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Secrets for sale? Innovation and the nature of knowledge in an early industrial district: the Potteries, 1750-1851

Lane, Joseph (2018) Secrets for sale? Innovation and the nature of knowledge in an early industrial district: the Potteries, 1750-1851. Economic History working papers (284/2018). London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

This paper investigates innovation and knowledge in the North Staffordshire Potteries during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It evaluates new empirical evidence of formal and informal patterns of knowledge creation and dissemination in order to highlight tensions between forms of open knowledge sharing and the appropriation of returns to innovative activity. By presenting new patent data it shows that formal protection was not a widespread strategy in the industry. It uses patent specifications to determine what specific types of knowledge were, and could be, patented in the district, and by whom. A range of sources are used to demonstrate evidence of innovation and knowledge appropriation outside of the patent system. The paper identifies distinct types of knowledge in the industry and shows how differences in these led to a range of strategies being employed by potters, with the role of secrecy highlighted as a particularly prevalent and effective strategy.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/Economic-History
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty > D83 - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief
L - Industrial Organization > L6 - Industry Studies: Manufacturing > L61 - Metals and Metal Products; Cement; Glass; Ceramics
N - Economic History > N6 - Manufacturing and Construction > N63 - Europe: Pre-1913
N - Economic History > N7 - Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, Technology, and Other Services > N73 - Europe: Pre-1913
N - Economic History > N9 - Regional and Urban History > N91 - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development > O34 - Intellectual Property Rights: National and International Issues
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2018 09:39
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 12:40
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/89386

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