Registers of Artefacts of Creation — From the Late Medieval Period to the 19th Century at 3 Laws 329 (2014). Here is the abstract.
This paper offers a new perspective on the “development” of the intellectual property regimes in the United Kingdom. The system put in place under the 1875 Trade Marks Act may be seen as the last of a sequence of earlier “technologies” that sought to administer the creative endeavours of (sections of) the English population. Prior to the trade mark registration (that included examination) there was the registration of designs that did not require examination but was necessary for the protection of the right. In the eighteenth century, patent specifications were lodged with the Crown via a process that was much more involved than that was instituted for designs in the nineteenth century. Before that, books had to be enrolled with the Stationers’ Company before they could be printed. And, in what may be seen as an earlier attempt at the centralised regulation of artefacts of expression, the Rolls of Arms (maintained by the King of Arms) was repository of coats of arms for English nobility. An exploration of these different technologies of regulation, in their socio-political context, will offer new insight into the antecedents, and limits, of the registration systems that are now common across the intellectual property world.Download the article from SSRN at the link.