"Next came the Patent laws. These began in England in 1624; and, in this country, with the adoption of our constitution. Before then these?, any man might instantly use what another had invented; so that the inventor had no special advantage from his own invention. The patent system changed this; secured to the inventor, for a limited time, the exclusive use of his invention; and thereby added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things."
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