Reference numberCD/61/3
TitleReport on Scientific Property, submitted by Senator F. Ruffini and approved by the League of Nations Committee on Intellectual Co-operation
Date1 September 1923
DescriptionSurveys the problem of the protection of scientific work and intellectual property. Aims to secure the reconigition that scientific work deserves. Discusses the current laws pertaining to the subject, the difference between an author's rights and inventor's rights, and artistic creation versus scientific conception. Drafts proposals for preparing a law for the protection of scientific work. Asks how scientists should be rewarded. Discusses international conventions.

States the fundamental principle that 'the genuis and work of the inventor are not natural riches open to all; they are intellectual capital', and that there should be legitimate monetary advantages and protection. Proposes a convention to effect this, whereby scientists have greater intellectual property rights over their inventions and discoveries. Defines the terms of discoveries and gives a detailed draft convention for the scientific copyright.

Includes a memorandum at the back by Mr John H. Wigmore, which describes some potential difficulties of defining scientific copyright and putting this convention into practice. Thinks that the convention should be scrutinised by experts in patent law before it is presented for adoption.
Access statusOpen
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