The creation of monopolies reached its climax in the reign of Queen Elizabeth (1558–1603), in the latter half of the 16th century. In the words of historian Professor S.T. Bindoff, “… the restrictive principle had, like some giant squid, fastened its embracing tentacles round many branches of domestic trade and manufacture,” and “in the last decade of Elizabeth’s reign scarcely an article in common use – coal, soap, starch, iron, leather, books, wine, fruit – was unaffected by patents of monopoly.”
In sparkling prose, Bindoff writes how lobbyists, using the lure of monetary gain, obtained royal courtiers to sponsor their petitions for grants of monopoly: “their sponsorship was usually a mere episode in the great game of place-and-fortune-hunting which swayed and swirled incessantly around the steps of the throne.” Once granted their privileges, the monopolists got themselves armed by the state with powers of search-and-seizure to root out all instances of now-illegal competition.
Apple Enlists help of po-po’s search power to enforce intellectual property
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