Intellectual property protection was first introduced in countries that were distinguished primarily by their strong economies and technological progress. Thus, it was Venice in the 15th century that created patents for inventors. The Venetian Patent Act enacted in 1474 was intended to reward inventors for their efforts and to additionally render the city more attractive to other inventors.
With the beginning of modern times, patent acts came into force in numerous countries. In Germany, this first occurred in individual German states until the national Common German Patent Act was enacted in 1877. The main objective was to protect the contributions of innovative German engineers and scientists in the face of increasing industrialization worldwide. At the end of the 19th century and into the 20th century, intellectual property protection became extensively regulated by law and treaty both nationally and internationally. In addition to patent protection, trademark and design protection were developed.
Today, intellectual property protection has become an elementary task of company management. With the globalization of markets this task has become significantly more important: Capital invested in innovation and marketing can only be effectively protected by intellectual property rights.