by Mike Masnick
Thu, Dec 30th 2010 5:35pm
Google recently announced its funky Books Ngram Viewer, which lets you put in various terms, and see how often they appear in books throughout history. Just for the hell of it, I decided to see how often the terms patents, copyright, trademark and intellectual property appeared in books from 1776 forward, and got the following chart:
As you can see, copyright initially got much less coverage than patents, but that changed somewhere around 1950. Trademark first popped up around 1900, but didn't really get much attention at all until about 1970 or so. That's not all that surprising if you're familiar with the history of trademark law. What struck me as most interesting -- by far -- is the fact that there's basically nothing doing on "intellectual property" until you get to 1980. I always find it amusing when people insist that "intellectual property" has been a common term for patents and copyright going back ages, when the reality is that, as a popular term, it's really quite recent.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- This Week In Techdirt History: April 19th - 25th
- Designer Still Pursuing Bogus Takedown Of Periodic Table Of HTML Elements; Has No Idea How Copyright Works
- Recording Industry's Latest Plan To Mess Up The Internet: Do Away With Safe Harbors
- Canada Extends Copyright Terms, Finally Giving Musicians Who Released Works More Than 50 Years Ago A Reason To Create
- GM Says That While You May Own Your Car, It Owns The Software In It, Thanks To Copyright