Torres Caicedo A decade in international intellectual property history (1879-1889)
School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London
One year after signing the Paris Convention of Industrial Property (1883), Jose Maria Torres Caicedo, the president of the most important copyright association at the time, the Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale (ALAI), sent a letter to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His main concern is to reach a bilateral copyright agreement between the tiniest Latin American country, the Republic of El Salvador and France. Few days earlier, he had publicly announced the forthcoming bilateral agreement. Few months later, he will be secretly meeting the Swiss politician Numa Droz to convince him of the urgent need for a multilateral copyright gathering, what will become the major international copyright agreement still in force, the Berne Convention (1886). This paper explores the footsteps and problems of political representation between person and office in the political history of international intellectual property. It follows the complex, gentle and multifaceted persona of Jose María Torres Caicedo (1830-1899). Torres Caicedo was not only a Colombian writer and a Latin American diplomat; he became one of the first cosmopolitan IP scholars.