Scope and Content

Published patent specifications and provisional specifications, together with associated documents.

Administrative / Biographical History

Patents are a valuable source for the study of fundamental changes to manufacturing processes during the Industrial Revolution. Patents originated under the Statute of Monopolies in 1623 which protected the rights of the inventor for sixteen years. Following the Patent Law Amendment Act of 1852 the grant had to be followed by filing of the specification within 6 months. This period was extended to 9 months following the Patents, Designs and Trade Marks Act of 1883. Patents were enrolled on patent rolls until 1853 then kept on a register and they are available at the British Library and Patent Office.