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For centuries, international exhibitions have been a staple on the calendar, initially, dotting the capitals of Europe, and then major non-European cities such as Chicago, Melbourne and Philadelphia. Over the centuries, international exhibitions became the venue to unveil new technologies or designs and new inventions. In this chapter, I examine how international exhibitions in the latter part of the nineteenth century have been crucial for industrial innovation and their contribution in the adoption of the Paris Convention of 1883. The chapter then demonstrate how the Paris Convention was instrumental in the expansion of the principles on protecting innovation and how those principles were adopted in other treaties such as the Montevideo Convention of 1889. The chapter present these arguments against the backdrop of innovation diplomacy where private interests and nineteenth century lobbying essentially lead to the era of the “treatification” of international law. The treatification arise in part through intellectual property rights as set out in the Paris Convention and the mission to “civilise”, that is, expanding the principles of intellectual property protection in emerging “civilised” nations such as those in Latin America.

In: Intellectual Property and the Law of Nations, 1860-1920
Volume Editor:
What was the state of the law and how states managed to fulfil their international legal obligations under the law of nations with respect to intellectual property protection? 13 contributors show how the transition of intellectual property from private rights holders and their non-state patrons evolves into state lawmaking. The book presents these transitions through international legal perspectives and the history of intellectual property rights in late modern societies in Europe, the United States, Asia and Colonial States in Africa.

Contributors are: Daniel Acquah, Ainee Adam, Louise Duncan, Johanna Gibson, Philip Johnson, Jyh-An Lee, Yangzi Li, P. Sean, Morris, Peter Munkacsi, Zvi Rosen, Devanshi Saxena, Johannes Thumfart, and Esther van Zimmeren.