A key figure in the emergence of the modern free-market economy in England
IP Hall of Fame inductee in 2006
An influential English jurist and author of the Statute of Monopolies of 1624, the basis of the distinction between patents of invention and patents given at the caprice of the sovereign. Coke has long been acclaimed as a key figure in the emergence of the modern free-market economy in England. During a long career in which he was successively Attorney General (1594-1606), Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas (1606-1613), Chief Justice of the Court of King’s Bench (1613-1616) and, from 1620, leader of the Parliamentary opposition to the King in the House of Commons, many historians have lauded Coke as a significant force behind the deregulation of the English economy, most notably through his role as a leading opponent of royal grants of monopoly rights to favoured individuals.