Royal declaration on privileges granted to inventors, Paris (1762)

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France : Mss. Fr. 22073 n°72

Royal declaration on privileges granted to inventors, Paris (1762), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Full title:
Declaration by the King, concerning trade privileges. 24 December 1762.

Full title original language:
Déclaration du Roy concernant les Priviléges en fait de Commerce. Du 24 décembre 1762.

A primary source on the 'brevets d'invention' (patents for inventions), to use the term endorsed by the decree of 25 May, 1791, might not quite seem to warrant inclusion among fifty primary sources on copyright. However, as in Great Britain, the protection of inventions, and even of their inventors, is part of a common history, regarding both the means of protection - privileges - as such and the justifications of these. It is very revealing to contrast the alternative definitions of privileges, especially in the positive legislation of the time - i.e. that of the 1762 Déclaration, before the book trade regulations of 30 August, 1777. In addition, the booksellers themselves grounded some of their developments on such a comparison (see, in particular, Gaultier's memorandum: f_1776). The 1762 act was the first general attempt to regulate the trade in inventions and to protect on more solid grounds inventors and their eventual assignees. Previously, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the granting of privileges to inventors was more discretionary, sometimes agreed outside of any professional guild regulations. Normally, the award and duration of the royal favour, as in book trade privileges, was related to the invention's public utility, but also to the fact that it was actually contributing something new. After a presentation of these privileges, the commentary will discuss and compare the criteria involved (which were not always respected consistently), and juxtapose the 1762 purview with the 1777 book trade decree, thereby allowing us to compare the status of inventors with that of authors at the end of the ancien régime.

1 Commentary:


Related documents in this database:
1790: Sieyès' report

Author: N/A

Publisher: G. Simon

Year: 1762

Location: Paris

Language: French

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France : Mss. Fr. 22073 n°72

Persons referred to:
Louis XV
Phélypeaux, Louis, Duc de La Vrillière
Simon, Pierre-Guillaume

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Parlement of Paris


French Revolution
authors' remuneration
duration, prolongation of privileges
guild regulation
industrial revolution
interest groups
perpetual protection
privileges, French
property theory, authors' property
public good

Responsible editor: Frédéric Rideau

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