Book Review: Fashioning intellectual property: exhibition, advertising and the press 1789–1918

Ursula Smartt

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review


The book has been written by two law professors from Melbourne University in a “great burst of enthusiasm” (Prefacep. xi), examining intellectual property (“IP”) law development against technological advancement in printing (the emergence of the print press), linked to the emergence of the great European exhibitions (Vienna, Paris),publicity and advertising during the late 18th and 19th centuries. During these important eras of nouvelle epoch and technological advancement and inventions, creators’ fears of having their inventions or creations copied must have been enormous, without backing from legislation. How could patents for knitting machines or hosiery be protected without an international patent office? How could new Parisian fashion creations by either Chanel or Dior be protected from being copied or passed-off by cheaper labels even in those days? Richardson and Thomas provide an insight into these answers based on archive material and human background to well known cases such as Prince Albert v Strange and Walter v Lane. It is fascinating to learn how IP law came about, by demonstrating the socio-legal aspects of UK common law and emerging legislation, later adopted in the United States and other common law countries. By Megan Richardson and Julian Thomas, (Cambridge/New York/Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2012), ISBN: 9780521767569
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-233
JournalEntertainment Law Review
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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