Patently Contestable is a dazzling display of the power of history to speak to the most pressing concerns of our modern technological age. This book challenges the fundamental assumptions that allow corporations to monopolize socially and collectively won innovations as their 'intellectual property.' -- Colin Divall, The University of York The image of the lone inventor has long had a powerful hold on the public imagination. But who really invented the light bulb, or the telephone, or radio? As Stathis Arapostathis and Graeme Gooday show in their incisive study of controversies in the British electrical industry, the answer was rarely simple and often hotly disputed. By examining, in concrete detail, fundamental questions concerning invention, patents, and what came to be called 'intellectual property,' Arapostathis and Gooday shed light on issues whose significance reaches far beyond the history of technology. -- Bruce J. Hunt, University of Texas Arapostathis and Gooday fully deliver on their promise to unpack the contested relationships between inventors and their inventions. It may seem obvious who invented what, but this survey of the bloody battlefield of electrical technology at the beginning of the twentieth century should convince its readers otherwise. This is a book that shows how the history of technology ought to matter for contemporary policy -- and that policy-makers should read with care. -- Iwan Morus, Professor of History, Aberystwyth University
Stathis Arapostathis is Lecturer in the History of Science and Technology, Department of Philosophy and History of Science, at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. Graeme Gooday is Professor of the History of Science and Technology in the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science at the University of Leeds.
This is a well-written, important work that raises many contemporary intellectual property rights issues. There is an extensive potential audience for this book, as it applies to information technologies that have become the economic infrastructure internationally and the subject of important patent disputes. -Computing Reviews