Key and Master Patents in the Long Run: Evidence From Baker’s Data
an attempt to select, from the vast literature of patent specifications, some of those relating to the more significant inventions … The list had its origins in a small collection of references built up over the years by the staff of the British patents enquiry desk of the Science Reference Library. Additions to this collection had been entered from time to time whenever a reader’s enquiry had led to the discovery of some patent that seemed worth recording. This collection has been augmented for publication. A search has been made through a large number of textbooks, encyclopaedias and journal articles for references to significant inventions, and the patents relating to them have been traced wherever possible. In addition, members of the Patent Office examining staff have suggested patents which, in their view, are significant (Baker, 1976, p. 8).
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