Secret, owned, Georgian medicines were normally known as patent medicines, though few had a current patent. Up to 1830, just 117 medicines had been patented, whilst over 1,300 were listed for taxation as ‘patent medicines’. What were the benefits of patenting? Did medicine patenting affect consumer perception, and how was this used as a marketing tool? What were the boundaries of medical patenting? Patents for therapeutic preparations provided an apparent government guarantee on the source and composition of widely available products, while the patenting of medical devices seems to have been used to grant a temporary monopoly for the inventor's benefit.
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