Abstract

This article analyzes Leo Baekeland’s efforts to secure patent protection on “Bakelite,” the synthetic plastic resin that he invented in 1907, and to exploit the resulting intellectual property rights. It connects the transfer of Baekeland’s intellectual property (IP) to a German-based company with Baekeland’s entrepreneurial choices and IP record in the United States. It also shows that Baekeland’s experiences with European patent regimes shaped his criticism of the U.S. model. His attempts to address perceived shortcomings of the U.S. patent regime, however, did not lead to a satisfactory outcome.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1097-3729
Print ISSN
0040-165X
Pages
pp. 366-400
Launched on MUSE
2012-05-17
Open Access
No
Archive Status
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