Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
How Patents Became Documents, or Dreaming of Technoscientific Order, 1895-1937
Linköping University, Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Department of Culture Studies – Tema Q. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4116-3469
2019 (English)In: Journal of Documentation, ISSN 0022-0418, E-ISSN 1758-7379, Vol. 75, no 3, p. 577-592Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how the documentation movement associated with the utopian thinkers Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine relied on patent offices as well as the documents most closely associated with this institutional setting – the patents themselves – as central to the formation of the document category. The main argument is that patents not only were subjected to and helped construct, but also in fact engineered the development of technoscientific order during 1895–1937.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on an interdisciplinary approach to intellectual property, document theory and insights from media archeology. Focused on the historical period 1895–1937, this study allows for an analysis that encapsulates and accounts for change in a number of comparative areas, moving from bibliography to documentation and from scientific to technoscientific order. Primary sources include Paul Otlet’s own writings, relevant contemporary sources from the French documentation movement and the Congrès Mondial de la documentation universelle in 1937.

Findings

By understanding patent offices and patents as main drivers behind those processes of sorting and classification that constitute technoscientific order, this explorative paper provides a new analytical framework for the study of intellectual property in relation to the history of information and documentation. It argues that the idea of the document may serve to rethink the role of the patent in technoscience, offering suggestions for new and underexplored venues of research in the nexus of several overlapping research fields, from law to information studies.

Originality/value

Debates over the legitimacy and rationale of intellectual property have raged for many years without signs of abating. Universities, research centers, policy makers, editors and scholars, research funders, governments, libraries and archives all have things to say on the legitimacy of the patent system, its relation to innovation and the appropriate role of intellectual property in research and science, milieus that are of central importance in the knowledge-based economy. The value of this paper lies in proposing a new way to approach patents that could show a way out of the current analytical gridlock of either/or that for many years has earmarked the “openness-enclosure” dichotomy. The combination of intellectual property scholarship and documentation theory provides important new insight into the historical networks and processes by which patents and documents have consolidated and converged during the twentieth century.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2019. Vol. 75, no 3, p. 577-592
Keywords [en]
Classification, Patents, Patent offices, Technoscience, Paul Otlet
National Category
Other Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-156658DOI: 10.1108/JD-11-2018-0193Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85062674232OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-156658DiVA, id: diva2:1313616
Funder
EU, European Research Council, 741095Available from: 2019-05-05 Created: 2019-05-05 Last updated: 2019-05-16Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(277 kB)44 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 277 kBChecksum SHA-512
798075fe2b347aebe21c566273c022c8404044875c2942137b5bfbe388d33380709de535ff3a267a6cf924881da8a1ba5de57915a79dcd9d166902f6cd85ff1c
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full textScopus

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Hemmungs Wirtén, Eva
By organisation
Department of Culture Studies – Tema QFaculty of Arts and Sciences
In the same journal
Journal of Documentation
Other Humanities

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 44 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

doi
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
urn-nbn
Total: 365 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf